Sunday, February 26, 2012

NYC - Cityscape

LC-A (Various film)

New York City, three small words, one big city. The NYC skyline is memorable, formidable & unforgettable. It seems at times, that each & every building was created entirely to inhabit the city, that it any of these buildings were plucked from NYC & transplanted into any other city in the world, that they would be out of place. They only have one true home.

We have all seen this skyline in numerous films & photographs, a heavy bridge of buildings skirted by the rivers and ultimately the the bay. There is a certain romance & stupor that this cityscape evokes, a feeling of home, of loneliness, of longing & fantasy.

NYC, an island of beauty & buildings; souls & hearts : financiers & artists.

x Mel

Sunday, February 19, 2012

NYC Guest Post: Liam White

Hasselblad 500 with Kodak Portra 160

"It was cold in NYC when I was there; cold and weakly sunny. Like Hobart, the city I called home for eight years, the wind cut right through me, carrying with it the promise of snow. I’d visited at the beginning of November; two days after visiting Philadephia, and a day after 24 hours in Washington DC that seemed to whir by. My time in the USA came at the tail end of a month in Mexico, where I’d gone on holiday by myself for the first time in my life, at 30 years of age.

The thing I was struck with about New York City, and still can’t get over, is its size. Never mind the scale of the States in general. US blocks bloat for hundreds of metres, yards are huge, pickups are limousine-length, and cities are purpose-built for auto-commuting.

But it was NYC, more than anywhere I visited in my short time stateside, that really messed with my sense of scale. Manhattan itself is bewilderingly huge, with hulking yet elegant offices, glittering department stores, teetering high-rises and the fading grandeur of city apartments stacked neatly row upon row, as far as I could see."

Central Park, NYC
Hasselblad 500 with Kodak Portra 160

"I stayed in Williamsburg, that of vegan restaurants, bagel bars, and expensive thrift stores, renting a lonely apartment just off Bedford Avenue. Each day as I got off the L train at Union Square I involuntarily looked up, trying not to gape openly at the scale of the city. I couldn’t help myself. New York made me feel like a kid again, trailing doggedly behind my parents, feeling ant-high. I walked block after block, past bagel sellers, kebab vans, stalled traffic, until my legs and back ached, and my hands had numbed from the cold. I took the lift to the Empire State Building's 86th floor. I met a friend on his last night in the city and went to a hockey game, drinking beer and crushing whole peanuts. I walked through Broadway, Central Park, the East Village, the Flatiron District, walked, walked, walked, Each day I would take the train home, open a beer, and distractedly watch English football highlights on cable before heading out for food. I was tired, a little mopey, and overwhelmed in a city I felt like I needed a month to understand. Four days weren't enough. I wanted more.

Although there was life everywhere, NYC seemed to me austere, reserved, contained, serious. More of a compartmentalised city, even more than the self-awareness of Washington DC and the artsy fun of Philly. I expected New Yorkers to be brash; instead, they were unfailingly polite. Even as they asked me what part of England I came from (Melbourne, Australia), they exuded warmth. It was almost disappointing. I wanted some ‘tude. I hadn’t even been called an asshole yet."

Spinner 360°

"On my way to JFK Airport to take my plane back to Australia, I left my apartment, key hanging inside the now-locked door, with a route mapped out to the airport. Easy. The thing that I didn’t count on, though, was the New York Marathon being on that day (who reads the newspaper on holiday?), and Bedford Avenue being closed to both car and pedestrian traffic. Shit.

I needed to get that train, and the only entrance to the subway was on the other side of the road. There were no gaps in the runners. Five, a dozen would pass at any one time. There was no chance of crossing without bumping into at least one marathon runner. Besides, the cops were right there. After fifteen minutes trying to plot alternate routes, and finding that every subway entrance within walking distance was on the other side of Bedford, I asked a cop how I could get to the subway. After cheerfully telling me I couldn't get there, and seeing the look on my face, I asked him if there was any way I could get to the beckoning subway entrance, not ten metres from the other side of the road.
“Just run across,” he said.
“Uh…,” I said, eyeing the unending stream of thousands of focused-looking runners coming towards me, with no gap in sight.
“Uh…, I’ve got my pack. I don’t think…”
“Sure ya can,” he grinned, and firmly shoved me out into the middle of the street, where I flailed my way across to the other side, pissed-off runners streaming either side of my turtle-like movements, my ridiculous backpack turned leaden shell.
“Aw, c’mawn!” came the cry from a sweating, frowning runner as she dodged my lumbering gait. I apologised, but smiled a little smile to myself as I went down the stairs to the subway. I’d gotten my ‘tude."

Liam White

Friday, February 17, 2012

NYC - The High Line

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Diana Mini using bulb setting (Lomography Chrome 100 X-Pro)

One place I marked as completely necessary to visit while in NYC was the High Line. I had read about it & was intrigued by the urban re-utilisation project & also the thrilling views from it's various platforms & overpasses.

The story behind the High line is a fascinating one. Here are are a few facts about the High Line:

It was built between 1929 and 1934.

It cost over $130 million in 1930 dollars, equating to more than $2 billion today.

In 1980 the last train runs on the High Line, pulling three carloads of frozen turkeys.

April 2006, construction begins on Section 1 (Gansevoort Street to 20th Street)

2008, Landscape Construction begins on Section 1, with construction and installation of pathways, access points, seating, lighting, and planting.

