Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Phillips Point before the start of the day - West Palm Beach (and the first post of a weekly subject - Time-Lapse Tuesday!)

I've been thinking a little bit lately about a new direction for my blog (not that it's earth shattering news or anything) but......

I need a little direction and focus. For the last year and a few months, its been random regurgitations of somewhat useless information, and although I am sure that will continue to be the driving force of this sillyness, I have decided to give it a bit of structure. So, that being said, today will be the first post of a regular installment for Tuesdays called.......ready drumroll.......Time-Lapse Tuesdays!.............(cricket, cricket, cricket...........)

I have a few more ideas as well, but lets just see how well this goes first (hehehe)

Sunrise over the intracoastal - West Palm Beach

About 2 blocks from where I fall out of bed in the mornings is the seawall of West Palm Beach. There is a lot of great change happening down here. City boat docks, safe and secure waterfront paths, and a new park by the old library. This early morning walk and location seemed like the ideal place to practice my new time-lapse techniques.

Timelapse camera ready for action

So, here is the rig. A Nikon D300 with a 10mm fisheye lense set up on a Gitzo Traveler tripod with a Really Right Stuff ballhead and L bracket. I set the internal interval timer to give a 5 exposure burst every 10 seconds. I then batch processed them in Photomatix, brought them into Lightroom for noise and dust removal before creating a time-lapse in Quicktime Pro.

I think it looks a bit dark...even on my monitor, so I am sure that it might be a bit dark for a lot of you out there. Anyway, my first HDR time-lapse! Stop by next Tuesday for my weekly video!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Look up at the Minneapolis Skyline

I am always happy to get emails from people who happen to stumble upon my work. I love taking images....lots of images. Other than the inner passion, there is no external driving force. I have never been sent out on assignment or had any expectations placed upon me to produce a body of work (well, other than my Iceland trip I guess). I guess that's one of the reasons I still love it. There is rarely a day that goes by that I don't dream of wandering off to some far off place to bring back images of the world....."as I see it". It is that dream that continues to fuel my constant immersion into the craft and art I guess.

So, all that gibberish being said, I am always quite humbly honored when i get a complement or reply as was the case today. While working up in Minneapolis on the Republican convention, I had a few precious moments to wander the city to capture the "World as I see it". Well, today I received an email from some folks up there wanting to use some of my images from up there on their website. Like I said, that's not what drives my passion, but it sure is cool when those kind of emails come in :)

Published in Poland

Published in Poland, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

As someone who seems to spend what might be considered by some as an insane amount of time on a hobby and passion, its nice to be recognized on occasion for your art. Little did I know when I was spending a quiet evening in Sao Paulo, Brazil capturing the colors of the city from the Hyatt, that my work would not only be featured on the front page of a story on Brazil.....but I would be compensated for it. I received a copy of this the other day. The story on Brazil ran in a copy of Newsweek in Poland. Now, if I could only read Polish!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunset at the Jupiter Inlet

Sunset at the Jupiter Inlet, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

I had an urge to head out this evening to chase the light. I must have looked like a nut case heading out with 2 camera body's and tripods as it was pouring rain in West Palm Beach. According to the weather online, there was no rain in the area.....hmmm, go figure. Up north about 30 minutes or so, I had a feeling that the weather might break up a bit.

The Jupiter Inlet has a special place in my heart. Having spent my high school and early college years in this area, there were many memories to recall as I perched myself up on the inlet rocks to catch a view of the evening light. I set up one camera with a fisheye to capture a time-lapse of the water and fading light as I crawled around like a kid looking for just the right place to capture the mood of the evening. With a little Jami Sieber on the Ipod, the mood was perfect. Too bad that feeling had to come to a close so fast.

