Monday, March 25, 2013

Head Shots

There was a lot of playing with perspective in the Bergdorf Goodman windows (#BGwindows) this past weekend where proper salons featured mannequins bedecked in Dior.  I don't know if David Hoey was channeling Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face or maybe in Breakfast at Tiffany's or maybe just Audrey in Dior but these windows sure did remind me of her (may she rest in peace).

It only seemed fitting to play with perspective too by cutting out the fashion and letting the mannequins take center stage.  The sun obliged me and there were reflections galore at mid-day on the avenue.  So, without further ado, some fun mannequin head shots paired with random near by sculptures (you didn't think I was going to buy photos of Audrey, now did you?!?) .

Ethereal, Mannequin Head Shot, Bergdorf's, NYC, #BGwindows

Daniel Webster Statue, Central Park, NYC (near 72nd Street)
Snow Capped Daniel Webster

Tribal Shadows, #BGWindows Mannequin Head Shot, Bergdorf's, NYC
Tribal Shadows

Enemy, United Enemies, by Thomas Schutte, NYC,
Enemy (United Enemies)

Mod,  #BGWindows Mannequin Head Shot, Bergdorf's, NYC

Enemy 2 (United Enemies)

Moody,  #BGWindows Mannequin Head Shot, Bergdorf's, NYC

Sherman Statue, 59th & 5th, NYC
Sherman Statue

No pairing needed....

Bergdorf Windows, Dior, #BGfollies, new york city

I do so love the #BGWindows, sigh (Wow!, #BGWindows Follies).

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Season Spring; Forecast Snow

Iris Reticula with a Hint of Purple Gem, Central Park, Conservatory Garden, NYC
Iris Reticula (with a hint of Purple Gem)
It's been spring here in NYC for five days now -- not that you can tell from the weather (cold) that we've been having.  And, they are forecasting snow turning to a wintry mix (nice way of saying snow AND rain) for tomorrow.  That hasn't seemed to deter some of the irises, crocuses, and Hellebore in Central Park's Conservatory Garden from blooming. 

Purple Gem Iris, Conservatory Garden, Central Park, NYC
Purple Gem Iris
Yellow Iris Reticula, Central Park, NYC
Yellow Iris Reticula?
Iris Reticular, Central Park, Conservatory Garden, NYC
Iris Reticula
Crocus, Central Park, Conservatory Garden, NYC
Purple Crocuses
Crocus, Central Park, NYC
Stinking Hellebore (Bear's Foot), Conservatory Garden, NYC
Bear's Foot (so much nicer than Stinking Hellebore)
Hellebore, Central Park, Conservatory Garden, NYC

Monday, March 18, 2013


I am a bit behind in reporting that I won the #BGwindows Instagram challenge with a Handful of Mirrors.  I guess I needed some time to savor being selected from amongst all the entries and having it be one of my personal favorites made the victory all the more sweet.

My favorite part of winning?  What David Hoey said about my photo:
A Handful of Mirrors, #BGWindows, #BergdorfGoodman, #NYC
A Handful of Mirrors

“The winning photograph captured the spirit of the overall window display while lending a haunting, nostalgic quality. The photo went beyond simple documentation. It is successful as a stand-alone work of art.” (from 5th/58th)

Wow!  That is an amazing compliment coming from David Hoey -- the man behind the Bergdorf windows.  You can read the full report on the two winning photos on 5th/58th, the Bergdorf Goodman blog.   And if you want to read about my obsession with the aforesaid windows that can be found in The #BGWindows' Follies.   Being a lover of reflections, the mirror window was my favorite -- delivering variations as endless as the steady stream of 5th avenue traffic passing by.

The prize was a Recording King Metal Resonator Ukulele made out of European bell brass -- a prop from the homage to Marilyn Monroe window.  I never could quite capture this ukulele in the window -- but there is a great shot of it on Sharon Birke's blog, Powerful Goddess Portraits.

I initially thought that this corner of my living room where my prize landed would be a temporary home but it's fitting in quite nicely sitting  below what could be a homage to one of Hoey's windows featuring as it does my fantastical story teller doll from Wendy Ellertson and a folding ruler that used to belong to my dad.  I like it with my book of Glorious Gingkos and, if you look closely enough, that just might be a reflection of me in the photo on the left.

Mixing Objects
My Uke Up Close

Monday, March 11, 2013


Bee Butt

I've been PINcensured!   I've previously blogged about Pinterest while in the blush of first love (My Online Gallery: Pinterest) and again as my affair matured (Behind the Pins).  Over the past several months, I haven't been paying as much attention to pinning -- which is maybe a good thing because I could be on the cusp of a, gasp, break up!
Pink Flowers, Central Park, New York
It was a polite notice, short and to the point.  The meat (all puns intended) of the reason for removing a pin:
  • "We don't allow nudity—photos that show breasts, buttocks or genitalia—on Pinterest. This applies to pins on both public and secret boards."
Hmm, I don't remember reading about that when I reviewed the terms of agreement but a
 quick investigation of the Acceptable Uses Policy produced this statement::

"You agree not to post User Content that:
  • contains any information or content we deem to be hateful, violent, harmful, abusive, racially or ethnically offensive, defamatory, infringing, invasive of personal privacy or publicity rights, harassing, humiliating to other people (publicly or otherwise), libelous, threatening, profane, or otherwise objectionable".
By now you might be scratching your head and wondering what the heck image did she post?   I know I would be.  Here are some hints:
  • Annie Leibovitz photo of an iconic couple
  • Photo shoot was December 8, 1980
  • It was for the cover of Rolling Stone to celebrate the release of Double Fantasy
Burnett Fountain, Conservatory Garden, Central Park, New York
A Secret Garden
I wrote to Pinterest to inquire about the removal of this pin -- in particular, I was concerned that they had mis-applied the "no nudity" policy to something that is art.  The image you ask?  It's that famous one of a nude John Lennon embracing a fully clothed Yoko Ono.  Liebovitz has said about the photo that John and Yoko thought she had captured their relationship perfectly.   You can find it all over the Web including on the Rolling Stones Website or as an image in a short article published in the LA Times.  He died the day of this photo shoot.

