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NYC Meetup: Revival, Manhattan. September 22, 2007 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Photos of last night's NYC meetup.

In attendance were: Afroblanco, brujita, CunningLinguist, DaShiv, Help, I can't stop talking!, hermitosis, jason's_planet, jonmc, lalex, Lola_G, mdn, muckster, Nathaniel W, pips, Smart Dalek, StickyCarpet, and one guest.

I ♥ NY. Where else can you laugh at the sheer disdain on the face of a gorgeous, impeccably-dressed woman as she strolls past a guy singing and playing his guitar in the middle of Times Square while wearing nothing but a cowboy hat and tighty-whities? Snarf down a huge and delicious pastrami on rye at Katz's in the Lower East Side, then hop on a train to catch a taping of the Daily Show with Bill Clinton in Midtown? Grab Italian food in Brooklyn, then top it off with a cone from Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory next to the river? Hitch a ride with a chatty cab driver while immersed in the never-ending hum of the Manhattan streets as life continues on at ground level in the middle of the night? Head into any random pizza joint and not finding a single bad slice (yet)?

But it's really about the people in this city: self-important and self-absorbed, but so generous and so beautiful. The whole lot of you. If it weren't for these intolerable (for a Californian) "seasons" things of yours, your insane housing, and your highway robbery cigarette prices, I'd move out here in a heartbeat. As it is, I'll have to be content with merely loving this city.

My apologies to the latecomers last night for not getting your photos. Be sure to check out muckster's photos from the evening -- they're great! I think this photo of me and jonmc really captures the MeFi meetup spirit. And for anyone in the area: please stop by on Wednesday night. I'd still love to meet and photograph you.

A big thank you to my gracious hosts for making this trip possible: Skorgu, CunningLinguist, spec80, hermitosis, and ThePinkSuperHero. I am honored and humbled by your generous hospitality.

See you on Wednesday!
posted by DaShiv to MetaFilter Gatherings at 12:32 PM (74 comments total)

We love you. Even without your camera!
posted by Lola_G at 1:02 PM on September 22, 2007


Seriously, you take beautiful pictures but the pleasure of the company is SO much more!
posted by Lola_G at 1:02 PM on September 22, 2007


So that's why he calls himself "afroblanco".
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 1:07 PM on September 22, 2007


Yeah, because Art_Garfunkel was taken.

I had forgotten that mdn was a woman! Andronormativism, damn you!

And I'll have to remember to read hermitosis's comments with the mental note "This is a handsome man saying this."
posted by klangklangston at 1:18 PM on September 22, 2007


DaShiv's pictures are great as usual, but the mouse-over IDs are an excellent idea.
posted by Cranberry at 1:28 PM on September 22, 2007


As I said in the London meetup thread - y'all is some good lookin' folks! :D
posted by Kloryne at 1:54 PM on September 22, 2007


Hermitosis is NYC's tallest imp.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:10 PM on September 22, 2007


God damn you're making me miss NYC more than I did already. Great photos (which goes without saying), and I wish I'd been there.

But where was dame, for Pete's sake?
posted by languagehat at 2:10 PM on September 22, 2007


SHUT UP!!!

*kicks dirt bashfully*

I was having such a good time talking to people, I forgot to drink. Fortunately I can always do that at home, in bed.
posted by hermitosis at 2:38 PM on September 22, 2007


Awesome as always, sir.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 2:46 PM on September 22, 2007


ahahahahhhaaaa... oh.. oh god... afroblanco... hahahaha
posted by tehloki at 3:00 PM on September 22, 2007


i'm so pissed i missed it (i'm sick) -- hopefully wed

enjoy your time here, dashiv : >
posted by amberglow at 3:01 PM on September 22, 2007


hopefully wed

Honey, who you marrying?
posted by ericb at 3:37 PM on September 22, 2007


“Yeah, because Art_Garfunkel was taken.”

