Just another WordPress.com site


My Review of Manfrotto 5001B 6′ Retractable 5 Section Lightstand with 5/8″ Mounting Stud, Black Anodized (#3373)

Originally submitted at Adorama

Bogen – Manfrotto 6' Retractable 5 Section Lightstand with 5/8" Mounting Stud, Black Anodized. (#3373)

does the job its intended for

By katbandit from New York City on 9/28/2012


4out of 5

Pros: Lightweight, Easy to Use, Easy To Pack

Best Uses: Travel, Family Photos

Describe Yourself: Semi-pro Photographer

Was this a gift?: No

this stand is perfect for travel purposes..i need to have stands that can fit in the suitcase that can board the plane with me..these are not intended for heavy duty outdoor stuff but are great when photographing small children and babies ..and need something to go to someones home with..its a bit pricey but you trade off with convenience..i don’t mind having something at the base to support them since its only for temporary shoots..i use sturdier ones for my home setup…


where does the madness end?

yesterday i went with a couple of friends to a flea market and had a great time…in fact the photos that i’m going to post here today are just from the flea market..that’s because i have tried really hard not to write about things that are so too personal to mention on a public blog..for almost a year i have tried to keep for the most part my subjects light and airy..with a touch of humor..however now that I’m getting toward the time where i am running out of “free space” to keep up on writing this blog i am beginning to wonder if it is worth my time and effort to keep up with it once it starts to cost me money each year…there doesn’t seem to be many comments about my photos..whether they are good or bad..yet when i see other posts out there even when there is only one single photo posted there seems to be many comments or “likes”  .  so what am i doing wrong?  i’m not the greatest writer out there..in fact i am far from being an english major..is it because i don’t have anything that to say about my feelings on politics or religion..because believe me..i can get very passionate about those subjects..however..like sex ..i feel that these emotions should be held close to the heart..it seems to me that our country has gone totally insane on these issues..with the presidential election right around the corner it seems to me that everyone is running around with extremely raw feelings and so many are out there getting into pissing matches over it..lets face it people…are we really a so called FREE country anymore.???  when it begins with the idea that someone can’t go out and buy a large soda and is forced to buy 2 small sodas down to where a vendor who is busting his ass to work on the streets of new york that has to pay taxes and permits yet the bums are allowed to loiter and beg on the streets without paying their taxes and permits…how can we feel happy living in a FREE society..who is it really free for?  for instance ..i have the right to photograph anyone or anything in a public area..within reason ..and these picketers and beggars that want their rights don’t want me to photograph them without payment or not to photograph them at all..if i go to an emergency room without a health insurance card i may as well just stand outside and bleed to death yet all the foreigners and illegals aren’t paying one dime to be treated..WHERE DOES IT END..??  i cant exercise my rights  yet they can.i would have to turn over my home that i have busted for my entire life to pay the hospital bills yet if i didn’t own a house or couldnt speak english they would help me the same way for free??.and is the government going to stop us from buying a dozen big macs or how about making those 25 pound chocolate hershey bars down to 25 ounces..are they going to regulate how much groceries we can buy?? or monitor how much we eat each day in the name of health issues..??? gimme a break.

if i say i don’t like a president i get booed or told to watch what i say yet if i’m out there campaigning my ass for the same guy its ok??  and how about the gay issues..why is it that the poor bastard that voiced his god given right to his opinions on this particular matter crucified for it..and there was a big kiss out at that chicken place..geeze ..do i really want to see homosexuals ..heterosexuals..married couples ..whatever..slobbering their bedroom antics in public..who the hell cares if that CEO doesn’t agree with anyones lifestyle. i have opinions like everyone else..so how come mine don’t count yet someone elses does??  i no sooner got back to florida (after all the bums in new york aggravated me )when as soon as i stepped out of my car in a strip mall another bum on a bike approached me for money..its almost maybe not quite as bad as a damn stick up..here they seem to try to corner you into your car bombarding you with a sob story..it pisses me off when i see them bothering little old men or women who feel intimidated by these bottom feeders..

so let me keep my blogs fun and entertaining..all i want to do is showcase my photography..leave my political feelings ..my religious beliefs..and anything sexual to myself unless i am face to face and one on one with someone that i am allowed to share it with..and will remain friends with in the aftermath..

so with this mostly said . let me just post up the photos i took while i was at the daytona beach flea market..this may very well be the last post if i don’t make any progress with some hits ….it just may not be worth spending my hard earned dollars that are taxed….not like the freeloaders that are freely bumming around this country sucking on the teat of the land…

taking control of your rights too

usually i can be very compassionate about someones misfortunes..a friend of mine just lost her young son in a drowning accident..there are a few members of my family that have lost their homes and are living with relatives..my own brother lost his job and has been living on his dwindling savings..and today i met a man on the train who needed to unload his hardships on a sympathetic ear which happened to be mine at that moment..i listened to his sad story how he is out of work ..going through a divorce and has lost everything he worked for the past 39 years for only to end up losing it to a bitter wife..i know there are two sides to all stories..but hell ..the only ones that make out in any divorce are the lawyers ..and i sure know about that first hand..

