New York City skyline and Chrysler Building - view from Roosevelt Island
My recent foray into experimenting with long exposures has been blossoming into a zen journey. I am a solitary shooter by preference. While I thrive on being around people, when I am shooting it’s an almost spiritual experience that I enjoy only when I am alone. The world tends to melt away and my thoughts evaporate into whatever it is I am shooting. I am not sure if it is because my mind runs at around 1000 miles per hour normally and resembles a rushing waterfall of activity that I seek out these types of experiences where I can calm the mental flow into a gentle stream of thoughts but I am finding long exposures to be an absolutely blissful experience.
This is the result of a 20 second exposure taken late last week from Roosevelt Island with the Sony A99. I have been shooting skylines for the past month for a secret project that I can’t talk about until later this month and it’s been interesting viewing the skyline from different vantage points throughout the boroughs. Roosevelt Island is a tiny island that sits in the East River overlooking the Upper East Side and midtown Manhattan. The Chrysler Building is a beacon of white, sparkling lights in a sea of skyscrapers lit by the yellow glow of the lights on the FDR Drive. It’s a rather calm place to visit at this time of year since it’s not quite warm enough for people to take full advantage of the promenade that runs parallel to this amazing view.
The night tends to fall quietly over the lights of Manhattan when viewing the skyline from this vantage point. The only sounds that are prominent are the sound of waves lapping up against the sides of the promenade as the rare boat speeds by. I find it endlessly fascinating how a long exposure can calm even those sounds down visually - smoothing out the water’s surface until the lights seem to melt into the water like liquid stars in a watery universe.
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