JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 01.09.21

I mean, what else is there to say?

This past Wednesday was one of the darkest days of our nation that I’ve seen in my lifetime.

I take that back.

Having a misguided, lunatic fringe white mob attempt to take over our nation’s Capitol building isn’t dark.

It’s sad and depressing.

Having some much injustice and infighting within the United States in the year of our Lord 2021 is what’s dark.

I keep reading where politicians and people say “We’re better than this.”

No, we’re not.

THIS is exactly who America is now.

And there’s no changing it.

People, this week, have called me a pessimist about everything going on.

Guilty. I’m almost 51, having been watching this country be dismantled by zealots and yahoos and internet trolls for a long time now.

We’re *this close* to being the banana republic that gets condemned.

A frickin’ coup was attempted on Federal grounds and Capitol police did NOTHING to stop it.

THIS is who America is now.

My daughter, 13, is already saying she wants to move to Canada when she can.

But, as I’ve told her, the point isn’t to run. The point is to stay and try to make a difference.

Even if it’s just one person. Try to make the difference.

There’s an old saying: If one man calls you an ass, pay him no mind.

If 10 men call you an ass, get a saddle.

We, as America, are asses.

Saddle up.

_________________________________

This Week’s Links:

What I Read This Week: I have The Alchemist (paper) and The Bloody Spur (ebook) going

What I Watched This Week: The Maltese Falcon (again)

What I Made This Week: Saag Aloo and Shrimp Creole

Outside Mag: Journey To The Center of the Earth

Fast Company: How One Photographer Captured the Insurrection

Watch: Daniel Norton talks about Planning

Podcast Listen: Victoria Will on We Are Photographers

A Photo Editor: The Daily Edit: Athul Prasad

Opening: At the Pace Gallery in NYC, Irving Penn and Photographism

The Guardian: The Black Photographers Who Changed The Game

Fitness: A hip-and-glute routine (since we all sit so much and are tight)

“The tremendous development of the camera in recent years has been remarkable. Now almost anyone can take pictures, and most of them are doing it. But it is rather like giving a 6-year-old a pistol.” ~ Arnold Genthe ((January 8, 1869 – August 9, 1942) in 1937.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2021

Instagram | Twitter | LinkTree

The King, Today

Elvis, 2018

Elvis Today, by Mark A. Wright

Following a near-fatal heart attack in August 1977 Elvis all but disappeared from public life for almost 10 years.

It appeared to many that ‘The King’ had hung up his guitar for good.

But the musical flame could never be fully extinguished, however. Being older, perhaps wiser, Elvis felt that there was more he had to give. More to offer. More to say. He just wasn’t sure anybody would want to hear it anymore.

What he didn’t count on was the love the generation of musicians he inspired still had for him. To them he was still their King; and they wanted to say ‘thank you’.

Following his wilderness period in the 1980’s and early 1990’s a comeback album was recorded released in 1999 in time for the millennium. Titled ‘TCB’, produced by former Beastie Boys and Johnny Cash producer Rick Rubin and featuring the talents of Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin a reformed Beatles of Paul, George & Ringo, Prince and the original TCB Band the album had an updated, rootsy style more in keeping with his early records than his orchestrated Vegas heyday.

It was a sure-fire Christmas No.1 and remained at the top of the US album charts for an incredible 43 weeks.

Nearing his 60th birthday, a snow white-haired, bearded Elvis went on his first-ever world tour. Lasting 18 months, every night was an instant sell out, and was the highest grossing tour in history.

For Elvis this marked another staggering comeback overshadowing the decline of his later Vegas years.

In a series of revealing interviews Elvis revealed how prescription drugs had almost taken his life. He hoped his openness would serve as a warning and inspiration for others. He became a passionate advocate for drug rehabilitation amongst the young setting up many low key charities and facilities both in Memphis and the United States. Never involving himself in politics Elvis gained respect and accolades from all parts of society.

