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Noe Todorovich is a Washington, DC based lifestyle photographer, and this is her blog. She shares musings, travels, photographs, tips, suggestions and more.

Filtering by Category: NYC

Kara Walker's "A Subtlety"

Noe Todorovich

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I started seeing pictures of and hearing more about Kara Walker's installation at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn a few weeks ago. When DeChelle mentioned wanting to take a trip to NYC to see it, I was completely on board. We just barely squeezed it in, going on the day before it closed.

There was a long, long, LONG line by the time we got there around 1 pm on Saturday. Skeptical about the wait time, we followed the line block by block until we were about 7 or 8 blocks from the entrance and on the other side of the Williamsburg bridge. The line moved quickly though, and we were inside the factory in just over an hour.

"It does smell sweet," DeChelle and I said to each other as we walked into the factory. I turned to the right and stopped in my tracks. There she was, all the way on the other side of the factory, surrounded by people, shining in the sun pouring through the skylight. A subtlety*...or Marvelous Sugar Baby

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After taking in the scene as a whole, I saw one of the smaller figures of a young boy just in front of me so I wandered over, watching as others looked intently at him. These smaller figures were made of molasses and had unrefined sugar in the fruit baskets on their backs. They appeared to be melting, oozing with dark, sticky pools beneath and around them.

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As we got closer to the sphinx figure, the smell got much sweeter and then even rather pungent. She loomed above us all, so regal and mesmerizing. I wanted to take it all in, walking around slowly. I looked up at the high ceiling and across the huge factory, imagining massive piles of sugar as it once held. Instead of shapeless mounds as it once was, on this day there stood this figure, this statement.

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I won't try to explain what it all means as my experience will vary from others and from the artist herself. I will say that it was an impressive installation and experience that made me really think about the history of sugar, of slavery, of the pursuit of "perfection" and the flawed ways that word has been defined.

To find out more, read this interview with Kara Walker. 

*In the interview with Kara Walker, I learned that a subtlety is not just something that is muted or subdued but was also a medieval dish eaten by the rich...a political sugar sculpture eaten in between courses or as dessert.

Part of the Domino facility that will be torn down.

Part of the Domino facility that will be torn down.

Better Out Than In: Banksy in NYC

Noe Todorovich

Banksy fascinates me. Not just Banksy himself, but everything about and around him. His art is one thing and then the reactions—from worship and fawning over his every little move to scrawling over his work in defiance and maybe even anger—are another. His anonymity is incredibly impressive. His art is thought-provoking and discussion-inspiring.

Hearing about Better Out Than In, his month-long project on the streets of New York City, I wanted to see it for myself. This proved rather difficult given how quickly each day’s work would be defaced or sometimes even removed entirely. You see, again, the extreme effect Banksy has on people…fascinating!

As we hunted around the city, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was part of some elaborate hoax and if Banksy was even really behind it all. In this day and age of impersonators (we’ve all seen Catfish on MTV, amirite?!) and imitators, I think it’s natural to become a bit skeptical. How can you ever be truly certain?

And then…what does it really matter?

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We started out zero for three in the hunt. One apparently was hidden by a man trying to charge people to see it, while the other two were entirely removed…one involving a CAR. Yup, it’s that serious. I was thrilled when we found one mostly in tact—as a result of protective glass and video surveillance going up. I wondered what Banksy thought of all the reactions—both to destroy and to preserve. And my mind filled with thoughts and questions. THAT is what I like most about the entire thing. It’s not just something to see and photograph. It’s something to think about and discuss.

I could go on and on, but I shall spare you and just share a few pictures I did take. And if you find it as interesting as I do, then let’s discuss! :)

October 2 | Westside

October 2 | Westside

October 17 | Williamsburg

October 17 | Williamsburg

October 18 | West 24th Street

October 18 | West 24th Street

October 12 | Manhattan (Banksy in the middle...missing)

October 12 | Manhattan (Banksy in the middle...missing)

Rain Room

Noe Todorovich

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When I first saw a picture of the Rain Room exhibit at the MoMA in New York City, my curiosity was piqued. Of course, it WAS a picture Paul Ocatvious took, so, you know, he makes magic.

In any event, I thought it would be great to see, and I'm glad it worked out in the end (sorta...we had to do the viewing option where you walk along the side of the installation because some crazies got in line at 4 am during the closing weekend. FOUR AM?! Pass...)

