My photo blog… visual thoughts around me.

“Next Stop OZ”


“Follow the yellow…”

When people hear that I am from New Jersey they automatically presume that I am very familiar with travel in the big cities, namely NYC. Growing up in the rural areas of south Jersey, I can not even tell people an exit off the Garden State Parkway, as is a common form of location indicator for north and east coast residents. So hearing that Princeton Photo Workshop was conducting a Subway shoot, I was all in. I knew I could find the NY Penn station by traveling from a Hamilton NJ train stop, which in the end, would lead me to our tour leader Alan Kesselhaut and his wife Barbra. The plan was to shoot the old subway line going north one weekend and then on the next one, go south to the WTC transportation hub, which is commonly called “The Oculus”.

Traveling with a group was perfect for me as navigating underground proved very challenging for someone who finds exploring in the Pines more familiar. Not seeing the sun only compounded my lack of sense of direction but having our teachers easily guide us on and off trains, made shooting underground a lot more calming to me. The sounds, smells, murals and performers stood out at each stop. Even the everyday commuters were not bothered by our group of snap happy photogs. Finding compositions could be challenging at times, with all the movement of people and trains. I perceived darkness and tight spaces to be a challenging factor when shooting, but was relieved to find many areas with enough light, as long as you remembered to change your camera settings to adjust for your surroundings.

I found talking and comparing notes on settings, with members of our group very enlightening. It was Alan’s positive outlook that pushed us to try new settings, compositions and the telling of stories, that made this event much more than a “shoot and go home” venture.

No there were no flying monkeys or evil witches down there, even though it felt like I was relocated from Kansas to a world filled with characters from OZ. From the underground performers to the otherworldly serene world of the Oculus, I would not have passed this trip up, but… there is still “No place like home”!

23 responses

  1. katmcdaniel

    Only been to NYC a few times, but I have always been fascinated by the Subway. A whole different world down there, then you pop up into the world above and have to reorient yourself.


    June 7, 2018 at 7:19 pm

  2. Great street photography, showing another side of your photography. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    April 28, 2018 at 8:32 am

    • So good to hear from you and to catch up at Riche’s reception.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 4, 2018 at 9:45 pm

  3. Joann Richichi

    love it…Having been a New Yorker, totally get it… Would love to see what you shot. Will you post?

    Liked by 1 person

    April 5, 2018 at 7:49 am

    • Thanks Joann… glad to see it touched home for you.


      April 5, 2018 at 8:15 am

  4. What an interesting trip and photo shoot! Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    April 2, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    • Thank you Cynthia… I am a big follower of Dan and your travels!!!


      April 3, 2018 at 10:00 am

  5. Sharon

    Mike..these are awesome shots…
    They look almost futuristic

    Liked by 1 person

    April 2, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    • Big thanks for keeping up Sharon!!!


      April 3, 2018 at 10:01 am

  6. Welcome back to the blogosphere. It’s been lonely with just Denise, Rich and me. And what a smashing reentry. I remember my days in Manhattan on business, particularly in traveling the subways, and there certainly was lots to see and to try and capture in terms of geometrics, people, and added art. This was splendid.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 2, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    • You are soooo right Ralph…. it’s been exactly 1 year. I always remember what you had advised, both cautionary and realistic… “remember you have to feed the beast”! Very true on all fronts and I think I am ready to wade back into the cave with some sorely missed nourishment.


      April 3, 2018 at 10:06 am

  7. Virginia Rice

    Wonderful, interesting perspective Mike. My eye lingered on several. Need to be in a book!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    April 1, 2018 at 9:22 am

    • Funny you should mention that… I actually make a book each time I get to 12 posts on my blog…. it’s a labor of love!!! Thanks for your comment.


      April 1, 2018 at 10:04 am

  8. So glad to see you firing up your blog again!!!! And, what a way to restart. Great set of images that show your unique vision for… What should we call it, geometric composition? You show show the beauty of the ordinary. Then, you throw one of those Mike Pillows’ curve balls and speckle your lessons in visual geometry with some intimate and personal street photos of the people who inhabit that geometry. You may be a Piney in the big city, but your wide eyed wonder is your vision of the world you see.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 1, 2018 at 8:56 am

    • Rich I like that observation… “geometric composition”. Yepper, it took a year from last March but I finally did it. Your insight is much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 1, 2018 at 10:08 am

  9. Robert McCaffrey

    Hey Mike!

    Great shots! Sounds like quite an adventure. I’ve got some shots in the subways in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Paris – but not NYX – lol.

    Thanks for sharing. Your art is amazing.



    Liked by 1 person

    March 31, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    • Thanks Bob for checking the post out… I didn’t travel far but enjoyed it a lot.


      March 31, 2018 at 11:35 pm

  10. Barry Nealis

    Really nice stuff Mike! Was hard to choose, but my favorite is the black & white of the long escalator viewed through the steel work.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 31, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    • Hey … you and me both… your escalators inspired me!!!


      March 31, 2018 at 11:37 pm

  11. Linda Kamholz

    Hey, Mike: What a great collection of images. Love the ballerina, but many others are wonderful as well. Thanks for sharing. . .Linda

    Liked by 1 person

    March 31, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    • That comp was a tricky one until I saw the frame in the background… glad you liked it!!


      March 31, 2018 at 11:39 pm

  12. Bonnie Rovere

    What a fun experience! Great shots!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 31, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    • You know me… I try and have fun whenever I shoot. Thank you for stopping by!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      March 31, 2018 at 11:40 pm

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