So, so, true. Not that that's a bad thing. In fact, I love afroblanco's look and tehloki is being awfully rude.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:51 PM on September 22, 2007


Where else can you laugh at the sheer disdain on the face of a gorgeous, impeccably-dressed woman as she strolls past a guy singing and playing his guitar in the middle of Times Square while wearing nothing but a cowboy hat and tighty-whities?

OK, I'm definitely moving to NYC if the gorgeous, impeccably-dressed women of that fine city wear nothing but a cowboy hat and tighty-whities.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 3:54 PM on September 22, 2007


So that's why he calls himself "afroblanco".

You aren't the first person to have that reaction.

Yeah, because Art_Garfunkel was taken.

He's a goodlooking guy!

and thanks, EB, you make me blush :)
posted by Afroblanco at 4:01 PM on September 22, 2007


Oh man, I definitely need to get my passport renewed. I haven't been to NYC since 2004.

Especially since my dollar will soon be able to BURY your dollar.
posted by maudlin at 4:11 PM on September 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


tehloki is being awfully rude

Or he laughed because a light went on and it all made sense when he saw the pic, just like I did. But don't let that keep you from getting your J'accuse! on, Mr. Manners.

Damn you, you bee-yootiful New Yorkers!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:18 PM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Afroblanco doesn't resemble Art Garfunkel at all.

At least from the ears forward.

But wait 20 years...
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:22 PM on September 22, 2007


It was illuminating to watch the DaShiv in action! Especially when he uses your face to bounce the flash, for other people's pictures!

These meetups are becoming a longitudinal study, watching all you guys grow up.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:24 PM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


“Or he laughed because a light went on and it all made sense when he saw the pic, just like I did.”

Oh, well, if that's the case then I sincerely retract my comment. But wouldn't you agree that, as a rule, when you laugh at someone's appearance, you are expected to provide context to indicate when you're not merely laughing at someone's appearance?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:29 PM on September 22, 2007


Whoa, nice pix. Those models we hired to attend the meetup really worked out great.
posted by jonmc at 4:33 PM on September 22, 2007


OMFG. I totally blanked. Frowny.
posted by dame at 4:46 PM on September 22, 2007


Fair enough, EB - now here's tehloki's cue to hop in and say "What the hell were you on about now, Ampersand?".
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:53 PM on September 22, 2007


Er, guys? All these pictures are, um, in focus. What the heck? You clearly aren't drinking enough.

Also, you are all very pretty.
posted by flashboy at 5:01 PM on September 22, 2007


actually, I seem to be developing jowls.
posted by jonmc at 5:21 PM on September 22, 2007


"He's a goodlooking guy!"

Better than Paul Simon! (Or Randy Newman!)
posted by klangklangston at 5:54 PM on September 22, 2007


Listen guys, for the record, I was all over the Afroblanco=Garfunkel thing a long time ago.

Looking at those pictures reminds me of when I saw Simon and Garfunkel a few years ago, and a dude was playing didgeridoo onstage and Garfunkel leaned over and mimed like it was a bong and he was lighting it. That was totally sweet.

Anyhoo, looks like a fun meetup!
posted by ludwig_van at 6:25 PM on September 22, 2007


Can't people take their own offense?
posted by smackfu at 6:31 PM on September 22, 2007


Seriously great photos!

I selfishly wish the meetup would of been a week earlier, I was in town.

Boy, I miss the city. Grimaldi's. Need pie now. Really.

DaShiv, I hope the goodbye bash is even better.

... and Afroblanco, that hair, omg. That would be a fire hazard where I live. ;-)
posted by -t at 6:49 PM on September 22, 2007


Nice pictures! How do you get the background so out-of-focus, photoshop, or something like a 28mm prime?

It's like capturing each person amidst the sea of their thoughts.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:07 PM on September 22, 2007


or a sea of whiskey.
posted by jonmc at 7:16 PM on September 22, 2007


Those are really great photos, but you're right; one of the best of all is the one of dashiv and jonmc together.

And I had afroblanco's hair in 1976.
posted by yhbc at 7:42 PM on September 22, 2007


Hello, gawjuses! (gawji?)

