Sometimes it’s Better to go it Alone.

AloneII (1 of 1)As much as I love my wife, family and small circle of friends. I find that when it comes to certain things. It’s best to go it alone. And as much as my wife inspires and supports my love of all of the different aspects of what I shoot. She is without a doubt “The worst case scenario’s” most vocal advocate. So much so that I’d sometimes leave certain excursions as well as elements of my work to my own special me time. For, after an hour or so of “What if we’re trespassing?” “Are you sure we can go here?”  “What if we get a ticket?” or the best one of all “What if he kills one of us?” I’m ready to trade in my camera for a book on bird watching. While it’s often a good thing to have a second set of eyes. Sometimes the additional voice in you ear is enough to make you want to go it alone.

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A Change of Plans

BK-4227We were all set to head out for a day in Toms River with my Dad when our plans were suddenly changed due to some post shoulder surgery crankiness my Pop was experiencing.                Not having a solid backup plan. We decided to make the most of our early morning and head to Brooklyn in search for the perfect slice. With lessons from my last trip over the bridge learned. I headed out in better spirit and a lot less tension.  The day itself is somewhat of a blur.        A long walk through a number of Brooklyn neighborhoods. Followed by a panic free walk over the bridge back into Manhattan for some delicious congee on the Bowery and a lot more walking. Overall, a long rewarding day that left us exhausted and fulfilled. You really can’t ask for more.

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It Matters, You Should Care.

I was on the way to the Film Forum in the west village when I came across this simple, yet powerful statement someone had spray painted on the wall. While I’ve made it a habit to carry my camera with me at all times. However, with my sole purpose of heading in to the city for a flick with some friends. FullSizeRenderIt seemed less than necessary. With my iPhone 6 being my only option.       I snapped this and quickly continued my walk to the theatre. While I’m not one to usually support public vandalism. The message itself felt important, vital and timely. My message here, if any, is to document your surroundings, your travels and your experiences. They’ll change over time. That snapshot might come in handy one day.

The Sun Also Sets on Elizabeth (New Jersey that is.)

In the few times I’ve travelled to the Elizabeth Commons to go shopping with my wife. I’ve always found what was happening in the distance to be more exciting than anything going on within the giant retail complex.Sunset So when she insisted on going there to take advantage of the post Christmas sales, I agreed. I’d go shopping as long as she’d wait patiently while I took pictures after we were done. Without a second thought, she agreed and an alliance was formed. So as she sat in the car patiently. I ran into traffic and climbed the fence of the local truck depot and shot this. While the view from the Commons parking lot was obscured by trees and telephone pole wire. The one atop the fence was beautiful. While the poles and electric wire seemed to be a detriment at first. I think they actually improved the view and overall character of the image. Not a bad trade off if you ask me.

Bring a Sidekick

For as long as I can remember. My wife has been my biggest supporter and critique when it comes to photography.           She understands the way my brain works and she always pushes me to do more with my passion. Having her by my side during many of my photography trips always gives me a sense of security while providing a safety net and getaway driver when I need it most. On the wayShe’s always been my second set of eyes while giving the ones in the back of my head somewhat of a heightened awareness. She’s more than happy to stop the car and pull over to indulge my curiosity and often offers to hang out for hours while I do my thing.  So when we found ourselves traveling down a somewhat sketchy road in upstate New York. She didn’t seem the least bit worried when I jumped out of the car to indulge myself in the urban landscape. When I returned, my getaway car was waiting for me with the engine running.   So, my advice is this. Bring a friend along. Make sure he/she doesn’t look seedy and has a good set of eyes. Be sure to feed them and provide all the things needed when building that sidekick foundation. Until then.

Industrial

My passion for finding and photographing industrial articles is pretty insane. Many is the time I’ve gone to factories and industrial parks to find those pieces that peak my interest and curiosity. One of my dreams in life is to buy an industrial loft somewhere in Brooklyn. Not one of those completely converted ones they advertise with such glee. Something raw and bare that has character. A raw canvas craving for a creative and twisted makeover. A few years back I presented a portfolio entitled “Left Behind.” to  SOHO Photo Gallery. They fully understood the message I was trying to convey and granted me admission to the COOP. Since then I’ve worked hard to find  pieces to update and refresh that port. Often being chased out of construction sites, being questioned/detained by Police or both. But for me, the reward outweighs the hassle. I didn’t get into any such shenanigans capturing the ones below. But I enjoyed taking them just the same.

I fought the law ….

I’ve been doing a lot of different work these days. Working to overcome my weaknesses while  improving my strengths. For some time now I’ve been in love with photographing work that I guess could be described asindustrial landscape. Bridges,trains,  factories, junk yards, power lines. You name it. Any time I’m driving home on the Turnpike or RT 1/9 I can’t help but want to pull over and admire the skylines stark beauty.  As of late I’ve been putting aside time to go off road and explore areas like Newark, Kearney and the outlying areas. Often time stopping to walk around and shoot pictures as the tractor trailers, semis and delivery trucks rumble past. I know there are a lot of people who would go out of their way to avoid this kind of thing. I know a lot of people might find it downright ugly. But for me there is something peaceful about it.

As I was headed into Newark this afternoon I took a wrong turn and got a little sidetracked. I passed through the Ironbound section of Newark and onto a series of bridges, power lines and factories. I found a nice secluded place to park, got my camera and started shooting. Within A few minutes two Police SUV’s pulled up. (Business as usual) I knew why they were there. I just wasn’t sure how they got there so fast. One of the risks of taking the kind of pictures I often take is these areas are often considered off limits to pedestrians. Especially pedestrians with cameras. Needless to say I’m used to having to explain myself. Though security guards are often quick on the draw or to pull out the knight stick. Police are usually a lot nicer and just question you and get your information. In the past I tended to be a prick when I got pulled over which in turn invited hostility and prolonged detention. These days I’m a lot more mature and understand that it’s just par for the course. I know they have a job to do and I know that there are crazies out there that might have some sick plan to blow up said bridge or factory. These officers were totally cool. I explained what I was doing and even gave them a business card along with my drivers license. I even told them I understood their concern and that I was living in New York City  during 9/11.After what seemed like a lengthy time he let me go on my way with a warning. Before I left I showed him the pictures I had taken which he seemed to like. I offered to erase the card but he said it was appreciated but not necessary. Not a terrible experience overall. Most of the time if you just act right and explain yourself people will be cool with you. I intend on taking more trips into the industrial areas to explore the opportunities and I am sure the law won’t be far behind.