Congratulations to the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center’s Dr. Lauren Golden, whose photograph, “Fashion Bubble”, was a nominee in London’s recent Black and White Spider Awards, a top international honor for professional and amateur photographers. Out of 9,456 entries in 14 different categories (from 75 countries) “Fashion Bubble” was one of 92 images selected as a Nominee in the Abstract Category by an Awards Jury of noted names in the industry.
Many of us know of Dr. Golden’s many gifts as an adult endocrinologist and a Professor of Medicine at Columbia University—but she also has a doppelganger that is an award-winning landscape photographer who spends two weeks each summer traveling the globe honing her skills with a group of amateur and professional photographers.
This particular picture was taken on a Sunday last fall—not on a retreat to an exotic destination, but in the familiar landscape of her hometown of New York City, with a Nikon D300 camera and an 18-135 mm lens. Can you tell where this image was captured?
If you’ve been to Bethesda Terrace near the boathouse in Central Park, maybe you’ve seen the “bubble men” who generate gigantic bubbles with two long poles attached to strings and buckets of soapy water. This delights Park dwellers—including one physician photographer from the Berrie Center on that Sunday afternoon. Dr. Golden gives us the back-story of Fashion Bubble, which she submitted to the Black & White Awards, “on a lark.”
“I like to assign myself little photography challenges periodically to sharpen that part of my brain. By nature I am more of a landscape and documentary photographer than an abstract or urban photographer. And yet, I spend more than 11 months of the year in the very urban environment of New York City, a city that is one of the most dynamic and vibrant in the world. On that particular day, I decided to take on the challenge of urban photography to see if I could expand my skills outside of my traditional comfort zone. It keeps me looking at things in a fresh way, and I find that if you go out looking for interesting images, you can find them anywhere.
“When I head out for the day I wait to be inspired by what I see—it could be the architecture or street life of a new part of town, abstract shadows or geometric patterns that are part of the urban environment, a street festival. Sometimes I try to take something iconic and frame it differently, as in this case. I have visited Bethesda Terrace dozens of times and have photographed it often over the years. On that day, I discovered the giant bubbles and was instantly intrigued. “They were these 10 to 15 foot sculptural creations in the midst of a very crowded Bethesda Terrace. Some were really quite otherworldly, and they made me view Bethesda Terrace in a completely new light. The whole thing was a little surreal. I was inspired to figure out a way to use the bubbles and the people to tell a story, to capture a unique view of a familiar scene, while staying true to the essence of Central Park and New York City. The result was something both familiar and somewhat abstract—a moment in time that will never occur in exactly the same way again, but that suggests many more such moments waiting to be discovered.”