I swear this is the only sunset photo I will ever post. From TheLondonBroil to you, Merry Christmas from paradise!
This image is from a Saves the Day, Motion City Soundtrack, Say Anything concert I shot for the Star Ledger. I must say, Max Bemis, the lead singer of Say Anything, was quite fun to photograph.
This reminds me of the song America by Simon and Garfunkel.
Christy Tquiengco (kicking) is a force to be reckoned with.
Greetings From Scenic Philadelphia! 1/8
I love Philadelphia. I did not always. What follows is a brief series of images that display my transformation from naysayer to fanatic.
Philadelphia is a gloomy place. Despite the undeniable ugliness of its vacant lots, condemned buildings and trash littered alleyways, its residents, primarily low-income minorities and young white adults, seem to live and coexist happily together. The vibrant colors around every corner certainly add to its charm.
Steve let out a mighty noseslide. I remember that while I was shooting this image, all I could think about was how much the area
I was sitting in smelled like piss. For that matter, the majority of Philadelphia smells like piss.
We were skating at a park in Fishtown when a disgruntled homeless man rode up—then I realized that it wasn’t actually a disgruntled homeless man but my dear friend Ted. I later took this portrait.
Skateboarding is truly an act of love and sacrifice. Here was see love, unfortunately a bit later in this series, we see sacrifice.
Ted rip roars through a most proper of nosegrinds.
This is the sacrifice I warned you about earlier. Life is fucking cruel and unfortunately, unpredictable as well. This is truly the last way any of us wanted to end our skate session. John, may you recover quickly from your torn ACL.
Is he dead or just sleeping? I have no clue, I would say its 50/50. Regardless, it is scenes like this, and all that came before it that make me yearn to return to glorious Philadelphia.
I was on my way home from work, waiting for the lightrail, when I noticed all of these seagulls perched upon the pillars of the old pier. With 12 minutes until departure, I hustled over to a good vantage point, rested my camera on the railing, switched it on mirror-up mode and snapped a few eight second exposures. (Note: This image was later reshot with a different camera and used in Popular Photography)
Been shooting a lot during my daily commute. Another image inspired by Alex Webb's work.
Color Study #1
I'm no longer interesting in making photos that are aesthetically
pleasing. I want to make images that convey a feeling, images that are
real. Deep down, all I ever wanted to be was a conflict photographer.
I'm going to be making changes in my life. I want to photograph things
that matter. The most enjoyable day I could imagine would be a day
where I get up in the morning and risk my life to make an image that
will show others something they have never seen. I want to make
photographs that change opinion.
I was inspired to make this image here after meeting and hearing Magnum Photographer Alex Webb discuss his work in impoverished areas in Latin America. You can see more of his work HERE.
The Front Bottoms at an Undisclosed Venue
Due to a time slot change and a mix-up, I got to this undisclosed venue too late this past Wednesday and missed the Front Bottoms' performance. Bummed, I decided that I could not leave empty handed so I rounded up the members of the band for a portrait. Now, I do not ordinarily ever shoot centered photographs, but for some reason I really feel strongly about this image. On a different note, the members of the band, (Brian Sella, Matt Uychich and Brian Uychich) who were probably no older than 17 or 18, were way cool and seemed very very excited to be receiving such press coverage. One even went so far as to hug me before we left. Good dudes indeed. This image was shot while on assignment for the Star Ledger.
I photographed Cranford's first annual Great Pumpkin Carve competition yesterday. Bob Hunt, one of the two judges, took his time carefully contemplating the winner. This photograph was shot for Patch.com
This is one of those images I knew I was going to like the moment I framed it, which just so happened to be during one of the first rooftop shoots I did in New York City for the urban horticulture firm Plantus LTD. It was taken from about 55 stories up looking down on the 20th floor garden.
One thing I love about the US Open of Snowboarding and the professional snowboarding industry in general, is how laid-back everything about it is. This was taken during the halfpipe finals of the 2010 Open. However the rider was not even a contestant in the finals, he just snaked his way onto the course during a lull in the action.
