What A Way To Start 2009

Let’s see….up at 6:45 a.m….check. Turtleneck…check. Long underwear…check. North Face fleece jacket…check.

Temperature when I got in the car: 19 degrees…check.

Well, it looks like I’m headed to Asbury Park, New Jersey, for the Sons of Ireland Polar Bear Plunge!


I always wanted to shoot crazy people that were ready to jump into a near-freezing Atlantic Ocean. Except these crazy people do it for a good cause – More power to them!

I blogged about this a couple of days ago.Today, January 1, dawned bright and clear and VERY crisp. I loaded up the car with my grip bag, a bag with a change of clothes (just in case) and my gear. On the way down Route 33, I stopped and got a medium Duncan Donuts coffee (light and sweet) and tuned the iPod to Greetings From Asbury Park.

Madman drummers bummers and Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat/In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat/With a boulder on my shoulder feelin’ kinda older I tripped the merry-go-round/With this very unpleasing sneezing and wheezing the calliope crashed to the ground

Got down to Asbury Park around 9:30 am so as to get a lay of the land. Home base was in Convention Hall, a grand old building that, while maybe having seen better days, is starting to see some good ones again. I met up with Christine Burke, of CBurke & Associates, who did some great PR for the event and graciously allowed me full access.

After checkinging things out, I started working my way around. Shot some of the volunteers, some exteriors and then checked out the surf.

My goal was to get images of the plungers coming into the ocean while getting some surf kick up. Trying to put my camera in a new place, you know…

Easier said than done when the shoreline of Asbury has a shelf that drops off not too far off the shore. I could only go back so far wearing rubber boots up to my knees and waterproof pants. Ah well…let’s do the best I can…

Shooting with the Canon 20D, I put it on the A-DEP setting and, with a fresh SanDisk card in, just started to rip digital film (firing quick bursts). I held the shutter down and was hoping for some interesting images. I think I got them…




It was a great day and I was happy to help the Sons of Ireland, as well as Christine Burke, as well as get some nice portfolio pieces (and some Springsteen related images a well.) About 150 plungers dove into a very cold Atlantic Ocean today, but they did so by raising a lot of money for the Special Olympics, and other charities in New Jersey.

More images in this slideshow….

What a way for us all to bring in 2009.

© Mark V. Krajnak 2009 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved
Unless otherwise noted, images captured with a Canon 20D, SanDisk digital film, finished with PS2 and Nik Software

16 thoughts on “What A Way To Start 2009

  1. Mark – great job! You really captured the exhilaration we all felt. I am sooo glad I decided to take the Plunge, and so honored that you choose us to document the event.Like you, so many people were “gifted” to this event and everyone pulled together to make it a success.Stay warm!

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