I have been putting so much work into my latest project Track Or Die NYC (www.TrackOrDieNYC.com), that I have been neglecting my photography as a whole. Seeing as I am on the injured list for the moment with a knee injury, I took the time to catch up on my work load. My beautiful daughter asked me if I was free on Wednesday so we could go to the zoo and regardless what I had on my agenda, I made myself available. I cant recall the last time I went to the zoo with my little girl and as she is getting older by the day, i look forward to every possible moment we have together. We made it to the Bronx zoo at around 11:00am and since the Zoo is free on Wednesdays, It was packed full of children on field trips. It’s a shame that I live about 5 blocks from the zoo and never visit the animals to say “Wassup” Today I would be shooting with my Nikon D90, 50mm 1.8 & the 70-200 2.8 VR aka The BIg Doofy Lens. We walked through the zoo and I have to say the heat was making me sweat in places that I didn’t know you could sweat from.
The 1st animals that we would see is the Bears. Beautiful beast that move very graceful in spite of their massive size. There were 4 bears out today, 2 of which were playing in the water, 1 walked away from the crowd while the last put on a show for the many spectators. Since I didn’t bring any filters with me today, I chose to bump up my aperture and lower my shutter speed. From my test shots I felt the exposure was better with a higher aperture and a lower shutter rather than a faster shutter and a lower aperture. There was more than enough sun light for the shot I was going for, it was just a matter of finding the right positioning. In my head, the bears were posing for me and with that mentality I shot away. I think I captured some awesome shots of the bears in their man made habitat.
Next we made our way to the Polar bear exhibit. There was only one Polar bear out today which wasn’t that exciting to watch. The Polar Bear had a blue ball that didn’t seem too entertaining for either of us. I knew we wouldn’t spend that much time watching the Polar Bear. I snapped a few shots from 2 different angles before moving on to the next exhibit.
I was most excited about visiting the King of the Jungle, The Lion but upon my arrival, I noticed the Lion was lazy as hell. We stood around waiting for some Lion action but we would only get love from the Lioness today. I guess Disney’s the Lion King was correct. The Lioness are the more exciting ones. If only Timone & Pumba was here as comic relief.
The next exhibit would be located right next to the Lions and would unfortunately be out last of the day. The Gazelle’s seem to only want to eat and keep their faces buried in the grass. Not much for entertaining animals. I captured a few shots before the thunderstorm hit us. Seeing as I didn’t bring my camera bag, I didn’t want my camera to get wet. So much for my day at the zoo.
We made it back in time to just miss the rain. Although the trip to the Bronx Zoo was short, I still had an awesome time and adventure with my daughter. This is something we could possibly do once a month. I love you Bubbles.
As most of you already know, My previous site “YourDailyJuiceBlog.com” no longer exist under my series of blogs. Someone took it upon themselves to “acquire” my domain name once it was time for me to renew it due to the amount of traffic generated within the 1st year of The blogs existence. Now if you go to that site you see a banner about Juice which pissed me off at 1st but now I get a chance to work even harder to rebuild my following. Thanks to all of you who contacted me in regards to the site being down and offered support. I hope that person who took my domain name spills juice all over their keyboard…..Daily!
Since I began shooting photos my favorite subject to shoot is my daughter Rhayne. She has so much personality, sense of humor and is beautiful. Granted at times she hates me shooting her but she always likes the photos afterwards. It was that time when I take her to the salon to get her hair done, Being a father I really don’t know much about Salons since hair maintenance for me consist of washing and cutting my hair off, plain & simple. Women however have a whole experience that goes on at the salon. I take her to a salon in Washington heights called “Hairmatics” and i’m always the only man in there thats not working. So after about an hour and a half at the salon (thank you Apple products for keeping me company) her Hair was finally finished and my baby was looking extra beautiful.
What I love the most about Daddy Daughter day is the uninterrupted time I get to spend with her, She’s growing up so fast and I like to take the time to know whats going on in her life, the things she’s into and how school is going. After the salon we went to get her eyebrows threaded then a quick lunch at Burger King. I was eager to leave the heights because im not a fan of packed streets although I’m still on my search for a Flan Vending machine. I know there has to be one in the Heights somewhere.
