Photographing New York City from Above with @wrongrob
To view more photos and videos from a bird’s-eye perspective of New York, follow @wrongrob on Instagram
Rob Masao McCarthy (@wrongrob) is a father of three in Brooklyn, New York. Outside of his day job as a freelance digital media consultant and photographer, Rob gets his thrills scaling New York City’s tallest bridges, trams, roofs and skyscrapers to shoot the city from above.
"I first developed an interest in photography shooting street portraits of the people of New York City. Then I realized that I was really interested in the city itself as a subject," he says. "I discovered that the higher up and further away I got, the more the immense city was reduced to shapes, lines and angles. There is a peace and universality in that geometry that I really like. Somehow it makes the city more human."
Want to refine the compositions of your cityscapes? Here are Rob’s tips:
- Pay attention to depth of field in your frame. Try to include a distinct foreground, middle ground and background, which helps create a sense of scale and distance. A mix of different building heights helps too.
- Look for an interesting street angle within the buildings that will draw your viewers into the photo. Avoid shooting straight in front of you and placing the primary subject in the middle of the frame.
- To add atmosphere and mood to cityscape shots, shoot on cloudy or rainy days. Hard, bright light is not your friend!
- I am always safe and law-abiding, of course, but if you’re trying to get to a building’s upper levels, skip the elevator and look for the stairs. You’ll be surprised where you end up.
#HowIShoot: Photographing Reflections on Water with @mattglastonbury
How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about their photo and video-taking processes. This week, Tasmanian Instagrammer @mattglastonbury shares his tips for taking water reflection shots.
As well as being one of the most prolific InstaMeet organizers on the planet, Tasmanian Instagrammer Matt Glastonbury (@mattglastonbury) is a master of photographing reflections on water. One of Matt’s favorite subjects to shoot with his Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone are the reflections on the surface of the River Derwent near his home, which he catalogs with the #liquidography hashtag. “We have a clear view of the sunset, Mount Wellington and the river from our lounge room window, so when there is a colorful sundown, we usually head down and find some calm waters to shoot from.”
To learn more about how to shoot a great water reflection photo like Matt, read his tips below:
Camera: Nokia Lumia 1020
- Tap the screen to lock the focus on the brightest part of your scene so you don’t over-expose the sky.
- Use a waterproof case and turn your device upside-down to get the lens as close to the surface as possible
- Mind the weather. Calmer days make for the best reflections and sunrise or sunset make for the most colorful scenes.
- Use rapid-fire (burst mode) if your handset supports it, then pick out your favorites.
For even more tips on how to shoot with the Nokia Lumia 1020, check out these tutorials.
Tokyo Skytree from @naomi0326’s Balcony
When Tokyo Instagrammer Naomi Nakazaki (@naomi0326) moved into her new apartment, she not only gained a new place to live, but also a fantastic view of the Tokyo Skytree right outside her balcony. It was not long before Naomi began to direct her passion for photography to the new landmark tower, taking snapshots of the Skytree at different times of the day to create a dynamic series. “I would try to wake up before dawn every morning and take pictures at daybreak,” she says. “I feel sleep deprived all of the time because of this.”
Naomi also likes the view at night when the Tokyo Skytree is lit up, but her favorite moment is when the lights go out every night at 11PM. “I like the softness and airiness of that moment,” she explains.
Want to capture a favorite landmark in your hometown? Here are some tips from Naomi:
- Look out for the changes in the sky. One cloud can completely change the expression of the scene.
- For something big like the Tokyo Skytree, try to capture the scene so that it looks high and wide within the square frame.
- Aim for the perfect angle—when taking pictures on your phone, the slightest angle can hugely affect the colors you can capture.
Halloween Inspiration from Makeup Artists on Instagram
Happy Halloween! Today, Many Instagrammers from around the world will be sharing photos and videos from the spookiest day of the year. If you want to take your costume to the next level, check out these great makeup artists on Instagram for inspiration:
Soaring the Skies with Wingsuits on Instagram
For a group of brave souls who’ve dreamt of soaring through the air, wingsuits have turned that dream into a reality. Wingsuit flying uses a special jumpsuit—called a birdman suit, flying squirrel suit or bat suit—that has fabric stretched between the legs and under the arms to create lift, allowing the wearer to fly.
The first known wingsuit was used by Rex G. Finney, a 19-year-old from Los Angeles, California, in 1930. Early wingsuits were made of materials such as canvas, wood, silk, steel and even whale bone, and were not very reliable. In 1999, the first commercial wingsuit was made available to the general public and the sport took off. A number of enthusiasts have taken to Instagram to share photos and videos from their flights. Want to go along for the ride? Follow these flyers on Instagram:
The 2013 Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
For more photos and videos from the event, check out the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze location page. Be sure to explore the #jackolantern hashtag in the coming week to see Halloween pumpkin carvings from around the world.
Set against the rolling mountains and winding waterways of the Hudson River Valley, the 2013 Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze has come to upstate New York, USA. The 25-night-long Halloween event features over 5,000 hand-carved, illuminated pumpkins arranged into sea monsters, spider webs, dinosaurs and a particularly photogenic tunnel where visitors can gaze at the jack o’lanterns suspended above them.
Although only associated with Halloween as we know it today since the late 1800s, the tradition of gourd carving dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries in rural Ireland and England. People created jack o’lanterns for the old holidays of Samhain and All Souls’ Night when spirits were thought to be the most active. Grotesque faces carved into the objects were meant to frighten away any ghouls seeking to do harm.
La Tomatina Food Fight in Spain
Earlier today, the small town of Buñol near Valencia, Spain, hosted its annual Tomatina festival. Thousands of participants flooded the streets to throw more than 100 metric tons (220,450 pounds) of overripe tomatoes at each other. Because the event has become so popular, this year the town of Buñol introduced a limit to the number of participants and charged an entry fee. The event dates back to 1945, and while the origins of the festival are uncertain, it has become one of Spain’s most beloved (and messy) holidays.
Swimming with Swine on “Pig Island”
For more photos from “Pig Island,” check out the #swimmingpigs hashtag.
The nation of the Bahamas consists of more than 700 islands. While the tropical climate and pristine beaches are invitation enough to make the Bahamas a prime tourist destination, one island has a particular draw: swimming pigs.
Big Major Cay is a small island that is uninhabited with the exception of a few dozen pigs. Though quite popular, no one quite seems to know how they got there in the first place. Local lore, however, suggests they may have been the sole survivors of a nearby shipwreck.
As visitors come and bring snacks for the animals, the pigs have come to view visiting tourists as a dependable food source. As a result, the pigs will actually swim out to oncoming boats to greet them as they approach in hopes of a handout.
Inside the Rain Room
A series of 3D cameras tracks the presence of people in the space and stops the rain from falling directly around them, allowing visitors to wander and play throughout the downpour while staying completely dry.
The installation traveled to New York City for MoMA’s EXPO 1 in May of this year and will end July 28th. Throughout its tour, Rain Room has quickly become a favorite for local and travelling Instagrammers, who have captured photos and videos of the magical experience.