Hello 2020, We've been waiting for you.

Greetings Programs! It’s definitely been a little while. The holidays will do that to you for sure. I’m back in Sunnyside finally. After several weekends of travelling back to back, its nice to finally get a break. The topic for this posting should be pretty apparent considering the title. Its the first day of the new year, and the first day of a new decade. The first day of 3,652 days, with an endless slew of possibilities.

It makes no sense to look back at this point, the decade is over. Instead i’d like to look to the future. To look to the possibilities for me, and for those who may need to hear it.

First, i’m going to talk to myself I guess. Dave, you don’t always give yourself enough credit when it comes to most things in your life, but this time you need to. You’ve done an immense amount, you’ve made changes that needed to be made, and you’ve grown significantly. You’ve let go of the grudges of the past, and started to live for the now. You’ve begun to put yourself out there, and you’ve begun to live your life. Be proud of the person you’ve become, be proud of the foundation you’ve set for yourself. The future, no matter what others may say, think or do is bright for you. A future filled with infinite possibilities. Make use of your thirties, don’t get to forty and wonder where they’ve all gone. You’ve got a good head on your shoulders, and your compass will always guide you home. Trust in yourself, in your family, and your friends, they will never steer you wrong.

Now, to the others whom i’d like to speak to.

To my family, While I don’t say it often. You guys raised me well, you taught me the ins and outs of what it is to be an adult, and I’ve survived pretty well so far. Thank you to the time you put in molding me over the past twenty nine years. Thank you for supporting me, and thank you for being there. I will continue to move forward, and do my best to keep learning, and growing.

To the friends I have that have gotten married in the last decade. Whether it was this year, or ten years ago. Congratulations to you. You did it, you found that person for you, the one that completes you. While I have no personal experience in the area, I know you will all flourish. Be there for each other, learn, and grow; It will never serve you wrong. Be open, be honest and always, always, always communicate. I look forward to seeing how you all progress over the next decade as it’s likely to be a time of great change for you as well.

To the friends I have that have experienced a loss in the last decade. Again, not going to offer advice. It’s not my place to. Whether you’ve grown and moved on, or you are still in throes of change. Know that you are first and foremost never alone, know that your family and your friends will always be there to support you, and know that there will always be someone to listen when you need it. The only things that I can say is another decade offers 3,651 days of change, and possibility. Look forward, and move forward. If it feels insurmountable look to those who can help prop you up in times of need, but know that you are all strong enough to get through it on your own. Know that you are the only person you need to get through the dark times, but if you want help, there’s nothing wrong with that too.

Lastly, to the friends I haven’t made yet. I don’t know who you are, I don’t know where you live, what you do, or how i’ll meet you. I do know that I’m excited for the possibilities of the future. I’m excited to see what those changes bring, and who may enter, or exit my life as such. The only thing I do know for sure, at least for myself is I’ve got another 3,651 days until I write the next decades look forward. In that time, there’s two more presidential elections, probably at least 3 more moves, and future that’s totally up in the air. For the first time, that doesn’t terrify me, because no matter what comes of it. The future is bright. I look forward to meeting you, whether it be tomorrow, or 3,650 days from now.

That’s it for now. I’ll see you all again periodically over the next few weeks. Expect the next major posting in the middle of January.

Happy New Year Family, Friends, and people reading this whom I may not know.

Until next time…

Dave

Fotograph Friday, Holiday Edition # 2

Another photo from my trip to Philly, this one actually made it to being my phone background this season.

Happy Friday All! This week’s photograph again comes from Philly. This was taken at the Holiday market they had going on a few blocks from my hotel. It’s one of my favorites just because you get the incredible difference between the two evident planes in the photo. This one was again using the Hoya 8 point star filter.

Hope all of you are well and finalizing your shopping list. Until next time…

Dave

Snippet Sunday # 5: The Return

“Success is not final, Failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts” – Winston Churchill

Snippet Sunday is back, and this week our quote comes from Sir Winston Churchill. It reminds us that both success and failure are both fleeting; Like a leaf in a deep wind that whips up off the sea at night. But the courage to continue on, to hold steadfast as a beacon in the night, like the lighthouses of old is the true test of our tenacity. The ability to weather the darkest of storms, and to have the courage to bring your truth forward. That is the true center of this quote.

There likely will not be a weekly update this coming week, but we will proceed with Fotograph Friday.

