It certainly has been one of the harshest, coldest and most unpleasant winters I've experienced in New York City (and worse than any winter during my time in Toronto for that matter). So, when I finished my teaching job yesterday and stepped out onto the streets of Soho to find it was a sunny, 64 degrees outside, I was certainly delighted. On my way home, I took an extended walk through Soho, and up to Union Square with my Canon Eos-M, snapping away at a city just bursting to be outdoors. Just south of Union Square, I came across this gentleman, who, while not talkative, let me take this photo.

Leisure Cruise at the Highline Ballroom

Leisure Cruise debut performance at the Highline Ballroom
Electronic synth-pop music is alive and well in NYC.  Leisure Cruise had their debut performance at the Highline Ballroom last night, playing a featured set before European pop sensation Gala, and they totally crushed it. I was there to catch all of the action, and you can check out the rest the photos from my gallery here.

A collaboration between Leah Siegel of Firehorse and Dave Hodge of Canada's Broken Social Scene, Leisure Cruise conjures, in their own words, "the music of a John Hughes film if it had been written by Bowie, remixed by Johnny Jewel, and fronted by a female Prince." Supporting them onstage were Aaron Kinsley-Brook on drums and Steven Elliot on guitar, and the four of them played an incredibly tight set, particularly for a band making it's debut performance.

Leah Siegel of Leisure Cruise performs at the Highline Ballroom

Jon Morris of The Windmill Factory provided the production design for the show, following a hectic week flying back and forth from LA as he was working with Nine Inch Nails and Trent Reznor for their Grammy performance (You can check out that performance here). I particularly enjoyed the stunning projections and video created by Matt O'Hare and Josh Higgason, which really matched each song well and took the production values of the show to another level. 

Dave Hodge
The performance was was a fast-paced, high-energy thirty-seven minutes that got the crowd the dancing and definitely wanting more from Leisure Cruise, who will release their debut album on May 6th. Until then, you can listen to their single, Sailing, right here:

You can check out the rest of my photos from the night by following this link:

Shooting an Overnight Time-lapse in Times Square

Sunset in Times Square

Last night was one of the coldest nights so far this winter in NYC, and I spent most of it outside in Times Square, working with Jon Morris, the Creative Director of The Windmill Factory. Jon is directing a music video of the song Fool for Firehorse, and needed to shoot a time-lapse in Times Square. With Director of Photography, Branan Edgens taking care of the technical end of things, setting up the Canon 7D to shoot every 4 seconds, we set in for a long, cold night in midtown to watch the camera, change the batteries and make sure everything was happening according to plan. I took the first shift from the late afternoon through the early evening and then came back for the final shift at 6am.

Jon Morris of The Windmill Factory

A little before 8pm, as I was grabbing some coffee and warming up at Starbucks, I happened to recognized Philip Bloom grabbing a coffee as well. I consider Philip to be the guru of DSLR filmmaking and time-lapses. He's is incredibly talented, and has been very generous with his fantastic tutorials and behind-the-scenes insights on shooting, lighting, gear and post-production. Basically, everything I know about shooting video with a DSLR and creating time-lapses I learned from his blog. He was really nice, and stopped by our set-up to check out what we were up to and shared with us the infrared shots he's been taking in NYC (which can be seen on Flickr here). It was a very cool and inspirational encounter!

Philip Bloom (left) and Will O'Hare (Right)

I tend to avoid the crowds in Times Square as much as possible, but it was interesting to watch the mass of humanity unfold before us as we stayed in one place for so long. Tourists came and went, many asking us to snap photos of them in Times Square, and two couples got engaged in front of us on the stairs, including a couple from Berlin that I chatted with and I took a couple of photos for them.

A newly engaged couple from Berlin celebrates in Times Square

I also took advantage of shooting some HDR photos and some panoramas with my Fuji X100. Once the video is finished, I'll share a link here as well.

Paula and I trying to keep warm!