What's a trip to Paris without a trip to the Louvre'? As I was passing between 2 exhibits in the early afternoon, I happened to catch a pretty cool view of the courtyard. The lighting reflection really captured my attention, but my camera sensor didn't quite capture what I remembered seeing. Let me reword that, I wasn't able to get the camera to record what I saw.....kinda sounded like I was blaming my poor camera! That being said, 2 years later now, I painted in a little texture to enhance. Enjoy :)
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Well, think I'm gonna take another mental journey. When ever I get a little stir crazy and dream of far off places, for some reason, I mentally head to Paris. Its a great place to home base a European trip. City of lights.....a magical place. This week, I think I'm gonna post a few images that are from a 2007 trip that I reprocessed a little bit.
Friday, November 28, 2008
As I was leaving the Flagler Museum from todays setup, I glanced over my shoulder on the way to the car, and well, out came the tripod. I seem to take regular detours when it comes to photography. I wander towards the light with eyes glazed over, like a bug to a bug zapper.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
As we come to a close of another wonderful Thanksgiving Day, its time for me to personally reflect on what this holiday really means to me. My life has changed a lot over the course of the last couple of years. One thing that has helped me keep focus has been a daily acknowledgement of thanks for who I am, what I have, and what I have to look forward to. It’s on a day like today that it seems most appropriate for me to blog about it. Besides the predictable ones (health, roof over my head, food to eat, etc), here are a few that are very special to me.
1. The gift of a child is a priceless one. My little one has been more of a ray of sunshine for me since my separation than she will ever know. I can think of nothing more in my life to give thanks for than her. I cherish every moment I am able to spend with this beautiful, bright, funny, and lovable daughter.
2. How can you describe a mother as wonderful as mine? There is no one I know of that puts other people first more than her. She has been such a support for me throughout my life…..someone who is always there for me, no matter what. And who more to trust than your Mother for a bookkeeper. I have entrusted her to help me out in the office for over 20 years now and she has done an incredible job. Thanks Mom ☺
3. While I am talking about moms, I gotta mention how thankful I am that Rebecca has such a wonderful mom. I am also thankful that we both look forward to maintaining a strong relationship, although not together, to be the best parents we can be.
4. I have found that when you have a passion in your career, there is no such thing as work. My chosen path has allowed me to be a creative force in a fascinating industry. I have never been good at drawing or painting, so “painting with light” has been a great way to express my creativity. I am thankful that so many wonderful clients have rewarded me with the opportunity.
5. When I mention “clients”, I am reminded of something else. Most of the people that entrust me to help create with them are more like friends. I have always appreciated that. Most recently, over the past 2 years, a lot of them have really been there for me in my times of need. It’s nice to have such a support network.
6. Speaking of support, how can I forget my crew! Outside of Nancy in the office, there is a great team I rely on to help us create magic. Keith’s meticulous detail to attention in keeping the shop in such great shape, Chris’s incredible ability to take my larger designs and figure out all the nuts and bolts (in addition to a million other things), Sarah’s ability to whip large crews into shape, and most recently, Eric’s energy, humor, talent, and likability. These folks are really the unsung heros! Thanks!
7. One more quick thing about work. As every industry is feeling the cutbacks, ours is no different. I could focus on the numbers that are down a bit, but there’s not much I can do about that. I can, however, be thankful for the work we do have. I am sure that there will be a few more bumps in the road, but I look forward to the future.
8. After a great day like today, I am also reminded of what an incredible family I have. My brother and sister have been such a special part of my life and I cherish the incredible memories we share from our youth and look forward to creating many more memories. I love you guys!
9. My recent explosion of interest in photography and digital imaging has to be mentioned as well. The mere definition of the word means to wright with light….something I have a little experience in. It has been nice to embrace this new passion…..something other than work to focus on. If nothing else, the intense need to capture images and moments around me has helped me really open my eyes to this fantastic world around me. I’d like to also give thanks to the wonderful inspiration all the people at NAPP have been in my journey of learning new techniques as well as the wonderful support from my ”flickr friends.”
10. "Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of Habit, the leaden weight of Routine, the cloak of many Cares, and the slavery of Home, man feels once more happy."
Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821 -1890)
What more can I say? When travel becomes a part of you life, it changes you….it should change you. It gets in your blood and helps create the very person that you are. I am so thankful for the incredible places I have been about to see so far in my life. From my earlier backpacking days in Europe every summer for about 5 years, to all of the exotic locations my career has taken me, I will always have these memories. I look forward to many more opportunities, and for that, I am thankful!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone ☺
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Well, first off, I am not a graphic artist. These are a few, as promised from yesterday, from this past weekend. Certainly not a typically large show for us, but still an opportunity to express our creative energy. I have been messing a little with On One's Photo frame software. This was created with it. The far background was a texture at 85% opacity and a rough edge frame. The other images were all sized and rotated in PS4 (Photoshop) and given black frames and drop shadows. The background image was then dimmed a bit to let the other images pop a bit.
