Lion of the Blogosphere

The man’s thinking camera

An accidental photo

An accidental photo

My camera took this photo by itself while I was putting it away and about to put the lens cap back on. I heard the shutter go off. Why did the camera do that? Did it have a mind of its own? But then I realized that the touch screen was set to automatically take a picture when touched. Mystery solved. So I turned off that feature to prevent this from happening again, and then I put the camera back in my pocket. I assumed there’d be a blurry picture of the sidewalk or something. But then, I looked through the photos, and surprise! What’s this?

So I learned some sort of lesson in creativity. As well as a retort to people who say that it’s not the gear that takes the pictures, it’s the person using it. Well actually, this photo is 100% the gear.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 31, 2013 at 9:49 PM

Posted in Photography

27 Responses

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  1. Pshaw. Your other pictures are much better. That big metal thing in the foreground is a sin.


    January 31, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    • Well yeah, if I were framing the photo myself, I would have avoided that metal thing, but the camera was more creative than me.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 31, 2013 at 11:10 PM

  2. this picture should win some sort of award


    January 31, 2013 at 10:26 PM

  3. I was looking for One57, but a mindless camera would not find another shot of your favorite building on its own.

    Blog Raju

    January 31, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    • But you can see One Worldwide Plaza, home to Cravath Swaine & Moore, the most prestigious law firm.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 31, 2013 at 11:15 PM

      • Yes, I see the building designed by prestigious architects Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. I never heard of Cravath Swaine & Moore, but I don’t pay attention to the world of law firms. I have a low opinion of the “profession” of law. I admire architects.

        Blog Raju

        February 1, 2013 at 10:48 AM

  4. Wow, it actually looks like the composition was carefully chosen.


    January 31, 2013 at 10:53 PM

  5. You were on West 34th Street between 9th and 10th avenues. The main clues are Worldwide Plaza in the background, and especially the gray wall in the foreground. That type of wall is used where the Lincoln Tunnel exit ramps pass under the streets.



    January 31, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    • Thanks for the information. It saved me the time of looking at every Subway store in Manhattan using Google Map street view.


      February 2, 2013 at 5:10 AM

  6. That is a great impromptu shot, and the light pole adds to its ad hoc character–especially since it’s not blocking the view.


    January 31, 2013 at 11:42 PM

  7. maybe you can use your photography to try to pick up girls, shouldn’t be to hard for a smart guy like yourself.


    January 31, 2013 at 11:50 PM

  8. Those window A/Cs are an eyesore. What a way to uglify and already ugly building, to block part of the view of the window and to block some air from circulating.


    February 1, 2013 at 4:47 AM

    • Very Wabi Sabi Lion san. The photo is an example of the beauty of ugly.


      February 1, 2013 at 6:40 AM

    • But sure beats NOT having an AC.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 1, 2013 at 7:11 AM

      • Just use some strategically placed pre-WWII fans fans around the apartment, and you’ll be able to weather the heatwaves during the summer without having to resort to electricity sucking behemoths.


        February 2, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    • Window air conditioners in expensive apartment buildings are an only-in-New York sort of thing. Everywhere else, there would be central AC, but that concept doesn’t seem to exist in New York.

      Note: the cheaply built townhouse apartments that pop up in lower-quality sections of the outer boroughs are known as “Fedders Specials,” after the brand name prominently emblazoned on the AC sleeves.



      February 1, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      • Co-op City in the Bronx (where I lived for four years), has central AC in all 25 high-rise towers.


        February 1, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      • That’s not an expensive apartment building. Most probably it’s a public housing project with low income racial minorities, or it’s a gov’t subsidized rental, which is the same thing. Notice the small windows and the ugly institutional look, typical of most housing projects or affordable housing units in NYC, which were built during the pre-Giuiliani days.

        To live into one of those units isn’t a bad deal, especially in Manhattan, given the fact that a small box – walk up apartment in the East Village will cost you more than 2K per month in rent. These units are at least 1500 square ft with a rental price of 1K or under.

        Just Speculating

        February 1, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      • It’s not a housing project, it’s just an old apartment building that USED to be in an undesirable area and thus originally intended for working-class residents (think Ralph Kramden), but today everything in Manhattan below 96th St is desirable.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 1, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      • So this building is not far off from a housing project. In fact, if you read the history of NYC, the city gov’t did build many affordable housing complexes for working class Whites, which were NOT all that different from the buildings built for low income racial minorities. They all look very similar from the exterior, usually with small windows and that unattractive institutional look.

        Just Speculating

        February 1, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    • There’s a one-bedroom apartment for rent in the building (455 West 34th) for $2,300 a month. A studio was recently on the market for $1,950 but the listing seems to have lapsed.



      February 1, 2013 at 9:57 PM

      • Wow Peter! You really shocked with me with those rental prices. I for one thought the building was made up of either rent controlled or rent stabilized tenants. This could have been a thing of the past, and I won’t be surprised if some of the holdover residents in that building are paying next to nothing to stay there. I won’t pay a penny to live in one of them. Those apartments with low cavernous ceilings and small windows aren’t my thing.

        Do you know of these housing projects by Lincoln Center in UWS? If only the city can relocate the undesirables and decide to turn them into affordable units for working and middle class folks, then rentals wouldn’t be so expensive in NYC.

        I don’t think it would be so bad, if upgrades could be made and the middle class would live in them. Look what they’ve done to the Stuyvesant Town units, by making them into private luxury rentals.

        Just Speculating

        February 2, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      • There are rent controlled/stabilized tenants in all old NY buildings, but they don’t get advertised. The market rates quoted by Peter sound normal. A one-bedroom apartment in a nicer building in a nicer neighborhood is more like $4000/month.

        And Stuyvesant Town was never a housing project, it was a regular apartment building complex built for middle class tenants because those were the kind of people who would want to live in that neighborhood back when it was originally built.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 2, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      • Stuyvesant Town was formely a housing project, but it wasn’t the public domain type that you see throughout NYC. It had somewhat of a controversial private-public ownership. Before the apartments went market rate almost a decade ago, the landlord could barred racial minorities from being tenants, and get tax abatements from the gov’t at the same time, thus making them rent stabilized complexes not too far off from other subsidized housing. There are still many rent stabilized units still in existence, where the old tenants are paying 25% of the current market rate. I have a friend who pays $750/month for a 1br.

        Just Speculating

        February 2, 2013 at 11:57 AM

  9. Why is the building falling over?


    February 1, 2013 at 6:30 AM

  10. Lion, I am fascinated by the tiny number of one story buildings remaining in Manhattan. That might be a nice photo series. For example there is a one story grocery store near NYU, parking lot too, that seems really out of place. Some of the others seem to be places that can’t be raised and replaced with taller buildings because of zoning changes.


    February 2, 2013 at 5:19 PM

  11. Manhattanites,
    Long deprived of housepets
    Often beam with true pride
    at their coffee table books
    and pet cameras

    ’tis apropos, for I am drinking a Manhattan (several) ha


    February 2, 2013 at 7:14 PM

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