JSP Visual Week in Review ~ 01.23.20

Leading off right with this: Happy birthday Mom!

I haven’t seen my parents, both in their 80s, since early last March. Hopefully soon!

(No comments about my attire in that photo – it was 1972. Not sure if those socks were just really high, or my legs were that short. Probably the latter since they still are.)

In other big news this week…

Whew.

A collective unclenching of jaws across the United States as President-Elect Joseph Biden because President Joe Biden on Wednesday, to great fanfare but relatively little noise or disruption.

The great Warren Zevon once sang I was in the house when the house burned down.

That’s how many of us Americans feel about the last four years. At least I do.

Now, we can start the rebuild, back to hopefully being a great nation again.

We can disagree but still be united.

Disagreeing in fine.

Basic respect and human rights across our land is what’s needed.

But now that the jaws are unclenched, let’s breathe out, breathe in…and get to work.

______________________________________

This Week’s Links:

What I Read This Week: Still pushing after The Five Red Herrings and The Bloody Spur. This week will be key; think one of the may go.

What I Watched This Week: The Sonny Burnett Arc on Miami Vice. Also The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three (1974 version)

What I Made This Week: Chicken tortilla soup (pretty basic, I know, but never made it before)

Listen/Watch: Kenneth Jarecke talks to Tony Vaccaro (about a year old but still good.)

Advice: Fashion/editorial photographer Ellen Von Unwerth talks about Freedom From Every Perspective

RedBull: Women Photographers shooting the big-wave riders

Leica: The World Deserves Witnesses

Gear: In praise of cheap lenses

Coverage: Lawrence Jackson to cover Vice President Harris in the White House

Old School: My buddy David Burnett with his Speed Graphic at the Inauguration.

RIP: Hammerin’ Hank

RIP: Photojournalist Grace Robertson

“Photographer’s advice: Stand in the right place.” ~ David Douglas Duncan (January 23, 1916 – June 7, 2018)

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2021

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Working Nights

And it feels right as you lock up the house
Turn out the lights and step out into the night 

~ Bruce Springsteen, Night

A cold winter’s Sunday night.

And errand to run to a neighboring town.

The Fuji XT4 on the seat beside me.

My eyes opened, saw what was around me.

Glad the rig was on the seat.

Time to put some work in on the night shift.

We see in color, even at night.

 

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2021

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JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 01.16.21

I’m shooting more now.

Pretty much daily.

And that’s because I’m getting out more. Walking more.

Lucky for me, the weather here in New Jersey has been pretty moderate. If it’s been cold, it hasn’t been windy, which I’m OK with.

Up top, I wear a couple of long-sleeve shirts (one thermal), a hoodie, and one of those slim, down jackets.

And a ski cap. After a youth filled with fighting my mom on wearing a cap, I see the need now and always wear one. Sometimes an orange one if I’ll be where pheasant hunters are.

Down lower, I picked up a ~$25 dollar pair of athletic pants are on the heavier side, plenty of warmth for nether region.

Thick socks and my 16 year old Merrells on my feet. Still waterproof after all these years (I have a whole other issue going on with a big, thick, rugged pair of work boots that are NOT waterproof and now are basically useless unless it’s high dry season in July and August. Once a pair of boots lets in water, either from the sole or the side, you’re dead to me. but that’s a whole other rant.)

And I got out walking. In the woods or on gravel trails. Sometimes just on the side of the country roads by my home.

I put a podcast in my headphones and I walk for 45 minutes to an hour.

And it’s been good. I’ve learned about new photographers on the podcast, I’ve gotten myself moving, and I shoot, either with my phone or my XT3, if I choose to take it.

Not all the photos are ones I’d be showing, but that’s OK. I’m working to sharpen my eye….doing the roadwork to keep it in shape.

Or get it back into shape.

That patch of light. That sparkle of frost. That animal skull stripped clean to the bone by weather…and other scavengers.

I shoot things that make me stop and go…Huh. How’d that get there? What happened here?