And pastabagel (and anybody else who wonders about DaShiv's beautiful shots): click here.
posted by rob511 at 7:46 PM on September 22, 2007


I think normally it's easier to get bokeh with a longer lens. Something like a f2.8 70-200mm gives great bokeh. And almost sexual pleasure upon seeing the pictures. Or, um, so I'm told.

I know you've told us before DaShiv, but could you fill in the photogs among us with what you where using that night?
posted by oxford blue at 7:46 PM on September 22, 2007


afroblanco is handsome and you all are jealous that you are not 29 in New York with hair like that, in 1976 or any damned time.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:49 PM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


He also let me pee on the roof of his apartment building.
posted by jonmc at 7:52 PM on September 22, 2007


You take absolutely beautiful portraits, DaShiv. I'm too shy to go to meetups (I've already passed up one opportunity to meet Hermitosis, sigh) so can you just come to my house and photograph me there? :-)
posted by pinky at 7:52 PM on September 22, 2007


Man, I wish I'd been able to come. Hopefully you all had a great time.
posted by gaspode at 8:21 PM on September 22, 2007


HE'S A WHITE DUDE WITH A BLOND AFRO

IT JUST WORKS
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:28 PM on September 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


I wanted to attend too, but being the good son that I am, I instead spent last night (and today) upstate with my parents "celebrating" Yom Kippur.

Barring any unforeseen developments, I should be able to make it to the meetup on Wednesday.
posted by Poolio at 9:08 PM on September 22, 2007


Umm, DaShiv...how did the pics from Grassroots turn out?
posted by brujita at 10:13 PM on September 22, 2007


Awww, thanks for the compliments, guys.

(and thanks, dashiv, for the k-rad pics!)
posted by Afroblanco at 10:26 PM on September 22, 2007


These photos are wonderful. Thank you, DaShiv! Thank you, muckster!

During the meetup, a woman approached us and wondered who we were and what was going on. The sight of two photographers circling the group and clicking away furiously with professional-grade cameras had convinced her that we were Famous People.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:41 PM on September 22, 2007


He also let me pee on the roof of his apartment building.
posted by jonmc at 10:52 PM on September 22 [+] [!]


Tips & hints: Don't let jonmc impress you, everyone in NYC is peeing on everyone's roof.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:19 PM on September 22, 2007


Tips & hints: Don't let jonmc impress you, everyone in NYC is peeing on everyone's roof.

So that's what all those ceiling stains in my old Brooklyn apartment were all about!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:22 PM on September 22, 2007


During the meetup, a woman approached us and wondered who we were and what was going on. The sight of two photographers circling the group and clicking away furiously with professional-grade cameras had convinced her that we were Famous People.

She was probably an out-of-towner. New Yorkers are usually too cool and/or discreet to (a) approach and fawn over famous people, and/or (b) to demonstrate publicly that some person or persons are perceived or suspected to be famous, but their exact identities are in fact unknown.

And let me be the nth person to say, yes, these are some damn fine portraits! DaShiv, if you're ever passing through Tokyo, please let us know! Maybe you could honor us with your presence, and, er... snap a few of us Tokyoites?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:34 PM on September 22, 2007


I honestly thought people would have reacted to afroblanco's hair the first time around.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:55 PM on September 22, 2007


So that's why he calls himself "afroblanco".

I was more like So that's why he calls himself "DaShiv".
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:03 AM on September 23, 2007


The laughter was from suddenly realizing why afroblanco calls himself afroblanco: because he's a white dude with an awesome afro. Seriously 'blanco, you look great. No derision in my laughter.
posted by tehloki at 12:29 AM on September 23, 2007


Amazing photographs--you all look GOWGEOUS!
posted by hadjiboy at 3:17 AM on September 23, 2007


Man you all are looking hotter than normal. I miss you crazy folks.
posted by piratebowling at 4:05 AM on September 23, 2007


Yay! See you Wednesday! AND Sunday to get my DS charger!
posted by spec80 at 6:00 AM on September 23, 2007


Thanks for the compliments!

how did the pics from Grassroots turn out?

Not at all, really. It was a bad idea to try to start putzing around with the camera sometime past midnight, given all the drinking going on before then.