Well, looking for a little critique. Too much? Is it too busy?
Oh yeah, all the images are mine as well. Some HDR and some not.
Happy Thanksgiving all!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
This was taken from one of the events we did the lighting for this weekend. As always, I took a great shot and grunged it up HDR style, but hey, thats what I like! I took a few images that came out pretty good. Maybe I will post a collage tomorrow. Just a couple of funny notes about this one. First, trying to keep a clear room during exposures was like taking a picture of I-95 at rush hour and trying to get a clear shot of the road. I am not sure why everyone kept coming in and out of the room, but it wasn't really my place to stop it. Everyone outside of the room had to see what all the buzz was about. I would be 25 seconds into a 30 second exposure and some jackass would stick his head in the door. Sorry, thats a bit harsh, but you get the picture. Case in point, the open door on the left side. (uurrgg!) In their defense, the room did look amazing. Second thing, you can see my camera on the tripod reflected in the mirror top right......woops!
Monday, November 24, 2008
As Anthony Bourdain so eloquently put it, Shanghai is positioning itself to be the new world capitol. The city is in full gear preparing for the up and coming Expo or Worlds Fair. With this incredible city as the backdrop for this event, its sure to be one not to be missed!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Let me first just say that the view from the top on the Hyatt in Shanghai in unbelievable. After arriving in China for the first time ever, the bar up here seemed to be the best place to soak in the view for my first night. After I rounded the corner from the elevator, I stopped, looked, picked my jaw up from the floor, and scurried right back down to my room for my camera and tripod. A clean window would have been a nice touch, but hey, you can't have everything!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Alright, I never claimed to be an expert in floral photography. Actually, I never really claimed to be an expert in anything! I have alot of images to process from this evening, but here is one for now.
It was a pleasure to work with Tom and Tracy on this event this evening for a very special wedding. Words can't describe the feeling you get when the bride walks into the reception room to "sneak a peak" and almost faints from excitement after seeing the space that has been transformed for her special night. She returned a couple of times again only to cry out with tears of gratitude. When you get to be a part of this team and receive this thanks first hand, all I can say is it is a "great day at the office!"
More images to follow soon....
Friday, November 21, 2008
In a tunnel visioned quest for HDR content, we blazed into the temple grounds of this area of Singapore. I am always, (at least I hope I am), sensitive to the people worshiping in these great places. Little India is a maze of streets with colorful displays, unique sounds, and unusual smells.....a rather fun place to explore. I hate to overuse the fisheye effect, but I like what it does with these tiles.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I am sure I mentioned it a million times already, but I have never felt safer in a city than I did in Singapore. As a city going through a construction phase at what appears to be an alarming rate, its look is bound to change by the time I make it back someday. This was taken on a bridge between somewhere and somewhere else...(Nice one Mike!) Well, I could dig out the map, but you get the idea.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The more I think about it, the more I understand it. I live so close to the beach here on the east coast, but have created much better images of the West coast when I was there. Sunset = easy time of day for me. Sunrise, well, before coffee.....not so good for me.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I think by now, its pretty well known that I love to travel. I embrace and treasure each and every journey I have been blessed with the opportunity to take. It is with mixed feelings, however, that I reflect back on one that is coming to a close.
Hiking in the swiss alps, moped riding in the Greek Islands, diving in the Bahamas, exploring the streets of Paris, finding new music at a music festival in Copenhagen, treking in Norway, traveling as a lighting designer with Anna Gabriel in South America, waking up on countless overnight trains in Europe, ...... I could go on forever! All these were fantastic memories. Each and every one had something in common however....a foreseeable end. Upon embarking on these journeys, there was a predictable time to come home and end the trip.
A few years ago, about 12 or so, I decided to embark on another journey. This one was a little different. You see, this journey was supposed to be one without an end....a lifetime journey if you would, with another person. At least, that was the plan. To love, learn, and grow into a much better and complete person...... a union not to be broken.....yes, that indeed was the plan.
Well, people change and life kinda gets in the way sometimes. There are some that are able to make this trip successfully, not many as statistics will tell you, but some. Sometimes I wish I was one of these privileged few, but hey, I think I played my cards as best as I could. I have lost too many tears to count over the last 2 years trying to figure it out, thats for sure! I guess like anything in life, you learn as you go and you learn from your experiences. I have to think that somehow, this is all part of making me into a better person.
