Thursday, July 31, 2008

Reeds by Chihuly

The client was nice enough to invite us crew to their event last night. The newly reopened De Young museum was theirs for the night. I was most impressed with the Dale Chihuly exhibit downstairs. He and his team of artists create some of the most incredible glass projects in the world. The mix of glass, color, light, and texture in this exhibit was incredible. It seems weird to take images of another artist work with the full intention of creating my own vision of it, but, here we are. I cranked out a few handheld exposures for this one as the tripod was back hanging out at the hotel.I have seen Dale Chihuly's work several times before, but this installation was phenomenal. The lighting was a major player in this piece especially. I would have loved to have spent a couple hours in here with a tripod and no people!

Here are a few more detail shots. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Golden Gate

The lighting has been a little lame since I have been here so I decided to create my own light. This is a shot from a few days ago when I wasn't chained to the lighting console n the ballroom. The clouds and light on the hill was created with a texture layer or 2. I worked on this image during the general session yesterday. Gotta do something to stay alert (hahaha). The client has invited us to their private event at The de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park this evening. I hope to capture a few images there.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Grape trucking

As I was maneuvering to get this shot I noticed some of the staff walking by out of the corner of my eye. I was without tripod and was laying down in the dry field just outside of another really cool winery trying to steady my camera for 5 quick bracketed exposures. As she was passing by, one of the girls yelled out "Hey, be careful down there....we kinda have a snake problem out here." Yikes! Thats all it took for me to dust off and get back to the tasting!

I am still in San Francisco on a corporate gig at the Hyatt. As the presenter drones on at the podium during rehearsal, all of us tech staff are working with our laptops on other events, photoshopping, skyping, and just about anything other than really paying attention. Hey, it is a rehearsal day! Oops, video que coming up.....hold on...

Ok, I'm back. Its great to be working with this crew again. As always, we are treated to some incredible dinners with Rick. Had an incredible seafood dinner on Monday night. Here's a link to Steve's blog describing last nights Greek dinner.

I haven't been out shooting since load-in as we have been in the ballroom most the time. Hope to get out sometime this week before I leave. As I type this, the crew is back in Florida prepping for our show in Greensboro, NC next week. Thanks guys! As you know, you are all a very crucial part of that event and I appreciate it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hanging out in the wine cellar

After a great tasting at Castle de Amorosa in the Napa Valley a couple of days ago, I was lucky enough to get a few minutes in the cellar. They were well past closing time, but I was able to sweet talk the lady that treated me to a great tasting of their reserves into letting me capture a few images down there. I could have spent an hour there but I was pushing it as it was. Perhaps next time, I'll work on a better focus job. I'll blame it on the wine this time (haha)! Enjoy.

Towering Redwoods in Muir Woods

Although I am not really happy with this image, I decided to post it anyway. Taken at Muir woods outside of San Francisco. Any lighting that happens to reach the forest ground is lucky to get by these amazing and majestic redwoods.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Golden Gate at Night

On the Sausalito side of the Golden Gate Bridge, there is a road that takes you right down to a great place to capture this landmark. I stayed in a hotel called Cavallo Point near there that opened about 2 months ago. The rooms are converted government barracks from clear back to WWII. It was a great location to base myself for trekking around Muir woods, Sausalito, and the wine country. More images to come from my exploration today.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lone tree

I have been noticing a lot of "lone tree" images from my flicker friends lately. I guess it seems only appropriate that I release this one. This is one of those posts that has absolutely nothing to do with where I am today. This one was in line waiting patiently, and I have just swiped its boarding pass. He waited patiently for his zone to be called. By the way, when the Delta flight agent says "It is now safe to turn on and use your portable electronic devices", do you think she feels completely stupid knowing damn well that it was probably safe to use them the entire time?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sunset at Seabring thru the moss

I captured this just as I finished illegally parking my car. I figured it only appropriate to post a nice calm soothing image as I am presently scurrying about frantically packing for another week on the road. Man do I have an excessive amount of gadgets and adaptors! I actually have a list for all my personal stuff....kind of outta control actually.

I can hardly wait to see what will be broken on my Delta flight tomorrow. I seem to be on some sort of a loosing streak with them. I leave at 7AM which doesn't really explain why I am adding to today's post right now at 1AM! Time to get some shut eye.

I am working on a week long corporate meeting in San Francisco and am pretty excited about it. The crew is a great one to work with and San Fran. has some really great photo possibilities. I am heading out a day early to try to get some images on the Sausolito side of the bay.