How do you get the background so out-of-focus, photoshop, or something like a 28mm prime?

There are a number of factors for producing photos with blurred backgrounds, and most of these factors involve using a shallow DOF. In rough order of importance to me, producing blurred backgrounds involve:

a) Camera-subject distance: the closer the camera is to the subject and the further the background is behind the subject, the more blurred the background. This is most dramatically illustrated in macro photography.
b) Camera sensor format: the larger the camera sensor, the shallower the DOF once you've adjusted your framing to match. You can get some lovely backgrounds using all sorts of lenses when shooting medium format; conversely, it's almost impossible (short of shooting at very close distances) to produce dramatically out-of-focus backgrounds with the tiny sensors in most digital point-and-shoots.
c) Lens focal length: the longer the lens focal length, the shallower the DOF, so it's difficult to blow out the background at all using a wide angle lens.
d) Lens aperture size: lastly, the larger the lens aperture when shooting (smaller f-numbers for aperture means larger maximum iris size), the shallower the DOF. An f/2.8 lens is going to produce a shallower DOF than the f/4 or f/5.6 that's typical of most zooms, but primes are even better for shallow DOF than zooms.

There are other considerations -- for instance, apparent DOF increases with smaller output size and larger viewing distance -- but the above will be the factors that one deals with while shooting.

To put it all together, I shoot with a Canon 5D (full-frame 35mm equivalent sensor size) with a 85mm lens (a short telephoto) with an f/1.2 max aperture (which is enormous). 85mm isn't a terribly long lens: some fashion photographers use lenses as long as 300/2.8 (and assistants with walkie-talkies!) for maximal subject isolation, and a few years back there was a run on 200/1.8 lenses among Korean wedding photographers to isolate their couples while shooting within crowded public parks. For me though, 85mm gives me a good working distance: far enough from the subject to be reasonably flattering, but close enough so that the subject-background distance is still large compared to the camera-subject distance. And at 85mm, f/1.2 creates a very limited DOF at head-and-shoulders working distances -- less than an inch.

With such a limited DOF, sharpness falls off very dramatically. Objects even a foot or less behind the subject are blurred. For instance, in this photo of mdn (which, by the way, fails to really capture how lovely she is in person), her leaning forward just a bit was enough for my sensor size/focal length/aperture combo to blur the fence less than a foot behind her. And objects even farther away -- for instance, the spectacular highlights in the background of this photo of Lola_G -- are completely morphed into round, abstract shapes.

Let me just caution that shallow DOF is far from being an ideal to always strive for. Most working pros worry about having enough DOF to make sure what needs to be sharp is sharp, because otherwise the photo won't sell at all. And while an extremely shallow DOF is very useful for cleaning up distracting backgrounds when shooting in a situation like meetups, it can be very difficult to work with -- for instance, getting focus on someone's eyes instead of on their glasses -- and dramatically increases one's miss rate while shooting. Considering that nobody holds perfectly still while talking or laughing or what have you, and getting a good shot with such a shallow DOF becomes a bit of a crapshoot.

I mentioned to a few people that if I were better with lighting, I wouldn't need to rely on using a huge-aperture lens to suck in all the available light. Eventually I hope to be good enough with off-camera flash techniques (a la Strobist) to produce more consistent results than I'm getting now. So in a way, using such a shallow DOF is actually a reminder to me of my technical deficiencies as a photographer. As far as lighting goes, StickyCarpet pointed out how I was mercilessly bouncing my flash off of people's faces to augment whatever light I was bouncing off of that terribly dull brown fence. It's just whatever works, really, and likewise using a shallow DOF is sort of a crutch to help me get shots under difficult conditions. But it's an aesthetically pleasing crutch!
posted by DaShiv at 8:55 AM on September 23, 2007 [22 favorites]


85mm lens (a short telephoto) with an f/1.2 max aperture (which is enormous)

God, I miss your lenses. That one night they and I spent together was goddam magical. (I finally picked up the 50mm f1.8 II yesterday, as it happens. It's not enormous, but it's not 5.6 either. Yay!)
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:19 AM on September 23, 2007


Oh, and DaShiv, that other "party" I told you about turned out to be a very hippy-fied pre-equinox Festival Of Lights "ritual" with about twenty pretty young dancer-types meditating and chanting around a giant iron star with 200 candles burning on it. It ended just after we arrived, so you would have missed it, but I saw the whole thing through your lenses in my minds eye.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:32 AM on September 23, 2007


Yaaay, glad you all had fun. See you all Wednesday night!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:33 AM on September 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


piratebowling: Man you all are looking hotter than normal. I miss you crazy folks.

