JSP Visual Week In Review | 08.08.14

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Another quick Visual Week In Review.

As much as we love New Jersey, we’re about ready to get outta Dodge for a few days, heading north for some relaxation (i.e. no screens) time.

With the kids this time!

It should be fun, though. We all love getting outdoors and this should be the perfect element for all of us. Now I’m just trying to determine which books to take (paper and/or Kindle?) and how much camera gear to go with. Tripod for sure, maybe just one lens, my 17-85mm for landscapes and such.

And also…taking this, too (oh, the kid in the background too.)

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I bought this camera in December 2012 at second-hand place in Trenton for $10. I’ve had these three rolls of film – two B&W and one color – rattling around a camera bag since probably 2001. I don’t really know if the camera works, if I can shoot film without screwing it up. But I have 72 frames to find out (well, 70 – I already loaded it with one B&W roll and snapped off two pics of the kids.)

It’s like weird, strange world.

We shall see, as my mom used to say.

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This Week’s Links:

* Kobe > MJ.

* Director Nicolas Ray (Rebel Without A Cause, In A Lonely Place) on improvisation.

* Ken Heyman on street photography.

* 10 Pointers for a Somewhat Fail-Proof Existence.

* Via LIFE, color photos of Nazi-occupied Poland, 1939-1940

* Watch: Hitchcock talks about editing.

* From Flemming Bo Jensen: Questlove.

* Finding Opportunities.

* Via Fast Co. Design: Designers talk about staying productive.

* Best new music I stumbled upon in a long time: Quinn DeVaux (think Sam Cooke)

* “Photography does not create eternity, as art does; it embalms time, rescuing it simply from its proper corruption.”Andre Bazin

Turn the record over/see you on the flip side.

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

All A-Buzz About Bees

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When you think about bees, is it with warm and cuddly slant or with great apprehension?

I’m thinking it’s probably a bit less on warm and cuddly side and more on the AARRRGGHH, Run Away!! side.

Recently I had a chance to get up close and personal with these little creatures. And I was amazed at what I found out about beekeeping, and the whole process in general.

This all came about for me because I saw a small item in one of my company’s newsletters that mentioned how a few of our campuses are now keeping some hives of honey bees. This came on the heels of recently reading quite a few news articles and op-ed pieces, like this one in the NY Times, about how the global honeybee population are in demise. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a mysterious dying off of bee colonies for no apparent reason that has struck the beekeeping industry over the past few years, and it does not bode well for the environment.

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The role that this bit of nature plays in our everyday lives interests me. I have to admit, I don’t really think about honey bees too much. When I’m outside with the kids, they always run from bees. But I want to teach them that not all bees are bad, and they are a good and necessary part of nature.

So to get the chance to get to speak with someone about apiculture was something I wanted to do. I thought it could make a good photo essay as well. From that little newsletter piece, I reached to to some of my colleagues that were keeping these bees.

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I met with Michael and a couple of other guys a few weeks ago for coffee, and expressed my interest in doing this story. They were more than happy to talk to me about the basics of beekeeping, how the company got involved, etc. Michael then invited me to check the hives out with him at some point. He’s relatively new to beekeeping, just a couple of years in after taking a two-day class that his wife got him for his birthday.

But it’s not just a hobby for him. Honeybees have practical applications, and even so in the healthcare industry. When he pitched setting up hives on company grounds, they were up for it (granted, one of the campus’ we have them on is a bit on the rural side. It’s ringed with wildflowers, has cattle and sheep on it, and also has what was, at one time, the largest solar panel array in New Jersey.) It’s very environmentally conscious.

After a couple of weeks of trying to coordinate our schedules, I finally was able to go out with Michael when he checked on the hives.

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While he worked, he explained the basics of beekeeping to me – a little bit about bee biology, hive management, about the queens and the sentries and the drones. It’s a really interesting area.

Of course, it’s not without it’s drawbacks. That would be the stings. As you can see, Michael often wore protective clothing. The first line of defense against bee stings is move slowly so as not to jostle the vertical hives too much. A smoker is a second line of defense as the smoke dulls the buzz and make the bees a bit drowsy.

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Still, the sting is always part and parcel of the activity. Unfortunately, Michael caught two while I was there. I jokingly said I may be his bad luck item.

