No Shrinkage

I started 2011 the same way I’ve started the last three years.

In the Atlantic Ocean, behind the camera.

Not a bad way to get it going.

For the third year in a row, I had the pleasure of shooting the “Polar Bear Plunge”, sponsored by the Sons of Ireland, of Monmouth County. Such a good group of guys, raising money for so many worthwhile charities. I’m honored to be part of their team for this event. And what an event it was….Lots of great sponsors this year, music by Quincy Mumford and The Nerds, and hundreds of people who turned out on 1/1/11.

Air temp this year was around 47 degrees. According to, the water temp was about 40 degrees.

Doesn’t sound too bad right? Well, the boxer Mike Tyson has a quote: “Everyone has a plan until I hit them in the mouth.”

This is kinda the same way. Everyone thinks it won’t be so bad…then they hit the frigid water. Still, everyone had a good time, whether they were in the water for a few seconds or a few minutes.

The plungers get led to the water by a team of bag pipers. Nothing quite as stirring as hearing bagpipes on a crisp January 1st morning.

Once they are close, it’s on. They’re in the water…I’m in the water….

And how cool is this one?

The top photo was shot by Erik Endress, a photographer from North Jersey who I started chatting with almost as soon as I got out of my car. He drove an hour and half to Asbury Park after seeing a Tweet about the Plunge. Thought it would be a fun thing to shoot so he grabbed his gear and made the trek. Check out his set of Plunge photos (and a short vid) here. He’s got some good ones!

I had a lot of fun again shooting this event. Since my 17-85mm is still out of commission, I rented a 24-105 mm f/4 IS USM from and I really liked it. Lens was fast and images were sharp. Much thanks to the Sons of Ireland and Christine Burke & Associates for giving me the opportunity to shoot this event again.

There was a bit of a catch this year, though. After a couple of years of pretty low-intensity, no water issues…well, this year was different. As you can see in a couple of Erik’s photos…I got wet. My waterproof pants did nothing, and somehow, the Atlantic made its way over and into my knee-high boots. Got slightly concerned about those digits near the end, but they warmed up and it all worked out. Still, though, JSP took on a lot of water:

But hey, all for getting the camera into a new place, right?

Yep, worthwhile.

© Mark V. Krajnak 2011 | 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.

5 thoughts on “No Shrinkage

  1. Pingback: Quiet Pair | Serious Amateur Photography

  2. Hey, nice. Our polar plunge is in Feb. Maybe i’ll check it out. FYI, Wool baselayers (boxers, sox, longjohns, shirts, etc). SmartWool and a couple other brands make fine, soft, merino wool clothes. wool keeps you warm(er) even when wet. it’ll take you up a notch.

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