Grant L. Gursky Photography: Blog en-us (C) Grant L. Gursky Photography (Grant L. Gursky Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:36:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:36:00 GMT Berlin Maryland - America's Coolest Small Town During the economic boom years in the 90's, Americans lost touch with small town America. Gigantic box stores began to proliferate and replace Main Street. While most of America was thriving, Main Street and the Mom and Pops of America fell off our radar because we became too engaged in gigantic consumption the newer box stores offered. To a large extent, we're still enamored with these box stores today.

There is, however, a spot on Maryland's Eastern Shore that is truly experiencing a renaissance along their Main Street.  And that place is Berlin, Maryland, recently crowned America's Coolest Small Town by If you have never visited Berlin, Maryland, you have no idea what you're missing. Go for a walk down Main Street in Berlin today and you will feel like you're smack-dab in the middle of Norman Rockwell illustration. And while there are many folks that are responsible for this economic turnaround in Berlin, a large presence among them is the current Mayor Gee Williams.

I drew an assignment from the Daily Times in Salisbury to cover a Berlin Main Street fundraiser at Burley Oak Brewery. The fundraiser was hoping to raise money for the town's annual Christmas decoration fund. And if you've never been to Berlin, the Victorian Christmas celebration the town puts on is a fantastic time to visit. After the fundraiser was over, Mayor Gee Williams was going to monitor the voting for America's Coolest Small Town. And if the current numbers were to hold, he would raise a pint of Burley Oak beer at midnight and toast the town. My assignment was to shoot video and stills of the toast and subsequent celebration of Berlin taking the crown of America's Coolest Small Town.

When I arrived, I found the Mayor giving an interview to the Editor of a local weekly newspaper. Like any other assignment, I always survey the situation and scope out possible interesting shots. And trust me when I say this, Burley Oak is one of my favorite hangouts, but a dark brew pub at 11 pm at night doesn't offer many exciting photo opportunities. It was around 11:45 when the Mayor asked the Worcester County Social Media Coordinator Mark Huey how the voting was going. It was at that moment that my favorite photo of the night happened.  An iPhone 5 provided just the right amount of light to illuminate the Mayor as he was checking on voting results:

Berlin Coolest Small Town - Burley Oak BreweryBerlin Coolest Small Town - Burley Oak BreweryBerlin Mayor Gee Williams uses a smartphone to check the standings of the vote tally shortly before midnight with the help of Worcester County Social Media Coordinator Mark Huey, left, and Berlin Main Street Coordinator Megan Houston during a celebration at Burley Oak in Berlin Monday night.

I shot this photo using my Nikon D800 with a Nikkor 50 1.8 lense. I managed to get off a few images before the moment was gone. And I had just one image that didn't have any motion blur in the image. Every day I'm thankful that we live in the digital age of photography with the most amazing sensors because I'm a firm believer this image and the quality it contains wouldn't have happened if I were shooting film. I wanted to get this image up somewhere because the reality is, this image didn't accomplish my assignment's goal, which was showing a celebratory atmosphere after Berlin was crowned America's Coolest Small Town. I don't know if it even ran the next day in the paper as a shot of Mayor Gee Williams giving the toast ran on the front page. 

Here's the video I shot of the event, make sure you view it in HD:

Congratulations to the Town of Berlin, Maryland



(Grant L. Gursky Photography) America's Coolest Small Town Berlin Maryland Burley Oak Brewing Company Grant L. Gursky Main Street Berlin Mark Huey Mayor Gee Williams Small Town America Video Berlin Maryland Fri, 28 Feb 2014 05:37:25 GMT
Photo Plus Expo - New York City Every year photographers converge on the Jacob Javits Center in New York City for the annual Photo Plus Expo. I have attended the expo on and off for years and every year I always seem to leave there a little bit overwhelmed and wanting to up the credit lines on all of my credit cards. I'm telling you, there is gear for your gear that you never knew you needed. This year, however, I set forth on a different path. I decided that I was going to attempt to cut through all of the commercial goodness of the show and focus on some of the fantastic speakers they have at the event. Just about everyone that's anyone in the photography industry can be found at the expo, but one in particular stood out, Joe McNally

Photo Plus Expo - Jacob Javits CenterPhoto Plus Expo - Jacob Javits Center - Joe McNallyJoe McNally speaks to photographers at the Nikon stage at the Photo Plus Expo at the Jacob Javitts Center in New York City. Shot with my iPhone 5

There are many reasons I relate to Joe, but the biggest is we are the same type of photographer. He came up in the editorial world and so did I. Albeit, he has shot for some of the best publications on Earth (my resume is a work in progress and I have some really great publications to boast as well), but who we have shot for isn't really the point. It's the style of our work that matters. There's not necessarily one thing we specialize in, we sort of can get anything you need, done and done very well. And in this brave new world of "lifestyle wedding photographers" and "photo moms" it was really refreshing to hear war stories from Joe. He has embraced the latest lighting techniques and digital camera technology to really hone his craft and his speaking ability is fantastic. 

It's really hard today to attend a photo convention and find speakers that you can relate to. The photo market has been watered down with folks that  are really just pimping a lifestyle instead of the technical way things get done. So instead of learning new techniques, you have people teaching seminars that just started shooting a certain genre of photography 2 or 3 years ago and the meaning of F-stop to them is the A or P setting on their camera. Listen, I don't take issue with these photographers at all, I am a capitalist. If you're into photography and ever have the ability to see Joe teach a seminar, I highly recommend you don't pass it up.

I will do a post in the near future about how I feel about the state of photography, my beloved profession. I will also include a few tidbits of some really awesome new gear.



(Grant L. Gursky Photography) Grant L. Gursky Jacob Javits Center Joe McNally New York City Photo Plus Expo Photography Today Wed, 06 Nov 2013 23:01:02 GMT