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I am a contrarian, or so it seems.

I am a contrarian…. That’s what a good friend just told me.  Why? Well, according to him because:

• I use an Android phone and Tablet. LG and Samsung are good, Lenovo is garbage. I actually got a Nexus 4, a Chromecast and a Nexus 5X the day they were announced. That apparently also makes me an “early adopter.”

Google Nexus 5X

• I purchased a 60D the week AFTER the 5D Mark III was made available and shot for several years with a 7D. I also used (and publicly highlighted) the  Panasonic Lumix GH3 WAY before the GH4 was hot (which I also added to my arsenal). I don’t have a Blackmagic camera, mostly because I love shooting with the Canon C100.

• I have been using Adobe Premiere Pro well before Apple released Final Cut X, and before David Fincher made the Creative Cloud cool.

• I dropped my monthly “all you can talk” cell plan for a “prepaid plan.” It has been saving me at least $1,200 per year. I haven’t used Skype for years, Google Hangouts is the way to go.

• I choose not to own a lot of gear. I believe renting equipment is the best way to provide clients with the best tools for each job, and it also helps to keep my overhead low.

And the cherry on top? We are seriously considering getting an HP workstation for video editing (yes, a PC computer) instead of new iMac or even a Mac Pro.

Well, perhaps my buddy is right….I am a contrarian!

Lego Lucius Malfoy with Cape Wand

But here’s the thing, as a technology consultant I spend a lot of time thinking about what will come next in terms of trends and features. I bet on Adobe Premiere Pro about a year before the flood gates opened. I also have the privilege to see many products, hardware and software, as prototypes or in their beta phases, so even though I generally can’t talk about them, I can wait until they are commercially available or I can get something cheaper temporarily.

LEGO Minifigure Collection Series 4 : Sailor

But perhaps the main reason to be a “contrarian” is that I don’t really care about the name of the brand. What I do care about is performance, reliability, and support. The faster I work, the more time I have to build my business, and the more discretionary time I get to enjoy life offline, and out of the office.

I’m obviously not the only one, check this Fast Company article “5 Contrarian Lessons From Successful Entrepreneurs” and David Ogilvy’s (one of my heroes) “Contrarian Management Advice.”

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Visual Serendipity Week 85. Al Capone in the Bronx.

 
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Even though the famous American gangster “Al” Capone was born in Brooklyn, New York, he is still a celebrity in the Bronx’s Little Italy,

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Visual Serendipity Week 84. South American Sunset.

 
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A fairly typical sunset in Cali, Colombia. I’ve always liked the “watercolor” quality of the light and clouds in that city.

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Visual Serendipity. Week 82. Underground Rockefeller.

 
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Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 commercial buildings covering 22 acres (89,000 m2) between 48th and 51st streets in New York City. A series of shop- and restaurant-filled, underground pedestrian passages stretches from 47th Street to 51st Street, and from Fifth Avenue to Seventh Avenue.

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Visual Serendipity Week 81. The largest flying bird.

 
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The Andean Condor is the largest flying land bird in the Western Hemisphere, and second only to the Wandering Albatross in terms of wingspan among all living flying birds.

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Visual Serendipity Week 78. A shelter for the wealthy.

 
The Andrew Freedman Mansion, a wonderful building in the Bronx, NY, designed specifically as a retirement home for wealthy people who had lost their fortunes. We are working on a project here and will be sharing a pretty cool clip very soon. Stay tuned.
Here’s a New York Times article about this place.
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Visual Serendipity. Week 77. David’s Loft and Nokia.

 
Manhattan’s skyline as seen from David Alan Harvey‘s loft in Brooklyn. Shot with the Nokia Lumia 1020, a 41-megapixel camera phone. Disclaimer: I don’t own this phone, Nokia gave me one to test drive for a week. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on a future post.

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Visual Serendipity 74. The killing machine.

 
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According to Smithsonian Magazine, the Komodo Dragon is the perfect killing machine. Here’s an article with the most infamous Komodo Dragon attacks in past  years. This surreal Visual Serendipity image was taken at the The Amer­i­can Museum of Nat­ural His­tory in New York.

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Visual Serendipity 73: Neighborhood of make-believe.

 
Neighborhood of Make-Believe

This past weekend we came across a great exhibit at The American Museum of Natural History entitled, “Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture,” that explores how food is produced and distributed throughout the world; from farm to fork.

This miniature from the exhibit reminded us of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood of Make-Believe. (more…)

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Visual Serendipity 72. Soap Bubbles.

 
A very quick snapshot that brought back a lot of wonderful childhood memories. This girl knows how to enjoy the Summer in New York.

Young girl plays with soap bubbles in New York City during the summer.

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Discovering Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas: Visual Serendipity.

