nyc: manhattan bridge

Manhattan Bridge is one of the three bridges that directly connect Manhattan and Long Island. It joins Manhattan Chinatown and Dumbo in Brooklyn.

nyc: bqe

Brooklyn-Queens Expressway seen from Manhattan Bridge. BQE was an idea of Robert Moses, visionary in his day, accused for destroying many beautiful NYC neighborhoods today. BQE cuts through some historic quarters of Brooklyn and Queens, separating communities and causing pollution and crime. Here in Dumbo, some of the oldest blocks in Brooklyn are divided by this, sometimes, three-level freeway.

nyc: double parked

It is illegal in New York to park within eight or ten feet within a fire hydrant (can't really remember now). Unless you leave a passenger as a lookout like they did here :)
Somewhere in the West Sixties.

nyc: more of the el

NYC's elevated subway is incredible and always makes me feel like I'm on a movie set. Again this time in the Bronx.

nyc: uws

Upper West Side on a warm, September evening. Today was cold, miserable and it's been raining all day, so I missed evenings like that even more.

welcome back nyc

This shot will initiate my 2010 New York series. Taken at the 231st street "el" station in the Bronx, NYC.

dc: monuments

Wshington is the city of memorials. Though, unlike many memorials I've seen, for instance in Poland, the ones in DC are really well done. They're not overwhelming, nor kitsch, and do show respect to those they commemorate. Here, a detail of Vietnam Memorial and Washington Monument in the distance. This one is quite big actually, and local zoning laws forbid building higher than the famous obelisk.

banco di sicilia

That's my third submission to the online exhibition of pictures of New York, "NYC Exposed".
Three of my pictures from September 2009 are there, enriched with an interesting description that I'm posting below.

Here is the original article. You can check out all of my three pictures over there.

SoHo's Historic District boasts myriad beautiful old architectural specimens. On his trip to New York City, photographer Stan Baranski found a gem of a shot on the corner of Broadway and Broome Street. Looming like an ultra-ornate giant in the background, the Banco Di Sicilia headquarters building with its Corinthian columns, and leaf and scroll engravings near the top, is hard to miss. The beautiful old street lamp works to balance the scene and adds a dimension to the overall balance. As seen in the other photos above as well, Stan's photographic eye is brilliant.

The cloudy sky and dark, brooding shading, along with crisp contrast, benefits the picture by encouraging an old-school, historic feel. Stan is not afraid to rotate his camera, as seen, also, in the first photo at the top of this page and seems to have a great sense of how this can add even more mystery to an already interesting composition!

The cast-iron district in SoHo is a feast for the eyes and this photograph makes it a feast fit for a king!

essence of east village

That's my second submission to the online exhibition of pictures of New York, "NYC Exposed".
Three of my pictures from September 2009 are there, enriched with an interesting description that I'm posting below.

Here is the original article. You can check out all of my three pictures over there.

Yellow Vintage Rag-Top Cadillac Muscle Car Belongs to the East Village...
Stan Baranski knows good artwork when he sees it. In this case, it was not so much the street "art" on the wall and garage door that he saw as a photographic opportunity. Rather, it was the fantastic scene made whole by the vintage yellow convertible parked so appropriately in front of that street art that made it an outstanding photo op!

Stan's composition is perfect. The car (the obvious focal point) follows classic rule-of-thirds convention, having a bit more space in front of its apparent direction than behind it. The car also rests along the lower horizontal "thirds" dividing line - exactly where it should be.

The exposure, color and focus are beautiful. Not too bright; not too dark; not too contrasty; not too overblown on the color saturation. Stan avoided the temptation that so many photographers fall for, in that he did not hype the colors. No need to here! Stan let the melange of colors work on their own and what occurred was that the wall art remains somewhat muted and pastel, giving way and paying homage to that bright yellow car!