Its funny how people can be in the same beautiful place and mentally be in completely opposite places. As I was in my truck reviewing a few images and still listening to the cinematic music with one of the ear pieces, the other ear was picking up on some voices of a crowd of kids that seemed to be getting louder by the minute. It was when I backed out of the parking spot and glanced in my rear view mirror that my serene mood of the evening was shattered. It seems that the rowdy group had kicked it up a notch as the mob appeared to be in full rumble. Arms were flying, legs were kickin, hair was being pulled, ...... a full on chaotic confrontation ensued as the mass seemed to be beating the crap out of each other! WTF is going on! What happened to my peaceful inlet that our family used to enjoy when I was a kid? I hope its there the next time I visit :(

Here's a little clip of a time lapse that I shot whilst climbing about!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Seaside at Blowing Rocks

Seaside at Blowing Rocks, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Its been a while since I headed out early, way way too early, to catch a nice sunrise. Just a bit up north of where I live is a place called Blowing Rocks. Along the shores of Jupiter Island, it is just about the only place along Florida's East coast that I know of that has a rocky coastline. The tricky part is the trek there however. You see, the park technically doesn't open up until well past sunrise. Not sure what that is all about. Kinda lame for the photographer for sure as the best lighting is just before during and after the sunrise. The solution? Park at a county park about a mile or 2 South and crawl up the beach in the wee hours of the hot, humid, Florida morning. But hey, who said this was easy, right?

Here are a couple from a photo shoot with a local camera club I went out with a while ago. I guess its about time to take that trek again!

A morning on Mars

Just past sunrise at Blowing Rocks

A walk along Iguazu Falls - Brazil

I have always heard of this special place called "Iguazu Falls." On the border of Argentina and Brazil, this incredible force of nature has been carving is path for millions of years. This little peak into the falls is but a small piece of the labyrinth of rock and water that seems to go on for miles. While on an event in South America last year, I found the time to trek off to this magical place.

As a photographer, I was of course hoping to get the best in lighting conditions, but was presented with, well....., blah conditions at best. I still snapped several exposures....many that still have not even been processed yet, but this one seemed to stand out as a particular challenge. It seemed to have a few things going on...like composition, flow, and energy, but the lighting was awful! I eventually decided that I wanted to create a kind of painterly look to it, so I brushed in some color and texture with a plug in called Topaz, dodged and burned it a bit, and created this. The image below shows a before and after.

Topaz or not to Topaz

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Eruption in Iceland

Eruption in Iceland, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Long days, really long days, ....... thats what a privileged few are in for in the coming couple months in Iceland. Imagine the golden hour that lasts for, say, 4 or 5 hours! Ben Wilmore and John Paul Capinagro are only a couple of the very talented artists leading workshops this summer in this most fascinating location. I indeed hope to make it back there someday!

And now for something completely different.....

I've had the D300 with the fisheye on the balcony snapping an image every 15 seconds in an attempt to create a 24 hour time lapse video of the South Florida skys from my new apartment. I have done a couple already, and am quite excited by this new process. Look for this to be posted soon!

One more thing, I sold another image today. This one is of a mausoleum (an IR shot) from a while ago. Thru the grace of the internet and tagging/keywording, this happens on occasion. Very cool :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Final night Aegis Party

Final night Aegis Party, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Every summer I get to head out to a different location somewhere in the country to work on this event with a few really cool guys. Good food, good wine, good talk, and oh yeah......do the work that I love. Our annual event this year will be in Boston mid July. This image seemed most appropriate for the blog as I just emailed the plans for this year and, well, this image from last years event has patiently waited his turn in the outgoing post file......FOR A YEAR!

The last few days have been kinda camera free for me as I have been busy finishing the move into my new place. My patio is up on the 6th floor and has a great southern view of the Florida sky. I am sure many posts with be generated from here as well as some cool shots!

Monday, June 22, 2009

From the balcony in Key West

From the balcony in Key West, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

So, I am looking forward to catching up on a front page story that our local newspaper ran today. I guess I am one of a handfull of people left that actually "ocassionally" reads a newspaper......a soon to be relic thats for sure. Aaaaaannyway....

As you might know, I took an extremely brief trip to Key West a few days ago for a good client. We had plans to photograph a few ad concepts but never really got around to that. It ended up as just a nice little getaway, something we can all use now and then :) So, this shot was taken from my wrap around balcony at a hotel called "Southernmost on the Beach"......I highly recommend it by the way. As you can see, the iphone and the coffee are perched on the little table. I had to actually roll out of bed to take this one. If it wasn't for the desk, I think I could have taken it FROM the bed. Maybe I'll have to reaarange the furniture next time (hehehe!)

