This week’s photo comes from Grand Central Terminal. I’ve always loved this clock at the center of the station. Time has held a very large place in my life lately, mainly because I honestly feel I just seriously haven’t had enough of it. Time also heals all wounds, no matter how deep they may be.
Now for the photography nerds out there like me.
Camera Model/Series: Sony a7r II
Lens: FE 28 – 70mm f3.5 – 5.6 OSS
Focal Length: 70mm
Shutter Speed: 1/13
I love the way the camera handled the lighting in the space. The bright reflections of the gold in contrast to the dramatic dim lighting add a nice feeling to it. Coupled with the softening of the background makes for a lovely photo. My only complaint would be the framing, I dropped the subject smack dab in the center and that’s a photography no-no. If I were to frame it again I’d shift the subject slightly to the right.
This week’s post comes as I traverse my way back to Grand Central. One of the more enjoyable aspects of my commute thus far is the opportunity to spend some time in Hudson Yards on my way home from work. I’ve unfortunately yet to get up on the Helix as the line is always been daunting. Regardless it’s a truly clean and enjoyable area to spend a little extra time to think and shift ones perspective. Lately, I’ve needed that space to assess some aspects of my life that have changed or needed improvement. But enough of that for this week, don’t want to make this too long.
Next weeks blog post is a bit of a mystery to me still, i’ve spent a lot of time this week brainstorming ideas all of which I’m excited to write about (therein lies the problem). That said I can assure you there will be a Tuesday post, appearing at its normally scheduled time of Noon.
Oh, and one last thing since a lot of friends have asked how I pulled off this photo. I recently acquired a new lens for my Sony a7r Mark II that has an extreme wide angle. It allows me to capture large areas a normal lens just doesn’t give me the option for. It’s a Rokinon Cine 14mm T3.1 ED AS IF UMC lens, designed for full frame cameras. This particular lens gives me nearly 120″ angle of view, hence the nearly fisheye capacity of the lens. I’ll try to get a comparison shot for next week’s post between this and a standard lens.
8 Million… Seems like a big number doesn’t it? When you realize what i’m referencing it will be even more absurd. The number i’m referencing of course, is the approximate number of people currently living in Manhattan. That is the number of people living within 302 square miles of land. That equates to about 26,490 people per mile. Just for a little reference, my hometown is 33 square miles, with a population of 11,944 people in it. This of course doesn’t include the literal 1.63 million people who flood into the city on either Metro North Railroad or any of the dozen bridges that enter Manhattan each day; it’s main lines drawing from all of southern New York, and Connecticut.
And yet, an unbelievable number of people my age complain that they feel alone living in this behemoth of a city. An outsider might wonder why that is, an outsider being someone who has never experience the fervor that NYC can induce. So why is it in a city of 8 million people, any one of them can complain that they feel alone.
The simple answer? Technology.
We live in a generation glued to technology, Cell Phones, Smartwatches, Bluetooth Headphones, Augmented Reality Glasses, and Social Media. I myself as part of the generation of millennials find myself falling party to this fallacy time and time again. Technology, the pinnacle of what we’ve designed, what was supposed to bring us closer together, inevitably drove us further apart. From Online Dating, to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, all designed to help us find, and maintain companionship; whether platonic or otherwise. We’ve stopped looking around, we’ve stopped living outside our own little bubbles. We bury ourselves so deep into our Social Media, Online Dating, our technology that we don’t know how to co-exist outside it anymore. The number of times I’ve seen people out on dates, both staring at their phones is incredible.
So, as I realized this, as I realized I was in a city of 8 million people, each with their own story, and with their own unique life; I started to stop burying myself in my technology. I began to look around, I began to listen, and as soon as I did wouldn’t you know I started running into people I knew. Just this morning, I ran into a former employee from a past job getting off of the train in Grand Central. All because I took my headphones off, and looked up as I walked. I paid attention, and as a result I was rewarded with an interaction I otherwise wouldn’t have had. It’s amazing what a little observation, and a little listening might reward you with.
So, lets wrap this up in a nice little bow. You live, and work in a city of 8 million people. You are about as far from alone as you ever could be. I’m not saying that you need to do this every day because let’s be honest there are still days I bury my face in my phone, headphones blaring, tuned out of the world around me, and that’s okay; sometimes you need that time to yourself. But, I do implore you, once a week, take off the headphones, shove the phone in your pocket or purse or what have you. Look around as you walk, as you ride the train, as you traverse the subway lines. You might be pleasantly surprised as you run into someone from your past, or perhaps you’ll meet someone new, perhaps you’ll meet your next lover? Who knows… but what I do know is if you bury your face in your phone, you blare music in your ears, if you tune out the world around you, the world is going to tune you out too. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, so take the time to look around, stop being blind to the beautiful world around you. Open up to it, and it will open up to you.