Thursday Doors 22/52 The Arsenal

Copyright © 2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Running out of time in NYC and nearing the end of our trip my sisters and I had to start being more selective about what we wanted to spend our time doing and seeing. On all our lists was the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art). After spending several hours there and just seeing a smidgen of the collections we left knowing we’d need to return one day. On the way back to our side of town and dinner  we strolled through several blocks of Central Park.

It was just about the time we needed to exit the park to head south or maybe north to head toward our neighborhood ( I get turned around really easily) that I spotted this lovely Colonial Door with a great Eagle on its Header (I think that’s the part of the door). I said to my sisters I had to stop for this door, and by now they got it, and waited very patiently while I took a few images.

The sign next to the door said it was the ” City of New York, Department of Parks, Administration Headquarters. The Arsenal”.

The Arsenal NYC Front Door

I also took an image of the building’s front facade. It struck me as looking like a

small castle or fort.

NYC Park Headquarters-The Arsenal

There were quite a few people in the park being a Sunday afternoon so, I cloned out two people, but the Dad with the stroller I left in b/c I don’t have the skill to clone him or the stroller out with the bushes and garden fencing and have the image look good.

When I got home I looked online for the history of the building and learned:

The Arsenal located on 64th Street and Fifth Ave in Central Park is home to the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, The Arsenal Gallery, The City Parks Foundation, the Historic House Trust, an the New York Wildlife Conservation Society.  Phew! That’s home to a lot!  I would have liked to see the Gallery if I had known!

For the History Buffs-

The Arsenal is one of two buildings within the park’s borders which predate the park itself. It was built between 1847 and 1851 by the State of New York as a storage repository for munitions.

Here’s some U. S. Trivia:  The project’s funding was overseen by state comptroller Millard Fillmore, who later became President of the United States.

Designed by architect Martin Thompson, the building is marked by a crenelated cornice, resembling a medieval fortress. Its doorway is guarded by a cast-iron eagle.

The building’s military use proved short-lived. Between 1853 and 1856, the State seized the land under it for a public park. In 1857 the City purchased the Arsenal for $275,000, removed all arms, and established park administrative functions on the premises. Certain park advocates and urban observers felt the structure was a blight on the landscape, most notably diarist George Templeton Strong who in 1859 referred to the “hideous State Arsenal Building,” and hoped “this eyesore…[would] soon be destroyed by accidental fire.” ~nycgovparks.org

Wow, that was harsh! I for one can say I’m glad that didn’t happen! However, by 1922 the building had deteriorated to  such a state the New York Times printed a Headline that read, ” Parks Arsenal a Near Ruin.”  The City appropriated $75,000 to overhaul the Arsenal.

The restoration was completed in 1924.  In 1934 the building had another complete restoration. Over time the building became a Park fixture and in 1967 the Arsenal was designated an official New York City Landmark.  ~nycgovparks.org

To read the complete history click here.

This post is part of Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors.  If you love doors and would like to see the doors others are posting, or post doors you’ve photographed and join other door lovers from around the world click here.

At the end of Norm’s latest Thursday Door post is a little Blue Link-up/View button click it to be taken to a page with all the links, or add your own.

More to come…

 

 

 

 

Golden Gate Bridge after Dark from Battery Spenser

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Golden Gate Bridge after Dark from Battery SpenserThis is the view from Battery Spenser in the Marin Headlands looking south at the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco’s skyline sparkling like jewels in the night.

Nikon Df| AF-D Nikkor 28-1-5mm Micro lens| Tripod| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film

Total Lunar Eclipse over the Palace of Fine Arts San Francisco

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I had a fun night of imaging with my friends Dali, and Andy.

We had a few venues planned because there was a possibility of fog, and a partly cloudy sky.
Our Plan A was to shoot the April 4th Total Lunar Eclipse over St. Ignatius Cathedral in San Francisco since this Eclipse fell on Passover and Easter Week-end it would tie in perfectly.

Starting with Plan A. We arrived just before 2AM, set up, and began shooting our images. I had planned my shooting position so that I could capture the reflection of the Cathedral in the little pond, and the glass wall of the library, but they had left the Library lights on so the reflection wasn’t good, and I didn’t think I’d be able to get the Moon reflection, but one can always hope.   We were well into our series, and talking then shortly before 4AM the lights on the Cathedral shut off. We were disappointed when that happened so, we decided to move to our Plan B position for Totality since we still had an hour to go.

