Bits of Brooklyn

I’m taking a photography class (and loving it so far!) to learn how to use my DSLR. For a recent assignment we were supposed to take still life images in black and white, so on a cloudy afternoon I took my camera and went on a walk. My part of Brooklyn is perfect for this kind of thing – in Park Slope, as I’m sure I’ve said before, people leave free stuff out on the sidewalks all time, and there are all kinds of interesting architectural details on buildings and gates.

For instance, I loved shooting a picture of this mailbox. I can’t remember what color it was, but in this image it almost blends into the bricks, with the little plastic butterflies dangling down adding a pop of light that catches the eye.

I had to stop and take a photo of these lilacs – like I said last week, I love lilacs. They smell so good and make me feel like I’m back home visiting my family.


I saw this little drawing of a bird by itself on the sidewalk. It looked a little lonely there against the grey concrete!

paper bird

These shoes were cute, but I don’t think I’ll ever bring home soft stuff found on the street – too dangerous!


I took a bunch of pictures of signs, from little memorials to the official “It’s the law, clean up after your dog” to a missing cat poster (sad), but I think this one is my favorite.

Dog sign

The stuff hanging in this tree is neat but geez, it’s hard to take picture of the underside of a tree!


My neighbor growing up had a bleeding heart plant in her yard, which is what drew me to this one!

bleeding hearts

If you saw these two faces on a building, you would take pictures of them too, admit it.



Pineapples are a symbol of hospitality, so I guess this one is saying “Welcome to our yard! Don’t come past the fence, though.”


I know I’ve said it before, but taking photos forces me to notice details I wouldn’t otherwise, and shooting in black and white really makes you stop and think about what makes a good photo in a compositional sense. If you take away the vivid color of an image, is it still strong enough to be eye-catching?

What do you all think? What have you taken a photo of recently that you’re proud of?


  1. Oh these are great! I especially love the one of the shoes. And yes, it’s funny how everyone leaves stuff out on the street all the time — we regularly leave and take things (and haven’t had bed bugs yet!)

    • Sarah

      May 18, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      I love the shoes too! Especially since the assignment was all about light metering and so having a black pair and a white pair was so perfect.

      My favorite sidewalk finds were a copy of Quiet (I’m more ambivert than introvert but it was a great read!) and a beat up but sturdy end table. :)

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