NY Through the Lens - New York City Photography

Scroll to Info & Navigation

New York - Autumn in the City

—-

Today was an absolutely perfect autumn day in New York City. The air was crisp, and the sun exuded a cool warmth.

This time of year always makes me incredibly nostalgic. It was the autumn of 2009 that I found my passion for photography. I would walk as far as my legs would take me with my little point and shoot camera which was severely limited in its capacity. I was too poor for a smartphone at the time and remember hoping that the no-frills point and shoot that I bought on sale for $79 could help me capture the city I love in photographs.

I went through quite a few of those early photos today for a client who found one of the photos on my Flickr account and requested it for an upcoming ad campaign. I keep all of my work on my Flickr account, even the early work. It’s amazing how far some of those early photos have gone in terms of usage. Not all of my early work is what I would consider good. In fact, most of my early work is fairly rough in terms of execution of what I was attempting to do with the limited tools I had at the time.

However, I keep them online because I believe it’s important to keep a record of where we have been in life. It helps to put everything in perspective. Most importantly, it helps to track growth and learning.

I wanted to share a few of my photos from that magical autumn of 2009.

I can still feel every aspect of each moment I captured with my camera when I look at these…

The way the leaves gathered at the curb…
Early Halloween decorations…
Quiet moments where the past and present co-mingled…
Horses and Central Park’s autumn foliage…
As holiday scenes tugged at the heart…
And glowing orange lights warmed up chilly afternoons..
Central Park’s landscapes in their last hurrah before winter…
As the first intrepid ice-skaters took to the ice…
While the Upper East Side’s architecture framed a perfect hint of orange…
As townhouses…
And grand architecture uptown stoically waited to hibernate…
Brooklyn reveled in Autumn’s warmth…
Modern love enjoyed a moment in an abandoned East Village lot…
And New York City passionately declared its love for autumn.

—-

Looking for these photos to view larger? Here you go (click or tap on each photo to view larger):

New York Autumn - A Look Back

——-

Information about my New York City photography book which is releasing in stores and online in the autumn of 2014 (including where to order it):

NY Through The Lens: A New York Coffee Table Book

——

View: My photography portfolio, My Travel Blog, On G+,email me, or ask for help.

Travel and New York City Photography - Vivienne Gucwa

—-

I was interviewed by Jordan Oram for the travel site Wandering Educators. I am honored to have been chosen to be September’s Photographer of the Month there.

I don’t often get a chance to talk about my New York City photography and my travel photography at the same time. So, this was a nice change of pace and I was more than happy to answer Jordan’s questions.

Nice - South of France - Summer Afternoon

—-

Some teasers and the link to the full interview:

How did you get interested in photography?

I started taking photos in a rather stream-of-consciousness manner in the mid-2000s. Since I live in New York City, I don’t drive. Without much in the way of material things or financial prosperity, walking became my way to deal with stress. It also became a way for me to experience the city like I hadn’t before. I would choose a direction and walk as far as my feet would take me; I still do this.

—-

Night Vision - Street Art - East Village - New York City

—-

As the scenery unfolded before me, I began noticing lines, forms and structures that I‘d previously ignored. To embrace my new-found sense of wonder, I took the only camera I could afford at the time, a simple point-and-shoot costing less than $100, on my walking adventures. I just wanted to capture the moments and experiences that made my heart swell.

—-

Greenwich Village in the Rain - New York City

—-

Starting out in photography with limited tools enticed me to learn more about light, which in turn, has set me on a lifelong journey attempting to capture something as fleeting and vast as the transient quality of New York City and other places around the world.

—-

Marseille - South of France

—-

How long have you been a photographer?

I started to pursue photography seriously in the winter of 2009. During that winter, I decided to finally post the photos I had accumulated along the way online. I knew nothing about posting photography online and had heard that blogs were a great place to post photography. I literally googled the word “blog” and….

…read the full interview here:

Photographer of the Month - Vivienne Gucwa

Hope you enjoy! I even included some travel and general photography tips! :)

—-

Eiffel Tower - Shangri-La Hotel - Paris - France

—-

Mount Pelee and the Caribbean Sea - Martinique

—-

Notre Dame - Paris - France

——-

Information about my New York City photography book which is releasing in stores and online in the autumn of 2014 (including where to order it):

NY Through The Lens: A New York Coffee Table Book

——

View: My photography portfolio, My Travel Blog, On G+,email me, or ask for help.

