You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2011.

We’ve all seen it. We’ve all heard it.

The movement started officially on September 17, 2011.

Now, it’s October 30, 2011 – the movement’s 46th day of operation.

Well, it was about time. I’d delayed in visiting the park for many life reasons, I’m sure.

But just like many in the country, I’d been keeping up with the happenings in and around Occupy Wall Street (#OWS) as much as possible (mostly through Online methods). After all, the channels in recent weeks had been covering the protests in more earnest, compared to the beginning of the movement.

And today was my first day of physically visiting Zuccotti Park (which I’d visited many many times prior to the occupation). I left the apartment early and was there for the shoot by 745AM.

Of course, was a Sunday and being an ‘off’ day for all of the protagonists in this dance, it was very quiet (well, except for the throngs of tourists).

The first thing that greeted me was the chill (although seemed colder as I landed in lower Manhattan). The air was cold. The prior day’s October snow storm was still evident in the early air.

That’s ok. I was prepared for the weather- decked in down coat and in layers with gloves and winter hat.  But what I wasn’t ready for, was how the Occupiers were dressed and waking up from the frigid night’s cold.

I was impressed. They certainly were a tough group of devotees.  There wan’t a shortage of commitment in this group, for sure.

And more impressive was that it was a mix of age groups, all huddled together and with individual responsibilities within the encampment. There was a full “HQ” style food distribution station with very basic foods (i.e. bananas, apples, simple breads, nuts, etc.), duties for sanitation & clean-up. As well as people who were very knowledgeable and very kind to persons like myself.

Well, I intend to visit the location several times this week. Hope to continue talking with some of the group members, other activists, and other photographers, as well- to see where they stand and to just shoot the breeze.

And I’m sure because it’s now the weekdays, there should be better action to capture.

All images copyright mediaform jasonkim photograph

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6 scores and 5 years ago (1886), New York City’s (and subsequently the whole of the republic of the United States was deemed complete.

Since then, the Statue of Liberty has been an enduring symbol of human endurance, heartaches, remembrance, and eventual triumphs.

Originally, the statue was proposed by the French and primarily followed through by Frédéric Bartholdi. Much fund raising and planning was done by Bartholdi and company to get it to such level. It wasn’t an easy ride.

Some rarely talked about facts, and items, myself, wasn’t aware.

  1. Bartholdi and Laboulaye (co-designers) considered how best to express the idea of American liberty.
  2. Bartholdi’s early models were all similar in concept: a female figure in neoclassical style representing liberty, wearing a stola and pella (gown and cloak, common in depictions of Roman goddesses) and holding a torch aloft.
  3. The face was modeled after that of Charlotte Beysser Bartholdi, the sculptor’s mother.
  4. Bartholdi considered having Liberty hold a broken chain, but decided this would be too divisive in the days after the Civil War
  5. Bartholdi was a sculptor, in profession.
  6. Bartholdi’s passion to build a large sculpture was from his prior year proposal to the Viceroy of Egypt; to erect a similar statuesque symbol just like the Colossus of Rhodes: an ancient bronze statue of the Greek god of the sun, Helios.
  7. The finished statue does rise over a broken chain, half-hidden by her robes and difficult to see from the ground.
  8. Bartholdi chose to inscribe “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” on the tablet, associating the date of the country’s Declaration of Independence with the concept of liberty.
  9. Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel wasn’t the first choice for construction.
  10. Eiffel’s design made the statue one of the earliest examples of curtain wall construction, in which the exterior of the structure is not load bearing, but is instead supported by an interior framework.
The Statue has been with the country for a long time. Lets appreciate it for just 1 minute, as a symbol for the best of what our country offers.
All images copyright mediaform jasonkim photograph

One of my heroes is Garry Winogrand.

photo by Judy Winogrand

Who?

Well, Winogrand is one of the most prolific and celebrated photographers.

He is best known as one of history’s best street photographers to ever grace our reality. His work had, in many respects, heightened our awareness on the “banality” and the “ordinary-ness” of our daily life functions.

So, what’s so special about that?

