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The Gray Matters Project

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

The Gray Matters Project

Photo by Jill Lejano

The human race has definitely showed throughout history that we won’t just bow down to any natural calamity or disease. Quoting William Ernest Henley “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul. “ Yet, amidst all the technology and abundance that man has, nature truly is the one force that ceases to bow to do man’s bidding.

In February 2011, my good friend Jason Buera, a wedding photographer recently found out he had Brain Cancer.  This is a disease that doesn’t discriminate, it can happen to any gender, race or nationality. It can happen to you or me. While we still search for the cure to eliminate this disease, what we can do in the meantime is to raise awareness and help people who are suffering this yet to be cured scourge. The Gray Matters project, is a fund raising and awareness project started by the friends and family of Jason. Participants will pay a fee of P1000 (there’s a student rate of P500) to join the shoot. Two kinds of photographs will be taken of each participant – one is their portrait and the other is their special Gray Matters mugshot. They will be asked to answer the question “What’s in your head?” and pose with their answers mugshot-style. Participants will be encouraged to upload their photos to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other social networking sites to help spread awareness about brain cancer. Definitely a worthy cause! So please support my friend’s fight against brain cancer and other people like him.

Let’s echo this to the rest of the world and show that we won’t bow down to nature just yet!

The Gray Matters Project

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Posted in Graphic Design, Photography | 2 Comments »

Low-light photography: Basketball (NYK vs. PHI)

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Gameday: New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia  76ers by Michael Mariano

Gameday: New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers by Michael Mariano

Shooting fast-moving subjects under low-light conditions has always been a challenge for photographers. It takes a certain combination of timing, skill and equipment to capture your favorite sport. Basketball games as a photo opportunity are no exception. Don’t get me wrong, i like basketball games. I usually like watching within the comforts of home in front of a TV guided by the expert voices of the commentators. It was a long time ago during the early 2000’s when i got the chance to cover a basketball game. The opportunity presented itself again when my uncle got some good seats for the New York Knicks (NYK) vs. Philadelphia 76’ers (PHI) ‘home at home’ game in Madison Square Garden (MSG). NYK got beaten 100 to 98 by PHI two days before. So this was a good chance for me to watch a competitive game since NYK badly wanted to avenge their loss. (more…)

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Longing for warmer days

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Tag along | Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY | by Michael Mariano

Tag along | Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY

Cold, chilly and harsh winters are a fact of life in the Northernmost part of the US. If you live in these areas and you try to look out your window, chances are you won’t see a scene like this anytime soon. For people who can afford, they go to warmer places like Florida or the Caribbean islands, these people are informally called “Snowbirds” enjoying what they can from these southern places.  But for the rest who are unfortunate enough, winter is still there slapping on their skin like cold hard whips. Groundhog day offers no respite as this year it seems that the Artic winds are bringing in more chilly weather and snow forecasts. This photo was taken at Coney island, Brooklyn during the annual mermaid parade celebration. For those who can’t afford to travel, may this photo offer a respite from the cold and bring you (at least in dreams,) warm memories. (more…)

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Posted in Photography | 2 Comments »

Bad weather photography: Snow – Cold Weather

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

The limbs that binds us by Michael Mariano

The limbs that binds us - Urban snow scene, Flushing NY

When bad weather occurs, photography can be a chore all the more so if it involves cold temperatures and snow.  The elements can be pretty harsh to humans but more importantly to your sensitive photography equipment. For one there is moisture which affects your camera lens. If you plan to go out make sure some lens cloth/wipes are at hand to remove the mist that usually builds up on your lens. Having ample emergency camera protection like a plastic zip-loc bag should come in handy to shield your camera from moisture and snow. Cold temperatures decrease the performance of batteries. Have a spare battery and place it close to your body to keep it warm until you need to use it. Better yet, if you don’t want to go out and  have a good view of the outside world from your place, use the windows to your advantage like i did. Put up the screen or open the window. If you can’t, try to move your camera as close to the window as possible to avoid any unnecessary reflections. With these simple tips whether you go out or stay-in, should help you out. Be on the look out for those photographic opportunities. Stay frosty and keep on shooting!

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Posted in Photography | 3 Comments »

Start the year with a bang!

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Fireworks - Start the New Year with a bang! by Michael Mariano

Fireworks display show - SM MOA, Philippines

Every year we always have the chance to start anew – a fresh year to work with. People look forward to the new stuff that they have acquired during the past holidays, others to new experiences that might await them at the start of the year. I on the other hand tend to reflect on the year past and what have i done photographically and as an artist. This photo shot a year back is one of the few decent fireworks shots that i have captured. I was working on a food menu shoot when a sudden burst of fireworks came out of the restaurant where i was shooting. Good thing we were on break that time and that gave my the chance to go out set my tripod quickly to capture this frame. The past year has been good and bad at the same time. It has been a challenging time on most levels and looking at this photo makes me look forward again to better opportunities and to continue the good practices. Starting a short and attainable list should help especially if you have a lot on your mind. (more…)

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