Until next time…

Dave

Fotograph Friday, Holiday Edition # 1

This week’s Fotograph Friday comes to you from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I took this shot the first night I was there for PAX Unplugged. It’s truly an incredible shot, and I only cheated a little bit. The star effect was achieved using a filter, in this case a Hoya 55mm 8 Point Star Effect Glass Filter. Settings were pretty low, and required a longer exposure, which is likely why this shot is just a little soft. (Next time I’ll set up the tripod and not be lazy). Got a few more of these Holiday themed photos to get us through to New Years.

In Boston this weekend, so maybe i’ll get some cool photos there. Regardless, until next time!

Dave

Hope and Change, Eventually.

The holiday tree in Philadelphia this season…

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about 2010 – 2019. If you need a refresher check it out here. This post is likely to be short, and less of a look at anything I’ve done, or anything to do with the city. Instead it’s a look torwards the future, starting with 2020, and my thirtieth birthday.

For the past decade I’ve spent my life in a perpetual state of fear. I’ve spent it rejecting change and clinging desperately to things I’ve had, things I’ve cared about, and honestly stupid, petty things; resentments I’ve held for people I don’t even talk to anymore. It hasn’t been healthy and as a result my twenties while important and career building, have been stunted and not as good as they may have been for others. Starting with April of 2019 however I had change forceably thrust upon me, and at first it was nauseating (quite literally). But the changes didn’t stop there, over the course of the next 6 months life threw a lot at me, an interview, a new job, moving out of my parents place, living with two of my good friends, finding an apartment, and moving in to it. All of it left me feeling overwhelmed much of the time, mainly because while all of it was happening, internally I was trying to cling to vestiges of my past.

But, with 2020 creeping up on us, and the start of a new decade I’m left with a few feelings, many of which have felt strange and new. I’ve felt myself starting to let the past go, I slip back into old habits at times, but the changes have been too sweeping, and it’s impossible to cling any longer. Sometimes things need to go, to disappear to make room for the new. Those spaces allow us to build a foundation towards the future. Jobs change, homes change, relationships/friendships come and go, but all of it good or bad is essential to your future. Change is inevitable, and resisting it isn’t the answer. I see that now, the past year has changed me, changed me for what I believe to be for the better. I’ve grown, I’ve been forced out of my shell, I’ve lost the things that the old me clung so desperately to, and in return gained new perspective. I’ve learned to embrace the future and all it has to offer. I’ve learned that change however bad it may seem at the start, is ultimately good in the end.

As I look around this Holiday season, as I see all of the decorations, and the people; as I listen to the music, I don’t find myself looking back as I have in so many years past. I don’t find myself looking at what I don’t have, instead that emptiness has been replaced, it’s been replaced with a strange warm feeling, it’s been replaced with hope. Hope for the future, a desire to keep changing and keep moving forward. A desire to find my place in the world. 2020 and my thirtieth birthday, are going to be the start of a great decade. I know that now.

Happy Holidays my friends, my family, and whomever may be reading this. May you find your own hope this Holiday season, and may you find your place in the world this new decade.

Until next time…

Dave

Fotograph Fridays!

How I get the shots…

Hey! I actually held to my previous promises! I’ve recently been diving back into my photography, and I know a while back I promised a look at my Photographers Kit, so that’s what we are doing this week! Keep your eyes open as well! I’ll be starting to sell my prints online in the near future! Still working out the logistics of that though. So, if you’ve been reading for a while, you’ve seen my photos before. Photos like this…

Or this…

Either way, you’ve likely seen my work before. Well now you get to know the secret behind all of it. The first piece of any good photographers kit is well obviously a camera, you can’t do much without it. There are two cameras I use regularly, and one of them you’ll probably be surprised by.

The first camera at my disposal should be one that you’re pretty familiar with, it’s one that sits in our pockets daily. In this case my particular brand of phone is the new Google Pixel 4 XL. It takes some truly incredible photographs.

The second camera at my disposal is probably a little more what you were expecting out of my kit. I’m running a Sony A7 II, Full Frame Mirror-less Camera. The great thing about mirror-less is what you see is what you get in most cases. This particular camera boasts a pretty wide range of settings as well, with wi-fi capabilities that allow for remote control via Cell Phone. Attached is the standard Sony FE 28 – 70mm f3.5 – 5.6 OSS lens.

