I took a much needed vacation to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico and I even succeeded in not turning my entire trip into a full on photography assignment! I decided to take one camera (my camera “B” aka Nina) and one lens (Canon 50mm f 1.8). While I did get to spend days on the beach soaking up the sun, explore the island and R-E-L-A-X, I also spent an entire day in Old San Juan snapping away. Puerto Rico is a beautiful island filled with rich culture, delicious cuisine and beautiful (and colorful) architecture. Check out the photos below!
I’ve never heard of the GoDox brand but they have my attention with their new AD 200 Pocket Flash. As a freelance photographer who criss crosses the 5 Boroughs for shoots, I’m always excited when a company figures out a way to make a photographer’s life easier without sacrificing quality. I have not seen the output on this new product which seems to be a travel sized hybrid strobe/speedlight but at a very attractive price and impressive specs, this might not be a bad lighting option to have in my camera bag.
If there’s one thing that I love, it’s photographing out of the ordinary, off limit or once restricted (or currently restricted) locations. For this photo excursion, I had the opportunity to take a guided tour of the recently partially restored immigrant hospital located in an area of Ellis Island that until a few years ago was off limits to the public. The Ellis Island Hard Hat Tour features a look at several pieces of oversized artwork by artist JR for his Unframed Ellis Island project. The over 90 minute tour covers sections of the once fully operational immigrant hospital on Ellis Island that cared for sick immigrants before they entered NYC. The history behind the hospital is fascinating and JR’s larger than life images of immigrants entering Ellis Island provided a realistic and often eerie portrayal of the hospital. Eerie because the areas that we were allowed to walk through, although were deemed safe, were definitely creepy as all hell. I kept preparing myself for a ghost of some sort to walk past me as I clicked away at the decrepit rooms throughout the hospital. I LOVED IT! Every minute was filled with history, intrigue and of course the most creepy atmosphere that I’ve been allowed to photograph. Apparently, JR hosts his own tours in which he has unrestricted access to the entire hospital to view all of his pieces. If you’re looking for a new photography adventure that’s close to home (home being NYC or close to it) check out this tour before it gets too cold!
I don’t remember our tour guide’s name but he was GREAT. Super knowledgeable about the hospital and enthusiastic about the tour.
The hospital had several mortuary refrigerators in a lecture style room in which doctors and surgeons examined bodies of the deceased.
If you do take the tour, prepare to WALK. This is just one of the hallways that we examined.
JR’s work is hidden away in various rooms and areas of the hospital. We only saw half of them because JR has many pieces located in places that are still off limits to the public.
While on the tour, we ran into one of the workers shuttling a newly restored piece of equipment that was used to help soldiers coming from war with hand injuries regain use of their hands.
You almost forget that this was once a beautiful and vibrant hospital caring for thousands of people. Most of the rooms were left exactly the way they were left years ago.
It was a glorious time, until it wasn’t lol. For the most part, I enjoyed my radio days at Sirius XM. I made the decision to work in radio fresh out of my half a year at college, at the desk of my full time dead end job. I listened to Michael Baisden everyday religiously back when he was on 98.7 KISS FM in NYC. Every now and then he would do these follow your dreams themed shows. An entire show devoted to pushing people to follow their dreams. Whatever they were! I loved the feeling that I got from listening to his message and had a passion to work in the broadcasting field and one day have a show in which I could do the same. Long story short, I did it. Enrolled in CSB, landed an internship and clawed my way to technical producer. In that time I also developed The B Side Show and was able to host my own independent multimedia show for over 7 years. I made my dreams come true.
(Check this video that I did for The B Side Show about my radio job. You can also see me eat grasshopper tacos during one of our broadcasts!)
I admire the 20 something year old me. The one who made goals and accomplished whatever she set out to do, no matter what. No fear, no hesitation. She knew what she wanted, made a plan and got it. There was no other way. I’m getting to know her again. The idea of creating independently full time has been sleeping with me at night like a new love for this entire year. I can’t seem to shake it. I feel like I am meant to travel the world, capture images and share the stories of others through them. Figuring out how to do that and make an income that I can comfortably live off of is the issue. So I’ve decided to let go and let God and the 20 year old me handle this one. They’ll figure it out, I’m sure. She never got caught up in the fear and hesitation that the 30 plus year old me is struggling with. Things not making logical sense NEVER stopped her from accomplishing her goals. Literally everything she set out to do in her 20’s, she did it! So why can’t I? I ‘m researching, planning and getting out of my way so that she can take over and make this happen. I’ll see you chumps on top.