12.08.2010

Sample shots from a quick run and gun shoot for some promo shots of one of our favourite subjects, the ever talented and super bendy Miss Sammy! (:

Sammy’s photos are here

So you’ve shopped yourself silly and you’re tired of trekking for hours and not getting anywhere. Time for a bit of relaxing sight seeing, and if you do it right, a lot less wallet intensive.

If you’re staying in Times Square then its an obvious first stop. Try to see it during the day and night for some vast contrasts.

Photo tip: If you wish to get a less cluttered shot at night or some long exposures you’ll have to wait till after midnight, closer to 1am before the bulk of the crowd has left. Worth it to keep the weirdos from standing in the middle of your frame staring at you and messing up your shot.

Ferris Wheel - Toys R Us, Times Square

Our faves in Times Square were of course the Toys R Us and M&M’s World stores. Even if you’re not a fan of toys or chocolate, in which case you may want to consult your local physician, both stores are a must see and are conveniently open late. Toys R Us sports a full sized 60ft Ferris wheel, Jurassic Park T-Rex, Empire State Building Lego replica complete with King Kong, a life size version of Barbie’s two story doll house and many more comic and movie characters. There are also plenty of hands on demos and lollies/candy section.

Lego Buildings - Toys R Us, Times Square

M&M World Times Square

Across the way, is M&M’s World, which, you guessed it, competes with Hello Kitty for the title of the most licensed products. Tees, mugs, stationery to collectible NASCAR models and shower curtains, it if it has a space for a logo then you’ll probably find it here. Also see the great wall o candy and stay on the look out for the M&M characters. Say “wassup” to Blue for me (:

Just in case you didn’t get enough of a sugar fix, a couple doors down is the Hershey‘s store, for those that like their chocolate sweet AND salty. Considerably smaller but just as busy, Hershey’s has the same deal but with Kisses and Peanut Butter Cups instead.

A few blocks north is “Top of the Rock” which, as the name suggests, the top of Rockefeller Plaza (aka 30 Rock, yep, the TV show in which its filmed along with other faves like the “Today” show). Whether you go here or to the Empire State Building is more a personal preference. For us the pluses over ESB were:

– cheaper
– only one security check point
– lines and wait time were almost non-existent
– no additional fees to go to higher levels
– no crazy stair climbing
– 1 enclosed and 2 open air levels
– only a couple stories shorter than the ESB (completely unnoticeable when you’re up there)
– the view is the same
– you get to see and photograph the ESB (frame it right and you can get the Statue of Liberty or Brooklyn bridge in there as well)

Try and get there about an hour or 2 before sunset to beat the rush, find a nice spot and watch the sunset and the city light up. We were fortunate to have decent visibility when we went, but like any big city, be prepared for smogged out days with dirty brown sunsets.

Regardless of which vantage point you chose remember its really high up so as soon as the sun sets it can get quite cool, so bring a jacket. Times 2 plus beanie and gloves if its in the cooler months.

NYC view north from "Top of the Rock" (click for big)

NYC view south from "Top of the Rock" (click for big)

If you chose ESB, you’ll only be a couple blocks away from Grand Central station. The location of many a movie scene’s meeting point, abandonment and “we’ll lose em here” ‘s. Check the Sky Ceiling in the main concourse for zodiac art painted by Frenchman Paul Helleu.

Main Concourse - Grand Central Station, NYC (click for big)

If you want to jump on a train then this is the place to do it, there’s a line that will take you pretty much anywhere and on the chance that you rush and catch the one heading in the wrong direction its only a matter of getting off at the next stop and crossing to the other side of the platform, just make sure your Metro Card is topped up.

One stop that may not immediately ring any bells is Bowling Green, right near Battery Park on Manhattan‘s southern tip. Here you can have a relaxing day in the park, no doubt very popular in the warmer months with is sea side location, but for us it was to take the short walk to the South Ferry Terminal for the Staten Island ferry to see the Statue of Liberty.

Now you can easily spend big bucks for the countless tours to see the ol’ girl but at a cost of not just money but time in queues and security, not to mention when you get there, Liberty Island (the island its on) is very small, so photos are all upskirts and internal access is limited, so no, you cant climb into the crown and blast Jackie Wilson, Ghostbusters 2 styles. Another misleading note from the same movie is the misconception of its actual size. Its less than 50m high so its not Godzilla or even the Stay-Puff man.

That aside, if you want the cheapest and least competition from other tourists, then the Staten Island ferry is the way to go. It’s a commuter ferry so mostly business/everyday types. We had no problem getting a spot for some photos on either the front or back decks.

Photo tip: Leaving Manhattan the statue is on your right (starboard) side. Take a long lens for a nice tight level crop

Not long ago, you could actually stay on board the ferry and just wait for it to “reverse” back to Manhattan, however now they ask everyone to disembark. Make sure you don’t leave the terminal otherwise you will have to pay, instead just circle back round to the entrance side. If you got a couple minutes to kill, grab a bite to eat in one of the eateries or fresh fruit vendors in the terminals. If not, don’t sweat it, there’s food (and beer) available on board the ferry.

Statue of Liberty

Back on the mainland, head back to Fulton St. station to visit the World Trade Center.

That whirlwind run was all we had time for in Manhattan before we hitched a subway ride to Brooklyn.