We figured we would be making  at least one composite image from all we had shot already so, if we shot Totality at our Plan B location we could composite it in to an earlier image(s) from St. Ignatius for our “What If we stayed” image.

So, we moved to Plan B:  The Palace of Fine Arts. To make this image I used my Nikon Wide Angle 17-35mm lens for the foreground, and just before Maximum I quickly switched lenses to my Nikon 80-200mm lens and made several images of just the Moon in Totality with it. This image is a composite with one frame from each lens. I resized the Moon from 200mm to look the same size it did to my eye at Totality or Maximum.

Totality-Lunar Eclipse over The Palace of Fine Arts San FranciscShooting with the Wide Angle lens the magnification is so little that the Moon looks tiny. For this 3rd Lunar Eclipse in the Tetrad I wanted to have a nice foreground interest along with the Moon at Totality becasue the two prior Eclipses I focused on the Moon and used only my Telephoto lens.

Earlier I mentioned that this was the 3rd Lunar Eclipse in the Tetrad. What is a “Tetrad” you may be asking?
Lunar Tetrad
“Total lunar eclipses are rare – only about one in three lunar eclipses are total. About four to five total eclipses can be seen at any place on Earth in a decade.

Lunar eclipses usually do not occur in any specific order. However, every once in a while, four total lunar eclipses happen in a row. This is called a lunar tetrad. The total lunar eclipses happen 6 months apart. There are at least six full Moons between two total lunar eclipses in a tetrad.~ TimeandDate.com

Here’s my “What if we had stayed” composite image from St. Ignatius. 2 frames Nikon Df one frame for the foreground and one for the moon. The Moon has been resized to look how it would have looked.
What If I had Stayed Total Lunar Eclipse over St Ignatius Cathed

Here’s a partial sequence of how the Eclipse looked over the Palace of Fine Arts- This is 8 frames of the The Total Lunar Eclipse from partial to a minute until Maximum. All 8 frames were shot with the same camera, lens, and settings. I was manually timing the frames at 2 minute intervals except the last one which is about a minute from the frame before.

Nikon Df| AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f2.8@ f8| 8 seconds| ISO 400| Tripod.

You can see how small the Moon is when shooting this close to the foreground interest with a wide angle lens. This was shot at 17mm.  Knowing how tiny the Moon would be is why I wanted to use my Telephoto lens to shoot the Moon at Maxium and composite it in in development.  The way our eyes can see a scene like this is pretty amazing. My eye saw the Moon much larger than my lens can.

Total Eclipse partial sequence over The Palace of Fine ArtsOne last image of the Moon/Eclipse at Maximum- Nikon Df| 80-200mm @200mm| f8| 0.8 sec| ISO 1250

Totality Lunar Eclipse April 4, 2015 at 200mm

Not only was it a fun night, but we were really lucky with the weather. It was windy, and chilly, but the fog stayed at sea, and there were no clouds, and I learned some things too…

-I wish I hadn’t switched lenses  just before Totality and stuck to my original thought of taking at least one image with my wide angle lens  of Totality before switching lenses so, I would have had a complete sequence to stack at the Palace of Fine Arts.

-If possible take 2 rigs and shoot long and telephoto, and/or a time-lapse.

-The lights finally clicked in my brain about focal length, and distance and how it effects the size of the Moon in the image. This knowledge will be used again, and again when I make images of the Moon in the future.

-Determine my shooting position at the venue and don’t move unless absolutely necessary. ( I moved while at St. Ignatius which messed up my sequence)

…and last but not least …we could have stayed at St. Ignatius. Our lighter images in the beginning of the series would have kept the image from being too dark once stacked into the final image.

I’m hoping we can turn all these lessons into something good in September for the fourth and last Total Lunar Eclipse in this Tetrad. That date is September 28, 2015, but for me on the West Coast (California) it’s September 27, 2015.

You can see Andy’s images from the night here, here, and here.  Dali hasn’t posted his images from Saturday night yet, but you can find his other work here. 

More to come…