So, back to why I chose it this evening....

The front page story talks of what the Florida coast line is predicted to be like in the year 2099. I'll only be about 135 then, so it does concern me a weeee bit. It appears that my little balcony here will, if their prediction and graphic is correct, be at water level! Yikes! Guess I'll have to move up a floor or two then :)

More on this on a future post (and after I get a chance to digest the story)

Have a great week everyone....

(thats it, no more coastal investments for me.......)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Living in isolation - Iceland (and a Happy Fathers Day)

As the end of another Fathers Day creeps up on my, and my little munchkin is fast asleep, its time to reflect on the day. A day spent with her is another chance to create a memory, an opportunity to cement a lifelong relationship. I think I'm doing a pretty good job at that too! I seem to realize this more and more as the days go on. My tunnel visioned drive to reach frequent goals in my career at times seems to be taking a back seat to this. I am sure that is what my dad was trying to do in my early years, I am sure of that. I just sometimes wish, on days like today, that I could understand why he seemed to drift so far away from us in the later years. I am not even sure if he knew that he was doing it. Why didn't I ask him when he was alive? It sure would be nice to chat about that now, not to confront him of course, but just to get in his head. His life was taken too early. Miss you dad :(

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Swiss Chalet seen on a downhill hike

There is a unique opportunity for the hiker in Switzerland.....the downhill hike. I stumbled upon this fantastic idea while bumbling thru Europe a while back. The scene is this. Pack a little lunch, water, some snacks, camera, and of course some good hiking shoes. Take a one way trip op the mountain via gondola or cable car. Exit at the top stop, look for the path markers and set off on your hike DOWN HILL ALL THE WAY! What a cool concept. I did this several times in Lucerne, Interlocken, and Zermatt. Of course the need for good hiking shoes was realized by the 2nd attempt!

This image is another scan that I applied some "painter" effects to. I used a few layers as to maintain as much detail while preserving the light and shadow on the trees. Even though this original image was captured back in the "slide days", I really had fun breathing new light and life into it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A quick stop for clarity on the way to Key West (and a little bit of clarity)

As I type this entry and caption from the balcony of my new digs, I guess the real message for me is clarity. Sure I can wander not a few feet inside the sliding glass door and see chaos and clutter galore if I so desire, but I choose to see a work in progress. I mean, I just moved the furniture in today, and sure there are crates of things all over that need put away, but the pile will soon decrease, and all will will settle into the norm. It always does....for me that is.....

I guess the underlying morsel of information I was presented with this evening has me realizing how fortunate I really am. You see, this feeling of confidence and serenity with my life, along with a general feeling of normalcy is something I sometimes take for granted. I, more than ever in my life, seem to have a really clear picture of what I am and where I want to be.

While having dinner with a dear friend this evening, and listening to her stories of a twisted family she is working with, I was acutely reminded of just how difficult the concept of a normal, sane, and focused life must be to some unfortunate few. I know that this must mean virtually nothing to about all who will stumble upon it, but if I ever start T pinning various items to the wall in xiplock bags for no clear reason, its time to get out the net and chase me down. LOL!!!

Thanks for the company this evening Deb :) ..... and PLEASE PLEASE take some good notes, cause you have a blockbuster in the works!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Close to the continental divide in Iceland

If you look on a map of the tectonic plates, Iceland just happens to be perched directly over the center of a crack as it were. I didn't really know that that until, well, I was there. A little unsettling while there I guess, but hey, I live in South Florida.....land of the hurricane. I guess we all take a little risk here while taking this planet for a little ride.


