Newsletter Issue 8 (Peak Fall — For Real This Time!)
I know I’ve said it many times during the last few newsletters, but this time it’s actually here — PEAK FALL in the city!
Peak Fall has been a bit confusing here in the NYC. You’d think the whole city would experience it once, however, that hasn’t seemed to be the case. In fact, it hit Prospect Park weeks ago, but it just hit Central Park this past weekend.
Despite the confusion of when and where it would hit, Peak Fall (in my eyes) doesn’t arrive until it hits the beautiful brownstones of Brooklyn, and that will be the theme of this newsletter.
Michael Silverstone is a photographer based in New York City. He specializes in train, landscape, and city photography. Michael currently shoots with a Sony Alpha A7RII, alternating between four lenses. On any given day or night, you can find him capturing one of NYC’s iconic landmarks, or shooting from a subway platform deep in Brooklyn.
A hiking trip to the Canadian Rockies in June 2017 (specifically a starry night over Pyramid and Patricia Lakes in Jasper, Alberta) was the inspiration for Michael’s photography journey. Upon returning to NYC, he purchased his first camera the very next day.
Michael’s work has been shared by the marketing organization NYC & Company, and has been featured on multiple local cable news outlets, including Spectrum News NY1, FOX 5 New York, and ABC7 Eyewitness News. He also serves as a mod for the popular Instagram photography hubs @NYCPrimeshot and @USAPrimeshot. These hubs feature the work of local and national creators, and organize and run photography meet-ups/networking events around NYC in collaboration with other hubs, and with the participation of sponsors.
Michael enjoys playing guitar, attending concerts, and studying New York City’s bizarre and captivating history.
Sony Alpha A7RII
Tamron 17–28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD
Tamron 28–75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD
Sony FE 85mm f/1.8
Sony FE 70–300mm f/4.5–5.6 G OSS
This past weekend, I launched a photography feature page called @featurebrooklyn! For those of you not on Instagram, a feature page is a hub that shares the work of other photographers (with permission and credit, of course) with the purpose of creating exposure and establishing a photographer network.
Most feature pages have a niche theme — for example, some feature pages exclusively post waterfall shots, or pictures of San Francisco, or even portrait/model photos. My page is exclusively ‘Brooklyn.’
Shockingly enough, I don’t believe there was an exclusively ‘Brooklyn’ feature page on Instagram (specifically for Brooklyn cityscape photography). That was the true inspiration for this hub!
You can check it out here — @featurebrooklyn.
What comes to mind when you think ‘Brooklyn?’
Pizza? Bridges? Nathan’s Hot Dogs?
How about brownstones?
If you’re in Brooklyn, you’re far less likely to find a neighborhood that doesn’t have brownstones than a neighborhood that does.
Some of the more popular brownstone neighborhoods in Brooklyn include Park Slope, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn Heights, Prospect Heights, Windsor Terrace, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, and so on… each neighborhood puts its unique twist on the idea of a brownstone.
And now that Peak Fall is (finally) upon us in Brooklyn, the timing to capture brownstone photography could not be more opportune. Take a walk through Brownstone Brooklyn with me…
Sixth Avenue in Park Slope is a residential avenue sandwiched between the more commercial Fifth and Seventh Avenues. While midday lighting (around noon) isn’t the most ideal for landscape/cityscape photography, it can often be perfect for city streets:
It’s not just the avenues that have beautiful brownstones here in Park Slope. Take a walk down the side streets, too:
When I go out to shoot the Fall foliage, I typically don’t have a specific destination in mind. Park Slope is just one of many massive neighborhoods littered with brownstones. My top priority when shooting fall foliage is keeping an eye out for leaf piles! Capturing this early in the morning is essential, before residents sweep the leaves onto the street:
My favorite block in Brooklyn can be found just south of Fort Greene Park — South Portland between Dekalb and Lafayette. It’s a wide street with towering brownstones on both sides, and it’s often barricaded from thru-traffic (ie. only residents are typically allowed down the street). I initially discovered this street on my bike route between Bushwick and Park Slope (when I was apartment-hunting):
Here’s a closer look at some brownstones on South Portland in Fort Greene. If you’re ever looking for a scenic Brooklyn walk, start in Fort Greene Park, and work your way south to Park Slope via South Portland.
Polhemus Place and Fiske Place are two small blocks that are tucked away between Carroll and President Streets, and between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. These blocks are easy to miss, but you’ll regret skipping out on them:
Prospect Heights also has some unique brownstones. These have an ocean-town feel, but nonetheless are beautiful:
Golden hour light hitting a row of brownstones on Carroll Street. See the church steeple in the background?
Central Park Wildlife
Pale Male (presumed deceased) is a red tailed hawk whose family literally nests at the top of 927 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Birdwatchers obsess over photographing Pale Male (or at the very least, a hawk from the family).
I happened to be in Central Park this past weekend (for peak Fall, of course), and was walking through Bethesda Terrace when I saw a handful of photographers with their cameras pointed up towards the sky. Sure enough, they spotted a hawk in a tree:
To see all prints for sale (including many of the images above), check out my shop site!