Wednesday on a whim I decided that I’d go outside and capture our small Capitol city. Trenton is historic, third oldest capitol in the States and established in 1792. The site of a major battle in the American Revolution, a key hub city in the 50s, and an industrial manufacturing giant at one point in time.
Now it’s changed with the times. More urbanized, more poverty, more bureaucracy, and more forgotten.
But not to me. There’s always something to find or see, you just have to look. It’s not a bad place, it just got caught up in the motions & the politics and began to stagnate. It happens to the best of places, however all that needs to happen is a cultural renaissance. Kind of way I created my page which I’m going to link to. My page post
It’s a small page, just me. The smart thing would be to keep it separate but my username kind of gives things away. I don’t really know where I’m going with it or how I’m going to do it, I have these ideas but the real reality is that I’m just a 25 former drop out turned college student without a dollar in his pocket trying to create change without even knowing where I’m going myself. It’s a work in progress, kind of like Trenton, but I’ll continue doing spotlights of during things and see where it takes me.
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‘Till next post, stay real and stay beautiful!
As somebody with relatively zero income (got to love student life) you have to work with what you got. There’s no fantastical trips to Paris, or New York (even though I actually go up there constantly but shhh I’m trying ot tell a story), Sydney, and St. Petersburg and so on. I live in the small urban playground of Trenton, NJ, a 7sq mile radius of high crime that’s absolutely and utterly dangerous! Or so they would like you to believe.
To those that aren’t used to a city, and have the perspective of their lives shaped by news media and television programs, then Trenton is definitely a scary place where one has to clutch their purse at all times and cross the street at night to avoid intersecting paths with dark skinned individuals WHO-WILL-ROB-THEM! Although, you should probably always be aware of your surroundings no matter where you go. But that being said it’s like any other medium city-town that’s suffered from the decay of the middle class through the results of gradual economic recession and the white flight. As I said previously in my mini spotlight of Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden and it’s jail like bathroom, with poverty does come crime and Trenton isn’t absent to it. Some of the houses are dilapidated, there is some gang problems in certain isolated areas, though less of a problem now than it was in 2006 when the gang craze was at its height and as much as I love rap, gangster rap does take some blame for that.
Yet even with that all when all is said and done, Trenton is still normal with unique conditions. There are artists here, there are former professional athletes here, there music bands here. They’re just a bit hard to find. Yet most importantly, there are people that are afraid to come here because of the preconceived notions and trust me, I know this personally, I’ve heard the comments and read them going through other the social media portfolios of other photographers in this city. That sentiment is both a curse and a blessing; as it may not help with bringing in outside business inquires, but it does mean there’s genuine areas here that tell a story, not some fake mural created by a corporation’s viral marketing ploy, but by people here. All to be found and shown to the world.
Location: Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden New Jersey
This is something that I’ve been meaning to capture for a while but wasn’t able to until recently and it always bothers me every time I see it. As the post goes,
Where is this acceptable?
Honestly. This is America, the richest nation in the world yet a bathroom in a public transportation center looks like it belongs in a damn prison. The cherry on top is that it’s in Camden, NJ, an area that has a majority minority population and high drug rates, high crime, even higher poverty, and equal drug abuse. The typical three suspects of course, in fact the tree essentially goes like this.
It’s almost like people are being conditioned for a prison environment. With the way the War on Drugs has gone and the policing in innercities, it’s possibly and most likely true that a good percentage of people that have visited this bathroom have already been to jail. More over the jail is a few blocks around the corner. You wouldn’t see this in Princeton, or Far Hills, or Alpine, or Burlington, rr Williamsburg, NYC, or ANYWHERE WITH INCOME THAT’S MODERATELY WELL OFF AND/OR MORE. It’s completely ridiculous.
As with the reoccurring trend, a lot of the early work is un-accessible thanks to the drive they’re on being damaged and myself being a broke millennial, so, Facebook saves the day again. Partially.
Anywho, still learning a lot on my own using my Canon XT with stock 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and absolutely 100% had no idea what that means. The smaller the millimeter the less, the higher the more. Duh! Simple zooming. But when it came to aperture I was and would be completely ignorant for a long time. Heck, at this time my two programs were zRaw and Gimp, because broke former highschool student. Broke is the other reoccurring trend.
The camera was still just little more than a snap and shoot for me that I occasionally took out and looking back on it that’s fine. Still learning virtually from scratch and understood none of the terminology – “Iso makes things brighter! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯” nor the camera. Mistakes are going to be made! A
(Although you can’t see that because I lost most of them)
Photos: Gardened the park in front of my house along with a neighbor, and bringing my camera to the final game of the season of my amateur football team.
The main mistake made on this day, shooting without paying attention to exposure meter
Either ways in the year of lost work there’s at least some salvage from my early days. Here I didn’t really understand anything ISO related still, or aperture, or low light, or basically anything. 2013, ttill new and taking shots lots of different shots with my now personally owned Rebel XT w/ 18-55mm stock! (Thanks Mrs. Smith)
Alas the only ones that survived are 4! With my football squad.
P.S: The top image was at 1600 ISO and cropped as the shot was so far back. Image still makes me laugh grain and all.
Funny enough I was never really interested in photography nor videography. I never really knew what I wanted to do growing up outside of nothing making the same mistakes my family made, and make a lot of money. Mistakes were made and I still have no money however photography and the media field came to me in ironic fashion. I like art and drawing but as a growing preteen/teenager rebel-to-be-chaos-extraordinaire photography was one of the many things I’d make fun of when the topic came up because
“it’s just taking pictures.”
So of course, years later after a period of discovering myself I ended up in media classes at an alternative high-school and long story short met two teachers who would ultimately peak my interest into the field; Francis & Smith. Two people who I still know some five years later.
The first DSLR use was in my digital photography class with Mrs. Smith.
Fun Fact: Thanks to my own proficiency she let me do my own thing, and by my own I mean essays and research projects on photography history! I didn’t dislike it one bit (it ended up being useful). In fact she owned a Rebel XT and instead of just borrowing the school cameras for the class projects, let me hold on to hers for an extended time along with the manual and a photography book. I now own that very same camera.
Early Shots With The Bros
*I lost most of the shots on a dead harddrive I don’t have the funds to recover but when in doubt – FACEBOOK UPLOADS SAVE THE DAY* (with added compression) 😥