Hat In The Ring, Again

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_NJBizMontage_092014

On the submissions front, 2014 hasn’t been very good to me.

Earlier in the year, I submitted some images for a gallery showing at the Monmouth Museum.

Nothing.

I submitted some images to a Filson Outdoor Photo Contest.

No go.

The AdoramaPix YBS of 2013 worked out a bit better, but no winner winner chicken dinner.

But, despite all this, I’m throwing my hat in the ring yet again.

Got an email a few weeks from the photo editor at NJBiz Magazine. NJBiz is New Jersey’s leading business weekly and they are publishing a hardcover book to celebrate the 350th Anniversary of The Great State of New Jersey. The email said they were looking for photo entries that capture the great points of our state. (I think one of my photos was published in a book their publishing company did a few years ago, so my email must be in their database.)

So, you get that email, and you call yourself JerseyStyle Photography, well, you gotta submit to something honoring the state.

After extensive review and thinking, I finally selected the 10 images (above) that I wanted to submit for consideration.

Prior to my selections, I had a short email exchange with the photo editor, and at one point, he said he would like to see some people shots. I knew that was coming, frankly. As I imagine, he’s getting a TON of sunrise, sunset and beach shots. I’ve seen this before happen before with other local photo books. But to me, that doesn’t define New Jersey. And, frankly, it’s boring, unmemorable photography to me. (Seriously, what’s the last sunrise image you remember for longer than it takes to pass though the synapses of your brain?)

So, I tried to pick some of my images that do define our state: The hardworking people of this state (a cobbler, diner owner, and a patriot). Some iconic locations, but with a different look (Madam Marie’s, The Trenton Makes bridge, 9/11 Memorial in Jersey City), and some views that show the beauty of our state.

I was trying to select some of the more unique, interesting images in my NJ portfolio, some that tell the story without having to really do so. Sure I know others will submit photos of Madame Marie’s shop. You go to Asbury Park, you’re shooting that. But I think my shot is unique (fisheye lens, nice sun spark). So, even with the common photos, I tried to give it a new look.

Will any of them be selected for this book?

Dunno.

We shall see, I guess. I’ll let you know when I hear.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

Weekend Shot: Fall Is A-Comin’

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_524 barn_092014_4567

It’s a-comin’.

The morning and late evening air is crisp.

I’m seeing advertisements for apple days and corn mazes.

Pumpkins and mums are replacing watermelons at the roadside farm stands.

The soybeans, just up the road from us, are starting to turn yellow.

Summer is seemingly a long time away now. If Fall isn’t rapping on the door, it’s already shoved it’s shoulders halfway through the doorframe.

It’s a-comin’.

Stormy sky + lone barn + soybean patch + Nik HD filter = This Weekend Shot.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

JSP Visual Week In Review | 09.13.14

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_WIR_091314

Were did this week go?

Last week at this time, I racing (well, hiking at times) up and down a Black Diamond ski slope, crawling under barbed wire like I was an extra in The Great Escape and jumping over fire.

Then the week spun, buried under the weight of first days of school, website design and development, and ugly messes in the NFL and domestic violence.

And another 9/11 anniversary.

Which brings us back to Saturday. Yes, after many months of training and preparation, I did my Spartan Race. Wanted to finish the eight mile course in 3 hours 30 minutes. My actual time was 3:16. It was tough and challenging. I liked it. The next day, I ran a 5K race in support of the Travis Manion Foundation. Came in 12th out of 98 runners and first in my age group. (Kinda caught me by surprise that I’m now in the 40-44 age range, but I guess that’s where I am.) So, it was a good athletically fulfilling weekend.

The kids are back at school, the evening air has a slice of chill to it, apples fests are starting around here. May make a run out to the farm today to hopefully get some of the last of the summer corn.

The calendar has flipped, the page is turned. We keep on keepin’ on.