Elvis continued touring extensively throughout the world for the next 10 years winning over a whole new generation of fans. He often joked on stage how he’d ‘thrown scarves to your grandmother’ as the throng of fans jockeyed to get closer to the stage during concerts.

On his 70th birthday Elvis announced his retirement from the music business and touring. He released his final album ‘Elvis Has Left The Building’ which sold over 35 million copies worldwide and was, of course, No.1.

A fitting finale to a truly history shaping career. However, it was always hoped Elvis could be coaxed out of retirement one last time.

That moment came in 2010 when Elvis was awarded a Grammy for ‘Lifetime Achievement Award for Exceptional Contribution to Music and Culture.’ Presented by his former wife Priscilla, Elvis accepted the award in person saying “I’m still an electrician ya know. So if you need any rewiring done just look me up. I’ll do you a good deal.” he laughed.

Never one to resist the allure of the spotlight herself, his daughter Lisa Marie unexpectedly walked onto the stage and handed him his treasured Gibson guitar. Elvis stood for a moment as the assembled crowd rose to their feet cheering, applauding, willing him to play something. Elvis stood for a moment soaking it all in. His eyes glistened with faint tears as he looked out at the crowd, visibly moved by the love and affection.

After almost a minute of continuous applause he shook his head in disbelief and that familiar smile broke across his face once again. “You want to rock and roll, huh? My leg don’t shake the way it used to. Let me see if I can remember this right.”

Elvis strapped on his guitar and with his daughter standing next to him he performed a heart rendering slow, bluesy version of That’s All Right – the song that started it all. There then followed a five-minute standing ovation.

“Maybe I should run for President!,” joked Elvis as the assembled audience of music stars and Hollywood celebrities paid tribute to the man who was introduced as “The King.”

As the applause died down Elvis leaned forward into the microphone. Giving his trademark smile he simply said “Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis is leaving the building. May God bless you all. Goodnight.” And with that he was gone.

A press release announced that that was indeed Elvis’ last public appearance. Despite numerous rumours and offers to come out of retirement Elvis refused.

He now resides at Graceland where he enjoys his retirement tending to his horses and spending time with his daughter and grandchildren.

A couple of years ago, on a not-so-cold evening in Asbury Park, I photographed The King himself, Elvis.

Actually, it was Mark A. Wright, a singer and Elvis impersonator from across the pond. Mark’s a tremendous vocalist, whether he’s doing Elvis, country songs or Rat Pack favorites.

He posted the above story on his Facebook page today, in remembrance of Elvis’ birthday today. I pinged Mark on FB and asked if I could re-run it here, and he said by all means (To go with this FB post, he used a shot Danny Clinch took of him back in 2018. I won’t hold that against him, though. :-))

The shot above, done with my Fuji X100T, is one of my all-time favorites though. Shooting from down low, I like how the lights drape the upper part of the frame, and catching Elvis/Mark in profile.

I like how the vein in Mark’s neck is bulging too, showing he’s actually singing. It’s a little thing, but I like it.

After the dark and depressing week we’ve had here in the United States, it’s nice to have some fun and be able to think about what might have been, had The King stayed with us just a little bit longer. Thanks to Mark, for that.

And, before you go, check out Mark’s YouTube page here.

Long Live The King.

 

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2021

Instagram | Twitter | LinkTree

These Dark Days

There was rioting and trespassing and theft and destruction on federal property yesterday in Washington, D.C.

Federal crimes.

People were hurt and killed.

On Federal property

Elected U.S. officials spurred on these actions through their voice and their rhetoric.

With one main voice being heard above all others.

An American despot.

Leading domestic terrorists.

Washington, D.C. police did nothing to stop the terrorist, except take selfies.

Journalists from the Washington Post were escorted from the area while trying to report on on the ongoing situation.

As other photojournalists risked their health, lives and equipment as bunch of yahoos ran rampant over federal property.