I’m among the ones that have grown kids that  moved back in with me with this horrid economy..my friends have it even worse ..i may have gotten my daughter back home and gained her fiancé in the process but at least they are working hard ..going to school..and trying to get back on their feet..many of my friends aren’t so fortunate..some of their kids returned with a bunch of little ones along with them. not to mention their own elderly parents..3 and 4 generations squeezing into smaller and smaller spaces..everyone is struggling these days in this economy..

so why do i feel so pissed off today..well not so pissed off maybe ..just a bit aggravated..it all starts with the fact that i have rights as a photographer..and my rights are that if I’m going around shooting photos in public places and you are in a public place then i have the right to either photograph you or the environment along with you in it..well i found out recently that all the beggars that have been flooding our streets are legally allowed to do so..i can not stand watching the ones that are dragging their kids with them..is that the way to bring up kids?

i do not like to place a photo of children in my site unless the parents know me and don’t feel uncomfortable about my photos on my blog so I’m not going to post any with children..but you get the idea..i am going to post some of the folks that are out there making a buck and NOT PAYING TAXES..ok if you want to throw away your money on someone entertaining in the streets then fine..but beware that many of the beggars are phony..i mean seriously now..if you can pay for your animals and tattoos and cigarettes then you can go look for a job..buy yourself food ..and get a ticket to head your ass back home where you came from..the young ones really piss me off..you mean to tell me that the one that claims to be a young widow with no insurance can’t get off her ass and get a job..or at worse find some other poor slob to hook up with..jeeze..

I’m sure lots of you will give me some flack about my feelings but hell I’ve been through some hard times just like everyone else ..worked my butt off ..kept my kids in school  not in the street begging and kept a roof over their heads..and I’m still managing on a mere pension ..have i become so hardened that i can’t bring myself to spare a few cents..it seems as if you can’t walk around the city anymore with some beggar in your face ..armless ..legless..cripples..whatever..but i still don’t feel as if they should be out there begging..there has got to be agencies that are taking care of these unfortunate souls..

during the day i got some sass from beggars telling me not to take their photos..well guess what ..i have rights too…and if you’re allowed to beg in public..then the law gives me the right to photograph you in the street..don’t give me no hassles and i won’t give you any. I’ve been threatened that they would call the police on me..i ask them if they want to use my phone to call them..go right ahead..one almost got up to come at me..well if you have the strength to come at me then I’m crying assault charges then the bums won’t have to worry because they can get 3 squares in jail..

filling up the bucket list

everyone has a bucket list i suppose..and if they don’t then they should ..during my life i used to keep a list of “things i want to do before i die” way before they put a title on it..when i was young i would write things in my notebook like..kiss a boy for the first time..learn to drive a car..travel to a different state….then as i got older the list became a bit more serious..get married..have kids…buy a house..you know what i mean ..the regular everyday things that a little girl dreams of having..

as the bucket went from empty to half empty when i was in my growing up years it became half full to full to overspilling..

i grew up to get many kisses..along with the few beatings i took in life..sure i got married..got divorced …more than once..got a home that got to become a more of hugh container for all the stuff accumulated over the years…mine..my kids ..my husbands..its time for a  downsizing..thats for sure..

now my bucket list has become a barrel to fill..all my girlhood “dreams” has become my golden years “wishes”…ive become a wife ..mother ..grandmother..and finally a retiree..the bucket filled to its limits for “life number one”..its time to move on to living my life in what i call my “second life”…..the one where i can make wishes happen..

months ago i did a blog about starting from the top and working my way down..and its not a bad thing..what i did was make it my goal to see all of new york city from the top of the island to the very bottom …and so my new “bucket list” is to see as much of my own city as i possibly can before i die…it all started with a trip to the cloisters..where you can look over the hudson river ..breathtakingly beautiful..from then on its been an adventure..

being retired allows me to do the things that you can’t possibly do while working and raising a family..in the past 2 days i found things to do that kept me entertained for hours on end..and being a new yorker its easy to find those things for as little cost as possibly and even for free..

so armed with the cost of a 29dollar one week metro card ..this is my way of learning all about this great city..

