It's 9:35pm and I'm sitting here, courtesy of the wonderful British Airways, in their lounge waiting for my flight home from JFK... there couldn't be a better time for a very cheeky upgrade! After a 5am sunrise mission and 30 thousand steps (that's 20km) carrying a 15k pack) the thought of a flat bed all the way back to London is too good for words. Apart from the wonderful feat of closing my eyes in one city and waking up in another, in such style, it suddenly dawns on me once again how incredibly fortunate I am to be able to travel and see the world with such relative ease. The departures board is mind-blowing when you think about it. Just in the next four hour window there are three British Airways flights from this very terminal flying to London. This is from one terminal, with one airline in one airport, on one route, the options surrounding New York alone are endless, it's absolutely crazy. Dangerously, this fires up my Carpe Diem attitude, travel, travel, travel is on the mind. There are so many photos to make out there....
New York city is undoubtedly my favourite city in the world, without question. Please take into consideration that London doesn't count; as a home-town, it is in a league of its own! The vibes, the skyline, the food, the hustle and all of the micro-cultures existing in such a compact space, create the most amazing energy. I was instantly inspired to shoot and explore everything and anything. Where to start?
Well, once I'd very quickly switched into New Yorker mode, and wrestled the public transport system in to shape, I found myself eyeing up the unmistakable Manhattan skyline on the horizon which. quite thankfully. is growing closer by the minute. A relief as, only half an hour previous, we'd been ushered in the direction of 'Jamaica', and it was 27 degrees Celsius ... in October. This proved slightly discerning in my travel daze, but I'm pleased to announce that Jamaica Centre is a transit stop, and the weather was just unseasonably warm. No palm trees or strawberry daiquiris in sight. Although the latter would not have gone amiss after the leg stretcher between Penn Station and our hotel at the other end - New York was steaming hot!
Locations were meticulously planned and plotted weeks ahead of this trip. Sunrises were to be shot from New Jersey on the west-side, and sunsets from various vantage points on the east-side; some old haunts around Brooklyn, and some uncharted territories in Queens. On paper the plan was on point, however, one must always take in to consideration the completely uncontrollable and dreaded... weather factor! We're not even fussy; we like clouds and storms and wind and rain. Anything, anything but the flat, grey, overcast combination. This photo is the perfect representation of the conditions that rendered us pretty useless in terms of chasing the light.
It all looks very bleak here. And, don't get me wrong there was a half an hour period, sitting in a hotel room swivelling around on a chair while tapping my finger over the weather app refresh button just one more time... to find it had gone from 80% to 90% rain probability... where it was looking a tad depressing. Even an attempt to walk 3 blocks resulted in us returning for a change of clothes after being soaked to the skin. Enter: refuelling, editing and training time... and all was well again in the world.
Thankfully, we have learned to never give up hope and were blessed later in the trip with some quite unexpected weather to provide us with three notable 'light seeker shoots'. Not too shabby for what was only a four day trip!
Sunset | DUMBO, BROOKLYN
Nightscape | Gantry Park Plaza, Queens
Sunrise | Jersey City, NJ
No photo trip is the same as another, and therefore hard to compare, but this one entirely lived up to expectations, despite the hefty physical challenge it provided, it has left me buzzing with so many ideas and inspirations for the future. Hopefully this will include many more travel adventures with my trusty photo companion... Peter. It takes a special kind of person to relentlessly check maps, moon phases, compasses, WiFi spots, subway lines and of course to keep up with my also relentless appetite - all for that one photo! It was all worth it :)
'I'm moving to New York'... not quite yet, but CBZ Photo NYC is not out of the question! Each time I visit this city I feel more at home, and it was a genuine tug on the heart-strings to have to leave, I was not feeling the love for a departure it has to be said. 'Goodbye New York, for now :('.
And one last word for our sponsor on this trip - NYC 2016 Powered by Starbucks Coffee! Apparently there are 220 Starbucks coffee shops located throughout Manhattan which roughly equated to 9 shops for every square mile; in truth it felt like there could have been double this. But basically they became home from home on the road; guaranteeing essential caffeine and WiFi hits!