Sunday, June 30, 2013

sports photography means fast shutters

"He kicks!"

"He scores!"


Downhill cross country (X-C) running requires one to NOT brake but just let go. Look how she gets "air"!

For me, getting the right shutter speed and right amount of light is paramount. Just like life, sometimes we just have to go with the flow. When it looks scary, one has to make a decision - take a chance and possibly get hurt or play safe and forever regret that you didn't give it a try.

Also sometimes life seems like it's going by too fast. Well then, set your personal shutter speed and catch it as it goes by.

Freezing time can be cool (pun intended).

Go ahead. Catch life while you can.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

happiness is . . .

Don't you wish you could feel like this most of the time? Just catching people in shots that reveal pure ebullience makes me happy. They should design an auto-focus system that not only detects faces but happy ones at that!

Go ahead. Laugh.

I think they say that if one laughs/smiles 16 times a day, they'll stay healthy?

Can't hurt to try.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

what is she thinking?

I don't know her. She doesn't know me. Maybe you do?

I was shooting at the Central park Conservancy "Evening in the Garden" event and I couldn't resist taking her picture. I asked others but she seemed aloof and starkly beautiful. Attributes that frighten some men. I was bemused, not quite at the "being intimidated" stage, so I quickly took her picture.

I think it has a certain "je ne sais quoi" feel to it. Is she feeling bothered, upset, annoyed, bemused . . . ? If I ever see her again, I'll ask her. There's something about beauty that makes it both attractive yet offsetting - a sort of enigmatic quality that is so appealing.

If only the critical lens which is my camera could also read minds. Alas, I'm afraid it's not to be.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

"we are the social fabric of our community"

The social clubs along the shore of the Long Island Sound in Throgs Neck (Bronx) have been there for around 100 years and after Hurricane Sandy damaged them severely, they might become historical relics. The problem seems to be that insurance companies don't want to do what they say they do = insure that you will have money to repair damage that you suffer from calamities.

What they neatly and immorally do is change or define the language in their policies so that they provide minimal or no insurance at all! There's something very wrong about this and for some reason(s) millions of people who are the victims of this chicanery have no resort whatsoever. Are politicians so deeply allied with these companies and their deep pockets that they promise their voter base that they will try to help them with appropriate legislation but nothing happens?

If these clubs go belly up, neighborhoods will suffer in losing the social fabric that binds them as a collective family, maintaining traditions, customs and relationships that have stood the tides of time - until the storm surge of Sandy paid a visit.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"a tree grows in the Bronx"

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has his own tree at Wave Hill

That's why he has that happy look after looking seriously at the other trees on the premises. Imagine - how would you like a tree planted in your honor and with your name on it.

Who's better for this? The tree or you? Besides, he has a billion dollars already to his name and he needs a tree? Fame and power follows you wherever you go and having lots of money seals the deal, even if a tree is the main part of the deal.

Yes, a tree now grows in the Bronx.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

"Dancing/raising the Giglio"

See that tall wooden structure? It's hand-made, about 60 feet high and weighs several tons. It artfully depicts images of revered saints and is the centerpiece of a traditional procession in Italian neighborhoods throughout the world. This was was in Belmont (Little Italy in the Bronx)

There's pain here and I was told that it's supposed to be like that to demonstrate religious homage to the church. Isn't the religious life full of pain and anguish if lived correctly? But there's also camaraderie and friendship between the lifters (or "paranza") after each brief lifting session.

BTW, the word "giglio" refers to lilies. There's a story here. Go ahead. Google it. You'll find it interesting.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I can always tell when I see . . .

I can always tell when a person has a history of weight training. For many years, I lifted weights and was somewhat of a "gym rat"- (maybe I should post a pic of myself at 60?

But this is about her and others who weight train. Look at her arms. See her nice deltoid-biceps-triceps development?

Women don't get that unless they lift weights. And if you look at her legs you can see her quadriceps are well defined and quite muscular for a women.

