JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 04.04.20

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March was the longest damn month ever.

I saw some meme where it showed the calendar page of March and the blocks in the first two weeks were somewhat normal, but then it all went haywire.

Pretty much.

For myself, this past week sped by. I was so busy with my day job that it was Wednesday before I knew it. Then Thursday and Friday just slid by and we’re here at the weekend.

But that feels pretty much like the weekdays, except I don’t have any conference calls or Zoom meetings to get on.

I don’t want to keep restating the obvious on here. We all are aware that we are in unprecedented times. So I’ll stick the common theme that this blog has generated for 10 years now: Photography, what I’m working on, what I’m learning, what I’m reading, and anything else of that ilk.

Stay safe everyone. Please, please do your best to stay home, wash you hands, wear gloves when you go out, wear a mask when you go out, if you can. Can’t hurt.

We’re all in this together to get out of it together.

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What I Watched This Week: I finished Ozark Season 3, and my wife and I started watching Little Fires Everywhere

What I Read This Week: In addition to The Man In The Brown Suit and The Shooting Party, two books I’m working on, I read the latest issue of The Smithsonian magazine.

What I Listened To This Week: A new song, Red & Blue, by my buddies The Vansaders

CNN: Photojournalists are risking their lives during the pandemic

The Guardian: Getty uses remote work to save photos

ArtNews: Duane Michael’s Empty NY Streets from the 1960s

Listen: An incredible audio interview from 1941 with William Henry Jackson, whose Yellowstone work I came to love after learning more about him during our trip there last summer.

The Guardian: The New American West in pictures

Watch: Pete Souza on the gear he used as Obama’s White House Photographer

“Light is an interpretive tool in the hands of a photographer. He can make it harsh or soft, revealing or concealing, flattering or libelous. The more he knows about the versatility of light, the easier it is to cope with any picture-taking situation he encounters.” ~ Peter Gowland

Please stay safe everyone!

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2020

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Thirteen

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I’ve somehow become the father of a teenager.

Olivia turned 13 today.

She’s a cool kid. Very smart, very creative, funny, kind, has no patience for her younger brothers. But that’s to be expected.

But she’s a life-changer. My life, specifically.

I hate when she’s down and when I can’t help her.

I’m happy when she’s happy, even if I never had anything to do with her happiness at that particular time.

It’s ok on both counts – she’s learning and growing.

I see a lot of myself in her, a lot of her mom on her.

And a lot of great uniqueness.

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Happy birthday to my first born, the one that changed my life.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2020

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PSA: Back Up Your Work

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It’s April 1. Back up your work.

My workflow includes:
* I back up my month or big projects to a USB stick. I don’t trust external hard drives any more, and don’t want to shell out for a solid state drive.

* I then back everything up to a DropBox folder online. With an app on my phone I can access DropBox, too.

* All my phone photos automatically get backed up on Flicker. But if I edit them in Snapseed, I then upload the final to Flickr, download it to the stick, then upload to Dropbox.

I’ve had external hard drives fail, and internal hard drives crash. I’ve had to spend $$$ to get a couple of hard drives rescued.

This is a very pedantic work flow system for me, but I haven’t lost anything in the two years of running it. So, it’s working for me.

The bottom line: Back Up Your Work

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2020

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Big-Light Baseball Portraits

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We all may have extra times on our hand due to the “shelter in place” directive.

But, actually, I don’t have any extra time. My day job is keeping me busy, the kids are home all day, there’s still the mundane things of keeping Krajnak & Co running on a day-to-day basis (who knew my my asked questions in life wouldn’t be “What if…?” but “what should we have for dinner?”)

Anyway, I am taking this time try some new things out, continue to learn my camera gear and especially my lighting. So, this past rainy Sunday, I set up the garage studio as I had some ideas for baseball portraits with Chase

I have a decent size garage and it more than adequately holds my gray seamless and, in this case, a 72″ parabolic umbrella with my Neewer Vision4 wireless strobe.

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I’ve always wanted a big parabolic like this one. A large light diffuser is a great tool to have in your bag and can help overcome many challenging lighting situations. After watching this video by Sean Tucker, I went out and purchased a big parabolic umbrella. I just haven’t had the chance to try it out yet.

I had this idea for more gritty, stylized photos of Chase showing just his glove and his eyes, as if he’s standing on the mound peering down at the batter.

Here’s an early test shot, unedited.

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Basically what I was looking for, so I had Chase get into his jersey and start to dial it in. Another starter test shot, with jersey. Lighting is pretty much where I want it. I was at 1/32 on the strobe, f/2 on my Fuji X100T.

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I wanted to add a bit more character to his face, so added some eye black in. Pitchers don’t normally wear eye black, but hey, this is my concept.

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Ok, so that was good. I did a few more shots, and knew that I’d process them in post to give them that more gritty look, almost like something you’d see on a PS4 video game cover.

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Unfortunately, I seemed to have missed this focus on Chase’s eyes in these. I didn’t notice this as I shooting him, but the Fuji locked on his glove, not on his eyes. While I like this how this looks, wish his eyes were sharper in these particular photos.

To achieve this look, I brought the image into my Photoshop program, and then opened Nik>Color>Bleach Bypass and adjusted from there.

My friend, Gary Chapman, suggested I try B&W, which I did. Again, I like it – I always like B&W – but my goal was that gritty color look, which I still prefer.

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A few more baseball-card type poses.

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Another BTS shot. I didn’t move the parabolic at all, really just wanted to use it as the big main/key light source. Not getting into any crazy shadows or anything like that.

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Annnddd….a pre-shoot shot with another stand in, and a crooked seamless….

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My goal is to keep keepin’ busy, keep practicing and keep getting better.

Let’s keep getting after it!

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2020

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