Baseball Is Back!

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The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past.Field of Dreams.

It’s Day One of 182 today.

Baseball – what used to be the Great America Pastime – is back!

Technically, it started last night but today is the first game for my team, the Philadelphia Phillies.

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I don’t expect the Phightin’ Phils to be good this year. A few years ago, those young guys they signed to long-term big money contracts are now older and broken down. The pitching rotation isn’t very good. Their bullpen isn’t good and they don’t have a deep bench.

But it’s baseball, the soundtrack to my life for the next seven months. Where I live in New Jersey, I can watch or listen to the Phillies, New York Mets or New York Yankees with ease. And I’ll probably watch or listen to a game nearly every day till the final out of the World Series.

It’s one of those comforting constants to me during the spring and summer months. Maybe it’s one of those things that remind me of being a kid, of being bundled up for Little League practice in the very early spring in Northeast Pennsylvania, where I grew up. Of the smell of my leather glove, an old one my dad brought home from work one time (A Tony Conigliaro model, too big for my hand but unique. I still have it and I love it.) Or the look and smell of my Dad’s 1953 Ernie Banks model Ball Hawk mitt, that I still have an love.

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Maybe it’s driving home from work on a warm summer evening with the windows down and catching the last inning or so of an afternoon game. Or having the game on in the family room while I clean up the kitchen while the kids are playing outside. Soon, my boys will be big enough for me to go outside to have a game of catch with them like my dad did with me.

For all of it’s faults – big contracts, performance enhancing drugs, curlish players – baseball still holds allure for me. I may not live and die with my team anymore (big contracts, PEDS, curlish players have had some impact on me, yes) but it’s still the soundtrack to my summertime.

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I always love when the season starts because I know a warm spring and warmer summer are right around the corner.

And to me, that’s the good life.

Baseball is part of that.

JSP Visual Week In Review | 03.29.14

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I’ve been active on Flickr for a quite a few years now. It was one of the first place – pre-JSP blog – where I started to “get my work out there.”

And, it’s been a fun photographic community to be part of. Scary as well. When I look at some of the early shots that I posted – ugh. But, I can see development and improvement in my photographic eye, composition, subjects. And, as I’ve gotten to know some post-processing tools, I can see improvement there as well.

It’s also an interesting editor too. Joe McNally once told me “You never know what a picture editor will like. You can take the greatest photo – in your mind – but it may not ring with the editor for that magazine or publication.” Keeping that in mind, it’s always interesting for me to see which images the Flickr community like.

On the images I post, I get roughly around 60 to 125 views per day on them. But if a photo makes Explore, that number jumps to over a 1,000 views easily.

This week was a banner week. I had huge view (over 11,000) on that boat photo above. To me it’s a nice photo, but I didn’t expect it to register that much.

I also had over 10,000 views on this photo. Huh. When I was in South Africa, one of the costume people, a gal with blue-tinted hair and huge smile had this tattoo on her hand. I wanted to get of shot of is. She said she got it when she met her now fiance, as he helped anchor her life. I liked the significance of it and liked the detail shot. But I didn’t expect this shot to get so many views.

Some of my noir images get really huge views…then others fall flat or are just average.

Just goes to show….you never know what is going to strike people’s fancy. If you’re going to put your work out there, don’t limit yourself by what you show.

You never know what the editor will like….

Do you agree?

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This Week’s Links:

* This video for Springsteen’s Highway Patrolman from 1982 is amazing. Stars Viggo Mortenson and David Morse.

* A former dustman’s WWI photographic archive.

* Absolutely gorgeous B&W images from the set of Mad Men by Alex Majoli. They should do a whole episode in B&W.

* Earlier this week, it was 30 years ago those kids had detention…

* From NY Times Lens blog, A Look Back At Burt Glinn.

* Also from Lens: The Best of Photojournalism 2014

* Through The Eyes of The Lost Boys.

* The Epitome of Cool.

* I’m in.

