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.
With the same sex marriage law recently passed in New York, the city was flooded with people cheering and celebrating. The law was passed on June 23rd 2011 and goes into affect on July 24th 2011 which makes NYC the largest city in the country that Honors same sex marriage. This new law brought out all the opinionated mofo’s trying to push their beliefs on you. Either way that’s not what I came out for. Parades are always a photographers gold mine with usually other thousands in attendance. As a straight dude i didn’t feel uncomfortable in any way, people of all nationalities gay and straight were celebrating their civil rights. I tried to capture what I could with my 50mm 1.8 fixed lens which is pretty difficult in a parade environment. Everyone was extra photogenic which is always a good thing for a photographer. I posted up on 12th and 5th ave a couple hours after the parade began ( I wasn’t informed about the parade until I saw a post on FaceBook). The energy and the vibe was amazing and I didn’t see any confrontations while i was shooting. I see it like this, its 2011 and homosexuality shouldn’t be a big deal anymore. It’s been around for years and is not going anywhere so even if you don’t embrace their lifestyle at least respect it. So here are the shots I captured at the parade. If you are easily offended then don’t look. Don’t forget to follow the Blog on twitter @UrDailyJuice, Tumblr @YourDailyJuiceBlog and the FaceBook Fan Page YouDailyJuiceBlog Fan Page .
I was looking forward to a few shoots that got canceled so I needed to find something worth shooting. I decided to ride my bike through as many boroughs as I could for the day and shoot whatever caught my eye. My day started as I left the “Casa de Jugo” in the Bronx and made way to Hyper Mikes 1on 1 battle going down in Astoria Queens. the plan was to travel as light as possible meaning whatever I could fit comfortably in my North Face fanny pack. I usually have my arsenal of lenses packed in my lowepro bag which can get pretty heavy and not to comfortable when riding my bike. The equipment for the day would be My D90, 50mm 1.8 and a I brought along a Neutral Density filter to test out.
(Bike Courtesy of Stradacustoms.com)
The fastest way to Astoria from the Bronx requires a quick detour through Randalls Island which seemed to be mostly gated up, had some really great locations to shoot. This was my 1st time ever doing this ride and I have to say I did good time which for most guys is all that matters. I approached this pathway in Randall’s Island which lead to the Triboro bridge which in my opinion had a very interesting look. I framed my shot before hand and tried to get the shot as straight as possible without a tripod. I’m was pretty content with the outcome of the image and with that being said I moved on to the Astoria skate plaza.
I made it to the park in time or the battle, I just took some random shots while walking around the park. It felt pretty weird not having my skates at the park but today was all about photography. I don’t like shooting in packed skateparks because with so many people in attendance there is always distractions within the frame. I was able to get some shots of the fellas rolling for the blog. Check out more of what Hyper Mike is doing with his competition series at www.HyperMikeNYC.com
Jose Henriquez (Chuck Norris made him wear the shirt)
An expecting Ralphy Herrera with a Back Unity.
Pablo Munoz with a stylish Savannah.
Probably my favorite shot of the day, Angel with a Stale Fishbrain.
After the battle was over I made my way out of Queens and headed towards the City to see what kind of trouble I could get into. The route I took lead me through Central Park where I took time to get some Panning shots of the Cyclist riding through the park. I enjoy shooting panning shots but it is one of the harder shots to do. The ability to capture movement within a still shot is easier said than done and you will usually have more unusable shots that usable when shooting in this method.
As I excited central park from the Columbus Circle entrance, I made my way to what seems to be my summer rest spot, Union sq. Honestly riding through the city with good tunes in my ears takes my mind off a lot of the BS that may be going on in my life. Once I hit 23rd street I noticed a massive crowd walking down 5th ave and massive crowds usually provide pretty good shots. As I entered the crowd to capture some shots I came to realize that that I was in the middle of a pre parade march. I’m a straight dude so i’m not really up on what’s going on in the gay community so after speaking to one of the Police Officers on parade duty I was told that the march is going down to Washington Sq Park. For those of you who read this blog who aren’t from New York, Congress passed the same sex marriage law this past week which allows same sex marriage in NYC. This law will not go into affect until July 24th but what seemed like damn near the whole Gay community and supporters were celebrating in the streets of NYC. So what’s my take on Gay marriage you ask, fine i’ll tell you. I think there is too much going on in this world for us to stress someones sexual preference. Life is too short so do what makes you happy and let the shit talkers talk shit.
19th annual Dyke March
I finally made it to Union Sq where the street performers are always out and great to capture. I was pretty beat after the long ride so I decided to sit down and rest while I sipped gatorade and shot some photos. You will always run into someone you know at union sq and if your the type of person who has no friends then bring a hacky sack to the square and you will instantly meet new people. I’ve seen it happen. There was also a breakdancing battle going down on the steps of Union Sq. Here are some of the shots I took while sitting at Union Sq.
The night ended as I took the ride back uptown. This was a long day of riding and photography and what is best after a long day…..
I was gonna sip on my Ballantine for the night but I wanted to try something different, not bad at all.
I took some pretty interesting shots at the 2011 Pride Parade which I will blog about maybe later today. Remember to follow the Blog on Twitter @UrDailyJuice. Like and Share the Facebook Fan Page HERE .
Until Next time……..