This unique location of this volcanic Island is perhaps but one reason why this nation is about 95% self sufficient in their fuel needs. The little geo thermal steam trace up near the top left side of the image here is a little example of what you see all over this Island. ALso, contrary to what some may believe, Iceland is really quite green! At least it was that way when I was there in May. Hmmm, mid December, perhaps a different story altogether.....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Landscape without a subject

Landscape without a subject, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

The most challenging part about traveling across the state via "Alligator Alley" is just that, the gators. I quite often find myself scanning the canals like a little kid, lookin' for gators. The designers of this speedway of sorts, in their infinite wisdom, placed very few turnoffs to actually pull over and appreciate the vast and seemingly infinite beauty of the Everglades. Having said that, you can likely envision the options I had as I crossed this little bridge and noticed a photo op. You got in! Swerve off the road as to prevent the jackass that was doing 90mph behind me from slamming into my vehicle. I then backtracked a few yards running awkwardly with the tripod and D3 bouncing into my side as the dust, dirt, and road debris from the oncoming traffic blew into my face at hurricane force. Not really the image you might have had in your mind while looking at this serene landscape, but there ya go :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A brilliant brush of afternoon color

About a week ago, I posted another version of this as you might remember. The last one was more of a cropped panorama, where as this is not......

cricket, cricket,....

Geez, thats it Mike? Thats all you have to say. What's with the extreme fiery looking sky by the way?

Well, there is that!

Seriously, what really captivated me to hang out and watch this incredible light show was the slice of blue sky up on the left side. I just loved the contrast of the warm and cool colors. It seemed like an escape hatch actually. A couple of weeks ago, we had some extreme sky action for a couple of days right around sunset time. I am so looking forward to more of that soon!

By the way, I am in the middle of what has got to be one of the worlds most easiest moves ever. I have 2 weeks to move down one floor and to the other side of the building ....... LOL. I have casually moved about 8 or 10 carts of stuff so far while shooting time-lapse footage with a fisheye lense from the balcony of the Florida sky from the new place. More to come on that someday I am sure.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Chillion Castle in Montreux - Photo painting

Every once in a while, I think its a good idea to revisit an image. This one has a kinda significance to me for 2 reasons. First, during this trip a couple of years ago, my passion for photography was reborn as well as my initial dabbling into the world of HDR imaging. In fact, this one was absolutely the first one that I ever processed. Second, not since my backpacking days of the early 90's had I been back to Europe. Having recently separated from my wife, this trip seemed to be a way of "finding myself".....just like some of my earlier trips. I am still looking by the way. Funny how that can be a lifelong search isn't it?

So, anyway, I felt that this shot could use a little work with some techniques I have been working with. My intention was to give it a "painterly look" as well as pump up the vibrant color that I remember so well from that trip. Hope ya like :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Clear waters of the Florida Keys

Shadows, color, clouds, water, trees, ....... all good ingredients for a little Florida Keys landscape image. Enjoy!

Not really chatty this evening or feeling very creative with my writing. Its never really been my strong point (as you can tell from the year or so of somewhat lame and half assed posts in this blog to date) but continues to be something I want to work on.

So, I have been thinking of adding just a pinch of focus to my blog. One blog I follow virtually everyday is Scott Kelby's photoshop insider. He has a couple of days a week that have a repeating theme of sorts. I am kinda leaning towards having a special day every week for an event that I have worked on and also, possibly a day per week that I offer some sort of photo tip. I have a few other ideas, but I don't want to pigeon hole myself to much. A little structure might be a good idea tough. So, stay tuned :)

Have a fantastic week!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

On the way to Key West

On the way to Key West, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Every time I drive to Key West, I am constantly scanning the sides of the road (head in the clouds style I guess) for possible photo opportunities. Of course, as I am doing this scan, I also unfortunately have to pay close attention to the rear view mirror, as most everyone else seems to be in an insanely urgent hurry to get somewhere! Isn't that always the case though? Well, as soon as I caught a glimpse of this spot, swerved off the road as not to get rear-ended by some closely traveling jackass, slammed a U turn in the road side sand, and waited for the dust to clear......I calmed down and "got into the moment." I knew I wanted the wading man as my subject and was patient for him to walk into the scene. Just a nice little slice of time :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Waking up in a colorful world

One of the greatest experiences of photoshop is that it is never really learned completely. There are so many little filters, brushes, dodads, and gizmos, that for the adventurous and curious artist in all of us, you are never really finished exploring. That experience is pushed even further when you add a few plugins like the one I used here. My origional attempt at this piece was to create an image that appears to be painted. I then turned the opacity of the effect down a bit, more so on the sky, and then brushed in a horizontal blur on the water to add more motion. I kinda like it :)

More to come perhaps in the next couple of days from my quick little trip to the keys. I took more snapshots that my usual fair of HDR brackets, but some of those snaps were under water! We'll see how those come out soon enough.

