Friday, May 18, 2012

Brooklyn Botanic in Black and White


 I am a Camera

After some recent posts dealing with matters far too mundane for my tastes, I thought this week I would celebrate the reason I am here in this space, by which I mean both the blogosphere and the planet, and that is to indulge, explore and share my love of photography. Most of the time in this blog I use my photographs as an accompaniment or contrast to my text, but occasionally I let the images take center stage. Here then are some photos I took recently in my native New York City.  

 Chance of Rain

It was a rainy day, and I had two cameras with me as I set out to do some shooting at the Brooklyn Botanic.  By the time I emerged from the subway, the light drizzle that I welcomed as a guarantee of a deserted setting and some interesting lighting effects had turned to a downpour.  I decided to keep my good old SLR dry in my knapsack safe in its case and an extra protective bag.  That left it up to my Holga to once again prove that bad conditions and clumsy handling are apparently the keys to great photos – see the happy result of incorrect film loading that begins this post! I haven’t used my Holga in many months, and what little I did know then I’ve forgotten.  Besides, I was too busy trying to keep it dry between shots, tucked inside my jacket like a rescued bird, to be bothered with any attempt at controlling the settings. 

 Wagons Waiting

The day I visited the garden they were holding their annual plant sale under huge white tents along the full length of the Cherry Esplanade. Little red wagons were available for customers to carry their purchases. It was one of the few times I wished I had color film handy! The deep tone of the wagons had an almost floral quality in the midst of all that rainy day gray. 

 Wishing Well

To escape the rain I moved indoors to one of my favorite parts of the garden, the room in the Conservatory where they keep the Bonsai trees. This time, however, I turned my attention to the inanimate residents of the space.  And yes, I did make a wish!

 Guardian

Then it was on to the other indoor exhibits, including the areas for temperate, desert and tropical zone plants. I had to move against the current of several school groups that were occupying every inch of available space inside and between rooms, to the consternation of the guards and the teachers trying to direct them safely and swiftly. At one point I simply flattened myself off to the side of a path and aimed my camera upwards, which was the only position I could assume.

  Sanctuary

Then I joined the stream of children and followed them out, temporarily becoming part of the group. By this time, my Holga roll had run out and I did not want to risk re-loading in either the humid greenhouse atmosphere or the drizzle outside, so I took one more overhead shot with my Pentax, and then packed everything up in my knapsack and left the garden happy I had not been discouraged or dissuaded by the bad weather, and ready for the next part of the journey.  

 Things Are Looking Up

Next week:  Part Two:  South Street Seaport in Black and White.  

14 comments:

  1. I remember several times i followed group of school children while un the park too, it was quite fun !

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    1. Wong - yes, once you are with the group you start to feel the incredible energy and freedom of children - it can be intoxicating, but it can also be exhausting! Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. I adore both Chance of Rain and Sanctuary and keep going back and looking at them again. Truly marvellous, evocative photos.
    Dare I ask whether you are thinking of selling prints of these incredible photos?
    It sounds as if despite the rain and the school children the gardens worked their healing magic again. I am so glad.

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    1. EC - The highest compliment you can give is that my photos are compelling enough to come back to! There is so much available here on Blogger to captivate the mind and eye, so this really means a lot. I'm very happy with how this series turned out - BBG is indeed a magical place and I have never done a photo shoot there without bringing home at least a few new good photos that both capture and transcend the experience.

      As for selling prints of this particular group - perhaps this should be in capitals I AM ALWAYS HAPPY TO MAKE PRINTS OF ANY IMAGES THAT APPEAR HERE. Just let me know which one you like and we can talk about price. I'm very reasonable - would rather see photos being enjoyed than languishing in my files. Email me direct and let's talk!

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  3. It sounds, and looks, like a day of unexpected wonders! I know what you mean about using a Holga in the rain - although I haven't had that experience often, I was glad I had a PinHolga on Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day last year :-)

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    1. It's funny how little choices and conditions can make or break a photo shoot. By preferring to risk my Holga to the rain as opposed to my pricier Pentax, I actually selected the camera that would make the most - and best - of the lighting and atmosphere, and because I was more worried about keeping dry than manipulating settings, that allowed the camera to work its magic without my interference! Very happy you liked these. Have a great weekend!

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  4. A wonderful experience..
    Inside the sanctuary where they keep the tropical plants is a very nice smell
    which can bring joy to someone like me...

    Have a very nice weekend and stay well!!

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    1. Monika dear - I know what you mean about the aroma and air inside the Conservatory - it really draws you into a different world and puts you into a transformed mental and physical state...I always feel both invigorated and relaxed, as in a beautiful dream. Then emerging outdoors again is like a sudden awakening! Stay well and enjoy the weekend too, my friend!

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  5. wagons waiting,the mood of a rainy day, i love that one even in B/W,
    stunning leaves, light and shadow, the joy i feel looking at 'things are looking up'
    great work, x

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  6. Thank you so much Renilde. I'm so glad you enjoyed these photos!

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  7. New York must be wonderfull, Too much time i have imagined NY as a big and super modern city, but i discover more and more in the last time that it is a very poetic and lyric city, i really love it and i wuold like to live there for a while, thanks for sharing your pics and story-)

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    1. Laura, I have always said that everyone should live for a while in NY, it is so unlike any city - or sometimes it feels like all cities in one place! The places of sanctuary and poetry are so much more meaningful because they exist next to all the noise, crowds and darker side of city life. There is something there for every taste - and new discoveries to be made even when you think you have seen and done everything. I am still learning new things! Thanks so much for your comment. Hugs and kisses.

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  8. I LOVE the rain. Lately people overhere are complaining about the rainy days we have, but i feel happy in the rain. All scents fresh and more intense so it seems. Again: wonderful photo's. Especially chance of rain. I always look at every detail in your photo's, dreaming also....
    Kisses!

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    1. Monica, I am a lover of rainy days too! It seems that the faint of heart stay indoors and the whole outdoors is yours alone to experience - all the smells and sounds seem both more gentle and more bold in solitude! Thanks for your comment.

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