Archive for the 'Photography' Category



Once again I have made my yearly journey into Manhattan to check out the New York City Gay Pride Parade. This year did make the one year anniversary of same-sex marriage being made legal in New York state.

And as always there was joy and celebration for gay rights and the support of marriage for same-sex genders. The event was not packed with people as it was last year, but overall still a joyful and fun event to attend. It was full of event/parade supporters and fans of the movement. Below are some of the many photos that I have taken of the parade.

As you can see from the photo above I did pick a good location to photograph the event. This was taken about a half hour before the parade had started.

Once you see a policeman on a motorcycle, you know the parade is about to pass through.

And here they come!

I personally like the next photo below. One of the unexpected things about photography is that you never know how a photo will come out until you see it afterwards. An interesting contrast I think. Law enforcement standing in front of a sea of rainbow color balloons. Years ago being gay was considered a crime, we have come a long way from those days.

Here is singer Cindy Lauper, she was a Grand Marshal at the event.

As well the Speaker of the New York City Council and Council Member of the 3rd District Christine Quinn

Below is New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

Another photo of New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

Old age did not stop this person of attending.

New York Governor Mario Cuomo.

Here is HLN news anchor Jane Velez-Mitchell.

This next photo I thought was just too funny, I had to post this. 🙂

I really like this photo, actor George Takei (Sulu) from Star Trek.

NYPD  commissioner Ray Kelly.

And there goes my day in photos of the New York City Gay Pride Parade. An event worth going to each and every year. If you did not make it, this will be the next best thing to being at the event. And of course I will be at the parade next year.



One of the many reasons that I love my home town of New York City. Is the fact that there are some street festivals that appear  to be very interesting and worth going to.

The Folsom Street East Festival is was of those street fairs that is very interesting, and worth going to. Reason being is because the Folsom Street East Festival is an annual BDSM and leather subculture street fair.

You can see the events website located at.:

I have always wanted travel to see such an event, but for various reasons, I have missed it in past years. But this time around I was able to travel and view yesterdays event. The festival was packed of loads of people (sorry for the pun…) that are into the BDSM and leather subculture, along with supporters, and people that were just generally interested in discovering the subculture.

I have always been fascinated with it myself, so I was more than willing to go check it out. So with camera in hand and tow I went to go check it out. The place was packed with lots of people, leather, gym bodies, condoms and kink. Actually… The fact that it had loads of people, leather, gym bodies, condoms and kink just made it all the more fun.

While at the event I did see some of my friends that I have not seen in a while and as well have seen one of my Twitter followers that I know for a fact is totally into the BDSM and leather subculture. For the record I know a few of my Twitter followers that are into it as well. But at the time I have seen only one of them. Granted with so many people there I am sure that I had missed the others. And as well I did encounter another major blogger from the blogosphere, who was just carrying on being a social butterfly. Witch they are notorious for doing. With press pass in hand, I went deep to explore the event, and to check out what was going on.

And I did notice a major porn star at the event as well. “Hot Dam!” 🙂

Below are the photos that I had taken from the event.

This was the fist person that I had noticed as soon as I walked into the event. You couldn’t miss him for he was on stilts.

Like I said… The place was packed.

This was the live stage they had for acts an performances.

I tried a few times to get into the Eagle Bar a couple of times, but as you can see the place was packed!

One of the many interesting displays at the event.

Someone getting whipped, slightly of course for this was a public display.

Silence Of The Lambs?

Work that hair dammit!

The picture above I thought was funny for the tee-shirt on the person’s back had read. “If I wore something underneath this kilt, then it would be a skirt.”

Someone mentioned to me that the person in the above photo, in the burgundy and grey stripped undershirt was news broadcaster Keith Boykin, this I did not confirm.

I noticed the ass and I had to take a few photos.

I did say that I noticed the ass… You was warned! 😉

And now the front view.

All I can say about the last six photos is “Lord have mercy.” Mind you… That was mentioned in a good way. This event was a sight to see, and it’s a “must return” event for next year.




The concept of what I wanted to do for this photography post was just to just go around town. (In this case Manhattan, New York.) And just randomly take photos during my travels. Now granted this concept is not a new idea, most people will just walk around with the hopes of getting an interesting or great photo taken.

And I know some of you are thinking “You did pick Manhattan, New York for your location.” My answer to the above question/statement is “No… I did not pick Manhattan as the primary location. I live in New York City and traveling to Manhattan is something that I may have to do  once or twice a week to randomly take care of some business that I may have.”

There is nothing special about Manhattan New York if you ask me. (Now I know that some of you who are reading this and that have never been to New York City are probably gasping for air, mouth wide open. Clutching your pearls, and crossing your legs in fear as if I broke some sort of religious holy rule that will have me instantly combust into flames and burn in fire and brimstone.) And some of you might be saying “How dare you talk evil about Manhattan like that!?!?” As if Manhattan is some sort of magical wonderland that should be worshiped, and all areas around it are irrelevant.

