Fifth Avenue Doors

I was told that my parents had their honeymoon at the Sherry Netherlands at 781 5th  Avenue while my father was on leave during WWII (first two pictures). During WWII some hotels offered free stays to soldiers on leave. Coincidentally, Sherry is my name. My mother says my name wasn’t chosen because of the hotel. It may have been a subliminal choice.

For Norm’s Thursday Doors January 5, 2017

History of The Sherry.

Sherry Netherlands, 12/31/2016
Sherry Netherlands, 12/31/2016
Sherry Netherlands, 12/31/2016
Sherry Netherlands, 12/31/2016

The old Plaza Hotel, famed for the children’s books about Eloise, is across the street at 59th Street and 5th Avenue. Next to the Plaza is Bergdorf Goodman.

Plaza, 12/31/2016
Plaza, 12/31/2016
Plaza, 12/31/2016
Plaza, 12/31/2016
Bergdorf Goodman, 12/31/2016
Bergdorf Goodman, 12/31/2016

December Ducks

OK, so the first two are not ducks. I photographed these on December 31, 2016 at the Pond at the south end of Central Park. I added some effects in Photoshop and OnOne.

The Mallards are in mating mode. They splashed around and chased each other making a ruckus.

Three Brown Creepers

I started with three images of a Brown Creeper photographed near the point in the Rambles of Central Park and made a composite using masks. The birds were not the sharpest, so I duplicated the layers, merged them, and used shake reduction on the birds. I also added a few adjustment layers in Photoshop.

Brown Creepers, Central Park 2/25/2016
Three Brown Creepers, Central Park 2/25/2016

Autumn Plants

I have been making photographs since our return to NYC in September and part of October, 2015. These were made at three locations: The Hudson River Greenway, The High Line, and Central Park, New York City. I enhanced the autumnal colors and shading in Lightroom and Photoshop. Softening or graying the greens and darkening the background puts the focus on the flowers and reds.

Staten Island Botanical Garden

Took the Ferry from Manhattan to see the Botanical Gardens in Snug Harbor, Staten Island with a Friend and made these photographs of a few of the flowers. Summer heat slows me down a bit plus I had a lot of work to do for the Linnaean Society of New York, making the program and site with the 2015-2016 Schedule. If you live in NYC you might like to check it out at linnaeannewyork.org

Bashakill WMA by the Shawngunk Mountains

I went for a trip with 3 of my birding friends to Bashakill Wildlife Management Area, Sullivan County, New York on the weekend of June 6th. The first day we spent by the lake. The following morning I took some lovely photographs of dawn at the lake. Later that morning we drove up Gumaer Road, alongside a stream of the same name; stopping here and there to listen, and occasionally spot, an Acadian Flycatcher, singing Dark-eyed Juncos, Veerys and a Wood Thrush. I didn’t have my Nikon 80-400 mm lens, which is being repaired, so I am sorry to say I couldn’t photograph two young ravens being fed some red meat. Lastly, we walked along the D&H Canal Linear Park. The area is lovely and bright green this time of year with many birds, turtles and other wildlife. I had a marvelous time. We saw 55 species of birds and other flora and fauna.

I experimented with black and white with added sepia tints. Each one required its own methods to get the best result in Lightroom’s “darkroom” for translating to B&W. I aimed to create a mood and accentuate certain details. Here are both color and black and white versions for comparison.

Landscapes:

Close-ups:

Body Parts

I was inspired by memories of an old B&W film Hiroshima Mon Amour (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima_mon_amour) where there is a small section where the lovers embrace in what looks like sparkling fallout.

Screen shot of Hiroshima Mon Amour, director Alain Resnais
Screen shot of Hiroshima Mon Amour, director Alain Resnais

The ones below are  my vision, which is not so grim. I imagined skin being dusted with stardust. I created these images using a macro lens. The skin is dusted with flour, water and iridescent sparkles.

Skin 7, 5/31/2015
Skin 7, 5/31/2015
Skin 12, 5/31/2015
Skin 12, 5/31/2015
Skin 30, 5/31/2015
Skin 30, 5/31/2015

Dreams that Became Digital Art

When I have particularly interesting dreams I will sometimes turn them into images. Here are a few that mean something to me.