After lunch we took a trip up to Dykeman to the Nail Lounge so She could get her nails done at the nail Lounge by Claritza, a good friend and amazing nail technician (if thats what you call someone in that field). I was impressed by the Nail Lounge from the cleanliness to the waterfall coming from the walls. Definitely gonna be taking her back there to get her manicures.
We hopped on the bus back home and while talking I decided to shoot some candid portraits since the ambient light was pretty awesome and provided pretty sweet contrast. I only carried my Nikon D90 and 35mm 1.8 today and during post production I decided to go for black & white since it provides more of a dramatic feel to the shots.
Overall I had a great day with my bubbles and I look forward to the next Daddy Daughter day. I couldn’t be more proud of the young lady that she is growing into even though im still not ready to believe it. I love You Bubbles.
I have been seen riding all over the city on my Strada bike (StradaCustoms.com) or as Ramelle Likes to call them “Skinny Bikes” and while riding I always see the most interesting and fascinating things. Although I never stop to enjoy them because i hate taking my foot off the pedal the images are captured with my minds eye. This ride I linked up with my cousin “Boogie” to embark on this journey from Union Sq to Coney Island via NYC green paths. I never took this specific path to Coney Island so I definitely wanted to bring the camera along to document this event. I loaded up my North Face Pouch (not fanny pack) with the ol D90 and some electrolytes and headed down to union Sq. I met up with Nurse Mike and proceded to L.E.S. to link up with my cousin and his two friends. I cant say there was much effort put into these photos since My main concern was not falling off the Bike while I shot the pics. I did however check each shot and settings while shooting and stayed in full manual mode while using the 10.5mm fisheye. This was a interesting ride to say the least. We almost got lost once we hit green point BK but some how got back on the right path. I also made my 1st YourDailyJuiceBlogTV Edit.. Check out the Photos and the Video. Overall it was a fun ride and very productive day. After we arrived and hung out at Coney for a few we then rode back to the Bronx which was the real journey but i was too tired to shoot or film anything at that point.
Extra Low Angle
Who You Lookin At?
This past weekend my daughter Rhayne was treated to a hair and nail session from someone who used to be a really good friend to me. As much as I do not mind sitting in the Salon while she gets pampered as I normally do, this was a day that I avoided being the only guy sitting in the salon. Fellas if you have a daughter take her to the salon, it means more to them then you think. After the hair and nils were done we spent the weekend hanging out and doing Daddy-Daughter stuff. Time flies when you have a child and I often wish I would have started photography when I was younger to have shots of her growing up. Now standing at a little over 5’1 my little girl isn’t so LITTLE anymore. I decided on Sunday before I took her to her other home that I would shoot some photos of her just so I can have and seeing as she always wants to see what goes on in a photo shoot I decided to make her the center of attention and turn her into the model for the day.
It haven’t shot photos at home since I moved into the new apartment and my living room isn’t as big as my previous so I had to get a lot more creative with my lighting setup. I decided due to limited space to run a 2 point lighting setup and see what I could create as far as lighting as concerned. I broke out the impact collapsable black backdrop, setup my light stands and umbrella and since I don’t own a light meter, started making guesstimates. This shoot took all of 10 minutes with setup and. These photos were a Birthday Present to myself which I will have printed and framed in my apartment (minus the water mark of course).
I shot these with my favorite lens the Nikon 50mm 1.8 and 2 Nikon Speed lights. 1 shoot through umbrella to camera left for a softer main light and and one set behind the subject (My Baby) to try and make somewhat of a hair light but due to my limited space it didn’t really work how I wanted it to. Either way the photos came out great although she doesn’t like to smile just like her daddy, I hate taking photos unless I really have to. Check out the shots and leave feedback if you want.
My favorite shot .
Switched to only one light for more of a dramatic shot.
Can’t go wrong with Black & White.
Not bad for a to minute shoot in my living room, Rhayne is excited to have her own page on the Blog and told me she checks the site everyday. What more could a father ask for? Next shoot with be using a 3 point lighting setup with more space to shoot and the whole shabanger.
