Last Saturday, Scott Kelby held his 10th annual Worldwide Photowalk.
It’s been seven years since I did one of these photowalks. Things often conspire against me: I’m traveling for business, I have family obligations, or don’t feel like traveling to go to one.
This year, though, I decided to not only do one, but to be a Photowalk Leader. For this auspicious title, I had to send in an application. Not really sure what the process is on on Kelby’s end, but I figured if I dropped Joe McNally’s name enough times in it, I’d get to lead a walk in Allentown. Scott and Joe are old friends.
It worked, I guess. I got an email saying I was granted Leadership.
So, now I was all in. When people go to the Photowalk website, they can put in their zip code to find a walk taking place near them. That was one way to find out about it. I also posted to the Allentown, NJ Facebook page.
I was hoping that maybe 10 people would sign up.
37 signed up.
Now, not all that signed up showed. But above pic shows who did who up and who did do the walk with us.
Cameras of every kind. Skill levels of every kind. A couple of people I knew just online, but got the chance to meet in real life (IRL, as the kids says). My 10 year old daughter, Olivia (gray Nike shirt) signed up too. Plus, she did the cool signage for us (wood board, blackboard paint, chalk)
We had people come from near (Allentown proper) to far – one gal, Penelope Taylor, came down from Hamburg, NJ, a good two hours north of New Jersey. She’s one of my on-line pals, does some really sweet infrared work. More on her in a bit.
Anyway, my guidelines for the walk were pretty loose. The night before our walk, I sent out some “Allentown Points of Interest” – The old mill area, the bamboo forest we have, a nature trail, the town cemetery, etc.. We were to meet up at The Moth coffeehouse at 11 a.m. and shoot till 1, or whenever people felt like leaving.
That’s pretty much how it played out. Saturday was warm and humid, not very Fall like, frankly. The gang met up outside The Moth, I had everyone sign in, and just gave them some basic instructions. First and foremost, I wanted to get the group shot done since I didn’t know if people would come back to the start stop. Many didn’t, so I was glad I shot the shot in!
From there, they were off. I hung back, talked to some folks and then started to do portraits. It started with Penelope, actually. A few weeks ago, she emailed me and asked if I could shoot her portrait. She liked the #garagestudio shots I post to my Instagram. I don’t think she realized, at first, I shoot them in my garage – literally.
Since I couldn’t take Penelope to my garage (well, we were just a few miles away, I guess I could have, technically), I brought my studio to the photowalk. One black backdrop and some nice natural light, coming up!
Here’s a finished image.
Pretty simple, easy to do. No fuss, no muss.
In addition to Penelope, I shot a few more portraits, too.
Frankly, I didn’t do any walking myself. Which was fine with me. I was happy to show off our town a little, and chat with these fine folks. I was especially happy to see the four or five kids that came a long to shoot. They have some talented eyes, I must say!
The two hours went by pretty quickly. After I packed up my gear and was headed home, I saw a couple of folks grabbing a coffee at The Moth, and a few others down the streets getting some ice cream at Heavenly Hands.
That was an underlying goal of mine – by doing the walk in Allentown, perhaps the local economy could get some action. Seemed like that worked.
But, I have to say, I really liked showing my little hometown, too. Many were familiar with Allentown, and many said they want to come back again and explore more. That’s pretty cool.
And, I had to introduce the group to Flo, too. Tried to do a group photo with her but, alas, blew the focus, and the shot.
All in all, a good time was had by all, I think. And, the walkers have been sending me their photos and I’ve compiled them here. Check ’em out!
If you participated in one of Scott’s Photowalks this year, drop a link to your pics in the comments below.
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2017
Hi Everyone! Flo The Pig here taking over Mark’s blog. It’s early and he’s still sleeping, but I’m sure he won’t mind.
I know, I know…it’s been a while since you’ve heard or seen me. There was a time when you saw me more on this site. Mark and I we’ve had some great adventures together. It all started back around 2001, I think. I was content to sit on his girlfriend’s (now wife). Then, Mark kidnapped me for a trip he took to Kalamazoo, Michigan. Next thing I knew, he’s taking a photo of me with this new-fangled thing called a “digital camera” in front of a 25 foot Santa Clause being held by some other photographer guy.
