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Why was a dolphin in the Gowanus Canal?

A bad place for a dolphin.

Johna and Vlad — I thought of you when I read this yesterday. Ever see dolphins in the canal?

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Here’s a wonderful video I just came across on YouTube — Enjoy:


When I visit Brooklyn to help my wife care for her elderly parents, I often visit Coney Island. I take my “real camera” and my iPhone. The Hipstamatic shots I take work well. That AP seems designed for Coney. The beautiful beach and funky boardwalk the crowds and fast food — the rides — all great subjects for me and my non-camera with its creative APs.

I also use a few other APs too — ProCamera, PhotoForge2, and PerfectlyClear turn my phone into a portable photo lab.

I learned a lot about using my iPhone for photography from Dan Burkholder. Dan is a deep well of knowledge and a great resource if you want to learn the skills for great iPhone work.

Here are some samples of my iPhone images:

Hipstamatic

ProPhoto PhotoForge2

iPhone Camera with HDR mode set on. PhotoForge2


The creative potential of the phone with these APs is vast. Resolution is adequate for large prints (11 x 14″ at least). Wide angle and macro lenses are available (I have a nice set– $69) so the only camera I need is on my iPhone.I have an iPhone4. The 4s and 5 have better cameras so I’ll upgrade in January when Verizon will let me. I’m not going to give up on real cameras — yet — but I find myself using the the iPhone more often lately, especially at Coney Island. Nice to have a camera, software and computer in my pocket!

ProCamera PhotoForge2


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The sidewalk has messages for us but we need to look down to see them.


Magnificent sky early afternoon — as the thunderstorms that never happened threatened.

I was waiting for my father-in-law to have his Doctor’s visit at Lutheran Hospital in Sunset Park Brooklyn. So as usual I walked around the neighborhood. The sky had been threatening all day and now clouds of enormous proportions came together. I walked out on the Sanitation Department’s pier on a public street but past many no trespassing signs and got out to the chain link fence closing off the pier. Only had my iPhone — forgot to bring a real camera. Note to self — iPhone is great but sometimes you need a real one. I stuck to lens of the phone between the links and got a few decent shots. The sky deserved a better photographer and camera but I am happy with my results — considering.

I think my online friends Vladimir Brezina and Johna Till Johnson were out in the water heading from Manhattan to Coney Island the same day. They recorded some really great images from their kayaks — posted here in their wonderful blog — Wind Against Current.

Later that day there was a double rainbow back at my in-laws home in Gravesend —

Double Rainbow — Gravesend Brooklyn

It was a great day for photography and I’m glad I didn’t miss it entirely. Next time I hope to have both my iPhone and a real camera. Or at least an iPhone 4s upgrade!

To see these images in my online gallery please go here and look in the Brooklyn gallery.


Walking around Sunset Park, Brooklyn again. Bright sun yesterday made so many images. Here are two taken with my iPhone and edited in the phone with Photoshop app for iPhone.

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The moon was full over Brooklyn last night, more specifically over the Gravesend neighborhood. It cast a lovely, ghostly light as always. Spiritual or macabre depending on your mood.

Gravesend is a unique place, the spot in Brooklyn where immigrants tend to first settle. It was settled in 1643 by Lady Deborah Moody and a merry band of English Quakers – the first of many immigrants to follow. I know this because of the plaque at the historic cemetery nearby (fitting).

Fifty years ago it was an Italian neighborhood. Now it’s Russian, Chinese, Korean, and still has some Italian residents. My in-laws’ neighbor is from Albania – he is a Muslim and a wonderful neighbor – something my Italian in-laws thought was an oxymoron.

Gravesend is a no frills place. There are no fancy expensive shops. Ok – there is a pretty fancy liquor store, run as many of the liquor stores are by Russians. When our 25 year old hip daughter visited last year she was tickled by the proprietor who was quite suave and elegant with a cultured Eastern European accent. Asking me to swipe my credit card he simply gestured and said “pleez.”

