Sunday, December 20, 2020

2020 Wrap Up

Making The Most Of Difficult Times


We heard the news at the start of the year that a mysterious virus was killing people in Wuhan, China. We didn't panic; we had heard of events like this before. New diseases emerged, but most of us were never impacted. We trusted the authorities to get it under control.

Covid-19 was different. It was easily transmissible and could be spread by people who showed no symptoms. The old method of checking the temperature of airline passengers before they boarded planes didn't work. The virus spread around the world virtually undetected. 

This began an extraordinary year of lockdowns, shortages, and bitter arguments about the best way to control the disease. The divided response to the pandemic was as big a challenge as the disease itself. Some citizens locked themselves in their homes and wondered where they might be able to buy toilet paper, while others flocked to socialize at bars and beaches. Hospitals were overwhelmed while politicians argued whether to provide them with money or badly needed supplies.

The stage was set for a year unlike any other in modern history. Vacations were cancelled. Weddings were postponed. Businesses failed. Unemployment climbed to levels not seen since the Great Depression. Parents struggled to educate their children at home.

And many, many, many people died. Countless families lost loved ones. The rest of us adapted as well as we could.


a photo of Grand Central Station - New York City (2020) - Daniel South Photography
Grand Central Station - New York City (2020)



I had expected that 2020 would be a fun and fulfilling year. I was looking forward to traveling and seeing new places. I had to cancel those plans, of course, but despite the worries and the restrictions, I tried to make the most of the time and the opportunities that were available. I figured that life didn't need to stop completely; I just had to adapt while being as careful as possible.

I started the year with three main objectives. I meant them to apply to my life globally, but they each had an impact on my photography.

1. Travel more
2. Instead of buying new things, get the most out of what you already have
3. Focus on what you do best

I was planning a trip to California when the pandemic started to spread. I considered tempting fate and still going while the ticket prices were insanely cheap, but ultimately, I decided not to risk it.

The upside is that I had more time to explore beautiful places near home.



a photo of the Moon Rising Over The Bow Bridge - Thanksgiving Day (2020) - Daniel South Photography
Moon Rising Over The Bow Bridge - Thanksgiving Day (2020)



The second objective of appreciating what I have is something that I need to remind myself to do occasionally. I enjoy the thought of picking up some shiny new lens to add to my collection, despite the fact that I'm not lacking anything that I really need.

Appreciation brings balance and contentment to our hearts, but it is especially important especially at a time when life has become so difficult for so many.


a photo of a Wide-Angle View Of Pershing Square New York 2020 Daniel South Photography
Wide-Angle View Of Pershing Square (16mm)



Practicing appreciation in my photography inspired me in a number of ways this past year. I used wide-angle lenses more often. Typically, use telephoto lenses in the city. They enable me to exclude elements that I don't want to see in the final image. Wide-angle lenses give a more dramatic and inclusive view.

I also discovered a new love for a lens that I haven't used much and even considered selling. It turns out to be a great lens for capturing handheld images in the dark, something that I had not had much luck with in the past. 


a handheld night photo in new york city daniel south photography
Handheld Night Photography - Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA



The third objective was meant to inspire better use of my time. There are only so many hours in a day. If we spend those hours on activities that don't leverage our true gifts, then we're not accomplishing all that we could.


a panoramic night photo of central park south new york
Nighttime Panorama Of Central Park South - New York (2020)




I enjoy taking photos at night. I haven't always been good at this type of photography, and for a long time, my results were usually flops.

I have worked hard in recent years to develop the skills required to make my nighttime images look the say I wanted to capture them. I felt that this was an area where I would do well to invest more time. When you develop a strength, you might as well leverage it. Create unique expressions that everyone can appreciate.


a photograph of bethesda terrace central park new york at night
Bethesda Terrace At Night - Central Park - New York (2020)




This challenging year is nearly over. 2021 is not going to be easy, but things are beginning to move in the right direction. Life may never be the same, and for a lot of families, the grief of loss will last for a long time. But one of these days, we'll be back to doing normal things again, traveling, shopping, going to plays and concerts and ball games. It's a future worth working for, worth fighting for.



a photo of a lady riding a bicycle past christmas decorations in new york city
Christmas in New York (2020)




Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone! I wish you and yours comfort, security, and an abundance of blessings.
 


