View 41: Zoom-Zoom

AXA Tower in Syracuse, New York, during a long zoomed exposure.

AXA Tower in Syracuse, New York, during a long zoomed exposure.

I have seen this technique done by others and finally got a good subject to try it on. The evening was cloudy and rainy and I needed long exposures so, during a few of them, I fully zoomed out the Nikon 18-200VR lens to 200mm. After tripping the shutter open, I slowly zoomed the lens back to 18mm causing lights to streak. Pretty cool, eh?

Un-zoomed AXA Tower

Un-zoomed AXA Tower

The AXA Towers, there’s two of them but the other doesn’t have the lighted pole. For most of my life, they were owned by Mutual of New York and referred to as the MONY buildings.

Besides giving the time and temperature, the lighted pole gave the forecast. The star color at the top of the pole would tell you the current conditions. The lights on the pole itself would show movement downward for a lowering barometer and upward for a rising one. No movement for steady. I’m not sure if AXA still does this.

An Internet search, found this:

A call to Mary Taylor, Vice President of Communications for The MONY Group confirmed that the following rhyme from The New Times Syracuse Guidebook: 1976 entitled “Weatherstar Rhyme” (how creative) accurately deciphers the meaning of the star’s color.

Green light…weather bright. Orange on high…overcast sky. Orange flashing…raindrops splashing. Flickering white…snow in sight.

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5 Responses to View 41: Zoom-Zoom

  1. morningjoy says:

    Fantastic photo! I’ve always wanted to try this and now you’ve motivated me. I just have to find the right subject and convince myself to use the tripod.


  2. Very cool! I’ve been wanting to try this as well, just haven’t found the right subject for it.


  3. stphoto says:

    That’s the key I think for this, the subject has to work. I took a few of other buildings that night but this one came out the best. Might be cool to try at a fair or themepark.


  4. amandafrick says:

    thanks! we just looked for nice shady spots and then used a reflector to add a little fill light. you’ve got some really nice stuff too! 🙂


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