Sunday, May 31, 2009

Somewhere in Denver

Somewhere in Denver, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Having not taken any shots lately shy of the few I took today from my motorcycle, I think I'm due for a "clean out the ready to file" week. So, to start out, here's one from....uumm, well, Denver. Where in Denver you ask? Haven't a clue. You see, for me, this little hobby or extreme passion of mine is approached in a somewhat haphazardly fashion. At times, there seems to be no system in place for the gathering of pertinent information. In this case, some of that information might start with, about maybe the name of the church?

I love church interiors like this, always have. I must admit that I feel kinda weird bustin' in there with the old tripod though. I have never been approached and asked questions about what I am doing, but I'm sure that day will come!

So, as you know, the fisheye lense is one to be used in moderation. Not a very flattering portrait lense for sure.....unless having a nose that appears to be larger that your whole head is the look you are after.......

Saturday, May 30, 2009

As the sun rises again in Palm Beach

I really really have no reason as all not to have more images from our beaches here during sunrise. For all the people nestled in the middle of the country, this 4 minute trek from where I live should seem like a no brainer. Hmmm, well, guess its the whole "getting up before sunrise thing" that kinda squashes for me. I know, lame excuse. Hope to prove that theory wrong over the next few weeks as work slows up and crashes to somewhat of a complete hault .....but thats a thought for a completely different post!

This image, captured a while ago, got the ole' painter technique and process. Hope you like :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pyramid at the Society of the Four Arts - Palm Beach

I don't know much about this sculpture. You think I would by now. Every photographer has their special locations, you know.....the fall back ones, the ones that are close-by that you scramble to when the light is just right. This evening was no different. Just over the bridge from where I live is Palm Beach....a winter playground for a fortunate few. This sliver of land boasts some of the most unique, expensive, and exclusive real estate in the country! Anyway, just over the Center bridge as we locals call it is home to the Society of the Four Arts and also the home of this sculpture. With the wonderful light that was painting the sky at the time, the only challenge for me was to find yet another unique perspective!

At the top of Gullfoss Falls in Iceland (and a website update)

Sometimes, the timing is such that I am fortunate to be able to mentally attach a particular musical piece to a location or shoot. Before I left for Iceland, I was introduced to the wonderful music of Jami Sieber from a little experimental video that Trey Ratcliff worked on. Her cinematic melodies struck a deep cord in me and have been the creative background music I have since enjoyed while processing images lately. I also enjoyed this wonderful music as I traveled about Iceland last month. Knowing that her music has somewhat been a creative soundtrack for my recent work, I was quite excited when she gave me permission to use it on my website!

I have recently taken the time to update a few galleries on my site at I hope you get a chance to check it out as there are a few images that I have not posted here yet. In the music credits, I have a link through to her site as well. Also, if interested, her music is available on Itunes.....just search for Jami Sieber.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just another afternoon in the Greek Islands

A few years ago, my life was a bit different. Actually, I guess that goes without saying. All of our lives were! In the early 90's, my seasonal company always rewarded me with the opportunity to relax in the summer. I embraced this time for 4 or 5 straight years running. Come about clockwork..the travel magazines would come out and my European plan would start to fall into place. For me, there was nowhere else in the world I wanted to be in the summer but somewhere in Europe.

As you travel through Europe, from Scandinavia through Central Europe and eventually to the Mediterranean countries, the Greek Islands are always a perfect way to end the trip.....a vacation from your vacation if you would.

Upon arrival to just about any island from the convenient ferries I took, the first stop always seemed to be a quick stop to negotiate a daily rate for a moped. Zipping endlessly across the landscape of the Greek Islands on my "Shreed Ped" as I fondly referred to them as always found numerous opportunities to photograph the locals, discover quiet little villages, and let your imagination wander about what life was like hundreds of years ago in these little islands. For some reason, I think little has changed. I hope to make it back someday to see :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

If Walt Disney himself could paint the sky

For me, there is nothing that gets the heart pumping more than racing along and seeing a colorful light show about to burst in the sky. (except for of course, jogging with a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich......but thats a post for another day!) On this late Florida afternoon, while driving home from the West coast, the only real challenge was where to pull off and grab a vantage point and a quick subject if possible. Days come and go, quite quickly it seems lately, so its nice to just slam on the brakes sometimes and enjoy the moment :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Images from an event - this one being NACDS - Part 2