 
I recently met two acrobats from one of the eight shows in Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas. A multinational spectacle, Cirque du Soleil uses the imagination, arts and creative talent to present a show like no other. (more…)

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Visual Serendipity Week 69. Dreamy Landing.

 

Visual Serendipity Las Vegas Aerial View

Las Vegas, Nevada

Another Visual Serendipity image taken with my phone. An interesting aerial view of Las Vegas as I woke up minutes before landing. Nothing special, just pretty.

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Visual Serendipity – Middle Eastern Desert.

 
One of my unfulfilled travel dreams is (still) to visit an Oasis. While I did not get to see one, I did visit the desert right at the border between the United Arab Emirates and Oman, to witness a magnificent sunset.

To make the experience even better, I had the privilege to go on this expedition with David Burnett, a photographer I have deeply respected and admired for over 20 years. I was happily surprised to see him shooting with a Holga, a Ricoh GXR, a Leica M9, a Mamiya C330, a Mamiya 6×6, and even a Panasonic LX7 during the few days we spent together.

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I like this picture, but it doesn’t really capture what I felt; the vast space of nothingness, the exciting isolation from “civilization,” the sunlight disappearing rapidly, and the warm breeze drastically changing its temperature within minutes…

Luckily, I did shoot several video clips that afternoon and plan to do something with them soon. Stay tuned.

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Visual Serendipity – Bull Fighting in Oman.

 
After driving for 3 hours from Dubai to Sohar with my good friend Issa AlKindy and about 10 minutes before reaching our final destination, we spotted a traditional Omani Bull Fighting on the side of the road. With only 10 minutes of sunlight left, we reached for the first camera available and started shooting. I was crazy enough to shoot both stills with my Canon 7D and a 70-200mm 2.8 lens, and video with a Panasonic GH3 and a 12-35mm 2.8 lens. Issa is from Oman ad this was the first time he saw bullfighting. A very rare visual treat.

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I believe we are the ONLY photographers happy and willing to get into a cloud of sand and dust with digital cameras. =)

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Visual Serendipity. No Funny.

 
I respectfully disagree. I think it is pretty funny. Found at the storefront of one of the many “Halal” bodegas in my neighborhood.

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The Black Flower.

 
Staying home during a winter storm doesn’t mean I have to stop shooting.

The Black Flower. www.eduardoangel.com

“The dawn that she feared might never come would appear on schedule, just as it always had – and after it another, and another. And yesterday would become last month, then last winter, then last year, then two and five and ten years ago, and one day the people would have to stop and think before they could say how long ago it was .”

Howard Bahr, The Black Flower

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Visual Serendipity.

 
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Even the North White Plains Metro North station has a Wikipedia page! This is the view from the South tunnel, while running to catch my train. Visual Serendipity is our weekly series of images captured on an Android Nexus 4 smartphone.

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Visual Serendipity. The Silence of the Lambs.

 
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To create the physical world of The Silence of the Lambs (1991), production designer Kristi Zea drew on descriptions in the book by Thomas Harris on which the film was based.  She was also inspired by a variety of images, including paintings by Francis Bacon, newspaper and magazine clippings, and historical photographs.

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Visual Serendipity meets Mrs. Doubtfire.

 
Mrs. Doubtfire's comeback.

After a bitter divorce, Robin Williams disguises himself as a female housekeeper to spend secret time with his children held in custody by his ex wife. This was shot at the awesome Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York. If you don’t remember the movie, or haven’t seen it in the past TWENTY years, here’s the trailer.

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Visual Serendipity.

 

The invisible workers, the urban ghosts. We rely on so many people to get cheap food, services and goods, but we rarely acknowledge them, thank them or even see them. Let’s change that this year.

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Visual Serendipity.

 

Our Lady of Guadalupe (Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe), also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe, is a celebrated Roman Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary and recognized as a symbol of all Catholic Mexicans. I walked right into this procession while leaving my apartment in Brooklyn.

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Visual Serendipity.

 

After finishing a client meeting on Lexington and 66th Street, I walked by the “Seventh Regiment Armory” and saw this. I diligently took my weekly picture, and rushed to my next meeting. A few days later we found out that what was happening inside is called “the event of a thread”, a multisensory affair, with “readings, sound, and live events within a field of swings that together invite visitors to connect to the action of each other and the work itself, illuminating the experience of the singular and collective body.”

Here’s the complete info. Please share below if you have been or are planning to go to this event! Sounds pretty cool.

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Visual Serendipity.

 
Grand Central Terminal New York

Grand Central Terminal, seen from a very unusual catwalk’s view. While working on a consulting project for Metro North, I had access to a unique, VIP, once-in-a-lifetime, behind the scenes tour of Grand Central. The main lobby, which I always thought was huge, is actually a tiny part of the station. According to the travel magazine Travel + Leisure, Grand Central is “the world’s number six most visited tourist attraction”, bringing in approximately 21,600,000 visitors annually.

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