The avenues are for shopping. Avenue ‘U’ and ‘X’ and 86th street – ok not an avenue but under the ‘EL’ it functions like one. 86rh has many shops of all sorts – including a very large and well stocked oriental market. (86th street is probably in Bensonhurst officially anyway.)

On Ave ‘X’ there are a few blocks of mostly utilitarian shops Bagels and Beyond, a corner connivence store with a perpetual hot dog special – $1.50. But my favorite is a new coffee shop – Amore & Baci – very pretty and unlike it’s surroundings.

The Rite Aid drug store just announced that it was renovated and new – we did some shopping there today – Tucks and nasal spray. The store seemed a little cleaner but we couldn’t see any renovations.

Cuccio’s was another story. Completely renovated, it’s an old Italian bread store and pastry shop. Until recently it was pretty dirty and run down but over the holidays it was redone. And the result is much nicer. But the display cases weren’t full and they didn’t have any sfgyadelles – tomorrow the baker said . We think might always be tomorrow for sfgyadelles at Cuccios. The biscuits I just had with espresso where great though so we’ll give them another go.

I’ll continue this post when I’m back at my computer and can post photos more easily. The one of the moon is a photo of the screen on my camera taken with my iPhone. It’s still a picture of the moon thou, eh?

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Here are some examples of street art that I found in Brooklyn and Manhattan over the last few years. Some of it is true graffiti — just young people writing on walls — other examples were done by groups to commemorate something. But anyway — I love to come across street art (don’t like tagging tho — just scribbled initials usually).

Here ya go – let me know what you think.

Old Glory and Lady Liberty

These ladies are of Russian origin I think -- as are many in this neighborhood.

Roebling Tea Room in Williamsbug -- great name for a very nice tea room.

Random graffiti that only makes sense because of the signs. Designed that way?

The boardwalk at Coney Island -- nicely done garbage cans (part of a school project?)


This is Alec -- a Street Guy. Found in Greenwich Village.

I love this one -- its in Williamsburg at Metropolitan Avenue.

Here's the subway in South Brooklyn viewed through a chain link fence. Just a little graffiti but the composition is street artish, no?


The Gravesend section of Brooklyn is one of the New York gateways for people immigrating to the US. A hundred years ago or so Italian immigrants started arriving. Some of their descendants are still there but now there are also people from Russian, Serbia and Montenegro, China, Korea and lots of other places. Lots of young people who all seem twice as tall as their parents as well.

I visit family there often and usually take a couple of long walks with my camera, never knowing what I’ll catch.

For instance:

Backyard tableau

Nice Rust & Late Flowers.

There are signs of all kinds in city neighborhoods. Ads. Some a 50 or more years old, some are in the languages of newcomers, some are enigmatic. Here is one I love — I hope it stays enigmatic indefinately:

Tabula rasa Brooklyn, 2010

The elevated railroad that runs through the neighborhood is very photogenic — do you agree:

Under the El

Here is another shot with a traveler arriving — probably from ‘the city’ (Manhattan that is).

No Entry

The infrastructure in Brooklyn has been neglected just as the double parkers and illegall u-turners are, so maybe being ignored isn’t all bad for everybody. The old stations are really old. Timeless, I think. Many a crumbling. This one reminds me of an adobe outpost somewhere in what once was Indian country.

'N' train Stop at 86th street

I have a lot more to share from my Brooklyn walks and other sources of inspiration, but I think I’ll stop for now and publish this. I haven’t written anything here in months and I really want to get back to actually publishing blog entries. I love the feedback I get once in a while and the writing process is very helpful to me. So consider this a dry run and look for more to come in the next few days. Its my New Year’s Resolution!

Update: I joined Fine Art America website recently and they have many Brooklyn image (some are mine of course!) here is a link to some of them:

brooklyn photos

Enjoy!

Use of photos

Photos on this blog are copyright protected. Therefore, if you wish to use photos please make a donation in an amount of your choice. My PayPal email address is fwinters@verizon.net.

Prints are available at Fine Art America

Or contact me directly.

Thanks.

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