Fast Eddie: The 2am King of the
Shot during one of those surreal summer evenings right before starting to work a real job and having actual responsibilities. This photo goes out to Fast Eddie--speeding through the Suburbs at 2:00 in the morning, Fast Eddie is King.
There is something quite inspiring about being fifty stories up, starring at the city, or in this case a rooftop, below.
Now ya talkin', from New Brunswick to Weehawken
I have been holding on to this image for quite time. After moving out of my apartment sophomore year of college, I realized I had absolutely no
documentation of my existence there (many of you will remember that the room was fully furnished with a halfpipe and an indoor garden). From
that point forward I began photographing the inside of each space I lived in.
About a week before I started packing up my stuff to move out of my apartment back in May, I decide to light and photograph the four walls of my
bedroom at 59 Louis Street. I feel like in the years to come, I will really appreciate having documented my college living-quarters. You only live once,
and in college I certainly did a lot of "living," I think the bedroom reflects that. I also think a bedroom is the most honest reflection of one's inner-self.
The other reason that I decided now was the appropriate time to post this photo was because we just took the first steps in securing a new apartment
to move into in Wehawken New Jersey, directly across from the city. Hopefully within the next week we will find out if we have been approved so that
we can start moving in by late October. Once I have my new room set up, perhaps I will even post another four-wall image, this way, judging from the
content of my room, we can see if I have done any maturing since May.
Combat at the Capitale b/w #2
Don't cross Chul Choe, or you will end up in some serious pain...his opponent George Maldarelli found that out the hard way when he lost this Tr-State Championship Muay Thai fight to Chul.
Combat at the Capitale b/w #1
I want to introduce you to Christy Tquiengco and Andrea Deangelo. Seen here fighting for the International Low Kick Title, Andrea is the one landing a viscous blow to Christy's face. Unfortunately for Andrea, this was one of the few solid hits she got on Christy, who ultimately won the bout and the title. I don't mean this to be taken the wrong way, but something about women fighting in the ring is really very exhilarating, far more exhilarating than watching men fight. I think it is because men are expected to fight and kick each others asses, but it shows some sort badassness for a women to get in that ring and put it all on the line. I must say, I have a profound respect for all of these fighters. They are fighting because it is their passion and my hope is that you can see that passion in this image.
Hip hop and dance music from a local bock-party filled the late-summer air and $1 water-ice filled our bellies, as John Mullen tweaked out a 180 Nosegrind, Switch-Shuv out.
This is my first official post after starting as Assistant Web Editor at Popular Photography magazine, which I am quite excited about. To celebrate, here are some deliciously past their prime bananas that I rescued from my garbage can last night, shot using two clamp lights and a piece of white foam core. For more information on the lighting setup, go here: Popular Photography!
I have never been good at photographing myself. But seeing as my life is just starting to take off in a new direction, I figured now would be a good time to give the self portrait a try.
Old Ramp..New Ramp
So it is finally happening...the ruins of the late great "Dan's Zine Super Ramp" will be torn down and thrown away within the next few weeks. Of course in its place will be the bigger, better, newer ramp featured on the Broil a few weeks back, still under construction. About a month ago I spent an afternoon documenting the ruins of the old ramp to secure its place in our memories, for it was truly a magical place for all who had the opportunity to skate its luscious curves.
For those of you who never saw it in its prime, please allow me to take you on a grand trip down memory lane: Everyday after school for three years, the ramp served as a gathering place for skateboarders and randoms alike. Serving as the center stage for countless Dan's Zine parties and some of the most interesting late night talks of my teenage years. Tricks were learned, photo were shot, whole parts were filmed, arms were broken, girls were seduced, pizzas were narfed, jokes were made, wedgies were given, freshman were harassed, boys were made into men...all at the site of this once great beast. But alas, time took its toll, neglect turned into decay, and from decay, the ramp began to recede back into the land were it once rose from. RIP Dan's Zine Super Ramp
Ted and I hit it up this strange blue fountain one blistering hot day after work. Twenty minutes of skating and Ted was nearly on his deathbed so we left, but not before he cruised through this sexy frontside five-o.