Tales from my epic adventure staying at one of the most unique and luxurious hotels in Paris…

travelthroughthelens:

Royal Monceau Raffles Paris - A Photo-Tour

A couple of months ago, I stayed in Paris for a few weeks and had the pleasure of being a guest of the Royal Monceau Raffles Paris during my stay.

The Royal Monceau Raffles Paris Hotel is a 5 Star Palace hotel located in the heart of Paris within walking distance to the Park Monceau and the Arc de Triomphe. It opened in the late 1920s and has hosted a wide array of people including Josephine Baker, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, and Michael Jackson.

It was recently refurbished by the iconic French designer Philippe Starck. And indeed, staying in the hotel and exploring it fully takes you on a whimsical journey into the imagination of Starck.

By the time I stayed at the Royal Monceau, I had been traveling in France for nearly three weeks at the tail-end of an adventure that took me through the south of France and up to Paris. I was a bit saucer-eyed and woozy from travel and travel photography. However, Royal Monceau made it impossible for me not to completely unwind and have my own smile-worthy adventure within its walls as I discovered the genius of Starck and grew to appreciate the Royal Monceau’s high standards of excellence.

Let’s explore!…

I stayed in one of the non-suite rooms during my stay. A view of the room looking towards the window:
image

Here is the view in my room looking towards the door. You will notice the large work of art carefully sitting against the wall. The hotel is devoted to art, and even has its own art concierge, Julie Eugène.

The works of art in the rooms belong to the hotel’s extensive art collection. The work of art in my room was by artist Koichiro Doi (Explosion: Pink).

As for the guitar, it’s there to enjoy and make visitors feel at home. Indeed, seeing the art sitting against the wall along with a guitar made me feel like I was in an alternate luxurious version of my own apartment  :

image

If the sleeping area feels like a re-imagined, sophisticated version of home, the mirrored bathroom feels like another dimension entirely with a wall of mirrors and all elements designed by Starck:

image

Closing the doors to the bathroom revealed more mirrors:

image

There are little details everywhere painstakingly chosen by Starck that make you stop and take pause like this handwritten letter hanging next to my bed from Jean Cocteau, a famous French poet, filmmaker, and artist :

image

When it comes to macarons, I am firmly a Pierre Hermé fan girl thanks to a sweet introduction to his macarons shortly after I arrived in Paris by my friend Beth.

Imagine my surprise when I realized that Hermé is the official pastry chef of the Royal Monceau Hotel.

So, you can imagine the sheer joy I felt when I saw a Hermé spread of macarons laid out in my room.

image
:

Sitting on the bed looking into the mirror which doubles as a television:

image

Beautiful Paris rooftops seen from the window of my room:

image

As soon as I saw the hallways in the hotel, I felt like Alice in Wonderland and I knew that I wanted to take this photo:

image

Indeed, the hotel’s design has a whimsical quality to it. The elevators are all different colors and fully mirrored. Here is the red one:

image

As I exited the elevator and looked out onto this scene looking out towards mirrors with artwork by Stephen Smith Lloyd, I distinctly heard a song from Twin Peaks by Angelo Badalamenti play softly on the hotel’s speakers:

image

I was so amused by the fact that Badalamenti was playing since I had been feeling a very distinct Lynch vibe while exploring the hotel. Some context: I am a huge David Lynch fan and Angelo Badalamenti is the composer that Lynch uses for many of his films as well as one of my favorite soundtrack composers (this video when fully watched illustrates his brilliance perfectly: Badalamenti and David Lynch) and who I listen to quite a bit when I edit my photos.

In the moment, I tweeted: “As I walked off the elevator earlier, a track by Angelo Badalamenti (from Twin Peaks) was playing and I smiled wide :)”.

And the lovely social media person for Royal Monceau tweeted back to me: “Thank you Vivienne, we’re glad you’re enjoying our David-Lynch-meets-Alice atmosphere :)”.

Best.moment.in.a.hotel.ever.