So, I asked her and she smiled as she acknowledged that I was correct in identifying her as being involved in physique training. She then told me that she competes. I guess muscles are attracted to muscles (whatever little I still have left, LOL)

When I told her about my background and my present age (65 in August), she said, "See. That's why you look as young as you do." Bless her. She made my day.

For all my friends out there. Lift weights more. Aerobics less. You'll burn more calories even when you're doing nothing.

Go ahead. It's only iron.

Monday, June 10, 2013

I met a witch yesterday

Caridad De La Luz

She was awarded "The Poe Award" by the Bronx Historical Society for her work as a poet, author and community activist. She calls herself "La Bruja" - the witch.

Does she look like a witch?

I took quite a few photos of her (she is quite beautiful, don't you think?) and she didn't mind it at all. I needed to get my light metering balanced due to the harsh outdoor lighting under a tent that was doing numbers (pun intended) to my exposures.

I asked her about her "witch" status and we had an interesting conversation about how artists are inspired by their respective muses. Beyonce has one with a name even! But Caridad just felt possessed by her inspiration (not sure I'm getting this right?) But don't we all need some sort of inspiration to do our best creative work?

Isn't interesting to see how some artists with mental disabilities suffer when they take corrective meds to make them "normal"? Maybe it's better for all of us to be a little "crazy" and/or possessed by our muses?

I'm crazy. Are you?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

NY13 is finally here

This is a Seventh-Day Adventist evangelistic campaign disguised as "A series of life-changing multimedia presentations" at the Manhattan SDA church in the West Village (232 W. 11th St.). It's being given by Ted Wilson who just happens to be the General Conference President.

Most of the audience, not surprisingly were SDA's, which is usually the case for large big city campaigns such as this one. And this one is the keynote campaign for a worldwide series of campaigns geared towards large cities. What they fail to present are two important facts: 1) they are not "gay" friendly and 2) women cannot be officially ordained as pastors. And interestingly, they still have de facto segregation within their organization with what they describe as "regional conferences" set up originally for Afro-American members.

I'm curious. Are they really going to answer all the questions they pose in their pamphlets that are handed out to attendees? If so, they (SDA's) have the answers to all of our present day global concerns.

They deserve some close scrutiny. But that's what the press is for - isn't it?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

a poem

An early morning running postlude

There's a race to be run 

It's still somewhat dark - a sultry softness that comes with the dawn 
As the heart slows down and breathing finds its way 
The kitchen lights are on as her quiet, smiling voice inquires, 
"Have a good run, honey?" 

The run is over but there's another to be run 

"You know, I sure love you" I say 
She smiles and quotes Shakespeare off the fridge 
"They do not love that do not show their love." 
My tired mind slowly wraps its way around this quote 

Her heart has already embraced it 

I think quickly to myself, "Is this what they call a romantic breakfast?" 
Maybe - but it's a cue for sure 
I have another run to be run 
It's an ultra one - not for miles, rather for time 

I have to run with endurance this race put before me 
I have to love this woman till I die 

So with this ultra set before me, the training has already begun 
The steps are many but the effort easy 
You see, each step is a loving one and 
This is one race that I have already won. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Graceland - THE American shrine

If you ever wanted to get the flavor of "middle" America, the country that lies between both coasts, the exourban (just coined this word) who lives in small towns, farms, country . . . then this is the place to go. It's THE American shrine to a celebrity who reflected the culture and flavor of these people.

But it's also like a religion with worship going on constantly not just on Sunday. And they're way more reverent than Sunday worshippers. Not just one day a week worshippers. They do this on a daily basis.

So, what's the pull, the attraction, the calling? Was it his looks, his talent or his story? I'm thinking the secret abides somewhere in his raw sexuality. Not pornographic but sublimely "real". You could be his fan, be fanatic and it was okay. Just about everyone was like you. But you would never be him and there will never be another (Michael Jackson doesn't count - he was black and black doesn't play well in middle America)

Lastly, there is "grace" in Graceland - a serenity that accompanies all real forms of worship. He was an idol and a god for many. Those who go and worship here - they understand this even if they don't.