Up on the rooftop with Plantud ltd
I recently began working as a photographer for Plantus LTD a very cool urban horticulture firm. The company primarily does work in and around New York City, beautifying some of the Big Apple's most visited spots and most prime real-estate. The reason I posted this image of the street in front of Radio City Music Hall, instead of something green, was because Plantus LTD has got me thinking about all of the greenery that our streets and buildings displace. Imagine for a moment, New York City where the streets remain, but instead of buildings, there are lush grassy lots on every block. Plantus LTD would like to make this happen, planting greenery on every available rooftop city-wide.
Friend Portrait #2: Ted
I recently had a health scare that landed me in the hospital for a few days. What I got out of the whole bizarre ordeal was a twisted view of hygiene (hospital are gross places). Oddly enough, this is one of my favorite images I ever made. Shot with the "poor man's lighting setup," which includes two $5 clamp-lights from Home Depot, two pieces of cutout white T-shirt for diffusing and a couple of rubber bands to hold it all together...Not bad for 10 bucks.
Sometimes photos like these are a lot more complicated than they look. In this case it took me about twenty five minutes to get something I was satisfied with. Due to the lack of a tripod, I ended up having to balance my camera on the hood of my car, with a spool of cd's under it to frame the shot just right....That's the price of ice.
Hard at work one late night.
Mothers lock up your daughters...Steve Troullos is back in town! I shot this image of Truffle-upagous a few weeks back while on a skate mission to Summit when he was looking especially BA. Notice the Pacman lip tat.
The summertime reminds me of why I fell in love with photography in the first place: skateboarding. Its far too nice out and my mind is far too scattered to say much more. Ted Cocuzza, frontside air.
59 Louis Steet Revisited
I spent the past 12 months not only residing on one of the most heavily traveled through-ways in New Brunswick, but also living directly on top of the imaginary border that lies between the "student area" of the the city and the "Hispanic area". Accordingly, I saw some serious shit go down, most of which has been documented on here. Unfortunately, yesterday I paid my final visit to 59 Louis Street Apt B (to grab my mattress). Before leaving, I decided that it was only proper to step out on the roof of the apartment where I had spent so much of my time, one last time. The view seen here is an accurate representation not only of my senior year but of my entire career as a college student living and thriving in New Brunswick. Just about anyone who visited our humble apartment spent at least a significant portion of time starring down Brookside Avenue, the true dividing line between the two distinctively different neighborhoods. The rooftop or "The Beach" as it was formally called by those who knew it best, was the site of many a deep and thought-provoking conversation, many a cigarette, many a beer as well as all sorts of other tomfoolery that will never be discussed again. "The Beach" truly embodied everything that was my college experience. Accordingly, this image marks the end of an era and the start of a new. Fifty Nine Louis Street and "The Beach", will always live on in my memories, just as 88b(itch), 24 Robinson, "Guantanamo Basement", "The Tree", "C-4", "****-Zone" and "Turf" have.
This baseball game was one of the very last sporting events I shot on assignment for the Daily Targum; my college newspaper which I owe everything to. If there is one thing I learned in college it is this: If you are determined and passionate, you can and will do anything you put your mind to, even if your determination causes you to make a very funny face. Thank you Rutgers for four glorious years...now it's time to make a living doing what I love.
I was on my way back home from dinner when I noticed the brilliant colors in the windows of a giant apartment building I have driven past a million times. I spent about fifteen minutes photographing the building from the parking lot, all while receiving plenty of funny looks from residents heading out to their cars. I guess there is something a little shady about a guy standing in a parking lot with a camera on a tripod shooting photos of people's windows.
SVA Portfolio: Lines 1
Yes, this is really my refrigerator at home. And yes, there are three cartons of different types of orange juice in it.
Tim is seen here cutting loose on slopestyle course during qualifiers. While he did not end up making finals for slopestyle due to some weak judging and some even weaker equipment malfunctions, he would go on to take second place later that night in the railjam. Like any pro athlete who just won one of those big checks in a competition, that night we celebrated in the finest of fashions.