Now Let me explain my reasoning… New York City consists of five boroughs, each of which comprises a state county. The five boroughs—The Bronx,Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island—were consolidated into a single city back in 1898.

With the above said, We (or New York City’s tourism board) I should say promote Manhattan as the crown gem of the city. To me… “It’s just another part of town.” But each of the five boroughs are very unique and are worth exploring if you ever travel here.

With that said… What I wanted to do for this post was to just take random images of around town during one of my travels into the city. (Manhattan) I really did not take the time to plan this photo shoot, like I normally would do. No planned/or set location in mind, no planned subject to photograph. And no planning on film speed, ISO settings, lighting, lens filters, lens hood  and so on.

Just “point and shoot” the images that I wanted to take. So to a small extent you will be seeing what I have seen during my travels of the day, my camera becomes my eyes and “vision” and what is posted is what one would have seen if you was walking with me during my travels.

Some of the photos that you will see are also taken in black and white for I thought at the time that some of the photos taken would look better than in color.

The journey of my day starts in Brooklyn New York, arriving at fifty-ninth street, Columbus Circle in Manhattan. After my appointment on the West-Side of Manhattan, I traveled (walked) down twelfth avenue and fifty-ninth street to an area in lower Manhattan known as the West Village.

It was a good, long walk with a few funny moments that had happened as well. That will all be explained later in the post. So for now… Enjoy the view of what I had seen.

York Street Subway Station Brooklyn, New York.

York Street Subway Station Brooklyn, New York in black in white.

59th Street Subway exit showing globe statue and the Trump Tower.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice in black and white.

Statue at the entrance of DeWitt Clinton Park, DeWitt Clinton was the 6th Governor of the State of New York.

Intersection of 12th Ave & 34th Street, Manhattan. I really enjoy this photo for its rare that there is hardly any traffic on 34th street. (Or so I thought… I will explain shortly.) And off in the distance you see the Empire State Building. And now as mentioned, a “funny moment” needs to be told about the above listed photo.

I stated that there was hardly any traffic when the photo was taken. But what was behind me was major traffic turning off 12th avenue trying to get on 34th street. So I had to literally dodge, trucks, cars and tractor trailers trying to get on the street. You had about less than thirty seconds to get to the middle of the street, focus and shoot the photo before the light changes and traffic behind you starts barreling in on you.

And if that is not enough…

I went back to the middle of the street again to take the above black and white photo. Notice the cement truck on the right side of the photo, that was what had to swing around me as I stood in the middle of the street. The things I do for photography. 🙂

12th Ave & 32nd Street black and white. Taking this picture and the next one “almost” got me in trouble with police. It’s another funny story, how is it funny getting in trouble with the police? I will explain.

While taking this photo I tweeted via my BlackBerry to my Twitter account the following tweet. “@LUIS_CASTRO_NYC: Why the cops spying on me? Leave me alone! I am taking #photos !”

What had happen was that there was an unmarked police car that suddenly stopped short in the middle of traffic, blocking traffic that was now forced to go around them and the officers inside the unmarked car were just watching me.

Why was they doing this? The photo below explains.

Granted… It’s the same area, 12th Ave & 32nd Street. But If you look to the left on the middle of the block, it’s where the Department of Sanitation stores some of its garbage trucks, one of many facilities around the city. So it seems that I was some sort of threat just taking photos of the area.

Mind you… I just ignored them and just kept taking photos, besides. It was and is a public area, with so sign telling me not to do so. So I just kept doing so. I was once told by another photographer when I once asked him to review my work and could be give me some advice. And he told me as advice. “Never be afraid to take a shot.”

Good advice if you ask me, and one that I will always remember.

This photo above is of a park on 12 Avenue and West 23rd Street in the Chelsea area of Manhattan. One of the many oasis for kids and adults to enjoy.

This photo of a FDNY Fireboat, was taken once I had gotten to the West Side piers and park. In the background you can see Jersey City New Jersey. The FDNY Fireboat was traveling north across the Hudson River.

The next photo below I felt just had to be taken in black and white.

The photo above is of The new World Trade Center that is currently being built after the 9/11 attacks. A view that you can see all the way from the West Side piers and park. In retrospect, here is a photo of one of the original World Trade Towers being built back in 1971.

A true rebirth in progress. Interesting how the photo taken in 1971 and the one I took yesterday (June 13, 2012) seem to have been taken under similar weather conditions. Low cloud cover with slight drain/drizzle coming down.

Now the photo below is one of the many reasons that I love New York City.

Yes… Canadian Geese in Hudson River!

Their was two of them floating around in the Hudson River. In such a metropolitan city such as New York, you do see nature.

The photo above is the Gay Liberation statue in Christopher Park (at the intersection of Christopher, Grove, and West 4th Streets.)

The final photo was taken just before going home back to Brooklyn.

This was just a random photo of 6th Avenue and Waverly Place in Manhattan. Just a simple photo of a local street with people walking about.  And there goes a typical day for me, where you see my travels of the day, where my camera becomes my eyes and “vision.”



