nyc subway | columbus circle (1 train)

by sam on 05/25/2015

Columbus Circle is a major transfer point between a variety of different lines, but for this trip I stayed mostly near the 1 train platform, so I will probably visit again to capture the AC/BD platform, which is in another area of the station. Given that this is in Columbus Circle, and essentially sits below the very large statue of Christopher Columbus, there is a bit of related iconography. But it’s really the same ship-tile over and over again, as far as I can tell. Some other interesting features include some of the original carved signs for the mens’ and womens’ restrooms, but which don’t appear to lead to restrooms anymore (the mens’ room seems to indicate that it’s actually some sort of electrical room now).

In addition, the northbound local track was shut this weekend due to construction/repair work. You can see some MTA workers over on the northbound track. Lest it seem that they’re not doing much, from what I could tell, the standing guy appeared to be giving instructions to the others – something that doesn’t really translate well to a still photograph!

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nyc subway | west 66th and broadway

by sam on 05/24/2015

The West 66th Street subway station is a bit of an odd duck. It’s somewhat unnecessary, being so close to both Columbus Circle and West 72nd Street, but it is clearly seen as a priority because of its proximity to Lincoln Center. Forgotten NY has a good rundown of the renovations in this station as part of it’s “Original 28” series – a look at the original 28 stations on the IRT line, of which this (and the 72nd Street Station posted yesterday are both a part.

According to FNY, almost nothing in this station is original, but this is perhaps the best restored station of the original 28. I would hazard a guess that this is also due to the Lincoln Center crowd. The mosaics here show dancers, opera singers, and other theater related scenes. All photos here are from the southbound platform. There’s another, entirely different set of mosaics on the northbound platform (trains were not stopping on the northbound platform this weekend due to construction).

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nyc subway | west 72nd and broadway

by sam on 05/23/2015

I had mentioned a few weeks ago a long simmering thought for a photography project, involving shooting all of the stations in the new york city subway system. it’s a daunting task, as there are over 400 stations and hundreds of miles of tracks. But I would not be daunted. I decided to start mapping out a plan, involving doing very small pieces at a time, and only at my leisure. The first bit of business was to switch from a pay-per-ride to an unlimited metrocard, which I was able to do the other day. Today, I picked a train and a direction, taking the 1 train from my neighborhood down to the end of the line at South Ferry, hopping off at every stop to take pictures of the platform, the mosaics, the tracks, and whatever else was of interest. There were a few stations I had to skip thanks to the vagaries of “weekend work” by the MTA (the train was running express from 14th to Chambers today), but it was a good start. I’m going to be posting separate entries for each station, and I’m going to be doing it relatively slowly so that there’s no great influx of posts, but I thought I’d start with where I started, at the West 72nd Street 1/2/3 station.

It’s your typical Saturday holiday weekend tourist crowd, with buskers, idiots pretending to jump on the tracks, and people who don’t understand how to wait for others to get off the train first before they try to board. I’ve always thought the mosaics in this station were relatively abstract, and everything I can find online about them simply refers to them as “mosaic tapestries”, but as I look at them, they start to remind me of the 91st street garden in Riverside Park, with it’s squared off garden in the middle surrounded by a walkway. In any event, that could all be in my head.

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instagram roundup – april (and a new project in the planning stages)

by sam on 05/2/2015

april appears to have largely been about meals. But I have also been inspired to finally start a project that I had been thinking about for a while. I want to photograph every subway station in the new york city subway system. It requires some planning in order to not end up repeating myself over and over again, and also switching to an unlimited metrocard. I’ve been organizing myself, putting together a comprehensive list of all of the stations in the system (which there doesn’t seem to be a good one available anywhere?!) and the trains that run through them, and once I start I’m going to try to be methodological and target small sections at a time so that I’m not biting off more than I can chew – I figure If I pick a section of a line to tackle on any particular day when i’ve got no other plans, that’s probably the most sensible way to do it. I like the idea of this project in particular because it’s something that I can choose to do on a day here or there when I’ve got no other plans, and I can put it down and pick it up again depending on how busy I am with other things. But I’m determined to start.

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instagram – march roundup, and some complaining about apple

by sam on 04/13/2015

Not a lot of photos in March, due largely to the fact that it was still bitterly cold and unpleasant around these parts. I was also dreading the inevitable update apple was launching that would finally depreciate Aperture and foist Photos onto all of us, which happened this weekend. It’s pretty terrible. I was willing to deal with the “less functionality” aspects, given that it was really an iPhoto replacement and not an Aperture replacement (although they chose to discontinue Aperture with the launch as well), but the number of things that got broken either as a result of the upgrade/installation or just don’t work as said is kind of ridiculous. I’ve had to tell my parents to hold off on upgrading their computers, because I fear the repercussions of having the less tech savvy members of my family deal with issues that have been giving me agita for the past several days. In no particular order…

– Even though every piece of written material about Photos indicated that it would copy your existing photo library and leave your iPhoto or Aperture library where it was, my Aperture library disappeared after the migration – when I opened Aperture, or when I tried to access the Aperture library from iTunes or the finder, it was as if it didn’t exist and I had zero photos. I finally found it this evening after a day and a half of searching, and had to essentially manually reconnect it to Aperture to get my photos available again in that application.
– I refuse to use iCloud for photo storage for a variety of reasons (first, I have too many photos and don’t want to pay for storage, second, there’s no option to selectively upload or to selectively hold back photos, and I have stuff i don’t want in the Cloud), so I continue to rely on iTunes syncing to keep my photos in sync across devices. It took a dozen syncs to get my entire library back on my phone. It would sync part of the library, behave as if it was done, and when I checked my phone, only a portion of my pics had transferred.
– I understand not having the full panoply of Aperture editing tools, but it doesn’t have any ability (yet, at least) to link to third-party editing software. If you want to edit, you have to cumbersome-ly export, edit, and then reimport.
– You can no longer add watermarks when exporting photos – this was an extremely handy feature in Aperture, where you could save a preset export setting, that would save a preferred size as well as watermarking options, so I could hit export and it would automatically format the 20 or 50 or 200 photos I wanted to upload to my website in the right size and include my copyright bug embedded in the bottom corner automatically. For the photos below, I had to download a separate piece of software, export the photos, and then add the copyright bug separately. Again, significantly more time consuming and cumbersome.
– Simple functionality things like not being able to change the sort order of photos, or to view with the most recent photos at the top rather than at the bottom (there seems to be a menu option, but it’s always greyed out).
– photos on a white background with no ability to change it to grey or black, or to add a border to add contrast (I have a white screen on this site, but I very intentionally use a black border on my pics because it causes additional color contrast).
– and on and on and on…

I’m sure people will come up with workarounds and whatnot for all of these things, but I’m seriously contemplating reverting to Aperture (now that I’ve finally found my library!) for the time being. My biggest concern on that front is that I know, at some point, that Apple will push out some supposedly innocuous security update that will irretrievably break that far superior software now that it’s been end-of-lifed.

So – march photos.

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