This is the only lacrosse game I photographed during my college career, which is a real shame seeing how much fun I had shooting it. By the way Rutgers lost on their senior day, 4 to 8 to Villa No Fun.
Continuing with my obsession of studying other people's useless junk, I thought you may all enjoy this photograph I shot last night of Josh's filthy sink. While spending a good hour and a half earlier this week playing catch up with the mounds of dishes in my own sink, I became intrigued at the idea of photographing other people's sinks from above.
Professor Richard Heffner
I was lucky enough (purely by accident mind you) to sign up to take one of Richard Heffner's classes (Mass Media and the American Image) at Rutgers University in the Fall of my Junior year. It was one of the best mistakes I ever made. Through my collegiate career, there have been a small handful of professors who have truly blown me away either through their teachings in class, or simply through their work, and in some cases, through both; Richard Heffner falls into the later category. I am a firm believer that what makes a class great, is not necessarily the coursework or the readings, but rather the mindset and experiences of both the professor and his/her class, and how those experiences mesh together in some way to achieve a higher level of learning for everyone. A good professor will not only teach you using his/her life experiences but inspire you through those experiences. Richard Heffner certainly inspired me in class, and continues to do so with each interaction I have with him.
Professor Heffner is the creator and host of the weekly television program, "The Open Mind," which has been broadcasted continuously since its first episode in 1956. Over the past 54 years, Professor Heffner has interviewed some of the most influential and important Americans. For example, when we were discussing the civil rights movement in class, Professor Heffner played for us several interviews he had done in the 60's with both Martin Luther King JR and Malcom X. Through the years he has interviewed everyone from political figures, to authors, economists, educators, scientists, humanist and everything in between. Quite the resume indeed! Professor Heffner also secured and established public television in the NYC area back in the late 50's and early 60's (channel 13). I am sure I could go on and on listing Professor Heffner's accomplishments, the point is, he is a person who has always stood up for the values of democracy and freedom, and to me, that is far more impressive than anything...During this particular 30 minute shoot, we spent the majority of the time just talking to each other, discussing both his past and my future. Like I said before, Professor Heffner is someone who really inspires me, and accordingly, shooting these images was like second nature. The meeting ended with a pleasant stroll down College Avenue in which Professor Heffner left me for another meeting with a firm handshake.
Springtime is baseball time and I love shooting baseball. So when I found out that Rutgers baseball Headcoach Fred Hill Sr. was going to have the chance this past weekend to clench his 1000 win at Rutgers against Big East foe and formidable opponent, South Florida, I signed up to shoot the third game of the series for the Daily Targum. Unfortunately, due to my underestimating the caliber of the 2010 Scarlet Knight squad, Fred Hill Sr. hit this milestone the game before the one I was shooting. Oh well, 1001 is still an interesting win, right? Anyway, the Scarlet Knights ended up winning the significantly less exciting game 13-1. By the way, he was in fact safe at second, and would go on to score.
I stumbled upon this car lot one very late night. I was driving up and down Route 18 South around 3 a.m. looking for interesting buildings to photograph, when I decided to pull off the highway behind a Walmart and look around. I parked at a Motel 6 and began walking down the side of the road when I came across this lot. This was one of those "sneak up real quick and shoot before the sketchy people unloading something mysterious from a car parked in the lot see you" kind of situations.
I had been meaning to shoot this image for a very long time. I have driven by this bar for years, and always found it to be really peculiar--mainly considering its location in a rather affluent area. The building is literally just the large white rectangle you see here. In fact, my dad has been inside it once or twice and claims it is as uninteresting and plain inside as it is outside.
Skateboard photography is and always will be my roots and my passion. My love for photography stemmed from my love for skateboarding. My intuitive style is all thanks to the years I spent going out everyday and shooting my homies skateboarding for Dan's Zine back in high- school. This photo of John Mullen nosegrinding at the now closed down ABS, was shot for the Reunion Issue of Dan's Zine back in 2007. I may have come a long way since those days of shooting film and publishing a monthly photocopied zine, but I haven't really changed much.