Without further ado, some film shots from the experience (and the line)... 

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And one from my iPhone... 

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Developing film at home

Noe Todorovich

I’ve been itching to develop my own film at home for a while. A few weeks ago, I found out Penn Camera was sending B&W film to Baltimore for developing, since their former chemistry supplier was no longer an option. It was a perfect catalyst. I decided it was finally time.

Looking at Ilford’s developing B&W film guide and this really sweet, thorough post about developing film on your own, I stocked my B&H cart full of chemicals, measuring cups, and other developing gear. And, thanks to B&H’s AWESOMENESS, I was all set within days. So I dove right back in and developed my first roll of film in about a decade.

It. Felt. GLORIOUS.

That might seem like a bit much, but I truly love film photography and got downright giddy being able to be that involved at every step of the process, from loading the unexposed film in the camera all the way to the final results—negatives. Of course, then I need to take those negatives and turn them into some other form if I’m going to share them. Since I don’t have a full-fledged darkroom—yet—I settled on scanning them and bringing them into the realm of digital. (Special shout out to Robb Hohmann for lending me his super sweet Epson V600 scanner!)

I took a risk and developed my roll from NYC, including shots from my friends’ wedding, so I’m really, really glad they turned out. Here’s the contact sheet…

And here are a few shots from the roll...

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I'll be sharing some more pictures from this roll (Sandy & Anthony's wedding!) soon, and perhaps some lessons learned. Until then...

The Seagull Goes to NYC

Noe Todorovich

The first weekend in June, my dear friends Sandy and Anthony got married in New York City. I took my Seagull twin lens reflex camera with me, loaded with a roll of Kodak Portra 800. Not surprisingly, I finished the roll before returning to DC. Here are the results...

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I. Love. New York.

I know...you probably already know that. But I can't help but gush about it on occasion, and looking over these pictures just makes me happy. Shooting with the Seagull makes me really think about each and every shot I take, and all the components of it. I have to work for it, really, and it's extra rewarding when i get the results I was looking for. Success!

Here are some of my favorite shots from the roll (about 2/3 of the roll...not too shabby, I say!). Hope you enjoy!

Union Station | Washington, DC

Union Station | Washington, DC

Porto Rico Coffee (best iced coffee I've ever had)

Porto Rico Coffee (best iced coffee I've ever had)

Subway station, NYC

Subway station, NYC

Subway station, NYC

Subway station, NYC

Exiting Columbus Circle subway station

Exiting Columbus Circle subway station

The floral arrangements at Sandy's wedding and the Empire State Building behind

The floral arrangements at Sandy's wedding and the Empire State Building behind

Millicent | Top of the Strand Hotel, NYC

Millicent | Top of the Strand Hotel, NYC

Off the List, On the Streets

Gina Todorovich

I can finally mark something of my to do list. Something I have been wanting to do for literally years

I went to the B&H SuperStore in NYC. And...it. Was. AMAZING.

I knew it would be. It had to be. I heard the stories and watched the videos beforehand. But nothing can compare to actually experiencing it. I'm already itching to go back, preferably with, say, thousands of dollars allocated to spend. (I saw a blue Hasselblad that I swear was calling my name...)

While it may be a while before I'm shooting with that bad boy, I did enjoy taking my Pentax K1000 to the streets of NYC this past trip. I love the unknown factor of shooting film. Not quite knowing exactly what shot will be the first or last, seeing just how the depth of field played out when the roll is finally developed. In the case of this roll, my first shot was a partial one that happened to crop in on a man walking to the metro just perfectly...

A few of the next shots I took were experimenting with the other lens I have that has been taking the back seat to my trusty 50 mm when shooting film. Just walking down 34th St. leaving B&H, I learned how to use the zoom lens. The lens zooms by pulling the front of the lens away from the camera, as opposed to by rotating the lens as I'm used to. Mind = blown. I learned via a few blurry pictures, mind you, but...I learned. And even like a few of the lesson shots. 

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I've been much more apprehensive to shoot street photography with my film camera as the shutter sounds deafening to me and makes me self conscious. However, nothing like the streets of NYC, in particular SoHo, to help me get over that. 

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And I'll close with a few subway shots...

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Until the next roll... (and the next...and the next...)