Seemingly ready to hatch, originally uploaded by Photomike07.
As promised, I've got a few more goodies from a show we worked on last month. Wow, kinda feast or famine with my show posts I guess huh? Like I mentioned yesterday, events with this client (see link and mention in yesterdays post) are fun for the photographer and image creator in me as there is oodles of time to enjoy not only the art of the scene that we helped create, but the craft of capturing these frames for eternity. Please enjoy some more images below and thanks for stopping by :)

Lone cherry blossum

Cherry blossum detail 3
I love trying to isolate these little "characters" as they seem to be fighting for their spot in the huge stage of decor.
Chill out area

Soft detail

Delicate details

Pink pink pink

Table details

Up a little too close

Room image
I hope you liked this deeper look into one of our events. I have a couple more to get posted once I get the images together. Check back tomorrow for my regular random post from wherever......

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Images from an event - this one being NACDS - Part 1

Its been a little while since I did a post from a show, so, here we go! After just working on 2 successful events this weekend, I guess I'm in the mood. In continuation to last nights post, I am gonna show a few images from an event we did at the Breakers in April. The NACDS (International Chain Drug Store) event is actually a week long convention that annually brings a lot to the local economy. According to their website, The NACDS Annual Meeting is their industry’s most influential, strategically oriented event. More than 2,000 business leaders including Chairmen, CEOs, Presidents, and Senior Vice Presidents from drug, food, mass, and specialty retailing companies and their supplier counterparts will gather in Palm Beach to share their vision, discuss strategic issues, and explore future opportunities for success. Our involvement varies from year to year. In years past, we have worked on events for Revlon and Gillette, but this year, as we have for about 20 years, we were happy to be working with L'oreal Paris again. Michael Ereshena has always found a creative way to tie in the "French" theme. In years past, regions such as the Riviera, The Loire Valley, and Normandy have inspired his designs, but for this year, French Films became the basis for the decor.

NACDS detail 3
In this crazy and unpredictable world of events, it is still the relationship that I appreciate the most. Being able to say that you have worked with a client for over 20 years is quite powerful. Sure it can get a bit stressful at time....all right, alot of the time....but in this fast paced business, it is always rewarding to look back at what you created and say with pride "Hey, I was part of that!"

NACDS detail 2
I all fairness, we are just a small part of this equation.....albeit a pretty important part. The real magic starts with the initial decor design and especially in Michael Ereshena's events...the flowers. His link is here: 

NACDS detail 1
For me, personally, the best part about his events is the fact that his army of crew always finishes WELL ahead of schedule. This give me a great deal of to wander about the space looking for details to capture.

NACDS detail 6

NACDS detail 5
As to avoid the various setup crew, wait staff, and my own crew, the first lense I usually try out is the macro or a 50mm 1.8. I love to isolate these little oasis's of detail and color. Lately, I kinda take pride in knowing that even the most discerning guest is most likely not going to see these little worlds of wonder in the way that my eyes are used to seeing them. You know, its funny, after over 20 think I might be jaded. I guess I was for a little while there, but within the last 2 years, my camera has kinda pulled me back into this world of art :)

Cherry blossum detail 2
As I start to pull out of the exploring the close-up world, its time to start capturing the big picture. Of course, that hardest part is avoiding the countless scurrying staff as they go about meticulously straightening flatware, filling water glasses, and straightening chairs. At times, its hard not to scream out "All right already! It looks get out of my shot!!!" I then calm myself down when I realize that there are many other departments just as important as mine, so I continue to operate stealth-like.

Another Room image
The event was held in one of my favorite rooms in the hotel, The Circle Dining Room. Just about the most European feeling room I can think of here in Palm Beach. Although a bit of a challenge for us to load into, the details in this room are just amazing. If in town for a visit, this is a great place to catch a brunch on Sunday morning or perhaps lunch during the week. A link to their website (which is pretty cool I might add) is here:

More of the chill out area
Raised seating areas, a signature Michael Ereshena look, provided little casual areas to get away and talk with business associates and collegues.
From the balcony
From the balcony, I was able to capture a bit of this incredible ceiling detail. I have a few more from the event to post, so check back tomorrow for more from this event. Thanks for stopping by :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A look at a close-up world of details just before the guests arrived

As you may or may not know, my "regular gig" is providing lighting for specials events. On a typical event (like this morning), our team shows up at the crack of dawn. A mad scurry then takes place as lights are hung, cables run, hardware is placed, circuits are patched, lights are focussed....and thats just our department. Add in the layers of decorators, florists, caterers, musicians, and other various artisans and you have quite a symphony of talent! As a photographer and visual artist myself, there is a virtual playground of images, textures, and colors to be enjoyed as a result. I have often wondered if the guests....any of them for that matter.....ever REALLY get it. I mean, do they really see the infinate detail that goes onto these projects? Well, I do, and after 25 years in this business......I am still in awe.

