View of the Drew | Andrew Halpern Photography




1/320sec / F5.6 /iso 160/ 194mm




1/100″ F6.3 18mm (29mm equiv)

Manhattan Bridge

Yeah, it’s sick how people can deface bridges. There’s a pretty big difference between the way the Manhattan Bridge is taken care of, and that of the Brooklyn Bridge. There isn’t much to discuss with this shot, except for the fact I wish I had a wider lens. So, I’ll take the time to discuss how “crop factors” affect your photography.

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Lovely Skies


1/200″ / F8 / iso100/  18mm (29mm equiv)

Manhattan Bridge

Camera lens filters used to be incredibly important before digital photography. Nowadays, this isn’t the case. Software filters and post-processing can often substitute for lens filters and they are much more precise. However, even in the land of digital photography, some lens filters cannot be duplicated in post-processing.

The most important lens filter you can buy is a known as a Circular Polarizer. A circular polarizer will make skies deep blue, clouds pop out, eliminate unwanted reflections, and enhance colors. The filter is adjustable so that you can twist it and dial in the exact effect you want.

A polarizer is most useful when the sun is very strong. If it’s a day for wearing sunglasses or sunscreen, it’s probably a day to use a polarizer. Rainbows can also be enhanced by shooting them with a polarizer.

If you have lenses that use different filter sizes, one way to save money is to buy one circular polarizer made for the largest filter size lens you own. For example, if you have two lenses, one that takes 77mm filters and one that takes 58mm filters, you would buy one polarizer that is 77mm. Then you can use an inexpensive adapter known as a “step up ring” to fit the larger filter onto the smaller lens.

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Dynamic Range


1/200″ / F6.3/ iso100 / 55mm (88mm equiv)

Manhattan View from Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass

Dynamic range sounds like something complicated. It isn’t. Basically, it refers to the ratio of light intensities the camera is able to capture. The human eye is usually quite adept at rapid adjustments and the brain puts the image together. We “see” the scene in all its glory, from the brightest bits to the darkest details in the shadows.

The camera isn’t as clever. You’ll often find the dynamic range of a scene exceeds your camera’s ability to capture it. You’ll try to shoot a particular scene and straight of the camera, either the shadows will be too dark, or the highlights will be blown out.

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My Bridge Tippeth Over


1/125″ /F7.1 / iso100 / 18mm

Lovely architecture, but why is it falling over?

There’s a problem you will often see when you’re shooting buildings or bridges. Everything looks fine through the viewfinder and in person, but after you take the shot, you’ll notice that the building looks like it’s tipping over. This is known as the Keystone Effect. No, this has nothing to do with the controversial pipeline that might run through Canada.

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Grand Central at Night

1/30" F3.5 iso640 18mm

1/30″ / F3.5 /iso640 /18mm (29mm equiv)

Night photography, it’s difficult. There are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, use a tripod when possible. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. You might not have a tripod with you, or sometimes you do, but there is not enough room to set it up. With this shot, I simply did not have enough room to set up a tripod, my back was against the wall of another building.

Without a tripod, you’ll need to use a higher ISO, or a wider aperture or a combination of the two. If your lens or camera has image stabilization, make sure that’s turned on. Keep in mind, with higher iso, you’ll get greater noise and less detail, and with a wider aperture, the depth of field might not be deep enough. Those are trade-offs you might have to make. Post-processing can help lessen the effects of camera noise, but it isn’t a miracle worker.

This is why a tripod allows you more freedom with night photography with better quality. With a tripod, camera shake becomes a non-issue. Therefore, you’re free to pick and choose a low clear grain-free ISO and stop down your aperture to deepen your depth of field. I like using aperture-priority mode in this case. Take note of your shutter-speed and remember its effect on moving objects in your shot.

Happy shooting and take care of yourself when shooting at night.

Eek, Spider!

1/40s . f/3.5 . ISO 320 . 18 mm

Crawling all over UWS brownstones.

It’s important to look up when you’re walking around. Otherwise you could end up missing a nice Halloween scene. Happy Halloween everyone!

Yorkville Oktoberfest 2011

1/80s . f/5.6 . ISO 1000 . 55 mm

Our neighborhood has an annual mini- ‘Oktoberfest’ to celebrate it’s (waning) German heritage. As you can see, the band members are a bit ancient, but they are still going strong.

Yorkville used to have tons of Germans with beer gardens, and East 86th street used to be called German Broadway.

Unfortunately, the German influence in the area has nearly vanished with only a few remaining vestiges. One is Schaller & Weber German Delicatessen, whose banner you can see in the upper right of the first photo. The other is Heidelberg Restaurant which is pretty much next door to Schaller. Finally there is Zion-St. Mark’s Church (last photo) which still holds bilingual services in German and English.

The church used to be downtown in an area called Klein-Deutschland (Little Germany). Most of the German community ended up moving uptown to Yorkville after the church chartered a steamship (the General Slocum) that exploded and killed 1000 parishioners and children.

1/400 . f/4.5 . ISO 3200 . 32 mm

1/320 . f/5.6 . ISO 3200 . 55 mm

These kids weren’t too keen on the music.  I thought it was good though

1/125 . f/7.1 . ISO 100 . 55 mm

Selective Color in Lightroom

1/800 . f/5.6 . ISO 160 . 55 mm

Here’s another of the Roosevelt Island Tram. I thought it’d be cool to put everything in the shot in black and white and just leave the tram a nice bright red.  It looks nice right?

Normally, something like this calls for Photoshop, but believe it or not, it is actually not so hard to do in Lightroom.

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Romeo + Juliet

romeo and juliet

1/125 . f/5.6 . ISO 800 . 60 mm

This shot is of a Romeo and Juliet sculpture in Central Park near the Delecorte Theatre. The theatre shows free Shakespeare plays in the summer. I thought looked particularly nice in black and white.

The vignetting effect on this shot was done using the Post-Crop vignetting panel in lightroom. There are actually two areas that control vignetting in lightroom. The first is under Lens Corrections. This area is more designed to correct for natural vignetting that occurs from lens imperfections. This type of imperfection will of course only show on the corners of your shot, and will disappear if you crop off the corners. Therefore, if you crop your shot, these lens correction vignetting adjustments will not “travel” with your crop.

Because people started using vignetting as an artistic effect, Adobe added the Post-Crop Vignetting panel under Effects. Like the name says, the vignetting here will be maintained on any crop of your photo. There are various styles of vignetting that you can do here and you can experiment with them yourself.

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

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