Astoria Park gets ready for its closeup

Astoria Park gets ready for its closeup
Photo courtesy NYC Parks/Daniel Avila
By Tammy Scileppi

Whether you are a professional photographer or like using your cell phone to capture images of everyday life, you probably know winter shoots can be challenging, especially when getting that great shot requires finger dexterity and a steady hand.

Of course, there are other factors to consider, as well, like winter light.

Some days are gloomy and dark, while others are clear and bright. When you’re trying to capture stark white, snowy images outdoors, what kind of adjustments should you make? Now, what happens when you videotape a scene during a storm? And what is the best way to capture the frozen, snow-covered limbs of a tree?

How do those techniques differ from the ones you might apply when you’re taking a nature shot in a park on a sunny day, or perfecting a close-up of a flower, or capturing the mystery of a dimly lit forest?

Even though the weather’s been unseasonably mild, with no snow in sight, you can discover nature’s wintry beauty through your camera lens just by taking a relaxing walk through Astoria Park.

That’s the idea behind the Winter Photography Hike set for Sunday afternoon.

An experienced Urban Park Ranger will take local nature lovers and visitors to some familiar park areas, and to parts unknown, where they can experience Astoria Park’s natural wonders. Hikers will also learn the basics of outdoor photography and have an opportunity to practice their skills, according to supervisor Marc Sanchez, who is a former Urban Park Ranger.

Sanchez mentioned that a surprise program component will include a presentation of different apps recommended to enhance hikers’ photos. He also noted that other Urban Park Ranger-guided photography programs have taken place at various locations around Queens.

Located on the edge of the East River and nestled between the RFK/Triborough and Hell Gate bridges, Astoria Park is a go-to spot for visitors who enjoy the sights and sounds of its popular shoreline.

Benches line the perimeter, so it’s a great spot for taking in views and unwinding.

Astoria resident Jade Beal is a park regular and photography buff.

She said she enjoys the scenery and visits the park on weekends after a stressful work week.

The 20-something describes herself as an avid hiker and a naturalist. Recently, she’s been working on her nature shots, so she said she is excited about learning new photo techniques, especially if it snows, and is looking forward to meeting interesting people at the Winter Photography Hike.

If You Go

Winter Photography Hike

When: Sunday, Dec. 27, from 1 pm–2:30 pm

Where: Parking lot at Astoria Park, 19th Street and Hoyt Avenue

Cost: Free

Contact: (718) 352-1769

Website: www.nycgovparks.org