Every once in a while, I need a really good New York day to renew my love for the city and reignite the magic I found when I first came here as a 17-year old. It's a really good thing that just as the weather forces me to question why I ever left Los Angeles in the first place, that the entirety of New York City also amps up its curb appeal by turning out holiday decorations, adopting a festive disposition, and balancing out the complaints about the weather with general niceties and cheer.So, with the urge to reaffirm my life's decisions and the rising cost of living, I set out with Canon and an itinerary full of behind-the-scenes, only-in-NYC opportunities. I got an up-close-and-personal look of Marchesa's gowns during a photoshoot - with Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig in the flesh, walked up and down the aisles of an empty Broadway theater (and snuck behind the curtain, too), and wandered the stairwells of the Villard Mansion inside The New York Palace Hotel. I set out on my exploration with a Canon EOS Rebel SL1 DSLR camera in tow, easily one of the lightest cameras I've ever held, (especially as someone who so frequently carries around the amazing-but-super-heavy Canon EOS 5D Mark II!) I love my default camera and all its many lenses, but sometimes its size and weight prevents me from taking it everywhere with me. The EOS Rebel SL1 was compatible with all my lenses while being nearly weightless and far more compact - making it a lot easier to get the amazing photo quality I desire without being weighed down.The first stop on the tour was Marchesa's studio, where I sipped on coffee while swooning my way through racks of exquisitely detailed gowns. I've loved Marchesa's collection from afar for years, but it's just impossible to fully appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into every piece from photos of a runway or red-carpet appearance. Seeing them in the flesh and being able to touch and hold the dresses was beyond inspiring! Using a Canon macro lens, I was able to get close-up details from up to a few inches away from the dresses. Next, we visited the Walter Kerr Theater, currently running A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. It felt surreal to experience a Broadway theatre during off-hours, especially after seeing BIRDMAN the night before. The play is a period piece so all the costumes and decor were beautiful, but I couldn't get over the architectural details of the space and how special the theatre community is in New York City. It was a good reminder to go see a play! It has been way, way too long, and I have a few on my list. (Anyone have a good recommendation?) While in the theatre, I used a Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens - what photo savvy people like to call a "pancake" lens. It's an almost flat, incredible light-weight fixed lens with great versatility - and because it's so small and compact (especially on top of the already-condensed Rebel SL1), it's ideal for travelers and people on-the-go... Definitely on my wishlist. After leaving the theatre district, we made our way cross town to the historic (and seriously swanky) New York Palace Hotel. I've, strangely, been in many of NYC's most iconic hotels, but the New York Palace was not one of them. What was inside was really extraordinary; you wouldn't know it from the outside, but the hotel was built around The Villard Mansion, built just opposite St. John's Cathedral. It's just... beyond stunning, and to remember that this was built just prior to the great depression puts all its glamour, golden ceilings, and grandeur into context. Because the space was so dark, playing with the exposure and using wider lenses to capture all the details was essential to capturing it's glamour - and it was so easy to do with the Canon DSLR. I can't believe I had never been in this space before, and while I'm definitely planning another visit (and holiday time might be the best time to go), but for now I'm happy to swoon over these photos!
Thank you to Canon for sponsoring my blog.
This holiday season, Canon is encouraging everyone to #BringIt by bringing their Canon DSLR with them -- to their holiday parties, their winter vacations, and more.
All opinions and content are my own.