Monday, April 10, 2017

A Brief History Of Photography

Photography is the favorite hobby of millions of people. There is a certain kind of fulfillment when capturing images that tell a story. It may have something to do with freezing an event in time that somehow becomes a permanent part of history. Speaking of which, not too many people into photography know about their hobby’s origins. Here is a brief history of photography.

Photography has its roots in ancient times when two principles were discovered: the camera obscura, which meant a darkened chamber, and that the visible appearance of some substances can be altered when exposed to light. One of the most mysterious and surprising things about this is that it took centuries before Thomas Wedgwood thought of combining these two principles in 1800. His was the first documented attempt at a capture camera. It failed though.

Some 20 years after Wedgwood’s attempt, a man by the name of Nicephore Niepce succeeded in capturing the first image, which though very crude, was considered a huge success. It was Niepce’s associate Louis Daguerre who went on to invent the daguerreotype process, which sped up and boosted the quality of image production.

Image source:

Over the next century, photography would experience milestone after milestone from William Henry Fox Talbot’s calotype negatives to salt print processes, to the invention of new materials, that all made the whole photography process faster. Before people knew it, the mid-20th century brought forth photographs in natural color and black and white.

Hi! I’m Judd Bergman, a retired photographer and a big New York Yankees fan. Follow this blog for more photography insights.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Travel photography: How not to overdo it

It’s the age of travels, globalization being the great equalizer across the different social classes of photographers. It’s also an age where everyone wants to write a blog or be Nat Geo. This is good for worldwide education, but not for information retention. As it is, many budding and professional photographers are luring potential travelers with their striking pictures. But how to stand out in this crowd? 

Image source:

The answer is authenticity. People are tired of the same old sights presented the glossy way. And most likely, in any given country, the same tourist spots will be featured in travel blogs and social media posts. So, get out of your fixation on capturing the exact turquoise of that paradisiac beach and show your travel photos as they are, warts on your bikini bod and all. 

The desire to be interesting, naturally, doesn’t have to overwhelm technique. The fundamentals of good photography must hold. But letting your travel personality shine through in photos, that’s an entirely different beast. It means finding the off-the-beaten path. Paying attention to detail that most tourist traps miss. Finding your own niche—-will you focus on food, fashion, or local customs? It can’t all just be sightseeing. 

The best travel photographers have no need for captions. Their photographs show movement, immediately telling their audience what is transpiring in the photo. Granted, not everyone departs on a trip to safaris where the wild stuff happens, but having a good eye for travel photography means knowing where the action is. 

Image source:

Judd Bergman is a retired photographer. Learn more about photography by visiting this blog.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Is Gary Sanchéz Ready For Fame?

After his record-breaking streak of 20 home runs in 201 at-bats in 2016, Gary Sanchéz is touted as the New York Yankees’ top hitter for the season. His .299 average is considered a threat to his opponents, and his entire team has placed their bets on him. The whole organization has high expectations for his upcoming games, placing a lot of pressure on his shoulders.

Image source:
Unlike other players, Sanchéz actually prefers serenity over a celebrity status, even if it seems impossible now that he’s with the Yankees. The 24-year-old is expected to have skyrocketing fame, thanks to his incredible skills. While the Dominican native is bound to be a household name in the next few months, he believes he still has a lot to learn—particularly the English language. He still relies on a translator during press interviews and has been attending English classes since being drafted eight years ago. Yankees fans believe his time is coming, but Sanchéz remains grounded, despite his hard-earned status in the game.

Is Sanchéz ready for fame? It seems he’s aware of how the game would change his entire life, but even if he gets too famous, it doesn’t look like he’ll transform into an attention monster. Fans believe he’ll just focus on his skills to make his team one of the greatest in the game.

Image source:
Hi, I’m Judd Bergman, a retired photographer based in New York City. Aside from taking beautiful pictures, I am passionate about the Yankees. Visit this blog for more about photography and baseball.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Creative Therapy: How Photography Can Help People With Mental Health Issues

These days, more people are becoming aware of mental health issues. Instead of keeping their struggles to themselves, people are sharing how they cope. One of these is through photography. To help a person with mental heath issues express his or her feelings, some therapists are suggesting that they start capturing objects and moments on camera. Just like painting and writing, photography helps a person communicate what can’t be expressed verbally.

Image source:
Photography also allows a person to find inspiring and motivating images that will help them go through life. Taking a photo of a stunning sunset or a refreshing green forest can help a person feel calm. For others, taking a good picture makes them feel accomplished and lets them look forward to the next days. Some people also say that photography is a meditative activity. Focusing on the good clears a person’s mind of unnecessary negativity. The activity also fosters mindfulness and keeps a person’s thoughts anchored in the present.

Whatever the reason, photography is an activity that brings out the good in a person and in the world we live in. I’m just glad that my passion is becoming a way for people to get better.

