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.
Sorry for the delay on the portraits, the whole domain switch screwed up up for a moment but the blog is back and working to to be better than ever. On February 23rd the fellas and myself took a drive out to Royal Oak Michigan for the Bitter Cold Showdown. For those of you who do not rollerblade this event is one of the biggest if not the biggest competitive event we have. The opportunity to shoot on the floor during the finals and semi finals is a position that many photographers seek. So while those photogs were busting their ass trying to get that one great shot I took to the sidelines yet again this year to capture some portraits of not on the competitors but those who were in attendance that wanted to get a portrait done. I have to admit that this year the attendance and the energy was blah in comparison to previous years but i still had a great time shooting and chopping it up with the fellas in Royal Oak. I chose to use the same setup as last year, with only my Nikon speed light and shoot through umbrella at 45 degrees to the subject and my Nikon D90 DSLR. Check out the Photos and if you like what you see, repost on whatever Social Network you like.
Brandon Smith – Valo
Chris Haffey Sporting his Handle Bar Mustache – Remz
Jose Henriquez – Flatlines Skate Shop, BX
Montre Livingston – SSM
The Monster Jaren Grob, Definitely one of my favorite skaters and the only rollerblader to make it into Sports Illustrated Magazine.
Troy Dezeeuw : Rollerblader and creator of the Daily Juice Blog & Track Or Die NYC Logo.
Last but not least, My Handsome ass grill.
I decided not to shoot any competition skating this weekend for the Bitter Cold Showdown for a number of reasons. I brought limited equipment to this trip since I was sharing the car with 3 others and thats would be inconsiderate to take up all the trunk space. After the 12 1/2 hour drive we arrived too early for check in to which we decided too head over to the Coney for breakfast in order to kill time. Once we finally checked in the others fell out while I decided to tour the hotel to look for a location for some test shots. The hallway I chose was right by the weight room so I hot the weights for a quick work out. Once the fellas woke up we made our way to the park where I posted up on the Mini ramp to get some Shots of the skaters going in..I was able to get a few shots that I was proud of.
John Stephens – Mute Air
Jeff Stockwell – Front Farv (hands touched 😦 )
Vinny Minton with one of the most stylish alley oop souls in the game
John Stephens – Switch Top Mistrial
Vinny Minton – Back Slide
Jose Henriquez – Top Mistrial
Victor Arias – Front Torque
Wakums – Fishbrain Stall
Jeff Stockwell – Alley oop Negative Mistrial
After a quick liquor run I made my way back to the hotel room to edit some photos while everyone else partied. Once back in the hotel I grabbed up the fellas to shoot some hotel portraits using a single speed light with a shoot through umbrella. I chose the shoot through umbrella to provide a softer light. I set my exposure for the ambient light and positioned my subjects for their individual portraits.
Wakums counts his cash before making it rain
Navin looking like a fugitive.
Juan Ice Grilling Chris Brown
E Z Goezy
Juan cant play Assassins Creed so he drinks away his pain
Shortly after Navin Got Kicked in the Face.
I really didnt party this weekend, it was more work than play but thats was my intentions. We went back to the hotel to finish off the liquor and bullshit. The whole weekend we picked on Juan since he was the new guy. After a night of drinking and youtube hunting for cat videos (you had to be there) we fell out but not after laughing the night away.
The next morning we cleaned up the room and made our way to the coney for breakfast before the long drive home which has become somewhat of a tradition of the past 5 years. While eating at the Coney we ran into some fellow New Yorkers also getting ready for the long ride back to the NY. The pics will say the rest.
Needless to say since your reading this, I made it home safe by 3am with work by 7am. What a great weekend in total, I think the competition wasn’t as exciting as previous years but I still enjoyed myself none the less. Until Next year…..Be On the Looked Out for Faces of Bitter Cold #2
Every year I make it my business to run around the trade show like a maniac and shove my camera in the face of those who are in attendance while shopping for deals from various booths. This year was no different and although the turn out wasn’t as big this year I still had a good time doing so. For the trade show I only packed my Nikon SB600 and 35mm 1.8. Check out the faces that took the time out for a photo op. This is not the Bitter Cold Portrait Project.
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Shima – SSM, Legend
Navin – Skeptic Media
Dan Fabiano – Scribe
Montre Livingston – SSM
Adam Kilgore – Denial, Dub Caesar
Alex Broskow – Valo, 2012 Bitter Cold Showdown Champ.
Jaren “The Monster” Grob
Chris Farmer – Xsjado
Troy Dezeeuw – Graphic Artist, Creator of the Blogs Watermark
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 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…….
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.