Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The ZEN of NYC

Virgelio Carpio with Solitude Series at Uccelli Restaurant
New York City would seem like one of the least likely places to experience a moment of Zen. The are so many people and sounds and other things to over stimulate us. However, my good friend, Virgelio "Billy" Carpio, finds Zen images in his camera lens all the time. He's a commuter who works in the city and takes great advantage of the odd moment to capture unique vantage points. With his artistic eye, he shows us the beauty in a runner stretching in Central Park, or a homeless person dozing in the New York Public Library.

Virgelio Carpio has been photographing New York City since 2009. He uses HDR (high dynamic range) processing heavily, a digital technique for balancing lighting in high contrast scenes. HDR is typically suited to landscapes. It is not meant for moving objects. An HDR image is created from 3 to 5, sometimes more, exposures of a scene. When objects such as people move in the scene and across exposures, HDR software does its best but in the end, either “ghosts” are created or the moving objects are eliminated. Combining slow shutter speeds (small aperture openings) and HDR processing, moving objects such as people become nearly invisible in the original exposures and then are removed by HDR. What is left is the lone individual standing or sitting still, as the individual is unmoving across all 3 to 5 exposures.
Hanging one of my favorite pieces in the show

After enjoying Virgelio’s fascinating technique, I encouraged him to share them in Mountaindale in a gloriously vivid show in the Uccelli Restaurant dining room during the month of April. This unique collection of photos of New York City are from his Solitude series, which he hopes will allow you to experience New York City in an entirely new way. One in which the streets are devoid of crowds, save for the solitary figure in a seemingly Zen-like state. You will have the chance to meet Virgelio at an Artist's Reception at Uccelli Restaurant, hosted by Chef Robert, on Saturday, April 7th from 2 to 4PM. Billy (as he is known to friends) is a gentle, humble man, and I am sure you will find him just as delightful as his work.


  1. Great to see big news coming out of tiny Mountaindale! Here's hoping that events like this one will spur a renewal of the once vibrant Catskill Mountain community. I plan to drop by for the exhibit.

    Marshall Rubin

  2. We're looking forward to your visit, Marshall. As an imaginative photographer yourself, I think you will really enjoy this show.