As photographers we always look out for the nice light and we praise the sun. It is the sun which shines through the trees and makes us happy with its golden color. We are astonished seeing it shining into dark alleys or caves or just between the skyscrapers which we hate so much because they block our view to the sky and to the sun. Patiently we wait for the sunrise and admire the sunset.
"The sun never new how wonderful it was," the architect Louis Kahn said, "until it fell on the wall of a building."
Recently I came across a very nice small book a dear photographer friend recommended to me: In praise of shadows by Jun'ichiro Tanizaki. Related to the japanese art of architecture and interior design Tanizaki leads us to admire the subtle and soft light coming through the matte paper of the japanese window but also shows us how beautiful and important darkness can be. And here is when we realize that light is most beautiful in relation with shadow.
After reading the book I went out and found the world way too bright. Suddenly I found myself in a cathedral listening to sound of silence and praising shadow. Light and darkness are just beautiful when found in balance!
Recently I came across this nice modern hub which connects many subway lines and subway stations.
Designed by Grimshaw Architects in collaboration with worldrenowned designer James Carpenter, who is known for his work with light and public space.
Here some impressions of the ceiling.
When you walk through the streets of New York you immediately notice the long and straight Avenues leading from South-West to North-East. And what strikes me most is that they often lead your eye to the far horizon. There is no other building blocking your view it just goes straight on and on. And the fact that there is always some space between the skyscrapers creates a beautiful play of sunlight passing through the cracks and empty spaces and reflecting on all the glass facades so you can lose your orientation and get confused by the wrong shadows on the street.
New York is beautiful in sunlight and black and white!
The City that never sleeps... Well... Yeah, ok.
Although coming from Hong Kong - the most light-polluted place in the world - where the night and day melts into each other so the nights are even brighter than the days I must admit that I found the nights in NY relatively dark. And I liked it. Seeing a skyline which gets dark when the sun goes down lit only with warm tungsten light the city looks like a real city to me and not like Disneyland! Unfortunately they want to exchange all the nice warm colored street lanterns with LED's! Gosh!!!
I was even more impressed with the City's architecture. I don't say that I don't like futuristic designed skyscrapers but I was impressed by the mix of architectural styles in the City! Beautiful Gothic revival churches next to impressive Art Deco skyscrapers or the Beaux-Arts Grand Interiors on one side and elegant brownstone rowhouses on the other connected with gigantic steel-wire bridges in Gothic style. You really get the impression of a well built and solid City!
I am really very fortunate to have this opportunity of staying in NYC for three months and enjoying this amazing lifestyle which is so reach in culture and art!
All this wouldn't be possible without the support and trust of my wife who let me do this long journey and I want to thank her for this! You are truly great and I couldn't be happier having you in my life! Thank you!!!
Without any further explanations here some of my impressions of NYC!
Feel free to leave comments.