This summer, a small but dedicated crew of photographers braved the July showers to photograph the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and they shared their work with us. From those photos, BLDG 92 Visiting Artist Robin Michals selected her three favorites, which will be displayed in BLDG 92 in 2016.
Robin’s work has been focused around the changing face of the Brooklyn waterfront, so not surprisingly, her selections reflect that sensibility, showcasing the Yard’s industrial dimensions and working character. We will continue that trend with our fall installment, when we will be joined by John Bartlelstone, longtime chronicler of the Yard’s heavy industry, and focus our lenses on the working waterfront areas.
Robin’s reflections are below – congratulations to all the winners!
On Jeff Knoll’s photograph: “The Brooklyn Navy Yard is a rich location for photographers as there are so many stories to be told and there are always new ways to tell those stories. Each of these three photographers shows a different side of the Yard in a fresh way. Great advice given to photographers, that I usually forget to follow myself, is: if you and everyone else are photographing something, turn around 180 degrees for an alternate view. Jeff Knoll, instead of photographing the Sanitation Department’s salt storage dome itself, uses it here in this lovely photo as a frame within the frame. The inclusion of two silhouetted figures, nicely placed using the rule of thirds, creates a strong sense of the immensity of the dome and the Yard in general. This also solves the difficult, photographic problem of the flat white sky of an overcast day. Here the sky becomes a strong shape adding to the visual interest of the photo.”
“Janet Squitieri, also, made a visually engaging use of a frame within a frame in this photograph she took at the Yard. The view through the circular opening includes a tire, creating a small circle inside the big circle, emphasizing a sense of scale and deep space. Sharp focus on the elements across the water draw our attention through the opening. The rust, both near and far, show the passing of time in the wear and tear on the Yard’s infrastructure.”
I should add that special recognition belongs to Janet and her sister Joan, who have been with us on this tour in on all four seasons, and two of the nine finalists photos selected so far in 2015 are Janet’s.
Finally, this shot from Larry Nicosia: “Photographers tend to love the Yard for its ruins and certainly the old cranes and other abandoned structures make for some beautiful, romantic images. This shot by Larry Nicosia reminds us that the Yard is also a work place with an active maritime component. He uses the color contrast of the bright green hard hat to contrast with more muted colors of the Double Skin oil tank barge and the bulk carrier, the Alice Oldendorff to remind us of the vitality of the industry at the Yard in the present.”
Turnstile Tours offers the Seasonal Photography Tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard four times throughout the year. The final tour of the 2015 season will be Saturday, October 10 at 11am. Get tickets & information here, and advance ticket purchase is highly recommended. We also offer our Past, Present & Future Tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard every weekend at 2pm, and other special themed tours of The Yard. All tours are offered in partnership with and begin at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, which offers free admission to three floors of exhibitions on the Yard’s past and present and a host of great special events and programs.