The 25th Amendment needs to be invoked. Remove Trump’s power and authority in the dwindling days he has left.

Then impeach him again. Don’t EVER let him dare run again.

America is fractured and dark.

News pundits, and others need to stop saying we are better than this.

No, we aren’t.

This is us.

Wide awake in America – this is us.

I’m sickened by everything that happened yesterday, that I have to explain to my children what’s going on, how this came about.

I’m ashamed and disgusted by what America has became.

But we’ve all seen it coming.

And many stayed silent, all through the last four years, all through the horrendous summer of tragedy.

Things won’t automatically get better here on January 20th.

This hellish landscape, scorched beyond recognition, is with us for the foreseeable future.

Maybe forevermore.

And I’m sickened.

My daughter, 13, is already talking about moving to Canada.

Leaving won’t solve it. I’ll stay and fight for America.

Don’t agree this post?

Support what happened even a little bit?

Stomach’s not torn up about it even a little bit?

Feel free to unfollow my blog, my social streams and my photography.

No hard feelings.

Just you and I ain’t alike and never will meet on common ground, even over photography.

We’re far apart.

Far, far apart.

Peace.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2021

Instagram | Twitter | LinkTree

For The Birds

Turkey Vulture, With Dinner

Happy National Bird Day!

Did you know, the New Jersey state bird is the American Goldfinch.

While I do see them a lot here in Upper Freehold, what I see more more of is the turkey vulture, a.k.a Nature’s Clean Up Crew.

Circling the skies overhead, perched on roofs and fence rails, they are constant aerial custodians.

Peregrines are the skill players, Goldfinches are the divas.

Alas, the turkey vulture is the lineman in the trenches, being valuable to the ecosystem, but doing it all ugly.

So here’s to ya, lowly turkey vulture! Enjoy your day!

//

I’ve pretty much put the bike in the garage for the winter. I flatted a few weeks ago, never got it fixed yet. But besides that, it’s cold and windy and I hate to ride in the cold and wind.

I also hate to run in the cold and wind. Frankly, I don’t love running even in perfect weather.

But, to keep moving an active, I’ve started walking – rambling, as I call it – a lot more. Nearly five miles everyday.

Not all at once, that would take to long. But I’ve been getting out for about an hour in the morning, and that puts a good dent in the steps take goal (10,000 a day). Couple that for a some walks around the block with Bo and Quinn and I’ve been getting it done.

I’m walking a lot of the same places I rode – the Union Transportation Trail, a six-mile stretch of gravel that crosses through a couple of towns; the trails in the nearby woods; the lanes at Assunpink Wildlife Recreation Area, one of my favorite areas here in Upper Freehold.

Most of the time, my Fuji XT3 is with me. Sometimes just my phone camera. Either way, I’m capturing what I see.

Pheasant Talon, UTT Trail

New Year’s Day, I went out Assunpink. My MP3 player was loaded with a Behind The Shot podcast, and I was ready to go. (Because of the rambling, I’m listening to more podcasts. That’s why you’re seeing more podcast links in my Visual Week In Review posts.)

But as I pulled Beauford the 4Runner into the parking lot, I saw I wasn’t alone.

That fella in orange is a pheasant hunter, his 20 gauge, or maybe a 12 gauge, at his side. He had a few dogs with him, rootin’ and hollerin’ around.

I said hello to him, asked him if it was OK if I walked through. He said yes but…”To bad you don’t have any orange  on.

Just in case.”

Point well taken. I took a wide route around this gent and his dogs. And on the way home, stopped at my local outdoor store to get an orange cap and vest.

Went back again this morning, all decked out, to do MY shooting.

Spoke with a couple of hunters. They said it’s really  late in the pheasant season and I probably won’t have much to worry about anymore.

But, on National Bird Day, at least I got out to see some of our fine feathered friends!

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2021

Instagram | Twitter | LinkTree