Stand on the spot where Stieglitz stood


The Flatiron Building is an iconic landmark in New York City.  When I chanced to walk by this week, I saw many people taking pictures of the building, some tourists snapping themselves next to it, some more serious looking photographers looking for a new angle on the building.

I called up Stieglitz's classic 1903 image of the building and tried to find the vantage point from which he took it, probably somewhere in Madison Square Park.  I thought I could find the great Y-shaped tree and work from there.  The difference in camera equipment would make it impossible to really get the "same" shot even if I could find the tree, but I looked around.

How much does a tree grow in 100 years?  None of the living trees looked right, but of course they had leaves which made things tough.  There was a huge section of a dead tree still standing for some reason, and I decided that it was Stieglitz's tree, preserved as a landmark of some sort, so I took this admittedly poor approximation.

Not exactly a unique contribution to the canon.  And I still put the tree too far toward the center.  You can compare Stieglitz's image with mine and with a 1904 Flatiron Building picture by Edward Steichen in this bit from Slate magazine.

1 Response

  1. keith
    That tree was kept because it was the oldest tree in the park. I happened to be there the day they took the first side of branches down. It was massive. Your angle and the angle of the shot is not right... if you want to have Stieglitz's shot you need to head deeper into the park towards the war memorial and dog run. THe problem with 100 years is that tree's do grow and that little Y shaped tree is now 50 feet high.
  2. […] I had some years earlier, I tried to find a composition similar to Stieglitz’s but this time using one of Penone’s trees. Instagram doesn’t have a setting for […]

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