Well, his work isn’t simply impressing the point that “we function within a world where we do not really have extraordinary moments”. But he pushes the notion that WITHIN the banal, there are certainty in the extraordinary circumstances.

From the Mundane, comes brilliant excitement.

Hence, it is the opposite of dictating to us that we are forever stuck in a “gray world”, but that we live in a stupendously mysterious and extraordinary world. We live in a very lively and “alter universe”.

Winogrand’s vision of the ordinary is of like the “Bizzaro World” or the “direct opposite” of the subject and situation (as example from “Superfriends” cartoon show). The ordinary “walk” becomes an ironic and mystery to the “external” premise. The ordinary “arm toss” becomes an intrusion and a interpretive “filler” to that specific bubble world.

“A photograph is the illusion of a literal description of how the camera ‘saw’ a piece of time and space.”- Garry Winogrand.

So, if we keep with the notion of the “Superfriends Bizzaro World” concept, then the camera and the photographer are the tools to “stripping” the excess. The excess “cover” and non-continual super-glue, which kept the “reality” in tact.  Winogrand, in his philosophy, broke down that super-glue. Which directly exposed the under belly of that moment. That dirty and more interesting moment.

Winogrand’s inspired many (just like me) in what photography is all about. He (and many before him, and his contemporaries, plus his direct and indirect disciples) put the essence in the forefront. He’s put what photography can do and what it inspires to do (but often fails).

“There is a transformation. By putting 4 edges around, it changes it (i.e. the banality & of the mundane of life).”- Garry Winogrand.

This is where I’d decided on the name of my blog. Just like Winogrand, I think of photography as like lifting a large rock after a spring rain fall. You get to expose the life and the more interesting life events existing together for survival.  Life doesn’t get better or worse with looking at photography like this. Which is what Winogrand philosophises. He’s not guaranteeing anything. He just states that the camera (exposing the subject) imposes a different reality.

And that is the point. There’s no better or worse. There’s just the way the camera and the photographer ‘made’ that moment.

He’s a hero of mine, and in some very small way, I make my blog as a tribute to his art and his genius.  Garry Winogrand is a grand master of photography. Will alway be, to me.

So, I’ll always will try to expose or get a glimpse of that sometimes deceptively slippery under-belly.

Jason

My memory of Noel and Claudia’s wedding is as follows:  “family to die for”.

I’ve mentioned before how awesome I thought their family members were. From the two of them and the kids, I believe they are just so lucky to be together.

But it all starts from Noel and Claudia.  The love and affection they have for each other is imminent and evident. They seem like very old souls, holding hands on the new and bright adventure they’d agreed to undertake.

However, all this cannot be complete with out their kids. They are the (sorry for the un-romantic term) ‘cement mix’ in this ultra high-rise project of a family. They will make both Noel and Claudia, even prouder someday.

I know, I know. Too sentimental and unrealistic?? I don’t believe so. The family is rock strong and I was honored to have the opportunity to glimpse (however short), by proxy, a special occasion as this.

Claudia and Noel looked just fabulous. The kids were just gleaming with joy. The parents were so very proud. And the extended family just had so much fun!

For this opportunity, I appreciate you Noel and Claudia, and forever be huge fan!  Hope you know this.

—–

Location:                 Liberty Hall Cathedral of Praise, Brooklyn, NY

Caterer:                   Mimi’s Fusion of Flavors  (Facebook) (Website)

Flowers:                  Joan Forbes

Photographer:         (me) mediaform jasonkim photograph (Facebook) (Website)

All images copyright mediaform jasonkim photograph

The word around town was that a “wee” one was going to join us.  And for sure, another new born was about to join the party (well, at least in several weeks)!

On this day, I was the observer to a baby shower for Yumi, the mother soon to be.  Hami, sister of Hans and total planner of this event (awesome job Hami!),  invited me to be a part and fly on the wall for this great event. Hami had gained a sister-in-law and soon to become an Aunt, for the first time.

I was excited for her and her family- plus, to be a part.

