Vessel Vertigo

Actually, I’m not trying to give you vertigo by suggesting you look straight down from the top of the Vessel in Hudson Yards. Only my Sony camera is extended over the handrail. I’m in no danger.

Look at that sleek design for the elevator on the left. The symmetry of this structure is captivating.

Have you put The Vessel on your bucket list? In my next blog, you’ll see views looking outside the Vessel.

From the Brooklyn Bridge

Early morning is a great time to walk the Brooklyn Bridge, because it’s not too crowded. On this cloudy and windy morning, I was a little sad that I missed the clear blue skies of the day before, but in the end I think the clouds enhance the image.

#brooklynbridge, #manhattan, #skyline, #lightroom, #iconic, #thingstodo, #nyc, #newyorkcity, #travel
Looking west toward Manhattan, you can see the Millennium Tower in the center of the skyline.

This photograph was shot with Sony and processed in Lightroom, Photoshop and Luminar 2018. Lightroom does a great job of correcting the distortion created by a wide angle lens.

Back to the moment when I walked the Brooklyn Bridge, winter is here! I had to hold on to my hat as I coped with the wind on the East River.

Inside The Vessel

This wide angle photography taken inside New York City’s iconic structure The Vessel shows the beauty and rhythm of its geometry. Judging from the size of the people climbing the Vessel, you can appreciate its size.

The entertainment value of the Vessel is so high, that I didn’t feel the least bit tired climbing to the top.

In this image, you can simultaneously observe the Hudson River, the rail yards, the top of the Vessel, the intriguing blue circle at the core and the elevator track on the lower left. More on that blue circle later!

I feel the best aspect of the image is the symmetry of the staircases. Does the childhood board game “Chutes and Ladders” come to mind? The copper outlines really stand out against the dark grey flooring and glass panels. I just love this design!

You can find The Vessel in Hudson Yards by taking the New York City subway 7 train to its western terminus.

New York’s New Icon

New York City has so many major tourist attractions, that a new iconic work of art and architecture can open without the whole world knowing about it. I’m talking about the Vessel in Hudson Yards, the new Eiffel Tower or Saint Louis Arch of the 21st century. It’s a unique structure: a circular copper staircase that you can ascend and admire the changing views and geometry of its structure from different angles.

The Vessel’s location in Hudson Yards is especially fascinating to me, since my daughter Erin, the structural engineer, worked on its foundation, which is a super strong platform over the train tracks adjacent to Penn Station. Imagine a platform that can simultaneously hold a skyscraper and a park! Long before I visited the site, I was amazed by the engineering behind this development.

While construction on many buildings in Hudson Yards is ongoing, the Vessel opened earlier in 2019 along with an adjacent mall anchored by the only Neiman Marcus in New York City. Numerous high-end shops and restaurants are open in the Mall, adding to the enjoyment of an outing to the Vessel.

You can buy entrance tickets to the Vessel online ahead of time that will give you admission any time on a particular date. If you wander over to Hudson Yards (convenient via subway), you can buy a same day ticket that grants admission for a particular hour, to prevent overcrowding.

I loved the Vessel, and will share several photos from my walk inside it. The Vessel is handicapped accessible with a cleverly designed elevator. Go ahead and put it on your bucket list!

Van Gogh Self Portrait

Van Gogh’s Self Portrait was recreated in flowers at Pittsburgh’s Phipps Conservatory. The strong shapes and colors in his portrait allowed the Pittsburgh artists to make a remarkable piece.

Do you recognize Van Gogh with his piercing eyes, red beard and straw hat? The choice of plants in the portrait even reflect the different dots of color found in the background and the jacket. Find this recreation of the Self Portrait at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh.

The current flower show features rooms inspired by other Van Gogh paintings such as Starry Night, the bar with the pool table, and a Provencal house.

My previous blog featured a landscape photo with clearly defined shapes that are different colors. Do these two compositions inspire your work?

French Formal Gardens, outside France.