New York City 2010 part #1 – The flight in…
New York City part #2 – Shopping: Midtown
New York City part #3 – Bronx Zoo
New York City part #5 – Sight Seeing – Brooklyn Markets and Gardens
New York City part #6 – Shopping: Soho

New York City photo gallery here

12.06.2010

Its been quite some time since we last ventured out to the track. While it has lost some of its soul (and fun) with sky rocketing fees and a grid of exotics and dedicated track cars, its still a great way to spend an afternoon and a chance for me to practice my panning.

This was the last meet for the 2010 season, for more info or to sign up for the 2011 season head to the
Queensland Raceway website

QR Sprint photos here

A new month a new club! This time we hit up the illusive Laruche – bar and supperclub. Very unassuming on the outside, but inside it sports an eclectic Alice in Wonderland/Nightmare before Christmas kind of vibe. Check out some of the decor and this week’s feature DJ, Arku in issue #1039.
This bumper issue also features a complete run down of all your clubbing and festivals needs over the holiday season!

Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets or read it online @ 3D world magazine – Brisbane

11.30.2010

Its been awhile between drinks for a Krafty club gig but as always, he doesn’t disappoint!
A definite highlight would be the layering of “hit the road jack” over drum and bass with Prodigy snippets. Completely nuts!

Krafty Kuts @ Family photos here

Down to the last Social Club DJ from our Alhambra Lounge shoot is young gun Herts. Check him out in this week’s issue #1038.

Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets or read it online @ 3D world magazine – Brisbane

Cool DJ name of the week and this week’s feature Social Club DJ from our Alhambra Lounge shoot is Robohan. Check him out in this week’s issue #1037.

Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets or read it online @ 3D world magazine – Brisbane

Getting to the Bronx Zoo couldn’t be any easier or cheaper. Catch the BxM11 Express bus from Madison Avenue (don’t forget your fistful of quarters!), about 30min later youll be at the stop. Make sure your driver knows you want to stop at the zoo as the stop is not at the zoo itself, you have to walk under a small bridge to get to the entrance. So try and stay awake!

Photo tip: keep your eyes open as you cross the bridge into the Bronx you will see the dilapidated “Welcome to the Bronx” sign, authentic in an unintentionally cliched way.

A measly 15 clams will get you into the Zoo. Remembering, animals are seasonal creatures so different times of the year will mean different things for different animals. In general, the colder months will see less activity, on the plus side, there is less activity from visitors as well, so its very easy to get around and also finding that perfect photoing spot. Walking through the first section its clearly noticeable that they have quite a bit of land to play with and it doesn’t feel like its in the middle of one of NYC’s toughest burroughs.

First stop was one of the biggest aviaries we’ve seen in quite some time. Many smaller enclosures along with a few large “free fly” areas, very easy to lose track of time if you spend too long trying to find each type of bird in each enclosure.

Back on track, everyone’s must see are the tigers. That day, as announced by the rangers, they were a little lethargic and not really in a playful mood so they weren’t treated like circus animals to “perform” for their food.

Heading over to the seals, fans of “Friends” will see Marcel and his mates. The seals themselves seem to love the attention and were only too happy to pose and perform with an uncanny awareness of where the cameras were and which was their good side!

Waterbirds like Puffins and Penguins surrounded the seal areas.

Head to the eatery for some lunch, outside has fastfood staples at less than average fast food quality with meals sitting under heat lamps, good if you like soggy burgers and fries. Inside you can get healthier options with prepackaged salads, sandwiches and rolls and hot beverages. Service was hit and miss at best but on par with just about any place with staff that weren’t working for tips.

Keep an eye out for friendly neighbours like squirrels and peacocks, only too happy to say hello in a scarily over domesticated way (caught a Tienanmen square stand off with a peacock and park ATV transporter). This is a good time to grab a few souvenirs as well and if you missed out on Disneyland or Santa Monica pier, the large indoor carousel is your next best thing.

Last major stop on our way out was the reptile display with all matters of frogs, lizards, snakes, ‘gators and turtles which always make for some good photos.

The park is open from 10am-4.30pm and on the right day you should be able to leisurely see the whole thing in 4-5 hours depending on how many kids you have and the time of year. If you did bus it there, just make sure you leave enough time to get back to the bus stop (outside the main entrance near the bridge, there’s only a little sign, no bench or anything) as they tend to be rather sporadic and infrequent.

The bus ventures back into Manhattan via Central Park so you may want to include an afternoon stroll in there as well.

Next up, we start to wind down our whirlwind holiday with some good ol fashioned mouth opened, eye squinting sight seeing, NYC style.

New York City 2010 part #1 – The flight in…
New York City part #2 – Shopping: Midtown
New York City part #4 – Sight seeing – Manhattan
New York City part #5 – Sight Seeing – Brooklyn Markets and Gardens
New York City part #6 – Shopping: Soho

New York City photo gallery here
Complete Bronx Zoo photo gallery here

Benn Hopkins is next up in our Alhambra Lounge run of shots. Check him out in the Social Club section of this week’s issue #1036.

Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets or read it online @ 3D world magazine – Brisbane

Held at the lush little restaurant, Ebb on the Sunshine Coast, it was a perfect little wedding with the bride arriving by punt and the weather turning it on for pretty much the only clear day in nearly 2 weeks!

Congratulations guys, we wish you all the best for the future.

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