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While we were there, Tim Schuler, the NJ State Apiarist with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, came by to check on Micheal’s hives. Tim has more than 22 years of beekeeping experience and you could just see the command and deftness with which handles doing his work. He smoked the hives a bit, then proceeded to check them out. Almost immediately, he pointed out a virgin queen bee to Michael. He checked the other hives as well, all sans protective gear, and didn’t get stung.

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There’s a whole host of diseases a hive can get, with mites being a big one. The last thing Tim did was check the hives for mites, using a special solution.

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Luckily, everything checked out and the hives were in good shape. Many of the frames in Michael’s hives were capped, which can then be scraped and opened to get to the honey.

It was quite an interesting education. I’m not sure I’m ready to start tending my own hives yet, but I’d consider it. And, aside from a few minutes where a sentry bee buzzed around me to move me away from the hive when the bees were agitated, I had no problems, didn’t get stung.

So the next time you see local honey available, pick some up and know that the more we can increase the bee population, the better off we – and the environment- will bee.

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(See what I did there? I said will bee… not will be. Clever, right?)

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

Weekend Shot: Time To Fly

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Back from a long, kids-free weekend with my best gal.

It’s a good-and-bad thing. We’re finally realizing that we do indeed need to take time just for ourselves. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day with the house, the kids, and the job that you forget why you found this person out of the millions of others. So, we’re taking a more active role in getting back to just “us” a couple of times a year.

But of course, when we’re away from our brood for even a few hours, we begin to miss the craziness. The first few hours are great, relaxing, then we start to tell stories about them to each other. Then, we go back to taking a big sigh and remembering why we’re on this long weekend together.

So, Friday morning, we headed down to the wonderful NJ beach town of Cape May. It’s about an hour and a half from us, down through the old route that takes you through the Pine Barrens, all the way down to the Garden State Parkway.

There, at the very end of the Parkway, Exit 0, in fact, steeped in history, all beautifully painted Victorian homes is Cape May. It’s at the very southernmost end of New Jersey, Exit 0 off the Garden State Parkway. You go any further, you end up in the ocean.

We were hoping to warm ourselves on the sandy beach, book in hand, without having to keep an eye on the little ones.

That’s what we were hoping. What actually happened was…rain. Pretty much from start to finish, it rained or drizzled nearly all weekend. Visions of laying out on said beach were wiped away like drops on the windshield.

Instead, though, we found some other things to do. Friday afternoon, we basically crashed. It was so nice and peaceful at the Twin Gables B&B, we took a nap. Yes aa nap. The thing our kids hate, we looked forward to. That evening, a short walk away, was dinner at Oyster Bay. Like grown ups.

Saturday morning, the rain hovered, misted and fell. We decided to take a tour of the Naval Air Station Museum, at the nearby Cape May Airport. It’s quite a cool museum in an huge airplane hangar. Many old planes, helicopters and jeeps from WWII and Vietnam era are housed within.

The shot above is of a F-16 Fighting Falcon. I was trying to get an interesting perspective of it, and really like how the hangar windows framed the plane.

We spent the better part of the hour walking around, enjoying seeing everything without having little hands pulling us away after 30 seconds. From there we went to the Cape May Brewing Co., and sampled the local ales. Quite good!

The rain never left us all weekend. We didn’t see the sun until later Sunday afternoon, after we had gotten home and hugs had been passed around. Still, it was a good weekend despite the weather.

Once again, the Great State of New Jersey delivers.

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

JSP Visual Week In Review | 08.01.14

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Super short quick weekly recap today. I’m off from work today, and me and my best gal are gettin’ out of town for the weekend.

Still, two things:

1) It’s AUGUST!! How did that happen?

2) Back up all that July work.

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The Week’s Links:

* Trailer: Bending The Light

* Good interview with long-time Joe McNally (and Danny Clinch) assistant, now making his own way, Drew Gurian over on the Leica blog.

* I had no idea about LeBron James’ mighty memory.

* Baseball Graffiti.

* Good read: Color Photography Is Vulgar.

* Watch: Five Minutes With Gregory Heisler.

* “In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, and look around you.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

OK, time to for me to get on the way to Cape May….

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

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