JSP Week In Review ~ 2.25.17

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“We’ll have joy, we’ll have fun, we’ll have seasons in the sun…” – Terry Jackson

I don’t know, folks.

We’re in a bad spot in these parts. I don’t get political. That’s not my point around here. But this news from yesterday threw me a bit.

I mean, what country are we living in??

I’ll leave it at that for now.

//

Back in the saddle after our week in Mexico. Spent a good deal of timing editing the pics to save those memories. I finished reading 72 Essays on Photography last night and that’s an overriding theme of Scott: Those of us with cameras, we’re here to preserve the memories. Be it of our trips, our families or our time here. When we’re long gone, maybe someone will find those pixels we moved and say “Ah, yes! That was something!”

So, keep after it. Keep shooting. Make prints. Back up your work.

Keep those memories.

*****

Birthdays this week: Steve Diet Goode, Ansel Adams, Steve McCurry, Kenneth Jaercke.

What I watched this week: If you have Netflix, I highly recommend the new series Abstract: The Art of Design. Really interesting documentaries. I’ve watched the one on Platon twice already.

What I listened to this week: How is Warren Zevon not in the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame?

It’s the golden age for magazine covers.

Rethinking the ethics of Photoshop.

Two years ago, I was in South Africa.

“I don’t ‘get’ ideas, I grow them, planting sketches & thoughts, returning occasionally to fertilize.” –  Mo Willems

© Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2017

 

Friday Noir: Down This Dark Alley

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Well, well, well.

Well!

Some interesting news coming out of Turner Classic Movies yesterday.

Beginning on March 5, they are dedicating Sunday mornings to the film noir genre and calling it Noir Alley.

The series will be hosted by the “Czar of Noir”, Eddie Muller, and looks to be an intriguing series.

Of course, I’m a big fan of TCM’s Noirvember series, and loved when they did their Summer of Darkness a couple of years ago. The film noir genre continues to influence my photography, not just my Jersey Noir series, but lighting ideas in general.

That said…Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. ET are about as un-noir-like as you can get. Sunday mornings about about pancakes and orange juice and church and family stuff. Especially heading into the summer months.

Sundays at 10 pm would be better for me. Friday night even better than that (the whole old-days late-movie aura of it all.)

Despite all that, I’m looking forward to catching Noir Alley when I can. One of my all-time favorite film noirs (and a Top-5 Favorite Film of mine) The Maltese Falcon kicks things off. Full schedule is available here.

Who knows…maybe someday they’ll hit me up to present my favorite noir films, or at least give their viewers a glance at some of my original Jersey Noir images.

Until then, I’ll keep my fedora sharp and my gat oiled.

Because you never know what’ll happen down a dark alleyway….

© Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2017

 

 

One Light, Beautiful Light

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Before I left on vacation, I teased with this image. This was the stet-up I used for some portraits a few weeks ago during a snow day.

School for the kids had been canceled so they were all running around the house. I was working from home, as I do more often than not anymore (my job has been reogranizing office space and since I rarely “badge in” to the building my physical office is in -it’s roughly 90 minutes away from where I live and I just hardly go there anymore. My job is digital strategy – I can do that from anywhere and often do.)

Anyway, at one point that morning, my eyes opened and I thought “Wow, that’s some great light in there.” Seriously, it was like a lightbulb…or a strobe…went off over my head and I saw it clear as day.

We all love natural light, right? It’s what we started with, it’s what we feel most comfortable with.  Personally, if I had to rank my lighting loves, I’d go:

  1. Natural/Available Light
  2. Steady strobe
  3. Small Flash

I feel most comfortable with the first two, can control it the most. It’s my personal sweet spot. Others have their own strengths, and you have to play to your strength, right?

Anyway,  I finished up what I was working on and took an early lunch. My vision was pretty strong, now I wanted to execute it before I lost it.

I started with my wife. In the past six months, she’s passed a number of personal training tests and has basically opened up her own fitness class and personal training business. She’s teaching kickboxing and full-body HITT classes at a number of gyms and also working at a corporate gym as an instructor too. She has been saying how she needed new head shots (well, I’ve been telling her she needs them for work) so, right after she got ready to go to this corporate gig, I took a few minutes to grab some shots.

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And when I say “a few minutes” I mean more like two. She was in a rush, so I had to work quick. Fine with me. Leslie is one of those people that never likes the “posed” photos she does. And I admit, she is challenging at times. When she’s relaxed and it’s impromptu, she’s great. But she’s tough with headshots or more formal shots because I think she thinks to much about it. It’s in her head.

That’s why I wanted to get in-and-out to do these, not give her a lot of time to think about it. Be relaxed. Or as relaxed as possible.

To be honest, she doesn’t like this photo but I do. From a technical perspective, as you can see in the above BTS, this is straight-up window light, camera right. (The window is not the one you see – there’s one further right on the side wall, which you don’t see.)

I don’t think, for this one, I even had the reflector up yet. I just liked how that window light was working and the color of the wall as my background.

Once she left for her job, I kept the set-up up, added the reflector for some bounce, then started to call in my subject: My kids!

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After shooting some color images, I went to in-camera B&W. You know how I love the B&W JPGS that the Fuji X100T shoots.

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Obviously, these aren’t straight-out-of-the-camera. I did some post production work, to bring up the contrast or increase the blacks. I also used a heavy vignette on some of the images. I also ran them through a define filter to sharpen a bit.

All that said, I’m very happy with these portraits. I didn’t spend a lot of time on them, either behind the camera or in post. The lighting and equipment can’t get much simpler: Window light, reflector (or not), camera set at f.2.

My subjects had some fun, too (do watch the short video at the link below) And the photographer perks aren’t bad either.

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Click here to view a video of the full set of photos.And to hear a cool New Jersey band.

If you have any questions about this set, my workflow or whatever, please hit me up in the comments or at jerseystylephotography@gmail.com.

© Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2017

 

 

Tearsheet: Huffington Post

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I was happy to see one of my executive portraits that I shot back in October used to illustrate this Huffington Post Q&A with Janssen’s Sue Dillon.

© Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2017