Composing and Decomposing

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Here in New Jersey, March came in like a lion.

A big, fat snowflaked, downshifting into a pinging icy mess lion.

The big fat flakes started coming down around 10 a.m. a swirling confusion of wind and air and water.

Liv had a play date, and since I had to run out to get ingredients for chicken soup, we jumped in the truck and hit the backroads of Allentown and Cream Ridge.

Passing one of the many horse farms in this area on way to Liv’s little friend’s house, I saw two turkey buzzards enjoying some frosty roadkill. Something clicked in my mind’s eye and I thought it would make an interesting, wintry shot.

A few minutes later, after making the drop, I rolled back up to the scene, armed with only my trusty Canon S110.

One of the C. a. septentrionalis’ had made it’s exit, leaving just the friend to much on the once-lovely deer.

A my truck approached, the bird took flight, it’s wide wingspan evident in close quarters. We often see these birds up in the thermal drafts, floating, floating. Here, the jump from the ground to the fence was more like a screech. I kind of wanted a natural portrait with her over the kill, but then the way she perched on the fence gave me a good composition. A good silhouette, too, of that hook-like beak.

By this time, the flakes turned to pings as the sleet had started. This stayed with me for the rest of the errand run. But even on that quick run, I gathered in a couple of more interesting shots.

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Liv had fun at her friend’s, I made some photos and the soup came out good, too.

Not a bad Sunday in New Jersey.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2015

JSP Visual Week In Review | 02.28.15

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Earlier this week, my driveway was like the rink up in Lake Placid, 1980.

I half expected to walk out there and hear Kurt Russell-as-Herb Brooks telling me about opportunity and lacing up my skates.

But hey, we’re at the bottom of February, and almost flipping the page to March. That much closer to Spring. Days are longer, pitchers and catchers have reported. We’re getting there. And it can’t come soon enough.

Went through the usual corporate procedures this week: A review of my 2014 work, new compensation discussion. All went well, really time to get after 2015. Launching a big project at the end of the summer (for work) and a few cool shoots already lined up (for me).

* I’m a huge TCM fan. The NY Times is too.

Let’s see what happens between now and then. What’s up in your end of things?


* What I’m reading this week.

* Great piece on storytelling.

* Winners of Pictures Of The Year International. Whew. I don’t know how you have the courage/guts to shoot some of these.

* Rhymes with prick. Sorry…this piece just doesn't portray him in a good light.

* The Promise…looks they recorded it in someone’s living room.

* Faces by Ray Ketcham.

* Ozzie And The Mirrors.

* Isolation.

* “Leave some space for nonsense and read lots of good books.” ~ Stephen Doyle

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2015

Minding Minolta

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“Only from the mind…of Minolta”

Anyone remember that old Minolta advertising slogan from the ’80s? That’s one of those that sticks in my head like Where’s The Beef? and Grab A Heiny!

Last Summer and Fall, my father-in-law wanted to sell his Minolta Maxxum 7000 with a 50 mm f/1.7 lens on eBay. I said before he did, let me load some Kodak B&W film (400 ISO, I think. Standard variety, not any Tri-X or anything) I had and give it a run.

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I probably should have read the manual that came with it for better results. I never really grasped the electronic button system of increasing or decreasing the ISO and F stop. The autofocus worked well, and I really just loved the DOF that I got with that f/1.7. That image that opens this post is a good example. As is this one, shot in TriBeCa, New York City last fall.

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Another one from that same day, an evening portrait of my buddy George over an IPA of some sort. He’s looking abit rakish here, like a young Liam Neeson perhaps.

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I certainly shoot less with a film camera than with my digital. My father-in-law kept asking me if I got the pictures back yet. I kept saying I didn’t even finish the 24 roll film yet. He asked me so many times, I finally just burned some images to get done with it. Then I gave it to him to get developed to expedite the process. He took it to Walgreens, I think.

Speaking of greens, many of the images came back with a greenish tint. Since we had them burned to a disk, I opened the JPG’s in Photoshop and desaturated them back to true B&W. Here’s a shot of Olivia I didn’t touch.

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The green tint isn’t bad, really. While I’d like to assume that Walgreen just didn’t adjust their print monitor correctly, I don’t know why some are greenish, some are B&W. Oh well.

And As you can see, every shot had a good amount of grain to it. Like Joe McNally said once said in a blog post …grain you can drive a truck through.” I’m not complaining. Grain is good, I think. I can give an image some soul. And if you can combine grain with a foggy night a the Jersey Shore…

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As I said earlier, the one thing I notice shooting film (remember, I pulled out an old Konica for our family vacation in Vermont last summer)…I don’t shoot as much. I don’t know if I’m just indiscriminate with digital, or it’s just that when I shoot digital, I know that’s just the first step and I can get what want in the second step, the digital darkroom. I have a harder time “seeing” the result with film. That’s why it took me so long to go through the 24 exposure roll of film. I know how we always hear about “slow down…shoot with film…” but I think I slow down to much.

Still, it’s fun to see what these cameras can do, and what the film can do. I think I’m out of all my old leftover rolls, so if I want to keep doing this with my old cameras, I’ll have to order some more.

The photographic education continues….

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2015

New Tearsheet: 2015 TriRock Triathlon Mailer

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You may remember last June, I shot the TriRock Triathlon in Philadelphia. And had a great time doing it.

My company is a major sponsor of it, and they were very happy with my images. That’s always good to hear.

The group putting this together recently printed up thousands of postcard mailers to help promote the 2015 event, and my photo of the J&J team – what they are calling the “Sea of Red” internally – is anchor image. That’s the J&J CEO, Alex Grosky, dead center in the visor. He’s a high-profile Fortune 500 CEO that still get his workouts in every morning and is in great shape. It can be done.

The postcards are plastered around the various campuses to raise interest for the event. J&J had 500 entrants last year, and raised a ton of money. Hopefully these mailers, and other internal advertising, will help entice more people to do the event and we can raise even more money.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2015


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