Friday, July 31, 2009

A Walk in Boston

Another walk in Boston

Yet another walk in Boston

Last walk in Boston

Not too chatty tonight so I hope the images kinda tell the story. After all, thats what they are supposed to do. While going thru a few of my shots from a couple of street wandering trips from this week in Boston, I remembered a little print template that I got from Lightroom Killer Tips. For anyone using this powerful program to catalogue, tag, and process your images, the site is a great resource for tips, tricks, and resources. Matt also posts a processing or printing preset every so often for free, and some of them are really cool! In fact, I think I used a few on some of these. So anyway, this print template is one that he called panorama and here are 4 banners that I created from a few shots from my little photo walks. I like this look for the mere fact that I think these shots are more powerful as a collection, kinda like a few pages from a travel magazine (well, not really, but you get the idea.)

Dat's it for now folks....have a great weekend :)

Boston at the blue hour

Boston at the blue hour, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Like I touched on at the beginning of the week, there are jobs I work on and then there are events that don't seem like work at all! Its been a great week here in Boston and a real treat to hang out with the "gang" again. Thanks you guys......let's do it again :)

This one was taken and processed the first night I arrived, I believe, while exploring with Steve, Evan, and Allen. The sky was kind of dull, so I brushed in a cloud image as well as a couple of other textures. More images from the trip to come over the next few weeks! Now, time to pack.......

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Boston street art

Boston street art, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

I had a few things in mind when exploring the streets of downtown Boston, and was able to test out some of these ideas today. I know I've said it many times, but I love to travel.....most of us do I am sure. For me, there is nothing that quite feeds the artistic and inquisitive mind than a complete change of scenery. In a constant journey to attempt to expand my portfolio of work in this visual arts medium, I find my brain wandering quite frequently about how to express myself. Although, this is not the original vision I had when I woke up, I like how it turned out.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Timelapse Tuesday - Just before doors

So, in my tireless quest to bring the art of the time-lapse capture video clip creation to you, I present this. A slice of time in the special events industry! In this specific case, after a business meeting for a client of ours in the beauty industry, the room was then turned around in a few hours for the evening event, and then struck in about 2 and a half hours.

I do feel it necessary to shout a bit from the soap box about this however. The recent events coupled with the ignorant press that seems to blindly report on our industry have somewhat painted a negative picture on the meetings and incentives industry for some reason. What the hell is going on.....has every one gone freak'in mad!!!!!! The travel and tourism industry accounts for about 1 in every 8 jobs in the US. These events are responsible for feeding the mouths of family members working in hotels, airlines, meeting supplier vendors, as well as hundreds of other related businesses throughout the country. MEETINGS ARE A GOOD THING!!! And its about time the country gets educated in this fact. CNN, FOX, MSNBC, ..... all of them......stop it..... enough of this whimsical entertainment for the masses, lets get the facts straight and focus on consumer confidence. Meetings mean revenue, lots of revenue, for lots of people.......and thats a GOOD thing for the economy! And of course, revenue means jobs, housing, food, clothing, and shelter.....where is the confusion here?

Anyway, this is a shot of the room just before doors that I was proud to be a part of. Click below for the time-lapse of the room transformation.......

Monday, July 27, 2009

Boston Building

Boston Building, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

The excessive use of the fisheye lense, and of course the HDR techniques that I quite frequently use can appear to be overused if not kept in check. Of course, all of that is thrown out the window when I stumble across a scene like this. I love the somewhat "Gotham City" feel. Its like it was designed with the fisheye lense in mind.

So, yesterday afternoon after loadin, we had a few hours to trek about the city of Boston looking for subjects. A rock band we are not, but Allan sure is sportin' the Bono look! Check out Steve post here...

And his blog post here:

FYI, I'm the goon in the hat with the crooked smile (LOL!)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Son et' Lumiere Sunday - An event from the past, but memories for a lifetime

Welcome once again to Son et' Lumiere Sunday - My weekly visit to the industry I have been proud to be part of for the last 25 years or so. This week has me in kind of a thoughtful moment. While up here in Boston on a show, I had quite a realization while chatting with one of the team from our show. I say team, because, thats exactly what it is. A TEAM that, for this particular project, is just here for the week, but working for a client on an annual show for the last 20 years! Indeed, an accomplishment in and of itself.

My image here is from an event from a few years ago, and actually, not from Boston. HDR, photoshop, tricks of the digital age,....all of that takes a back seat to the meaning this image has to me. Aside of the fact that this was a pretty freakin cool event to work on....... a week to load in, a 32' ceiling in a black box sound stage, close to home, my stellar crew, was just another day that I was able to walk away from my job and be quite proud of what I was a part of. But there is something that takes a front seat to all of that, and that is a recognition from a client for my passion for a flawless event, design, and attention to detail. That understanding of my "Passion" and opportunity to allow me to express it is what has given me the feeling of never having to feel like I am going to work. Indeed, when you can create an environment in your life that allows you to feel like you are never working, its a great feeling.

