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Traveling in and around the City, you occasionally come across these vistas that seem to lead directly to the Empire State Building. This is from the Bowery, just south of Houston. I had many options involving the birds. They were scattered all over different exposures. The ghost versions actually looked kind of neat when they came out of HDR processing, but I decided to erase them in Photomatix; then I swapped in the sky from the -2 exposure bracket which had this fellow nicely framed and that was that.

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  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Garbowski, Oscar Navarro ?. Oscar Navarro ? said: From: @mgarbowski Up the Bowery: Traveling in and around the City, you occasionally com… #Photog #Photography [...]ReplyCancel

  • James HoweDecember 9, 2010 - 9:32 am

    Nice shot. I like the fact that the street lights are all red. Nice warm light on the buildings as well. I’m jealous. Shooting in NYC is so much fun.ReplyCancel

  • Jim DenhamDecember 9, 2010 - 10:04 am

    Beauty work Mark. Love the single bird in the image and the light on the Empire State.ReplyCancel

  • Jesse PafundiDecember 9, 2010 - 10:34 am

    Nice warm light Mark. How much you pay that bird to pose?ReplyCancel

  • TimoDecember 10, 2010 - 12:57 pm

    Absolutely beautiful – I love it!ReplyCancel

  • Tobias GeorgeDecember 10, 2010 - 6:10 pm

    Oh wow… such a great shot Mark. Well done!ReplyCancel

  • Jon HochmanDecember 10, 2010 - 6:38 pm

    Beautiful shot. The bird totally makes it. I have huge respect for the unadulterated editorial content of an image and all, but did you consider moving the bird down and bit to the left? Might not work but it could do interesting things to the balance of the composition.


  • markDecember 20, 2010 - 4:29 pm

    Very delayed response to a couple of comments here.

    First, thanks to James for pointing out the red lights. I noticed it also, but only when processing. I didn’t consciously set it up that way. It is not unusual, by the way, for the lights to be lined up like that. They tend to move in a timed stream on the avenues so a car in light traffic staying within the speed limit could travel dozens of blocks without stopping at a red light. Also, I went back and checked the full bracketed set and somehow I managed to take all seven shots in the set during the same red light status.

    Second, Jon, I considered moving the bird, and in the end it was a 50-50 thing to keep it where it was. There was no real rationale for it.

    Finally, thanks to everyone for the comments.ReplyCancel

  • [...] Up the Bowery » Too Much Glass via [...]ReplyCancel

Sometimes there’s a temptation to walk up to people and say “Try to look like you’ve been here before.”  But it’s also fun to observe wonder in action, especially among adults.

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Lovely contrast between yesterday’s image and today, don’t you think?  This is 190 Bowery, and despite the Bowery’s reputation, today  you are just as likely to walk past a high end wine shop or an expensive condominium as you are a derelict building like this one.

But here is the kicker, and it is a perfect example of why I love doing this. When I plugged 190 Bowery into Google, I discovered that the building is not abandoned. In fact, a photographer lives there.  Specifically, New York photographer Jay Maisel lives there with his family in what this article describes as a “six-story, 72-room, 35,000-square-foot (depending on how you measure) single-family home.”  Apparently he bought the building, which originally housed the Germania Bank, in 1966 for $102,000. According to the same article, the building and land is worth tens of millions today (note the article was written just as the financial real estate bubble was about to burst – regardless, the building has high value).

I love this. I never would learn cool stuff like this if I weren’t taking the photos and researching the locations.

As for the image, I applied treatment upon treatment while processing it: Nik Color Efex, Topaz Adjust, Topaz Detail, Nik Silver Efex Pro, and the new version of OnOne Photo Tools. In many instances I painted in individual effects to selected portions of the image.  In the OnOne suite, I used one of Brian Matiash’s HDR presets for the first time – I believe it was the one named after Bob Lussier. You need to be careful when you get in the mode of piling one processing filter or effect on top of another. It could mean you have no clear vision and have no idea when to say, “enough; it’s done.” But it can also mean that each effect suggests the next, judiciously applied. That is how it felt last night, and it helped that I was applying most effects selectively with the brush instead of to the entire image.

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