Monday, June 25, 2012

New York City Gargoyles, Part III: Faces of the Brooklyn Museum Sculpture Garden

The first time I visited the Brooklyn Museum's sculpture garden, it was under construction. Overgrown ivy covered dozens of ragged stone carvings that had been rescued form New York City buildings scheduled for demolition. (You can see some of those earlier photos here and here.)

Since then, the garden has been cleaned up and renamed the Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden. There are fewer carvings there now, but the ones that are there are characters. Here are some of my favorite stone faces from this month's visit.


Monday, June 18, 2012

New York City Gargoyles, Part II: The Gargoyles and Grotesques of Gramercy Park

Shortly after returning home from a trip to New York last week, I posted a few quick photos of one of my favorite New York City gargoyles, a famous gargoyle in the Gramercy Park neighborhood (shown at left).

But there's much more to the neighborhood than that famous gargoyle. Stone carvers had a lot of fun in Gramercy Park, leaving the buildings covered with gorgeous carvings. Here are a some highlights below.


Monday, June 11, 2012

New York City Gargoyles, Part I: The Famous Gargoyle of Gramercy Park

I've just returned from a trip to New York, a city I hadn't visited in years. I haven't yet sorted through all the photos, but in the meantime here are a few photos of one of my favorite gargoyles: the famous carving at Irving Place in the Gramercy Park neighborhood of Manhattan.

This fellow is a street-level gargoyle, rather than perching high above the ground like most of his brethren. And he's not just one fellow, but a whole set of nearly identical carvings on columns running down the side of the apartment building next to other stone creatures.

More photos to follow next week!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Real Life Instagram: Holga Plastic Camera Photos of Paris

Cleaning out my home office the other day, I came across an undeveloped roll of 120 film from my Holga plastic camera. I took it to be developed, and was happily surprised to see the roll had a few pictures I'd taken during a trip to Paris over two years ago.

Looking at the contact sheet of these photos, I started thinking that two years ago was also the year Instagram got started. The cool vintage photo filters Instagram applies to your digital photos are a big reason why the photo-sharing site has such appeal. The filters are meant to mimic the imperfections of old analog cameras such as my Holga. I'm not an Instagram user, but I do love the look of many of the photos. Are my plastic camera photos really do different from a photo taken on a cell phone with an Instagram filter applied?

On that 2010 trip to Paris, I took pictures with a digital camera as well, which is why I never remembered to get this old roll of film developed. I haven't taken my Holga with me on a trip since, and I wonder if I will again. I love the camera, but it's another thing to carry, and I can create the same effects in Photoshop when I get home. Yet there's something different about plastic cameras that draws me back to them—I think it's the fact that I don't have total control the way I do with Photoshop. The light and the color captures a moment I experienced as it was really happening, with light seeping into the plastic box through the duct tape...All right, if I don't stop rambling about this I'll turn into my college age self in a Hal Hartley film. So here are those Holga camera photos of Paris!