July 6, 2010 – Bronx, NY : Yannel Rosario cools off in an open hydrant on Godwin Ter. near W. 230th st. on Tuesday afternoon.
As the mercury climbed into the triple digits on Tuesday, people retreated into air conditioned buildings, trying to stay cool. But those who remained outside opted to get wet.
The Van Cortlandt Pool was as crowded as i’d ever seen it and hydrants were open everywhere.
The scene above is pretty typical, iconic even, of NYC in the summer. But as one of our summer interns, Megan, pointed out, it’s also a tremendously wasteful exercise. And she is absolutely right. To that affect, the city DEP has kicked off a fire hydrant abuse prevention program (read more about it HERE). In short — if you see an open hydrant, or want to get wet without wasting a ton of resources, you can call your local fire department and ask them to install a sprinkler head on any hydrant in your area.
Technical info camera: Nikon D300s / iso: 200 / mode: M / 24mm / f-stop: 1.8 / exposure: 1/1600th
June 7, 2010 – Bronx, NY : Whether they’ve been abandoned, are runaways or were born without a home, stray cats inhabit the urban landscape. In Riverdale, a contingent of local residents have taken to caring for them by feeding them and fixing them to humanely control their populations. Above, a pair of stray cats on Knolls Crescent.
I spent a few consecutive evenings with our ueber talented photo intern, Conor Romero, working on a better living feature on stray cats.
We got some help from local activists who are involved in trap, neuter spay programs. They pointed us towards cat colonies and gave us information we could pass on to our readers.
We ended up running the piece as an extended feature over a page and a half. You can check out the article, written by Kate Pastor, here.
May 24, 2010 – Bronx, NY : Kevin Shelton-Smith, who turned 50 in March, is still running strong.
I worked with New York freelance writer Adam Wisnieski on the Press’ annual 50+ feature section in mid may. Adam had spoken to a number of members of the Van Cortlandt Track Club who were 50 or older. Among them was Kevin Shelton-Smith. As it turns out, Kevin doesn’t just enjoy to run, he does so competitively. The weekend before I took this photo, he had finished the Brooklyn half marathon in 1:09:57 (that’s 13.1 miles at a 6:02 minute pace). WOW! In addition, I discovered that Kevin runs home from where he works in midtown Manhattan (at the UN) a few times a week. THAT was the picture I wanted. In the end, after a half marathon on Saturday and a long cross country run with friends on Sunday, I ended up photographing Kevin on a slightly abbreviated 8-mile run he sometimes does from the No. 4 train to his house. Knowing there wasn’t a chance i’d be able to keep up with him on foot, I rode my bicycle from home to Mosholu Parkway and got in position to photograph him passing beneath I-87 in the park. I set myself up so I would catch him as he came out of the underpass and into the sunlight. I used a slow shutter speed and moved the camera with him to add some dynamism to the frame. You can check out the article here.
May 6, 2010 – Bronx, NY : Clip from a recent photo feature on Gaelic Football.
I saw my first Gaelic Football-esque match while living in Australia in 2003. The Aussies are quite into their AFL, which has many similarities to the Gaelic sport. The two countries clash occasionally in a hybridized version of the game called International Rules. I’m partial to the Australian version, with its bigger oval pitch and tall uprights, but I was still excited to discover that Riverdale’s Gaelic Field is home to a thriving New York Gaelic Football league… and on May 2 would host an international match against a team from Galway. The event was heavily attended, and a thrill to photograph. The photo layout below is the result. You can check out the entire piece at Riverdale Press online: HERE.
Riverdale's Gaelic Football - Featured in the Riverdale Press
May 13, 2010 – Bronx, NY : How good is the RKA golf team? So good they’re scaring away opponents. The 9-2 Tigers, who recently handed then-undefeated Bronx Science its first and only loss of the season, were left to their own devices on May 13 when Alfred E. Smith was a no-show. Seniors Andres Ball (pictured), Josh Burke, Brian Cook, Lois Kim and Boris Nesterchuk, accompanied by coach Jason Zulauf, took the opportunity to get in a bit of practice in Van Cortlandt.
I’d never photographed golf before, and had only been on a course a few times in my life, but I enjoyed following RKA’s high school golf team around seven holes in Van Cortlandt Park. The weather was perfect and the trees were flush with bright green foliage. I spotted Andres downrange and positioned myself so I could frame him between the limbs of a large tree–entirely surrounded by green.
May 10, 2010 – Bronx, NY : The Bronx Zoo welcomed three new Lion Cubs to their family this spring.
I took a trip out to the Bronx Zoo earlier this month to photograph their new lion cubs. I went early in the morning and got lucky — the cubs were pretty active, darting around their enclosure and playing with one another, and their parents.
