Life, Learning and the Photos taken in between.

Product Review

End of the World NYC Session with Victor Arias

Today I wanted to test out my new Opteka FM Transmitters which I purchased from ebay and what better time then at a huge session in the city. The Valo team Came out to session some street with the NYC locals at a few spots in the city. After a brief rain delay we all made our way to marble ledges on wall street for the second and final spot of the day. As long as I get at least one good shot of the day im content and this shot was that one. The session was packed and almost impossible to get decent photos with skaters constantly crossing in front of the camera. It didn’t even seem to phase anyone that the end of the world was minutes away. I saw Victor going for a sweet negative makio (on of my favorite tricks) on the marble ledge. Communication with your subject is one of the most important steps to Capturing a decent shot. I spoke with Victor and informed him of my light setup and where I would be firing the speedlights.  I took about 2 tries but I got the shot that I was looking for.

My setup for this Shot was @ Nikon SB600 speedlights,Opteka RFT-40 fm triggers Nikon 70-200 2.8 V.R. and Nikon D90. Overall the Opteka Triggers are pretty good for the money, I was satisfied and can’t wait to shoot some more with them. For those who came out today the rest of the shots will be featured on and  www.  shortly. Overall the session was pretty fun aside from the rain.  Thanks to everyone who came out today and showed support to not only Valo but for the NYC skate scene. Oh yea, I started shooting portraits with my new Nikon N80 film SLR so once those get developed I will scan and Blog about each shot. Until Next time…

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Valo Brand Presents……….VALO LIGHTS!!!

My anticipation to attend a single event was never higher than it was for the 2011 Bitter cold showdown for many reasons….Great skating, too many available photo ops, Coney Island, seeing all my fellow bladers from across the world and last but certainly not least the preview of the new VALO LIGHT boot. Photos have been floating around the Internet of Valo’s newest Carbon Fiber Boot. What should you expect from the Valo lights you ask? Well 1st of all the boot is 100% carbon Fiber however the cuff is still plastic, 2 kilos lighter = 1.1 lbs lighter per foot. That’s a total 2.2 lbs lighter than the original Valos.. The shell is 5 mm wider and 5 mm longer. This gives more space for wider feet which should take away the need to toe cut your Valo boot. This is good for me since I wear a size 13 sneaker and I would never wear a 13-15 shell (long boot), I usually get the 11-12 shell and toe cut it and im good to go. I will now be able to get away with downsizing to size 12 with no need to toe cut, Wooooohoooooo!

There are other improvements with the boot as well, there is more of an open shell still with lace eyelets  for those of you who lace the shell. These boots are amazing from my inspection which I did thoroughly not only at the Valo booth but on Jon’s foot also (don’t judge me damnit!). The liner has also been improved on the 1st line of the Valo lights which are also Jon’s 2nd Pro model on Valo. There is also a new 2 piece mid sole system which eliminates base plates and offers more of a customizability once the new color ways drop. The new Carbon boot and soles are also compatible with older Valo Skins if you have a personal preference in skins.  After speaking to a few of the visitors who attended the Valo booth to view these new boots, there will be many people switching over to Valo once these babies drop. I always Enjoy the energy that the Valo team brings to the trade show. I have yet to see any rider turn down the many photo ops thrown at them. Also valo provides more than enough free stickers and posters for those who attend and visit the booth. The Price tag for the Valo lights havent been released yet but the release date should be late May early June 2011. Here are some shots I took for those of you who were unable to attend this years Bitter Cold trade show.

Jon & the Valo Lights

NYC’s Very own Franco Cammayo & the Valo Lights.

