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……..
So I had some ideas that I wanted to capture through my lens which required some outdoor shooting on my part. I put forth the word through none other than the most socialy networked Internet site “Facebook”. I had about 4-5 people confirm that they would come out and be my model for this project so of course I was pretty excited. I invited some other Photographers that I knew but the majority of them were tied up. So Thursday morning arrived, my Lowepro bag was fully packed as I anticipated my shoot. I arrived to Central Park around 1pm with not a response from anyone that was supposed to come. So I said my favorite phrase, “Whatever F**k it!” and started out with my day. I got a text from Kalo “Kiko” Victorian, asking me for my location so we could link up. not to long after we met up on Broadway and 72nd and made our way to Central Park. Since I really didn’t have the subjects that I planned to shoot I had to make due with what I had and thats the area I excel at.. My 1st shot was at the entrance to the park where the majority of the sidewalk was closed for production of a John Lennon special. I decided to shoot the entrance of the park from a different visual perspective. Shot at 35mm, ISO 500, f/6.3 my Focal point was the yellow carriage.
Making my way towards the band shell in Central Park, I came across this small wood shelter known as “Wagner Cove”. The many years tht I have been visiting Central Park, this has always been one of my favorite landmarks. “Fun Fact for ya” The original shelters date from the Park’s first years, when rowboats would cross the Lake, picking up passengers at one of the six shelters at the edge of the Lake and dropping them off at another.
Shot with my 70-300 2.8 VR aka “The Big Doofy Lens” at 70mm, f6.3, @ ISO 500. Probably one of my favorite shots of the the day. Next we made our way to ” Bethesda Terrace” to try and get more scenic shot looking more like a typical NYC tourist with the big DSLR’s and back pack. I saw the opportunity to break out my flash stand and shoot a couple portrait shots. A flash umbrella + 8ft flash stand + Central Park wind = Not gonna happen. Basically we had to move within the tunnel to get the shot since the wind kept knocking over my flash. I think it was my best decision since the background played a big part in the image even though it was blown out, check it out.
For these shots I chose a strobist setup (Off camera flash setup) with a bounce umbrella, My SB-600 was set to m 1/2, I borrowed one of Kiko’s lens the 24-70mm 2.8 where I shot at 60mm, ISO 800 f/2.8. Not bad huh.
So after spending a good 3 hours in the park, we made our way to the streets of NYC to get some night shots in and also meet up with a few Skaters down on wall street. We exited the park on Columbus circle where I was testing out some shooting methods but couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to shoot this very simple but unique park bench located in the very center of Columbus Circle.
Shot @ 24m, ISO 500, f/2.8 with simple editing in Adobe Lightroom, definitely in the top 5 of my favorite shots of the day. We hopped on the NYC’s Iron Horse (train) and headed to Times Square to get some shots but I honestly do not like how my shots came out. They all looked like typical times square shots but I was particularly satisfied with one shot I took in the Subway station in Times Square. I got the idea for this shot from Cameron Frittz. He is an amazing photographer from Texas who recently moved to NYC who I recently met while ice skating at Bryant Park. Check out his work @ http://cameronfrittz.com .
This was taken @ 24mm, ISO 400, f.14 while located at the very front of the subway platform. Basically my day was over once we got on the train since I was physically drained and the food we just ate was now giving me the itis. Over all I enjoyed the day and captured some amazing shots which received great reviews on Facebook. I cant wait for the first snow storm so I can go out shooting. I want to thank Kiko for coming out with me and lending me his lens and being my model, sometime you really do more with less. For those who was supposed to come out and didn’t make it to this shoot, “SUCKS TO BE YOU DUDE”, you missed out on a entertaining and informative day. Hopefully my next blog will be covering a Maternity shoot that I will be doing for a friend who is about to give birth. It’s my 1st time doing a Maternity shoot so it should be very interesting to say the least. I’m going to leave you with some shots of me taken by Kiko while I was setting up (For those who do not know what I look like). I want to take a minute and thank those of you who take time out and read this Blog, I put a lot into this and i’m not used to the whole Blogging movement. Also those of you who believe in me and support my work whether it’s as a hobby or a profession, I have a good 10 months behind a camera and learned everything I know through everyday shooting, fellow photographers and internet tutorials.
High Five and I’m Out!
***Coming soon http://www.ShardyNieves.com***