I know this photograph is not the most Easter oriented, but these days, holidays like Easter are more about enjoying time with friends or family,
then they are about tradition and religion. And I think that is OK. The day off allowed for some quality skateboarding time, as well as some
time to shoot this image of Ted Cucuzza throwing down a stylish Tailslide (and putting my new 17-35mm f/2.8 lens to the test while doing so).
Please enjoy this photograph that I found to be particularly humorous.
I took this photograph at the Colonial Barbershop in Hillsborough during a shoot for the business spotlight section of the Princeton Packet. Matthew (age 11) and his brother Kyle (age 9) have been getting their hair cut by Joe and Gary for about a year now. When I asked them if it was OK if I took their picture for the newspaper, they were all for it, which was a real relief as I knew I wanted to shoot this frame the minute I walked in the place. In fact this was only the eighth picture I took during the shoot. I really enjoyed spending time hanging around as customers came in and out. I feel like there is nothing more American than a classic barbershop. I have always been really interested in doing an Americana series of photographs, shooting real people in real small-town businesses across America.
After four long years, it finally happened, or rather is happening, they are demolishing Shady..excuse me, City Bakery. The bakery was never open during my time spent here in New Brunswick but I have heard many a story about it. Everything from it having the best bread one particular friend of mine has ever eaten, to it really being a front for illegal gun sales. Whatever it was that really went on in that monstrous rotting red building across the street from the Thai Noodle, we may never know.
New Brunswick Abstract
Fight Night at the Capitale part 2
I shot this photograph about a month ago at "Fight Night at the Capitale" in NYC. This was one of only about ten images I popped off during this specific fight. It jut goes to show you that sometimes the best photos are the ones you didn't think anything of while shooting.
Ladies and Gents: Mr. Colin Mackey
Here we see "The Mack Attack" literally attacking one of NYC's finest spots, the Pyramid Ledges, with a tailslide to fakie.
Shot during the 2010 Men's Big East Tournament in NYC.
This feeble grind was shot at the infamous Pyramid Ledges in New York City. The day it was shot turned out to be quite excellent all things considered. We hit
up a few other spots, skated the world's grimiest yet most fun skatepark, meet the most hardcore razor scooter riding ten year olds... and subway surfed the 1.
These photos were shot during Hamady Ndiaye's senior day. I can still remember meeting Hamady for the first time three years ago to shoot a portrait of him the Daily Targum. I had the seven foot tall sophomore from Senegal stand at center court on top of a basketball with his arms crossed. I think it was the first time I ever shot photos RAW. I remember thinking the Hamady was the man from that day on. They grow up too fast.
In terms of shooting, gymnastics is the closest thing to skateboarding that I have found (except for snowboarding). To be honest, I shot this photograph exactly the same way I would shoot a 360 flip in skateboading.
The New Brunswick Home Roam
This photograph is part of a project that never really took off, but was meant for the Johnsonville Press.
Evelyn and Margaret
This is Evelyn and Margaret. I meet them while on assignment for the Princeton Packet, at the Avalon retirement home in Hillsborough NJ. I always remember my photo teacher in highschool suggesting that I photograph bingo night at a local retirement home. After this, I now sort of understand why. I feel like the elderly are often times more open with their emotions than other subjects. Maybe it is because they have finally reached the point in their lives where they are happy with who they are and have nothing to hide.
This is Statelman
Basement rehearsal in Sayerville NJ.
A snowy Desultory Series (The Great Blizzard of 2010)
oh, oh to the snow! Grey, Gloomy, Sticky. The crunch of a boot satisfies. The streets, treacherous and clean.
The sidewalks may be deadly, icy, but this snow is meant for packing. To build an igloo, a snowman, a fortress?
No way. A snowball to your face will do just fine! Sting your pink flesh. But watch the eyes! Light-saber duels with
an icicle and the day is done. School work and the dentist are closed for good. Forget the busywork, there is no time!