Image source:

Judd Bergman’s the name. I’m a full-fledged New York City dweller and dad of three. Now that I have already retired from my job as a travel photographer, I can take my grandkids to see the Yankees play live because I know that the blood of blue and gray runs deep within them, too. This blog has more of my thoughts on baseball and photography.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Taking a Snap Of Big Apple

There’s no doubt that New York City is one postcard- (Instagram for our dear millennials) worthy town. Wherever you look, there’s always something interesting to document in the city -- the celebrated street couture, the legendary food trucks, the twinkling theater marquees, or even just the Humans of New York --- the Big Apple is, indeed, a photographer’s dream.

Image source:

And the city’s views and sights don’t discriminate. Regardless if you are snapping away with your iPhone or documenting with your Canon or Nikon, New York always has something majestic to offer. Take it from me. I have been a travel photographer for five decades, and a New Yorker for heavens know how long, but I still get enamored by the city whenever I look through my viewfinder.

So, if you are planning to visit New York soon or would like to get reacquainted once more with The City That Never Sleeps, I suggest you explore my beloved urban jungle through your camera. You can begin with the usual stops: The Top of the Rock for a panoramic view of the city or the Brooklyn Bridge for some awesome night photography session. Of course, don’t skip the Empire State Building, but be ready to line up to get to the top. The wait, however, is worth it, for that incredible perspective of Manhattan.
Image source:

But if you want to photograph the other side of New York, you need to visit the places rarely found on tourist’s must-see list. These include The Bridge at Tudor City, where you can catch the best sunsets you have ever seen, The Tom Fruin Water Tower in Dumbo, Brooklyn, where art comes alive, and the Four Freedoms Park, where minimalism reigns.

I hope that these places will make you realize why people never get tired of photographing this city of mine.

Hello! Judd Bergman here. For more NYC snapshots and stories, follow me on Facebook.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Many Wonders Of Yankee Stadium

Sure, if you're a baseball fan you're likely heading to Yankee Stadium to watch the best team on Earth play ball (the Yankees, of course -- accept no substitutes). But if you're a true Yankee fan, you know that there's more to love about the stadium apart from the fact that it's Yankee headquarters. Need convincing? Try these reasons on for size:


i) There are some excellent eats at the stadium - Crackerjacks and hotdogs are all fine and dandy but there's nothing quite like Parm's delectable and filling chicken parm, Brother Jimmy's BBQ's truly wonderful pulled pork sandwiches, or the dry-aged steaks of NYY Steak.

ii) You can hope to be the next Freddy Schuman - Until he passed in 2010, fan and legend Freddy "Freddy Sez" Schuman was the Yankees' unofficial promoter. He was known for banging on a frying pan with a shamrock on it to bring the team luck and for encouraging the team and fellow fans with handpainted signs.


iii) Yankee Stadium was pretty innovative - The old stadium was the first ever three-tiered sports stadium in the country. It was also the first to take advantage of an electronic scoreboard and instant replay monitor (the latter came much later).

iv) Sinatra's "New York, New York" is a bit of an anthem in the stadium - It used to be that Frank Sinatra's iconic song was played over the speakers whenever the home team won and Liza Minnelli's when they lost. Naturally, Minnelli took umbrage and told them to play hers after the Yankees won or not at all. These days Sinatra's version is played, win or lose.

v) It's a gorgeous example of architecture. - The original was an icon of post-modern construction. After its redesign by architectural firm, Populous, the new Yankee stadium pays tribute to the original with a beautiful limestone and granite façade and by retaining the old stadium's recognizable frieze, while being outfitted with the most modern amenities.

These are just some reasons why Yankee Stadium is one of the most amazing places in the planet but perhaps you should really just check it out for yourself to confirm!

Retired photographer Judd Bergman divvies up his time between photography and baseball, specifically New York Yankees baseball. If that's also up your alley, follow this Twitter account to get quick updates on his interests.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Rekindle Your Love For Photography With These Project Ideas

Image source:
I understand that there are times in a photographer’s life when creativity won’t seem to flow. There are days when it seems like we’re too slow to capture a good moment or we just can’t see it. When these things happen, I have learned to not let it get to me. To bring back my fiery passion for photography, I make sure to have a personal project on the side. If you want your own project, here are some ideas: 

A photo a day challenge
Nothing gets you out of a rut than knowing that you have to get a photo daily. With this project, the possibilities are endless. There’s no running theme and you’re not really required to come out with a photo worthy of a spread in a magazine. Just take a photo of something that catches your interest to fulfill your challenge for the day. 

Pictures of home project
Whether you’re living in a suitcase or have set some well-made roots in a city, taking pictures of what makes your current home interesting will give you lots of material to play with. You could take photos of a part of your house, your neighbors, what happens in the streets, and more. You’ll never run out of interesting details to discover. 
Image source:

Interesting strangers project
Taking photos of seemingly ordinary people while letting them tell their story is a good challenge. I tried this for a few times and the results came out great. I guess photographers work better when they know the depth of the person or the event they’re documenting. This project just brings out the heart behind the art of photography.

What do you think? If you’re up for the challenge, I guarantee that you’ll be inspired to go on and keep taking good photos. 

Judd Bergman’s the name. I’m a full-fledged New York City dweller and dad of three. Now that I have already retired from my job as a travel photographer, I can take my grandkids to see the Yankees play live because I know that the blood of blue and gray runs deep within them, too. This blog has more of my thoughts on baseball and photography.