Your photographic eye is a muscle. If you don’t work it – just like your biceps or your quads – it’ll go soft.

And when it goes soft, so does your desire to pick up the camera.

Because you’re not “seeing” the photos like you were when we were shooting regularly, before pandemics and lock downs and insurrections.

You gotta keep that eye keen, and via my daily walks, I’m getting my eye back into shape.

I have an engagement shoot tomorrow, and a band shoot in a couple of weeks.

All will be socially-distance and safe (honestly I don’t get these Zoom photoshoots I keep hearing about. They make long lenses for a reason).

Hopefully, because of what I’ve been doing, my shoots will go well. I think they will.

Either way, I’m getting out, seeing my local sights, experiencing fresh air and nature, and immersing myself in my environment.

Maybe give it a try?

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This Week’s Links:

What I Read This Week: I’m working on The Bloody Spur and The Five Red-Herrings. Both are a bit of a plod at this point. Not sure I’ll keep with them or cut bait. Life’s too short for books that don’t grab you.

What I Watched This Week: Pretend It’s A City (makes me miss going in and out of NYC, and spending a few days there for the Global Citizenship Concert or on business. Still wouldn’t want to live there.)

What I Made This Week: Hungarian Goulash

NY Times: Images of a Capitol Under Siege

Listen: Daniel Norton on finding time for inspiration

PetaPixel: Five signs your landscape photos are to busy

Watch: How Ilford is film is made.

A Developing Situation: COSTCO closing all photo departments

Fast Company: Decoding Chicago gangs, and their business cards

Then (1944) and Now (January 15)

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” ~ Cecil Beaton (January 14, 1904 – January 18, 1980)

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2021

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The Family Yearbook

One of the Christmas gifts I wanted to give my wife was a 2020 family yearbook.

A few years ago, I would do one of these books either for Christmas or Mother’s Day but then I fell out of the habit of doing them.

To be honest, they are a little daunting, at least for me. I usually obsess over what photos to add, and I’m alway mentally keeping track of how many pages are in the book – the more pages, the higher the cost.

And it’s really hard to edit. I want to include everything from all three kids and any vacations and other special moments. To cull down to a book that’s not too skimpy or not overly long, it takes time. And my start time for working on these things is usually 10 pm, after everyone else is tucked away. But by that time, I’m running out of focus and energy as well.

There was one point in creating even this one that I was afraid I wasn’t going to finish it in time to get it back for Christmas. Again, more stress in doing it.

But a funny thing also happened as I was putting this together: Despite it being the craziest year we’ve ever had…I came across a lot of great memories of the past year. Things we’ll really want to look back on.

Like the Father’s Day that was a big splash, and some summer baseball games. This spread contains perhaps my funniest photo: The coach pointing a forehead thermometer into Matt’s mouth before a ballgame. Temps had to be taken…but I guess comes coaches were unsure of how exactly to do it!

 

Speaking of baseball, this is my favorite spread.

That vacation to Acadia National Park.

And the new pandemic puppy that made the scene.

Visual documentation that, while we may have been in lock-down for a most of the year, is evidence that we had a lot of adventures and experiences and smiles…..and yes, tears, too. Sometimes in the same spread (Matt’s broken arm in March, and his 9th birthday in October).

In the end, I did enjoy doing this project, my wife loved it, and I’m happy with how it came out.

So much so, I’m committed to doing my photo books this year. This project, coupled with Dan Milnor telling us to Just Make One, my interest in doing hotobooks is rekindled.

The closing spread – harkening to the cover, but without the masks. And paying homage to Roxie, who we lost in 2020.

While the pressure of the deadline helped, I want to take some time now and do other ones. I used Shutterfly for this book and it came out pretty well. Easy to add photos into different templates, and to change page backgrounds. I know Printique does nice books and I want to try Blurb as well.

Like I always say, though, make prints. And, make books! If nothing else, try making your own family yearbook. And let me know how it goes!

 

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2021

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