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I have a few more projects that I’m working on and I will be hopefully doing a video entry by August. My Birthday is this Thursday the 21st so you better wish me a Happy Birthday If your reading this. Oh and By the way, my sweet logo was designed by Troy DeZeeuw, thanks a lot Brothaman..
Until Next Time……
I spent 2 days in Hartford C.T. chilling, drinking and shooting photos. I wanted to try and shoot some country life since im surrounded by city life. This tree was recommended to me by Joseph Bertram, a 91 year old retired business man/photographer. We spoke about photography and how it’s changed over the years and he even showed me some of his quite impressive photoshop work (much better than I could do at the moment).
This tree is the largest tree in all of Connecticut and definitely bigger than any trees that I have seen in NYC. This photo clearly does not represent how massive this Sycamore tree is but you can get some more info if your interested from CTMuseumQuest.com . This is a prime location to shoot with numerous vantage points. You have the lake where some people go canoeing or fishing, also the Bridge with a clear view of the whole lake. check out the shots.
These 2 shots are each 6 layer HDR shots. I look forward to going back to C.T. and shooting some more of the country side. I did get other shots from this weekend, however there were the only 2 HDR’s.
The quest to understand Film is and ongoing journey for me. My 1st roll of Ilford Hp5 400 was a disaster in my opinion, not even half the roll came out correctly. Adorama had a buy one get one free sale on HP5 400 film so I picked up a few boxes so I could get more practice in. I was determined to get it right this time around so I made sure all my settings were correct before every shot I took. I took in some reading material on film photography via google and I even went out and bought a hard cover book to read on 35mm photography (Title : The NEW 35mm Photographers Handbook). The Last book I read was Probably Catcher in the Rye back in High School. I just like how Film looks compared to Digital. You can easily get a film look from a digital photo using Lightroom or photoshop but I don’t feel its the same quality. Soy milk may be milk, I need a cow damnit.
(Someone grabbed my Camera)
Over the course of 2 weeks I went through 2 rolls of Film, really taking my time and carefully choosing what I want to shoot since a roll of film only allows 36 shots. There was the “A Chosen Few Comp” in NYC one weekend and the Puerto Rican Day Parade the following weekend. I shot both with my Nikon D90 however I was able to sneak a couple of Film shots in along the way. What I did differently this time around is overexpose each shot by at least 1 stop depending on the lighting conditions.
(Caught My Bubbles off guard)
The majority of my shots were taken during the day so I was shooting at fairly high shutter speeds. I made my way to Pier 62 with Dave and linked up with Jedi and had a pretty sweet skate session but the day ended early due to the heat. I wanted to get some portrait shots of both Dave and Jedi in different locations in the park which both had different lighting conditions.
(Jedi @ Pier 62)
We left chelsea and figured that the would grab some food and end out day at the River Ave skate park in the Bronx but shortly after we arrived a we got ina huge brawl with the neighborhood chumps which lead to Carly needing 6 stitches over his eye. Not bad for taking a skateboard to his face but definitely not called for.
Since i’m still getting accustomed to the film format, the shots I take are very random. Once I become comfortable with the outcome of my exposure choices then I will be getting into the shots that i do with my Nikon D90, I am interested to see how off camera flash will look on film. Maybe thats what I will do with the next roll if im not to much of a sucka.
Next up on this Roll were the few Shots I took from The “A Chosen Few Comp”. I shot mainly digital for this event because I wanted to get the shots and be able to send them out the following day. The did lose interest in this contest after being kicked out of spot after spot so I decided to drink beer and talk sh!t for the last sot of the comp. I walked around and got some pretty good portraits during the comp while in staten island. Sometime taking a ride on the ferry is all you ned to clear your head.
(James Perez, Staten Island)
(Brian “Lord Brian” Perry, ShutupandSk8.com)
I finished up the last shots of my roll at the Puerto Rican Day Parade which was held in NYC last sunday. I was part of a skate through for the parade which was organized by Ray Mendez and Given the green light by John Leguizamo (I always have to Google how to spell his name the right way, Im sure he does too). We basically strapped on the blades and had full access to the Parade to enjoy the festivities and shoot content. Towards the end of the Parade I put away the digital and took some film shots. I honestly didn’t know how they would come out since I was moving while shooting a moving subject but im pretty hyped at the outcome.
