Still Getting Personal

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Hopefully, you’re getting some work done on your personal projects this summer. Well, hopefully you’re getting a lot of paying work, too, but it’s the personal stuff that keeps you going, keeps you motivated.

Most of all, it keeps you seeing what you can see.

A few weeks ago, on the trip to visit my parents, I had the chance to continue on with my Working On The The Highway personal project. Sometimes I never know if I’m going to get anything; sometime I see it happen right next to me.

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I like these for what they represent: Men and women getting it done in the high heat of the summer. They’re building, or fixing, the highways and byways that keeps people and freight moving. Can’t be easy working next to cars and trucks speeding by, probably over the posted speed limit. (I try to say within the construction zone speed limits, the guy behind me blinking his lights and tooting his horn because he wants me to speed up be damned. I don’t need to give these construction folks anything else to worry about.)

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Speaking of personal projects, here’s a couple of good ones that I keep track of: Ray Ketcham’s Boiler Room Project and Sabrina Henry’s Village Life Updates. And, tucked away in this Forbes interview, Chase Jarvis talks about how personal projects help him.

Finally, a really good video here by artists/designer/writer James Victore about the value of personal projects.

So get out there and make it personal! Drop a link in the comments and show me what you’re working on.

For you.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

Weekend Shot: Harnessed Energy

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I live in a beautiful part of New Jersey. Dead smack in the middle of the state, we’re surrounded by cornfields, sod farms and horse farms.

The horses here are raised for harness racing, with the Peretti Farms being one of the largest in the area.

During our blackout during Hurricane Sandy, I happened to be in a restaurant in town (they weren’t our grid so had power.) Had an interesting conversation with a gal that worked at one of the other horse farms. She talked about how it’s a 24 hour, 7 day a week job – horses, obviously, are living things, need to be fed, watered and cared for. You don’t just take off for a week and go on vacation. I’ve had similar conversation with local vegetable farmers – their jobs aren’t like mine. It’s all day, every day.

Anyway, coming back from grocery shopping about 5 p.m. on Sunday, I did a large loop to pass this horse farm. I’m not sure I ever saw so many horses out at the same time up on the hill. I liked how they were silhouetted. This shot came out how I had it in my head.

Beautiful landscape + beautiful animals + late day light = This Weekend Shot.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

JSP Visual Week In Review | 07.14.14

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Picking the camera up and putting it down.

It was another busy week for me here in the Great State of New Jersey. Last weekend, there was no VWIR as I was up in the hills of Pennsylvania. Me and the kids went to visit my parents in Luzerne County, while my wife headed to another part of PA to do her Spartan Race. (We had a great time with Grandma and Pop and she kicked butt in her race.)

Then, it was another hot, humid, typical Jersey week, punctuated by some big-time thunder and lightning storms. We’re dead it the middle of summer now, and I’m happy.

Picking the camera up, it was fun being back home, and taking shot of my parents and kids, and the places we visited. I also put in another quick order to BorrowLenses for a 70-200mm zoom as I had about 12 corporate head shots to shoot on Thursday. I love that lens for portraiture. I love a 50 mm too, but with this zoom, I can be back a bit from the subject so that they are intimidated. Wide open, the lens blurs the background nicely, and keeps my subject sharp. While I had my flash with me, I used natural light with a reflector. Can’t get much more simple than that.

Putting the camera down, yesterday I wasn’t allowed to use it. You see, my little girl, Olivia, had a very successful First Grade year. Not just in terms of grades, which were good, but in terms of how to act and behavior. Her teacher had this system where, using clothespin, kids would “clip up” a ladder if they were good (listened, didn’t fight, followed directions, etc) or *gulp* clip down if they were going in the opposite direction. If someone was having a really good day, they would come home with an Outstanding sticker.

Proudly, I’ll say Liv got 13 Outstandings this year, by far the tops in the class. As a reward for a year well done, she wanted to go to Six Flag Great Adventure, just me and her. Six Flags is seven miles from our house, and we have a season pass there. It’s paid for itself already, but I hadn’t been there. Liv wanted to spend the day with me, something we don’t get the chance to do much anymore.

So, I knocked off work in the early afternoon, and we went to the park. But, she said, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures. Guess I do that too much. I can’t say it was easy – it’s a target rich environment. But I held out and we had a great time. She’s a sweet little girl, that one.

As much as I like to shoot, sometimes it’s just good to go out. And not shoot.

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This Week’s Links:

* Joe McNally talks about a couple of Jersey Guys.

* Nobody is crying about this spilt milk.

* Interesting listen: As now-former Chicago Tribune photojournalist Scott Strazzante heads to San Francisco, he did a good radio interview about his iPhone photographs.

* Marty Stuart documents country music.

* Watch: James Victore (one of my great finds in 2014) talks about finding happiness and your 401K.

* Incredible Sochi Olympics shot from Ben Lowry.

* Healthy cocktails. Why not, it’s summer.

* Tyler Hicks on photographing Gaza. This guy is always in the middle of it.

* Archie takes a bullet.

* Action shoot tips from Corey Rich.

* “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse.” ~ Henry Ford

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

The Big Shout-Out

I was on my way to a shoot yesterday when I got an email from my buddy Joe McNally

You may want to check out the blog today….

(c) Joe McNally

(c) Joe McNally

Like Joe says, we go back a long way. Still, Needless to say, I was pretty leveled. Really enjoyed seeing those photos from Joe, both of the shoot I did with him when he was flexing his noir pixels – and when I was on the other side of the camera – and his images of Bruce Springsteen from the late ’70s.

If you have a minute, go check out his post on a Tri-X film and a couple of Jersey Guys.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

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