Friday Noir: Night Without Pity

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Never thought you’d get this far, did you?

Been a lot of long years, and this ain’t an easy place to lay low.

Lots of action going on.

The dice.

The dames.

The roll of the flint, the rhythm of a prayer.

The cold pebbled grip of the gat in your hand.

Always trying to find purchase in the sands of Jersey.

It’s been said “Nobody takes power, someone else gives it.”

Take it. Get out there and take it.

Night comes early.

And it’s a night without pity.

Take that power.

Take it.


(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

TriRocked In Philly

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Back at the end of June, for the second year in a row, I had the great opportunity to shoot the TriRock Series Triathlon in Philadelphia. Full disclosure: Johnson & Johnson is one of the sponsors of event, and I was shooting it on behalf of them. It’s one of those great times when my day job and my passion intersect.

Since this was my second time around, I had a little bit better idea of what to expect – knew how the days would play out, where I needed to be when.

The one thing different this year – rain. It was in the forecast both days, so my primary concern was, if it rains, how do I keep the gear dry. Turns out, while the threat was there, and it did rain a little, nothing was compromised.

The day started early on Saturday. By 6:45, Alex Gorsky, J&J CEO, was addressing the employees who signed up to do the race, and who raised a ton of money in doing so. Maybe employees do the tri as a relay – each taking a leg. Some, though, do the whole thing by themselves.

Of course, there are a few “must get” shots – Alex thinking the competitors, then the big group shot. Alex does two parts of the triathlon himself as he’s a fitness fanatic as well.

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Due to the rainy week that we had had, and the impending rain, the race organizers actually cancelled the swim portion. This disappointed many of the competitors as that’s what whey really train for. Still, everyone had a good time, and the feeling they had when they crossed the finished line was one of excitement…and relief.

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The Kids Run even went off without a hitch. Those little kids could fly!

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The Saturday race is open it the public though, so there are other racers. I had to grab this quick portrait of the bride and groom. They were doing the race in the morning, then going to get married in the afternoon.

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Never did catch their names though…

We finished up the Saturday event and about an hour later, as I was getting back to my hotel room, the skies opened up and it poured. So, that led to a quiet evening of sitting in a hotel room, watching ESPN’s 30 For 30 and editing photos. It was another early start Sunday. And a wet start.

The race on Sunday is again open to the public but the distances are longer. More professional triathletes race on Sunday, and the nervous energy before the start is palpable. The early morning starting out misty, then by late morning, the sun was coming out and the humidity was rising. I knew Cameron Dye was a favorite, so I spent some time tracking him.

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Sure enough, he would go on to break the tape and win the men’s division for the fourth year in a row.

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On the women’s side, I caught a nice, moody shot of Dani Fischer during her run, and an exhausted Alicia Kaye after she crossed the finish line to win the women’s division. The humidity caught up to even the pros.

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Again, though, if I saw an interesting portrait opportunity, I had to capture it…

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As usual, I was shooting entire-to-detail, trying to tell the story. Gear wise, I stuck with what worked last year: My Canon 50D with my 24-105mm. I also rented (from BorrowLenses.com) a Canon 7D with the 70-200mm, f2.8 Canon lens. (Love that 2.8.) That said, I also I took my older f/4, 17-85mm so that I had a bit more width for that group shot. Unfortunately, I’m disappointed in the how that shot came out. Very soft at the edges. Next year, I think I may rent a fish-eye to get that shot. Live and learn.

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Overall, despite the unpredictability of the weather, it was a great weekend hanging out in Philadelphia’s Fairmont Park.

(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 07 | 18 | 15

Visual Week In Review 07 | 18 | 15

Summer’s starting to slip, ever so slightly. Already pushing to the term of “late July.” Let’s not think about that yet.

It was re-entry time for me this week. I finished off my vacation by completing a Spartan Sprint last Sunday. That’s one way to take your mind of anything. Well, except finishing.

Then it was back to work this week. Wasn’t too bad, and mid-week, I got the chance to have some good Creole food and catch up with one of my oldest friends.

And anytime you can end the week on a pirate ship with one of your kids, well, you know summer is still in full swing.

And it is. So get out there. Go. Now.

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This Week’s Links:

* Is magic real?

* X-Files teaser Trailer….

* Via PopPhoto, Fujifilm prices going up, discontinuing some products.

* Who’s going to see DOUBLE INDEMNITY on the big screen on July 19? Me!

* Humpback whale off the coast of Sandy Hook, NJ this week.

* Ugh. Photojournalist loses life’s work after thieves steal hard drives.

* “I’ve always believed that photography is a way to shape human perception.” ~ James Balong

(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

Friday Noir: Prophets And Fools

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Winners and losers, turn the pages of my life.

We’re beggars and choosers, with all the struggles and the strife. I got no reason to turn my head and look the other way.

We’re good and we’re evil. Which one will I be today?

There’s saints and sinners. Life’s a gamble and you might lose

There’s cowards and heroes Both have been known how to break the rules

There’s lovers and haters. The strong and the weak will all have their day

Are you happy now with all the choices you’ve made?

Are there times in life when you know you should’ve stayed?

Will you compromise and then realize the price is too much to pay?

Winners and losers, which one will you be today?

There’s a a light and a dark side standing at the crossroads.

There we’ll meet.

There’s prophets and fools there. The lies and the truths, will be at our feet.

I got a reason to turn my head and look the other way.

It’s heaven and hell here, which one will I live today?

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Kind of of a dark, moody photo backed by some dark, moody lyrics by the Southern California punk band Social Distortion. The song is called called Winners & Losers, which they recorded back in 2004.

While I often use Bruce Springsteen lyrics as the jumping off point for some of my Jersey Noir photography, SocialD also give me inspiration with their down-and-out lyrics. Lead singer/songwriter Mike Ness has unique insights into the darker, seedier sides of life, and many of his SocialD lyrics read like vignettes of noir to me.

I had originally intended this photo to go with Springsteen’s Nothing Man. But that song, the lyrics, are really about 9/11 and it’s impact on the survivors. I have Winners & Losers on my MP3 player, and it often comes up when I run. As I listened to it, it really sounds to me like a Bogart movie synopsis.

And, I processed it a little differently than my normal B&W noir images. I think it fits though.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

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