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.
Coleman Skatepark, located directly underneath the Manhattan Bridge was just given a full Hollywood makeover. Although I don’t skate as much as I used too, I wanted to come out and support the IrollNY.com session and dust off my blades. Just going around the park made me realize how rusty I am. I did a few tricks then broke out my camera to get some shots of the fellas. It’s a great feeling when you show up and people still ask if you can shoot a pic of them. I guess my style of photography is still appreciated in the blading scene. It was awesome to see faces that I haven’t seen in a while and shred (well as much as I could). Check out the Photos.
Ricky Rodriguez – Top Soul
Ramelle Knight – Disaster Back Royale
John Stephens – Fishbrain
John Stephens – Back Royale
Brian Rivera – 180
It’s been quite some time since I have been on my Blades, however when I heard there was going to be a comp coming to Flushing Meadows, I knew it was time to dust off the ol Fruit boots and blade. The weather in NYC has been unpredictable as of lately and the original date of the comp was scheduled for Saturday June 2nd but was postponed to Sunday June 3rd. Of course it didnt rain on Saturday but by the time we realized that it was too late. This comp would be the 1st NYC comp in the WRS (World Rolling Series) of the season and it was scheduled to be a pure street comp organized by Trevor Johnson & Craig Benabu (IrollNY.com).
I loaded up my chrome bag with my camera equipment and skates and rode my bike from the Bronx to flushing meadows. It’s been a long while since I shot blading photos so needless to say I was very excited. Upon my arrival I saw a crowd of bladers spectating the comp that had already started. I made my rounds and said “what up” to those who I haven’t seen in a long time then threw on my blades to get some warm up tricks in. Not more than 30 minutes after I arrived the rain started coming down which would delay the competition. Once the rain ended, we made our way to the Maloof skate plaza which was located a few yards down.
Somehow I ended up as one of the judges of the comp so I wasn’t able to shoot photos of the comp which was fine by me. I was never really one to try and shoot the action of competitions, i like shoot what goes on outside of the comp. skaters are more relaxed and focused which makes for better photos. So here are some of the photos that I shot from the event while I wasn’t judging.
Danny Figgz – Top Torque up the ledge
Jordan Baez – Backslide
Ruben Prez – Monkey Flip
Carly Sanchez – Makio
Wakums – Back Farv
I had the opportunity to be involved in the 1st annual Drink Olympics held in Tammany Hall on Oktober 1st 2011 (yea I said Oktober). This was an event which would be know as “The Beer fest in NYC” Drinking games, live DJ, costumes and an all around good time for all those who attended. My job for the day would be to capture all the epic moments which were guaranteed to go down in the only way I know how to. I have been known to get some pretty sweet shots while out partying with my friends because I visualize my shots as if through the eyes of an intoxicated rock star (I am that rock star). I knew it would be a long day at Tammany Hall as I walked down Rivington st only to be greeted by a team asking if I wanted to drink for free for 5 hours. Teams were rushing to organize in time for a chance to win the Golden keg.
with 4,000 beers, over 50 teams, 300 competitors, 9 games and 1 tittle of Drink Olympic champions, you know it was about to go down. How many times can you say you had the opportunity to drink with Sesame Street and the hamburger helper man?
I really Want My photos to speak for them self so for once i will cut my words short and let the 140+ Photos & Video Speak for the event. If you missed it then sucks to be you, the next Drink Olympics will be held in Boston and you best believe YouDailyJuiceBlog.com will be there to capture as much content as possible. I made a quick Video to summarize the event. Its not easy to shoot and Film at the same time but somehow I managed. Shout out to the Sponsors who helped make this event possible and Kyle for Organizing this massive event.
After a pretty speedy ride from the Bronx to Williamsburg BK on my skinny bike (less than an hour to be exact) we arrived at the location which would host the 1st Billy O’neill NYC Street Invitational. This event was definitely highly anticipated and one for the books so if you missed it because you didn’t feel like getting off your ass then by all means wear your sucka cap proudly. The top skaters from all over the world battling it out under the BQE (Brooklyn Queens Expressway) for all the MONEEEEEEY! Organized by Billy “Fish” Oneill , Hakeem Jimoh And Brian Lewis, this event brought out spectators from all over to witness history in the making. I honestly didn’t know if i wanted to be a spectator or the media for this event since I never pass up an opportunity to drink with these dude who I see but maybe 3 times a year. I did a little of both for the day, I started off by chopping it up with the fellas for the 1st round and taking in Rollerblading as a fan. The one thing I knew I didn’t want was to post up in the same location as every other photographer and Videographer because why would I want to have the same shots as them. 1st round went by and I played the spectator role now it was time to get down and shoot some damn Peeeshures!
