On Saturday, July 26 we held the third installment of our 2014 series of Seasonal Photography Tours of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. As part of this tour series, we give the participants the opportunity to submit their work to our photo contest. The submissions are then judged by a BLDG 92 Visiting Artist, who selects three pieces each season. This summer, we were so lucky to have painter and visual artist Michael Miller share his keen eye and insight about this wonderful crop of photos. Below are Michael’s selections and reflections on them:
It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to see such original and creative visions of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I appreciate the way the photographers have used elements of the landscape – ropes, rails, stairs and creepers – to draw the eye into these images. I admire how they have exploited the light of a late summer afternoon to bring out textures and features; how they have conveyed the mystery and melancholy of the Naval Hospital campus; and how they have isolated small, intimate and even abstract details that convey a much larger story. Quirky, humorous, sensitive and creative, each artist has succeeded in communicating a very personal vision.
Jenneka Hernandez: Jenneka’s beautifully executed photographs capture the quality of the late afternoon summer light and employ color accents of red, pink or yellow to set off the blue and grey hues of the Yard and the East River. In this abstracted image of a working landscape, she uses this light to create a fascinating painterly effect, evoking a canvas with rich, saturated colors – the red-orange paintwork glows against the complementary grey-greens of the water – and a range of textures. The circular steps provide an intriguing vertical element to the composition, echoed in the sections of the concrete wall, while the scrapes and striations bring a geological quality to the image.
Anne Chamberlain: Often isolating small details, Anne’s photographs appear to seek out abstract elements in the Navy Yard landscape. This image struck me immediately: the subdued hues of blue, violet, red oxide and grey set off by the yellow ochre splashes, the materials that evoke the Yard’s manufacturing past and present, the texture and physical presence of the beam, and the intriguing collection of bolts, carefully placed, hinting at a story we can only imagine.
Catherine Feliciano: Several of Catherine’s photographs reference nature in the Navy Yard setting. Here, for me, it is the understated presence of the pot plant that makes this such a successful photograph. The diagonals and textures of brick and steel, emphasized by the vertical strip of serene sky, provide for interesting compositional elements, while the plant on the fire escape speaks of care, intimacy and a human presence.
Thanks so much to all the visitors who joined our summer tour, and we hope you’ll join us for our last photography tour of 2014, on October 25. After that tour and corresponding photography contest, we will have identified our 12 finalists for the year-end competition, a chance to win a private tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard for up to 30 people – see the 2013 finalists and winners here.
Turnstile Tours offers the Seasonal Photography Tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard four times throughout the year. The last tour of the 2014 season will be Saturday, October 25 at 11am. Get more information here, and advance ticket purchase is highly recommended. We also offer our Past, Present & Future Tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard every Saturday and Sunday 2:30-4:30pm, 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.