Steph and I followed up our shoot in Clifton with some extra shots in Hoboken. I love how we managed to take over the bus depot. Special thanks to Steph for making an unbearably hot day such a blast. You are my go to girl.
Unable to sleep the other night I walked down to the Hudson River to watch the sun rise over the Manhattan skyline. The morning air is so fresh and cool while that feeling of solitude before the day breaks is the perfect tonic for clearing the mind. As I stood there admiring the day in it’s infancy I noticed this man paddling north. The site of this solitude man looking up at a monster of a city was awe inspiring. It reminded me that no fight is too big. No task is to hard. We can accomplish anything we put our mind to. Here’s to a new day and taking on every challenge that comes our way.
This afternoon I decided to take my lunch down to the Hudson River (about three blocks from me) to check out some of the extensions that have recently been made there. It was such a beautiful day I thought I’d to wander down to the nearby skate ramps to see if there was any action to be had. Luckily I had my camera with me and after introducing myself around took a few shots. Since picking up the Canon 15mm Fisheye I’ve found so many uses for it. Capturing some sick in flight was high on the list.
It was Monday morning and a plan that had been in the making since the beginning of the year was finally about to take place. Steph and I had been working on an erotic lingerie shoot with several other models at one time or another over the past three months. Each time coming close but missing due to schedule conflicts, illness, death in the family and everything else under the sun. However, on this particular Monday, it was all going to fall into place. Steph had an entire day put aside and I had the perfect model confirmed. “Shit is gonna happen.” I got up extra early and made sure everything was ready. Around 11:30 Steph contacted me to let me know she’d be leaving her place in just a few minutes. I was calm and collected. I sat down at the computer to check my Facebook page and ………… “Blamo!!!” A message from the other model. “I can’t make it.” “I got called into work.” Fifteen minutes before starting time I get this. No call. No text. A f%&king Facebook message. So I scramble for the phone to contact Steph with the news. The phone picks up but all I hear is a scrambling sound. We’ve all heard it before. The phones on and you can hear a number of things going on in the background but the person on the other end is nowhere to be found. I call again and it’s the same thing but someone eventually picks up. Whoever it was it wasn’t Steph. I thought “Either Steph’s boyfriend is fucking with me or I just called for Chinese food delivery”. Only seconds after hanging up there’s a knock on the door. Of course, it’s Steph. I asked “Didn’t you get my voice mails and texts?” “She cancelled at the last minute.” A combination of disappointment and confusion came over Steph. “I didn’t get any messages.” “What happened?” I scrambled for my phone to show her my calls and texts. That’s when her confusion grew. “That’s not my number James” “I don’t know why you have that number.” We laughed for a minute but the disappointment in her eyes was irreversible. I calmed her down a bit and convinced her to stay for a bit. “I’ll make it worth you’re while.” “We’ll get some beautiful pictures.” She ended up staying and we got some nice shots. But damn, how hard can it possibly be to get two naked women in one room at the same time? The Photo Gods are definitely not in our corner.
When I think about all the great music I’ve been privileged to see and document lately it makes me feel as if I’ve been spoiled. During an interview last night I was reminded of the drier times. Nights when there was no show to look forward to. Days when a trip to the record store seemed pointless because the same act was being recycled over and over again. Right now there is an abundance of great shows happening at venues of all sizes. Bands that played in our salad days are doing reunions and even making new music. My eyes and ears are constantly be treated to amazing sounds. Bands I worshiped back in the day and ones I missed. The term “Best show ever.” keeps repeating itself over and over. Saturday night was one of those “Best Show Ever” moments as Rye Coalition poured every drop of energy, sweat and testosterone into their reunion show. Like many of the best bands from their era they were underrated and under appreciated. It wasn’t until they were gone that a lot of people realized what they missed out on. I was lucky to be there front center to take shots for Jersey Beat and of course, myself. Thanks to Jim Testa for getting me the ticket. This will be the first of two sets of the shots I love most.
After a weekend of bar crawling and an incredible concert I woke rather late Sunday morning. Poured my coffee and grabbed my gear to head out for a late, late breakfast. Still weary eyed and a little hung over I fumbled for the keys. When I turned to head down the stairs I got an eyeful. I have to say this was just the thing I needed to wake me from my haze. The buildings been pretty quiet since former floor mates Paul and Dawn moved to the big city. It’s good to see my recent neighbors also have a sense of humor.
When Jim Testa of Jersey Beat asked me to cover The Cropduster reunion show at Maxwells my reaction was “Sure”. I had no preconceived notions or overblown expectations due to the fact that I had never heard the band before. I did a little snooping and upon seeing the them described as “Insurgent Country”. Well, I was curious. Just not any more excited. I got there just as Jim Testa set up to open the show. I had never seen Jim perform but had somewhat of an idea what to expect. Jim’s stripped down folky punk was just enough to melt the freezing temperatures that circled Maxwells that night. Jim sings about what he knows, music. His lyrics are intelligent, quirky and ironic. A nice little side note to what was to come. As Cropduster took the stage the back room filled with smiling faces who seemed to be well aware of what they were in for. As the band began to play I freed myself of any labels or lame musical alliances and just soaked in the incredible sounds. There are times when I go to see a band and can’t help but be mad at myself and think “How the hell did I miss out on this the first time around?”. This was one of those times. Hope you enjoy the shots. Some of which made it to NJ Beat and NJ Underground. Now if you’ll excuse me. I need to run out and get a copy of “Drunk Uncle”. Cheers!!!
This weekend I took the Canon 7D to it’s first show and shot on manual with no flash. This was my first time shooting for NJ Underground. It was also my first time shooting simultaneously for NJ Underground and Jersey Beat. Though this was a working assignment I still wanted to use a little spare time to get creative and play around with lighting and speed. Below are my favorite oddities from Cropduster’s set. I’ll post the more fan friendly shots later.
I’ve been pretty busy this week and haven’t been in the best mood. Bone chilling cold weather tends to do that to my fragile psyche. However I did want to see !No Pasaran! who were playing Maxwells tonight. One of my absolute favorite current bands that have been kinda floating under the radar and keeping a low profile. A Jersey Politico Punk three piece that have a sound reminiscent of Fugazi and Quicksand with a little element of jazz and a lot of distortion thrown in. Maybe I’m a little off with the Jazz but what the hell. No one’s paying me for this shit. Some of my favorites shots have a little bit of blur and were taken without flash. Anyway, the interview I did with them is 2009 can be found here. Check it out. http://www.unitewebzine.com/Home.html