So, as I mentioned, I was discussing this with a long time colleague on this show in Boston, and I realized something once again. As you continue to propel yourself to be the best you can be, the company you keep is such an important part of that. When working around industry pros, the synergy created pulls the best out of you. Its a great energy to tap into! I can only say, quite humbly I might add, that I am quite fortunate to have been able to tap into the creative minds over the past few years that I have. This is what I feel has been one of the key reasons I strive to be the best that I can be, and I thank you all for that! (and you all know who you are!!!)

An afternoon of thought in Boston

So, in typical fashion, I arrived in another city and no sooner did I arrive.... I was out the door. The weather here in Boston was quite incredible and certainly less humid that South Florida this time of year! I had the afternoon to explore and determined a couple of things......

First off, I am really out of shape. Sure I walked for about 5 hours or so, but I mean really. Gotta focus on that!

Secondly, I really love the city, especially young vibrant cities. Today was one of those days that seemed like a true celebration of life all throughout Boston.

Third, well, I really don't have a third, Just felt like I was on a roll.....anyway....

I took a few non typical shots today that I hope to put into some sort of a collage. Look for them later this week.

Stay tuned for tomorrows post from a scene from the events world I seem to live in as well as a cool time-lapse on Tuesday!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Night reflections in Boston (and heading there in the AM to work there this week!)

On my last visit to Boston, I had a few opportunities to wander about the city (I love that bumbling about feeling) searching for reflections after the rain. As I take a quick break in my packing for my trip there in the morning, I just realized....I better double check the weather!

This time, I am on an event all week and working with a few cool cats.....a few of them fellow photogs I might add.......should be a nice week :)

More on all this later.....5AM is gonna sneak up fast!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rainy night at dusk at the new docks - West Palm Beach, Florida

I have done a lot of wandering, indeed miles and miles of bumbling about exploring new city's both here and abroad. As our own city of West Palm Beach continues to transform and re-brand itself, I hope that the traveler to this evolving city shares that passion. The waterfront scene along Flagler is now in the early stages of a complete overhaul complete with temporary boat docks, pedestrian paths, and unique access to the beautiful intracoastal views of Palm Beach. I've read a few negative blurbs about the use or lack there of regarding the new additions, but my view is quite the opposite. First off, its kinda nice to have a little space to enjoy a stroll, but the reality is the project isn't finished! Why are some people so obsessed with immediate results. Let the project run its course I say! Rest assured, when this area is finished, Downtown West Palm Beach's waterfront will a destination in and of itself, and I can think of no better way to invest out tax dollars than improving this wonderful asset we have down here. Build it, and they will come they say.......well, I'm already here....and loving it! My thanks to our local politicians with the vision to make it happen.

Water drops on the lense and loosing light, time to pack it up! - new docks in West Palm Beach, FL

Of course, if I start getting hassled about using my tripod there, I just might have to recant all of this (hehehe). An early evening rain laid a perfect film of water down to catch some nice reflections this particular night.

Wispy amber clouds

I guess you can say that I have really had my head in the clouds recently. Sometimes I even find it hard to stay focused on the road while driving......not a god thing! Sure it might evoke feeling of calmness, serenity, and peacefulness to some, but the moment I start to see the beautiful light start to paint the sky, I feel a need to fly out the in "chase the light." Strange but true!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Temple in Chinatown - Singapore

You know, I can't even figure myself out sometimes. For example, this post. For about a half a year, this image has sat in line waiting patiently for its send off into cyberspace. Waiting patiently every evening since its inclusion in the lightroom "to blog" file about 6 months ago, it has seen me blaze by it saying...."ahhhh, naaa, what else do I have"......

So why tonight?

Not sure.....but for whatever reason, its time for it's 20 minutes of fame!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Time-lapse Tuesday - Banyon on the bike path in Palm Beach

Indeed, the time-lapse upload is a bit dark, but only on youtube. Still trying to figure out why. The still was one of the ones taken while the time-lapse camera was "doin its thing". Coulda been longer actually. Next time, maybe I'll place the camera and hire a security guard for the day. (Ok, this is getting outta control!)

Oh, one more thing.....actually 2....

If you look close, you can see me running about capturing the evening with the other camera. Not sure if thats earth shattering info, but its kinda funny to me! Secondly, I have a camera at this moment in the ceiling at the event I am on capturing the turnover of the room from general session to the party that is going on now, and with any luck, the tear-down. Should be kinda cool.......unless of course it's totally lame!