Manhattan's East Village is an eclectic mix of new and old. It hosts beauty, art and grunge living in harmony. With its proximity to NYU, it's not surprising that there's a lot to do and see here. There are probably more bars and clubs in the East Village than in any other concentrated area of New York. And to top it off, Stan's picture reveals a striking juxtaposition of grunge and new chic beauty. Just take a look at the gritty street art on the old wall and garage...right next to the exquisite and refined Il Posto Accanto Italian wine bar and restaurant, one of New York City's top eateries!

williamsburg bridge and the hipsters story

I've got published online at the "NYC Exposed" series of pictures of New York.
Three of my pictures from September 2009 are there, enriched with an interesting description that I'm posting below.

Here is the original article. You can check out all of my three pictures over there or wait until I re-post it on the blog.

Although Stan Baranski calls Poland his home, his photographic eye spotted some "only in New York" opportunities during a recent trip here. While most tourists would be busily pointing their cameras toward the steel beams above them or the cityscape sights beyond the bridge, Stan saw something far more artistic...and interesting!

The bridge itself is yet another iconic aspect of NYC because of street artists' penchant for using the bridge and surrounding areas as a canvas for their creative messages. It wasn't always that way, though.

The bridge opened on a crisp 25 degree morning on December 19, 1903. The overcast skies and scattered showers on that day provided a gloomy backdrop for a monumental engineering achievement. A fine example of structural expressionism, the Williamsburg Bridge would connect the Williamsburg borough of Brooklyn with the lower east side of Manhattan.

Today, the bridge carries more than just traffic. As Stan's picture above illustrates, the bridge has become a way of transporting ideas as well as traffic. In this case, though, Stan captured a message that represents a fairly divisive situation. The painted slogan, "Hispters Move Out", has something to do with the clash between newcomers and the area's long established population, much of which has maintained allegiance to traditional beliefs and ways of living. The Satmars of Hasidic Jewish heritage are on one side of the equation, while the "Hipsters" sit on the other side.

The Hipsters are the more recent artisan émigrés. Hasids vs Hipsters has become a sort of turf war of both words and intentions. Thus, phrase "Hipsters Move Out" is more than just street art. Regardless of how anyone feels about the situation, the picture really does capture an aspect of reality that exists in the City.

From a photographic viewpoint, Stan Baranski's photo is compelling for reasons beyond the interesting message that's stencil-painted on the street. There's really a lot going on in this picture. Stan demonstrates an articulate understanding of perspective. Take a look at the proximity of Stan's lens to the road surface near the bottom part of the picture. Getting close to the pavement along with a very short focal length (wide angle), provided for a distorted skew of the painted words. This distortion gives the eye a reason to linger a bit and then move up toward other elements in the photograph.

The muted reflection in the wet pavement provides a rich source of 'eye candy' and the red part of that reflection brings they eye upward toward the red railings and overhead trusses. Eye movement continues, as the rhythmic patterns of rails and trusses dance about.

As the viewer's eye follows the closing parallels toward a vanishing point, we rest at the lone figure on a bicycle.

This is exemplary photographic artwork and we are thrilled that Stan decided to submit his work to this exhibit!

dc: chinatown

DC's Chinatown actually is just a couple of blocks in Downtown Washington. It's less of an ethnic enclave, rather just a restaurant strip. I've caught the shot of this deserted eatery during slow hours after lunch and before dinner time.

dc: the gallery

The National Portrait Gallery is the part of Smithsonian Institution. It's covered courtyard is probably the most beautiful I've ever seen, including British Museum in London.

dc: offices

One of many postmodern office blocks in Downtown Washington. They have a law in DC that forbids putting up buildings taller than the Washington Memorial. Therefore, many office complexes fill up whole urban blocks and, despite their architectural value, create a kind of unfriendly, empty public spaces.

dc: the metro

I started my last brief visit to DC in the tunnels of Capitol's Metro. Postmodern, spacious concrete world under District of Columbia make a great impression on someone used to dirty platforms of NYC Subway or narrow corridors of Paris Metro.

nashville: off the row

One of the side streets of the Honky Tonk Row in Nashville, Tennessee, a place more crowded with bar people than nightlife areas of New York or London.