Looking into the Sun

Almost a Miracle on 57th Street

You foresee hazards when you are driving; you anticipate vacations while at work, but do you try to predict opportunities to be creative? Two atmospheric phenomenons happened yesterday in NYC and each was predictable and provided an opportunity.

By an accident of city planning twice a year, the east/west cross streets perfectly align with the setting sun making what is called the Manhattan Stonehenge Effect. You can mark your calendar for May 30th and June 12th and find a spot to watch and take your own Stonehenge type photo.

I tried the corner of 57h street and 10th avenue, (pictured) however; it was not ideal since a building across the river in New Jersey blocked the horizon during the suns descent.

The other event happened earlier in the day. If you dial down the power on your crystal ball to low, rainbows can be predicted too. When the clouds part after late afternoon showers, the sun shines through distant raindrops and if you look around, you can usually find a rainbow. Yesterday storm yielded a strong double rainbow over midtown as seen from my kitchen table. (someone’s better rainbow photo after the same storm)

Where Trouble Melts Like Lemon Drops

Photojournists and sports photographers anticipate action. Often we can predict an event like a sunset, a rainbow or fireworks and than add an interesting background or foreground to create more interest. Whatever your medium, do you predict occasions to be creative?



  1. do you try to predict opportunities to be creative?
    What an awesome question. I am sharing this! The photos are spectacular and you must have quite the window on the world from your breakfast table!

  2. Chris Burchette says:

    David, the photographs are beautiful. Are you going to paint them, too?

    • Thanks very much Chris!
      I have some similar ones that I hope to paint from – the challenge I have found is that unbelievable effects can make great photos but they aren’t believable as paintings.

  3. Curtis Haymore says:

    David, I’m visiting myson in Las Vegas. He lives on the edge of the desert, and plans his hikes to include the sunsets and sunrises. He has a good point and shoot camera, which is enough to get great shots in these conditions. His dog is often in the lead, so many have this happy, free dog running toward awesome horizons.

  4. I can picture your son’s dog leading the way on the hikes – good idea to plan for photos around sunrises and sunsets during hikes – and it provides a connection to nature. Enjoy your visit and thanks for sharing Curtis!
    David Goldstein recently posted..Looking into the SunMy Profile

  5. Love the lower photo and the colour of the sun in the upper one. My husband and I are somehow drawn to rainbows and whenever there is one, if we’re indoors, we call the other to the window to see it. I still remember several times we’ve shared rainbows when we’ve been out driving or on holiday. They make everything special! We get a lot of double rainbows where we live. Astonishing things.

    Curiously, I saw a photo of the Manhattan Stonehenge effect just a few days ago.

    I don’t know that I predict occasional to be creative, but I’ve recently realised that it’s when I’ve been doing something very repetitive and dull that my creativity is quietly percolating… I have some paper on the floor near where I sit and warm my feet (which are nearly always cold!) and find myself pouring a lot of creative stuff onto that, stuff I didn’t really know was there.
    Val recently posted..Changes changes changesMy Profile

  6. Thanks Val – I agree, even if we get to see them often, rainbows are astonishing – Sometimes I like to make my own with a garden hose. There is something about repetitive and dullness that brings our creativity.

    I recently read “How Mobile Devices Rob You of Creativity” on BNET http://bit.ly/q0kjcV and it suggests that with our smart phones, we have less time to be bored so we are losing opportunities to be creative.

    You seem to manage to be prolific in your art and writing so predicable or not, something is working well for you!
    David Goldstein recently posted..Looking into the SunMy Profile

    • It is interesting, isn’t it, that boredom equates to a spur towards creativity? I do think that the more I’m on the internet – certainly with my habit of always filling up my mind with stuff I read on it – the less creative I am in terms of originality. Does it affect you the same way?
      Val recently posted..A short chat with Mrs IcyMy Profile

      • fascinating question Val and it deserves some thought and a more lenghty answer, but for now –

        it’s discouraging to come up with something “original” only to enter a few keywords into a search engine to find others are thinking in the same space.

        I think filling our heads with the latest thinking on subjects is like seeding our own clouds for a future rain storm of ideas. Everything we do, is done in our own way and is somewhat original.
        David Goldstein recently posted..Looking into the SunMy Profile

  7. Hi David, I think when I anticipate creative ops, I freeze up! I do keep my eyes/ears open for spontaneous, interesting/unusual ops & spectacles (like my recent levitating tanker)… On a recent, spontaneous visit to family in Saratoga, I was ‘forced’ to create cards for 3 grand-nieces. After the freeze-up, I was pretty happy w/my 3d attempt. My sis/by-law, Charlotte, is awesomely creative & keeps lots of materials on hand for spontaneous artistic urges–having the supplies is probably key. So, a safe & supply-rich environment is really, really helpful for me.

  8. Sometimes being surrounded by a variety of material within reach helps to inspire us create. Also when you were “forced” to make the cards, the first of anything we try is often not as good as we want but as we try-try again they get better and better. Thanks Carol !
    David Goldstein recently posted..Looking into the SunMy Profile

    • Yes! being around the inspiration (my nieces) & materials allowed my right brain to gestate…Your having a camera handy for any opportunity allows you to capture the amazing things you see with your trained eye, & later develop into great pictures & paintings. You’re a great teacher David!

  9. Too many buildings in the city, right? That’s my problem too when i’m taking pictures (as rare as that may be), that’s why i prefer nature.
    Well, i guess the Manhattan Stonehenge Effect was worth a try on your part, really sad about that building.
    Richard recently posted..How to Spray with the Paint Zoom ProperlyMy Profile

  10. I still love sunset in the city. Looking into the sun is very nice when you are on the top of the building.