Camera: 
Sony a7R IV
Lenses: Various


Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.
All Rights Reserved




Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Sunset Reflections - Central Park

An Early Autumn Stroll By The Lake



a photo of a sunset reflecting on the lake in central park new york city



The park was busy that afternoon. Fortunately, I was able to find a tranquil view without pedestrians. Two Canadian geese lounged on a smooth rock.


Camera: Sony a7R IV
Lens: Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS


Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.
All Rights Reserved


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Cupcakes In Tow - Central Park (2020)

Deliver The Goodies


I'm not sure where they were going in such a hurry, but I'll bet that everyone was happy to receive the cupcakes!



a photo of a family riding bikes carrying a container of chocolate cupcakes
Cupcakes In Tow - Central Park (2020)




Camera: 
Sony a7R IV
Lens: Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS


Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.
All Rights Reserved


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Pretzel Stand - New York City (2020)

Twisted Logic

It was a beautiful autumn day under clear blue skies. The light was so pure that I didn't have to make any edits to the image file. I didn't alter the color, contrast, or white balance. I just added a bit of sharpening and cropped the image to a square, eliminating a couple of people who were walking on the right side of the frame.



a photo of a pretzel stand near central park in new york city
Pretzel Stand - New York City (2020)



An acquaintance remarked that the photo reminded him of the cover photo on Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic album.

I looked up the Pretzel Logic album on, where else, wikipedia. It turns out that the album photo was taken just a few blocks north of where I captured this shot on Fifth Avenue. Central Park served as the scenic backdrop for both photos.

Decades later, the legacy of New York pretzels lives on!


Camera: 
Sony a7R IV
Lens: Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS


Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.
All Rights Reserved


Monday, November 16, 2020

Cellist In A Tunnel - New York (2020)

A Little Night Music


Performers in public spaces contribute to the magic of the New York experience.


a photo of a musician playing cello in a tunnel in new york central park at night
Cellist In A Tunnel - New York (2020)




Camera: 
Sony a7R IV
Lens: Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS


Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.
All Rights Reserved


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Early Voting In New York City 2020

Record Turnout


We just had a big election here in the United States. Despite the raging Covid-19 pandemic, more people turned out to vote than in any previous election. Many voted by mail while many others voted in person in the weeks leading up to Election Day in an attempt to avoid crowding.

Here are some photos of people waiting to vote in New York City about a week before Election Day. As you can see, turnout was extraordinary.


a photo of early voting lines in new. york city 2020



a photo of people waiting to vote in new york city 2020



a photo of early voting lines in new york city 2020



a photo of early voting in new york city 2020



a photo of people lined up to vote in 2020 pandemic election new york



a photography of election 2020 people waiting in line to vote new york city
Long Lines For Early Voting in New York City (2020)





Camera: 
Sony a7R IV

Lens: Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS


Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.
All Rights Reserved



#election
#newyorkcity
#streetphotography
#election2020
#vote
#earlyvoting
#photojournalism
#people

Friday, October 23, 2020

Central Park In Black And White

Grayscale In Green Spaces


Central Park offers
A dazzling array
Of dynamic visual delights

It's a marvelous place to take photographs
In color
Or black and white!



a black and white photograph of the eldorado apartment building central park west new york
The Eldorado on Central Park West




a black and white photograph of boats in central park new york
Rowboats Moored On The Lake




a black and white photograph of people exercising in central park new york city
Exercise




a black and white photograph of a radio controlled toy boat in central park
Radio-Controlled Boat




a black and white photograph of the sign at the boathouse restaurant in central park





a black and white photograph of pedicabs and a skateboarder in central park new york
Pedicabs And Skateboarder - Central Park




a black and white photo of a woman on a staircase at bethesda terrace new york city
Staircase At Bethesda Terrace




Camera: 
Sony a7R III

Lens: Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS


Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.
All Rights Reserved



Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Evening Street Scene In Nice

 When Once We Gathered Freely


This year has been rough on everyone, but please to whatever you have to to stay safe and maintain a positive outlook. Better times lie ahead. We'll all be traveling again soon!



a color photo of people on the street in nice france by daniel south




Camera:
            Nikon D700

Lens:
            Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED


Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.
All Rights Reserved



Monday, October 5, 2020

Castles of the Loire Valley

 Les Beaux Châteaux

The Loire Valley, located about 200 km southeast of Paris, features an amazing collection of well-preserved castles and regal residences, each with a distinct flavor, and all of them featuring a delicately decorated French style.

