Friday, January 17, 2014

Autumn in January

For "Get Pushed: Round 42"
"100 x: The 2014 Edition": 10x10. 3/100
1/10 Challenges/Pushes: Rückenfigur!

For Round42 of GetPushed, I was paired with Malcolm Smith (malcjsmith), who is also a follow member of the 100x group. Before I go into the push, I will have to say how impressed I was of Malcolm stream, which I browsed for the first time for this assignment. Exceptionally strong photos. in addition, his style of photography is the type that I personally admire. Diverse and experimental.

Malcolm challenge for me was as follows:

" Your challenge is to produce an image using the technique of rückenfigur!

Literally meaning "back figure", the term rückenfigur is usually associated with German romantic painters, such as Caspar David Friedrich, to describe a viewpoint that includes another person seen from behind, viewing a scene spread out before the viewer.

As rückenfigur is fundamentally about the human contemplation of a landscape (whether it be natural or urban), here's some criteria to get started...

Absolute MUSTS:

- Photo clearly shows a subject from a rear point-of-view in contemplation of another scene that may or may not be visible to us as a viewer.
- Rear figure subject must be the main human subject of the photo... and not just a random body part - picture must at least have a head.
- Main subject must not have a visible face (for a definitive rule: oblique rear profile Ok, but no visible eyes).
- No other faces should appear in the composition unless they are being directly viewed by the "rear figure" (if they're in the indistinct background of the shot, that's Ok)

Desirable Criteria:

- It's all about contemplation... the more evident this feeling is from the composition, the better
- the main subject is shown in isolation within the composition. The main subject can either be in the form of a single person or a group that appears isolated"

I have to say, that's a great challenge!

I also had to admit my ignorance until recently, I was introduced to it only early this year by the talented Leopold (benman31, whom I shared a week long challenged last year) who is doing a 100x project of all rückenfigur.

The photo was shot in my back yard. Living in "The South" (and for people who do not live in the US, "The South" have more meaning than just a geographic direction) you have to be content with very hot, probably humid summers. What balances that out are the mostly very mild periods in between. Long Autumns and Springs. it is very normal to have yellow leaves through February.   Being in freezing cold New York over the Christmas break, I was reminded of how lucky we are. Even during the Arctic Vortex blast that brought most of the country below freezing recently, we still had decent weather here. Relatively cold, but nothing even close to the rest of the country.

As I mentioned before, for my 100x project, I am doing 10x10 (10 themes-10 photos) and one of those themes is challenges. Some of these will come from GetPushed group but they are not restricted to that. My contacts are welcome to send their challenges to me. First come-first served until I reach 10.

Until the next challenge......

My X, for the 2014 100X challenge is “10x10”: 10 photos with 10 themes. These will be spread throughout the year with particular order.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


"Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the U.S.A."

Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas) in "Wall Street" (1987)

Monday, January 13, 2014

On 42nd St.

In the heart of little old New York,
You'll find a thoroughfare.
It's the part of little old New York
That runs into Times Square.
A crazy quilt that "Wall Street Jack" built,
If you've got a little time to spare,
I want to take you there.

Come and meet those dancing feet,
On the avenue I'm taking you to...

Come and meet those dancing feet,
On the avenue I'm taking you to,
Forty-Second Street.
Hear the beat of dancing feet,
It's the song I love the melody of,
Forty-Second Street.

Little "nifties" from the Fifties,
Innocent and sweet;
Sexy ladies from the Eighties,
Who are indiscreet.

They're side by side, they're glorified
Where the underworld can meet the elite,
Forty-Second Street.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Kick Out the Jams

"100 x: The 2014 Edition": 10x10.
1/10 Songs: Kick Out The Jams by MC5.

"Yes I’m starting to sweat
You know my shirt's all wet
What a feeling
In the sound that abounds
And resounds and rebounds off the ceiling

You gotta have it baby
You can't do without
When you get that feeling
You gotta sock'em out
Put that mike in my hand
And let me kick out the jam
Yes ! Kick out the jams
I want to kick'em out"

My X, for the 2014 100X challenge is “10x10”: 10 photos with 10 themes. These will be spread throughout the year with particular order.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Crossroads of the World

When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never shared"

Paul Simon

This probably one of the few places on earth that you might need sun glasses at night. the picture does not do Justice.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Bridge

“I once started out
to walk around the world
but ended up in Brooklyn,
that Bridge was too much for me.”
― Lawrence Ferlinghetti, A Coney Island of the Mind

Monday, January 6, 2014

The French Lady at the Harbor

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me
I lift my lamp beside
the golden door!
- Emma Lazarus, "The New Colossus," 1883

New York: Impressionism in Black & White

“Cut off as I am, it is inevitable that I should sometimes feel like a shadow walking in a shadowy world. When this happens I ask to be taken to New York City. Always I return home weary but I have the comforting certainty that mankind is real flesh and I myself am not a dream.”
― Helen Keller, Midstream: My Later Life

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wall Street

"New York, you got money on your mind
And my words won't make a dime's worth a difference, so here's to you New York"


Saturday, January 4, 2014

30 Rock

This area could possibly be, on some nights of the holiday season, the most crowded place on earth.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Manhattan: Rhapsody in Blue

A lot of the photos I took in New York city were inspired by Woody Allen's movie "Manhattan", which had some of the best cinematography I've seen in any movie. It captures the city perfectly in gorgeous black and white. The film also features George Gershwin music. Most prominently, "Rhapsody in Blue".

More NY photos to come.

Teaser: New York State of Mind

Happy New Year.....

So, after a 6 months hiatus (more or less) due to work overload, I should be back to regular photography and to more regular updates to this blog.  

This year's project is, 100X. This is different from 100 possibilities in the sense that it is not about a subject (necessarily) but about a theme. The theme could be defined as loose or as strict as the participant wants to make it.

I have not made up my mind yet on my theme. I am leaning toward street photography, since it is my favorite style of photography. But this might not be going far from my comfort zone.

The other theme I am considering is "inspired by music". I enjoyed doing that for a week last year. Maybe expanding that to "pop culture" would cast a wider net. movies, books, etc.

Until the start of this project, there are a lot of photos that I'm happy with from my recent New York trip that will make their way into this blog. Probably more from the archives.

This should be fun.  
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