Category Archives: Photographs: New York City

Brick Wall, Windows

Brick Wall, Windows
Windows, a metal chimney, and a brick wall in Manhattan

Brick Wall, Windows. New York City. December 28, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Windows, a metal chimney, and a brick wall in Manhattan

This is yet another photograph from the High Line Park in Manhattan, made on the same gray day as the photograph I shared yesterday. The soft, gray light fills in the shadows and reveals details that are not visible in midday sunshine light.

The geometries of old brick buildings with exterior detail of fire escapes, pipes and wires fascinate me, and the elevated perspective from this location allows straight-on photographs of the subject. Yet, while making these photographs it did occur to me that people living along this park must, from time to time, get a bit tired of thousands of folks wandering by outside their windows and some of them (us!) stopping to photograph.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
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Winter Day, Manhattan

Winter Day, Manhattan
Brick buildings on a gray winter day in Manhattan

Winter Day, Manhattan. New York City. December 28, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Brick buildings on a gray winter day in Manhattan

Near the end of our late-2015 visit to New York City we ended up heading over to Chelsea (which we did more than once on this trip) for various reasons, and we ended up walking along the High Line Park. This popular elevated park snakes above Chelsea, starting near the new Whitney Museum, and runs north a good distance. It is a fascinating place for a photographer, both for the people watching possibilities and for the views of the city it provides.

This Californian is fascinated by this kind of “dull” gray winter day of a sort that we don’t see that often in my part of the world. The temperature hovers in the just-above-freezing range, and the sky remains gray, and in many ways the city can look very old.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
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All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Man Inside Subway Car

Man Inside Subway Car
A man in a hat inside an antique subway car, Manhattan

Man Inside Subway Car. New York City. December 27, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A man in a hat inside an antique subway car, Manhattan

I had been hearing about the “nostalgia” train days in New York for some time, mostly from my sons, who now live there and who are big fans of the infrastructure (and more) of New York. This year the timing of our visit allowed us to go to the nostalgia event, a day when lots of the old trains are out and running on the subway lines, and open to riders who want to get a feeling for what the system was like in the past.

People seem to show up for all kinds of reasons. Some seem like your standard railroad fans. Others seem to come mostly for the history. A few other, somewhat like me perhaps, simply go because we heard that it was going on. But some folks do all sorts of fun and idiosyncratic things. In one car I ran into a crowd of photographers, many of whom were using really old and impressive film gear. Others dress up in period clothing. As I photographed this car I was taken by the image of this smiling man in a color accented bright white shirt. As I photographed, furtively at first, I could tell that he wanted me to photograph him and he encouraged me to make more than one photograph.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
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All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

City of New York

City of New York
City of New York historic subway car

City of New York. New York City. December 27, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

City of New York historic subway car

I’ve used the subway system in New York as much as any out-of-town visitor, enjoying the fact that I can get to so many places all over the city on the subway plus a little bit of walking. But I don’t give the system all that much thought beyond trying to get on the right time at the right time at the right place. But when you stop to think about what it is and what it does it is quite an amazing thing. Hidden away beneath the surface of the extraordinary busy city is an entire transportation system and only rarely comes to the surface, and then mostly as it leaves Manhattan or heads out into more distant areas.

On our recent visit to New York we managed to go visit the subway museum in Brooklyn. (Hard to avoid this, since it was literally walking distance from where we stayed this time.) The museum holds many things, but perhaps most intriguing is the collection of historic rolling stock, going way back to the beginning of the system. A visit got me to take the system a bit less for granted. We saw this car at the museum, but then again a few days later on one of the “nostalgia” train days, when the old trains run once again and subway fans turn out by the thousands. By framing this photograph so tightly and from a direct point if view, I hoped to “see” the train a bit more for what it is as a shape, and a bit of an odd one at that.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
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All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Funeral No Parking

Funeral No Parking
Street signs stored next to a funeral parlor doorway, New York City

Funeral No Parking. New York City. December 24. 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Street signs stored next to a funeral parlor doorway, New York City

I can state with certainty that this is the only time I have made night photographs of funeral homes in Manhattan on Christmas Eve. Go ahead! Prove me wrong! ;-)

So, how did this happen? As many street/urban photographs happen. I have a camera with me wherever I go, day and night, in places like this, and when I see something that catches my eye I make a photograph. We had started the evening by briefly joining the throng up on 5th Avenue where there are tons of holiday lights and displays. After leaving that madhouse we headed down toward Chinatown to find a place where we have had dinner a few times before — but we arrived to find that it had apparently become very popular since our last visit. We were told that the wait might be two hours. So we set out to find something less crowded nearly. We eventually found a nice quite Vietnamese restaurant but first we passed this side street with the doors and glowing windows of this funeral parlor.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
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All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

The Photographer, Queens Plaza

The Photographer, Queens Plaza
A photographer waits for subway train, Manhattan

The Photographer, Queens Plaza. Manhattan, New York. December 27, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A photographer waits for subway train, Manhattan

I actually was not stalking this photographer, though he ended up in more than one of my photographs from this morning, and it two subway stations. We had taken the holiday historic subway train uptown and were waiting in a station for another train, so I spent a little time photographing my surroundings and the very interesting people — a combination of the usual subway riders and a slightly different crowd that came out for this event.

Standing on the platform I kept my eyes open for anyone who “looked like a photo,” and this fellow, standing apart and not interacting much at all, caught my attention. When I saw him here the only thing that gave him away as a possible street photographer was the camera bag, but no camera came out of it. However, later, as I photographed out the train window as it stopped at another station, I made a photograph of several women lined up near a turnstile plus other assorted people arranged in the scene — and I realized later that the same fellow appeared in the shot, this time taking out his camera as he headed to the station exit.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
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All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Ben Is Watching

Ben Is Watching
A Brooklyn, New York wall

Ben Is Watching. December 21, 2015. Brooklyn, New York. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A Brooklyn, New York wall

I generally make it a rule to not photograph graffiti, though it is not quite a hard and fast rule. I almost never photograph a subject with someone’s vanity tag on it, and in a few cases when a larger subject as been compelling I have removed or defaced the tag in post. There are probably a range of reasons that one might write or scribble or draw on public and private property, ranging from a poor sense of social belonging to a desire to produce something like art — so the decision to show or not isn’t without context.

In this case, the wall seemed to be one that had become, likely by more or less popular agreement (or a concession?) a place where such public art is perhaps not only tolerated but also expected. While a simple tag doesn’t usually interest me, here there were layers of text and imagery that had been assembled over time and then modified by weather, wear, and perhaps later contributors. Eventually, the accidental juxtapositions seem to take on their own lives, as in this vignette featuring a worn dollar bill image of Benjamin Franklin, and oddly anthropomorphic red and white and green shape, bits and pieces of paint, and the underlying old brick wall. And, of course, this is all very temporary — and probably transformed or gone by now.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email


All media © Copyright G Dan Mitchell and others as indicated. Any use requires advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.