Photo Blog Featuring:

Outdoor Travel, Adventure & Landscape Photography

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Old School Italian neighborhood and the Botanical Gardens

Sue and I spent the day at the NY Botanical Gardens and then made our way over to Arthur Ave. for some old school Italian food I haven't had since my mom was alive. This brought back some amazing memories that had me smiling all day. The best place we experienced was Mike's Deli at the Arthur Ave. Market. David runs the deli and has not only been on Bobby Flay's TV show but also grew up with a good friend on mine Jon Haber here in Rockland County ,NY. We got to talking and next thing I know he's feeding me food and giving me a history lesson. As Jon would say, "GOOD TIMES" :)

Snow drifts and flowing Ice

I lied here is another pot for 2010.  Feeling cabin fever setting in I felt the need to get outside to breathe some fresh air and be away from our fast paced society, so I grabbed my camera and headed up to Harriman St. Park in NY. The fresh air was cold but felt good on my face as I headed into Reeves Meadow along the Stony Brook. I headed out on the trail and followed some snowshoers packed down trail, Having snow shoes would of been the smart move but my hiking boots would have to do for today. I hiked about a mile along the creek shooting in snow drifts that were well above my knees and even deeper. It's amazing how being outside in such a pristine, quite and natural setting can clear the mind and rejuvenate the soul. Hope you enjoy the photos.

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Last post of 2010

Well,  2010 is coming to a close and 2011 will be arriving soon.  This will be my last Blog post for the old year.  Here are a couple of shots I took on one of our trips out in the Southwest back in 2007. I'm going to be using some of these shots in a video i'm putting together for Kayak Lake Mead as a promo for their Extreme Desert Adventure Training Expeditions.  Thank you everyone for all our support.  Have a great New Years Eve and an Awesome 2011.  I'll be announcing some real cool stuff I'm excited about for the coming year in the next couple of week.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Falls End

I can't believe Fall 2010 is falling away and winter is rushing in.  I've been so busy with the preparations for my October show at Sanctuary in Nyack, NY that I didn't find much time to get out and shoot when I wanted to.  I was able to get out late this season and capture what was left of nature's work.  With the winter moving in I have to keep my mind active, stay focused and keep pushing forward toward my Hawaii trip planned for January.   

Friday, October 8, 2010

Great Musicians with an Artistic Flare

My friend Mark Sganga Had his CD release party last week at Winberries in Ridgewood, NJ.  I don't normally shoot indoor activities but since I love good music and I thought this would be a great fit.  What I love about Mark and the people that play with him is that they all have a true passion for their craft.  They play what they feel  from their heart and sole.  Marks playing can be compared to a world class painter laying paint on a canvas.  He's work in animated, colorful and truly paints a picture with each ringing note.  I'm excited to announce that Mark will be playing at my Gallery reception at Sancaurary in Nyack, NY next Saturday Oct. 16 from 5 to 9pm.  I think I was able to visually capture The Mark Sganga Trio with my lens adding somewhat of an artistic flare.  Hope you enjoy the photos.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The desert & some amazing athletes

I had the opportunity this month to head out to Nevada & Arizona to photo document 12, 4 person teams navigating, trekking, kayaking, mountain biking and climbing 300 miles through the desert.  When the word athlete is spoken it's this kind of person that fits the bill.  Every team member had all the ingredients that make up a true champion, perseverance, attitude, mental strength, physical strength and a caring and passionate attitude towards their teammates.  Take this kind of person out of the Adventure Race and put them in any other facet of life and they will succeed beyond all  expectations.
A big thank you to Robert Finlay for giving me this opportunity and exposing me to such an awesome group of amazing people.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

In to the unknown - Desert Wind Adventure Race

Tomorrow I set out on a 5 day journey doing something that 3 years ago I would of found every reason why I logically shouldn't be doing this. Today I can find many reasons why I should be doing this. I'll be flying to Las Vegas, renting a car and driving to Arizona to meet my friend and world class adventure racer Robert Finlay to photograph his upcoming 300 mile Desert Wind Adventure Race through some of the most remote parts of the Mohave Desert in Arizona and around Lake Mead as well as near the Grand Canyon. Although I'm prepared; I have clothing packed for all kinds of weather, sleeping bag, laptop and of course all my camera equipment, I still am feeling that nervous feeling knowing I'm stepping into the unknown. I'll be photographing some of the best adventure racers in the country through some of the most amazing landscape in the southwest.  I have total confidence in my skills as a photographer and an outdoors person being able to deal with the many different kinds of elements but there's always the "what if" in the back of the head.  This is where I'll have to go with the mind set of "luck is when preparation meets opportunity". I'm prepared and the opportunity is in front of me, therefore I'll be very lucky this coming week.

Not sure what kind of cell reception I'll be getting but I'll try to post facebook status updates as well as some photos along the way.  When I get home I'll be writing a trip report with many photographs documenting the weeks adventure.  Stay tuned for updates. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

We are all born with the tools. Some use the tools while others complain that their tools don't work.

I'm reading the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho right now and am realizing that most of society is in such a hurry or always wanting to be in control that if someone randomly waved a lottery ticket in their face they would probably push the hand out of their way saying "get that out of my way I have to be somewhere!!!". Most never see the lottery ticket or their dream being presented to them because they're either too closed minded or are truly afraid of achieving what they set out to do. With the achievement of the dream comes a life change and the thought of "now what?" or "what will others think?" Most don't want to reach their dream, so instead they defeat themselves and use outside elements as the excuse of failure. I can say with confidence that I used to be one of those people, but, had my eyes opened a couple of years ago and will never defeat myself, therefore, no one or anything else can defeat me. 