* Good Fast Company read: “I’m motivated by other artists.

* 161 Days till this, for me.

* “It take guts to make a print. You have to convince yourself this is you, you’ve made this and are putting your name on it.” ~ Kurt Markus

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

Friday Noir: A Terrible Notion Of Duty

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Well, yes, the plane did take off.

That plane... yes, well, it wasn’t in the air long.

And yes, Rick and Captain Renault were indeed friends.

But, again, not for so long. See, I had a job to do.

We all did.

The war was on, you know. We all had a terrible notion of duty.

I was the ghost in the machine. The burr under the saddle, if you will.

We all had to do our part.

Truth be told, all these years later…I was working with Major Strasser.

Well, more than working with Heiny, if you will.

I’m a lady, so I’ll demure. I was sad to see him shot.

But we all had a job to do.

The Resistance had to be taken down.

I was young enough then to have the courage to do so.

And naive enough not to know better.

Back then, we all knew how to set an explosive charge.

It was like tying our shoes.

My job was to take out Victor Laszlo.

Rick did me a favor. He got them on that plane. That’s what I had hoped he’d do.

Proud? No, I wouldn’t say that. But at the time, it was my job.

After, it was lovely being alone with Rick.

I hated Ilsa for showing up, but in the end, it worked out for us.

Of course, Rick, poor man, too, had to be excised.

The poison on my hatpin did that work.

Such was the time back then.

I still think about it sometimes.

Doing what had to be done. Our duty…

A kiss is but a kiss indeed.

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

Dispatches: Working A NYC Scene

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One of the things I think we all forget at times is to move our feet more. Zoom in, zoom out with our feet. Walk to the other side of a scene.

Views and perspectives change. You’ll see something you didn’t see before. For better or for worse.

On my recent trip into New York for the meetings, I was doing some “shooting from the hip” street photography. Certainly not spraying and straying. Just picking out scenes that interested to me, and shooting them. Just not being so obvious with bringing the 50D to my face.

When I was in Cape Town with Bruno Barbey, I noticed that’s how he did much of his street photography. If it’s good enough for a Magnum photographer, far be it from me to dismiss the technique (truth be told, I’d done it alot.)

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Walking up the Avenue Of The Americas, it was jammed with people. Business people. Tourist people. The hustle and bustle of NYC in full swing.

Crossing the street, I came upon the shoe shine stand. Now, this isn’t a guy with a little shine box. This is an operation, city approved, that can handle any of the lace-up and loafers, boots and brogues that the clients are wearing.

So my first shot was the one above. I like the general scene, except for the stray Burberry on the right side. Just decided to not crop her out of this exercise.

Walking the whole time, my second shot was this one:

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A little tighter in close, more of an action-y shot. Kind of like the paradox of the expensively business suited man and the shoe shine man, in his knit cap and working clothes. I form a negative opinion of the businessman, unfortunately. A Master Of The Universe just stopping off to shine the Johnson & Murphy’s. A bit surprised he’s not totally checked out by reading the paper while he gets his shine.

But I digress. (Still, see the impression/emotion a single photo can perpetuate?)

Same shot here, though I crop in tighter. (c)JerseyStyle Photography_Shine2_bw_032014_3481

While I like the overall environment shot, I like this as well too. It makes the business man anonymous, so my negative reaction to him is tempered a bit. The focus is more on the gent giving the best shine he can. He takes pride in his work. That’s what I see, anyway.

By now, the current of the people pulled me past the scene. But I wasn’t done because as I turned around, I like what I saw going up Sixth Ave. Deep in the canyons, crowds of people, the shoe shine man goes about his work in the shadow of American Flags….

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With the sun behind me, this color version pops. But if I wanted to stay in theme…

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I like all these images for different reasons. They tell me different stories, either real or imagined.

Just working a scene in NYC.

Which one do you prefer and why?

More to come from this day in New York…

(PS: Why is a NYC manhole cover made in India? Here’s why.)

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

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