May 6, 2010 – A ruprured underground water main was the latest in what has become a series of misfortunes to befall the residents of Coreal Avenue since construction began on 3050 Corlear Ave. A DEP worker uses a geophone, which is a device similar to a stethoscope, to listen for the sound of water underground.
Sometimes you just get lucky. I was down on Corlear Ave., to investigate a burst underground water main, when one of the DEP workers pulled what looked like a giant stethoscope out of the back of his truck. I used a shallow depth of field to isolate the worker as he used the device to listen for rushing water underground.
April 8, 2010 – Bronx, NY : Despite a late rally, the John F. Kennedy High School Knights fell by a final score of 4-2 to Morris Educational Campus on April 8. Kennedy’s Wilman Polanco, above, gets a facefull of dirt as he slides back into first base on a pick-off attempt.
JFK had a dreadful first outing of the season, going scoreless until the very end. But the game was a decent opportunity for me to warm up for the long baseball/softball/little league season. The Morris starter was pretty active trying to keep the Kennedy runners on base, so I spent some time concentrating on first, looking for a decent frame. I would have preferred to see Polanco’s face, but the spray of the dirt seemed to capture the moment, and sum up the game, pretty perfectly.
April 8, 2010 – Bronx, NY : Episcopal minister Diego Delgado Miller, who was born in the Dominican Republic, oversees the congregation at the Church of the Mediator in Kingsbridge where he and his parishioners have been assembling nonperishable goods to send to Haiti.
I met Episcopal Minister Diego Delgado at the church of the Mediator while I was working on a story with Press reporter Maria Clark. We were doing a feature on the church’s efforts to help Haitians in the aftermath of the Jan. 12th earthquake, and the difficulty the congregation was having in funding the transport of the aid supplies they had accumulated. Delgado met me at the door and, because I had arrived early, showed me around the massive stone structure. I explored the back of the church’s organ and went up the pitch black spiral stairs to the bell tower. In the nave were the hundreds of boxes of nonperishable goods, which the congregation intended to send to Haiti. Boxes and bottled water filled the pews in the back of the church, taking up the last nine rows on either side of the aisle. While I concentrated on the boxes for the article (you can read the full report and see the picture here), I was most pleased with the portrait I made of Delgado, standing below the Church’s apse, altar and brilliant stained glass windows.
March 25 & 29, 2010 – Bronx, NY : Cars cross the Henry Hudson Bridge at dusk on March 29 (left). A view of the bridge from below, on March 25 (right). The $86.5 million renovation project, which has been going on for over four years, is slated to be completed this summer.
We were running a story on the re-opening of the Henry Hudson bridge–a structure which has appeared in the Press countless times–and I wanted to produce an image that would stand out; something that would show the span in the urban landscape. I began by scouting locations from which to shoot. I drove into Inwood to check out the view from the south, I walked around Spuyten Duyvil in the Bronx and I knocked on doors and spoke with superintendents and management companies about gaining roof access. Three apartment buildings, two roofs and six days later, I had these two images. The image on the right was taken on the train platform at the Spuyten Duyvil station, well after sunset on the 25th. The bizarre orange and pink glow is the city lights illuminating the heavy cloud cover. The image on the left was taken in the rain on Monday the 29th just after sunset from the roof of a building in Spuyten Duyvil. I dialed my white balance to tungsten and used a long exposure to turn the car headlights into long streaks, disappearing into the distance.
March 25, 2010 – A Van Cortlandt Forest Restoration Crew works to disassemble a fallen tree near Van Cortlandt Park West and Mosholu Ave.
While most of the trees which had fallen in urban areas were cleared in less than a week following the mid-March storm, stretches of parkland were still littered with fallen poplars, oaks and willows. Enter the Van Cortlandt Forest Restoration Crew. The crew, which spends most of its time doing invasive species control in the massive expanse that is Van Cortlandt Park, had been working long days since the storm. They were making their way across the park, clearing and disassembling trees in heavily trafficed areas–trees which had fallen across paths, or were deemed unsafe. I caught up with the team near Mosholu Avenue, where they were making logs from a large deciduous tree that sat precariously beside the heavily traveled stretch near the Van Cortlandt Stables. The speed at which they worked, and their attention to detail, was pretty incredible.
March 22, 2010 – Bronx, NY : Erick Ramirez prepares a hot dog at Liebman’s Deli on Monday evening.
I had fun shooting a feature on Riverdale’s two remaining Jewish Delis for our Better Living section (check it out HERE online). The two Delis, Liebman’s and Loeser’s are polar opposites, but they’re both family-owned joints that serve up some seriously good food.