Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum: One of New York's must-see parks

A favorite tourist destination in New York is The Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Although called a museum, it is considered a national park by residents of the state because of its historical value and background. The museum is located at the heart of the lower east side and was home to around 7,000 people from 20 nations between 1863 and 1935. The tenement building serves as a reminder of the Jewish people who were forced to live in cramped living spaces.

There are several guided tours that one can choose from. Each of these tours aims to show how residents lived during this time. Most of these focus on living conditions, although there are tours that have tourists meeting costumed actors roleplaying on the streets to walking around the neighborhood to experience how immigrants survived.

Image Source: studentrush.org

One of the reasons why this is such a highly-recommended national park is that the entire area has been preserved and maintained. Full park tours even allow visitors to taste authentic food that completes the immigrant experience. A popular destination is the Jarmulowsky Bank where immigrants deposited all their life savings and lost it during the latter part of the war.

Image Source: tenement.org

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is a fully interactive national park and serves as a testament to the lives of thousands of Jews and their precarious position during the 20th century. While a visit to the park is recommended for its entertainment value, it must also be remembered that New York was a city overflowing with different cultures and peoples.

Keith W. Springer loves visiting national parks in his hometown of New York City. Learn more by viewing this LinkedIn page.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Go Pro As Photog? Three Reasons Why you Should and Should Not Do It

Many aspiring photographers think that the gear brings them the title, and having a camera makes them a photographer. Some think it’s easy to get into the industry, meet clients, and build a nice portfolio.

If you’re one of those people, and you’re on the verge of ditching your current job to push through being a full-time professional photographer, you must read the following reasons on why you should or should not go PRO.

First, work schedule. You may think that the job will give you a lot of time to pursue other things -- more time than what you have with your 8 to 5 desk job.

The real deal. Flexibility in schedule is something that freelancers have, which most regular employees do not. As a photographer, you will get to decide on your projects and clients. You can turn down offers, if you don’t feel like doing it. However, if you want to earn regularly, grabbing gigs is a must.

Flexibility is also a con as much as it is a pro. The downside of not having a fixed schedule is that you cannot plan things ahead. You may get hired on any day of the week. There may also be situations wherein a promising project will be offered to you, which may force you to alter personal plans you’ve already booked that are equally important. Family time can also be affected.

If you think that photography stints take only a couple hours, think again. The more gigs you get, the more time you’ll spend doing post-processing work.

Second, output and creativity. Taking your family’s picture when there’s an occasion doesn’t qualify you as photographer. That portrait looks good, but everyone can take a photo like that. Becoming a full-time photographer will require you to become your own brand.

The real deal Photographers can differentiate themselves with others by having their own unique style and technique, not only in taking photos, but also in their photo editing styles. Some photographers even save the custom settings that they use when enhancing their pictures.

Having your own style is good. But, not all clients let photographers do their thing. Some clients want to have full control, completely disregarding a photographer’s creative input. As the photographer, you must be open to this, and to altering your style once in a while to accommodate clients’ requests.

Third, gear. Since you have a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, the field of photography is yours to take. Not really.

The real deal Owning a camera, and one that is a cult-favorite within the industry, doesn’t mean you’re good to go. The path to becoming a good photographer is more demanding than that. If you want to improve as a professional photographer, you need to have more than just a good eye in photography and good gear.

Image source: Allartschools.com

 Speedlites, softboxes, umbrella lights, and other external devices are some of the things that you will need in the future. If you’re not earning enough yet from being a photographer, this is a challenge because most of these come with a hefty price tag.

However, you need to invest in these things, if you want to be better at your craft. Natural lighting can only do so much, and it isn’t applicable in every setting or location. Do your research, and invest only on what’s necessary. Avoid overspending, since you’re not really sure when you’ll get a return on investment.

Hi, I’m Keith W. Springer. I am a retired professional photographer. As of present, I enjoy life by appreciating nature through regular strolls in the park. I always take snapshots of my family and of nature because the photographer in me is still alive and kicking. But most of the time, I am about the quiet life, content in writing in my journal, and rediscovering my community. Join my quiet trips around New York by following my blog.