January 10, 2008

Intentional and accidental.

Writing before dawn, I keep my eye on the Manhattan skyline. I've been watching the effect of the sun on those reflective buildings for months. I've taken a lot of photographs of the same buildings, but — like Claude Monet looking at the Rouen cathedral — I keep thinking now, the light makes it different. When it does, I pick up the camera and go out on the terrace and take some more pictures of the same thing. This is what moved me today:

Manhattan skyline

But as I was picking up the camera and noticing I'd left it on, aiming at nothing, I clicked the button to test the battery. Later, I see it looks like this:

Accidental abstract

Which amuses me. I upload it and send to the flickr group ROTHKOesque.

26 comments:

Mr. Bingley said...

Hey, that was me on the ferry arriving at Pier 11 for work this morning! I did wave...

Simon said...

It's quite a captivating shade of blue, and it frames the skyline well - it's almost like a bluescreen, you could cut it and drop almost any kind of sky into it.

Eric Muller said...

I knew Claude Monet; Claude Monet was a friend of mine; ...

rhhardin said...

No pantry moth webs in the corners! Sign of a compulsive cleaner.

goesh said...

-nice angles on the 2cd pic, the top pic should have been panned a little more to the left and cut off some of the smaller structures on the far right for better balance and less 'weight' then panned up just a tad to expose a bit more water, but what the heck

Ann Althouse said...

Hi, mr. bingley.

George said...

When Rothko was a boy in Eastern Europe, the Nazis executed Jews and left them in shallow mass graves in the woods near his home.

I think Rothko denied having stared down that horror; clearly, though, he saw.

(I would have cropped out the entire right side of the lower pic...to deify its lower left glow.)

MadisonMan said...

I am a practical kind of guy. I look at the ceiling, and all those different angles and cuts and think I'm glad I'm not painting it or creating it.

Is the water ever completely still? I suppose not since it's likely tidal and a river and all. A mirror-like reflection with morning light would be stunning.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Stark. Even hotel rooms have pictures on walls. Brooklyn monasticism.

Show me da Monet.

Justin said...

I'm jealous that you can take a better photo by accident than I can on purpose.

Rick Lee said...

The skyline shot is fantastic. Wonderful saturation in the color. My first impulse on seeing it was to pull it into Photoshop and straighten the vertical lines so I went to Flickr to get the original and I noticed that it's not sharp. Were you shooting through the glass window or was it a handheld slow shutter speed? Just wondering.

Ann Althouse said...

Ruth Anne: You're looking at the ceiling.

a

Ann Althouse said...

Rick, I was, as I say in the post, standing on the terrace. The only thing I was shooting through was New York City air. Probably morning mist.

Paddy O. said...

I am most drawn to the splash of orange and red reflected in the middle of the buildings.

All is gray and blue, but for that that fleeting morning glow.

Original Mike said...

If it's a hand-held shot, it could be motion blur.

Maxine Weiss said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

Madison Man: It's not a river. It's a tidal strait. Both ends go out to the Atlantic Ocean.

MadisonMan said...

It's not a river. It's a tidal strait.

So for mirror smooth water, you'd have to be right at high or low tide, just before the water changes directions, plus with calm winds at sunrise. Not very likely.

Mr. Bingley said...

I'll wave again when I catch the 3:45 boat home.

Simon said...

Maxine, where do you see confusion of tenses in the post?

Simon said...

Or conflict of tenses, I should say.

Chip Ahoy said...

I would have thought FlickrEscheresque for its excess of intertwined meaningless planes which had to be worked out by a drywaller.

Woo to the pics.

Jonathan said...

The skyline image is one of the nicest photos you've posted on this blog. Thanks for sharing.

peter hoh said...

Lovely photos.

Perhaps you could consider doing something like this movie, which was made from web cam clips and stills.

Mr. Bingley said...

The view from the other side was nowhere near as nice as yours.

althouse too said...

What makes the photo most interesting is that the city appears to be immersed in nature contrary to the feeling I usually get in NYC that nature has been banished. (Except Central Park in the fog)