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This Week’s Links:

* Found this fantastic photoessay on Shaolin Monks by Tomasz Gudzowaty.

* And, this. So great. Watch: Cory Richards: A Tribute to a Life of Discomfort

* Craig Ferguson photographs Chef Lanshu Chen for the Wall Street Journal.

* 20 Best Crime Fiction Shows of all time.

* Via LIFE magazine, Prohibition, NYC.

* Via Burn Magazine, a conversation with Martin Parr.

* Fantastic cover of Springsteen’s Save My Love by local NJ artists Nalani & Sarina.

* Al Pacino’s Driving Force.

* Singer/songwriter Justin Townes Earle cover’s Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams. Good stuff.

* “Contrast is what makes photography interesting.” ~ Conrad Hall.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

Fifty Years And Trouble

50 years1

You may remember, back in the Spring, when I mentioned my involvement with a new book, TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND: Crime Fiction Based on the Songs of Bruce Springsteen.

The project has been moving along nicely all Spring and Summer. Back around June, I had a chance to read an early copy and submit my pictures for inclusion. Eight of them will be included in the book, in a section called Pictures On The Edge of Town. The reaction that I’ve gotten from some of the writers included in the book has been overwhelmingly positive, so much so that I’m working with Zelmer Pulp to help illustrate other books they have coming out. That’s another post, though.

It looks like the TROUBLE book will be coming out in early December. Why’s it taking so long? Scheduling conflicts, mainly. The editor, Joe Clifford, has his own book, Lamentation, coming out in a couple of weeks. He has to devote time to promoting that one – book conferences, interviews, etc. He didn’t want to release TROUBLE at the same time and give both of them short-thrift. I can’t say I blame him.

This may be a good thing, anyway. With an early December release, people will be looking for Christmas gifts. Why not some hard-hitting, gritty crime fiction – with great photography! – to fill up that stocking.

In any case, a few of us in involved with the book (well, the writers and me) in the NJ/PA area, have been asked to be part of a cool symposium: Fifty Years of Makin’ This Guitar Talk: A Bruce Springsteen Forum.

(c) Steve Breen

(c) Steve Breen

The forum is a day-long symposium that will be held at Monmouth University on September 20th. It looks to feature a number of great talks and panel discussions from some of the top Springsteen scholars. Seriously, these people have written books, taught classes all about The Boss.

It’ll also feature a photo gallery exhibition, Glory Bound, of Barry Schneier’s Springsteen work. Barry is a long-noted Springsteen photographer and produced the images from that May 1974 night when Jon Landau wrote “I saw the rock ‘n roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen.”.

There’s also a chance to buy a combo ticket that will include admission, a few days later, to An Evening With Thom Zimny. For the past 15 years, Thom is the cinematographer who has produced many of the E Street Band’s concert videos, song videos, and most recently did the Hunter Of Invisible Game short film.

For my part, I’ll work on promoting the book with the authors there – Jen Conley, CD Regan, Jamez Chang, – while talking about the Springsteen canon of songs and lyrics have influenced my gritty, JerseyNoir photography. And, since we’ll have the chance to sell advanced copies of the book (I think), I’ve produced a 16×20 poster of my photos as an add-on.

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_TITHL2_Hi res

What’s neat, too, is that Monmouth University isn’t far an iconic, though little known, spot of rock ‘n roll history. The little house at 7 1/2 West End Street, Long Branch, NJ, is where Bruce was living when, in the front room on a piano, he wrote the songs for the Born To Run album. Every time I’m down in that area, I have to take a drive past it.

(c)JerseyStyle Photograpy_West End_2014

The screen door that slammed as Mary’s dress waved is long gone, but it’s still neat to see. I’m always hoping for a little inspiration to rub off.

So, if you’re in the area on September 20th, come on out and join us. If you can’t make it, I’ll live Tweet using the hashtags #TITHL and/or #50Guitar

Should be a rockin’ good time.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

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