Valo4Life, Juice4Life,


Valo4Life now available on Itunes

When I read this info I became really excited for a few reasons. First it goes to show that hard work does pay off in the long run and  Valo Brand and it’s huge following is a prime example of this. Second this is a step in the right direction for Rollerblading and seeing as the 11th annual Bitter Cold Showdown is right around the corner I think the timing couldn’t have been better. I honestly would love to see rollerblading back in the mainstream light again how it was when I was a teenager watching Calvin Sales on Frosted Flakes commercials and hollywood movies like Airborne and Brink. However it is importatnt that we do not forget the reason why most of us began rolling to begin with, to have a good time and hang out with friends. I wrote up a review on the Valo4life Premiere in NYC a few months back because I felt thats what the film was about. Hanging with friends and traveling the world while doing what they love to do. With the preview of the Valo Lights that have been circulating through the Internet, having in my opinion one of the strongest teams in the industry and now the availability to purchase the latest film directly through Itunes (Im still waiting on my blu ray copy), Valo Brand seems to be setting the standards for the rest of the companies in the industry. There are many that speak of change but very few who implement it. That’s why I will continue to support Jon Julio and Valo Brand not because it’s what’s in right now but because of what it stands for. You have those who make Create waves and those who ride them, Valo just created a Tsunami. I cant wait to check out the Valo lights at the Bitter Cold Showdown trade show.


1st shots with Nikon’s 10.5mm Fish Eye.

I shoot Nikon, plain and simple. So whenever I get the opportunity to test out new Nikon or Nikkor  lenses I take it. So I recently acquired a Nikon 10.5mm 2.8 DX fish eye lens from Sam DeAngelis, a fellow Tri state area photographer and a recent converter to the Canon movement (Thanks Sam).  Now for those who read this and aren’t aware of most of the photography mumbo jumbo, I try to write in such a way that you get the basic jist of things.  So with that being said let’s move on, A DX lens would be a lens that can only be used on a camera with a cropped sensor and not a FX or full frame sensor. A fish eye lens on the other hand,is a wide-angle lens that takes in an extremely wide, circular or hemispherical  image. Now I really didn’t know what I was going to use this lens for since its more of a specialty lens but for me the adventure is always in the doing. Now 10.5mm mean I would have to get extremely close to my subject to get a clear image while the actual fish eye effect adds a more rounded look to the image.  I decided to take some test shots of some friends at a video premiere that I attended (Previous blog) to get some test images to work with once I got home.  At 1st glance this lens looked very small and strange, has a small lens cover with no threads to apply a lens filter.

Since this is a Nikon lens with the aperture of 2.8, you know you’re getting some really good glass and a lens that’s great in low light situations. The motor is pretty quick with my Nikon D90  and very sharp at 12 mega pixels.  So onto the photos.

This shot of Angel was taken with My Nikon SB-600 on TTL mode at ISO 1250 f/4 and a shutter speed of  1/320th of a second blah blah blah.  I could have raised the aperture up so his face wasn’t so blown out but overall not bad with the flash.

Now this photos was either to promote Johnny’s aka Papi Mumbles Reggaeton mix tape for the streets or his line of Pernil flavored Blunt Wraps. Either way this was shot with very low lighting in the subway station of NYC.  ISO 1250, f/2.8 and a shutter of 1/60th of a second.  I converted this image to back and white because I felt like it and that’s my final answer on that matter.

The last shots I took of the night were of my God daughter Heaven-Monroe. I did use my Nikon speedlight for these two images, however I pointed the flash head towards the ceiling to get some fill light since the ambient light really wasn’t helping (rarely ever does).  Both are shot at ISO 1250, f/2.8 and shutter of 1/320th of a second. I like how I was able to capture her child like innocence while still maintaining a sharp low light photo.

Overall I had a great time shooting with the fish eye lens. It’s not really a lens for portraits, I still would recommend the Nikon 35mm or 50mm 1.8 for all your portrait needs. If you’re looking to capture wide scenic shots then this is the lens you may want to try.  I don’t know if the 10.5mm Fish Eye is  a lens that I would carry with me on a daily basis.  Still a great lens for my collection, I can’t wait to capture some skating shots with it. My next installment, I will focus on HDR images and give my opinion on them. Please feel free to post any comments or feedback that you have, I take criticism very well..or do I?

Until next time people.