Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

NYC – art, culture, snow and light

Posted by shannonclark on February 27, 2007

This past week I have been in NYC.

Today the snow from last night’s brief snow shower/hail/freezing rain is melting, a light drizzle has been coming down all morning. My day started with breakfast at Sarabeth’s where I ate a bowl of porridge and a current scone. After breakfast I walked over to Central Park and then walked down, just outside of the park, to midtown, when at the moment I am sitting in a Starbucks, sending emails and catching up online.

In my walks this morning I took a series of photos, a few of which I am particularly proud of and plan on printing and framing on my return to San Francisco. To see some earlier shots I took this week, go to my Flickr pages.  While a few of my photos from today are relatively simple memory aids – photos of the outside of Sarabeth’s for example, or The NY Society for Ethical Culture buildings on Central Park West. most are taken as parts of my ongoing themed series.

An aside about the Ethical Culture society, though I had not previously heard of them,  they may, perhaps, be the closest thing to an organized religion I might, in fact, be interested in participating in – as they are a nontheist organization, but devoted to treating everyone ethically and doing good in the world – tenets that definitely resonate with my worldview, though they do not seem to have a San Francisco chapter.

My shots from this morning’s walk were of reflections, found objects, and in a few cases playing with perspective and perception. I do think of my photography in an almost painterly manner – I strive to make photos that explore colors, textures and patterns – while being often recognizable – yet almost always abstract as well. My task now is to find the best possible print technique for these digital impages.

And I will have to see how the tradeoff of not using a digital SLR and not shooting in RAW format plays out. My camera is very high quality and over 7 mega-pixels so it should be good for printing. My plans are also not to do any digital manipulation of the photos – no further cropping or processing. Yes, I am sure I could get crisper or even more tonally accurate images were I to have them processed in some manner – but somehow I also feel that might sap the life from the images.

For years I did not have a digital camera – not entirely sure why not – some combination of price, battery performance and image quality – but I am extremely happy with my new Panasonic Lumix camera. By being high quality, very portable & lightweight, and by having a battery life that lasts for 100’s of photos over multiple days, I now have a camera that I can always have in my bag or coat pocket and take spur-of-the-moment photos. It has taken me a few months to get used to this possibility – and every day I remember that I have the camera I find myself using it more and more.

As I spend most of the day working on business projects – upcoming events, sponsorships for MeshForum, FAQ’s and other materials for my newest company, I do also find myself thinking back on my morning photography – the balance between my tech & artistic impulses is a challenging one but also one worth exploring. When I give myself time and mental space for both pursuits – I do also find both are better (if that makes sense).

Lots more happened (and I suspect will happen) on this trip before I return to San Francisco. When I post the photos I’ll add links – either as new posts or as an edit of this post.

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