All we needed was you, unkown command, dame, and TPS and NYC could have rested easy in the beauty pageant department.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:41 AM on September 23, 2007


Maybe I can come Weds. Where is it?
posted by dame at 11:10 AM on September 23, 2007


Hey youse dere, Dame. Check the sidebar!
posted by hermitosis at 11:29 AM on September 23, 2007


Cortex: I don't know if you're shooting with a Canon, but if you are then I know that Canon 50mm f1.8 well and it's a great lens for an incredible price. You're going to love it. HOWEVER, I saved up and traded mine in for this 50mm f1.4. Yes, it's $300, and yes it's only one more stop, but my God is it an amazing lens. You want fantastic short DOF effects? Open it all the way up and you got 'em. I'm very far from a pro and all I can do is lust after DaShiv's full-frame sensor and super-fast 85mm. As for skills, I can't even LUST after DaShiv's, all I can do is sit in awe. But if you want an incredibly fun prime that forces you to set up your shots and think while giving you stunning results (and assuming you're shooting Canon) give the above a look.
posted by The Bellman at 11:45 AM on September 23, 2007


Oh, I hear you. I just don't shoot enough to really feel good about dropping a lot of cash on lenses at the moment; that it's taken me a year to get around to picking up the 1.8 for $80 should give you an idea of the chances of me dropping four times that on a different 50.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:26 PM on September 23, 2007


You can always go buy a Canon FD film camera. A 50mm 1.4 is $50 used, and a 50mm 1.2 is $250. And of course they're manual focus, so you don't have to worry about the AF missing the subject with the short DOF.
posted by smackfu at 2:05 PM on September 23, 2007


Oh, Astoria. And on a schoolnight. Unlikely.
posted by dame at 2:31 PM on September 23, 2007


But *I* am going to be there, my love! You know you want to make the trek!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:59 PM on September 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Excellent point, smackfu. But the way-ay-ting is the hardest part.
posted by The Bellman at 4:30 PM on September 23, 2007


Goddamit I am so pissed I missed this. Stupid emergencies. If something comes up to keep me away from Wed's festivities I'll burst a blood vessel.

Who was manning camera #2 out of curiosity?
posted by Skorgu at 5:57 PM on September 23, 2007


Muckster was manning camera #2.
posted by jason's_planet at 6:09 PM on September 23, 2007


Oh. Crap.

You know I was in Manhattan last week and this weekend (for the big AIGA Gala — we sat in the table next to Martha Stewart).

And I forgot you all had a gathering. You all could've met the lovely and charming Mrs. Tk. Seen TK in a suit. And very drunk. Oh you missed so may exciting possible TK experiences...

Yup. Erm. We went to...

spam-a-lot

...that night instead.


*hangs head in shame*
posted by tkchrist at 9:45 PM on September 23, 2007


I would like to once again officially complain that I am not with the beautiful people in NYC.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:13 AM on September 24, 2007


This is Kirsten, StickyCarpet's plus-one and a long-time unregistered Metafilter lurker. On the way there she said" "the only names I remember are Meatbomb and languagehat."
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:53 AM on September 24, 2007


Holy shit! I got a shout-out from jonmc! Thanks, bruh!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:21 AM on September 24, 2007


Meatbomb, you were missed. I even told Sticky Carpet that I wished you were there.
posted by Lola_G at 7:27 AM on September 24, 2007


Hi Kirsten!
posted by languagehat at 9:10 AM on September 24, 2007


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