Thursday, July 17, 2008

1986 - 1987 - 1988

There may be a few too many cat pictures showing up here, at last count I think we were close to having cats account for eighteen percent of all the pictures on this blog. So,
back to black and white today, way back, to the 1980's for a little change of pace.

August 1986

I was standing on the east side of 3rd Avenue near the corner of 44 Street when I made this shot. The view of the Chrysler building from this angle was short-lived; after the corner lot was cleared a high-rise began climbing the sky. This was made with slow-speed (32 ISO) Panatomic-X film, scanned on the Canon flatbed. I did extensive retouching on this image, most notably in adding the blur and resharpening. I really like the distinctive look it gives to pictures like this. I don't have a lot of pictures of the Chrysler Building, and this is one of my favorites.

March 1987

Varick Street on a rainy spring night, street furniture courtesy of Consolidated Edison. The water vapor in the air (erroneously referred to as steam) is a joint venture of ConEd and whatever the prevailing weather front is coming off the river three blocks to the west. Inspiration for this picture comes from the Naked City and 1950's film noir in general.

This was shot on Kodak's then-new T-Max film, a fine grained 400 speed B/W. T-Max was the future of black and white back then, it came in 100, 400, 800 and 1600 speed flavors, and the servants of the Yellow God decreed that its grain was so fine that they would no long make Pan-X, and might even discontinue their B/W flagship, Tri-X.

Of course, they kept Tri-X after all, but they did kill Pan. They also did away with Recording Film, the high-speed (1000 ISO) surveillance film with the wonderful grain. I never liked T-Max that much, and eventually gravitated away from silver-based black and white films not long after this.

August, 1988

Twenty years ago Soho was a dump. I'm not sure what street this is, my notes at the time were far from detailed. This was probably on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. The wall with its ragged posters and graffiti and assortment of doors was just what I wanted, I only wish I used a slower shutter speed so the figure in the center blurred more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really like the mood of the Varick Street photo.