Friday, March 30, 2012

Bringing Home the Gold

I got yelled at by my wife for not tooting my own horn when I returned from the PhotoNorthEast conference in Woodcliff Lake, NJ this past weekend. The conference consists of professional photographers from New York and New Jersey who come together once a year for a four day conference featuring industry speakers from across the country, a big trade show and the annual print competition. I entered four prints in this year's competition which was held about a month ago, the first time it was not held at the conference itself. I knew that my prints did well in the competition score wise, but you don't know who is going to win awards until the conference. I was hoping to get a Court of Honor, which is a nice plaque given to a select group out of all the prints that received blue ribbons. I was fortunate enough to win one of this years Court of Honor awards in the Masters category. I was happy and would have been content to go home with that. The last award given out for the evening was the first ever Best of State award given to a photographer from New York State. I was absolutely blown away when they called my name, if not even a little embarrassed. Not only was I was one of the few people not wearing a tux, I didn't shave that morning either. Nevertheless, I proudly accepted the award for the image below which I created while shooting a wedding in Detroit last May. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Taking the Scenic Route

As the recession loosens it's icy grip on the economy, I find myself making more and more trips down to the NYC area for weddings and Bar Mitzvah's. I'm not complaining but it is taking a toll on my car and my gas card. With the PhotoNorthEast conference getting under way tomorrow in Woodcliff, NJ, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to take the train down to NYC since I won't need my car to follow a bride around.

The trip itself took about two hours longer than it would have by car, but it was well worth it. It's hard to sleep, surf the internet, read and eat while behind the wheel, although I have seen some people doing it, including on more than one occasion, a woman putting on make up and changing outfits behind the wheel. It was a nice, relaxing ride in ultra wide seats that recline complete with a leg rest like a Laz-e-boy recliner. If you're in a rush, take a plane. We had to crawl behind several freight trains and creep through construction zones, nevertheless, we arrived at Penn Station a few minutes early.

The ride from Rochester to Albany was uneventful with monotonous scenery of farms and small towns. It's pretty for the first hour until the weight of my eye lids took over. Once in Albany, the train splits in half with some of the cars continuing east to Boston while the back half of the train turned south toward New York City with a new engine. That's where the trip got exciting. The entire length from Albany to NYC goes right along the Hudson River, passing some of the most amazing scenery anywhere in the country. At times you could see the 4,000 foot peaks of the Catskill Mountains looming in the distance. We also passed numerous bridges crossing the river, including my favorite, the Bear Mountain Bridge which is wedged between two mountains in the section of the river called The Narrows.

If you take this trip, be sure to sit on the right side of the train going south. I made the mistake of choosing the left side in Rochester and by the time I thought of it, all the seats were taken. It was so frustrating seeing people closing their curtains to keep the sun out, missing the unbelievable view.

I wasn't left without things to see though out the left side of the train. A long time question was finally answered for me out the left side. "What happens to all the old refrigerators when people get new ones?" Now I know. They get thrown off a cliff along the train tracks, along with pieces of cars, strollers and occasional sail boat. If I were going to get rid of a sail boat I would sink it instead of hauling it 200 miles in land to launch it off a cliff. It seems that there is a strip of land between train tracks and the rest of the world that is no mans land. It is filled with garbage, storm debris, old house chimneys and foundations, oh, and a wild turkey.

Photo courtesy of Amtrak

Friday, March 16, 2012

50% Off Print Sale

The sale you've been waiting for all season starts today. We will be having our annual (What Happened to) Winter Print Sale. The sale is for 50% Off our regular reprint prices
This sale does not apply to specialty products or already discounted packages
such as hockey tournaments, Santa photos, preschools, etc...
Call the studio at 585-393-9242 to receive your discount. 
Our online proofing service will not discount the order and will charge your card the full amount.
Sale Ends 3/31/12

50% Off Reprints

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

NYS Champions

Last weekend, I spent 21 hours standing in a cold ice rink, photographing the Great Lakes Girls Hockey League championship tournament. Nine teams from around Western New York and Erie, PA converged on the Canandaigua Civic Center to battle it out for the season ending bragging rights.
I never realized how much of a work out standing still photographing is. I was so sore by the time Monday rolled around. The Batavia Ramparts took home the trophy after having a great tournament.

Things went so well with the photos that I got a call on Tuesday to photograph the New York State Championship tournament in Batavia for the Tier III Pee Wee boys. Teams from Northern New York near Massena as well as downstate from Palisades and Bronxville came to Batavia this past weekend. One of the teams participating was also our own Canandaigua Knights Pee Wee travel team. The competition was close with all the teams except Canandaigua. They were like a well oiled machine that would allow nothing to stand in their way. They went through the tournament undefeated, playing a style and intensity of hockey well beyond their 12 years of age. Congratulations boys. It was a pleasure to watch such pretty hockey.

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