This little collage was created from a few shots right before the guests arrives (my favorite time) as I scoured the scene for unique angles. As I am a little backlogged, this is from an event we did last month. More on this one in a couple of days. I like these kind of "Conde Nast" style composites. Hope you like it as well. I have a few more great shots I hope to post from from this event so stay tuned :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dappling light over the falls in Colorado

Sometimes the best thing about this blog for me is the constant reminder of how lucky I am. Sure, I've worked pretty damn hard for a long time, but every once in a while, a really sweet gig pops out of nowhere. Last year, I was asked if I wanted to head to the Democratic and the Republican Conventions. My job at the one for the Dems. in Colorado was to be my clients rep in a media lounge......a super cake gig. Although not a real challenge like I usually enjoy and strive for, there were HUGE opportunities to trek about Denver and explore for a week in the off hours. Having driven about a bizillion miles, I have NO IDEA where this one was captured, but I remember it quite vividly. The sounds of the cool rushing water, the birds in the trees, the smell of the great outdoors, the brisk thin air of the mountains...... yeah, I'm pretty lucky sometimes! For all of you that have given me these opportunities over the years.....I sincerely thank you :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Icelandic church - day time capture with a nightime look

This creative path of mine has been, well, a diversion. An opportunity to play with my love of light in the off hours I guess. One of the greatest things about diving into any creative endeavor is the opportunity to express a vision and have fun in the process. This image, as you might notice, is not typical of my normal style. When driving on a little "searching for light" trip through Iceland just outside of Reykjavik, this little church caught my attention. I swerved off road a bit and took my rental car down a path that....well, let's just wasn't designed for. What caught my attention in the first place was this incredible light beaming out of a crack in the overcast sky as if to pull it up into the heavens. After carefully positioning myself down hill with the light up and camera left, I clicked off a few exposures. One point of interest, this image was captured in the late afternoon in full light! Of course, my original capture looked NOTHING like this, but I was able to portray the mood I felt in post processing. For me, sometimes thats when the real magic is created.

One more thing, as I mentioned the other day, I am trying to add a little code as I post for these pictures. If you click on them, you should be able to view larger and with more detail. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Through a canopy of light to a journey memories

As we continue to redefine our goals, fine tune new strategies, and set our sites on new opportunities, its nice if you can choose a path that allows you to savour the beautiful journey along the way. After all, what good is getting to the end of the path if you have no fond recollection of the trip there?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Parisian sun

I'm gonna take a different approach tonight. As mentioned before, I have often wished I could paint. Not that I can remember actually trying at any great length, perhaps I could if I had the patience! With this little series of images, I took the painterly approach. I frequently enjoy processing my images with HDR software, but a visit to Paris for me helps to extract another creative side. Capturing the full tonal range of an image as in HDR is great, but sometimes the soft painterly and somewhat impressionistic quality can help evoke a completely different feeling.

Just arrived in Paris - first afternoon
As I arrived for my first day of Parisian wandering, I started by trying to capture the general mood. Paris has a casual flow to it but at the same time, there are calculated lines and structure. It certainly is an incredibly intricated city as a quick overhead of the city layout will show you. I was hoping to catch both of these moods at the shutter click. It was only after I applied this painter effect that I think the real mood popped into view.
The courtyard of the Louvre....a great convergence of glass and stone. The interior of this museum can be quite intimidating at first. The best bet is to focus more intently on a small area, artist, or style. Rest assured, it will always be there (and a great reason for another trip!)
With a million other photogs snapping pictures at all times of the day, I really hoped to isolate some details while still expressing the vastness of the architecture.
Cafe' near Gare de' Nord
Paris is really the city of light (and cafes!) Starting at just a small snapshot, this image takes on a whole new feel with a paint effect.
First evening
As I stumbled upon this vantage point, the sun was just starting to paint the walls of the Seine River with this incredible warm light. The silhouette of Notre Dam in the background was an added bonus.
Near the Ille'de Cite
As the average traveler to Paris does, I snapped images at almost every turn. Through the magic of post processing, sometimes only then can the real emotion be portrayed.......the emotion that prompted you to click the shutter in the first place!