To be honest, I could not fathom how a small team of very hip looking individuals could think this photo was objectionable. I was a bit befuddled upon receiving the initial notice -- I remember thinking "if this doesn't count as art, what does?"  I wrote to Pinterest a couple of weeks ago -- no personal reply yet (maybe they are composing a "Dear John" letter to mark our break up).  In the absence of a response, I've done a little poking around and found others whose Pins have been pulled because of nudity.  The common theory is that, for Pinterest, photos do not count as art as they were not made or rendered by human hand.  Huh?   The good news is that whole swaths of art are not going to be PINcensured.  So if you want a place to collect and organize photos of beautiful paintings and sculptures that include nudity, you'll be OK on Pinterest.  Here are some links to get you started: Michelangelo's DavidBotticelli's The Birth of Venus,  and Rubens The Three Graces.

Magnolia Blossom, Central Park, Spring 2012
Magnolia Blossom
If you are wondering why I posted this image in the first place, I had posted it to my People to Meet/ What I'd Ask Board with a question for Yoko.  It went something like this:    How did it feel to be so loved by him?  To be the center of his universe? I think I included something about how you could see the passion they had for each other in that embrace.  In fact, you can see that passion and synchronicity in most photos of this duo.

I've replaced the original pin with this surrogate -- shot on that same December evening -- where they are both fully clothed.  You can still see the love.  What's missing is hard to pinpoint -- if I had to put it into words, I'd have to say that I'm missing John's joyous spirit (he thought nothing of getting naked for this shot) and I'm missing his passion, his zest for life.  It's just not quite there in this substitute Pinterest-friendly image.

RIP John, RIP.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Traveling Objects

Reflections & Shadows of Branches, Boat Pond, Central Park
Shadows 'neath the Ice
The New York Times has been running an interesting series where they ask people to send in photos of the things that follow us home when we return from our travels.  It was a side bar to a very amusing story by Dominique Browning -- They're Souvenirs, Not Stuff!  Yep, I can relate to that.  I think i even know what I would photograph and submit when I get around to doing that.

Well, maybe not because I haven't done that -- pulled it out, taken the picture, and then describe why it is special.  Gotta work on that.  Although I think the Times might be flummoxed with it as the object in question includes elements from three different continents -- two trips  -- and the work of one very wonderful jeweler who put it all together.   When I do submit it, I hope it doesn't suffer the fate of my submission to The Metropolitan Diary (which is a really cool story!)  I wonder how long one has to wait before giving up hope of submitting to the times before submitting elsewhere?

I did find the time this evening -- despite feeling somewhat fatigued from the flu and two marathon days at work to do a photo shoot with my Lytro (yes, that Lytro that I have described in multiple posts but don't use so much these days).  You can read all about it in Expedition Lytro, Olympus Lytro Pairings, Lytro:  A Cloudy Day Camera, and Behind the Flagship Store).  Hmm, despite my nitpicking, methinks Lytro should pay me for the multiple posts on the camera.

Anyway, I was joking around with my niece about doing a photo shoot of the present my sister just sent me (an antique Korean abacus -- looks complicated) and a small antique iron that had followed me home from Arizona.  Throw in a couple of other objects and you have a Lytro montage.  But wait, I got to add a bit more fun to the shoot!  come to find out that while I've been on my small vacation from my Lytro, they've added a few bells and whistles to their editing tools.

So, herewith some variations on a photo montage that included:

The Korean Abacus (thanks Sis!)
The Antique Iron (found in a copper store in Jerome, AZ but likely from Europe)
A Traveling Gnome from Jackie Oh
A Koa wood Statue of the Goddess Pele (followed my Aunt Sheila home from Hawaii)
A painting of a Dhow from Zanzibar

They don't normally live together (while the Goddess Pele and the Traveling Gnome do) but until I find a home for the iron and the abacus, there they all were -- co-habitating on top of my desk.

Traveling Objects - Original

Traveling Objects - Pop

Traveling Objects - Line

Traveling Objects - Film Noir

I used the filters that Lytro has added (hence the names).  Soon I will need to tackle the perspective shift which I tried once but could not quite figure out what it was doing.  I'm chalking that up to fatigue so off to bed I toddle for tomorrow is another day -- and I need my rest because there is a huge N'oreaster bearing down on us tonight!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Water Falls

Water Fall in the North Woods of Central Park
I got home fairly late tonight and so don't have much energy to write anything lengthy.  It's that point in the year when time starts slipping away like water flowing downstream.  Seems fitting to post some photos of -- you guessed it -- water from the weekend.  These are from two of my favorite spots in the North Woods -- the smaller falls that dot the stream that traverses the ravine.  I've written about these falls in the past in Big City Nature.  all I can say is that it is a year later and I still haven't worked on shutter speed (as opposed to aperture) when it comes to the manual settings on my camera.  And, I am still having fun using the preset sport/action setting on occasion -- amazing what a difference that makes in the image one captures.

Water Fall in the North Woods of Central Park
Splish Splash

Central Park Waterfall
Waterfall in Central Park's North Woods

To end the series -- shot from above of a log perched on a rock above the smaller falls and shot of a twig trapped at the bottom.  

Central Park Waterfall with small log perched above
Precarious Perch
Central Park Waterfall with twig
A Matter of Time