From there it was a whirlwind of domestic locations: St. Louis, Missouri; Creve Coeur, Missouri, Venice Beach, California; Chicago, Illinois. I never knew there was such a big world out there!
Then things really started to take off (no pun, intended.) Mark started to do more global travel and, with every take off, I was tucked in his carry-on bag.
As Mark’s travels continued, I became more “one with the people.” No longer was I just sitting on cold, hard pavements, I started to connect with the people I was meeting all over the world.
It was really fun. Even though Mark didn’t speak their language (usually), a smile and a motion with his camera and people would willing taking me into their hands.
One of my favorite experiences was in China. Mark kept trying to get the guards at Tienanmen Square to hold me. But no dice. They were all business.
Then, a Chinese woman tugged on Mark’s sleeve, and motioned to her young daughter. No words were exchange, but we got our shot.
There have been other locations shoots as well – Granada, Nicaragua; Nairobi, Kenya; Shanghai, China; Lancaster, Pennsylvania (hey, it counts.)
As times changed, and budget restrictions occurred, and more crowd sourcing of stories and images happened, Mark and I started traveling less for business. I’ve spent more time buried at the bottom of his kids’ playbox than bouncing around in overhead.
Tonight, though, the adventure continues. We’re on our way to Cape Town, South Africa, to chase the light and the pixels for a couple of weeks.
If everything works out weather-wise, it’ll be wheels up this evening, a stop-over in Amsterdam, and then on to Cape Town. First production meeting will be 9 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Of course, I’ll share carry-on luggage space (Mark’s a one-bag guy: Hasn’t checked a bag in almost five years) with Mark’s camera and a couple of lenses (after his 17-85mm bonked at the start of a trip in Ireland, he now tosses his Nifty Fifty into his bag just in case.)
Kipling may have said “He who travels fastest travels alone”, but lucky for me, Mark doesn’t quite fully believe that.
As long as I don’t pork up too much (heh, pig joke!), I’ll still make it into his bag.
As they say in Afrikkans: Totsiens!
See you on the other side!
© Flo The Pig | Part of JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014
This week was the high holy week in the Christian faith. Holy Week, in Christianity, is the last week of Lent and week before Easter.
Growing up Catholic, this was always one of the more solemn weeks of the year for me. I made it through whatever I “gave up” for the 40 days of Lent. That included no meat on Fridays but plenty of pizza, tomato soup and tuna casseroles on that day.
While in Catholic grade school in Northeast Pennsylvania, our Easter break would start on Holy Thursday. By 3:30 p.m. on Good Friday, I was usually in an alter boy’s cassock and tight shoes, sweating, holding the burning incense and/or the big liturgical book. If the older priest was doing the service, the book was at arm’s length. If the younger guy, I could lean it against my chest. Either way, the biceps burned.
Paying attention to the service was optional. I’d be trying not to pass out either from a) the heat in the church, or b) the incense filling my nostrils. We’d do the Stations of the Cross for the last time – my knees hitting the hard sacristy floor 14 times.
Down and up, down and up.
The day after Easter, Easter Monday, was reserved, usually, for going to the circus. Go figure.
In the past few years, in my travels around the world, religion….faith…churches…have always seemed to be a constant draw for me and my camera.
The beauty and majesty of a church, no matter how far outside the city limits it may be.
Maybe because it’s a constant wherever I go. No matter your faith, no matter where you, there’s a hope, a desire….a belief…that’s there is something guiding us all.
Something, someone we feel the need to be accountable to… or for.
I know what I was baptized into…what my schooling has wrought…where my faith lies. But a global view gives you just that…a global view. Who’s to say whose is right? I’s up to the individual, and where it take’s the, right?
I’ve made it a point that, no matter where I am in world, no matter which church, temple, synagogue I encounter, a prayer based in faith can’t hurt.
When I was in Shanghai, while Leslie was pregnant with Matthew, I lit incense and prayed for my family…
Other times, I’ve paused, and just been awed, by the quiet devotion.
In the end, it’s about the end,right?…Have we put forth the good effort, have we done the penance…
Where do we end up, hands crossed across our chests, boots up?
We all end up in the same, similar place, logistically speaking.
But then what?