The French may have designed the first formal gardens in the 17 century, but many garden designers around the world emulate the style today. Visit the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh for the Spring Flower Show to enjoy the symmetry of the flower beds, bursting with colorful tulips.

Order, rationality, grandeur and symmetry of the 17 century French garden: find it at Phipps, 2019.
Circular tulip bed at Phipps Conservatory, seen through a fish-eye lens, 2017.

Who started this trend? Andre Le Notre designed the formal gardens at the Palace of Versailles from 1662 to 1700. I’m sure you have visited many beautiful formal gardens in your home town or in your world travels. I would love to hear about your favorites.

Vivid Sainte-Chapelle

After the iconic Eiffel Tower,  Sainte-Chapelle with its amazing stained glass windows is my favorite place to visit in Paris. The height and vivid color of the windows create a stunning effect. As you look at them, you wonder how they stand, as the stone supports are quite tall and thin and the walls appear to be “all window.” The chapel’s architecture and windows date to the early 13th century. It’s hard to image the construction taking place 800 years ago. 

#stainedglass, #saintchapelle, #Paris, #thingstodo, #iconic, #architecture, #history, #Louisix, #13century, #chapel, #church, #art
Admire the stained glass of Saint-Chapelle in this wide angle photograph taken with the Sony a7rII.

This royal chapel, commissioned by Louis IX on Ile de la Cite in Paris, is located near Notre Dame Cathedral. If you buy the Musee Pass to pay admission to numerous museums and monuments for a 3-5 days, this beautiful church is included. I recommend going on a sunny day!

What do you see in the Hall of Mirrors?

It’s impossible to visit the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles without feeling a sense of awe toward the history that was made here. First of all, it is visually dazzling with 17 floor to ceiling arched mirrors reflecting the light of 17 windows of equal size. The gold leaf and the baroque paintings that decorate the walls and ceiling date to 1678 and the reign of Louis XIV, before the French Revolution.

#versailles, #france, #louisxiv, #mansart, #architecture, #travel, #chandelier, #mirror, #hallofmirrors, #treaty, #goldleaf, #baroque
A glimpse of the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, France, witness to history.

Beyond the architecture and the stunning visual effect of the space, one must reflect on the history made here through the centuries. “Within the hall, the German Empire was declared in 1871 (Deutsche Reichsgründung)[1] and the Treaty of Versailles signed by the victorious powers of World War I in 1919.”  (Source: Wikipedia).

 

The White Place in Abiquiu NM

If you visit Abiquiu, New Mexico to tour Georgia O’Keeffe’s home, which I highly recommend, you may wish to find the White Place (Plaza Blanca) before you drive back to Santa Fe. You just need to make a 30 minute detour off route US-84 onto a dirt road. You can get a map and directions when you have lunch at the Abiquiu Inn, which I also recommend.

#whiteplace, #plazablanca, #rocks, #newmexico, #abiquiu, #georgiaokeeffe, #nature, #landscape, #sony
Enjoy the grand scale of the rock formations at Plaza Blanca and the peaceful atmosphere of the quiet setting.

You can’t beat the clear, dry air in New Mexico as well as the wide open spaces. Santa Fe and its environs are a wonderful destination for scenic beauty, art and delicious food.

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

Next week, I’ll be back in the Big Apple, and I’m looking forward to seeing New York’s iconic sights again. Looking back at the images I have made in past years, I came across this 2013 black and white photograph that celebrates the geometry of the Brooklyn Bridge.

#brooklynbridge, #newyorkcity, #thingstodo, #visitNYC, #newyork, #flag, #bridge, #NYC, #nikon, #blackandwhite, #bw
While walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, I looked up and noticed the patterns made by the cables.

This style is a departure from the vibrant sunsets and colorful birds I have been shooting in Florida, but this subject begs for black-and-white interpretation with its emphasis on pattern.

Next week, I’ll wander no farther than Central Park with my young grandchildren, newborn and not yet 2. But Central Park in the Spring is something special. Stay tuned!