Newsletter Issue 9 (My New Telephoto Lens)

Introduction

Hey everyone! It’s been a while. I figured it’s time to check in and update you on some of my recent photography adventures. Recently, I purchased a brand new (used) camera lens — the Sony 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6 G-Master.

G-Master lenses are the absolute top of their class when it comes to Sony lenses — their quality is truly unmatched. While I love my 70–300mm G series lens, I’ve always had my sights on a G-Master upgrade, and this seemed like a great opportunity to make the switch. Since the purchase, I’ve been pretty busy with it! All shots in this newsletter issue were taken with the new lens.

About Michael

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.

Equipment

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

Sony FE 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6 G-Master

Snowstorms Galore

The Northeast has seen its fair share of snowstorms over the past few weeks, each of which have presented a great opportunity for photos.

When the fresh snow hits the ground, and nobody has shoveled the sidewalks yet, sometimes the (relatively) safest place to walk is in the plowed street! I took this shot on Carroll Street, and had with me a wash cloth to wipe the snow off of my camera and lens, and once that wash cloth got soaked, I had to use another.
Shot on the same block as the previous photo. Nothing like a morning coffee in a snowstorm!
A Coney Island-bound N train enters New Utrecht Ave Station (Boro Park/Bensonhurst). Along this route toward Coney Island are many semi-sheltered/semi-unsheltered stations which create really cool pockets of light. In this shot, I’m standing at the front of the platform shooting towards the very back.
A 96th St-bound Q train departs Avenue M (Midwood). These R46 model Q trains have seen very frequent use on the line during the pandemic. At first, they were rare to find, but now it seems that every passing Q has that iconic yellow emblem.
A Coney Island-bound Q train rapidly approaches Beverley Rd (Flatbush). Beverley Rd was the home station for my grandpa Harold (aka Papa). Don’t quote me on this, but I believe the distance between Beverley Rd and Cortelyou Rd is only 600 feet, making it the shortest distance between stations in the entire system (so I guess that would make Cortelyou Papa’s home station as well)!

Assorted 100–400mm Shots

I wanted to show off more shots I’ve taken with the 100–400mm lens. It’s quickly become my favorite.

Here’s a moon shot I caught from Hoboken back in January. Even as you really have to crop in to get a closeup of the moon, the lens evidently has impressively sharp details.
The Empire State Building during a purple sunset, as seen from Hoboken, NJ. If my memory serves me correctly, those purple colors towards the top of the building were reflections of the sky, and not the actual colors of the ESB that night.
Another shot of the Empire State Building, as seen from Hoboken, NJ. This was on a frigid night where some friends (Quentin, Ray, Don) and I were trying to capture the full moon lining up with the observation deck of The Edge (Hudson Yards). I think only Don successfully captured it (see here!). Sulking in my failures, I opted for a shot of the Empire State Building in its signature white instead. That’s the fun of it though — I look forward to trying a moon lineup shot again during the next full moon!
I think the true power of the 100–400 is demonstrated here. The Statue Of Liberty is a considerable distance from the Smith-Ninth Streets subway station, which towers over the Gowanus Canal. In this picture, it looks like it’s a simple stone’s throw across a stream.
My absolute favorite building in Brooklyn (the Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower), as seen from my absolute favorite station (Smith-Ninth Streets).
Another shot from Smith-Ninth, this one looking towards Hudson Yards. Can you spot the Brooklyn Bridge in the foreground?
Smith-Ninth Streets Station rests 87.5 feet above ground level, making it the highest rapid transit station in the world (makes sense when the “sub” in “subway” implies “underground”). Here’s a G train approaching Smith-Ninth from 4th Ave Station.
A Q train approaches Ocean Parkway. Here’s another station that has familial significance. My great grandmother Matty Tavel (aka GG) lived in one of those buildings in the background, on the 18th floor facing this subway line. This is an iconic view for train photographers!

Sunset Park Scavenger Hunt

If you’re secluded to Manhattan, odds are you are probably unaware of Sunset Park, the second highest point in Brooklyn (right behind Battle Hill in the neighboring Green-Wood Cemetery). This park rests on a steep slope, and reminds me of Alamo Square Park in San Francisco (where the Painted Ladies are). Because of its height, you can see SO MUCH of the skyline.

I wanted to finish up this article with a scavenger hunt.

How many of these landmarks can you find in the photo below?

  • 1. Empire State Building
  • 2. Manhattan Bridge
  • 3. Brooklyn Bridge
  • 4. 1 Madison Ave (Metropolitan Life Tower), which is not to be confused with the…
  • 5. MetLife Building
  • 6. Chrysler Building
  • 7. Central Park Tower
  • 8. My dad’s first NYC apartment

No cheating!

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Final warning.

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Okay, here are the answers:

To see all prints for sale (including many of the images above), check out my shop site!

michaelsilverstonephotography@gmail.com

Website | Shop | Instagram

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Michael is a photographer based in New York City, specializing in train, landscape, and city photography.

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Michael Silverstone Photography

Michael Silverstone Photography

Michael is a photographer based in New York City, specializing in train, landscape, and city photography.

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