JPS Visual Week In Review ~ 07.020.19

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Vacation.

One of the best eight-letter words in the English language.

It’s also my verb right now.

About 4 p.m. yesterday, on the 15th anniversary of my starting date with my company, I closed out my work email, disconnected from my job’s network, sat back with a sigh and said “I’m on vacation.”

There’s something about just know you don’t have to check work email for a while that feels good. I don’t have an office to go in to anymore – I work remotely most days – so I’m not really turning out any lights. Maybe virtually I am.

Which is what I did yesterday around 4. Soon after, some friends, visiting from Missouri, pulled up, and the sound of laughter and squeals filled our back yard yard as their two kids and our three kids all jumped into the pool. I soon followed.

And vacation was underway.

Now I’ll try to disconnect from work for about 10 days. This vacation will NOT be one of sitting around a pool. We’re headed to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.

To say I can’t wait would be an understatement.

I haven’t been out to the American West for quite a few years. Well, 15 actually, since my wife and I drove cross-country from San Francisco to start our new life in New Jersey. After exiting Seattle it rained for much of the the drive across South Dakota and parts of Wyoming. The weather did break when we visited Mount Rushmore, though.

I was a bit shell-shocked at the time. I had just been through eight months of hell with my job in the Bay Area. A boss there left me questioning myself and my abilities in my chosen career. I wanted out of SF and sought refuge  in New Jersey. NJ felt like a lifeline to me, then.

If I can just get back to NJ, I’ll be OK…

So, a month after being married, we packed it all up, and came home.

The job seems to have worked out. Ups and downs, of course, but for the most part.

The marriage seems to have worked out. Ups and downs, of course, but for the most part.

As the kids played in the pool last evening, and I manned the grill and chatted with our friends, I did dawn on me:

This is my life. And it’s pretty good.


 

This Week’s Links:

What I Watched This Week: A Phillies game, in person, until it got rained out.

What I Watched This Week, Part 2: Open Water 2: Adrift

What I Read This Week: I finished a 1950s pulp called Thieves Like Us.

TIME: The Story Behind the Apollo 11 1969 Launch Party Photos

Soapbox: A Long Overdue Recognition of a Groundbreaking Photographer

Watch: Garry Winogrand: The First Digital Photographer Shooting Film

Buzzfeed News: 8 Photo Stories That Will Challenge Your View Of the World

Looking Back: See that young guy in the fifth box in the montage above? I photographed him 9 years ago.

“Despite the technical wonders of photography, I believe that a single camera, coupled to heart and mind, can still reveal the beauty of our fellow humans on their daily rounds.” ~ RIP Ida Wyman

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2019

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By The Light Of The Flash(Light)

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Bobby Mahoney & The Seventh Son

This past Saturday was hot in New Jersey.

Well, it was hot in Pennsylvania, too, which is where I started the day.

But I had to get back to New Jersey to shoot a show in Asbury Park.

Except the show I was to get back for didn’t work out, so I shot another show instead.

And did some mosaic wall portraits to boot.

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I left Northeast PA just before noon, and took my time getting back to New Jersey. One of my favorite stretches of road now is Route 443 in western Mahoning Township, Carbon County. It’s the type of  road you half expect to see Robert Mitchum careening down in an old 1950 moonshine-running hot rod, a la Thunder Road.

At this point of the day, I fully expected to be in the pit at The Stone Pony Summer Stage, shooting the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and The Bouncing Souls. I had the windows down, I was listening to Western Stars, my dog Bo was in the back enjoying the ride, all was good.

But…things don’t always go the way you had planned. A couple of hours after I got home, I got an unfortunate email from: TBS said no to all photo pass requests. No real explanation given but that was that.

So, I went to Plan B. I knew Bobby Mahoney and his band were playing at the Asbury Park Yacht Club ( a little bar on the AP boardwalk) I shot a text to Bobby Mahoney (maybe I should have called him up) to see if I could do some shots of him and the band (I had only done his portraits there previously) before their set.

He got right back to me and said sure!

So now I had a new direction. But I was going to do this super light – just take my Fuji X100T, no tripod, no nothing. Get down there, do a few test shots, shoot the band outside, then go over to the APYC and shoot their set inside.

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It was a beautiful evening in Asbury Park and the town was stoked for The Bouncing Souls Stoked For Summer show.

I was stoked to be in front of my favorite mosaic shooting portraits. Of even passerbys.

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Devon

Or guys that got kicked out of the concert early for having a little to much fun. Then trying to get his impounded car out.

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All the time I shot in front of this wall, I had no idea there was an outlet there.

All of this was happening because Bobby and the band got held up. He kept sending me texts apprising me of the situation, which was very nice of him. But I was losing light fast. My idea of traveling light wasn’t looking good right now. Even kicking my ISO up to 1600, then 2500, the wall was getting deeply shadowed.

