Jay B. Wilson

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The Mind's Eye

Published April 20th, 2012

Several years ago, very much through serendipity, I was fortunate to meet Kevin. The first thing anyone would notice about him is that he's blind, and walks the streets of Manhattan with a trusted guide dog, his third such service animal since he lost his eyesight. Kevin is a warm, gracious, and caring friend, and as I came to know his story in more detail, it became apparent that Kevin and I had quite a bit in common.

Kevin wasn't born blind, in fact he had perfect vision until one day, in his mid-thirties, when his eyes began to bother him. After seeing several specialists, he got the news - a rare condition would render him completely blind, and very quickly.

Tragic enough, but what really hit home for me was that, prior to the loss of his eyesight, Kevin was a photographer. An event planner by profession, Kevin was passionate about photographing the city we both love - New York. The blindness, of course, would end this passion forever, or so one might think.

After several ...

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In Memoriam

Published December 14th, 2011

Haven't posted on here in a while - haven't had time to do as much shooting as I'd like, what with the holidays, two little kids running me ragged, and the colder weather (I'm not a big fan of the cold, and it suppresses my camera un-holstering instinct). My job in advertising has been crazy as well, but something happened today that put all of these inconveniences in perspective.

I arrived at our office in midtown Manhattan, NYC around 10am, and was met with some chaos in our vaulted, art deco lobby. It appeared that one of the elevators in the 1929 building had run amuck there was some debris scattered on the floor, and our security staff seemed a bit frantic - but I didn't pay it much mind as I took the opposite elevator bank up to my office on the 13th Floor. Yes, the 13th Floor, which simply doesn't exist in many high rises - they often skip those digits when numbering the floors - bad luck, you know.

Once in my office, I heard the sirens. Lots of them. Looking out the wind ...

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Racism on 500px?

Published November 7th, 2011

I was checking out the new Editor's Choice photographs today when my heart skipped a beat. There's a wonderful portrait, "We All Scream for..." of an African-American man holding an ice cream cone. While perusing the comments (and trying to figure out this new voting system) I was shocked to see one commenter use the "N" word.

I know I'm naive if I believe that the photography community is somehow different from society at large, but I've always found photographers to be more open-minded than most. I wouldn't be suprised to see a comment like this on some online news sites, but found it pretty disheartening to find it here.

The comment may well be gone by the time you read this (although it's was apparently left two months ago) because I just reported it to 500px, as I'm sure others have.

On a separate note, it's nice to see some "older" work being showcased in Editor's Choice. There are many, many undiscovered gems of work out there.

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Past Peak?

Published November 6th, 2011

Sunset came early tonight following the time change...4:46pm Eastern, to be exact. I took a walk up the Bronx River to check out the foliage. Alas, due to last week's early snows, the foliage seems to be past its peak. There were a few massive, and I do mean massive, trees felled along the river. The storm damage here was worse than it was for Hurricane Irene, but I suspect many tree limbs were weakened during that prior storm, and didn't come down until the more recent one.

Now it's back to the work week, and back to the city, which ain't a bad thing.

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Train Windows

Published November 3rd, 2011

At the 500px photowalk after the Photoplus Expo last week, a few of us started discussing lens hoods. While most agreed that they don't make a ton of difference in blocking lens flare, the general consensus was that they're a wise accessory to use to protect your lens, particularly for those of us walking the crowded streets of NYC, or any urban area where you're likely to bump shoulders and elbows with the masses.

One of the photographers on the walk, Karen, noted that she uses a rubber/collapsable lens hood, because it allows her to take better images from the commuter train, Metro North, that she (and I ) ride every day. By pressing the hood flush against the glass, you can effectively eliminate reflections from the interior of the train.

I gave it a shot...actually a few shots...on this evening's commute home. Although I used a solid plastic hood, reflections were entirely eliminated. I still need to play with my shutter speed and ISO, though, as the fading light over Harlem ...

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