Latest: Winterscape Gallery Series

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After going pretty quite, since we haven’t had much of a winter around here lately, I made another image last weekend to add to my Winterscape Gallery Series.

A pretty simple one – a bird feeder/hotel in the middle of a frozen lake, some nice sky. Actually, I’ve been trying to get a decent photo of this bird feeder for awhile. Keep trying to when the leaves on the trees behind it were aflame during the fall, but it never really worked out.

When I posted my last Winterscape, reader David asked Do you have any thoughts to share with us on how you visualized the image and created it?

That’s a great question. And I don’t know that I have a great answer. When I was first getting started in photography, I had no idea how to visualize an image, and then create it. I was just snapping. But what helped me was doing a “365” Project – take at least one photo a day for 365 days. That project, more than anything, helped me become better, I think. I stopped just snapping pics and actually “seeing” them before I shot.

Now it’s a big reason why I always have a camera on the seat next to me, even if I’m just running to the story for milk. It bothers me now if I “see” an image…and can’t shoot it. Doesn’t mean they are all great when I see them on my computer (my developing room), but I at least have to shoot it.

For this one, as I said, I had wanted to get a good shot of this bird feeder for a while. Driving my daughter to karate the day after some snow gave me the chance. I like the snow on the lake, the starkness of the trees behind it, the sky with clouds.

I then open my photos in Camera Raw, and then Google Nik filters. I like the HDR filter to give the skies some nice contrast. I don’t go crazy with the HDR, just try to use it almost make some of the colors pop.

I think visualizing images takes practice. Sometimes it’s even good to “take pictures” without a camera – snap them in your mind. But then it all comes back down to getting out and shooting.

Thanks for the question, David. Hope this helps a little!

That said, no Winterscapes for  awhile. Headed out on a mid-winter vacation to Mexico this week. Take my Canon S110 and my Fuji X100T, both with big CF cards. Not even taking a computer, so it’ll be like I’m shooting film – I’ll have to wait to see what I get when I get back!

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016



Art As Therapy

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“Your body is constantly fighting this disease, and you can feel it some days. Some days you have good days. Some days are bad. Art just helps me get through each day.”

Today, February 4, is World Cancer Day. I’m sure everyone reading this blog has been affected by this still-deadly disease at one time in our lives.

Back in early December, I had the opportunity, through my job, it interview a multiple myeloma patient, Jane Kielt,  who is also an accomplished artist. In addition to being the Anderson Cooper of the interview, I also had the chance to shoot some stills and help edit and produce the final video. More on that in a bit.

Jane is primarily a watercolor painter, though she has dabbled in oil, acrylics and other creative mediums as well. She’s quiet and unassuming but ready with a quick smile. Memories of those smiles are seen in the lines near her eyes.

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Jane has been battling multiple myeloma since 2010, but she hasn’t let that stop her from still doing art, and also teaching (she taught art to children for 26 years.) Between painting, riding her bike, traveling, cooking, swimming, spending time with her family, raising money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation…she’s indefatigable.

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She told me during the interview that you can often tell in her paintings when her pain was really bad….the paintings are more detail-orientated. She would concentrate on the details – windows, bricks, etc. – painting each with great care and losing herself in the painting. She often paints looking through a big magnifying glass, and often feels better by the time she was done all those details.

The healing properties of art.

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During the interview session, Jane told me “The reason I paint is just because I think, as an artist, you observe all the little things that some people just don’t see. And, for me, when we travel or when I look at something, there are colors that I see or shapes that I see that I don’t know if other people have seen. So, I’ll, I’ll look at a composition. I’ll look at something and say, Ooh. You know, I’d like to paint that.’And when I paint it, then people say, ‘Oh. I didn’t notice that.'”

That’s often how I feel about my photography as well. I’ll notice things that others may not see. It’s my job to record them. It’s like Diane Arbus said “I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.

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Jane’s a creator. And a fighter. Meeting people like her, and her wonderful, supportive family and friends,  is one of the best parts of my job. For that opportunity, I’m glad.

Click here to watch the Jane’s video. Special thanks to Kevin Nelson of Skylight Media who did a wonderful job shooting and editing the video.


** Disclaimer: I changed the title of this post from The Healing Properties of Art as I didn’t want it to be misconstrued that Jane has been healed. She’s still fighting cancer every day.

(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

Update: The Photo Place Gallery Exhibit


Thought I’d provide an update on a a previous post, my submissions to The Photo Place Gallery Photo Noir competition.

The good news is that, after submitting five images, my Bitter Little Noir image was selected to be part of the 40-image online gallery.

The, well, I wouldn’t say bad news, maybe disappointing news,is that it wasn’t selected for the 35 print physically gallery showing in Vermont.

Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to the the congratulatory email. Of course, though, having a print hang in a gallery would have been exciting.

Judging from what I saw online, a lot of good work, on an international basis, was submitted and accepted for both the physical and online gallery. I’m sure the judging was difficult, so I am indeed honored to part of this.

But…and not trying to sound like sour grapes here….to me, there seems to be some head-scratching selections. Not that they were bad images, but not what I really consider to fit with the “noir” them. Maybe I’m just too much of a purist when it comes to noir.

Anyway, check out the selections over at The Photo Place Gallery website. Let me know your thoughts, and favorites, in the comments below.

(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

Latest: Winterscape Gallery Series

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The latest in the Winterscape Gallery Series.

A personal project going strong since 2009….

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016




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