get on a bus…listen to peoples conversations..join in ..and before you know it you learn about their lives..and a treasure stash of things to do and places to see in manhattan..on the M5 bus riding uptown to 135th street and broadway i had the privilege of meeting a wonderful mother and daughter that had lived in the city all their lives..the mother was 91 years old…not only did she give me a guided tour along the way up from 18th street to 135th she added in places to see down in battery park..

after leaving them off and taking the M5 bus back downtown stopping off to visit grants tomb..i walked around central park and discovered so much more of the city exists than just the touristy spots..there were tons of nannies out with their charges..there were dog walkers ..and bicyclists..and joggers..students from colombia..and people that were taking in the sunshine on the benches while reading or just relaxing..this is  life in the big city..

the next day after meeting the impromptu historian i took her advice and trekked on over to the southern tip of the island..down to battery park..there is a jewish museum there that on wednesday afternoons at 4pm to 8pm the admission is free..also there are connector buses that will take you all along the bottom of the city to south street seaport where you can see the city streets in air-conditioned comfort..getting on and off as often as you like..if you are open to options you can stroll along the streets and find so many things that are offered for free..yesterday i found FREE art classes being given down by the hudson river..the materials are completely free..i got to join in for 2 hours sketching a live model along with at least another 50 other enthusiastic students..some had been taking advantage of this for a while and others were as new as i was..you get to keep whatever you draw..

ok so i spent 5 bucks on a pair of sunglasses because they were funky but that doesn’t count if you’re trying to do things for free…but after talking to the vendor and just sharing the fact that we were fellow new yorkers he gave me a free key chain..

when my cousins from Kentucky visited the city last week they asked me to give them ideas on what to see in the city..its so hard to plan so all i said was to just start out by  walking and looking around and before you know it we were watching a pre taping of a  show for  fox news that we got to see later that week and see ourselves on tv…boy was that a treat for them..then there was the train ride we all took which my cousin told me the kids said was the highlight of the trip to ny…to 7 and 5 year olds it seemed like a play land ride..see what i mean about looking at your own city through the eyes of  a child..

everything i post here is what I’ve seen in the city for the past couple of days..a church that was turned into a boutique..an armless man breakdancing for  tips..flowers growing along the parks..and people that you meet along the way…enjoy ….

no matter how you look at it

hi there everyone..its been a while since I’ve been able to write anything on this blog..call it writers block..call it laziness ..but no matter how you look at it to me its just an excuse..lol..the truth is that I’ve just been so busy with life itself that to sit down and take the time out to write a blog would just cut into that precious time we call living life..while I’m up here in the north i can’t help but savor all the colors and smells of the world around me..there seems to be so much activity that it is hard to take it all in at once..if you’ve been following my blog then you will see that my images are random ..to me everything is photographable and so there is no one subject that i stick to..it can be anything from scenery to portrait..but whatever i do photograph i try to make it something that others could enjoy looking at..

a few months ago i photographed graffiti at a place called 5points.com..the actual building is located in long island city queens ny..it is at this site where talented graffiti artists can display their work without going around destroying other property..yesterday when i went to get more photos i noticed that there were many other shutterbugs out and about taking several photos of this area..turns out according to my daughter that this structure will be torn down..sort of like take out the old bring in the new..now whats going to happen to all these artists..where will their work be exhibited in such a public view..to me its like going to a museum in the open..what a shame that it will be gone soon.no wonder there were so many others out there trying to capture what will end up being a thing of the past…thank god i at least have been capturing some of its beauty to treasure long after its gone..

also while I’ve been up north I’ve gotten to eat the best foods ever…checked out the progress on the towers..visited the 9/11 memorial..i got to see new things ..a baby bird take its first flight .flowers with the most electrifying colors blooming everywhere..the naked indian?? i even.finished up my journal of monkey Cee and monkey Doo where i would take them everywhere in order to document the times..

by the end of the month it will be time for me to head south again..it will take me another few months to recharge my batteries to come back north to take on the winter months and the holidays..some things will change but many will stay the same..its what makes me love coming back home..