This journey has been over for a while now. The train has slowly but surely been approaching the station. By tomorrow morning the wheels, if all goes well in court, will finally come to a hault. It is then when I must grab my bag and get off the train. Even though I know the trip is over, I can't help but feel I didn't see everything. Like I misread the guidebook and slept through too much of it.....a very strange and uncomfortable feeling I must admit.
I look forward to continuing my next journey, one that I have already started.......being the best father I can be. Like all my other trips, I look forward to this one!
Monday, November 17, 2008
To be fortunate to have had the opportunity to wander this incredible city in China even if only for 48 hours is one I will always be grateful for. There are events that I work on, there are gigs that pay the bills, there are shows that I enjoy designing, and then there are really cool opportunities. This past trip to the orient was one of them. If it wasn't for this cool cat, I wouldn't have had that great opportunity. THANKS RICK!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Before I toss out an umbrella after a windy walk in Chicago, I'll remember this guy. A street vendor that specializes in umbrella repair. A lost art in this disposable society? In the US, sadly so, but here in Shanghai....well....not yet.
I had such a short time to wander the streets of Shanghai. To try to capture the essence of this great city in a couple of days is quite foolish. I attempted (kind of unsuccessfully I might add) to bone up on my street portrait skills. Most of the folks in this city I approached were not really receptive to the camera. A few, like this man, really didn't care. He was so focussed on the task at hand that I seemed to just disappear in the background.
Too tired to describe, yet, awake enough to post. Another long day in the events industry tonight. I hope to post a few tomorrow night. For now, please enjoy this imaged created from an infrared capture from along the coast of Oregon. Gnite...
Friday, November 14, 2008
As a traveler, its sometimes easy to overlook the photo opportunities in your own backyard. This was captured just north of where I live, in a little town called Jupiter here in Florida. Much has changed in this town since I lived there and went to high school, but the inlets still there and the fish are still biting!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Apparently, the only dry area in this humid city of Singapore that evening was the Suntec Fountain. I made a special trip down there after our event wrapped up to try to capture the waterfall and colors. Even though the local schedule posted several shows that were scheduled for the evening, this puppy was bone dry. Not sure what was going, so I captured this anyway.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
As I timidly walked thru the front gate of this temple, I had no idea what I was about to find. Being a little bit ignorant, ( all right, a whole lot ignorant), to what I what looking at, I couldn't help but appreciate it. The whole temple area had various worshipers in various states of prayer, so I was careful to not be too obtrusive. An American wandering around with an oversized camera can stand out a bit, if you know what I mean. I loved the colorful details all over the place, so I had a little fun processing this one.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
As I await the arrival of the bellman here in Shanghai, I am acutely aware of a couple of things. First, when did I start overpacking? I used to trek through Europe for 2 months at a clip with 1 bag. One! Well, maybe a small day pack as well. Now, I am carrying a bit more camera gear than back then, but really......4 bags! I feel not unlike an idiot.
Well, its about time to get on my way to the airport to head home. There are countless images to post, but this one kinda says it all for me. Sunrise along the Bund here in Shanghai is quite magical. For some reason, I like it in black and white. Anyway, more on all of this later for sure. Gotta go!
As I looked out my window at the crack of dawn, I saw the sun start to line the edge of the clouds with some incredible light. It was time to grab the camera and tripod and scramble up to the tops floor of the hotel to capture the sunrise. I wasn't prepared for the 1/2 hour wait for the camera lense to defog however. To say that Singapore is humid is, well, an understatement!
This post finds me on my last night in Shanghai, China. What an awesome side trip and incredible experience to remember. I hope to make it back some day to explore a lot deeper. Too many little bits to mention now as it is late, so more in the next few days or so. Till then its time to get a little rest....and dream about the 30 or so hours of travel I have ahead of me. Yikes!
Friday, November 7, 2008
After our rehearsals were over, Rob, Steve, Allen, and I headed out to capture some of Singapore at night. This huge ferris wheel is very similar to the London Eye and I think it was put in to pull tourists to another area of the city. Actually, I have no idea why its there. We never went on it as we were too busy snapping away.
Our show was a success as always. I cant think of a better crew to work with. Actually, I don't think I should be using the word work. Its like hanging out with friends!
I have really made a point to get out and capture a lot on this short trip. I have at least 1000 shutter clicks from Little India, China Town, The Esplanade, Night Shots, Our Show, street shots, Temples, and more.
As I kind of mentioned already, this City/State is quite safe. I can honestly say that I have felt safer in this huge city than any city I have ever been to in my life.....including my own! What makes that even weirder is I haven't seen any police at all. A million security cameras....but no police presence. I wandered around last night till about 1AM with my camera without a single fear. Clean, safe, organized, vibrant, youthful, energetic, colorful, electric, and fast paced. All good things, but as a traveler seeking a taste of the Orient....kinda lame.