More on all this later!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Flying the not so friendly skys

This late night post finds me at gate #9 at the Atlanta airport....delayed an hour of course. I looked long and hard to find a glimpse of happiness on at least one face in the line of passengers at the Delta help desk. Didn't happen. I find it so hard to believe that an industry that on the edge of total collapse, an industry that absolutely thrives on customer service, is the home of such incredibly bad service. On my last flight....a flight that was of course delayed as well, I simply pointed out to the stewardess....sorry, flight attendant, (whatever) that the reading light didn't work at my seat. This was done without an attitude on my part as I was just simply trying to inform her as to make the seat a better place for the next passenger. I also informed her that its kinda funny because it was actually the 4th flight in a row that it work. Her quick snide response was "you mean on any carrier". "Actually, that's not really what I said, but if you must know, it is the 4th Delta flight in a row". Kind of ironic as I am a lighting designer, but anyway. Her next response was classic. In fact, as I type this, I still find it hard to believe that I was told this. Her response was "maybe this is just a good chance to chill out......" Jaw drop, eyebrows up, awkward pause...."excuse me?" "Ya, just tune out and relax a bit." I was really kind of expecting a "I'm so sorry sir, I will have to jot that down and get a note to maintenance." Just chill out....hmmmmm, that's nice. Perhaps the book I was going to read with the light was a good way to accomplish that. All I have to say is pick up a spatula on the way home and start practicing your burger flipping technique, because your career might be about to change really soon!

Just a little add on. After arriving at 3AM and after 4 hours sleep, I'd like to report that the reading light on my last flight actually worked. They did have a nice in flight individual TV setup, however the audio on mine didn't work! Just looked at my itinerary for tomorrow morning. I fly Delta thru Atlanta again......oh, let the fun begin!

Sunset at Seabring just before the police showed up

The signs said "no parking anytime" and "beach closed - unsafe water, bacteria detected". Well, the color was awesome and the sun was setting so fast! I figured that would be a good enough excuse to park illegally. When the police did show up, I waited at my camera down by the water, cable release in hand, for him to travel across the beach to speak to me (hehehe). He looked a little ticked to have to make the trek. I was lucky he just let me off with a warning!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Churchill and Roosevelt hang'in out in infrared

I had a few other images ahead of this in Que, but this one's cutting in line like a French woman in line at the bakery. I am traveling now and a little delayed in Atlanta, so I am posting a bit early. As we were bouncing arround in the bad weather, I worked on this image a bit. I usually post an image after I have worked on it and looked at it again a few times more, but it was itching to get posted. It was an infrared capture that I totally worked over. There are a few texures from a variety of places. I hope to remember where I got them from and give credit later. Enjoy!

By the way, there is nothing that seems to piss off an airline passenger more than having to step over some pinhead sitting on the floor right near the exit ramp. I needed a place to charge the laptop and about 30 minutes ago, this area was clear! I gotta get outta hear before I get trampled by the angry mob!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunset panorama in the Everglades

On my last mosquito swatting expedition to the Everglades, I was seduced by a spectacular Florida sunset. Like what has happened many times before, I couldn't find a good location to shoot from during sunset. It kind of defeats the purpose of enjoying a nice peaceful experience when you are driving like a mad man chasing the light looking for a place to turnoff. During these times, it seems like the sun is dropping like a bowling ball! I like getting some interesting foreground subject if possible in my sunset shots, but I couldn't seem to find a great location anywhere. Well, the sun was fading fast. I eventually gave up and swerved off of the road and decided to do a panorama of the sky. I shot a few sequences, swatted a few insects, lost about a quart of blood, and hit the road as fast as I could. After using photostich in photoshop a few days after the swelling went down, this rather square image appeared on the screen. Kinda of a strange pano, but I kinda like it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires

Recoleta is a final resting place for the elite of the elite of Buenos Aires. This place is simply amazing. We were able to capture quite a bit while avoiding and hiding from the "Tripod Police." We were warned once, then the fun began. Hiding behind columns, statues, and mausoleums...tripods still in hand....running down rows and columns of pathways, we must have looked like we were in an old Beatles movie hiding from crazed fans!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Key West Event

As I followup to yesterdays post, this is more of an overall room shot. Table centerpieces were pinspotted, perimeter decor was uplit, and hand painted arch panels were front lit. After the guests left the main room, the party continued until 3AM out by the pool. When the guests really enjoy the event, it feels great to be part of the team that helped make the magic evening happen!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Collage of the Key West Birthday Party

This image was created from captures of details for an event we did last weekend in Key West. I kinda did it backwards in that I first picked out a few shots I liked, then processed them, then created an unsaturated background from a room shot, then tried to squeeze them all in. Not the best way to design, but hey, I never claimed to be a graphic designer.

