For more please head over to my collection on Flickr, Street Art Photography, an album containing over a thousand photos of street art captured over the past 15 years in NYC and Sacramento, with some images taken in other cities and countries. From tags to large scale murals, with everything in between… Some of this artwork has long disappeared, others remain, some are hidden between buildings, others are displayed prominently, proudly, on visible walls. Many of the photos in this album were taken in Bushwick in Brooklyn over a decade ago, an area which has undergone significant changes in the past few years, with more artwork going up, but, at the same time, a lot disappearing too. Art is everywhere, we just need to look around to see it.
A week into the California State Fair already and still so much to see and do, and most definitely eat. This is my first year living in Sacramento and also my first state fair ever (NYC is a fair in itself I suppose), so I was really looking forward to covering the events and going as often as possible - and I think we have already accomplished the latter in the first week! Every day when we come home I say that I can't wait to go back again, especially because it's so super family friendly and the girls really seem to enjoy it.
There is an awesome petting zoo full of adorably friendly goats, sheep, lamas, chickens, ducks, pigs and deer (that love to eat your clothes when you aren't looking) as well as other animals. There are also pony rides and you can even try your hand at milking a goat or a cow. The kids fairground is pretty spectacular with a great array of attractions and games, but be advised that all of the attractions, apart from the carousel, are only for kids of 36 inches and above. Over the past week we have spent a lot of time over by the horses, watching some competitions as well as some shows (although I want to see the Clydesdales as I keep missing them), and paying a visit to our friend Lazarus, the wonderful rescue horse.
Over on the racing track there are 7 or 8 horse races through-out the day over the weekend, and it was so cool to watch the horses and their jockeys trot by, all riled up ready for the race, and then speed past us again, so focused and concentrated on the finish line. Some of the races are so fast that my camera had trouble keeping up and I can't wait to go back and take more photos from different angles. Maybe even place a bet too?!
The "adult" part of the fairground is amazing! Huge and full of some insane rides that I will never try even if you paid me. Yes, I am a wimp. Although I did promise Cesar that I would go on the Magnum with him next week, so there is that... And one of the big wheels! And I went on the pretty swings the other day, luckily without realizing how I would actually feel on them! I might try the ski-lift out though as I bet the view is spectacular, especially at the end of the day when the sun sets behind the largest Ferris wheel. I've always loved the lights, the sounds, the smells and the general atmosphere of a fair, and I could walk around for hours just enjoying myself.
There are some wonderful exhibitions (one of my mother's photos was actually placed in the Fine Art division with a merit), stores to walk around and a ton (literally) of food to try! I was worried there wouldn't be many vegetarian things to find, but no issues there! I still need to find a vegetarian corndog though, and maybe try a deep-fried something or other too. You can actually grab dinner and go and sit on the bank and watch the crazy motocross guys perform their insane moves while flying through the air, or run over to the diving pool and see some guys dressed as penguins dive from an 80 foot high pole. Both events take place three times a day every day and are worth watching more than once.
I still feel like I have SO much more to see and I can't wait to get back there again. My advice to all is to bring some comfortable shoes, wear light clothing, bring sunblock, hats and sunglasses and stay hydrated. There are loads of places to sit in the shade and relax but it's Sacramento so it gets really hot during the day. I also think it's a good ides to bring cash. A lot of places take cards and there are some ATMs around, but I found it was just easier to have cash handy for the rides and for the petting zoo. And if you want to go on as many rides as possible without breaking the bank, go on Tuesday (July 19th) as all rides are $2.
I'm working on a collection of photos, but in the meantime here are some highlights of our past week at the fair! You can check out the California State Fair website for more information on daily events and their Instagram feed for some cool photos.
Horses have always fascinated me, these beautiful, beautiful animals in all shapes and sizes, trainable but still completely wild, or perhaps unpredictable, capable of understanding and caring, and literally bearing the weight of mankind. I was lucky enough to be able to accompany my mother to the Western States Horse Expo a few weekends ago and had the chance to photograph all different types of horses, from stunning Friesians, beautiful gypsies and sleek Arabians to an array of rescue horses as well as slightly trained wild horses, with many, many others in between. (I'm not too keen on the words "breaking in", so I'm just going to use trained instead). I learnt a lot over the weekend, both about horses and my own photography, take aways to improve and things to focus on over the next couple of months. I would now love to go out and take some showjumping and dressage photos, and also shoot some wild horses somewhere. The girls loved the expo too, and I have to say that the mini horses that Parelli were giving out at the entrance were an amazing touch - Luna refuses to be separated from her "horsey" and he goes everywhere with us!
I will let the images speak for themselves (a selection below and the full album HERE), but I want to mention of few notable organizations that I feel should have more coverage. Hope 4 Horses is a formidable horse rescue center in the area, as well as the awesome wild horse program that is in place at the Rio Consumnes Correctional Center. Imagine Pitbulls and Parolees but with horses instead of dogs. Horses seem to have an incredible ability to heal and love. They really are formidable and amazing and deserve our utmost respect.
I spent many a day roaming around NYC, snapping photos of buildings, signs, art, sometimes even people if I felt confident enough. There was always at least one camera in my bag, digital and/or film. New York City embodies art. NYC IS art. NYC is a huge, moving and continuously evolving piece of art and there is nowhere in the world quite like it (not that I have found in any case). Over the years I captured many pieces of street art on those cameras, from tags to full blown commissioned murals and anything in between. I moved to Bushwick in early 2008 and found layers and layers of amazing art during my walks, blocks of murals and tags; stencils and wheatpastes. Some work was obviously commissioned and legal, other just appeared overnight on an old wall, and left to stay. Some of the art that I photographed is long gone, other work remains in the same place today, but you never know how long anything will last in the city… Street art remains ephemeral. I have only two regrets, one being that I left shooting Five Points for too long and was too late, and the other being not capturing all of the artists names. If you recognize any please leave a comment and I will add the artist’s name.
This collection of photos spans over 6 years and three boroughs (Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens). I used the following cameras: Canon Rebel Ti1, Canon AE-1 (1978 and 1979), Holga and there are a couple that were taken with an iPhone. Artists include: Blaze, Dasic Fernandez, AWR/MSK Crew, TFP Crew, Jesus Saves, Russell King, Bushwick Collective, Goya, Dave-Foto, DYM Crew, YMI Crew.
The (large) collection of photos is up on Flickr HERE. The photos featured below are only a small example of all of the images that I have collected over the years!
Finally early Autumn weather is kicking in and the glorious September sun has been shining bright, but not too brightly, on us. We have been going out and exploring different places in Flushing, now that it isn't too hot and humid. September and June have always been my favourite months in New York City, when the weather is usually just about perfect. Of course, one of the first places we walked to was Flushing Cemetery...
I love taking photos of people, especially if they are random, spur of the moment shots that turn into something special: a smile, a laugh, a glint in the eye, a look... And now I have the perfect little model who gives us something new every day. I've already collected a few gems over the past few months, especially as I like to catch Luna's interactions with others on camera, and I am sure I will find many more as the weeks go by. Above are a few, but i shall be creating a more substantial album over the next few months... Another ongoing project that I mustn't forget to update!
Here is a previous Portraits album I created a year of so ago People/Portraits.