Hans & Yumi seemed all together, about his new found wealth. But I would have understood if there were some butterflies in his stomach- this “birth thing” being a very big celebratory part of their lives, and all.  Well, at least I would have been, if I was him.

But they were troopers (I could tell).  With great (soon to be) grand parents and support systems, the two will be fab parents! They are for sure a great couple (…and deeply in love, I could tell).

As for the party, it was fab. Everyone enjoyed themselves, much. The other kids who attended were so cute as well! Sooooooooo hyper (I think they were very high on jelly beans..) =D

Hami was fabulous in planning and taking care of the whole shindig. Also, Hami gave Yumi several pieces of her knitting products (from her own knit line of apparel NAMU KNITS), and they were just beautiful.  And if that isn’t enough, Hami is a fabulous pastry chef! Look at them below!

In sum, Yumi received lots of children’s books, towels, toys, a tub, scrubbers, and clothing for the child. Nice, nice.

As fro me, I was smiles those several hours. I was very happy for all involved.

Congrats Yumi!  Congrats Hans!

All the best and hope to see you two and the new one, very soon!  I’m a fan!

PS:  The only regret is that I didn’t get a chance to eat one of the cupcakes Hami had made. Oh well. Better luck next time, eh?  My mistake, I know. Dang.  =D

All images copyright mediaform jasonkim photograph

I had the chance to hang out and witness a wonderful wedding for 2 fabulous persons- Noel and Claudia.

This is a preview of the full set. Will be up soon, with full write-up!

All images copyright mediaform jasonkim photograph

“An ode to a summer” (and end of 2011 version, if you will)

You came to me with the most delightful curtsey.

“Hello” you said. I said, “Hi, we meet again.”

We exchanged pleasantries, with the utmost respect.

I was sure we’d click, as if you were Josie Bissett.

I told myself you weren’t quite ‘Melrose Place‘, but I wasn’t sure.

Through your tactful taunting and bellowing, you brought the sun-  your friend and partner.

I scratched my head in disbelief, but with awe.

‘Summer, you are such a sunshine in my eyes’.  And you answered, ‘I know’

Ok. We quietly sat, until October. Me, still scratching my head about ‘Melrose Place’, and you looking to go to Argentina.

>> NOTE: I don’t pretend to be a poet. Never. Well, unless something silly like this, and for some ‘girlfriend’ situations…  But I know you’ll appreciate my horrible attempt at some kind of poetry LOL <<

———–

Oh and the pics below are from Belmar, NJ. Had some good relaxing time there this year. We’ll return again, next year!

Hope you all had a great stretch of summer, as well!

All images copyright mediaform jasonkim photograph

“Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.”- Winston Churchill

Oblivious>>It wasn’t like I hated Apple products. I was just oblivious to them (Apple products), back then, like many millions.Sure, I’d heard and played around with some Apple products (Macintosh in grammar school), but never got around to thinking Apple computers and products would be influential in my future daily life.To me Apple was the “other” computer company, back when. It was the “alternative & much smaller” computer manufacturer and marketer in a large field of computer makers and marketers. It was for “designers” and “creative types”. And for sure, Apple’s business and marketing model was exactly that.

“Golden Age”>>It was the “golden age” of computer makers (aggregators) in the 90’s, as I recall. We, consumers, were drenched with new computer makers/brands every month (it seemed).Do you remember these computer brands? Apollo, Convex, Everex, Micron, Systemax, Wang? I surely do (FYI, I had bought 3 computers from Micron, way back when =D).Well, these were companies riding the Microsoft platform, and technically just “aggregators”. But hey, they marketed in magazines like “Computer Shopper” (remember how thick this tabloid sized magazine was?) like crazy! You can see the legacy in “aggregators” still today, for companies like Dell started, just as an aggregator.And this is what I’d thought our computing lives would be, forever. Filled with junky PC based computers, with just bad service and products.