Now that cameras have been established. Lets talk lenses. You’ve already seen one of them, in the previous photograph. The Sony FE 28 – 70mm f3.5 – 5.6 OSS lens allows for a wide variety of control, and offers the most robust functionality as it is designed for use with the Sony Alpha Series cameras. It’s the one I find myself most often using because of its versatility, and the added zoom functionality. My biggest complaint is generally the size of the lens, as it does tend to add a fair amount of weight to the system in use.

The next lens in my kit is the Rokinon T 3.1 14mm ED AS IF UMC De-clicked Cinema Lens. This lens serves a dual purpose, I opted for the de-clicked cinema lens on the chance I ever use the A7 for videography (Though I have no plans to in the near future). This lens however does boast an insane field of view, and is borderline fish eye. Some of my best photographs have been as a result of this lens. The downside, it’s massive, and adds a significant amount of weight to the camera, it also does not allow for any autofocus as a result of it being de-clicked.

The final lens in my kit (for now) is the Samyang AF 35mm/f2.8 Prime Lens. This lens is short, light and versatile allowing for a plethora of uses, from portrait photography, to quick point and shoot auto-focus shots. So far, I haven’t found any downsides to this lens, and will often times use this lens when i’m using my Peak Design Capture Clip (You’ll see that a little later).

Another important aspect of a photographer’s kit, Lighting. Proper lighting is key, key, KEY to getting a great shot. Without adequate lighting a Photographer is often left with flat photographs, or photos with harsh shadows when dealing in portrait photography. I have two tools in my kit to help alleviate these problems.

The first of these two tools, is a collapsible reflector. One of the greatest assets to a photographer is natural light, and on a sunny or even overcast day, there’s a plethora of light at your disposal, the reflector allows the photographer with help from another person to augment light subtly and fill in shadows as needed.

The second of my tools, does not rely on the sun, to help alleviate shadows. Pictured above is the Genaray LED-6200T, 144 LED Variable Color On Camera Light. This battery operated light is Hot Shoe compatible and is versatile enough to match most lighting conditions. Most of the pictures seen above at least of the camera and lenses were filled in using this light. The kit comes with battery, charger, and a standard US power adapter, as well as car adapter, should you need more power than the battery provides.

Last in the kit are miscellaneous tools, that just help me when i’m out and about. I’ll go into those few items now.

One of my newest, and favorite additions to my kit is the Peak Design Capture Clip. Using the two wheels it loosens up and clips in place on any standard leather belt. The plate itself pops off, and screws into place using a standard allen key screw that locks it tightly to the camera, the quick release ability allows me to capture on the fly, and without the use of a bulky strap. The Peak Design plate also allows you to swap between any of their products without changing plates, it’s a truly unique and fantastic platform.

Another important tool, one that is oft overlooked is a decent tripod. At the moment i’m locked into a small tabletop tripod, as I can’t afford a larger one yet (They get prohibitively expensive, quickly). But, a tripod is key to taking stable photographs, especially when dealing with long exposures, and night photography.

This particular item is less of a tool, and more of a photography augment. This is a portable Lensball, with the suction cup tripod mount. It allows for unique photos and is produced with lens grade crystal. I hope to use this more going forward.

The last tool, in any photographers kit is software. As with most I stick to the adobe products, leveraging Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, and Photoshop for all of my photography editing needs. My biggest suggestion for those starting out with the editing process. Make sure you’ve got a large memory card, or multiples at your disposal. You are going to want to shoot in RAW, as it offers you the most versatility when it comes to editing your photographs.

So, that’s my kit. That’s how I get the photographs you see either here, or on Facebook/Instagram. My last suggestion to all, who are learning. Experiment, Experiment, Experiment! we are never perfect, and as a photographer the day you think you’ve mastered your craft, is the day you stop growing. There is always something to be learned! If you are interested in purchasing any of the gear seen above I’ve left links at the bottom for you to check out. Next post will likely be in two weeks after my trips to Philly and Boston.

Until next time…

Dave

Links:

1. Sony A7 II with Sony FE 28 – 70mm f3.5 – 5.6 OSS lens
2. Rokinon T 3.1 14mm ED AS IF UMC De-clicked Cinema Lens
3. Samyang AF 35mm/f2.8 Prime Lens
4. Impact 7-in-1 Collapsible Reflector Disk 42″
5. Genaray LED-6200T, 144 LED Variable Color On-Camera Light
6. Peak Design Capture Camera Clip v3 (Black)
7. Pedco Ultrapod II Tabletop Tripod with Mini Ball Head
8. Lensball Pocket 60mm
9. AmazonBasics SLR Camera Sling Backpack Bag – 8 x 6 x 16.5 Inches, Black
10. Google Pixel 4 XL

Fotograph Friday Returns!