deciding daiseys

does he love me or does he not?..by the time you get the answer  to that question you may look as frazzled as these poor daisies that everyone seems to think has the answer…lol

there doesn’t have to be a profit in everything you do

I’ve been keeping a sort of journal for the enjoyment of my grandkids..in the process i have learned new things …met new and interesting people…and found that not everything you do needs to be a money making project..certainly in this lifetime i will never reach fame and riches..so instead i found that there is so much more to gain than in what you often give…in my journal which started this past april when i went to visit my grandkids i found myself using two adorable stuffed monkeys as the main characters..Monkey Cee and Monkey Doo are what they are named..mostly because everything that grandma does they do right along with me..and so it began with a simple project turning into a full blown instructional interactive guide for the kids..i have all sorts of things in my journal right now..menus..subway maps…guides..and postcards..much of it is totally interactive..a photo of the monkeys doing whatever it is we are doing at the time..for instance ..if they go on the subway i will include a metro card along with a map of the subway system..if we go to a restaurant ..they get a photo with the menu and then the food..i include a real menu with the book and receipts along with the photos..someday the prices will be so much higher..imagine saying that $3.69  was cheap for gas..hmmmm.

everyone can use this idea..its not terribly original ..but each and everyone that chooses to use this will find that it will become very unique for themselves because each and every one of us has a different slant on things..even though its not the first time this sort of project has been done i know that mine stands alone in that whatever i have done is solely mine..sure you can copy it or you can try to do the same thing but thats ok..because even like baking a cake ..no matter how close you may follow a recipe everyones comes out a little bit different..

of course it would be a wonderful thing to make some money using my blog or creating that journal but all the red tape that would end up being involved in publishing my idea would not be worth the effort.think of all the model releases ..the copyright infringements..and whatever ungodly stupid lawsuit may come up in the process..who needs it…mostly this is for fun and entertainment for everyone to share with me..i use this journal to read to my rolling readers class that i volunteer during the school year….it not only entertains them ..it teaches them new things..places..foods …flowers…hopefully they will start their own projects..journals..discoveries..who knows maybe it can inspire them to have something to attain in their futures..

i don’t make money doing what i do ..but reap so much more in seeing the little ones blossom ..their sense of wonder encouraged .imaginations fueled.and best of all i know that my journals will ensure that my life will have meaning to my grandchildren..that they will someday see the playfulness that was in my heart..the thoughts of them constantly in my mind wherever i go and whatever i do..the joy that they give me ..some day when they are older and look through “our” journal they will learn about life in my time…know the love i had for them and always will if there is a beyond…so when you see my two little monkeys its a glimpse  of what i am leaving behind for my future generations..hopefully this blog can give you some ideas to start one of your own to share with someone you love ..

easy steps to leave behind a piece of yourself..

buy a notebook..composition book …journal

get a sharpie

buy some glue..scissors..crayons

take a brochure from everywhere you go..business cards..souveniers

take lots and lots of photos..

use a prop..something that you will enjoy..a gnome..a stuffed animal..a talisman..and stick them into all the photos

do not be afraid to use your creativity..imagination..

people enjoy getting into the mix..include strangers ..tell them about what and why you are doing the journal..

most of all have fun doing it…..

monkeying around like a new york tourist….

today was the 4th day of being  around my old stomping grounds….feeling energized i decided to drag my younger daughter along with me to head into the city ..of course monkey Cee and monkey Doo had to come along for the ride..and since this was their first time with us heading into the big apple they began to start monkeying around like a “new yawk ” tourist..first stop …food! any restaurant will do..there’s so many choices..but we love the edison hotel on 46th between 7th and 8th…ahh the matzo ball soup ..no bananas for our monkeys while we tour the city…

the main thing i did want to get was at least one photo with an actor…but that will have to wait till another day because we all wanted to do so many other things first…it never fails to amaze me how much fun tourists can be..they get so totally involved with you while you’re doing your own little “sight seeing”..that is, watching peoples reactions to our seemingly touristy antics.. and why not ?…when in rome do as the romans do…

here we are walking around with a big ass camera..and bags with props..taking photos as if we are seeing times square for the very first time..but only in new york can you get the city cops to pose with your monkeys…acting just like a tourist is the ticket to looking like the total fool and getting away with it…but once i open my mouth its like “the jig is up!”….only a real tourist asks …”so where are you from?????”  i hold my head up high and proudly claim that i am a true blue new YAWKER..

do i really want to grab the naked cowboys ass…? not really ..but to watch all the different reactions of people that get to grab his jockey shorts is truly a sight to behold…so we showed him our monkeys but he refused to show us his….

just sitting around the times square area is a show of its own…it makes anyone feel like a star..god only knows how many compromising photos of me are lurking around out there..just take a look at what I’ve collected…

