Life, Learning and the Photos taken in between.

Posts tagged “HP5 400

A Day At The Bronx Zoo.

I have been putting so much work into my latest project Track Or Die NYC (, 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. 





2nd time’s a charm for the 35mm.

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.


(Evan G)

(Jigs FTS)


(James Perez, Staten Island)


(Brian “Lord Brian” Perry,

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

Also Like the damn Fan Page on Facebook or i’ll Poke You! FaceBook Fan Page

Taking a Shot at 35mm Film Photography.

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

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

The Fellaz

Hyper Mike

Kyle Radzyminski @ Billy Hurricanes

Christian @ Billy Hurricanes

Ray Mendez

Hyper Mike @ Billy Hurricanes

Christian @ Billy Hurricanes

Ivan Narez

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