Summer Reading List 2018


Happy First Day of Summer!

Time to put together my summer reading list…officially anyway. Here’s what I’ll be reading this summer:

In hard copy:

On my Kindle:

In general:

  • Esquire magazine
  • Smithsonian magazine
  • Financial Times

This is the first summer we have an actual pool in the yard. I hope to do a lot of reading poolside!

So…what’s on your reading list this summer? My list is ever evolving, happy to entertain new titles!

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2018

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Exchanging Art and Ideas in San Francisco

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Jim Hartley, San Francisco Art Exchange

Back home after some travels to California – Sacramento and San Francisco, specifically.

So many files on my hard drive, and ideas floating around, I’m having a hard time arranging them in my head into any discernible posts.

But I wanted to share a fantastic meeting I had this past Saturday on a warm San Francisco morning.

To back up…I arrived in town from Sacramento on Friday evening. Drove down from SacTown, returned the rental at SFO, then took BART to O’Farrell.

On Saturday, I donned my Music Saved Asbury Park t-shirt, grabbed a breakfast sandwich and coffee at David’s, and set out to roam around.

I only made it a few steps when I went into a small gallery just steps from my hotel –  the San Francisco Art Exchange.

The doorways was dived in two: A huge Jimi Hendrix print was on the left side, and an amazing shot of Dr. Martin Luther King was on the right.

The King image was part of the MLK-RFK: Two Great Americans exhibit. Some amazing photography from Bernie Kaliena, Jacques Lowe, Steve Shapiro and others.

Interesting note: Jacques had the chance to photograph the Kennedys in the White House or at home/personal. He chose personal. Amassed over 40,000 negatives. Later, he was deciding where to store them, where they would be safe and secure.

He decided on a fortified safe at J.P. Morgan Chase in the World Trade Center.

After being amazed by these images, I crossed through and archway –  Storm’s Arch (Named for Storm Thorgerson who did Pink Floyd album covers, among a host of other things) –  to check out the rock photos.

My t-shirt opened the door to an hour long conversation with Jim Hartley, the founder. He gave me a personal tour of the rock section, then told me to go upstairs to see even more.

But the even more was basically behind closed doors – and behind those doors were more from Jim Marshall, more unseen images of The Beatles, as well as a room that had  original Vargas sketches. Originals!

Asbury Park just keeps on giving. Had to get a pic with Mr. Hartley.

Mark_Jim Hartley_June 2018

If you are ever in San Francisco ,do check out this gallery on Geary Street. Tell Jim I said hello.

Oh, and I showed him a shot (on my phone, of course) I took of some pretty good rock photographers and he loved it. Asked for a copy.


© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2018

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Eye See, Fill The Frame


I don’t give advice much. Still much learning to do.

But here some advice: This summer, fill the frame.

Fill the pool, fill the grill, fill the hopper with fish, fill the glass jar with lightening bugs.

But fill the frame.

This was probably the earliest piece of photography advice given to me by a Boston-based photographer, Russ Schleipman.

I wasn’t even really shooting back in 1998, but I was working with him on an annual report project.

I remember sitting in a van with him and his assistant, honestly can’t remember where the shoot was that we were heading to. Upstate New York? Miami?

I don’t know, it’s all vague now, 20 years later.

But the advice stuck – Fill The Frame.

Last week, in pre-game warm ups, Matt took a pop-up off the glove and into the face last week. He cried a little.

But we put an ice pack on it and first inning, he pulled the catchers gear on, squatted behind the plate and was good to go.

Got three  hits that game too.

The eye has been turning some pretty colors this past week. Starting to fade now, though.

Before it went away, though, had to bring him into the garage studio on Sunday. Had to get a shot of the shiner.

The front tooth…well, that was lost by natural causes the previous week. Works with the overall image, though, I think.

You know I’m making a big print of this one.

This summer, get close. Fill the frame, folks.

Me and Russ will be happy you did.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2018

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Event: Early Elton At House of Independents


Early Elton, left to right: Jeff Kazee, John Conte, Rich Pagano

Back in 2017, when I shot the Asbury Park Music & Film Festival Upstage Jam, one of the performers on stage was Jeff Kazee, on piano.

I’m not sure why, but at some point, I must have kicked out a photo I took of Jeff on Twitter. He responded positively, and we started to follow each other.

I enjoy his posts. His day job is being a Juke. He’s played piano for 20 years with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.

Like many musicians, he has a number of side projects going on. A few months ago, on social media, he mentioned something about playing early Elton John songs at the House of Independents.

I responded by saying “I’d love to shoot that.” He direct messaged me “Let’s keep in touch.”

I didn’t think anything would come of this but as the date got closer, I kept an eye on it. I knew the show was on a Friday; I was going to wait till the previous Sunday to ping Jeff about this, because, why not? Worse he could say was no.

But before Sunday came, he pinged me. Wanted to know when we could talk on the phone about my shooting the show.

Wow. Cool.

So, early last week, at about 9:30 p.m., just after I put the kids to bed, I got on a call with Jeff for a more formal introduction. We spoke for about 45 minutes on a whole range of topics: The Upstage Jam, Ohio, sport talk radio, our kids.

And, shooting the show on Friday at the House of Independents.


Early Elton is Jeff, John Conte and Rich Pagno. Reading the About page on their website, it’s clear the musical acumen and experience is incredible.

And, since I’ve shot in the House of Independents before, I knew the sightlines I liked, hand an idea of how the lights would play, and where I could move around to get some good shots.

The best part, though, was the band said I could shoot the sound check, hang backstage…and also ON stage to get any shot I wanted.

I took them up on that.




So, as is my style, while I got the stage shots I wanted, I also tried to find some interesting angles to put my own spin on the evening.


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Set List_mkrajnak_060818_MG_3266




We four also talked about doing some group band shots.

Walking to the HOI, I thought maybe could do something outside on Cookman Ave. Or against some cool brick walls nearby. Or the brick walls INSIDE the HOI.


Scouting shot

Yeah, yeah, we can do some after we get dressed for the show.

Just no brick walls!


Anyway, before the show, I’m looking around. Through some doors by the dressing room, was a cool looking hallway, plus another little doorway area I could, with available light I could use.


Scouting shot



Scouting shot

They are supposed to go on at 7:30 p.m. As we push pass 7, I can tell they are getting tight a little bit. Hey, they are very experienced, but they are also ready to put on a show, basically to hometown fans. There’s always some nerves.


Ok, Mark, let’s do some group shots. We can’t go outside. We have about four minutes. Where can we go?

Actually, just go right through this door. I think I found a couple of spots.



And one I threw a little filter on. My fav, actually.


The show was great, Early Elton sounded awesome. I sent some quick selects to Jeff after I got home that night, then followed up with a link to a full set the next day.

The band has been very receptive to what I shot, hopefully we can work together again.

And maybe have more than four minutes to do a group shot!


For this event, I used my Fuji X100T and my Canon 70D. Lenses on the Canon were the 24-105 mm and my 70-200 mm. Even snapped off a few with my Canon SX610 point and shoot.

I almost forgot…I also started to use my Polaroid Propack loaded with Fuji FP 100C film. Tried a few shots…and somehow it mis-fed on me. I wasted nearly the whole $35 pack. Ugh.

The group shots were done with my Fuji. Man, I love how that camera works in low light, at 1600 ISO.

I had rented a fish-eye lens from to use. However, due to a snafu, the lens didn’t get to me in time before I left for Asbury Park, so I never used it. Bummer.

But, overall, a fun night on Cookman Ave! Pretty cool how it all came together, thanks to social media!

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2018

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