Before I write of my adventures yesterday I would like to announce that I am now a contributing photographer to the new local Queens publication BORO Magazine. This magazine is all about the art and cultural lifestyles of Astoria, Long Island City and Sunnyside and includes dozens of restaurant, business and event listings from this small but fun section of the borough of Queens. Every two weeks I will be submitting five images from my wanderings in Astoria and Long Island City with captions and a little blurb on why I took them. Click on the link above to view the magazine and click on the Arts tab to view my work.
Yesterday, was a chilly overcast day and I had all the intentions of devoting my energies to doing domestic chores. As I was dropping off my laundry I was struck with how vivid the colors of the newly sprouted buds and blooms looked in the diffused grey light. When I got back home I packed my back pack with a plastic bag, a dry cloth, an extra battery and an umbrella in case of rain, put the camera around my neck and away I went. I figured that since I had to go grocery shopping anyway I would take the camera with me and get a few shots along the way as I walked up Ditmars Boulevard.
Three hours and many photos later I arrived home with some pretty interesting spring urban photography and no groceries. I only came home because it had started to pour.
I walked up 76th street toward 21st Avenue because on my way back from the laundry I spotted a gorgeous Magnolia tree just starting to bloom which had deep dark purple blooms on it and also a bush decorated with plastic Easter Eggs in someones front yard. From there I walked up 21st Avenue weaving back and forth between various streets taking photos of any plant life with color. These first spring blooms including the Magnolias are at their most colorful in this early part of the season but are fleeting and fragile which is why I wanted to get out and capture that exquisite color as soon as possible.
There was a profusion of delicate white and pink Cherry Blossoms along every street, dark pink Azaleas, purple and white Magnolias, blindingly bright yellow Daffodils and Forsythia, Blue Bonnets and Hyacinths, scarlet and pure white petal flowers and all shades of green buds hanging from the branches of the trees. All of the flowers and bushes were in someones front or back yard and I enjoyed using the wrought iron fencing or brink walls of the houses as back drops for the images giving them that urban twist that I am known for in my photography.
I also included some street shots to add to the Abstract Astoria gallery including images of the ever-present and ever-growing collection of sneakers hanging from telephone lines. One shot in particular is my favorite of the sneaker shots because there are four pairs of sneakers hanging from five wires and they look like musical notes on a staff. A real running chord. I had to shoot straight up into the bright grey sky to capture them. I converted the image to black and white and toned down (pardon the pun) the sky and the effect looks almost like a line drawing.
I am excited with the dawning of a new season and one that is as colorful as spring and look forward to taking my camera out with me as I walk around my neighborhood or hop a train outside of Queens to capture the varied beauty of the many botanical gardens in New York City.
Happy Vernal Equinox to you all and enjoy the photos below.