I must say that the coolest thing about these images is that they were all captured handheld from between 1600 and 6400 ISO. Setting unheard of a couple of years ago. The D3 totally rocks!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Church in Buenos Aires

First rule in travel, verify all information given! While working in Argentina, I decided to head out late to capture a cathedral shot with another one of the show crew (Rob). Its kinda cool on these gigs as there are a few other photogs! We checked with the concierge to confirm times, and to be honest with you, I think he just made them up!

Although the concierge told us the cathedral was open late, really late, we arrived to a fairly dark interior, lights being turned off, and 2 watchman with keys in hand ready to close. After a little pleading, I was able to crank out 5 exposures and that was it! It was really dark in there. Thank goodness for HDR!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Forgotten Hotel

When the rain finally let up, I decided to wander about the hotel. This one is inside Iguazzu Falls National Park in Brazil. The nice part about it is you can beat the tour busses to the falls and wander down there after the crowds have left! Being off season, it was kinda quiet.....awkwardly quiet. There were a few times I felt like I was staying in the hotel that was in the Shining. Heeeree's Johny!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge in Sao Paulo, Brazil from the Hilton

The funniest part about capturing these images for this HDR shot was the looks I got from the businessmen trying to enjoy the peace and quiet of the VIP Lounge. Nothing like barging in with a Gitzo tripod and firing off rounds with the D3, machine gun firing style! Aaahhhh, I love it!

The reflections on the left side are from the windows up there. Guess I could have really raised a ruckus and asked the concierge to turn all the light out! I tried to shield them during capture and keep em to a minimum, but I kinda like them now.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Four Arts Pavillion

This pavilion shot was captured just over the bridge at the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. As this was taken during the day, the hanging chandeliers were not turned on. As I realized this during processing, I decided to "turn them on" in photoshop!

I have a bagillion images that I have taken over the last couple of months that I would like to start working on, but I am really trying to get a bunch of loose ends sewn up these next 2 weeks.

A million irons in the fire and I have to go to jury duty tomorrow! I guess its my duty to do so as an American citizen and I have gotten out of it a couple of other times. I just hope its short and day max! This should be a reeeeaaaal experience. Hey, I wonder if I can blog from the courtroom? Now that would be classic.

Aaaannnnd Cut! We got it! Thats a wrap.....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

South Everglades

At the very tip of the State of Florida in a Park called the Everglades, yours truly got a rare glimpse of the endangered Florida State bird....."The Pesky Mosquito"

I believe this was taken in an area called Flamingo, but I am not sure as I shredded the map swatting various insects along the way!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Driftwood in the Keys

I jumped out of the car, well, didn't really jump....anyway.....this was shot just outside of Key West on the way down here yesterday. The mulch like debris in the foreground is quite spongy. I leaped, yes thats leaped, from the side of the road onto this stuff. I assumed it to be a thin layer on the sand. I kinda sunk in about a foot. Felt like quick sand for a minute, not that I know what that feels like either. Jeez, what am I rambling on about?

The event is going on downstairs as I post this. A special thanks to my crew (Chris, Eric, Sarah, and Kieth) for a smooth setup and great day. Here's hoping we don't destroy our clients elaborate decor on the load out tonight....this should be good! Thanks again guys!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sunrise in the Everglades

Sunrise in the Everglades, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

I was probably down about a pint of blood by the time I captured this one. I now realize the reason that I was the only jackass I could find in The Everglades Park......THE MOSQUITOS! OMG, the worst ever. Should have known, I mean, I have lived in Florida for 25 years!

At the second location I stopped if I hadn't had enough abuse....I actually thought I heard airplanes. I stopped, looked around, wondered what the hum was, and then, as if on Q, was brutally attacked by about 5 different insects. The next scene was me flailing about, running for the car (laughing hysterically of course!) I can't even imagine what it would be like camping out down there now!

Anyway, we are in the keys working on an event. So far, we are totally on track. Load-in this evening went smoother that I imagined. My crew totally rocked, as always!

More tomorrow!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mausoleum in duo-tone infrared

Here is another take on the image I posted a few days ago. This was an infrared shot that I worked on a bit in CS3. Still hate the condo in the background.

In the northern Florida Keys area hoping to catch some Everglades shots in the early AM before heading to Key West for a gig we have on Saturday night. I went in the park this evening to scout a location and grab a few images. One word.....mosquitoes! Lots of um! The size of hummingbirds!!! Geez! Tomorrow should be fun. I think these things actually like bug spray!