It’s a matter of faith, no? Who’s to say which faith is right or not. It’s why I never really understood religious wars.
It’s whatever gets you through the darkest days and the deepest nights in life.
That’s what faith is, right?
Wherever you live.
© Mark V. Krajnak 2012 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved
We all run across a number of “photo contests” and I’ll be the first to tell you, I don’t submit much.
A couple of reasons, I guess. First, there’s usually a cost involved. Often $25 per photo per submission and up. That can get pricey for a husband of one, father and dog walker to two and two respectively, primary mortgage payer and all that.
Second, HUNDREDS of people enter thousands of images. Finding mine may be a little like finding a New Jersey needle in a haystack.
Third….rejection. Every time I don’t win, place or show, it’s a form of rejection. Somewhere someone on a judging panel saying “Thanks for coming. Now go sit quietly with the others.”
But I came across one recently that I decided to throw my hat into.
Global Health Council recently sponsored one through Flickr called Women and Girls In A Changing World.
From their description:
GLOBAL HEALTH Magazine wants to harness that power by giving you the chance to share your images with the wider community. GLOBAL HEALTH Magazine’s photography contest invites both amateurs and professionals to submit selections of their work which bring to bear the issues of global health. We are looking for photos that convey emotional depth and understanding of this year’s theme, Women & Girls in a Changing World. While some global health concerns are often difficult to discuss, photography can help tell a story that be overwhelmed or obscured if told with words. Help tell the stories of women and girls who live on less than $2 a day.
In many of my travels – to Nicaragua, India, China, Africa…I encountered many women and girls like this. Many dealing with serious health concerns like obstetric fistulas or being care givers to those with serious conditions, like HIV/AIDS, and often in poor living conditions – minimal electricity, dirt floors, sunbaked huts. But what I found was how many have the emotional depth and resilience mentioned above in the Global Health description. They work hard, don’t complain, provide for their families, give care, all the while with a smile on their face and love in their heart.
One of the photos I entered was of the women, above, sewing clothing and baskets at Project Mercy, in Yetebon, Africa. I only met them for a few minutes, but their I’m sure their days are pretty much structured the same. They work. And sew. And repeat. When we met them, though, they were singing to help pass the time, but to also tell stories and bring enjoyment.. I like the photo above because while these women are helping care for children orphaned because of HIV/AIDS, they still know how to laugh and smile and have fun.
And be resilient.
Another photo I submitted….
A susu (grandmother) at the Nyumbani Village, Kitui, Africa.The Nyumbani Village is the realization of the dream the late Fr. Angelo D’Agostino to create a self-sustaining community to serve orphans and elders who have been left behind by the “lost generation” of the HIV pandemic. There are now 750 children in the village, with 70 “grandparents” overseeing and raising them. Despite being in a very arid region of Africa, the village is learning water conservation, along with bee-keeping and an agro-forestry project that will lead to the village being self-sustaining by 2018.
This woman had to be in her 80s. But look at that smile! Such energy and love.
Finally, while it may not exactly fit the description, I did submit my portrait of Dr. Catherine Hamlin.
While she’s probably not living on less than $2 a day, I submitted the photo of her to shine a light on her work. She’s helping so many people and I just don’t think people know about her or her work enough. Here’s more of what I wrote about her.
And that was really the goal of me submitting some images to this photo contest. It wasn’t to win, necessarily. There are a number of professional photographers submitting work to this contact. Heck, Mark Tuschman won it a few years ago. These shooters tell these stories all the time and are really, really good at it.
But, in my way, I wanted to shine a small light on Project Mercy, and the Nyumbani Village and Dr. Hamlin. I may not win, but maybe someone will see these photos and do a little more digging into these organizations. Who knows, they may even offer some support to them.
To me, it’s about telling their stories, bringing that lamp out from under the bushel.
This storytelling with photography…like what the new photojournalism site Rear Curtain is hoping to do (a site I hope to become more involved with in the very near future.)
And that’s why I submitted photos to this photo contest.
Voting ends April 15th. I’ll let you know who wins the feature in the magazine. I’m sure it will be some great photography.
© Mark V. Krajnak 2011 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved
Unless otherwise noted, images captured with a Canon 50D, SanDisk digital film, finished with PS4 or PSE6 and Nik Software.