Life is what one makes of it. There's NEVER anyone or anything holding a person back other than their own demons. Wake up everyday and face that fear, know it's there and that it will try to consume your every breathing moment but overcome it and use it to push forward toward the goal.  Once one opens up and can look past that fear they will see that the opportunities are endless. All you have to do is go along for the ride.  We are all born with the tools. Some use the tools while others complain that their tools don't work. Who do you want to be?

True happiness doesn't come from financial gain or materialistic status it comes from knowing that a person is not in fear of conquering their internal demon and can now be at peace with whatever choices they make.  When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Old School Hippies & Drums

Every Sunday from 4 to 6pm in the center of the town Woodstock, NY people of all ages and backgrounds come out of the woodwork to gather in what's called a Community Drum Circle. Resident's, Hippies and tourist's all get together and just start banging away with all kinds of rhythmic sounds lead by a couple of experienced drummers. The sound is amazing and the way people can come together with little or no talent to do this and make it work is just beautiful. Music is what makes the world go round and motivate the soul if one can just relax and let it take over you'll find out it can be very healing.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Escape to the Cape - 6 guys, one chick, 290 miles in 36 hours

A friend of Sue and I, Jeff Morris, was telling us last year how he was going to put together a team of people to run and bike from Mahwah, NJ to Cape Cod, MA. The reason was simple, to raise money to help in finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease. When we heard this we both said SIGN US UP!!! Both Sue and I live for stuff like this and what better reason then to do it for than for a great cause. As the time drew close to our departure date the talk became reality and then on midnight Thursday, August 20, we all assembled at Jeff’s house for our departure. 6 crazy guys, one little blonde with a ponytail, a 25 foot RV and enough water, Gatorade and nutrition supplements to open up a store took off with Rich Gandon from the Ramapo Times filming us. We broke the trip down into a total of 5 legs, three 10 mile running legs and 2 bike legs one a 20 miler and the other a 10 miler. When it was all said and done everyone covered close to 70 miles each total in distance.

We had 5 people running and biking, Jeff Morris, Dan Meyer, Glenn Haber, Susan Levy and myself. Our support crew was Don Morris, “the Silver Fox”, and Andrew Yorke who both drove, helped with navigation and moral support. Everyone came from different fitness backgrounds, but the goal was always the same: “get to the finish as a team. Dan started us off at a blistering pace in the total darkness wearing a headlamp, a reflective vest and some running clothes. Not much protection against all the wildlife we were thinking about on our way through Harriman and Bear Mountain. Jeff was the second man out in the relay and he had to conquer the hills, again, in darkness. The only thing you could se when you shined the headlamp into the woods were the eyes of the unseen animals looking back at you. Glenn was out next, again, running at such a pace we were ahead of our schedule from these first legs. My leg was 4th and I got to run out of the darkness and into the sunrise. Sue had the early morning run with all the rush hour commuters. We rotated in that order through Friday and into Saturday as we approached our goal.

What I found amazing was how everyone was able to recover so quickly and was able to get into their next leg with less than a couple hours sleep, muscle cramping, soreness and what we hoped was enough food in our system. We all averaged about 4 hours sleep total for the trip. I’d like to say the human body is amazing but it’s not so much the body as it is the mind. The brain is an incredible tool and is more than 75% of the fight. When the brain says “NO” so does the body and one’s attitude.

At some point every member on the team had to step up to the plate and help another member in one way or another. What I learned from this was that it’s really easy to be inspiring, motivating and happy when everything is going great but a true person’s character comes through when things go south and emotions start to come through. I was amazed how everybody put the team first and didn’t let any of that negative stuff set in and take over. I think Don may have gotten the least the sleep of everyone but always made sure the RV was ready for whichever athlete needed it. Andrew took “support crew” to a whole new level as he rode two 20 miles legs of the journey. One with Sue to make sure she was ok in traffic and the other 20 mile leg with me at 4am in the morning. Dan ran to a point of dedication that is inspiring. This guy has some speed and I don’t think he ever slowed down. Glenn, on only his 3rd bike ride of the season, rode like a seasoned pro, undeterred by flat tires, darkness and exhaustion. Jeff, well, I have no words for a guy who organized all of this, had encouragement for everyone all along the way and then busted out a half marathon to make up for a detour.

I’ve always knew this, but this trip confirmed for me that Sue is not only my wife but also my best friend. She stood by me the whole trip, gave me the Susan Levy smile when I needed it and even helped me at the end with the last running leg. I rode her bike leg because I didn’t want her out on the road at 4am riding all alone. 5 hours later Sue and I had the last 10 mile leg to run. I got out there with her and did the first 4 1/2 miles with her and then started to feel lightheaded and dizzy. I jumped back into the RV to get more water and food in my system while Sue stayed out there and just tore up the last 6 miles up hill to the finish line where we all jumped out and did the last 1/2 with her to be greeted by everyone’s family screaming and cheering us on at the end.

In closing I’d like to thank everyone who I spent this journey with. Next to the NY Marathon and my Black Belt test this was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I couldn’t have done it without the support of everyone involved. All that positive energy that was created by all of us made me realize that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!!!

Here are a couple of links, the first is a video taken by Rich Gandon from the Ramapo times at our departure and the second is a write up and interview with Jeff Morris from the Herald Chronicle newspaper from ape Cod.

The Ramapo Times

Newspaper Interview