Waterfall on the Bronx River

The 23-mile Bronx River winds down through southern Westchester County and the Bronx creating a peaceful corridor of green. Called Aquehung or “River of High Bluffs” by the Mohegan Indians who lived and fished along it, the river attracted European traders, farmers, and millers in the 1600s and 1700s. The construction of the New York Central Railroad in the 1840s turned the valley into an industrial corridor, and by the end of the 19th century the Bronx River had degenerated into what one official commission called “an open sewer.”

Two major reclamation projects served as buffers against further industrial development. In 1888, land was set aside for Bronx Park, which would include the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo. In the early 20th century, the first modern automotive parkway with restricted frontage, limited access, and grade separations was built along the Bronx River in New York City and Westchester County. The Bronx River Parkway was initiated in 1906 as a river conservation effort; however, efforts lagged until after World War I. It was not until 1925 that the 15.5-mile linear park and winding roadway, between Bronx Park in New York and the Kensico Dam in Valhalla, was completed.

The automobile industry had rapidly expanded in the meantime, and the beautifully landscaped, curvilinear Bronx River Parkway was greatly appreciated by car owners. Driving along at 35 miles per hour, they enjoyed picturesque views of the restored river and the surrounding park. The convenience and beauty of the many rusticated stone bridges that carried intersecting traffic over the parkway were equally unprecedented.

In 1938, the City of New York acquired land for the extension of the Bronx River Parkway from Bronx Park south to Soundview Park. Construction of the parkway was completed after the war, by 1952. Much of the land for the James Burke Ballfields (named by the City Council in 1968) was acquired in 1946. This 4.6-acre playground was opened to the public in 1956. It featured three softball diamonds, shower basin, swings, and slides for older children, as well as see-saws, sandpits, swings, and slides for tots.

In 1995, sixteen Council Members co-sponsored the local law which renamed the playground area in James Burke Ballfields in memory of six children who were slain between 1986 and 1990. Parque de los Niños (Park of the Children, or Children’s Park) was dedicated in memory of Annette Rosario, Shamira Bello, Heriberto Marrero, Nilda Cartagena, Lisa Ann Rodriguez, and Jessica Guzman, all of whom grew up in New York City. A Linden tree (Tilia spp.) was planted in the park that year. This tree has heart-shaped leaves and round, hard fruits which remain on the tree until winter. (Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation).

Taken with a Sony A7IV and Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Lens

Ansel Adams. Examples. The Making of 40 Photographs

I bought this book a long time ago and loved it. Unfortunately, we had a seriously water leak in the house and this was one of the items that was destroyed during the flood. When this happened, I vowed to replace it quicky. And them promptly forgot.

Recently, while looking for something else on eBay I came across a used copy of the book in very good condition and at a very reasonable price. It didn’t take me long to place the order.

Amazon describes it as follows:


“How did you make this photograph?”

This is a question that Ansel Adams was asked repeatedly throughout his lifetime. In Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs, Adams shares the circumstances surrounding the creation of many of his most celebrated images. Each classic photograph is superbly reproduced and accompanied by an entertaining and informative narrative that combines his own reminiscences of people and places with precise recall of technical details and aesthetic considerations.

Readers will be fascinated by the personal side of the text, which includes a great deal of history and anecdote, including appearances by Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Weston, and other notable figures such as Edwin Land of Polaroid. Pondering these essays conjures the sense of standing by Adams’ side during some of the most pivotal and profound creative moments of his life in photography—a master class with the legendary artist.

The specific technical information on camera and lens, filters, exposure times, developing, and printing provided in each example illustrates his approach and methods, and will help amateurs and professionals alike to advance their photography. Through this case study approach, Adams’ philosophy of craft and creativity unfolds; his credos of visualization, image management, and the Zone System are demonstrated; and the colorful story of a lifetime devoted to photography is revealed.

I couldn’t agree more. At times, when it gets into technical commentary on the zone system I was a bit at a loss. But, it’s great to get some insight it what’s going on in the mind of a famous photographer when a great photograph is being taken.