Midtown and Lower Manhattan covered in smog. 1966. New York

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    obwantiag, Mr Flikker, srs~, and 37 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Lucas.Ross 49 months ago | reply

      wow. this is fabulous!

    2. wavz13 49 months ago | reply

      Hi Lucas. Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, this was the reality before any anti-pollution laws. I remember reading that breathing this kind of smog was equivalent to smoking over a pack of cigarettes per day, every day.

    3. tm67camaro 37 months ago | reply

      Wow! Looks a little like L.A.

    4. wavz13 37 months ago | reply

      This kind of smog was common back then. No catalytic converters on cars, open burning of municipal trash, coal-fired power plants without scrubbers and lots of industry over on the New Jersey side. It all added up to this. We even had some "temperature inversion" days off from school when the smog got to dangerous levels. Everything is so much cleaner now!

    5. tm67camaro 37 months ago | reply

      I see NY on tv and in photos today and I don't see anything like this. It actually looks cleaner than LA now.

    6. wavz13 37 months ago | reply

      It's much cleaner than Los Angeles. For starters, there are vastly fewer cars. Also, LA sits in a geographic "bowl" surrounded by mountains. This bowl traps all the air pollution and keeps it hovering over the city.

    7. tm67camaro 37 months ago | reply

      Exactly, there are more people in NYC, but much fewer cars. Plus, like you said, the mountains surrounding the LA area keep everything just sitting there. I went to LA for the first time with my dad and brother when I was 16. In the early morning, the sky was clear and you could literally watch the smog develop. It was pretty weird. Sometimes, it's that way here in Tucson. Certain days, you can look out and see this brown haze over the city. We ate also in a "bowl" with the mountains surrounding us. We are at about 1M people here.

    8. wavz13 29 months ago | reply

      Hi All, I just uploaded a much larger and clearer scan of this photo. Feel free to copy the largest size and use it as your screen saver!

    9. kmax 29 months ago | reply

      What a fantastic image this is. Thank you!!!

    10. wavz13 29 months ago | reply

      You're very welcome, kmax! This photo went "viral" a few weeks ago and got over 3000 views in just one day! Pretty neat stuff.

    11. ICDogg2012 24 months ago | reply

      Great pic. Mad Men tonight mentioned the "smog emergency" that this depicts.

    12. Whiskeygonebad 22 months ago | reply

      This is a throwback...man! I remember that even in Brooklyn one could see the sky turn piss-yellow often before a downpour. There would be a sickly sulfur rotten egg gas smell as it first rained. The stink would stick around for an hour or two. There is a definite difference in LA/NYC geography. LA is a perfect storm, a cauldron for smog problems while NYC is an open plain the is often washed out and purified.

    13. Whiskeygonebad 22 months ago | reply

      I have noticed that many of your shots when viewed in the largest size are halftone screened. Do you do that to break up the graininess by replacing it with the halftone pattern? I do that to some of my shots, while also reducing the number of colors, to simulate a postcard look. See this example:

      NYC Skyline from Manhattan Bridge Postcard Halftone style

    14. wavz13 22 months ago | reply

      Anthony - it's funny you should notice. That's exactly what I did when scanning some of the most grainy prints and negatives. Digital sharpening brings out even more of the grain, so halftone processing hides a lot of flaws.
      I like your shot of Lower Manhattan - the processing makes it look similar to a 1940s, 1950s color postcard. Very nice!

    15. Kevin Bongart 13 months ago | reply

      Hi, I saw this photo on Vampire Weekend's new album (www.vampireweekend.com/images/packshot.jpg) and was looking for the original. IS this a picture you took a while ago and scanned more recently, or does it come from somewhere else?

      Thanks for your help

    16. wavz13 13 months ago | reply

      Kevin, This is one I took a long time ago. (1966 specifically). The Vampire folks sent me a Flickr mail a while ago and asked if they could use the photo. I told them they could.

    17. ASchaffer 12 months ago | reply

      Absolutely beautiful. Congrats on the cover.

    18. wavz13 12 months ago | reply

      Thanks very much. This is my #2 most viewed photo on Flickr. #1 is the Burned out Camaro on the Abandoned West Side Highway in 1975.

    19. EcoRedux 9 months ago | reply

      Dear Andy, The photograph you took is incredible and historically significant. Are you the copyright owner of this image? I would like to publish it in an article for a forthcoming book. What is your email to discuss this matter in more length? Many many thanks.

    20. wavz13 9 months ago | reply

      EcoRedux - all my photos are in the public domain. (and none are copy-protected on Flickr). Please feel free to download this photo in its largest size and use it for your article.

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