Rear Window

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

Brooklyn lights at night

Manhattan winking scrapers

Flirting back and forth

No, it is not the classic Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly Rear Window thriller, but a thrilling view nevertheless from a rear bedroom window in a Brooklyn apartment. Late afternoon, I photographed the rooftops in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and the Manhattan skyline viewed across the Hudson River through the window. Some apartments in Brooklyn were already lit and the lights in Manhattan were flickering red and white. Both the Empire State building, glistening red, and the Art Deco-style Chrysler Building with its illuminated V- shaped lighting insets were visible in a wide angle shot. Between the two “fashion plates” stood a dumpy-shaped water tower with its black conical cap.

From another angle I captured a flashy oversized billboard ad for a beer bottle stuck in sand. The text urged “Every Side Should be the Bright Side” and commanded to “Find Your Beach.” Unfortunately he closest beach to this site would be Coney Island in Brooklyn bereft of the palm tree and white sand depicted in the billboard image, yet optimism for always looking on the sunny side was cheerful advice.

With the setting sun reddening, the spire and rooftop of Brooklyn’s Old First Reformed Church stood out in silhouette as orange flames streaked through the sky and a ship traveled past on the ice-blue Hudson River.

Although lights were on in some Brooklyn apartment buildings, I would have needed a longer focal length to zoom into the indoor rooms. But I did not intend to play the role of Jimmy Stewart peering into other people’s lives. I was happy just nailing the skyline shots as the sun went down.

All images were shot with the Olympus E-M5 Mark II and the M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4 Pro; The wide skyline shot at 100mm, 1/8 sec f/4, -2 EV, ISO 400; the billboard at 54mm, 1/3 sec f/4, -2 EV, ISO 400; the spire at 80mm, 1/320 sec f/4, -2 EV, ISO 400.


Mildred’s books Winter Garden and Seedhead and St. Agnes Public Library Exhibit are available from MagCloud in print or digital form at most affordable prices.