New York City

First Friday!  One Photo Focus and More!

This year is really speeding by; I can’t believe it’s already May.  I’ve just returned from a short trip to New York City and it’s also time for Stacy Fischer’s monthly OnePhoto Focus Event, so this post will be serving double duty.

In the case of NYC, I managed to squeeze in brief visits to three of the city parks in between some other business.

NYC D-16-04-30-5620_22- RAW Pano

The Pond, Central Park, Early Morning

NYC D-16-04-30-5666_68-RAW Pano

William Seward Monument, Madison Square Park, Early Afternoon

William Seward, a New York native, was Secretary of State under President Abraham Lincoln, but is probably best known for his role in the purchase of Alaska, originally described by his critics as “Seward’s Folly.”

NYC D-16-04-30-5766_74Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain, Bryant Park at Twilight

Josephine Shaw Lowell lived most of her life in New York City where she founded a number of progressive reform organizations during the 19th century including the still operating National Consumers League. Her husband, a Union soldier, was killed one year after their marriage and one month before the birth of her daughter. She never remarried. The fountain, installed 8 years after her death, is said to be New York City’s first major memorial dedicated to a woman.

NYC D-16-04-30-5784_901 RAW Pano

Bryant Park at Night

Bryant Park, located between 5th- 6th Avenues and 40th-42nd Streets, has had an interesting historyover the past 240 years. Retreating American rebel forces under Geaorge Washington passed through this area in 1776 as they fled the British in the Battle of Long Island. In the mid-1800s, it was the site of a massive resevoir, part of a city water distribution system considered one of the great engineering feats of the 19th century. Shortly afterwards, the city’s first major tourist event, the Crystal Palace Exhibition was inagurated next to the resevoir and attracted over 1 million visitors. During the Civil War it was an encampment for Union troops.  A few decades later, the space took on its current name to honor William Cullen Bryant, who was the longtime editor of the New York Evening Post, a civic reformer, and romantic poet.  A major redesign in the 1930s created the space as we see it today.  A detailed history on the park can be found here.

OnePhoto Focus


This month’s image was a lot of fun to work with, many thanks to Julie Powell for providing it.  As a reminder, the 1PF Challenge is sponsored by Stacy Fischer of Visual Venturing and anyone can participate.  Details can be found at  Visual Venturing .

As usual, I first opened the RAW file in Adobe Camera Raw and followed a standard workflow (Setting black and white points, etc.) before opening the file in Photoshop.  The starting point is shown in the image below.

Robin Kent January One Photo Focus Original

Original Image, after Adobe Camera Raw Adjustments

At this point, I thought a late night sci-fi interpretation might be interesting, so I experimented with the Filter Gallery for a few minutes and settled on the following steps:

A duplicate image of the Background Layer was created and I then applied the “Glowing Edges” filter to the Background copy layer (Filter–>Filter Gallery–>Stylize–>Glowing Edges).  The settings were Edge Width=2; Edge Brightness=17; Smoothness=8.  The layer’s opacity was reduced to 61% to allow a certain amount of the original scene to soften the dramatic effect of the filter tool.   I then created yet another copy of the Background Layer and then applied the Trace Contour effect (Filter–>Stylize–>Trace Contour).  The Level was set at 89 and the Edge was set at “Upper.”  The opacity of this layer was set at 13% to give the filter just a slight effect on the image.  The final image is shown below.

Robin Kent 2016 05 One Photo Focus Final

Final Image

Thanks again to Julie Powel for supplying us this image and thanks again to Stacy for managing this monthly event.  It is always great to see what others have done with the same image, so check them out at OnePhoto Focus May 2016.  In the meantime,

Keep Shooting…..

31 thoughts on “New York City

  1. What wonderful shots of my favorite city! Thanks for letting me enjoy it through your wonderful lens! And the history of Bryant Park was fascinating – I’ll forever see and experience it differently. Last, but not least, thanks always for submitting to 1PF – I think I m finally beginning to get the hang of layers, and it’s due in no small part to you and others who walk through the process!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Stacy. I’m glad you liked the NYC images and also the background information. There are a few more stories about the location that I hope to relate in some future post. One of them may even surprise people who live around there.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Cee. I appreciate your comments. I’ve been having a good time going through the amazing submissions by the One Photo Focus group. Haven’t commented on yours yet, but I did see it and I like it a lot.


      • You’re welcome Robin. I can’t wait to go to NY in July. We are going to see the SF Giants play the Stankees. I mean the Yankees. 😉 Although we will only be seeing very few sites but a few. I need to get a 16-35mm lens for that sony! And thanks about the heart. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Now that’s a new term for the Yankees, at least for me. Cute! Anyway, it can get hot there in July, so be ready for that. Are you guys staying in Manhattan? Good opportunity for pano (photomerge) shots, I bet;-)


    • Thanks so much. I’m glad you liked them. Central Park in the early morniing on a Saturday (7-8 AM-ish) is quite different than it is 90 minutes later. Much less crowded except for dogs and their owners (off-leash is allowed 6-9 AM daily) and peddlers setting up their displays.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful photos of NYC. NYC is still on my to do list. I’ve been to NY but we didn’t make it to NYC. I like your interpretation of the 1PF & I appreciate your detailed explanation of your process. I haven’t used Adobe Raw before and I’m out of practice using Photo Shop. I need to try your process just for practice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks very much, I’m glad you liked them. Sure hope you get to NYC soon, and I’m sure Stacy Fischer would second that;-) Yes, Adobe RAW has a lot of power with RAW files, just playing with the sliders can get one started.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks, Denise. I’m finding that it is possible to take decent night images in a high energy urban environment such as New York City where there are many high riseoffice buildings that leave their lights on. Here in Washington, DC, one usually has to stop shooting at the end of civil twilight, about 30 minutes after sunset.


    • Thanks very much for visiting my blog and for the nice comments. I agree that reflections can be an important element in a photograph. Sometimes I’ll go out right after a rain shower to see if I can find something special.


    • Thanks very much for visiting and for the comments. NYC is a pretty big place so I imagine it’s hard to see it all no matter how long you live there. Glad you liked the pictures.


  4. Wow, you’ve captured the parks really nicely and that last edited photo is great too, these style of edits are not easy to make look good, they’re normally over edited / processed, but you’ve done a good job!


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