…..once you’re in a public  place its like open season for candid camera…maybe thats why there are so many people incognito ……

all during the day we had to keep Monkey Cee and Monkey Doo  out of trouble ..not an easy feat. we had to rescue them from city ghouls to skate boarding street thugs…

but by the end of the day…they slowly became a tourist attraction of their own..heh maybe i could put them out to work..it may even pay for our next trip up here….you will just have to keep tuning in to this blog…KIM KARDASHIAN…watch out !!! THERE ARE  NEW MONKEYS IN TOWN…

wishing a rainbow can last forever

lord was it hot as the dickens yesterday…this idea of snow birding isn’t all its cracked up to be..hot is hot no matter where you are..yet most snow birders have the mentality that coming up north is the answer to getting away from the insufferable heat in the summer months in florida..well here i am guilty of the same thing only to find out that unless you have central air-conditioning you may as well give up that idea and head up even further north..lets say siberia possibly..ugh..

anyway i felt bad because i did want to go to at least one of the many parades honoring all the brave veterans that fought to keep this country safe and free..in fact i feel guilty enough that i didn’t serve in any of the armed forces during the days of viet nam..being a female and living in a very strict italian household there was no way that my parents were going to let me venture out on my own..they had that old fashioned ideals that a woman was supposed to stay home and have a husband do all the dirty work to provide for his family and country.

RED..to never forget  all the blood shed to protect our country:

now that I’m older i see things a bit differently..yes i would have loved to have gone off at that time and do the so called right thing..but now as i get older i get a little bit more fearful of my own mortality..only the young feel indestructible..not that its wrong to feel brave and want to have visions of standing up and protecting our country but theres also that feeling of not wanting our offspring to go out and get blown up and maimed somewhere far off where we aren’t able to hold them and kiss the boo boo like we did when they were little….maybe our parents of the WW2 generation made us softer because they already suffered first hand what horrors a war would inflict on us..its not so glamorous and gallant like they make it look in the movies..although todays movies are depicting the atrocities a little more accurately than ever before..

ORANGE ..the anger that we need to keep in check:

in my rolling readers program (in florida) that i volunteer for theres this one little fellow in my first grade class that is so dear to my heart…all he talks about is growing up and joining the army..it frightens me to think of this little six year old, red haired, freckled young face someday storming out with rifle in hand only to possibly come back either broken or in a body bag..is it so wrong to want to discourage him from serving our country..am i being so selfish to want to protect this little fellow because him and all those other little faces in the class remind me that one day my own little grandkids may possibly  have to go off to a war too.

  YELLOW..to try to see how bright our future could be if only we could stop fighting:

how come it seems as if every generation has  some  sort of major or minor war brewing up ..how many lives need to be lost before the world opens up their eyes and hearts to see that the only thing a war brings is pain and sorrow to the loved ones left behind..last night i started watching the mini series of the Hatfields and McCoys..here is a perfect example of how destructive any war no matter how small or large the scale it all  boils down to the stupidity it takes even over one small pig to make for years and years of pain, sorrow and misery..are humans that dense?..what will it take to end the nonsense?

GREEN..for the land we all love so much and fight to keep safe:

today i don’t have any photos of parades..soldiers ..flags ..or politicians that marched so proudly along the streets of our country..i pray silently in my heart for all the little ones that no matter how much pain and sorrow we may have to endure in the future of our country …will continue to forge ahead and fight for our freedom at the whims of egotistical maniacs that are running the countries ( and not just ours)..it all boils down to a pissing match between grown men (and women)that have no hearts …we know as a nation that there are many sociopaths that kill without remorse..its no different from any government officials  that places lives of the young in harms way without any regard of the pain caused by the families that are left behind..

BLUE..for all the tears shed ..sorrow caused by unnecessary war

i don’t want to get all political..its not about that..its about my heart that breaks or any mother or father that has a child ..isn’t it normal to want to keep them safe..isn’t it normal to want to teach them to never hurt another child..how is it then that it all changes as they grow up..how does the hate and greed begin to seep in..?

PURPLE…for all the purple hearts and funerals of our brave men and women

todays photos show flowers..symbolizing the  flowers placed on the graves of our soldiers..flowers given to the ones that return from our present battles..flowers that are placed at the funerals of the young lives lost ..to the brave families that carry the burden of their loss for our freedom at the expense of their chid..husband..wife..sister or brother..i have placed one photo for each color of the rainbow..because our planet is like a rainbow..where it takes all these  different colors to make it so perfect..   this world needs people of all different colors..nations of all cultures.. in order to make something so beautiful..how often do we get to look up in the sky and see a breathtaking rainbow ..to  be utterly astounded by its beauty..alas it just like humans.. it is a fleeting moment  of that glorious splash of harmonious color..like  peace it seems to be  that within a moment it is  gone.. then the lightning and thunder roll in and the storms (like wars )begin all over again…

and finally


for peace.. for in blending all those colors we could have purity if only we could all see how staying together could avoid all the sadness