More on all this later....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Flags near Fanuel Hall

I remember this location not for what it is or symbolizes, cause to be honest, I haven't a clue if this symbolized anything at all! I just liked the color, contrast, detail, and red neon. I remember this more for taking the opportunity to just hang out with a really cool friend from the past. We went out shooting in Boston after dinner one night. It was nice to be on a show with Frank Solcetto again! Dinner and a couple of beers with a million laughs was just what I needed. Life takes you on an unpredictable journey. Its really nice when that journey takes you back to some familiar faces.....yeah, as my life evolves and changes, I gotta say that times like this really mean a lot to me.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Known simply as The Old Hotel

On my last day in South America this last trip, I was scurrying around to catch scenic shots of the falls. As I was about to leave the park, I caught a glimpse of this place. I kind of liked the overgrown "Jurassic Park" feel to it. Didn't think of it until now, but I should have explored it a bit more!

Monday, July 7, 2008

A walk in the West Palm Beach Graveyard

I decided to visit this cemetery the same day my flight was canceled for Buenos Aires. It seemed to be a day to collect captures from locations I had put on the back burner for a while. While here, I captured quite a bit from my regular and infrared camera as well. This cemetery is a jewel for images as there are a lot of really old stones and the banyans create a nice contrast and background. Its kinda European in feeling there. The only downside is that it closes at about 3PM, before the best lighting! One oddity however is the condo that overlooks it. You can see it between the tree and the mausoleum in this shot. Not sure if I would want to plunk down $ 600K for a condo that has a view of a graveyard, but hey, that's just me.

This is another location I pass by almost every day and had never really given it any thought until I saw an image from from this Michigan based photographer named Shane. My inspiration to create this image was from one I saw in his collection. I like to give credit where credit is due. Here is the link to that image: Thanks Shane.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bethesda by the Sea in Palm Beach

I have passed this church too many times to count. It took a day that I had a flight cancellation to slow down enough to take a stroll into it to try to capture the beauty of this creation!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fireworks in West Palm Beach 2008

I really did want to stay away from HDR's for a week, but this show needed all the help it could get. I actually wasn't aware that the finale had happened when the show was over! I didn't think there was actually such a thing as a sad fireworks show until I saw this display. Guess I am kind of jaded after seeing some of the most incredible fireworks displays in other parts of the world.

This is several layers of images taken last night from the bridge here in Palm Beach. The rain stopped at around 8PM and it ended up being a great night after all! After the show, the band "Simple Plan" from Canada performed. They put on a great show!


Friday, July 4, 2008

When it rains, bring the beach inside!

Well, there were a few other things I wanted to do "outside" today, but it is South Florida in the summer, and that usually means rain. Hope it lets up in the next hour!

I decided to mess around with my macro lense and then decided to create this.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Palm Beach Sunrise about a year ago

As I continue my week of "no HDR images", I have been wondering what to post. I haven't shot anything since returning from my last trip. The weather hasn't been that good (guess it followed me home). I have also been trying to play catch up with my wonderful daughter!

I have also been using this down time to really try to get caught up on a few things I have put on the back burner. Sometimes you can only put off some things off for so long! Looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel and trying to focus on my new journey in life. :)

Anyway, in my search for images, I came across a few raw files I shot last summer. At this point, I was just starting to get back interested in photography! I processed this in camera raw tonight and did a little painting with light in it. It might be a bit dark, but I kinda like it. I tend to kind of light stage scenes a little dark as well. I guess thats ok (unless your the actors parents!)

Have a Happy and safe 4th. Look forward to all my flickr friend's fireworks shots!

More on all of this later. :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A dismall day at the falls

Photography is all about lighting. If you don't have great light, its hard to have a great photograph. May I present exhibit #1.

I hadn't seen the sun in 2 days, but still tried desperately to capture this natural beauty.

This was captured on a small Canon G9 and then processed a little in CS3 with some dodging and burning to attempt to take our eye thru the image. Not sure how to salvage these shots!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Where did this sky come from

I spent 2 days at Iguaccu Falls and was somewhat disappointed in the sky. I didn't even see the sun at all. The sky was overcast and looked like a milk jug. There was absolutely no contrast at all. The whole purpose of my trek there was to photograph it! Well, just as I was leaving the park, I happened to glance over my shoulder and just stopped. My jaw dropped and I shook my head in disgust. This sky, in a matter of about 15 minutes just appeared out of no where! Oh well.

Another cool note is that this was captured with a hand held G9 canon that a friend let me borrow to test out. I did virtually no touch up on this except for minimal camera raw adjustments to the JPEG! Its a great little camera.

Slippery path up ahead!

Although this photo does point out the fact that I seam to now have 3 chins (Jeez, when did that happen), the real reason is the sign. I found this on the path AFTER I fell a few times. Thanks for the warning! 

Boy, this walk is kinda slippery. I really gotta watch my st down....he's down! Whoa, he's down again!