And here’s one of my favorite videos of all time… the highlights from our USA Photowalk Tour!
Daily Photo – New York Photowalk across the Brooklyn Bridge
This was an amazing start to our USA Tour! What better place to start than NYC and on the Brooklyn Bridge? It was great to see so many people out there. We actually got into a little bit of trouble when crossing the bridge because we had such a big crowd that we shut down a lot of the biking! We didn’t think of that ahead of time… Just one more in a long series of mistakes!
Daily Photo – New York Skyline from the Upper West Side
I don’t think most people would recognize this as New York City. I know the city pretty well and I never would have guessed it in at least my first ten tries. I think the thing that makes it unique is those three really tall thin buildings that are relatively new. They stand out so far above the skyline and it throws you off a bit. If you squint a little, you can see the Empire State Building in the far distance.
Daily Photo – Train Station at Freedom Tower, New York
I had not been down to the World Trade Center area for at least a decade, so it was surprising to see how much had been built up in the area. I thought there would be a few new things, but I didn’t expect the extent of the new construction. This was one of the coolest areas that served as an entrance to the subway system.
Here’s a photo I recently re-worked for a show I was invited to. It’s one of my favorite images from New York and I went in to give it more of a “film” look. I tried about five different cross-processing techniques until I finally landed on this one.
I don’t often go visit museums in cities, because I’m usually too busy taking photos in said cities. However, I did go spend a few hours in the Met in New York to see their collection of Impressionist paintings. There is one wing that has a collection of Renoirs that is breathtaking. I had some music flowing into my ears as I roamed around to take them in. Memory us a tricky thing, but I have a perfect memory of most of my moments there.
This is one of my very first HDR photos that became quite popular. I recently re-did it for a parallel-universe version. This one has more of a film-look. I’m not saying it’s better or worse, just different. I actually didn’t go back to all the original RAW files but instead did a re-edit of the final rendered photo from before.
Daily Photo – Film View of The High Line in New York City
I recently re-worked a few of my older photos for an exhibition. There was to be a bit of a “film” feel, so I went back and used various cross-processing techniques for the shots. This is a process where you push the whites into one color space and the blacks into another. Every scene is completely different, so I may start with a preset but then push it into another direction.
Here’s a new interpretation of my recent photo from New York City. I was invited to do a proposal for Vanity Fair for the Oscars and this was one of the submissions. I’m writing this blog post waaaay ahead of time, so I suppose we’ll see if this one gets selected! 🙂
I was trying to be the last one in The Vessel to get some of these cool dusk shots after the sun set. I like to do this one simple trick where you simply put the camera on the ground (with a wide-angle lens) and shoot straight up in the air with a timer on. I wanted to set it right where that guy was standing… so, while I was waiting for him to move, I decided to take a photo!
The FedEx website for Passport Renewal is incredibly deceptive. It APPEARS Fedex does everything for the prices in the photo below BUT:
1) All FedEx does is forward you to a third party where you fill out forms
2) I have to print out everything myself (I would expect my packet to be ready and waiting at FedEx)
3) That $349 does not include the actual cost of the renewal, which is about another $200. I saw that after filling out all the forms on a third party site and was wondering, correctly, “hmmm, well is that included in the $249 I already paid?
4) This third-party site has not gotten back to me in 2 days… either via email (immediately after filling out the forms) or phone. I’ve sent one email and left two phone messages.
5) All FedEx provides is an ENVELOPE. Oh, and Passport photos, which you have to pay extra for.
It’s this kind of stuff that makes me not trust big US businesses. Super shady, FedEx. Now that I have been able to unravel everything and figure out what is going on, it’s too late for me to renew my passport before I go back to New Zealand.
As a customer, when I go to FedEx to use their Passport Renewal service, I expect:
1) FedEx to prepare the entire package for me, including:
2) To pay once. They can sort out splitting that into a cashier’s check for the government.
3) To fill out everything online without signing into a third party website (they use GovWorks).
4) After I fill everything out, they print it out at branch where I will show up with my Passport for renewal.
5) I walk in, hand them my Passport (and if I need Passport photos, they were included in the price), and they pop it in an envelope and say thank you.
I mean, right?
Last, it’s totally unclear who I ask for a refund. FedEx apparently forwarded most of my money to this third party, and they kept the money for the envelopes. Oh man…
I called up and I ended up talking to a lady at “Passport Center.” I said, “Wait, is this FedEx?”
She said, “No, this is Passport Center.”
I said, “What is that? Is this the government?”
She said, “No, is there a problem with your passport sir?”
I was very confused and said, “Wait, you say this is ‘Passport Center’, but I started at the FedEx website, which forwarded me to a website called ‘GovWorks.com’, and then I got an email receipt from ‘RushMyPassport’ – what the heck is going on over there?”
She said, “It’s all very simple. We’re a sister company with FedEx.”
I said, somewhat exasperated, “Are you all sister companies? Oh never mind, I don’t actually care. Anyway, it’s taken you, or one of your sister companies, over 2 days to get back to me. I don’t think I can make my flight anymore, so I need a refund.”
She asked, “Where are you going?”
I said, dumbfounded, “Why does THAT matter? Let’s say the MOON via North Korea.”
Finally, I rushed through this pedantic conversation and she said she would send me another form to fill out for a refund. I was like, omg. I said, maybe you should tell one of your four sister companies to change its name to KindaRushMyPassport.com.
Also, look at how there is a timer up there on the top right to pressure you to buy, as if they are really limited on reservations like a hotel that is running out of rooms. Sketchy, Fedex, really sketchy.
Daily Photo – Closing Time at The Vessel
This was my last day in New York, so I was trying to be the absolute last person to leave The Vessel. It was such an amazing structure that I tried to squeeze every last photo out of that place, I tried a bunch of different lenses, but a place like this is really screaming for a super wide-angle lens. I almost wish I had my fish-eye with me… oh well… I’ll have to go back! 🙂