I have not spent a lot of time in the Loire Valley, but I made a brief stop there some years ago. Here are a few of the properties that I had the great pleasure to visit.


Le Château de Chambord is as grand as it is elegant.


a photo of the chateau de chambord in the loire valley france
Château de Chambord - Loire Valley





Le Château de Cheverny features prominently in the Tintin adventures.


a photo of the chateau de cheverny in the loire valley france
Château de Cheverny - Loire Valley





Le Château de Chenonceau is uniquely architected to cross the River Cher.


a photo of the chateau de chenonceau in the loire valley france
Château de Chenonceau - Loire Valley





Le Château de Blois is impressively well preserved inside and out.


a photo of the exterior of the chateau de blois loire valley france
Château de Blois - Loire Valley





Boats at the Château de Chambord on a pleasant afternoon.


a photo of boats at the chateau de chambord loire valley france
Boats at the Château de Chambord






Camera:
            Nikon D700

Lenses:
            Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
            Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VRII

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.
All Rights Reserved





Nice - South of France

Enhanced Resolution

I compose music. When I post my music online, I often make a slideshow to go with the audio. Hopefully, this adds interest by giving people something to look at while they're listening.


a photo of a grand hotel in nice south of france daniel south
Grand Hotel - Nice, South of France




Sometimes, I have difficulty deciding which photos to use with a piece of music. I wouldn't think that this would be the case, given that I took the photos and wrote the music, but typically I'll spend days agonizing over the choice. I want to make sure that the mood of the photos matches that of the music, and I want to avoid, when possible, using images that I have used in other slideshows.


a photo of a statue of miles davis in nice france daniel south
Statue of Miles Davis - Nice, France




I went through this struggle earlier this year when I posted the three movements of my first Tuba Concerto online. I had composed the concerto in 2015, but for some reason, I procrastinated on publishing the score and registering the copyright. I finally got everything organized this year during the pandemic shutdown.


a photo of a pier at nice france by daniel south
Untitled - Nice (2009)




After much deliberation, I settled on using photos from a 2009 trip to France. I felt that the images were a good match for the music, but using them involved some technical challenges.


a photo of lounge chairs on a beach in nice france by daniel south
Beach Chairs in the Morning - Nice (2009)




I wanted the slideshow to display in 4k, but some of the photos didn't have enough resolution to meet the 4k specification after cropping and applying zoom effects. My 2009 camera had limited resolution compared to more recent models.


a photo of a floodlit pier at night in nice france by daniel south
Floodlit Pier At Night - Nice (2009)




Sometimes innovations arrive just as we need them. A software package that increases the resolution of photo files came to market recently. I tried it, and I was very happy with the results. I increased the resolution of my files when necessary, and the 4k video looks crisp and detailed throughout!

Nice is once of the most beautiful cities that I have visited in my years of traveling. Highly recommended.


Camera:
            Nikon D700

Lenses:
            Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
            Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VRII

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.
All Rights Reserved



Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Pismo Beach Pier

Capture The Mood


I have long admired black and white images of the seaside. This was one of my first attempts at capturing an ocean pier in this enduring style.



a black and white photograph of the pier at pismo beach california
Ocean Pier - Pismo Beach, California




Camera: Sony a7R II

Lens:     Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.



Copyright © 2020 Daniel R. South

http://www.dansouthphoto.com
All Rights Reserved



Saturday, March 21, 2020

UFO Bridge and Restaurant - Bratislava

Dine Above The Danube

One of the first things that you notice when you drive into Bratislava is the big, new bridge with the UFO parked on top. If you took one look at this structure and wondered whether there might be a restaurant up there, you are absolutely correct.



a photo of the ufo bridge restaurant bratislava slovakia
UFO Bridge and Restaurant - Bratislava, Slovakia



I didn't have a chance to dine at the UFO restaurant, but I can only imagine that the views from there must be spectacular. If your travels take you to Slovakia, add this place to your must-see list.


Camera: Sony a7R IV

Lens:     Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS

Light happens. Be ready. Shoot hard.



Copyright © 2020 Daniel R. South

http://www.dansouthphoto.com
All Rights Reserved