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.