[One of] My Personal Moby Dick[s]

I am moderately obsessed with this building located in New York’s Chinatown. It has an unusual shape, partly due to it being triangle corner flatiron type building, and partly because it stands taller and apart from its closest neighbors. But I have found it difficult to get a composition of it that I like. On this particular day I had an additional self-imposed handicap, as I was trying to shoot exclusively with a 50mm lens.

I like this, but sometimes I wish I had shot it directly opposite the side with the fire escape, instead from this angle that I captured here.  I really love the story that the fire escape tells, especially with the laundry hanging on one floor.  Doing so, however, would have caused a loss of most of the front rounded corner windows, which I also wanted to capture. This just seems to be one of those buildings that is filled with such trade-offs, based on its shape, detail, and how it is situated in its environment. I have probably 2 dozen captures of it so far and none of them fully satisfy me, so I’ll just keep trying.

This was taken during a Google+ Chinatown Photo Walk last October. Here is a strong picture of the building taken that day by my friend  Bob Lussier. He zoomed in kind of close, and it might be that this building will not lend itself to a single iconic shot that captures all of its glory. Instead of getting one great shot that I love I might have to be happy with  getting several shot that I am proud of.

Finally, every time I post a shot and explain that I am not fully happy with it, I almost inevitably get one or more comments assuring me that it is fine and I’m being over critical. As much as I appreciate that, I also wonder if people think I’m asking for such reassurance. I’m not. When I self-criticize in public, it’s more like thinking out loud. I’m trying to work out what I did right, what I did wrong, and how to make it all better going forward. Now if you’re response to this is still to think the shot is better than I indicate, by all means say so, I’m certainly not looking to discourage that. But also please feel free to agree, make a suggestion, or anything else.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Tons of great details in this very dramatic shot! It’s pretty easy to see the challenges in composing for images of this building from here, Mark. I personally love challenges like this, and I think you’ve done a wonderful job with it!
    Toad Hollow Photography recently posted..St. Peter’s Anglican ChurchMy Profile

  2. I like the stark contrasts in this image, Mark. The detail is really attention grabbing. And as far as your comment about feedback, I generally try to point out the positive elements that maybe you didn’t see at first . . like with your Red Peony image. Hope that makes sense.

  3. A gritty contrasty B&W shot, Mark. I don’t have a negative comment to make, but I understand where you are coming from. I guess we all have a building/landscape or other feature that we feel we haven’t got the best out of yet. And sometimes I think that is likely to be because there are factors beyond our control that prevent us from getting that perfect POV. What surprises me about this shot is that you have secured a POV that has provided a totally uncluttered background (one of the real strengths of the shot) and I would have thought that would be very difficult in a city with so many very tall buildings. So the verdict from me is: Nice shot.
    LensScaper recently posted..Men UpstairsMy Profile

  4. This structure is simply amazing… I can consider 1 of the must see structure in New York China Town. You gave justice to the building, you’ve got a fantastic shot here… Thanks for sharing Mark…

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