The skyline on a crisp november night – Hunter’s Point Park

Finally back with a Fotograph Friday! it’s been a while, but i’ve slowly been getting out more with the camera. So hopefully there will be more of these moving forward.

The water looks truly incredible in this shot. This was taken at ISO 50, 30 Second Exposure, at an f/stop around 7. Was using the standard 28 – 70 mm Sony Lens that came with the camera. Also did a few with my 14 mm Lens, and 35 mm Prime Lens.

Blog post coming up with pictures and information on all of my photography kit. Got some cool gadgets to show off.

Have a happy friday all! See you soon!

Dave

The End of a Decade, A Retrospective.

Holiday Decor at the park outside Hudson Yards/34th Street Station – November 20th, 2019 taken with Google Pixel 4 XL Night Sight.

It’s definitely been a while again, and I’m sorry for that. I’m thinking moving forward I’m going to make this a twice a month thing. I should be able to commit to that pretty easily. As the picture suggests the holidays are just around the corner. With Thanksgiving next week, Christmas and New Years not too far after that. If i’m being honest with myself it feels like time flew by this year. A friend of mine says that tends to happen with aggressive sweeping changes. There were plenty of those in my life to say the least.

Not only are these holidays coming up, the start of a new decade is upon us. Another thing that’s truly hard to believe. At the start of this decade, I was still a student at Dutchess Community College, My grandfather, Joseph was still alive and mostly well too.

In that decade, I graduated from college 3 times. Started my first job, and realized how much I hated it (Sorry Joe, Not that you’ll ever read this), wound up back at my alma mater where I spent the next five years of my career working for the Media Center. I made friends, and I lost friends. I worked through Depression, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder; I learned, and I grew.

Now, here I stand in the laundromat in Queens, typing this while the washer does it’s thing. This decade was truly a year of change, and while the first 9 years went relatively slow; things changed drastically in the last.

As much as I may have complained in the past, I am thankful. Thankful for the experiences. Thankful for the family that supported me. Thankful for the friends I’ve made, and the friends that i’ve lost. Everything happens for a reason, and I think that reason was ultimately to get me to the place I stand today (Well maybe not literally, no one strives to stand in a laundromat). But the point stands, don’t give up, and don’t give in. You never know what lies around the corner. It might just be the start of something great.

Next post will likely be the first week of December, Have a fantastic thanksgiving all, and cheers to 2020, may it be another decade of great change.

Until next time…

Dave

So much for steady

I admit it, I’ve had every intention of doing this steadily but as a recent revisiting friend said, sometimes it’s okay to take a little break when its what’s right for you. Hoping that friend enjoyed her recent trip thoroughly, and I wish her luck with the start of her internship today.

It’s back to full weeks of work this week which I am not complaining about at all, as I’ve desperately needed income. Getting an apartment set up, and organized, is not cheap at all. Every time I go to cook something I find out oh, hey I don’t have the ingredients necessary to do this. Time to scooter up to the store, and buy another 15$ in groceries. Sadly it adds up quick.

Other than that, I love where I live. I’ve gotten used to the frequent fly bys that planes make as they land in LaGuardia. The proximity to the airport will be clutch when I do start to travel again. Sunnyside has begun setting up the Christmas decorations, which isn’t surprising I guess when you consider how long it probably takes to get them all set up. The MTA is still garbage, so nothing changes I guess. Between the Shuttles I was stuck taking to flushing this weekend, and today’s debacle getting to work; I’m hopeful that tomorrow might be a little easier.

Looks like this week was just another stream of consciousness post, i’ll work towards having a discernible lesson in next weeks.

Until next time…

Dave

Snippet Sunday # 5

If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.

Sir Isaac Newton

Just trying to ease back in. This weeks quotation comes from Sir Isaac Newton. In it, he states that if he has seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants. To him, while a brilliant man, he understood that, others that came before him, lead him to make the conclusions he made. In other words, while his discoveries were under his own name. He understood that others whom came before him laid the foundation for his own understanding.

We too, stand on the shoulders of giants, and those whom came before us, those whom taught us, those whom raised us, all have a place in the truth of this quote. We make the discoveries we make, and live the lives we live because those who came before us created the foundation upon which we stand.

I guess that’s it for today, going to try to get in both normally scheduled posts this week.

Talk soon…

Dave