A New York State of Mind

*** Star Date: February 20th, 2016 – Planet Earth – New York City

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The Gyro Hot Dog Stand – Processing Notes Below

Rumbling in on the Amtrak local from the outskirts of Boston, daughter and I arrive for a well-deserved and planned long weekend in my old home town; New York City.  I can’t tell ya I haven’t missed roaming around and hanging out with my wonderful kid, I did, so this was some welcome time for us both. The first thing I hear as we leave Penn Station, “I gotta have a hot dog” which is not a surprise since street vendor hot dogs are somewhat a legend and delicacy in our household.

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Every time my daughter and I visit NYC, we take in a few broadway or off-broadway shows. Following our normal pattern, we jumped on the line at the TIX booth in times square and were lucky to get seats at the hit show: Something Rotten. It was a fun show with a lot of music, a parody of Broadway shows from the past 20 years, all set in the era of Shakespeare.

Next stop, some wonderful music at one of my favorite New York jazz clubs. Not only is Birdland close to Times Square, but it’s also pretty inexpensive, and the food is awesome!

John Pizzarelli performing at Birdland Jazz Club on February 20, 2016.

John Pizzarelli performing at Birdland Jazz Club on February 20, 2016.

Most old jazz people remember John’s dad; Bucky Pizzarelli, who was a gifted guitarist. John is too and is very funny and entertaining; we had a lovely evening. Leaving the early show at about 10:30, we wanted to roam around a little more and see what we could find. There’s always lots to do in the Times Square area, and we found some “interesting” things along the way.

There's still a seedy side to Times Square, something for everyone.

Girls, Girls, Girls! – There’s still a seedy side of Times Square, something for everyone.

Only in New York; The City That Never Sleeps!

No matter where you turn, there’s something interesting. As we continued to wander, cameras in hand, moving the swarms of people like fish swimming upstream, you can’t help but notice the colors and sounds of a busy east coast city.

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 Last stop of the night was on our way back to the hotel, just outside the Hard Rock Cafe’ waiting for the traffic to clear long enough for one more exposure. Now, time to recharge the batteries, get some sleep and get ready for another fun-filled day in Manhattan.

All the above photos were taken with the Sony A7r and the Sony/Zeiss FE 16-35 lens. I brought my tripod, but it never came out of my suitcase. I hand held all exposures and kept the ISO setting on “auto” so I could control my aperture and shutter speed.

I Used a Variety of Processing Tools:

  • For the Gyro Hot Dog Stand, I used Macphun’s CK Focus (which is free by clicking the link in the right column) and lets you create some incredible effects.
  • For the Girls, Girls, Girls photo, I used TopazLabs’s Texture Effects and has a 30-day free trial
  • The photo of John Pizzarelli and his band were shot handheld at 1/15th a second and at ISO 6400. It was processed in DXO Optics Pro 10. For noise reduction and image enhancement, DXO Optics 10 is pretty amazing and is also has a 30-day free trial available.

While the camera is amazing; with it’s incredible dynamic range and high ISO capability, the enhancements you can get from the processing tools make using them worthwhile. If you like photography, try some of these tools and don’t be afraid to crank up the ISO and have fun at night with your camera!

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