The sun is out, melting, swooshing, drip, dripping. Enjoy it while it lasts. Tomorrow we dig the car out.
Performing live on 88.7 FM WRSU (in the very same studio that made REM famous). Take a listen: The Decos.
Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seat-belts as Dane Miller airlines is set to take off...
RU Ice Hockey
I shot this during an Ice Knights practice to accompany an article running in the Daily Targum. During the practice, I was having a miserable time trying to autofocus through the netting around the rink, however instead of getting frustrated, I decided to use the patterns and colors to my advantage.
Jimmy Smith landing a mean low-kick during a Friday night bout at the Capitale.
New Brunswick Snow
Snow has an incredible ability to make any setting look beautiful...yes, even New Brunswick.
Snow days are the best days, whether you are 7, 15, 21 or 23 years old.
This is the "New Brunswick Information Bulletin Board" located conveniently downtown on George Street.
Shoot for the Daily Targum during a Temple vs Rutgers gymnastics match.
2010 a Spacial Oddity
I shot this photograph looking up from the eight floor lounge of one of the Marriot Hotels located in Time Square. I think it looks like something out of "2001 a Space Odyssey" or maybe the inside of the Deathstar.
The Very Grumpy Ref
It seems everyone out there is upset with Rutgers' men's basketball head coach Fred Hill jr. Despite the team's poor performance, one of the reasons I enjoy photographing the men's team so much is because of all of the ridiculous faces Coach Hill makes throughout the game when things are not going his way (which is usually). But this time it was the ref who was making faces at Fred Hill, after he flipped out over a bad call and confronted the ref.
RU vs Villanova
Shot during a Rutgers vs Villanova game for the Daily Targum.
Lindsay and Ernesto's Wedding
At the times, this was only the second wedding I ever attended in my life. As a result, I spent hours researching and preparing for my roll as photographer.
Julien Casablancas at the Troc
I photographed Julien Casablancas performing at the Trocadero in Philadelphia, for Phrequency.com (see the gallery HERE). This was one of those concerts that is a photographer's worst nightmare. To go along with the laid back, stoned-out-vibe of his music, Julien sang on a stage almost completed shrouded in darkness, except for some colored back lighting that illuminated the band. With no flash, and only a D300 with a max ISO of 3200, I made the best of the situation. You can read more about my lighting nightmare on PopSci.com.
The Sweater Project
As I have gotten older, the hometown crew that I grew up with has stood the test of time like an iron statue, remaining the same tight-knit group it was back in high school, despite many of going off to college or getting
jobs in different states. During the holidays (and I don't just mean Christmas, but Memorial Day, 4th of July, Ground Hog's Day) it has become tradition to congregate at Ted's house as often as possible to hang out and
feast. When Ted announced a joint birthday party for everyone with January birthdays, it was proposed that we make the event even more awesome by all wearing funny seasonal sweaters. The result was a series of
hilarious images including these. Props to Grant for suggesting the sweater idea, Connor for suggesting we shoot portraits of everyone in sweaters and everyone who followed through and wore their winter's best. In
order: Ted, John, Grant, Colin, Will, Mick Juncs, Connor, Khyber, Dan, Bryan.
Reflections on the Church Experience
Shot during a wedding rehearsal. It had been a while since I was in a church. Something about the place reminded me of being a small child again. Growing up, church always felt like a gigantic overwhelming place, filled with people I didn't know, and all sorts of spooky looking things hidden in the shadows...the Gothic woodwork, candles burning everywhere and huge statutes glancing down from atop their podiums always made me feel a bit intimated. As I grew older though, the church grew smaller and by the time I was in my teens all of its spookiness disappeared and was instead replaced by boredom. I think being in this specific church brought me back to the those childhood feelings a bit because I once again felt like a tiny person in a massive church. I tried to embody some of those feelings in this photograph. I don't know what, but something about it struck me and still does.
Sequence: Ted Cocuzza
Kickflip backside 50-50, Stamford Connecticut.