Yesterday was the yearly event of “Manhattanhenge.” It’s a semiannual occurrence in which the setting sun aligns with the east–west streets of the main street grid in the borough of Manhattan in New York City.

I was not able to view the event yesterday, reason being is the fact that I did not find out that in was going to happen until the very last moment. Manhattanhenge was to start at 8:17 pm and I was not informed about it until 7:30 pm last night.

To little time for me to have traveled with my photography gear to take any photos. The weather was from what I had heard was “not that great” to photograph the event. cloudy sky’s with a chance of a rain.

If you never seen the event it is an incredible thing to see. If you was seeing Manhattanhenge for the fist time, you might have been disappointed.

Below is a photo that was not taken by me, but by someone else. The credit for this image below goes to Anthony Correia via his Instagram account, and was posted via Twitter by @Shutterstock.

“Congratulations Anthony for being able to take a photo of Manhattanhenge and posting the photo for every one to see and review. In my opinion it was a great photo that you have taken.”

“One of the challenges of taking photos sometimes is the weather conditions that one might be subjected to during a photo shoot and he has definitely took the challenge head on.”

Below is a photo that I had taken of Manhattanhenge last year, when the weather conditions was better.

As you can see we were both at the same location for the event, and both photos were just taken one year apart from each other. The comparison shows the difference when the weather conditions are just right for such an event. But I do feel that Anthony Correia still took a very good photo of Manhattanhenge  yesterday.

Maybe with a little better luck and better planning, I will make it to the event next year.




During my stay at Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania I was able to travel out to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

*The details mentioned below are given by Wikipedia.

“The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, administered by the National Park Service, preserves almost 70,000 acres (28,000 ha) of land along the Delaware River‘s New Jersey and Pennsylvania shores, stretching from the Delaware Water Gap northward almost to the New York state line. Middle Delaware National Scenic River is a designated 40-mile (64 km) section of the river entirely within the recreation area.”

And of course somewhere in the middle of all this grass, trees and nature, (and  a highway.) I was with my camera taking photos once again. I don’t get the opportunity to photograph the outdoors often, so I thought this time around to give it a try and explore another aspect of photography.

It was an adventure for me getting around the area, lots of trails and hills to navigate through. But I did manage to get around, plus it helps to drag a few friends along for help as well. But as for my first adventure in outdoor photography, I think that it went o-kay.

Then again I m my own worse critic. But you be the judge, below are some of the photos that I have taken.

The photo below reminds me of Windows XP pc wallpaper .

The photo below is a panoramic photo. Click on photo for full view.

The photo below is a close up of some of the rocks with water running over it.

If I am able to get back out to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area again I would definitely take more photographs of the location. For it seems that the area has so much more worth exploring.

It is a good venture to explore, for anyone willing and looking to do some outdoor photography.



This past weekend I have gone away to Tobyhanna, PA for  little rest and relaxation.

Over the weekend the “Super Moon” was scheduled to appear during my weekend stay in Pennsylvania. So of course I took the opportunity to go photograph the moon. This particular moon rise was to have a view that seems closer to the Earth than other times in the past, hence the term “Super Moon.” As well due to the extreme brightness of this particular moon rise, you can nearly make out any of the lunar craters and you would normally see during a moon rise in the night sky.

Granted the peak time to view the event was at 11:30 p.m. that Saturday night, but I was subjected to heavy cloud cover in the night sky, and was forced to wait until the clouds passed by. That had taken about an hour for the cloud cover to pass. Plus as well it was slightly raining.

But it did all pass, and I was able to get in a few shots of a very bright moon in the night sky that lit up the sky for the night. Some of the photos were taken in color and in black in white. But it did make for some good, interesting photos.

Below are some of the photos that I have taken of the event.

It has been a while since I have taken photos of the moon, or have done any photography for that matter. But it did feel good to be back out once again doing what I enjoy, capturing a moment in time.




For this photography post I just could not pass up doing one on the subject of 9/11/, with the ten-year anniversary coming up. We all know the story and history about it, so there is really no need to explain what had happen ten years ago. As a native New Yorker everything that I had known about the World Trade Center towers in lower Manhattan changed for me.

Granted if you never lived in New York, as many times as it could be told, or explained to you about that one particular day in September. You could never fully understand it.

You just have to have been there on that day when it happened.

“Ground Zero” as it is mostly called nowadays is being rebuilt of course. But I often find myself saying in my mind ” I remember when this was here.” or ” I use to shop in the underground plaza underneath the towers before they came down.” And so on.

But with a new World Trade Center being build now. I just wanted to take a moment to show all the world what it looks like now, and show some of the areas I have seen that normally you don’t see on television.

I purposely taken the photos in black and white for it is still a somber day to many people that were effected by it, and the lack of color reflects that. And as well the most powerful to convey the images.

So without any further chatter, I present.


If you are wondering what the above image is, see the next photo below.

The photo above is from the old World Trade Center.




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