Dancing with the Stars 2014

Dancing with the stars 1st place couple in backDancing with the Stars….LIVE!   at Cresskill High School…highlighted this  year by the addition of the Cresskill High School Jazz Band. The show featured the school’s social dance students, two professional dance couples,  Jean Michel Erole and Larisa Mikryukova, and Arturas Misurenkovas and Oksana Zaver and of course the fabulous Cresskill High School Jazz Band.  This year’s show  benefited Cresskill Cougar Care, a  Cresskill High School Staff scholarship initiative.

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Elks Student of the Month

A new program at the Hackensack Elks…Student of the month for the 6th, 7th and 8th graders.

Regina DiPasqua explained how the awards came about.

Exhalted Ruler Cathy Puglisi presented the awards.

Children’s names deliberately not included.

Elks Of Hackensack Student Of The Month Pictures

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Beautiful day, beautiful trip, thanks once again Bob.

Swelled by resent rains, the Great Swamp was several feet above it’s usually muddy early summer levels, allowing us to short cut a few of the s-bends, but also making us deal with actual current, especially after the channel got constricted below our lunch break on 22.

We started just below the Patterson Train station (going past station, taking left on dirt road and going more or less straight). With 21 people it took a while to hit the water, but it was a beautiful day and not a bad spot to wait.

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St. Athanasios Greek Festival

GREEK FOOD FESTIVALPictures from St. Athanasios Greek Orthodox Church festival…

Was by on Friday afternoon and they were rocking…and then the rain came


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Dancing Up a Storm in Cresskill

Dancing up a storm posterThe SEVENTH edition of Dancing With The Stars!   DANCING UP A STORM! at  Cresskill High School APRIL 4th, 2013……7-10 pm…shot this 2 years ago as well.

Janet Sharma, Executive Director of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County in Hackensack and Cresskill resident accepted a check for $1000 to be used for storm relief in Little Ferry and Moonachie.

Please contact Tom Hart Photo to order prints or for high resolution versions of images.

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I-Phone Vs. Good Camera (Canon SLR)

I got an I-Phone 5 partly because everyone said it was the best camera phone ever or at least as good as any other camera phone. OK, so it’s really not fair and I didn’t really expect it to stack up well against my digital SLR, but wanted to compare what it could do.

My primary digital SLR is a Canon  T1i/ 500D . Good but not great (with good low light power) coupled with descent lenses. All of the pictures here were taken with my  primary walk around lens, the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM which, like the camera is good but not great. In the SLR world this is a small, light advanced amateur set up at only  6.5″x 5″ x 3″ and about 4 pounds compared to the iPhone 5’s 4.87 x  2.31  x  0.30 inches  and the less then 4 ounces. The padded case I normally carry my camera in adds 3/4 lbs. The padded case I normally carry my phone in adds less then 3/4 ounces. The lightweight minimal camera bag, lenses and flash I normally carry adds at least another 5 pounds.

So, first a comparison of the views from just south of the Hastings on Hudson train station (taken just after I bought my new to me whitewater kayak, but that’s a different story).

south from hastings train station with iphone 5

From Hastings  with iPhone

south from hasting train station with canon

south from Hastings  with canon

No big difference if the pictures aren’t big if you disregard the white balance and cropping which I could adjust on the computer if I wanted.

But if you blow them up, well, not even close, with the i-phone really over sharpened. For the non-technical, that’s the white outlines around the branches that make them pop at low resolution but look bad at higher resolution. Sharpenning, like blur, can be added easily using any photo editing software but once in the original can’t be taken out, so I and most photographers prefer to capture the image unaltered and edit later.
The canon blows up to about 2x the size and it still looks better, so in real world numbers, the I-phone would print OK at 4″ x 6″ but by the time you got up to 8 x 10 it would look pixelated up close. The i-phone picture even in this well lighted condition could only be blown up to about 50% size. The canon, on the other hand, would print well at 16 x 20. Bigger then that requires a bigger bank account and a bigger apartment then mine as well as professional quality cameras. In fact it even looked better at 200%.

iphone at 100%

iphone at 100%

canon at 100%

canon at 100%

Now here’s some more challenging lighting conditions, but the most commonly used. Indoors at a children’s Christmas concert. There must have been a hundred phones recording this concert (In post Sandy Hook days of Christmas spirit, one armed policemen, 2 security guards  3 ID checkers, 4 digital cameras and 500 screaming children… But I digress).

By speeding up the exposure speed the good camera comes out sharp and the IPhone, well, I took several shots and none of them were very good and this school gym was well let compared to the average. I shot at iso 1600 using my 3.5 -5.6 zoom whereas I often shoot at 3200 using a 1.8, meaning there was 8 times as much light as I often have.

Canon. ISO 1600

Canon. ISO 1600

Concert with IPhone. ISO 100

Concert with IPhone. Blurred.

The i-phone, which shot at 1/20th of a second would need 1/2 second to get the same exposure. Any guesses on how many kids hold still for 1/2 second?

Getting the most from the IPhone’s Camera

It’s really  a matter of understanding the limitations of the IPhone camera is using a going back to basics approach to photography.

  1. Start with good light (daylight really) and don’t challenge the camera by shooting directly into the sun.
  2. Whenever possibly brace the camera and yourself by leaning against something and keeping elbows against your body or even putting the camera on a flat surface.
  3. Don’t use the digital zoom as this just reduces quality. Instead, walk closer.
  4. Clean the lens….it’s flopping around in your pocket for god sakes.

The point…that the i-phone might be a good camera phone, but it isn’t close to a good amateur camera.  Based on this I guess I’ll next need to compare with a cheap digital camera but will keep using the IPhone as the best camera is the best camera you have.

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o James Carroll Band
o John Freund
o Tim O’ Donohue and the TMU Band
o Spook Handy
o Nikki Armstrong
o Mark Gross
o Rave Tesar
o Cynthia Summers
o John Moroski

Disclaimer…they called me last minute to shoot this and I already had some other shoots scheduled so I arrived late and left early…but some great acts.

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Bergen County Cross Country Meet of Champions

2 observations.

  1. Cross Country on a fall day is a beautiful sport
  2. I know a lot more about cross country then I do about football, basketball  or any of the other sports I usually shoot. I feel those athletes pain and triumph. Not that I ever would have been any better then a solid of middle of the packer in a race like this, but I can understand and empathize with all the work and all the effort they put out on the course.  Even the middle of the packers are working pretty hard.
    josette norris finishing.

    Josette Norris finishing 2nd

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Re-enactors bringing to life the running battles for Bergen County around Hackensack

Another well done event by the Bergen County Historical Society highlighted by the Battoe ‘Moon’, a replica 18th Century bateau brought down to Hackensack by Cap’n Scott Monro. Nice to have a boat back at New Bridge Landing as the site is where it is not only because it was a convenient place to put a bridge across the Hackensack but also because it was a convenient landing for boats sailing up the river from New York.

The  Battoe rowed up from the New (and quite nice) launch site by the submarine Ling early on Saturday morning and back on Sunday.

Up at New Bridge Landing they had a number of re-enacted battles…Sunday afternoons crowds, thanks to a beautiful fall day, were impressive.


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NJ Choral Society Symphony of Voices

Another New Jersey Choral Society Concert in Ridgewood at the West Side Presbyterian Church. ‘Symphony of voices’ in which they combined with another choir from Connecticut.

These folks are really quite amazing and I am honored to be able to shoot for them.

Following the concert was a reception at the Women’s Club in Ridgewood just down the street that included a ‘red carpet’ as well as presentations.

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