Location: New York, New York • Date: 2/17/11 • Standard Print (w & h): Image: 47.1" x 95.5"
This image of the Flatiron building is composed of 42 individual shots taken at 200mm. Two days before I shot these images I went to a show at the Metropolitan Museum entitled, Stieglitz, Steichen and Strand, which included three of Steichen's 1904 prints of the then new Flatiron (it was completed in 1902). The narration describing these images referred to them as the "crown jewels" of the Met's photography collection–they are wonderfully evocative, and were the highlights of the show. Steichen's impact on photography is hard to overestimate. However, I must admit to a Stieglitz bias, and the show contained some wonderful examples of his work as well, including an actual print of The Steerage.
Both Steichen and Stieglitz (who created an image of the building in 1903) framed the Flatiron with the tree branches from Madison Square Park. I got to the Park about thirty minutes before dawn and was hoping for regal colors to complement the ornate terra cotta of the building. Alas, the sky was completely, instead of partially, overcast, but I got something grander than color. Standing in Worth Square (a tiny triangle between Fifth and Broadway) for two hours, I got to watch the city wake up around one of its iconic landmarks, as the building gradually appeared from the darkness.