Turtle and Elephants World in the Universe 1/23/2014
Turtle and Elephants World in the Universe 1/23/2014

I was surprised to learn that my dream of a turtle carrying the world on its back is a real myth. Except in my dream the turtle was flying through space. This myth appears in many cultures, Hindu, Iroquois, and Chinese. Some sources: http://native-science.net/Turtle_Elephant_Myth.htm and http://www.ulc.org/2013/09/camparitive-religion-the-world-turtle/. For this composite, created 1/23/2014, I used a picture of a fountain I photographed at Wall Street 7/12/2009, a turtle in Central Park 6/21/2013 and open source images from NASA.

Crystal Dream 4/1/2014
Crystal Dream 4/1/2014

I illustrated a dream that led me to take up Geology at Hunter College at the beginning of my second career as a cartographer. I dreamt that giant crystals grew so rapidly that they closed off a road in a tunnel. I used photos of my rock and mineral collection plus some images of a cave and road to create this composite.

Gull in Algonquin Mist 1/28/2013
Gull in Algonquin Mist 1/28/2013

I was very taken with the book called the Last Algonquin, by Theodore Kazimorov about Joe Two Trees who lived in Pelham Bay Park in 1924 New York City http://www.amazon.com/Last-Algonquin-Theodore-Kazimiroff/. It led me to dream about ghosts there. The bird and mist I painted in represents Joe’s spirit.

Yellowthroat in an Iridescencent Universe 1/24/2014
Yellowthroat in an Iridescencent Universe 1/24/2014

Birds, pyramid shapes, and an alien world set in a glowing iridescent star plasma were in my dream. The birds are the connecting force between the planet and the pyramid. The pyramid is an intersection between heaven and earth. I used my photos of a Common Yellowthroat Warbler in Union Square 1/20/2013, Roman glass at the Met 1/23/2013, and sky over Central Park 4/15/2006.

Golden Toads in Gold Trees 9/2001
Golden Toads in Gold Trees 9/2001

This is an old one done when I was learning to use Corel Photopaint in September 2001. I included it just to tell the story, not as an illustration of my skills. I had a dream of golden toads raining in a forest of golden leaves. It left me feeling very upset. Something was lost. I looked up golden toad (Incilius periglenes) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_toad and discovered it had become extinct because of us. Then I knew why I was so upset by the dream.

A few of my best for 2 Contests

I spent a week selecting some of my best 10 images from the last few years. I submitted 3 for the final review at B&H Event Space’s Portfolio review geared towards a possible show at SohoPhoto http://www.sohophoto.com/ and all 10 for the New York City Camera Club http://lloydspitalnikphotos.com/contest4/.

I also sent them, plus thousands of others, for $55 to the Copyright Department https://eco.copyright.gov/. Something all artists should do.

This is my first venture into this side of photography. I was a professional fine artist for over 15 years and know the dog-eat-dog gallery world well. I don’t expect much to come of this but it has been a marvelous learning experience.

Black-crowned Night Heron, Central Park 8/24/2012 sf 28
Black-crowned Night Heron, Central Park 8/24/2012 sf 28
Northern Cardinal. Central Park 1/28/2015 sf 9
Northern Cardinal. Central Park 1/28/2015 sf 9
Red-bellied Woodpecker 4/17/2114 sf 07
Red-bellied Woodpecker 4/17/2114 sf 07
Fox Sparrow, Central Park 3/24/2015 sf 10v2
Fox Sparrow, Central Park 3/24/2015 sf 10v2
Hermit Thrush, Central Park 10/25/2013 sf 13v2
Hermit Thrush, Central Park 10/25/2013 sf 13v2
House Sparrow, CXentral Park 10/21/14 sf 7
House Sparrow, CXentral Park 10/21/14 sf 7
Brown Thrasher, Central Park 10/5/2014 sf 8v4
Brown Thrasher, Central Park 10/5/2014 sf 8v4
Eastern Grey Squirrel Reading, Central Park 5/10/2015 sf 9
Eastern Grey Squirrel Reading, Central Park 5/10/2015 sf 9
Northern Shoveler, Central Park 3/23/2014 sf 20
Northern Shoveler, Central Park 3/23/2014 sf 20
Carolina Wren, Central Park 12/19/2013 sf 19v2
Carolina Wren, Central Park 12/19/2013 sf 19v2

Spring Buds

What a difference a week makes. The park is shooting out pale green, yellow and pink buds all over. Buds and shoots have wonderful shapes.