Tag Archives: new york city


My Favorite Ever

My Favorite Ever

Portrait of the Empire City (Circa 2008) #NewYorkCity #brooklynbridge #manhattan #2008




#Portrait #NewYorkCity

An honest chronology of learning photography

Here is the multimedia slideshow I made. It starts with how I learned to use my camera- taking pictures of the same tree adjusting settings on manual setting, with the book in hand, until I figured them all out. This is the history of my relationship with my very first camera, from when I got it June 6th, 2008, until today, April 15th, 2009. If it seems there is no order in this movie, if its all chaotic- well the order is in the improvement of my technical skill and knowledge of photography, that is the order and connection it flows in. The song is my own also, it’s called layers, because of the way I recording it. I played all the instruments (guitar, bass, drum, piano) for it, arranged, and wrote it. I hope you enjoy!


P.S, the camera is a Canon Digital Rebel XTi, with an 18-55 zoom lens (the one that came with it, the only one I use)

9:26 Express White Plains to NYC

9:27 am. Express to Grand Central. A minute promised now lost to irregular scheduling thanks to MetroNorth Railroad. Never to be made up again.

On the subways in New York City, the trains were carriages carrying me to school. One more rest before the ruthless psycho energetic total consumption of youth took over for the day.

I’ve graduated from that school since and graduated from that train as well. It still goes through my old neighborhood, East Harlem. My old neighborhood that isn’t the same itself. We’ve changed together and now I see new buildings towering over the old tallest ones, the project. A particular new building dominates the landscape, a single new face challenging many old worn out faces. Smug and obese in its seat on Marcus Garvey Park it’s still waiting to be touched, but even as a virgin it has won.

Gentrification- bad or good? There are some neighbors of mine who sold out their homes for chump change when it was offered to them.  Should I feel bad for them? Is it societies fault for taking advantage of them, or is it their own stupidity or laziness, their own fault they were so easily taken over? A sociological hearing device tells me that the system is inept at equality, the poor not given the same opportunities and taken advantage of by the man. Arguments of opportunities stunted by a glass ceiling. A business and Sartre-isk hearing device tells me that it is their fault for not educating themselves, not going the way of Nietzsche’s Overman and pulling themselves out of poverty, allowing themselves to be more vulnerable in their stupidity.That there is no glass ceiling, and even if there is, it is the individuals responsibility to break through it.

Which hearing device do I listen to? Which one is turned up louder? I know not everyone can be like Madonna in this world, in the sense she started her career while working at a Dunkin Donuts, only because there are limited seats at the top of the finance, success industry. But I also know that there are many fools at the top of the pyramid, and many intelligent savvy people who would prefer to stay amongst the common man. And many more sheep than anything else combined. I don’t know which is right for everyone else, sociology or business. As for myself, if there is anything in my way from meeting my goals, I’m going to break through it, or fall off the tightrope into the eternal abyss trying to do so. But I’m not everybody, and I’m fine with being the only one playing by those rules for himself.

He who runs with his own legs runs farthest, so to speak. He who feeds himself with his own hands becomes fullest, so to speak. Still, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  That’s the balance I’ll find, until I come up with a better way to put it.

I’ll climb the mountain, if you want to come, come with me. I won’t grab you to pull you with me, but maybe we can hold hands if we decide to walk together.



Early Photos

Today my photo went live on the Kenneth Cole Awearness blog, http://www.Awearnessblog.com. Kenneth Cole is making strides to make social issues more aware in the mainstream, and they features my photograph in their photo finish section. Please comment and vote for it! I don’t know what the votes really mean, but it feels good to be voted on. You can find the photo itself here http://www.awearnessblog.com/2009/04/photo-finish-camilo-rayo.php

In loving memory of an event currently happening, I’m putting up more photos. These aren’t really my favorites or anything, but some of the earliest photos I’ve ever taken. I think there was something I was doing in these photos that I still appreciate, though I don’t do it anymore. I think back then I was trying to see what made my photos “photos” without pushing any boundaries. I think they may push more than I do now, though. Here they are.

Portrait of a CowboyTimes Squareimg_3783-011Inaugural DancersPortrait of the Empire City (Circa 2008)M TrainGraph

And here is the photo I got into Kenneth Cole…Lets just hope I haven’t devolved.

Housing for All

Rising up on a Sunday Morning

As we all know by now, sunday morning is coming down. It’s almost afternoon here in post-grit New York City, where I’m laying on a slanted couch, so slanted that my feet are above my head. I figure I’ll play batman tonight. Get back to more human endeavors later this evening.

My camera broke, so today I’m going to B and H to see what they can do to fix it. I hope good news will be coming my way, and to make sure I’m going to put the right sock on each foot. I usually wear two different socks, so I sense out which sock belongs on which foot.

Wish me luck, world.


The exhilaration of the way things sound

You could write about any ordinary thing, I’m sure, from the sound a computer mouse makes to how groggy my head feels right now, and elevate those things to the level of giant-regularly-worshipped buddha statues, and pretty much glorify them to the same level.

This act, this feat, I think, is what selling is all about. Like a writer, choose what you put in carefully. Make every word, every centimeter of the image count, cut out the slack. The best salesmen can sell us the garbage we just threw out five minutes ago because they are getting to the core of what drives us most: excitement, maybe, or at least convincing us to be excited.

“This lovely empty can of tuna would be a great toy for your pheral cat, give him something to distract him so you can lock him up in that room!”

“Buy a typewriter with a delete option- never make the same mistake twice!”

They do it all the time. It doesn’t have to be logical. But due to the nature of our tiny little lives, we have a habit of making small things big. And nowadays, things are only getting smaller. And our minds are only making them bigger.

You know, I don’t think humanity has changed much. People are always talking about how things are so decadent now. You read literature from 80 years ago, people were saying the same things. Right now, I’m reading Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller, right in the beginning he’s talking about America, and it’s life. “It looked like a grand chancre on a worn-out cock. It looked worse than that, really, because you couldn’t even see anything resembling a cock any more. Maybe in the past this thing had life, did produce something…”. That’s on page twenty of my grove press edition, for all you historians out there. This book was written in 1938 about Millers fictional life in the 20’s. I still hear people saying the same kind of things, “Damn, things just ain’t what they used to be” and all this and that. I think it’s wrong. They are exactly what they used to be. Now life just isn’t as semi-charmed as it used to be when it was newer, when we was  young and fab, so to speak.

Sure, we’ve got new technology, newer guns, shinier toys. But an atari was just as shiny to a 12 year old boy in the 70’s as a PS3 is today.

Are we evolving? There may be less crazies on the train in New York City than there were 10 years ago. But I find interest in a man who can talk to himself. I don’t live in his reality, how can I tell him he’s wrong for talking to someone I don’t see? Just because I lack his amazing tools of vision doesn’t make him wrong. And my lack of understanding doesn’t make me right.