I like the "on the edge of your comfort zone" as a traveler of new places, so the idea of heading to Shanghai was a no brainer. The concierge here at the Shangra-La Hotel was able to get me a Visa in 2 days! Some of the guys left this afternoon, while Evan and I have a 7:30AM flight. The 5 hour flight will put me in downtown Shanghai, China at an area called "The Bund" by midday. That only gives me about 48 hours to explore this huge city, but I am up to the challenge.
More on all of this later....
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
After load-in, the pack of us headed out to explore Singapore at night. Thanks to Steve and his raw files, I was able to process this image.
Check out his blog at http://slarose.blogspot.com
Left to right ..... top to bottom is Steve, Allen, Rob, Me, Georges, and our fearless leader.....Rick.
I have heard that this city can be described as "Asia light" or "Asia 101". I have to agree with that. At times, when wandering in this clean, safe, and vibrant city.....its easy to forget that you are half way around the world. With that in mind coupled with my intense need for exploration, I have taken the crews invitation to head to Shanghai for the last 2 days here.
More on that later!
Well....He did it! Kinda weird not being in the country on such an incredible moment in history! We are connected..via the net...out at our control area. As we wait for presenters to show up for rehearsal, we are watching Obama's acceptance speech. Once again, history in the making!
As I look back at my images, I noticed I never posted this one. I took this at the DNC 08 a few months ago in Denver during the introduction speech by Michelle Obama. Seems like it was just yesterday.
Well, the people have spoken and the decision has been made. Its so nice to see that Florida didn't hold things up! A landslide slam dunk by Obama. Now its time to get to work!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
As I notice the election results coming in on CNN here in Singapore at 5AM, its nice to be reminded that I did my part a couple of weeks ago. Shortly after I snapped this self portrait while filling out my absentee ballot, I was reprimanded by the voting office worker. Just as the flash went off, she squawked out "You can't do that in here...please turn off your camera!" Hmmmm, I can't take a picture of myself voting....seems kind of odd....allrighty then...didn't see any signs about that, but I'll buy it.
Well, as I watch the coverage on CNN here half way around the globe, I have seen countless video loops of live coverage of people voting. Closeups, wide angles,......you name it. WTF!!!
Anyway, get out and vote. Its your right, your privilege, and your responsibility. And if your in Singapore on our crew and you forgot to vote.....well....your too late. Sorry guys!
Monday, November 3, 2008
After about 26 hours of travel, I arrived in Singapore. After a quick stroll thru immigration and customs, I was slammed with a wall of Southeast Asia humidity just outside of the airport. As soon as I arrived at the hotel, I saw Steve (pictured here) and a few of the other crew. As we all converged about the same time here in Singapore from locations all around the globe, we were all bit jet-lagged. Even so, we ventured off into this foreign city. Our original plan of a quick walk along the water turned into a 6 hour jaunt thru the city. Four out of six of us had cameras....and we were snapping away at everything. I captured this one of Steve in the subway....the cleanest and most efficient subway I have ever been in. This city is so clean you almost want to wipe your feet off before you even leave the hotel lobby!
Anyway, we start our load in in about 2 hours so I gotta start getting ready. More to come, I am quite sure.....
Oh yeah, one more thing......everyone else in our group is a Canon shooter. I guess I can forgive them for now!
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Not my typical HDR shot, just a simple one out of the Iphone. A snapshot that speaks volumes for me though. I wanted to capture a shot of Kevin in action during our setup. In typical Kevin fashion....here he is multitasking. Giving creative direction, fielding calls, and making sure the devil has a cool drink!
As I await the departure of my flight to Singapore, I struggle with choosing the right words to type. Life is a journey. Sometimes, the people who help you along the way make it a special journey. Several years ago (about 26 actually) I met this crazy guy. His contagious creativity and drive is quite infectious. My introduction to the event lighting industry would have never happened without this chance encounter. It seems like only yesterday, I was crawling under a stage to pump a fog machine up on one of Kevin's events as the entertainment was blasting from over my head. The Palm Beachers dancing in the environment created by Kevin and Bruce was like nothing I had ever seen. It was such an adrenaline rush! That turning point in my life has taken me all over the country since then as a lighting designer. It was nice to work with Kevin again after so many years. My words can't acurately describe how cool it was to come full circle after so many years. Its nice to stop and remember where you got your start and big break. Thanks Kevin :)
I hope to post a few images from the event during the next few days from the Halloween event. Next post will be from Singapore!
Lets just say, cause its kinda late, that its nice to reconnect with old friends. I fully intend to elaborate soon on what that means, but till then, this is a shot from tonights event. Next stop for me......Singapore! I leave tomorrow from Orlando in the afternoon....and 24 hours or so later, I'll be there :)