Rainy Day in New York

FUJIFILM X-H1 (16mm, f/4, 1/30 sec, ISO2500)

Third day in New York City – the third season. First day was a warm day in spring, the second day a hot and humid summer day and today a cold and rainy day in autumn.

And that’s what it is or it least what it will be in Austria. Two more nights before we get back to the airport and back home. A rainy day in October. The best thing to do is to visit a museum. And that’s what we did.

Because of the forecast I decided to take the Fuji X-H1 and the XF 16-55/2.5 WR and leave the rest in our hotel room. I was not too eager to stop for lens changes so the 16-55 was the best choice plus the fact that it is WR doesn’t hurt either. I got used to the weight during this trip because this was my main setup but after shooting with my X-Pro2 again for the last two days it was a substantial difference. On our way to the museum we briefly walked behind this dog walker. Just long enough to saw him passing a homeless guy that had a plastic bag over his left leg.

Dogs dressed in rain coats and a guy who has no decent pair of shoes. Welcome to 5th Avenue, New York.

FUJIFILM X-H1 (29.2mm, f/4, 1/200 sec, ISO800)
FUJIFILM X-H1 (16mm, f/4, 1/170 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-H1 (16mm, f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO320)

Luckily we were early. There was only a short line outside of the museum. We went in a tried to spend not too much time in base floor that quickly filled with people.

The Guggenheim museum is a very nice building. It’s like a round tower but one that got wider the higher you get. The exhibits are located on the outer wall. You walk by on a spiral that slowly gets you to the top of the building. There is plenty of light coming in from the glass roof. It is a beautiful museum that just works. And below image is misleading: It is not cramped with paintings. The art has room to breathe. That’s the main difference in between the old famous museums in Europe and the rather new museums in the “New” world.

In the National Gallery of similar museums the walls are full of paintings. From the bottom to the top. One next to the other. Of course there are so many master pieces and there is not enough room. In those “new” museums there isn’t such an abundance of art, rather a couple of selected pieces in a beautiful setup. I like both types but for photography I prefer the new, modern museums. FUJIFILM X-H1 (16mm, f/4, 1/15 sec, ISO2500)
FUJIFILM X-H1 (16mm, f/4, 1/15 sec, ISO640)
FUJIFILM X-H1 (21.3mm, f/2.8, 1/15 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-H1 (24.9mm, f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO320)
FUJIFILM X-H1 (16mm, f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO250)

There is some truly beautiful art here but the real star for me is still the building. That is just beautiful and effective architecture. Of course one can argue that the stars of every museum should be the exhibits not the building itself but I think the solution is simple: Make sure that your work is a true piece of art. A true piece of art will always stand out.

The main problem is that today every one-horse town has an art museum but there is not enough art to fill them all. If you spray paint a couple of cloth hangers blue and put them in front of mirror it might look nice but it might not be art in a common sense.

But this is not a one horse town, it’s New York City so you don’t have to be afraid that the Guggenheim Museum is just a beautiful but empty shell. It is much more.

FUJIFILM X-H1 (16mm, f/4, 1/30 sec, ISO1250)
FUJIFILM X-H1 (16mm, f/4, 1/30 sec, ISO2500)
FUJIFILM X-H1 (16mm, f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO640)
FUJIFILM X-H1 (18.7mm, f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO400)
FUJIFILM X-H1 (19.4mm, f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO320)

This is a place where you can spend a lot of time but not on a rainy day when all the late season tourists are seeking shelter from the rain. It got very crowded and surprisingly noisy too. A museum should be like a library. A quiet place for contemplation. As more and more visitors poured into the building it started to remind us of the Monterey Aquarium on the 4th of July weekend. And that’s not a good thing.

So finally we decided that we have seen enough for today. We most likely will visit it again but next time it has to be a sunny day.

FUJIFILM X-H1 (16mm, f/4.5, 1/125 sec, ISO200)