According to a reference on Wikipedia, Grand Central Terminal was the sixth most visited tourist attraction in the world 2011. It’s not entirely surprising but equally, it didn’t seem any busier because of the visitors. Like most everything in New York, it is just plain busy! I suppose it helps that the place is so enormous – it covers around 48 acres so the crowds weren’t any more noticeable than anywhere else really. We’d done a lot of walking the day we visited the station and we were all pretty fatigued so lunch and a short break was most welcome. Because the light was so low, I had to lean or brace the camera against a wall / banister in order to capture these photo’s. Most of these exposures are between 0.8 to 1.3 seconds and I was hoping to grab some frames where some people were quite still whilst others rushed past. I had varying success. Plus, with clan keen to keep on moving, I couldn’t linger for as long as I might of liked.
Canon 7D | EFS 10-22 | Handheld | ISO 100-200 | Aperture priority | Post: Lightroom
This is one of the most iconic buildings in the world and it didn’t disappoint. The rest of the family had set off back to the hotel (Macy’s had drained the last of their energy reserves) and I continued on the last few blocks to grab some late afternoon shots of Flatiron. Just to be annoying, a couple of blocks away, it had started to rain a bit through broken cloud cover. For a point of difference, I decided to use my 9 stop ND filter to try and capture some longer, low angle, exposures of the building – I thought it might be cool to grab the light-trails of cars when it was still daylight. They didn’t turn out that bad but it was a headache to accomplish since tripods aren’t allowed in NYC. I ended up having to rest the camera on my backpack or in a planter pot which made focusing a challenge since it was too easy to bump the lens while I setup. The process was: focus camera; switch lens to manual; switch camera to Bulb program setting; screw on ND filter…stuff it up (becuase the lens moved while screwing on the filter) and start again :-(. Repeat previous steps, balance camera on backpack at correct angle; set 2 second timer; trigger shutter with remote release; count to a certain number (48 seconds in the example below) and review image. Discover that I’d bumped the lens out of focus and start again :-(. Discover that the camera had moved during the exposure and start again :-(. Discover that raindrops on the lens were shadowing the images – start again :-(. For those that haven’t used a 9 stop filter before, the difficulties arise because once the filter is on, it is so dark that you cannot see a thing through the lens. Its sort of like wearing a welding mask. If its bright enough, sometimes you can see things if you switch the camera to Live View but it’s still too dark for the camera’s focusing system to work properly. Anyway, its all fun even if its a bit time consuming :-).
Here’s one of the shots – tell me what you think, was it worth it? (remember to click on it to see it bigger).