One of the most striking works of art in the hotel is by Russian artist Nikolay Polissky called Salle des Trophées which consists of 15 life-size wooden elk  :

image

Gorgeous chandeliers above the grand staircase:

image

Detail of hanging art in the hotel’s lobby area :

image

In addition to the beautiful hotel interiors, Starck is also responsible for the design of the hotel’s 1 Michelin Star restaurant, La Cuisine. Here is a view of the restaurant :

image

Plates designed by Starck:

image

Even the coffee cups are intricately designed by Starck. The paintings on the saucer are reflected perfectly in the cups. Here is a goldfish reflection:

image

And, an eye (my favorite):

image

Walking outside leads to the Terrace Garden, a relaxing and charming place to enjoy a meal or snack:

image

One of my favorite parts of the garden area is this great art installation by Joanna Vasconcelos of a giant ironwork tea-pot that guests can sit in. Magical!:

image

The hotel is full of surprises like the Katara Cinema Room, a 99 seat theater designed by Starck with state of the art cinema equipment like 3D:

image

And the award-winning Spa My Blend by Clarins spa which features a 23 meter infinity pool, one of the largest to exist in a Paris luxury hotel:

image

During my stay, I was fortunate enough to get a quick tour of one of the Presidential Suites. These are suites that start at 25,000 Euros a night. You will notice that the design by Philippe Starck is consistent with the room I stayed in which was one of the studios:

The Presidential Suite’s living area:

image

….dining area:

image

….bedroom (one of them):

image

And detail from one of the living room areas featuring a gorgeous photo by photographer Simon Chaput:

image

I hope you enjoyed the photo-tour!

I feel so fortunate to have had the experience I did at the Royal Monceau Raffles Paris. Everything from the food, to my time in the spa, and my adventures exploring the brilliance of Starck’s design felt like a dream.

—-

Looking for these (and more) Royal Monceau Raffles Paris Hotel photos to view larger? Here you go (click or tap on each photo to view larger):

Royal Monceau Raffles Paris Hotel Photos

Interested in viewing all of my France posts so far? Here they are:

France Through the Lens

—-

Incredible amounts of gratitude to:

The Royal Monceau Raffles Paris Hotel who let me stay as a guest of theirs in exchange for photography and took amazing care of me during my stay.

And, the official French tourism agency, who you can find here on Facebook France Guide. They made my entire France photography adventure possible and went above and beyond in making sure I was well taken care of everywhere I went (truly).

——

View: My travel photography portfolio, My Photography Book Releasing in Autumn, 2014, My NYC Blog, On G+,email me, or ask for help.

New York City - Night - Lower East Side - Orchard Street

There is nothing like night in New York City.

It’s in the way the lights shine, diffracted and star-shaped.

It’s in the way the buildings glisten like lighthouses for the lost and found.

And it’s in the way the chatter of taxi cabs and cars whiz past the ears like a never-ending dissonant lullaby.

The energy never changes. 

It’s as if it is impossible for the city’s energy to change and shift. 

As if that frenetic energy that propels us forward through the night was there all along, 

and the city sprung up around it with open arms,

a long-lost lover looking for its muse. 

—-

Taken on Orchard Street a few nights ago with the Sony A7S as I walked along the streets pondering life and love.


——

Information about my New York City photography book which is releasing in stores and online in the autumn of 2014 (including where to order it): 

NY Through The Lens: A New York Coffee Table Book


—— 

View: My photography portfolio, My Travel Blog, On G+,email me, or ask for help.

New York City - Night - Lower East Side - Orchard Street

There is nothing like night in New York City.

It’s in the way the lights shine, diffracted and star-shaped.

It’s in the way the buildings glisten like lighthouses for the lost and found.

And it’s in the way the chatter of taxi cabs and cars whiz past the ears like a never-ending dissonant lullaby.

The energy never changes.

It’s as if it is impossible for the city’s energy to change and shift.

As if that frenetic energy that propels us forward through the night was there all along,

and the city sprung up around it with open arms,

a long-lost lover looking for its muse.

—-

Taken on Orchard Street a few nights ago with the Sony A7S as I walked along the streets pondering life and love.

——

Information about my New York City photography book which is releasing in stores and online in the autumn of 2014 (including where to order it):

NY Through The Lens: A New York Coffee Table Book

——

View: My photography portfolio, My Travel Blog, On G+,email me, or ask for help.