A little bit of house keeping

A few blog updates

Geeeeez, is that a stupid title or what? Anyway, for you old and new bloggers out there that might be checking out my posts and pics every so often, I just wanted to mention a few things. I updated the side bar of the blog a bit. I have a followers widget that you can set yourself up on. I'd like to see ya there :) ! There is also a link to my Image kind site for prints. I don't have many there yet, but I hope to change that. Also, there are a few links to some other sites I like for imaging as well as my posts by categories and dates. And lastly, I have a group of links to my business site (look for some MASSIVE changes over the summer on that), as well as links to my facebook and gallery sites. I hope to update my main gallery site soon so stay tuned for that. The flickr link takes you to a site that lets you view all the sets of images I have, then view in slideshow vies, etc. Kinda cool so check them out! Also, if I can remember to add the code, clicking on an image on the blog will take you to a larger view from now on instead of taking you to flickr....again, if I remember to add the code....

There is a lot to learn in these new times we live in, and its great fun sharing all this knowledge. For example, I just got off of the phone with Steve (a fellow blogger and friend) and we exchanged tips. It seams to be a reality that a massive paradigm shift is taking place in the entertainment and information world. For many of us, the TV is no longer the preferred way of content delivery. Our valuable time is ever more shifting to content that WE create and WE proactively look for. With that in mind, I am quite honored to have you here!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Reflections on the Oregon Coast

As is SO often the case, the days barrage of ideas for my blog post are all but completely vanished into thin air. For some reason, my thoughts seem to be vividly focused on opportunities, plans, and visions of drastic change these days. What's that all about. Anyone else sharing these thoughts? Usually, several times throughout the day, an idea pops up and I think "Hey, there's a great idea to compose a blog about".....and then, soon after....poof, its gone. Sounds like I need to start twittering. Just what this world needs from me isn't it, more little tweets to add to the millions of terabits of nonsense out there. LOL

For tonight, served up for your enjoyment, the magnificent Oregon coast. Having forgotten about 15 or so ideas for tonight's post by now (must be the heavy dose of antibiotics for the swelling in my arm.....long story....), my inspiration comes from a flickr friend that is treking about Oregon this week. I have always been intrigued at how 2 people can wander thru what seems too be the exact same setting and create such unique perspectives in their art. Thanks for the reminder Rachelle....

Anyway, nuff for now. I feel like I am fading fast!

As day comes to an end

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Looking over the volcanic rock field in Iceland

Being a geographically young Island, Iceland continues to evolve and create an ever changing landscape. Fields of volcanic rock from recent eruptions go on for miles and are covered in a spongy type moss. I had an intense urge to go off randomly exploring these fields, but was reminded by a local of the dangers of such a trek. Many a good hiker have slipped into deep and sharp crevaces somewhat inocently discused by bridges of moss. One wrong step and woops.....your havin' a really bad day!

I found this scene quite captivating and with the lighting just right, I shot a series of panoramic images that I have yet to process. I was told, about 2 days after, that I was actually looking at shifting masses of the North American and European tectonic plates. Very cool indeed!

Click to get a MUCH better view

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Renaissance Trip in Europe

Bridge details in France, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

As I begin to embark on a bit of "Spring Cleaning" of my apartment so to speak over the next few weeks in preparation for my move, it seems only appropriate to start purging out some of my "ready to blog files" from the virtual world as well. With that in mind, I plan to post a few more than 1 per day for a few of my up and coming posts. I hope that this thinning out of my safety net of images will catapult me back out into the real world to capture more imagery and create better art.

Ah, wait Mike, before you ramble on....what's this about a move?

Oh yeah, a simple one at that. Same building, 1 floor down, a 3rd room, same price, a no brainer actually.....more on that soon....