So, what's on the agenda for the week? We'll for me, we have a little wedding to light at the Breakers tomorrow then it slows down (actually crashes hard) until mid July. I hope to elaborate on that soon as think it requires a more substantial post. The beginning of the week will find me moving to a different unit in my building. Should be an easy move as its down one floor and on the other side of the building. More on that later too.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dawn of a new day in Palm Beach

As is so often the case with my posts, the image of the day has virtually nothing to do with my actual location at the time. While the warm tropical air of Key West hovers over me on the balcony of my hotel room, I see the random glow of lighting far off near the horizon. After a sun soaked day of goofing of, I am all but completely drained. The thought of getting the tripod out, setting up a shot, and processing an image from the day is...well, just a thought. I have high hopes of getting up early to catch the beautiful start of the day however from just outside of my room. I mean, no kidding, this place is RIGHT on the water. Basically, fall out of bed and shoot! Until then, this is one from up in Palm Beach taken a little while ago. I tried a few little techniques on it. Hope you like!

Locked and loaded

Locked and loaded, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

While on a quick little get away in Key West with a client, this one seemed most appropriate for tonight (or this morning, depending on how you look at it). I captured this one a little while ago, while down here on an event. Fort Zachary I believe......from the civil war I am told.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Reflections in Reyjavik

Reflections in Reyjavik, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

I've been thinking a lot about drive recently, you know, that feeling inside all of us, that motivates us. For some, this emotion is quite powerful. At against what sometimes appears to be incredibly infinite odds, a fortunate few seem to excel while leaving others to perish in their wake. Perhaps this collision of thoughts is in direct relationship to the 8 or so...thats at least 8.....unfinished books I am attempting to read simultaneously, whilst listening to complete series of Tony Robbins CD's. A overflowing cornucopia of ideas to say the least. I have so much to say, yet, not sure how to say it all. More on all that later I guess..

So, getting back to the word "Drive" before I sidetracked myself. As the rest of Reykjavik was getting ready for the weekend pub crawl here in Iceland, a deep passion to continue to document as much as I could from this isolated island found me wandering the city for reflections. So what is my drive in this process? What possesses the sane individual to head out in the cold, damp, evening to capture a simple scene or 2 like this. Moreover, spend precious time in the digital darkroom processing it into what "might" be considered by a few as art or at least worthy of a quick glance. To even add more to the process is the time consumed tagging it, filing it, uploading it, posting it, and finally.....rambling on for what now must feel like hours (sorry about that!).

Well, I certainly do not have the answer, but I have recently been enjoying the journey searching for it. Hmm, I guess enjoying the journey while savoring the happiness is really what its all about isn't it?

Monday, June 8, 2009

A break in the sky over the West Palm Beach, Florida intracoastal

I just love to watch how the sun and clouds position themselves in this delicate dance we call a sunset. Just a couple of nights ago, as the sun was disappearing below the horizon, its warmth was reflected and bounced all over the sky in a somewhat random haphazard way. The thick canopy of storm clouds up camera right seemed to be happy to throw back all the lumens they could, reflecting a warm and soothing but yet eerie orange glow. Like I have said before, its a hit or miss light show here quite often, but this night was definitely a winner!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A mad dash out the door

A mad dash out the door, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Our unpredictable South Florida sky's have actually been rewarding the flexible photographers down here with some sporadic opportunities to capture and display nature at its finest. I have personally been monitoring the evening cloud patterns almost daily (remember, I'm not much of a morning person) for breaks at the prime times in the evening. On those evenings when I don't have the little one with me, I mentally prepare myself to be able to jet out the door with my gear faster than an EMT to a 3 alarm fire! And this shot was taken on just one of those emergency calls :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Hanging onto the day

Hanging onto the day, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

So, after putting the finishing touches on the lighting we were doing for a wedding tonight, I said goodbye to my lighting director for the evening and my client, and headed out the door in hopes of catching a cool sunset. Well, we have some fickle weather here in South Florida. I eventually did catch some unusual color down by the new city piers, but that will have to wait for another post someday. This is a little peek at the color that I love to catch though.....captured a couple of months ago just off of one of the bridges to Palm Beach.

