All That Jazz In Philly
Sometimes, to take better photos, you have to put yourself in the position to do so. Jay Maisel said something to that effect once. So, when possible, I try to put myself in that interesting spot. A Polar Bear Plunge here, a triathlon there, some writes thrown in for good measure. Something, or someone, that takes me away from the daily norm.
A few weeks ago, I received an email from someone I’ve followed online for a few years now, Tome Wilson. Tome’s a New Jersey guy, and runs the DieselPunks website. The email was about an event called Jazz On The Delaware, to be hld a the at the historic Glen Foerd Mansion in the far northeast of Philadelphia’s city limits. I lived in Philly for 10 years. The Far Northeast, to me, was a bedroom community of brick homes and small yards. It’s still Philly, yes, but there ain’t any soft pretzel hawkers up there. (You’ll still find a cheesesteak joint though – it IS still Philly.)
Anyway, I never knew this mansion existed. But when I got Tome’s email, my mind started working. Specifically, I started to think about some recent Pride in Portraits Drew Gurain did in NYC back in June.
I though it would be fun to do similar portraits: Put up a clean white background, pop a flash, and get some interesting portraits.
To make a long story short…I ain’t Drew Gurain and it became pretty evident pretty quickly that I wasn’t going to pull off those types of portraits.
I started to sweat under my fedora. Literally. And now just because it was 93 degrees at 11 a.m. in the morning.
So.. I adapted. I started to look around for a better spot. Luckily for me, I had access to an old horse stable (I think it was, anyway) on the property. In side, there were great brick walls and beautiful natural light. A little dusty, but no worries. I swept up a bit and then set up my pop-up photo studio.
The light was nearly perfect for what I wanted. And, using Nik’s Analog Efex Pro and Silver Efex Pro for post processing, I got the portraits I saw in my head.
In all, I shot nearly 30 portraits. Here is the full list.
I’m really happy with what I came away with for those “stylized” images. Not exactly how I thought I’d end up there, but I overcame what wasn’t working.
And, because I shoot entire-to-detail, I did do some walk-around shots as well.
Just before closing up shop on the hot, hot day in Northeast Philly, I had to do a quick shot with my hosts, Tome and his lovely wife Lisa. Check out Tome’s new website JazzAgeStyle.com – he’s an old soul that’s keeping it going in today’s modern age.
A thorn between two roses…for sure.
(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015