After about a 35 minute delay – during which I got a chance to listen to the Bosstones opening set across the street anyway – the band showed up. In addition to dealing with the light issue, I knew they were going on in about 30 minutes or so, and I couldn’t keep them too long.

Ok, hi guys, let’s get to work. But what to do about the light….I wasn’t sure…then Bobby’s guitarist, Andrew, had an idea “What about the flashlight on your phone?”

Bingo! In fact, I remembered reading in a book by photojournalist Alex Garcia that he lit with this phone flashlight, and I had always wanted to try it. Perfect opportunity!

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(L-R) James McIntosh, Bobby Mahoney, Andrew Saul, Jonathon Chang-Soon

I can’t say it was the prettiest light I ever got, but it got me to a better place with a bit more exposure. Yes, I had to still lighten shadows in Camera Raw but that little bit of light gave me enough to work with.

I even got their band family in the final mosaic shot.

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Then I kept them for just five more minutes. As they were coming to meet me, I noticed the lamp at First Ave was really cool and maybe I could use it.

I positioned them around the lamp post. By now, the sky was fading from deep blue to black, The Bouncing Souls were jamming on the Summer Stage, and street was crowded with cars and bikes and people. A typical Saturday night in Asbury Park.

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And then a fun shot to end the shoot. Right before I put the Fuji to my eye, I caught the kid on the bike out of the corner of my eye. I knew what he was going to do, and I waited for it. I just hoped he wouldn’t run me over.

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I clicked, he passed me, dropped his wheel and spun around. Going back he said “Did I get in the shot?

“Yup.”

He just smiled.

I was done, the band was done. They went up to the APYC to get ready for their set and I went up to take in more of TBS from the boardwalk.

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Not quite the pit, but the sound was good. And the people on the boardwalk were, indeed, stoked.

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Oh…the set by the band in that hot little seaside bar was pretty darn good, too.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2019

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Dispatches: Goin’ Tubbin’ At Seven Tubs

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The older I get, the more I realize that if I’m near water, I’m happy.

Be it the ocean, a lake or a bubbling brook on a shaded trail in the woods, there’s just something about being near water that calms me down, but opens my mind up.

This isn’t news to anyone but me, probably. I’ve always done pretty well to wherever I’ve been – city, suburbs, country.

But the more I spend time in the woods with my kids, especially since they are right across the street from our home, and the more time I get near water, I do notice a change.

So, when we recently visited Northeast Pennsylvania (Hi, grandparents!), we took an afternoon to take the short drive to Pinchot State Forest and hang out at the 7 Tubs Recreation Area.

The beauty here astounds me.

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What astounds me even more is that this state forest has always been here, yet, in the 18 years I lived near here, I never explored it! Sheesh.

The family and I visited here last summer, and it was the top thing the kids wanted to do this year. It was a beautiful summer day, sunny and warm, and the mountain water was clear and cool – a little cold but mostly cool.

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As I kept a watchful eye on the kids, I did just have to stand there a few moments and just take it all.

All the challenges life throws at you, all the garbage going on with the elected officials in our country, all the stressors we all have…being in this place helped it all wash away.

My mind calmed, if just for a few minutes.

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I know many of my readers here probably won’t ever make it to this part of Northeast Pennsylvania, but if you do…please make it a point to stop at Seven Tubs and check it out. Even to just hike the trails and get away from it all.

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Oh…my favorite part of the day? Jumping in this chute of water and riding it down to the bottom.

A gear note: I went super light here – I had my phone, of course, but shot everything seen here with my little Canon SX620 HS point-and-shoot. Yes, I still worried about dropping it in the water – wish there was a waterproof case for P-nS’s, but it a did a nice job without having to worry too much about it!

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2019

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JPS Visual Week In Review ~ 07.013.19

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We are smack-dab in the middle of summer and I love it.

The weather here in New Jersey has been great – very warm days, beautiful evenings. My wife and I usually walk our dogs together around 7:30 or so each evening, and I always try to take in that gorgeous evening light.

If you’re reading this blog,  you’re probably a photographer. And so, you probably DO already the beautiful light, or the clouds or just the random thing that catches our eye but it won’t catch someone else’s.

I think this “noticing” is a gift. Mine had to be developed, it wasn’t always there. But I think I have it now and I’m trying to get my kids to develop their eye. I’m not trying to make them into photographers, just hoping they can notice the world a little.

What did you see this week?

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What I Watched This Week: Hammett

What I Read This Week: Rusty Wilson’ Bigfoot Stories of Yellowstone

Podcast: I’ve started to listen to the UN of Photography podcasts while I’m working. (I use Soundcloud but they are on iTunes as well.)

Vox: How Stock Photos Get Made (I actually think about this alot)

PDN: How much power does one photo have?

PDN: The path of a fine-art photographer

Duckrabbit: Consternation, Conversation, Conservation

Street Photography: The Master of Coney Island Photography

“Light is the shape and play of my thought… my reason for being a photographer.” Barbara Morgan

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2019

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