DRAWING LIFE by fred hatt



Filed under: Photography: Structure — Tags: , , — fred @ 09:14

Twilight Manhattan, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

You have to get a little outside of it to get good views of Manhattan’s famous skyline.  The view above is from a Tribeca highrise apartment balcony.  The one below is from across the East River in Brooklyn.

Dead End, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Atop a bridge you’re both high and outside, as in this view from the approach to the Queensboro Bridge.

Bridge Approach, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

You can get a good view from under a bridge too.  Here the framing structure is the Manhattan Bridge.  The lighted arc of cables further back is the Brooklyn Bridge.

Framing Bridge, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

You can have this view from your apartment, if you are a billionaire.

Central Park View, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt

The skyline is such an iconic way of seeing New York that even an image of disaster takes the form of a skyline.  This is a photomural, inside a building in lower Manhattan, of the smoldering pile of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 attack.

9/11 Mural, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

New Yorkers, used to the familiar outline of the Twin Towers, felt there was a hole in the skyline.  Every year around the anniversary, beams of light rise in place of the missing towers.

Converging Beams, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Another type of memorial that creates a skyline is the gathering of gravestones in a cemetery.  Here, the buildings of midtown Manhattan in the background blend in with the stone slabs and columns of Queens’ Calvary Cemetery in the foreground.

Cemetery Skyline, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt

Taking a closer view of the contours where the buildings of Manhattan touch the sky, wooden water towers are a distinctive feature of the lower-rise portions of the city.

Water Tower Rooftops, 2007, photo by Fred Hatt

The sky silhouette seen in the outer boroughs of New York often includes church spires, clotheslines, and satellite dishes.

Laundry and Spires, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Sometimes you can see a skyline by looking downward.

Reflected Towers, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

The mirrored skyline lends a certain quality of serenity to this view of an industrial wasteland.

Newtown Creek Skyline, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Contrasting shapes meet the sky here where a Frank Gehry-designed office building in white glass rises next to the High Line, an elevated freight track converted into a park.

Gehry & High Line Construction, 2009, photo by Fred Hatt

Another translucent white glass building, the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden, nearly blends in to the overcast sky, in the view below.  Not every skyline contour is hard and toothy.

Conservatory, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt

Fog can also create a soft-edged effect.

Citibank in Fog, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt

In the view below, only the Empire State Building is tall enough to be seen above the trees of McCarren Park in Brooklyn, shining through the evening mist.

Ghostly Empire State, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

A ruined waterfront warehouse in the sunset has a skyline of crumbling grandeur.

Burned Warehouse, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

The warehouse’s eroded contours contrast with the thrusty ones of this neo-gothic structure, Grace Church.

Gothic Silhouette, 2007, photo by Fred Hatt

These 19th century east side townhouses have chimneys like crooked fingers.

Chimneys, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

We tend not to notice the sky contours of signs and street lamps, as they blend in to general visual clutter, but the shapes can be fantastic abstract sculpture.

Billboard & Streetlamp, 2007, photo by Fred Hatt

The gleaming towers of architects must share the skyline with the ragged juttings of infrastructure.

Tower, Poles, Wires, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

The combinations of all these elements can become glorious geometries of chaos.

Crossing Lines, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Here, a particular angle of view brings together building, statue, lamp and tree for a composition that crackles and twists.

Central Park South, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

In buildings the supporting framework is decorously concealed, but bridges nakedly display their engineering.  Here, the towers of the Queensboro Bridge and the Roosevelt Island tramway stand side by side.

Tramway, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt

New York’s first great bridge was the Brooklyn Bridge, a masterpiece of engineering and still the most beautiful of Manhattan’s bridges with its delicate cabling.

Bridge Cabling, 2009, photo by Fred Hatt

The roof of the Metropolitan Museum currently hosts this gigantic birds-nest-like structure, the architectural sculpture “Big Bambu” by the Starn brothers.

Big Bambu, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Birds use the cables and spars over the Manhattan streets as bleachers to spectate on the human beehive, and their bodies become part of the skyline.

Pigeon Perch, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

In the outer boroughs, people toss their old sneakers onto the wires.  This one was unusually generously festooned.

Shoes on Wire, 2009, photo by Fred Hatt

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