59th Street – Dusk


One of those just about over the top HDR shots I’d better let sit a while; and am tempted to correct the converging verticals in photoshop, something I almost never do.  Well, like I say – let it have a rest.  Yes – obviously from here on in everything is 5D so I don’t need to keep repeating that (40D arrived safely with James); and Sigma lens should arrive in FL on Monday.

And just about anything that’s remotely static right now is HDR – so I’ll just tag it and not go into that much more.  The trick when you’re shooting moving stuff like horses, even these guys that are taking a break is to setup the shot and wait / hope for that second where you can squeeze in the 3 shots without horse movement.  It’s all alot of fun for me – this color phase.  You get to make so many choices – is the blue sky too blue.  Should the foreground be brought up a bit.  Bring down the blown out lights or let ’em be.  And do it all so that it has a somewhat natural feel to it.  Tricky stuff (at least for me) compared to when I do b&w which seems to present less problems.

I think that subconsciously, and now consciously I’m working to build up a color portfolio; not so much from the selling point of view – but to get to a point where you can sit back and contemplate the portfolio as a whole – whether it has jumped into postcard territory (not that there’s anything wrong with that) or whether that certain wave of enjoyment you get comes across to others.

The real trick is not to over analyze a new path (as this one is) since you have no idea where it’s going. But together with the perspective controls in Photoshop, and with combining fewer images, I’m starting to get the idea of how this can give you the view camera feeling.. . without the weight…  but with lots of clean pixels…  I don’t quite have it all figured out yet but it feels like that’s where this is headed…


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My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City.

4 thoughts on “59th Street – Dusk”

  1. But of course. The way I see it – these (and what I am doing now) are just branches from the earliest pictorialists who thought nothing of sticking spirits and ghosts into images; or using whatever tricks they could to create surreal effects.

    In other words – there are two basic branches in photography: the ones who are apt to approach the imagination of painters, as well as the look and techniques, and the realists (those who use the camera to examine reality – the F64 group, the documentarians, the ones who find truth in what the camera sees and don’t want to embellish it.

    The decisive moment group fall into the realists branch, for the most part. They may achieve surreal effects but these are based on juxtaposition of objects or subjects within the frame, or by the subjects that are chosen.

    The descendants of the pictorialists are not satisfied with what the camera captures – and they may see the original capture as a starting point. Or perhaps they have a dream, and hire people to recreate it. In other words, one group is out to document so-called reality even in it’s most surreal moments; and the other group might just as well capture dreams as anything else.

    And of course there is no rule saying that a photographer needs to be in one camp to the exclusion of the other. I only mention that because I consider myself to move back and forth between the two camps, though for the most part I’d classify myself as a pictorialist (which had and perhaps still has) a bad connotation in the photography world.

  2. I enjoy the use of motion within the frame. It’s finding the correct amount that proves maddening at times. Your Night Jogger nails it. Sometimes it’s by sheer accident that I’ve found the correct shutter speed. What I love about digital is the ability to review the metadata and use it in the future.

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