So, about this post. I was reminded of this feeling in a forward by Anthony Bourdain of a collection of travel stories that I am reading. Those of us, who either travel for work.....or more accurately, want and need to see more of the world, seem to suffer the same dilemma. There is quite often the empty feeling as you long for the comfort of home and loved ones, yet this feeling is never too powerful to keep you held back in the first place. As strong as the feeling might seem to get home, it is never quite as intense as the restless feeling while at that comfort zone.... that propels us back to explore the unknown. I often wonder if this enormous compulsion to experience the unexplored would have sucked me in for good had I not began the relationship I did a few years ago. Even though that union failed miserably, I guess the real challenge for me now continues to be how to balance this insatiable appetite for exploring this wonderful planet and its wonderful mysteries with the remaining responsibilities I have created for myself back home. By the tone set forth in the introduction of this book I am about to read, it sounds like I am not alone in this feeling.

But for now, I'm gonna play it a bit safe with a few images from my last trip to Paris. For me, this trip was more that just a return was a personal renaissance. My passion for photography was in a way "reborn" on this trip. During previous trips here about 10 years or so ago, I always took pictures, but was never really "taken" by pictures. (credit for that line goes to Vincent Versace of course). Shortly after returning to the States....while on headset for a show actually....I began to tweek some faders and sliders in Photoshop from my captures from the summer and from that moment, was hooked on digital imaging. It's funny, I still visit some of those files....2 years later, and the following images are the result of that process.

I have always, for some reason, embraced solo travel. For me, there is no better way to really sink deep into my own space. Memories of totally focussed thought and meditation on long train rides, Greek ferries, and motorcycle rides come to mind. Kind of ironic that a process that seems to position yourself to consume a broader and ever shifting perspective actually forces a more acutely inward understanding of yourself. That is of course if you let it happen!

Even as a solo traveler, especially throughout Europe, you are never really alone. There are constant opportunities to relate with other human often as you care to. The freedom that you do have, however, is incomparable. The ability to create your own flexible journey is an incredible experience, and with my camera by my side, thats exactly what I did on this trip.

On the way to Ille de Cite' - Paris, France
Having no idea that 2 years later, I would find a way to create my own individial feel for this scene, I still felt compelled to record it. There is a special place in Paris called the Ille' de Cite. Two little islands in the Seine river with some of the oldest architecture, greatest cafes, and best places to rest your head. Located in the shadows of Cathedral de Notre Dam in the city that never sleeps, it was a peaceful oasis that welcomed me back after a long day exploring.
French Fountain
For me, Paris has always been a city to wander in. A walking city by design, its parks full of vibrant Parisians who have mastered the art of "Living".

Around the Louvre
There is no finer place to find the artist in you than the Museum de Louvre. As you can see, even the details in the exterior can provide the art enthusiast with hours of appreciation for the celebration of creativity.
Louvre Pyramid at Night
Although my tripod was trapped in my luggage that arrived 3 days late, I was kind of happy to have the chance to slowly scout this wonderful city for locations without the endless and somewhat required need to record it from the start. Its actually best, I have found, to slowly immerse yourself into this environment to really appreciate its abundant treasures.
Tour le Eiffel from the Bridge
Knowing that the "City of Lights" will always be there as a bright welcome and convenient gateway for another European trip someday is somehow, for me, a very warm feeling indeed :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Quiet time

Quiet time, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

A day ends now, flew by somehow, I treasure these indeed
Spent with my child, who’s almost nine, precious days this father needs
As I paint, the canvas of, my life and all it’s own glory
I’m sure these times are bound to be the heart of my own story

Hmmm....nuff said..... :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The water flow on the last day on Earth

Having finally completed reviewing over 4500 captures and delivering about 500 to my client today, a fitting end of the day seems to be one more from that Icelandic trip. I had a bit of fun with this one. The lighting at the time of capture was, well, quite awful. I still felt something I guess, or I would have never stopped the car to spend a few precious moments at this scene. One of the many things I love about this digital world is the ability to recreate what I actually see at the time of capture, or in this case, what I wanted to see. Hope you like :)

View On Black

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cityplace fountain - and another late dinner

Regardless of the fact that I am presently not working the insane hours that I do in the season of South Florida, my eating schedule is still random and quite frequently that of a Southern European. As I fondly recall 10PM dinners that I had throughout various Mediterranean countries, I think its about time for dinner. Perhaps fish at the Greek Taverna Opa is what I need. Yummy! About 2 blocks from where I live is a little oasis called "City Place." It's a great place to just stroll over at anytime for a quick bite or cup of coffee. If you can't find a restaurant for your your liking here.....well, you're probably not hungry!

Fountain at Cityplace