June 9, 2009, Section 1 (Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street) opens to the public.

June 8, 2011, Section 2 (West 20th Street to West 30th Street) opens to the public.

You can discover more about the High Line at

See how I painted the night on my Diana Mini with views from the High Line.

x Mel

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

NYC Guest Post: Fotodudenz

In the gift shop
“In the gift shop” Hasselblad Xpan & 30mm, Kodak BW400CN

"Hi, my name is Matthew, some people know me as Fotodudenz and two people know me as Wideboy. In September 2010 after years of deliberation I finally made it to New York, girlfriend, 3 film cameras and one digital camera (purely for the video) in tow. Mel has asked me to share a few images and write some words about my experiences.

My biggest fear about shooting film in the USA was how many X-ray machines my films would have to endure as you pass through the overly paranoid TSA at the airports. I visited New York on the 9th anniversary of 9/11 and they were extra paranoid. I just took a minimum amount of film with me and bought more when I arrived, you can’t go New York without visit to B&H!"

Canal Street Station
“Canal Street Station” Voigtlander Bessa L & 12mm, Kodak Ektar

"When you arrive you’ll probably be jet-lagged to all hell so make the most of it and get out there and shoot! The early morning light is amazing, when the sun comes up it peeks its way through the gaps between the buildings and make these amazing slithers, it also reflects back and forward off the windows and makes pockets of amazing soft light. It’s also well before most people in New York get up and you pretty much have the streets to yourself.

If you’re into shooting people New York is awesome, most of them seem to not give a fuck but use your common sense, oh and don’t worry, they’ll tell you if they don’t want to have their photo taken. I had a few conversations with people I took photos of, the most interesting was with the couple who are in “The Sunbather and the Ice Breaker”. I was taking a photo nearby and he yells out “So do you like photos?”, he showed me photos of Coney Island in the winter and there was snow on the beach! Surreal. I must go back in winter. She didn't give away too much about herself, she looked like she had spent a lot of time in the sun. We were there on September 11th and she told me that she hadn't been to Manhattan since 9/11."

The Sunbather and the Ice Breaker
"The Sunbather and the Ice Breaker" Hasselblad Xpan & 30mm, Kodak BW400CN

"What to see: The all of the obvious places like The Statue of Liberty, The Guggenheim, Central Park, The Empire State Building, The Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges and Grand Central Station. Don’t leave anything until the last minute, I got sick on the second last day of my trip and I didn’t get to see some stuff, oh well, I’ll just have to go back sometime. Check out Coney Island, it’s about an hour south from Manhattan in Brooklyn and if you’ve got heaps of time, Montauk, East of East Hampton."

“Tucker” Hasselblad Xpan & 30mm, Kodak Ektar (I think)

Matthew can be found at & on Flickr.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

NYC - City of Sky

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Diana Mini (Lomography Chrome 100 X-Pro & Kodak 400VC)

In a city filled high to the brim with skyscrapers, it was amazing to find that the sky makes a beautiful & stark emergence in New York. The unmovable landscape of crystal blue that peaks & flows like a river through the jungle of steel & concrete. Over central park, the sky hung like a horizontal picture frame, skirted by the canopy of trees, reflected in the spanse of crystal water.

This sky was a hot midsummer sky, the occasional cloud dotted here & there... when the smog would lift on those heat-filled days & the ozone would disperse. A cool blue of high sky would beckon the lights of the sleepless city to waken the night.

x Mel

Saturday, February 11, 2012

NYC Guest Post: Anna from Inside The Border

Polaroid Spectra SE with Image Film

"This photo taken when I was in New York in 2009,  of a Gray's Papaya hot dog store on the corner of 8th Ave and 37th street. The photo was taken with a Polaroid Spectra SE camera with Image film. (I think - I had recently gotten the camera with a half used film pack already inside it).

I think this photo sums up most what I love about the city because it is taken in the area near Penn station which at night seems to revert back to the type of NYC shown in the de Niro film "Taxi Driver' - new hopeful arrivals from the US, shady characters, preachers etc.

It's New York at its most exciting, scary, mind boggling best."

Anna G -

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

NYC - Subway Yellows & Reds

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LC-A (Lomography Slide X-Pro 200, Redscale XR 50-100 & Kodak BW400CN)

One of my favourite parts of New York City was the Subway.... & thanks to my LC-A (& her handy light meter) I managed to capture some of my favorite parts... including the rush of a train arriving & departing the station... the yellow green light of the platforms...  (& almost) the sticky humidity of the hot days of July.

I loved people watching on the Subway... such a different variety of people all on the same train carriage... the whole time I tried to not look like a tourist... a art student who is into analogue cameras - yes! Tourist - no!

Some days/nights I was dressed to the nines... other days/nights in jeans & a t-shirt... from 23st to Union Square... from Times Square to Astor Place... always with a camera ready.

Heart NYC, heart the Subway!

x Mel

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

milk&miel presents: New York City February!

View all the NYC February posts here!

This month to celebrate the fact I still have loads of photos from my trip to New York City last year, I am throwing the milk&miel doors open to all those analogue lovers of the big apple!

There will be guest posts from some of my favourite bloggers, lots of never-blogged-before photos from my analogue archives & generally a whole lot of love for the city that never sleeps.

If you want to get involved, then just send me your favourite analogue photo of NYC, with details about what camera & film you used, along with what you love the most about the city. 

New York is love. 

x Mel
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