Photographing the 2015 New York Auto Show

It is that time of the year that the New York Auto Show takes place, a show that used to be more of a large regional gathering but has grown into a venue where car makers introduce new cars to the US and/or world markets.

Like many photographers, judging from the forum posts on ‘sharing pictures of your ride’, I’m a bit of a car nut. The days that I longed to own a Ferrari are gone, but I still like to see cool cars and have fun when I drive.

The show starts officially on Saturday, but before the opening to the public, the Javits Center on Manhattan opens its door first to the media, then to dealers and then to those who bought special tickets. Yesterday was the first media day. Below a smattering of behind-the-scenes images.

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Wandering – The Bronx Zoo with the Olympus ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II Lens

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Will we ever know who’s watching whom in a zoo? Ever since I saw the movie ‘Zoo‘ by Dutch film maker Bert Haanstra many years ago, I cannot escape the feeling that we’re just as entertaining for those animals as they are for us.

In the 1961 movie, Haanstra put hidden cameras in the animal cages of Amsterdam’s Artis zoo and filmed the interaction between animals and humans with the human visitors pulling faces and generally being silly on the other side of the bars. If there was ever any doubt that we stem from monkeys, the movie does away with it.

It is with this in mind that I visited the Bronx Zoo with my kids a while back. Since 1961, zoos have put more space between people and animals and I’m not even sure to what extent the animals behind the modern glass walls can observe us. Doesn’t matter. I still feel that gorilla is watching me as much as I am watching it.

But I got a camera and a long telelens. Ah!

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Shooting 2014 Fall Foliage in New York’s Catskills

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Spent the last few days driving around in the Catskill mountains of New York state, searching for opportunities to capture this year’s fall foliage colors. This is a quick update on my experiences, so that others planning to travel to the Catskills can benefit from them.

I’m by no means an experienced fall foliage shooter. I actually don’t really have ‘anything’ with trees. I like wide open landscapes and low skies. That must be my Dutch heritage. With trees, I just tend to think they’re in the way. Give me one tree on a hill over endless forests, at least when I have a camera in my hand. Otherwise, I do like that all those trees clean the air for us. Anyway, I’m not a natural at this, but I tried my best.

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US Forest Service Isn’t Curtailing Photography

There has been somewhat of a storm brewing this week about the US Forest Service instituting a policy that was said to require photographers to apply for a permit to shoot in national forests or risk a fine of up to $1,500.

Despite the fact that the Service issued a clarification of the proposed rules on September 25, making it abundantly clear that they would only apply to commercial photographers and videographers working with props and a crew and that the fees would be minimal, the story has kept on gathering steam and resulted in unwarranted outrage among photographers.

It looked like a storm in a glass of water from the get-go, blown out of proportion by some eager reporters at local papers and The Washington Post. Yet, our favorite photography site managed to pick up the story yesterday and later issued an update, clarifying the Forest Service’s real stance via a link to a story in The Washington Post on September 26.

Fact is that the Service clarified its position a week ago and that all the excitement among the photographic community was wasted energy. The press release by the National Forest Service from September 25 contains  the following key sentence: “The proposal does not change the rules for visitors or recreational photographers. Generally, professional and amateur photographers will not need a permit unless they use models, actors or props; work in areas where the public is generally not allowed; or cause additional administrative costs.”

It seemed a good story, but it wasn’t one. Sorry.

Photographing Fall Colors

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It is the time of year for traveling north in pursuit of colorful fall foliage. The northern states are already in flux, with the band of colors moving south week by week. Photographic Wanderings scoured the web and rounded up some tips for shooting fall foliage across the United States and offers up web sites with further information and foliage forecasts.

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