Tuesday, July 30, 2013

the NYC mayoral race = a study in contrasts

Two people running for mayor of NYC. See any differences besides male and female?

She's a lesbian and he's a "sexter" (sends text messages of his sex parts to others)

Look at their faces. One is serene, the other angry. One is saying, "Vote for me and I'll take care of you." The other is saying,"If you don't like me for my mistakes in judgment, don't vote for me" (getting angrier and nearly confrontational as he says this).

Maybe the best defense is a strong offense ? Even though what he did was morally reprehensible, it's between him and his wife. At least that's the spin he puts on it.

But is NYC ready for an aggressive woman who happens to be a lesbian?

Wow. This sure is entertaining!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

"selective color" - we see what we want to see

Take a good look. See the difference? I selected "blue" as my choice of colors. Interesting effect, eh?

Too bad we all couldn't select the color we want to be. But maybe that's a good thing. I don't know. Are most of us happy with the color we are? I don't know that either.

But I know one thing. With my camera I can manipulate light and therefore color.

I saw a world full of colors and I chose blue.

Go ahead. What's your favorite color? Take a picture and make it so.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I went to shoot a Basketball All-Star event and a Jedi showed up!

One doesn't get to see a real life Jedi often but I got lucky this Sunday when I went to shoot Hoops In The Sun (H.I.T.S.) All-Star games. When the MC started talking about the upcoming Boys 14 - 16 game he kept raving about the "Jedi" who would be playing later.

Well, that tweaked my interest and I wanted to know if he had true Jedi Knight skills? Eventually, a young athletic looking guy with a real name of Jaquan McKenney (16 yrs. old) who plays for St. Raymond's HS showed up.

He didn't disappoint.

His ball handling skills were true Jedi-like in their movements. No light sabers, mind you , neither any levitation moves like Yoda but for a 5' 9" guard, they were quite commendable.

Here are some photos and the conclusive one - his award as MVP

Thanks Jedi. That was very enjoyable.

Wishing you the best in your basketball career.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

an icon to many, a friend to "little ones"

The Honorable Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is a hero to many people as a female Hispanic/Latina from the projects of the Bronx who has achieved the highest level of jurisprudence in America. So when she talks about achieving one's dreams and always striving to reach your highest potential, she is "walking the talk."

When I saw all those children with their bright "Dream Big" shirts anxiously awaiting their special guest at Fordham University, I too was excited to see a fellow Bronxite who has "made it" in person.

She didn't disappoint. When she walked into the room, her big smile preceded her. There was an aura, some people label as charisma, that surrounded her presence. And for me, looking through the critical lens of my camera, it was real.

She immediately interacted with the children and even came down from the platform that was set up, to mingle with them and ask and answer questions. What a great event sponsored by the Bronx Children's Museum on their "Environmental Day."

She clearly is one of my icons and as one can see in these photos, a friend of children.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"I might live here but I've never been here"

Shorewalkers trip to Ward and Randall's Island

Isn't interesting to realize how you can live somewhere, see things that you've always wondered about but never actually go to these places? Well, when I found that my friend and former academic colleague was leading out a Shorewalker's trip, I jumped at the opportunity to go along and photo-document it. I even geotagged the photos (imprinted GPS coordinates so you can see where the place in the photo is on a map)

NYC is a large place with an abundance of history and that piece is always presented to the participants on these trips. Check out the Facebook album link above to see some of the things I saw today.

Meeting up with an old friend and getting to know just a little bit about my city was a nice thing. If you live in NYC, try one of the Shorewalker's trips. Who knows? You just might find out something you never knew?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

"hoops in the sun"

Every summer at Orchard Beach in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, they have a basketball tournament called "Hoops in the Sun" H.I.T.S. But there's something special about this tournament - it's not just about basketball. It's about community, culture, exercise, youth, and most importantly it's a cornerstone of the social fabric which binds the athletic community of the Bronx together every summer (and they also play in other seasons too)

If you ever lived in the Bronx and played basketball as a youth (or older even) it's like a drug that got into your blood and will never leave. It enhanced your self-esteem, it taught about teamwork, effort, resilience, tenacity and disciple. You made friends with teammates who always remained your friends. You learned how to suffer defeat and how to win with class and dignity. You became a man/woman.

You know those things you learn in life that you can't transfer to others, like riding a bike, swimming, skating etc. That feeling of playing competitive basketball is just like that. You only know it by doing it. And when you watch the pros and see their effort and hard-won joy at winning, you know exactly how that feels.

You've been there - done that - and are better for it.

Yes, it's basketball but it's bigger than that.

Hoops in the Sun photo gallery

Friday, July 5, 2013

it's hot out there!

There's nothing like a high country, mountain stream fed lake with cold, chilly water on a hot, hot summer day! But I don't really want to talk about the small pond in the above pictures but the global weather patterns that are wrecking havoc on the populace and their collective morale.

If certain people are still in denial about climate change, I hope they read more widely, watch the news and just observe for themselves. It's colder where it's supposed to be cold and hotter where it's supposed to be hot and more hurricanes are forecast for our future.

Where is this planet heading for? Self-destruction? - caused by us? can this trend be reversed? is it too late? This is a hot topic, no doubt.

How long is it going to stay hot? any predictions?

Monday, July 1, 2013

the many faces of music

Lou Volpe Trio at Stuyvesant Yacht Club (City Island, Bx., NY)

Sex faces, stroke faces, dancing faces and then there are music faces. Check out the link above for some jazz/blues faces. Here's my question: can you do any one of these faces with no stimulus at all?

It seems that for many of our faces, music is both motivator and catalyst. For some, the faces they put on are unknown to them unless they see a photograph of themselves. A famous actor used to video himself when drunk so that he could duplicate his looks and body language when acting a part that depicted drunkenness.

Some cameras have something called "face detection" which allows for the auto-focus mechanism to be triggered when it detects a face and the even more sophisticated pick up on smiles! But how does one capture emotions while photographing? I have to admit, many times it's just luck or take a lot of shots in rapid bursts and hope to get at least one good one.

Just look at the above face (Lou Volpe). What do you see? Is he in love with his music? Has the music captured him in a state  of ecstasy? Is he even thinking? What's going on here?

Well, my answer is that you are viewing something that the famous philosopher William James in his book, "The Varieties of Religious Experience" would describe as an ineffable, noetic experience. The orgiastic facial expression is ubiquitous with many forms of music.

Are we the face(s) of music or is music an extension of our souls?

I'll let you decide.