Photography Tradition Endures Through Generations

There’s no time like the present to do what you love. Years ago that sentiment became a popular catch phrase following the book  publication, “Do what you love and the money will follow,” by Marsha Sinetar. The idea to pursue a life passion as a career choice seems a no brainer to finding job satisfaction.

Jay Misencik’s career choice was influenced by uncle Ed Brinsko (1927-1995,) a photojournalist and lifelong Bridgeport resident who worked for The Post Publishing Co., (CT Post).

In January 2015 Jay Misencik and partner Geralene Valentine, both self-employed photographers, and Brinsko’s son Ed Brinsko, assembled a month long Connecticut photo exhibit held at McLevy Hall in Bridgeport . The show titled, “ReVisit Bridgeport … Photographs by Ed Brinsko,” showcased Ed Brinsko’s work which spanned decades. Ed Brinsko and Misencik frequently accompanied Brinsko on assignment where they learned to develop film and print enlargements in the darkroom. Print and film processing is considered  a craft compared to digital photography with its ease of use and immediate results.

Ed Brinsko imagery for 'Revisit Bridgeport' exhibit. Photo courtesy by Jay Misencik

Ed Brinsko imagery for ‘Revisit Bridgeport’ exhibit.
Photo courtesy by Jay Misencik

The photos are stories unto themselves. Brinsko captured hard news, celebrities and street photography in a way that is both portrait and document. Michael Daly, Connecticut Post editorial page editor, presented a discussion on Brinsko’s work to a room at full capacity of retired news journalists and Bridgeport residents.

McLevy Hall

January 2015 “ReVisit Bridgeport … Photographs by Ed Brinsko,” McLevy Hall in Bridgeport, CT

Analog photography is a longer process than digital photography. That’s what makes Brinsko’s images special. Brinsko didn’t have the luxury of seeing what the picture looked like immediately. His talent, his eye for capturing the right moment is evident in each image in the collection.

Standing room only at 'Revisit Bridgeport Photos by Ed Brinsko' talk during month long exhibit. © Margaret Waage Photography

Standing room only at ‘Revisit Bridgeport Photos by Ed Brinsko’ talk during month long exhibit. © Margaret Waage Photography

2014 Jay Misencik documents Bridgeport through photography projects. Miscenik and partner Geraline Valentine have spent twenty years photographing Bridegport in ‘Main Street Bridgeport’ and current ‘Bridgeport Portrait’ projects. © Margaret Waage Photography

Misencik and Valentine have documented Bridgeport for over twenty years beginning with ‘Main Street Bridgeport’ series and now, through their ‘Bridgeport Portrait Project’ series. Misencik like Brinsko, is interested in portraying those individuals who have spent time in Bridgeport. From office worker to outdoor laborer, Misencik says, “It’s the stories people tell that in turn, tell the story of a place.”


Misencik is interested in hearing from those who can share their memories of The Palace Theater, a cornerstone to culture in Bridgeport.

Misencik wishes to show something new by recounting recollections and in doing so, pay tribute to the idea of time and place in history. The Palace Theater remains a significant part of a changing neighborhood.

It’s the tradition of storytelling that Misencik and Valentine practice. “Whether shooting digital or analog photography, doesn’t matter as much as how one approaches an assignment,” said Misencik.

“Photography is more about practicing the craft of capturing a moment in time. Anticipating that is what makes a good photograph.” Ed Brinsko would have been proud.

Somber Social Reality – How Does Murder Look Different in 2012?

Things don’t change much. Social media would have you think otherwise. RSS feeds crowd your inbox with needy reminders for your attention.

An overabundance of news requires savvy time management skills. Selective curation of  what to read and what to delete feels like a skill in and of itself.

When bad news happens we know about it almost instantly. Twitter delivers news faster than NPR and the New York Times. It’s not about speed, certainly, although in the heyday of newspaper publishing the idea of scooping out the competition made for some entertaining movies about how the industry works. Today I saw a old news photo telling the story of the Lindbergh kidnapping and it got me thinking. Did horrific events seem more so years ago?

Attribution: Wikepedia

I frame the question that way partly because of a misconception I have – that life was better then. Why I even have that thought escapes me. In fact if you think much further back beyond the 1930′s to medieval times, life in fact was worse. There was more brutality in the world.

People were subjected to violence much more than today, (depending on where you live).

Certainly in 2012 you’d think society is more civil. While civility is how we like to think of ourselves, crime speaks otherwise.

Violence still exists – that much much we know. One book that made a lasting impression on me was Truman Capote’s ‘In Cold Blood’. Capote wrote a lengthy piece on the 1959 murders for The New Yorker Magazine and I suspect the telling of this story made fame for the writer.

True crime as a reading genre is a compelling subject matter. It seems surreal to imagine the minds of killers of any kind, much less those that live in the United States in suburban towns like Cheshire, CT.  The 2007 Petit family home invasion and murder reminded me of Capote’s telling of  the Clutter family killings.  Fast forward to July 2012 in Aurora, Colorado when an otherwise bright student, James Holmes, opens fire in a movie theater killing twelve people.

These stories and countless others over the last few years, not to mention September 11th, 2001 are somber reminders that we live in equally turbulent times. Social media transmits the information quicker but that doesn’t provide any solace knowing bad things sooner.

Violence can never be softened with technology. However when Twitter and mobile phone communications do their job of transmitting information that can prevent atrocities, then technology can be heralded as helper, not just the bearer of bad news.