I started shooting the 2nd round and since the course was so tight I decided to shoot with the 1o.5mm fisheye, I bumped up my ISO to about 640 since we were under a expressway and the ambient light wasn’t as strong as I would have liked. What sucks about choosing that lens is to get a sharp detailed photo I would have to get in close and with the fast paced skating that was going on, I had to get into my paparazzi mode. With these events there is always someone looking for that one perfect shot and I haven’t actually looked at anyone else’s photos yet so I cant say who’s shots I like the most. When I shoot I do what I Gotta do to get the Photo I want so if at any point I jumped in your frame unknowingly, don’t take it personal.
As spectators you may not know this but to shoot these events are pretty damn difficult, making sure your not in the competitors way but also getting a great shot while not breaking your equipment. With all this going on the last thing you need is assholes telling you where you can and can not shoot. The purpose of press pass is that you are allowed access on the floor to shoot what spectators can not. I bring this up because the only person that seemed to give me a hard time was DK. Although I disregarded him on numerous occasions and continued shooting, his attitude and overall demeanor at this event and the last 2 I attended to shoot had me ready to off his Kufi. I somehow managed to keep my composure but after the 2nd round I decided to just spectate and avoid any Bullshit since I did throw back a few already. Ok enough about that sucka! I wanted to do another portrait series at this event but with all the commotion it was impossible or get a location and pull people from the comp. Next Year! These dudes went in on this course which made you really get creative and think outside the box. Shout outs to everyone who competed in this event and for a successful NYC Event. Unfortunately I didn’t get to attend any of the after parties because I was dead tired from biking to BK & back and shooting so I took the night to relax. Hope everyone who attended enjoyed the event and will com back if it goes down again next year. Here are my shots from Round 2.
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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?
I was going through my skate photos via FaceBook and I came to the realization that since I started taking photos my collection of personal skate photos have basically stopped. I’m not sure why but maybe other photographers don’t like to shoot someone who also shoots or maybe i just don’t skate when the camera is out but whatever the case may be, I WANT SKATE PICS DAMNIT! Although I take photos I am still first and foremost a “Rollerblader” and would like to have shots to look back on if that unfortunate day comes where I am unable to skate anymore. I have been shooting mostly portraits lately and I feel like in some cases I have been going with what I know and not testing unfamiliar waters with my Photography. I decided to start a series of self skate photos where I would only use my Nikon D90, Tripod and 1 speed light and see what I could capture. I have seen many people just pose when it comes to skate photos and not actually do the trick and that’s not what i’m about so I called on Navin Hardyal of Skeptic Media to come out and film the the behind the scenes of this project.
I arrived to a empty Monroe Ledge which gave me enough space to set up my equipment and after framing my shot I set up the Tripod accordingly. Using the 50mm 1.8 lens, I had to distance the tripod pretty far away from the ledge. Doing this would allow me to capture the entire length of the ledge from beginning to end. Once that was done I adjusted my focal point and set my exposure for the ambient light. I decided to test out different setting to see what worked out best for me since I was shooting with a off camera flash. My 1st shots I dialed in f/8, 1/200th ant ISO 400. The most difficult part of this shoot was he 20 second timer which only allowed me 20 seconds to press the shutter skate away from the camera and make it to the point of focus. I strapped on my Valo Skates did a quick stretch and got in some warm up tricks. I planned on keeping my tricks simple today since I didn’t have much time to shoot. Let’s just say I had more misses than hits but with each shot I learned what to do for the next. This shoot was probably one of my most difficult to date. I feel I take fairly decent skate photos of others but the art of shooting yourself is a whole different ball game. Check out some of the shots with the 0mm 1.8.
(Back Farv, Monroe Ledges. Bronx NY)
(Back Unity, Monroe Ledges, Bronx NY)
Next up I wanted to get more of a unique look so I replaced the 50mm with the 10.5mm fish eye. To get the full detail of the subject which was myself, I would have to position the tripod directly in front of the ledge that I was skating. This gave me absolutely no space for error or I would land right on my camera. Still with only a 20 second window to get all of this done I was pretty exhausted from the repetitive back and forth. We spent about 30 minutes at Monroe before they close the gates for the night so that basically ended the shoot. I plan on doing about 5-6 more locations to complete this series which hopefully will improve with each shoot. If you think this is easy I welcome you to give it a try and give me feedback. Here are the final shots before we had to leave with the 10.5mm fisheye.
(Royale to Fakie, Monroe Ledge. Bronx NY)
(Makio to Fakie, Monroe Ledges, Bronx NY)
I have a few projects that i’m working on, I have been riding bikes a lot and have met some cool people that I would like to shoot while riding. I have been traveling light lately. No camera bag with multiple lenses and flashes, just a fanny pack, camera, one lens, no flash or filters and more imagination. Its like when I 1st started shooting and didn’t have as much equipment. Less weight on my back makes for a better shooting experience.
Until next time…….