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.
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 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
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……
Today I wanted to test out my new Opteka FM Transmitters which I purchased from ebay and what better time then at a huge session in the city. The Valo team Came out to session some street with the NYC locals at a few spots in the city. After a brief rain delay we all made our way to marble ledges on wall street for the second and final spot of the day. As long as I get at least one good shot of the day im content and this shot was that one. The session was packed and almost impossible to get decent photos with skaters constantly crossing in front of the camera. It didn’t even seem to phase anyone that the end of the world was minutes away. I saw Victor going for a sweet negative makio (on of my favorite tricks) on the marble ledge. Communication with your subject is one of the most important steps to Capturing a decent shot. I spoke with Victor and informed him of my light setup and where I would be firing the speedlights. I took about 2 tries but I got the shot that I was looking for.
My setup for this Shot was @ Nikon SB600 speedlights,Opteka RFT-40 fm triggers Nikon 70-200 2.8 V.R. and Nikon D90. Overall the Opteka Triggers are pretty good for the money, I was satisfied and can’t wait to shoot some more with them. For those who came out today the rest of the shots will be featured on Be-Mag.com and www. shutupandsk8.wordpress.com shortly. Overall the session was pretty fun aside from the rain. Thanks to everyone who came out today and showed support to not only Valo but for the NYC skate scene. Oh yea, I started shooting portraits with my new Nikon N80 film SLR so once those get developed I will scan and Blog about each shot. Until Next time…
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The day was Sunday May 1st 2011 and I woke up with a lot on my mind, too much to type about not that you would be interested in it anyway. After sitting in my bed Facebooking it up with breakfast for the better pat of the morning. I decided to take a bike ride to clear my head which helps put one or more things in perspective. I pulled out my bike which really hasn’t been used much since my shoulder dislocation early last August and made my way to Castle Hill Bike Center. My bike required a much needed tune up before I started my daily ride. I made sure my ipod was fully charged and the little rubber thingy on my earphones didn’t fall off….Again. 711 had a deal on the big 32oz red gatorade 2 for $3, so I grabbed those and some Twizzlers and loaded up my Lowepro camera bag. The ride from my casa to the beach took about a good 25 minutes or 8 tracks on my ipod. (80’s pop & rock FTW). Assuming the beach would pretty much be empty I decided to bring my camera to partake in a little Bird watching (the flying kind). Upon my arrival to Orchard beach I came upon a Goose, im not sure if it was canadian since it was not wearing a denim suit. I didn’t want to scare the goose so I rode past the bird, put my bike down and walked back slowly to get a more close up shot. Surprisingly it was very photogenic and polite unlike these damn NYC pigeons.
Check out the breast on that.
Such a camera whore.
The beach was pretty occupied full of parents and kids either playing in the park, flying kites, shooting ball, riding bikes or just sitting enjoying the spring breeze. I even saw a few brave suckas in the water (it’s not that nice out people). I made my way to section 1 which is where the beach begins, just to get some shots of the rocks and other photos I had in mind. While trying to get a clean shot of these seagulls I happen to meet a fellow D90 owner and indulge in some camera talk. I also learned that smoking is banned from the beaches (not that I smoke) so all of you who want to smoke at the beach, be prepared for a fine courtesy of Mayor Bloomberg. Here are some shots of Steven the Seagull (get it, Steven Seagull….or not?) and the drama with his lady. (We spoke afterwards.
Steven the Seagull checking out the pigeons.
Here comes the Mrs.
Now she’s bitchin at Steven after she caught him looking at a Pigeon.
It’s over! Be strong my brotha, the summer is right around the corner.
These two fisherman came out for the catch of the day. Im not sure if i would eat any fish caught from Orchard Beach, i’ll take my chances with fresh fish from the BP oil spill. I don’t eat fish anyway so wooo hoooo for me. Overall I did more relaxing than shooting on my ride to the beach. I’m most peaceful and focused when i’m by the water just listening to my 80’s tracks and going over what’s important in my life at that moment. Now that my bike is fixed, I will be all over the city riding and shedding this winter weight that I put on. I found a few locations that would be great for some upcoming shoots which I plan use sooner than later. So what did I learn today, I’m out of shape and need to ride more often. Birds argue as much as we do if not more and 711 has a deal on 32oz Red Gatorade 2 for $3. I hope you enjoyed the pics and before I sign out check out the standoff I had with another goose as I was leaving.
“What you lookin at!”
“You want a piece of me!”