At The Roadside Diner With A Jersey Girl


Not quite two months after saying I don’t want to bore you with “Dad photos”…what am I going to do?

Potentially risk boring you with “Dad” photos!

But really, though, these aren’t just “Dad” photos – this is some (I hope) photojournalism or reportage to these images. These photos document one person’s foray into a local cultural experience – the New Jersey Diner scene.

See, New Jersey has often been called the Diner Capital of The World. I don’t know if it’s true and I’m not here to argue it. But last weekend, as me and my little girl headed down to Asbury Park for the afternoon, I knew it was time. Hey, she IS going to be three next month – some things can’t wait.

“Want to go out to lunch?”

“Um…sure.” (standard response.)

“How about we go to a diner?”

“Sounds great, Dad!”

So, halfway down to AP, on State Route 33 & 34, I pulled into one of the most classic NJ diners in the state – The Roadside Diner.

The Roadside Diner has been in this spot since the 1940 and everything is still original in it – booths, stools, and the sliding train door that lets you in. I could have spent all day in the joint just shooting it. And not just because it appears in Springsteen’s Girls In Their Summer Clothes video or on the cover of Bon Jovi’s Crossroads album. It is just classic in every sense of the word.

I’ve been on a high ISO kick lately so everything I shot was between 500 and 800, usually either f/4 for f/5 and a +3. I really wanted to take advantage of all the great light streaming in through the windows.

I also wanted to keep my camera low and my focal length around 17 to 24mm. While she enjoyed her grilled cheese and milk, and I tucked into my turkey club, I kept shooting….

My other dirty secret about these images that I have to confess: In the effort to get my camera in a new place….I was shooting from the hip. Hardly looked through the viewfinder for most of these. I kept the 50D around table level on autofocus. When I heard the beep, I clicked.

Maybe that’s the secret for me…shoot blind more often.

© Mark V. Krajnak 2010 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved
Unless otherwise noted, images captured with a Canon 50D, SanDisk digital film, finished with PS2 or PSE6 and Nik Software.

13 thoughts on “At The Roadside Diner With A Jersey Girl

  1. Mark, I LOVE your Jersey Girl!

    Thank you for sharing more images from your day out with your daughter and for spilling your secrets. I was out for lunch with my family on Sunday and none of my shots turned out. Guess I should have shot blind 🙂

  2. Wonderful set of images and it looks lokie she really enjoyed herself. Those will be wonderful memories for both of you. And, yes those diners are awesome for photo ops. Maybe you’ll have to go again!

  3. heh…I love this set. My daughter and I have a sushi date for this weekend. Perhaps I will do the same sort of thing. Something about the way you did these photos carries sweetness, joy and childhood in them. Very nice work.

  4. The one with the cup is so cute. Is that the menu she’s looking at? She looks a little sad, like she can’t find the grilled cheese option (although, obviously found later!).

  5. As soon as I pulled up the page, I wondered ‘which one did they stop in?’ The Roadside Diner is a classic, for sure. Great images, nice treatment, beautiful Jersey Girl indeed

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