"Excuse me but we don't allow people to use tripods here at
Grand Central Station..."
Thus, a conversation ensued after the Mac salesman at the station managed to politely embarrass me.
I have never been to Grand Central Station. On a recent trip to New York City, my daughter and I went for dinner. How did I miss it before? It is a wonderful place and we really enjoyed people watching, eating and taking pictures. My daughter, Tracy, took some cool photos.
But here I was again: back at the station, early in the morning just like a photographer jonesing , while she slept in.
I used my tripod the night before and I had already used it that morning for about an hour, (mind you, many in security passed me by without a word). I was told by the salesman that I could use my camera but not my tripod because "We couldn't possibly allow a bunch of people to obstruct the areas with tripods." I had been moving gently and respectfully, being careful to not bump into people rushing by.
We were in New York City for 2 days. We traveled from Times Square to Wall Street to The 911 Memorial up 5th Ave across Broadway, Park and Madison. We walked through Rockefeller Center and around Central Park. We rode the hop on hop off bus and drank coffee while smiling at horse drawn carriages. During that entire time people bumped us taking their selfie s, we had to move, go around and avoid many who were as enamored and excited as us to be there. People abruptly stopped, they looked up and took pictures.
Once... count it, ONCE... I saw another tripod. So it's not like a crowd of tripod users flock New York City!
As a photographer, I was proud of myself to finally have had the sense to bring my travel tripod. Taking pictures of moving traffic, people on the run and flashing lights scream for this 3 legged piece of equipment.
In this day and age everyone has a camera, everyone is a photographer. But for some of us, it's like an adrenalin rush. It's not even always the picture it's what happens in the process. Observing, noticing surrounding details, people, movement, lights, the street cart vendors cooking, sights of steam and color all make for mental overload that drives a photographer to stay with it. Getting a great picture is really so fleeting that if it were not for the thrill of the process there would be no photographers. It's burdensome and cumbersome, having to keep equipment with you or anticipating where to stand, stop and look. It's not a couples sport and it can be quite competitive. That's why never losing our perspective and love for the craft must always remain an artist’s drive.
I did take down my tripod; so as to not make trouble at Grand Central Station…fortunately I had already taken several of those “ionic” shots.
God Bless the families of Officers Rafael Romas & Wen Jian Liu
God Bless the NYPD