Like many, I enjoy the solitary feeling that photography lends me. Adding people to the equation, no matter the relation or lack of, can bring on unwanted stress and, in some cases, anxiety as someone who worked in and ran a studio years ago. I often felt overwhelmed by the stress and anxiety. Feelings that went with booking sessions and trying to get people to arrive on time, allowing for the rhythm it usually takes to complete the cycle of a photoshoot. I learned a lot during those days. A lot more about myself, patience, and making others feel as unaware of the camera and the hot lights. More about relationships than I ever did about technique or studio lighting. There are times when I miss those days. Many of which where I’d approach things differently. However, to be honest, it’s not often.
And while taking pictures from my balcony or from the roof might get redundant. The fresh air, the colors, and the feeling of being on top of the world have lasting qualities and rewards. Here’s hoping we can all find our peace and refuge.
We were returning from a rather long drive from … when I asked my wife if we could take a slight detour towards downtown Seattle’s Pioneer Square area to watch the sun set, When discussing some rather important issues while enjoying some rather light hearted activities during the day.
Though we originally hoped to buy a condo in Pioneer Square, a tour of the neighborhood, it’s homeless encampments and the missions just a block from what would become our doorstep were a rather harsh reality we weren’t willing to invest in. Add to it the looks better in pictures condos we toured and we almost immediately started looking elsewhere.
Short story long, we found a parking spot close to the ferry and found some great spots to take pictures. There are few things I enjoy more than night photography and chasing sunsets. I’ve been hoping to capture a few sunrises, but during the times I’ve been able to catch them, I have been without my camera. Maybe soon. Until then.
While I had plans to share images of the sunset taken at Gene Coulan Park over a three day cycle. Unfortunately, I just haven’t had the time or energy to do so. So instead, I’ll share several of my favorites from last night. Though I do plan on returning and finding new places to chill out, watch the sun set and possibly get back into a good mediation routine. I’ve decided to just stay home and cook something tasty with the help and supervision of my wife. The pictures below are posted in the order they were taken. (Between 7:00 and 8:00 pm) Enjoy.
There are times when I can write, write, write all day. The hours just melting away as I continue to pen the next Great American Novel or put the final touches on that record or book review I’ve been working on for over a week. Then there are days like this past Monday where I’m able to get out early and often. Yesterday’s sudden burst of energy and inspiration allowed me to explore yet to be traveled, yet eerily close destinations within ten minutes of my Columbia City apartment. The first photo was taken just before noon at a little spot I found on the way home for lunch. During my short time there. I couldn’t help but notice how calming the fresh, cool air and the water felt. I’d imagine a lot of folks going there to clear their mind while enjoying the peace and quiet. It was during my time there when I met a sweet pit bull named “Woof”.
The second picture was taken at Sunset just a few blocks west of 15th Ave. S. Due to the cold and the fact that I had pretty much attained what I wanted. I began tthe walk back to my car. It was then when I noticed this van with the sunset perfectly reflected in it’d side window. Having watched several documentaries featuring people traveling the country in vans just like this one. I was ready for someone to emerge just as I focused my lens. That, or a full on zombie apocalypse. Luckily, neither occurred as I was able to get in my car, head home and warm myself with a hot cup of coffee. At the end of the day, I’m glad I decided to try something different by taking a few side roads and allowing myself to get a little lost.
Prior to moving to the Journal Square area of Jersey City. I had little to no knowledge of the area with the glaring exception of beautiful views of the former American Can Company we would often view from Rt. 9 and or The Pulaski Bridge. As we passed the yet to be renovated towers. We’d often comment, better yet drool about the possibilities of someday moving in to an old run down factory or industrial complex. Little did we know at the time that those run down, abandoned beauties would be reborn as loft condos.
Upon starting our four year process of searching for a home. We saw a number of properties in and around Jersey City before deciding against moving to the area. Then, all of the sudden, thanks to the wisdom and hindsight of our trusted realtor. We gave the area one last shot. On the day we came to see the very first unit the market offered us. We were both convinced that this was the place we wanted to be. This was the kind of home we always imagined but never thought we would find. And while it took some months and the loss of two units we had our hearts set on. We sealed the deal on one we both loved and still feel very happy to be in.
While the neighborhood took time getting used to. Exploring the surrounding areas has been an amazing adventure. In areas I once tip toed around for fear of trespassing or being interrogated. I know walk boldly. The neighborhood has evolved and changed for the better.The area has become quite colorful and artful with new murals being created in some of the most unexpected places and access to anywhere else I’d like to go is literally at our fingertips.
Aside from all those pretty good reasons to be positive. My neighbors and the residents here are pretty damn nice. See friends, families and pets in riding the elevators or roaming the halls daily only reassures me moved to the right place.
As the weather warms I plan to extend my walks, exploring more corners of the area and stop being so weary about those helicopters that seem to appear any time I get to close to a bridge or railroad. Wish me luck.
Armed with a recently purchased tripod and a fresh out the box circular polarizer. I headed south on Rt. 9 to Fords Ave. for one of my favorite spots to photograph sunsets. After an over priced and underwhelming slice of pizza and a quick stop in at my friendly, way out of the neighborhood record store. (You know the one that prices every fucking item in the store higher than anyone else on the planet.) I made my way towards the power lines and set up my tripod in time to watch the sun slowly set over the industrial setting.
To add to the industrial feel the scarecrow like towers offer were too larger than life objects that looked to be a skateboarders wet dream. The barrels, wide enough to drive a car through and hollow enough to deliver ear shattering echoes. While it’s taking me a bit of time to get used to working on a tripod. According to a friend and mentor. It’s a much needed step in my growth as a photographer. As for the filters. I owe a thank you to the sales woman at Adorama for her recommendations and taking the time to make fun of the old, crappy filter that was attached to the lens I brought in.
Below are a few extras I took as we headed back to the train.
Living in Hoboken for a good ten years. My lazy, nothing ever happens before coffee, ass managed to capture just a handful of sunrises. That said, the sun coming up over Manhattan is a sight worth capturing again, again and again. Since moving to Jersey City however, I’ve come to appreciate sunsets in new and endlessly creative ways. In my first weeks and months here. I would climb up on the construction side of RT. 139, 9 and the Pulaski Bridge to watch the sun set over the nearby Kearny factories. It was, in a sense, the start of my daily meditation ritual. My moment to breathe and release the days stress and anxiety. After a long winter with very little sun to rise or set. During those dark days, I promised myself not to take for granted the little things that make life worth living. So tonight I took a long walk west on Newark Ave. towards the setting sun. Despite the endless string of automobiles noisily passing from both directions. I felt a sense of peace and solitude. Along the way I found some new angles and vantage points to capture the sunrise. And while it’s hard to avoid taking the same picture over and over. I’ve got plenty of time to try new things. Keep chasin’.
In the few times I’ve travelled to the Elizabeth Commons to go shopping with my wife. I’ve always found what was happening in the distance to be more exciting than anything going on within the giant retail complex. So when she insisted on going there to take advantage of the post Christmas sales, I agreed. I’d go shopping as long as she’d wait patiently while I took pictures after we were done. Without a second thought, she agreed and an alliance was formed. So as she sat in the car patiently. I ran into traffic and climbed the fence of the local truck depot and shot this. While the view from the Commons parking lot was obscured by trees and telephone pole wire. The one atop the fence was beautiful. While the poles and electric wire seemed to be a detriment at first. I think they actually improved the view and overall character of the image. Not a bad trade off if you ask me.