As I was driving back from the wedding setup, I was thinking about a couple of things. First, if you really think about it, even if there is total overcast and clouds, above all that is a beautiful sunset in hiding. Kind of a stupid thought actually. Second, and a little more comical, is the following scenario. Imagine a drunk relative at a wedding (hmmm, that always seems to happen doesn't it?) lets call him uncle Ted, who's profession is a divorce attorney. There is a pretty good chance that if intoxicated enough, he could consider slipping either the bride or groom a business card. Hey, 50% failure rate, the odds are pretty good for locking in a future client, right?

(Geeeez, Mike, was that necessary?)

LOL....Enjoy the weekend :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Round the clock construction in Singapore

As promised, we continue with the "what is it" post week. While on a short little show in Singapore that I was fortunate to be a part of, I had a chance to go out shooting with some of the crew. I have always enjoyed the serenity of heading out on my own and shooting. I tend to get a bit tunnel visioned while out there, so this kinda works out OK. I must say though, that sharing the experience with a couple of friends is kinda cool too! While Steve, Rob, and I were riveting thru exposures of the huge ferris wheel called the Freedom Flyer like there was no tomorrow, something made me stop and look over my shoulder. The pace at which Singapore is expanding is absolutely astounding. This low angle shows a bit of that development just past the bridge. The sparkly looking 5 finger kinda thing on the upper left was actually a crane pod of sorts. KInda cool to see the pace here!

More detail

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Still at the dock - Iceland

Still at the dock - Iceland, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

In an effort to continue down the path of "what's the story here Mike", I present the following interview with myself.....

Q. So really Mike, what is the story with this one?

A. Well, it was taken in Iceland, I do know that.

Q. And?

A. Well, to be honest with ya, that's about all I got. I was driving around like a lunatic, you know, chasing the light in the late afternoon, and I kinda like the composition I chose and the vibrant color possibilities. I certainly saw the opportunity for HDR, I will tell ya that.

Q. Ok, thats a start, what about the location exactly....like, where in Iceland?

A. Hmmm, not sure really. Like I said...I was driving around kinda nuts, ya know.....that fading light does it to me...

Q. Yeah, we got that, but this interviews kinda goin south....you got anything else...something, anything, geeez, maybe the boat name?

A. Nope....dats about it...

Q. Ooookey Dooookey.....guess that's about a wrap I guess....aaaaannd cuttt!

(good Lord, what was that! Hope the sponsors aren't reading this tonight!)

Click for a larger view

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Afterglow Mausoleum in Friday Harbor

So after cruising thru a few images I have ready to regurgitate into the online world, I decided on this one. I have a couple like this that I might throw out there over the next couple of days. Images that I worked on, but have no real remembrance to what it was I was actually photographing. I kinda like that though. I seem to get a little carried away looking for compositions, color, details, and all that stuff and seem to, well, just bypass the real information like what the hell I am photographing!

While up in the San Juan Islands on a little photo workshop last year, I happened to stumble across this kinda bizarre little memorial of sorts out in the woods. I remember some very unique and strange details....like 7 columns, one column incomplete, 6 chairs....I am sure it all had some sort of signifigance. Also, the fact that it was in the middle of the forest added to the mystery. I bet it's pretty spooky at night actually! Anyway, thanks to the internet, here a little more, or shall we say ALOT more, about the site.

Real actual information about the location!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Out of this world moon over the barn

For your listening pleasure while reading!

Music for your enjoyment!

Hmm, my last post crashed....so here we go again...

Music, as I am sure it is to most other creatives out there is a crucial part to the art. For me at least, my music quite often drives the emotion of the image I am working on. Although these were processed a while ago, the link above is what I popped in the playlist of the Ipod tonight as I dove deep into my trance of posting and trying to tell my little story. At this point, I guess its a bit early to see if it helps or if it's a distraction! LOL

So, the link above is from a duet with Pat Metheny and a Polish singer named Anna Maria Jopek. I think if I could drop it all and tour with someone, it would have to be him. A musical artist like no other in my book. 

