Photographic art & community shared thru photography.

Van Cortlandt House Museum, Bronx N.Y. | September 3, 2014

Hey guys, today I decided to pay a visit to the Van Cortlandt House Museum; it is in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. It was a beautiful outside today; however it was sunny as all hell [note to self: for extreme sunny days like this, bring my ND filter not CPL. 🙂 Lesson learned]. I had an incredibly hard time figuring my settings while taking photos outdoors, the sun was particularly ferocious on this day; but I think I’ve handled things like a trooper. I was forewarned that I could not use a flash at the museum; but when I actually arrived, most of the rooms were so dark, it was almost impossible to get a good exposure without the use of a tripod (which I am sure that would not have been permitted either). I had trouble mostly because there wasn’t enough sunlight. The most trouble I had was the first room I went in located on ground level. I was the only one inside the museum, I closely looked around the house to see if there appeared to be any light sensitive devices; once I was comfortable that there was none, I realized then that the caretakers probably just didn’t want flashes going of in people’s faces (which is understandable). I Then whipped out my external flash and did my thang. Unfortunately I still had to do a lot of processing when I got home. The rooms were blocked by mid-height gates, therefore I could not get up close and get the kind of shots that I wanted. There was a beautiful clock that had to have been from 1700’s; but I couldn’t take a good shot because it was stationed on the far side of the wall, and the gate prevented me from getting that good shot. 🙁 However, I did manage to get a partial side shot (I’ll try to remember to share that later). Even with my flash, the first room was too dark (at the moment & time) for my automatic focus to work properly, and I couldn’t use manual because I couldn’t see perfectly to measure the focus… Oh rats…

The museum is a very, very small home with three floors (basically a mini mansion). If I understand correctly, the Van Cortlandt home was built for Fredrick Van Cortlandt in 1748. It was a very weird feeling walking in to a non-modern home; however, I really got the feel of what it was like to live in that era. Now I understand what Oprah meant when she did a press interview for the “Color Purple.” 🙂 Even the steps are noticeably different; they are much thicker and with a greater vertical length (it was definitely a little more of an exercise than a walk up the stairs). I’d say the staff has done an excellent job in preserving the home and the original owner’s possessions; this is not an easy thing to do, considering 90% of the home’s furnishings and clothing can’t be older than 1810 i’d say (last item purchased/entered). The house was setup in such a way, it almost felt like the original owner(s) were coming back shortly. After I finished my visit @ the Van Cortlandt home, I walked around Van Cortlandt Park, and took a couple of nice shots there too. Enjoy!

 

Van Cortlandt House Museum

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Van Cortlandt House Museum

Van Cortlandt House Museum

Van Cortlandt House Museum

Van Cortlandt House Museum

Van Cortlandt House Museum

Van Cortlandt House Museum

Van Cortlandt House Museum

Van Cortlandt House Museum

Van Cortlandt House Museum

Van Cortlandt House MuseumVan Cortlandt House Museum

Van Cortlandt House Museum