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Radiated on the Rock

Eight hundred and fifty feet above the swirl of ice skaters, roasting chestnuts and sea of dreamy-eyed children and adults alike the Top of the Rock knows nothing of the holiday season but the blasts of frigid mid-December winds. No matter how warming the view to the eyes the electrified city is ineffective in dampening the chill even to the slightest degree. Even with the legs fully extended on my tripod and using a remote shutter the camera quivered as violently as my own frozen hands. This would explain why only a few others joined me out on the large, two-tiered observation deck.

Only after circling the rooftop several times with my back magnetized to the wind was I able to find myself finally facing a desired view. And little more can be asked from what the Rock has to offer. While most might instinctively be inclined to scale the Eiffel Tower or Empire State Building the benefit of the vistas atop the GE Building at Rockefeller are that you can add New York’s most iconic structure to it. It may be known now as the Karl Pilkington Precept which states, “You better be living in the hole looking at the palace than living in the palace looking at the hole.” As we can learn from Karl, the views of the Empire State Building are not best from its observation deck. Of course, not to suggest the beautiful Rockefeller Center is anything comparable to a hole.

My body now acting like a make-shift wind breaker snapping a larger collection of long exposures actually became realistic. However, there was one unfortunate and definitive obstacle. Emerging from the shadows of a recessed utility doorway a security person made his way over to me, probably cursing my name all the way. Apparently, the dangerous, wide-stance of my three tripod legs had set off alarms throughout the facility and I needed to be dealt with immediately and swiftly. As he demonstrated for me how I may convert the tripod into an accepted mono-pod I, with no reasonable luck, attempted to envision any possible reasons that a tripod might be detrimental to either the managers or patrons of the Rock. No matter how severely dumb I played I never grew wiser to the purpose of the rule.

The result, seen here, is a one-third incomplete HDR panoramic which is actually framed quite nice I think. Six shots in total. I just consider myself lucky to have snapped off that many.

About Brian Hoffsis

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