Grammar School>>My consumer relationship with Steve’s products didn’t start to be intimate until 2008. However, my first experience with an Apple product was with the Macintosh, in my grammar school.  As with boys, I thought the new computers were very cool. Did play some cool.
You see, the more prevalent computers that my school invested in was the Commedor 64 (oh yea, Karateka!). The C64s were the legacy computers for the school. We all liked its chunky keys and cool games we could play on it. Can’t blame us, eh?
But suddenly, there they were, two (2) shiny new Macintosh’s. And they seemed very, very slick (well, to our grammar school minds).
The school (through our teachers) told us that these Macs were for “serious” learning. Never thought about why they’d say that, but I’m sure being very expensive was one of the big reasons they didn’t want us to use it without a teacher next to us when we used it. And of course, no “drinks, food, gum, etc” allowed.
We had some good fun with them, though.
However, the fun didn’t last, for when I went into high school, they only had IBM and typewriters to play with.
Perception>>It wasn’t until 2008 that I thought of using Apple products for personal use. Of course, because of so many Microsoft computers used, it was inevitable that I had a slight bias against Apple products. My ‘perception’ from 1993-2008, was that Apple products were very hard to use, were only great for designers, didn’t offer “serious” machines (unless buying the top flight Apple computers/servers), were very expensive, and that PCs offered more in its variety. After all, my employers were using Microsoft based PCs, so they can’t be all that bad, right?
These were true for a time, but it soon changed for Apple and my outlook on its products.
Gateway “drug”>>To make it short, I’d converted to Apple products, starting with the Nano and slowly building courage to invest in the iPhoneMac Pro laptop, and iPod Touch. Plus, many products that I’d given out as presents for special occasions. Ease of use and ‘dependability’ of use (for the long haul) is paramount. And, so far, your Apple products have been doing a great job.
In hind sight, one can call my experience with the Nano was that, it was the “gateway drug” into the world of Apple products. It was very cool.
What if?>>While watching the news about Steve last night, I’d asked my girlfriend, “what if the iPhone wasn’t there to push the concept of phones to another level?”  I’d say, we’d be stuck with “stylus” pens, bad mobile OS’, hand flip Nokia handsets, forever RIM Blackberry devices (all gray & black texts only), and still have Palm units to play with.
Cheers Steve>>Well, cheers to you Steve. Was good drama through out the years. I’m sure you gave it the very best. And hope the company carries through many more years with fabulous products.
I am pretty sure you were a quirky and as nasty/focused a person behind closed doors.  Those stories of you being demanding is culminated by your past and demands of your own future. I respect that to the fullest. You sure made an imprint in the world. Your persona and drama will last far longer than your company has long disappeared (hope not too soon, though).  Cheers.
PS  By the way, I do watch his Stanford commencement speech from several years ago, for inspiration, here and there. It’s a good one. Click HERE to see it.
Jason

To celebrate (well in addition to fill one of our weekend days) the end of summer, and the return of autumn, both of us visited an apple orchard.

Yep, you heard right.

Personally, I’d never thought of visiting an apple orchard, never once in my life. Although I’d had some preconceived thoughts of what an apple orchard represented (a sun drenched plain of fields, filled with beautiful fruits of one of our most enjoyed foods), the idea of physically going and ‘enjoying’ a trek through an orchard, was far from me.

But Maiko had the idea (activity) for us to participate.

And I was pleasantly surprised. It was definitely a very enjoyable few hours.

We visited Maskers Apple Orchard in Warwick, NY. It’s about 2 hours from Jersey City (by the by, all the twisting mountain roads to the orchard, just makes it a longer trip than it should be). We packed some coffee and donuts for the road trip (oh and some chips, as well).

The road through upstate roads is one of many things beautiful about NY state‘s environment. The old school (1700’s style) buildings and the small roads leading the way, always adds that pinch of character.

All in all, the folks working at the farm was good, the orchard was good, the trip was good, and the sac of apples (quality of apples) was fabulous (yum delicious).

PS  And don’t worry, the “trunk check” is a standard. Don’t get all your feathers all ruffled over it. It’s all good.  Also, fully expect many kids on a field trip. Be patient  =D

All images copyright mediaform jasonkim photograph

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