Thursday, January 28, 2010

The HIPSTER scene

Hey, since I'm a new Brooklyn-ite, that means I'm also new to the über-hipster scene here. I live dangerously close to hipster ground zero (aka Williamsburg) and it astonishes me how little effort it takes to make 'uniqueness' so homogenized.

If you've never been to Williamsburg or another hipster-hot-bed, you might think that THERE'S NO WAY THAT EVERYONE IS DRESSING LIKE THAT. I guarantee you: You're right. Not EVERYONE is. Just the white people are.

THIS SITE pretty much nailed it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Nice New Yorkers

I think that the notion that all New Yorkers are gruff, rude, and impatient is ill-conceived. I've only been here a few months, granted, but I would like to present the people of my new home in a different light: as NICE, but efficient, people.

I mean, if you're blocking the stairs out of the subway and you're moving slowly, you're gonna hear about it. If the light turns green and you're not hitting the gas, you're going to hear about it. But really these reactions are in response to the intense pressure of WORKING in this city. On time is late, five minutes early is on time. In a city where there are 500 people waiting, capable and eager, to do your job, you can't be late.

That being said, I have yet to encounter a situation where I was in need of help and unable to find it. Quite the opposite actually. If I'm lost, there's smiling face willing to point me in the right direction. If I don't know how something works, there's someone there to explain it to me. If I find myself in a situation where I don't speak the language (which happens frequently in my neighborhood) there's always someone stepping forward to help translate. I've had a complete stranger hand me a coupon I can use in the store, and I've seen a hurried businessman stop to help a homeless person get their cart out of a pothole. My first trip to a real NY pizza joint ended up with the owner's daughter sitting down at a table with me, explaining to me how to 'order a slice' without sounding like a tourist! This city is full of amazing people that, like me, were once new and lost in this big metropolis.

Now, I'm not naïve... I know that there are bad people everywhere. My best friend got hit by a car a few weeks ago while riding his bike, and while the paramedics were loading him into the back of the ambulance, somebody ran up and stole his bike. Upon hearing that story a lot of people respond with "Only in New York..." to which I say "You've clearly never been to Detroit." But the guy who hit him? He chased the thief for many blocks, eventually hopping in a cab when he couldn't run any farther... (he never caught him.) The paramedics and the staff in the ER were sympathetic, and my friend's employer even gave him a bonus towards a new bike!

So for someone like me I suppose the choice is simple. I can choose to believe in the inherent goodness of people, and continue to see them around me everyday... or I can become a cynic, so paranoid of the evils that lurk that I can't see the good. I choose the former... this 'concrete jungle' is cold and dreary enough without me dragging it down further.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Some cool products

I run into cool products online all the time... alas, I can't actually BUY any of them due to my current (enduring) financial woes, but there's no law against e-window-shopping.

A few of my favorites:

Book Book - a styling case and a clever disguise for your expensive MacBook or MacBook Pro

The Zumi Digital Camera - it's as if your Holga output DIGITAL VIDEO

GorrilaPod - I totally swear by this little guy (I have the SLR-Zoom model) and it's replaced my regular tripod in 90% of situations

A 'wicked' cool decal for your MacBook or MacBook Pro

Another laptop decal - based on Magritte's 'Son of Man' - I want this SO bad

'Retro' Polaroid earrings - Oh, God. That must mean that I'M retro.

Funny NERDY t-shirts - from my favorite online comic, XKCD. Not photo related but funny nonetheless.

Ok, that's enough for now. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's been a loooong time...

...since I posted last. I know. I'm sorry.

It would be stupid to try and recap everything that's happened since my last post, so I'll sum up:

1) I moved to NYC (Brooklyn to be exact, Bushwick to be more exact.)
2) I'm working part-time at The School at The International Center of Photography (from here on out to be referred to solely as ICP) in the equipment department.
3) I'm struggling to get freelance assisting and digital teching work, but it's been nearly nonexistent thus far.
4) I have a foster cat, Puck. He's pretty rad.
5) I'm trying to score some wedding photography gigs for this summer and fall, to help pay the bills.

Well, to be fair... I haven't actually started working at ICP. I start in t-minus nine hours, actually. Which reminds me, I should get to bed!

I haven't been shooting much; I shot two weddings in the fall of 2009 for friends and actually had a lot of fun with it. Not enough fun to make me want to pursue wedding photography full time, but enough fun that I think I could manage a handful of them a year.

Going with the whole "The best camera in the world is the one in your hand" theory I've decided to start sharing some of the billions of pictures that I take with my iPhone. Disclaimer: I DO use a 'post-processing' app on most of these. It's just more fun! I love Camera Bag, especially the Helga (read as: HOLGA) effect, and Old Camera... although with the latter I wish it had the option to pull an image from your camera roll instead of only using new captures. But I digress...

This iPhone picture love is in part spurred by the current Adorama iPhone Photo Contest. The 'celebrity' judges include my good friend Joe McNally, Moose Peterson, Scott Kelby, Syl Arena and others. I'm definitely going to enter at least a few images, including these two that I shot of my former roommate Emily at Lake Cochiti in New Mexico:

I've got more under my belt, but I'll save those for another post. ALSO, with my new blogging app on my iPhone I'll be able to share as I shoot, which is *so* cool.

I hope that everyone is doing well and keeping afloat. In the summer of 2007 I overheard Greg Heisler say "Survival is the new success."

Hope everyone's survivin'!