(Jigs checks his equipment in public)
My overall take on my second set roll of film, Im happy with the turn out and cant wait to get on my 3rd roll. I am starting to get the hang of choosing the correct exposure on film which is slightly different then with digital. I just purchased a fanny pack for my camera (yea 80’s style boyeeee) so i’ll be able to take my camera with me when I go out for my daily bike rides which should bring for more content on the blog. I did take a chance and tried to get some action shots with with the N80 and I have a little more work to do to get them just right but it was still a great experience. Needless to say, I have been using my $30 3mm SLR more than my $900 DSLR. It’s not about what you have it how you use what you have, I learned this 1st hand. Normally I would clear out the background to not have so much distraction going on but these action photos were basically for testing purpose only. Check out the action shots.
Check out the Video Put together by Flip The Script for the Puerto Rican Day Parade http://vimeo.com/25075782
Also Like the damn Fan Page on Facebook or i’ll Poke You! FaceBook Fan Page
Although I continue educating myself on Photography on a daily basis, at times I find the digital format of photography to be repetitive and bland. I always welcome a challenge and Film photography has teased my curiosity since I began shooting. The ability to review your image after every shot or “Chimping” as Jooz calls it it a great option for any photographer but at times I find myself just firing away and not really taking my time and waiting for the shot that I have envisioned in my minds eye. I was able to score a sweet Nikon N80 SLR from Ebay for $30.00 which is compatible with the lenses I already own with the exception of the 10.5mm fisheye.
I knew that I wanted to shoot Black & White but with film there are so many film choices to go with. After a brief recommendation and careful reviewing I chose to go with HP5 400 B/W Film. I’m not bound to this choice and I do want to test out other film to compare and contrast but I have about 5 more rolls to go through before I do so. My fellow photographers who shoot film all reccomend HP5 and from these 1st prints I see the look that I am going for, all i have to do is figure out the right metering settings.
Out of a 36 exposure roll, there were only about 14 usable images. Thats less than half of the roll so at 1st I was pretty disappointed in myself. At times I can be my toughest critic as any artist is with their work. I found myself making the most juvenile photographers mistakes because I was analyzing the shot more than focusing on my settings. I had my camera set up for spot metering without even realizing it. That simple mistake threw off my exposure reading way off .
After visiting a few photo galleries I became a fan of the vintage look with heavy noise or grain. you can accomplish this look through photoshop but I prefer the real deal. There have been so many Photographers that often try to persuade me to the life of film. Although I find digital to be more relevant to the type of photography that I do, Film will def Be my project for the summer so look out for more updated blogs on my film shots. As disappointed as I am at the outcome of these shots, my blog serves as a timeline to my progression so posting only my best work will not be helpful in the end.
Jon Julio @ Marble Ledges, NYC www.valo-brand.com
I decided to use my 50mm 1.8 lens on the Nikon N80 because thats my favorite lens. At 1.8 it provides a very shallow depth of field and pretty sweet for low light photography. These shots were taken through the course of 3 days from Thursday at the NYC Rolling industry meeting to the Valo “End of the World” session. I have an idea on what points I need to improve for next time and I expect to have at least 24 out of 36 exposures. Overall I feel like Film is gonna kick my ass in the beginning but it will become a very useful skill once I become more comfortable and knowledgeable of the film format. Check out some of the other shots from the roll.
Dave Toro www.OnedayNY.com
Hyper Mike www.HyperMikeNYC.com
Kyle Radzyminski @ Billy Hurricanes
Christian @ Billy Hurricanes
Hyper Mike @ Billy Hurricanes
Christian @ Billy Hurricanes
Ivan Narez www.valo-brand.com
If you’re interested in attending the Next NYC Rollerblade meeting It will be held this Thursday at Billy Hurricanes from 7-10. Address is 25 Avenue B – Btwn 2nd & 3rd Streets