Saturday, July 31, 2010

One Of A Kind

Meet New York street photographer Louis Mendes. I ran into him while attending a photo exhibit in Brooklyn. He was doing what he does best - talking to anyone about his modified Speed Graphic film camera (popular in the 1930's, 40's and 50's). The always sharply dress Mendes, 70, shoots portraits for up to $20 a pop on Polaroid film. Yes - Polaroid is still in business and still makes film for cameras even in this digital age. Louis makes his living using this unique camera by traveling all over the U.S. to conventions, concerts any most every big event. And he's usually the only guy on the scene with this type of camera so he draws lots of attention ... and customers. He's been a fixture in New York locales for decades. And he makes a good portrait subject for a run and gun digital shooter like me. I found two stories on Mendes in the NY Times archive - the first one - in 1995 - was done when he was 55 years old. He says he doesn't plan to retire anytime soon.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Art of the Game

Every once in a while I like to take an ordinary picture and turn it into something extraordinary. That's the case with this shot of the Yankees' Derek Jeter diving into second base as the ball is headed toward Sean Rodriguez's glove. I played with the contrast and did a few other things to it using the basic image editing software from Windows 7. I don't have Adobe Photoshop, however there are any number of similar products that do the same things (and some things better) than Photoshop. Even before I tweaked the image the colors were already great thanks to the blue of the Tampa Bay Rays' road uniform tops and the amber color of the sunglasses Rodriguez is wearing. And of course, the plain, clean background that the infield dirt provides helps the viewer concentrate (the word 'focus' is overused and often used incorrectly as a substitute for 'concentration') on the main elements of the picture; the ball, Sean and Derek.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Another View of The Lightning Shot

In this post, I tried a different crop of my last entry (I also spelled lightning correctly this time). It's amazing how many different looks you can come up with simply by cropping a picture in any number of ways. Here, I wanted to highlight the well known frieze design that rings the roof at Yankee Stadium with the lightning bolt seemingly adding an exclamation point on the right side of the image.

A Different Kind of Baseball Strike

We had some really rough weather here in the tri-state area the last few days. Tornado-like winds did a lot of damage. Heavy rains from thunder showers and high humidity all combined for spectacular weather.

After I missed a great chance at a lighting shot Friday night, I got a reprieve Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium when I recorded the lighting strike at the upper right of the frame. Funny thing is, I didn't know I had lighting in the photo until later when I checked the results of the series of shots I'd taken. I'll take a lucky result any day.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Subway Battle of the Horns

On the way home from the Yankee game in the Bronx, these two guys had an impromptu blow-off in the middle of a car on the #4 line heading to Brooklyn. Actually, the guy on the right was there first and started playing the theme from the movie, "The Godfather." But shortly after he began, the guy on the left jumped on the train and blew a series of disconnected notes - much to the dismay of the other guy (and us passengers who frowned on the intrusion). But one rider urged them to play together and they did ... to the limited ability of the guy on the left. My two bucks went to the other guy and he must have thanked me - in Chinese - three times for my donation. Usually if I take photos of these subway acts, I always give them some money in exchange for being a willing subject.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Weekend To Remember

At the subway platform across from Yankee Stadium, you're reminded of two men who played a big role in the success of the franchise. The team owner since 1973, George M. Steinbrenner III, turned a relatively modest investment into a billion-dollar sports property. The team stays in his family following his death at age 80. The man I succeeded as public address announcer for the Yankees, Bob Sheppard, lived a fruitful and varied life of 99 years. He held the PA position for 57 of those years. The likes of those two icons won't be seen again anytime soon.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Reflection On The Move

While making an early morning trip from Brooklyn into Manhattan (I was a passenger) I put my small camera on the roof of the moving car and - holding onto it tightly - shot this picture without being able to take more than general aim at anything. I got lucky. The Manhattan bridge is reflected on the roof. That's the Brooklyn Bridge sitting off in the background. Sometimes is pays to take chances. It's also a good thing my driver had recently washed his car.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What's That Number?

While waiting to check ID's of incoming patrons at a Brooklyn bar, this security guard took the time to check - real close - his messages on his cell phone. The screen lit his face so well, I took a couple of quick shots with the hope there would be enough light on his face to illuminate his eyes while the rest of the light would fall off naturally with the background lighting enhancing the scene.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Feel Safe In New York

With the likes of Jet Li (l) Sly Stallone, Jason Statham and Terry Crews backing me up, I can walk the streets of New York with little regard to my personal safety as long as my crew is with me.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot

After reaching a New York City - Central Park record of 102 degrees on Tuesday, it still was pretty warm - 90 degrees - at close to 11 o'clock Tuesday night outside the jazz venue at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. It's supposed to stay in the 90's the rest of the week.

Monday, July 5, 2010

New York City on The Fourth of July

I missed the big Macy's fireworks show this year but I did get this shot of midtown Manhattan shortly after the annual presentation ended. I'm shooting from Brooklyn with the lights of the Brooklyn Bridge providing a stream of star-like lights on the right side of the image. The Empire State Building - illuminated in red,white and blue - is about to be engulfed by the smoke from the Hudson River fireworks.