So, enough with this rambling....on with the post...

From the drive

First off, the tree was it. That was the one and only item that had to be lit...and well at that! The tenting was strategically designed as to just fit under this incredible canopy of branches. The clear top of the tent would give everyone a front row seat to the effect that the lighting would create. I must admit that lighting such a huge beast, a 200 year old beast at that, was a bit intimidating. There was alotta tree there and until the sun went down during out first day of load in, I kinda had my doubts as to whether we had enough fire power to toss those lumens up the 70' tree effectively. Twenty five years doing this, and I still have my doubts sometimes! Well, once the generator was kicked on, I was able to breathe a huge sign of relief. Cool, its gonna work. Now on to the next challenge.

This tree's brightest moment in its life!

So, I've never been one that like to have my client see me sweat. I like to be ready for the first run through and work out the kinks before the "design by committee" scene takes place. This prep takes a bit of time....uninterrupted time BEFORE the client shows up. Well, that was the plan anyway...

All that being said, after we got back from dinner and BEFORE the lighting was turned on and checked for the very very very first time.....the audience was waiting. Hmmm, remember, never let them see you sweat. Well, it was about 90 degrees, and, well, I think you got the picture.

The dark side of the barn

So after our creative synergy meshed and the area started to look like "Art", we branched out a bit to focus the other areas for the event. This side of the barn was used for the cocktail area. Man, I loved those trees!

Just outside the reception tent

Thanks to Chris, Sarah, and Dallas, we were able to get a gaggle of lekos way up high in the trees to project this texture down over the outside "Lounge Area". As you can see from the tent, the clear sides and top really worked well as a 180 degree window into the dramatically lit environment. I sadly had to leave a couple of days before the event and didn't get any interior detail shots from the day of, but I hope you enjoyed this little behind the scenes look into our world of light :)

PS. Notice the golf cart in the last shot. Like I said before, any day that I am on a show with a golf cart is a good day. LOL!

Monday, June 1, 2009

A look into the deep swamp

A look into the deep swamp, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Alright, it wasn't a deep swamp actually.....I just wanted it to look that way! This little series of images were all taken one late afternoon while working on an event up around Ocala here in Florida. This area in central Florida is well known for its natural springs. Just after breaking the crew for a long dinner break, I decided to high tail it to the nearest one called "Rainbow Springs." I probably create a little too much undo stress on myself when heading out on these little outings. To arrive late, scout the area, and come away with several pieces of quality work...or in this case "blog worthy" work is a bit of a stretch, but I guess that's all part of what keeps me striving for the best in me.

Boy, that was just alot of nothing wasn't it?

Aannnyway, the effect I decided to apply here was one that I hoped to convey age and distress. Perhaps as you might see an image in a text book from 60 or 70 years ago. Or perhaps, a picture on a really old dish towel from your Grandmothers house.

Below are a few more from that little trip as well. Tomorrow, a few images from the event

Along the path

Before heading out on our break and while making my rounds on the golfcart (a life safer on this gig), I noticed these shadows painting a nice pattern on the sidewalk. You know, we create this effect with our stage lights all the time, but sometimes it more powerful to see Mother Nature" create it for you.

Top of the hill at Rainbow Springs

Just after arriving at the Springs, it appeared that I had almost the whole place to myself! Over the hill and past the entrance gate is this initial view to the park. There was a tremendous range of light here....much too much for my camera sensor to capture in one click. HDR to the rescue! For me, however, a more modest tone processing technique was the the approach I decided to take on this one. I love to "wack out" the colors just like the next guy, so sometimes its a challange to pull back the reighns, but I think it really worked here.

Path to the overlook

I found this boardwalk to be more of a subject than what was at the end of it. Hmmm, kinda makes you wonder what WAS at the end of it doesn't it?

Waterfall in Rainbow Springs

I am sure that the recent rain that we have been blessed with has turned this little guy into quite a monster of a waterfall by now! 

Thanks for stopping by and hanging out with me for my little trip here. Tomorrow, like I said, I'll post up a few images from the event that we were fortunate enough to be a part of :)