15 Years A Friend and Mentor

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Fifteen years ago (maybe like fifteen years and two or three months), I was sitting in a conference room at a design agency in New York. A guy in either a corduroy or tweed jacket and black turtle next sat across from me.

The agency was Taylor & Ives.

The guy was Joe McNally.

I had been working with T&I for a year or so, as they would design the annual reports for the company I worked for a the time.

I had no idea who Joe McNally was. Google was in it’s infancy but that’s probably where I went when I got back to the office. Joe seemed like a nice guy. They told me he was a good photographer.

A couple weeks later, just after we all realized we survived Y2K, Joe, his assistant, and I took off for a two-week photo shoot in five different European countries.

I don’t know if my love of photography started on that trip. I know my friendship with Joe started then.

For the last 15 years, he’s been a photography mentor and teacher to me, but also a great friend to me and my family.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look from a shoot in 2001 or 2002. The company I was working for had just reverse acquired Monsanto (yes THAT Monsanto). They had a small pharma division at the time, and had a big arthritis drug my company wanted. So, I few out to St. Louis and Joe and I did a shoot at Monsanto’s campus in Creve Coeur, MO. We both got a crash course in how they are engineering crops to grow in difficult climates, and the innovation it takes to do that (I know, I know, Monsanto, GMO’s, Frankenfoods…they are all the bad guys. Still, we both found it fascinating.)

And, my little travel buddy Flo The Pig was with me as well. I know Joe and I were getting to be friends when he’d waste film to do a set up with Flo in the shot. I shot this with probably one of those plastic cameras you dropped off at the drugstore to get developed.

I posted this to my Facebook page and Joe said: “Kman [I’ve always been KMan to him]….we have both grown up photographically together since that madcap European adventure! Look at this pic….Mamiya Pro II RZ with a winder and a 50mm lens, Profoto 7B into a shoot through umbrella. Kinda old school! Now we live amongst the pixels…”

Yes we do, Joe. Yes we do.

Happy birthday my friend.

(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

JSP Visual Week In Review 07 | 25 | 15

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Summer powers on. Five months to Christmas.


This Week’s Links:

* I’d love to see Meru in an IMAX theater.

* From Fast Company: Inside the manipulative world of color correction.

* RIP E.L. Doctorow

* Randy Johnson (aka The Big Unit): Photographer

* “He’s a different kind of weirdo.”

* Change your lens.

* “There is no bad light. There is spectacular light and difficult light. It’s up to you to use the light you have.” – Jay Maisel

(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

Friday Noir: Night Without Pity

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Never thought you’d get this far, did you?

Been a lot of long years, and this ain’t an easy place to lay low.

Lots of action going on.

The dice.

The dames.

The roll of the flint, the rhythm of a prayer.

The cold pebbled grip of the gat in your hand.

Always trying to find purchase in the sands of Jersey.

It’s been said “Nobody takes power, someone else gives it.”

Take it. Get out there and take it.

Night comes early.

And it’s a night without pity.

Take that power.

Take it.

(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

TriRocked In Philly

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Back at the end of June, for the second year in a row, I had the great opportunity to shoot the TriRock Series Triathlon in Philadelphia. Full disclosure: Johnson & Johnson is one of the sponsors of event, and I was shooting it on behalf of them. It’s one of those great times when my day job and my passion intersect.

Since this was my second time around, I had a little bit better idea of what to expect – knew how the days would play out, where I needed to be when.

The one thing different this year – rain. It was in the forecast both days, so my primary concern was, if it rains, how do I keep the gear dry. Turns out, while the threat was there, and it did rain a little, nothing was compromised.

The day started early on Saturday. By 6:45, Alex Gorsky, J&J CEO, was addressing the employees who signed up to do the race, and who raised a ton of money in doing so. Maybe employees do the tri as a relay – each taking a leg. Some, though, do the whole thing by themselves.

Of course, there are a few “must get” shots – Alex thinking the competitors, then the big group shot. Alex does two parts of the triathlon himself as he’s a fitness fanatic as well.

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Due to the rainy week that we had had, and the impending rain, the race organizers actually cancelled the swim portion. This disappointed many of the competitors as that’s what whey really train for. Still, everyone had a good time, and the feeling they had when they crossed the finished line was one of excitement…and relief.

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The Kids Run even went off without a hitch. Those little kids could fly!

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The Saturday race is open it the public though, so there are other racers. I had to grab this quick portrait of the bride and groom. They were doing the race in the morning, then going to get married in the afternoon.

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Never did catch their names though…

We finished up the Saturday event and about an hour later, as I was getting back to my hotel room, the skies opened up and it poured. So, that led to a quiet evening of sitting in a hotel room, watching ESPN’s 30 For 30 and editing photos. It was another early start Sunday. And a wet start.

The race on Sunday is again open to the public but the distances are longer. More professional triathletes race on Sunday, and the nervous energy before the start is palpable. The early morning starting out misty, then by late morning, the sun was coming out and the humidity was rising. I knew Cameron Dye was a favorite, so I spent some time tracking him.

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Sure enough, he would go on to break the tape and win the men’s division for the fourth year in a row.

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On the women’s side, I caught a nice, moody shot of Dani Fischer during her run, and an exhausted Alicia Kaye after she crossed the finish line to win the women’s division. The humidity caught up to even the pros.

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Again, though, if I saw an interesting portrait opportunity, I had to capture it…

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As usual, I was shooting entire-to-detail, trying to tell the story. Gear wise, I stuck with what worked last year: My Canon 50D with my 24-105mm. I also rented (from BorrowLenses.com) a Canon 7D with the 70-200mm, f2.8 Canon lens. (Love that 2.8.) That said, I also I took my older f/4, 17-85mm so that I had a bit more width for that group shot. Unfortunately, I’m disappointed in the how that shot came out. Very soft at the edges. Next year, I think I may rent a fish-eye to get that shot. Live and learn.

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Overall, despite the unpredictability of the weather, it was a great weekend hanging out in Philadelphia’s Fairmont Park.

(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015


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