Growing up in the Strathmore section of Syracuse New York, Jody Grenier spent his early years teaching himself to play the piano and eventually became an accomplished jazz piano player. Jody worked in that craft for many years professionally and still practices to this day.
Jody unfortunately injured both hands from his regular job as a mechanic. After his surgeries he became quite board during the healing days and eager to get out of the house.
Jody took his small 8 MP point and shoot camera into the woods and started his journey in photography.
Today his work is well received including published works on 1px.com.
Part of Jody's many accomplishments include receiving world wide recognition from his 2015 photo of the Syracuse NY Christmas Tree at Clinton Square which was voted the 3rd most famous tree in the world by Buzzfeed, an online News source. This image was also chosen as one of the 16 most amazing Christmas trees from around the World by LifeBuzz: http://www.lifebuzz.com/christmas-trees/
Continuing to educate himself in the field photography and to bring visual joy to his fans, Jody hopes to invoke a memorable time in your life though his eyes for years to come.
The following article was published on December 19, 2015 by Melinda Johnson, a frequent contributor at syracuse.com and can be viewed in its entirety here. Jody Grenier, of Syracuse, photographed Clinton Square in downtown Syracuse at 5:30 a.m. Nov. 30 on his way to work at CENTRO. He titled his digital image "Cities Christmas Tree." "Basically, the shot was a mistake," Grenier said.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A picturesque holiday scene of downtown Syracuse has warmed hearts and fanned out across social media, from Texas to France. Jody Grenier snapped a "magical" photo of the Christmas tree and ice rink at Clinton Square days after Thanksgiving. Since posting the photo, "Cities Christmas Tree," on Facebook three weeks ago, Grenier has received more than 13,800 likes, 6,000 shares, 1,200 comments and 30 requests to purchase a print of the photograph.
The photo was happenstance. Every day, Grenier swings by Clinton Square on the drive to his building and grounds maintenance job at CENTRO. The amateur photographer always keeps an eye out for the ideal set up - glassy, clear ice that reflects the tree's image on its surface - usually occurring after a rainfall.
"I got out (of my car) and some rain had fallen onto my lens. I had a brain mistake, and I didn't wipe my lens clean, hence the effect of the picture. If you look closely at the picture, you'll see all those rain spots and a kind of a soft mistiness to it. That's actually me forgetting to wipe my lens off." With his SONY digital single lens reflex camera, Grenier snapped the shot of the tree, rink and historic buildings against celestial clouds at 5:30 a.m. Nov. 30.
Grenier "edited" the photo to reduce the shadows and enhance the contrasts. "I wanted the tree to stand out just a little bit," he said. He posted the image on his iPad and went off to work. "By the time I got to work, 800 people liked it," said Grenier. Grenier captured a shot of the tree in the square last year. "It actually came out very, very nice, but it's not as dreamy and magical as this one," said Grenier. The 2014 photo was "very sharp, very crisp." He said this year's lens mistake made the photo look misty.
A Facebook commenter from France didn't realize the photo was taken in the United States because of the historic buildings. Former Central New Yorkers were pleased to see the city looking so good. Anastasia Alexander, daughter of former Syracuse mayor Lee Alexander, shared her memory of flipping the switch to light the tree when her father was in office (1970 to 1985). Other viewers had a visceral reaction. "They saw the picture and it warmed their heart," he said.
Clinton Square is a Grenier favorite. He has photographed the downtown spot in summer as the sun rises. "It's quite a beautiful place for me," said Grenier." For some reason, I just found a niche there. I love shooting that area."
A Syracuse resident and graduate of Corcoran High School (Class of 1975), Grenier took up photography five years ago after an operation on his hands prevented him from indulging in his first love, playing jazz on the piano. He was bored during his recovery and needed an escape. He grabbed a small point-and-shoot camera and headed to Green Lakes State Park. He first photographed leaves and later placed objects in the running creek water. Grenier continues to experiment - breathing on his lens to create a fog while taking photographs at Onondaga Park recently - and shoot images with film and digital cameras. Grenier is surprised as anyone with the response to "Cities Christmas Tree." "Basically, the shot was a mistake, he said.
Above: A Mystical Morning photo by Jody Grenier also won several awards at The World in Black & White.