Empire State Studio Show…

A few months ago I was given what I considered to be the opportunity of a lifetime; which was to submit work to a gallery show for display up in New York City.  I never thought that my work would be accepted, but then I got word that it was and wow was I blown away.  Shortly after I had the 9 images printed on Chrome Metallic paper and Framed via MPIX, and then drop shipped them out to NYC.  Then of course last weekend the lovely Shannon and I took a trip to NYC.  The exhibit happened to be called the “Scars and Stripes, American Roller Derby.”  Needless to say, I was pretty stoked; except of course for the prospect of a 13 hour drive.

(Apartment Halloween-ified on Long Island)

Shannon and I got on the road early on Thursday and went straight there.  The trip was more of a vacation than work as the only things we HAD to do while we were there were to go to the gallery closing reception, and take the prints home in the car.  A few weeks prior my friend Jason was in town for the Monumental Mayhem, Regional Roller Derby tournament, and he sold me an old Polaroid Land Camera that he converted to Pack Film.  Shannon took Lensy, and I sported the Polaroid for the weekend with about 5 boxes of Fuji 3000ISO Black and white film.  Great little toy, been shooting a photo or two every day with it as I’ve been keeping it in the front seat of my car for; “Just in case”.

(Seagulls on the roof of a warehouse near Merrick Street on Long Island NY)

Not all of the prints turn out perfect (as seen above), but what can I say? It’s film for goodness sake…  Plus it teaches me to slow down a bit, and not just fire a few frames for the sake of doing so.  I’ve found that I take one photo of something, and that if I don’t get what I want, I move on.  The photos aren’t terribly sharp, but I am required to think about the frame beforehand as it’s only in Black and White, as well as I can’t just go back and fix things easily.

The hotel was nice, not too far from the gallery and really just about anything else anybody could want within walking distance.  Restaurants, Bars, Shopping…. We had it all close at hand, and it was great as there were a ton of people to meet and things to see or do.  Only thing that could have been a little different was the view out of our hotel room; which was subsequently a solid white brick wall.  Not the first time I’ve had such a view from a hotel.  Won’t be the last time either, but lets face it; vacations are for going out and doing things right?  Not for sitting and looking out the hotel window.

(Checking out the “Solid” View at the hotel)

Friday night we went to the Gallery reception, which had apparently been cancelled to only the knowledge of the Curator.  It wasn’t the end of the world for Shannon and I, nor the other folks that had gone out to NYC to see the show either.  Everybody kind of did their own thing out at a restaurant, bar or other.  Saturday afternoon/evening we went to the MRDA National Championship in Long Island  where the work was all supposed to be hung as well.

(Skates print hanging at the Big Apple Beat Down)

Good friend and Fantastic Derby Shooter Bob Dunnell was there, and also had some stuff in the show.  Shannon and I sat next to Bob at the MRDA championship as his St. Louis team, the Gatekeepers, was in the running to win it all.  The shot above is a shot of mine that was hung in the gallery and at the MRDA tournament.  Wish the gallery was displayed a bit differently, but it was nice to have work in print hanging for people to see. The Metallic prints looked great, I couldn’t have been  happier.  At the end of the day Shannon and I packed up the prints of mine that were on hand (there are a few that are going to be mailed back to me) and put them in the car for the following day’s long journey home.  Over all, we had a very nice weekend; seeing the sights, spending some time off, and seeing the show.  I think that Bob and I agree that we would have done a few things differently at the show with the presentation, and the general running of the show; but we weren’t running it.  I can only hope that everything is perfected for next year when this is hopefully done again.

In terms of the MRDA tournament; unfortunately the GateKeepers did about as good of a job in the tournament as my Polaroid did at capturing Derby action.  Not to say they didn’t try, and do a fantastic job (they were in the national championships after all right?), they just didn’t play as well as they could have and ended up being upset by a much lower seeded team.  Towards the end of the tournament I only had 1 shot left in my Polaroid, and I turned to Shannon and told her I was going to wait for the right moment to finish my pack of film for the day.  This is the shot of the New York Shock Exchange that came out of it.  It was a Hail Mary holding my camera above the crowd of photographers (that I wasn’t supposed to be a part of for a change).  Can’t say I’m too displeased.  More Soon.

(MRDA National Champions)