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Gawd, this is boring. Is this the same guy who wrote, "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times..."? | by Ed Yourdon
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Gawd, this is boring. Is this the same guy who wrote, "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times..."?

Note: this photo was published in a Feb 15, 2010 blog titled "Hot Guys Reading Books." It was also published in a Jun 11, 2012 blog titled " How Writing and the Printed Word Rewired Our Brains."




I've been to Grand Central Station twice before in the past couple of years to take photos (click here and here to see the Flickr sets) ... so why go back again? The answer is simple: I had a dentist appointment a few days ago, and the dentist's office is about two blocks away from Grand Central. I was curious to see if New York's main train station was more crowded during the Christmas season, or perhaps had a different atmosphere than I had seen during my previous two visits in July 2008 and June 2009.


I didn't have much time, but I thought I could spare an hour; and if you look closely, you'll see that the first photo in this set was taken at approximately 12:15 PM, and the final one was at 1:20 PM. During that brief period, I took a total of 360 photos, which works out to approximately one photo every 10 seconds. It's not quite as crazy as it sounds, because I often shoot three or four shots in quick succession, if I'm focusing on people in motion, or people's facial expressions. But at the same time, I have to admit that it's not my style to sit quietly in a corner somewhere, waiting for the one, single "perfect" photo-op to present itself in front of my camera.


Of course, the reason I can afford to do this is that digital photographs are essentially "free"; one memory card on my DSLR camera can hold 10 images, or 100, or even 500. I typically expect to delete 90% of the images I take; in this case, I was a little less critical, and ended up with 40 "keepers" out of the 360 initial images.


As for the images themselves: well, the lighting was different in winter, even though I arrived at approximately the same time of day as with the previous two summertime visits. And I was shooting with a Nikon D700 instead of a D300, so I was able to use a higher ISO setting of 6400 without suffering too much noise in the resulting images...


But mostly, it was the people -- and their style and clothing and behavior -- that were different. These photos were all taken two days before Christmas, so there were large groups of people (as well as a couple of soldiers) moving quickly from the ticket booth to the trains, hurrying to arrive home for the holidays. There were also numerous tourists, and there seemed to be far more cameras and cellphones than I had seen before. Also, there was an animated "light show" playing all across the ceiling of Grand Central at various intervals; consequently, you'll see several shots of people staring straight up at the ceiling, with a look of wonder and amazement on their faces...


No doubt you'll see other differences, too, if you're curious. I suggest that you use the slide-show feature of Flickr to step through these images quickly; and then use the slide-show feature to step through the other two sets, here and here so you can see the differences for yourself.


Meanwhile, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ... and stay tuned for another visit to Grand Central, sometime in the future...

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Taken on December 23, 2009