Jupiter Inlet Bridge - World Wide Photo walk

As I mentioned a couple of nights ago, I didn't get a lot of images I was happy with out of the camera from the photowalk. I originally intended to attack this outing with one body and one lense, but soon modified that approach. At the last minute I decided to drag out the infrared D200 as well. I guess dragging around 2 cameras flapping about along with a tripod might have had something to do with my lack of vision and clarity, I don't know. I kinda like this one though, but also intend to do a little more with it. Look for this one again someday, but for now, its shut eye time. A long day today with a long, long, long day ahead tomorrow.....

More to come :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Son et' Lumiere Sunday - General Session Lighting Looks

This weeks Son et' Lumiere or Sound and light Sunday actually finds me on location. The summer season is usually the quiet one here in South Florida, but as luck would have it, I have three weeks of up and coming work. This week finds us on an event providing lighting for a corporate meeting and evening events for a company in the beauty industry. Our load-in today was quite smooth. Upon my initial walk into the ballroom here at Turnberry in Aventura, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my crew had already dumped the truck and were well on their way to organizing the sea of cases into organized areas. Ah yes, off to a great start!. Soon after the 8AM call for lighting and rigging, the audio and video trucks showed up. As this well oiled machine progressed thru the next 4 hours, the ballroom floor was cleared for the scenic and decor crew. An afternoon of touch up, cleanup, and patching took us to an on time dinner break. After dinner, a quiet lighting focus in a calm room void of all other departments. Just the way I like it! We even got a jump start on the install for tomorrow nights party lighting in another ballroom as well.

All in all, a great start to a great week. It was good fun working with my crew again. I am fortunate to have them join me on this one!

The shot above, or collage of images, is actually from the same clients meeting at this venue from 5 years ago. Wow, how time flys!

I am quite passionate about these events for the beauty industry as the producers create a very synergetic and creative environment to design in. As a creative eye in the look of the event, I am once again looking forward to the process over the next couple of days.
Events like these remind me of why I have been doing it for so long! More to come :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Heading out to sea - World Wide Photowalk 2009

Looking for a unique perspective on a location that I have frolicked (frolicked???) during my younger years while on a photowalk today with about 40 other photographers was kind of a challenge. I must admit, I had a few nice chats with some fellow shooters (isn't that what its all about actually?), but my shots are....well...chalk full of disappointment. A complete memory card full of garbage as it were. This one is definitely a case of "fix it in post." This image didn't really come to life until it got a complete overhaul in Photoshop CS4. I have another that I worked on a bit that I'll post later in the week. Well, I guess 2 keepers isn't too bad.

On a completely different subject, I have arrived safe and sound in Miami. Insane drivers down here....yikes. Saw an overturned van that kinda became part of a warehouse. As I passed the carnage, I couldn't help but yell out "Told ya to slow down ya jack ass!" Sorry, these drivers make me nuts!

Anyway... We are at The Turnberry Resort for a corporate event for the next 5 nights. Awesome bed, comfortable room, and a tired body. TIme for some shut eye before the madness in the AM. More on ALL of this later.....

The vast expanse - on the way to the glacier in Iceland

The vast expanse of the oh so cold landscape of Iceland. Kinda nice to remember that feeling of the snow, ice, and chill, especially after a hot South Florida day in July. I hope I can remember that cold feeling as I embark on our photo-walk in the early am!

Tomorrow is the big day for the 2nd annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk. I decided to go at about 10PM this evening. I might be the last person in the world to commit to this outing! There is over 900 cities this year with over 300,000 people, all wandering the globe with the goal of meeting up with other photographer's, trading tips, and ultimately up loading their best shot of the day. The location I am going to is the Jupiter old stomping grounds as a youngan'

So, guess its time to wind down and get some shut eye so I can actually make it! More on all this later :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Temple in Little China - Singapore

"In a little followup to my post last night, I decided to show another from that trip."

Soooo, what's the deal Mike...what is this?

"Well, kinda stuck again. I don't remember a lot of details on this one. Taken during a humid afternoon exploring the temples of little China in Singapore."

Good grief, lets hope he's got something a bit more interesting tomorrow, eh?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Singapore, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

If there is one thing I remember most about Singapore, it was the humidity. Quite a challenge for keeping the camera lense clear, thats for sure. As you can kinda see from this image, there seems to be a dense dome of haze over the city. Well, after a late night walk up to my local Starbucks here in South Florida here in mid July, I think we may have ya beat there Singapore. I'm now remembering why I liked escaping the summers down here!

I'm looking forward to the next few weeks as we have some events going on. Not exactly locations of exoticness, but a few good opportunities to refuel my creative energy both with lighting and with the camera. More to come!

Timelapse Tuesday - HDR timelapse - Looking South in West Palm Beach

As I have kinda set myself up for a weekly post of a time-lapse image, I have also realized that I have to get a few other locations happening. Its a bit easier from my balcony, I must note, as the camera can be set up with the remote while I head out and leave the rig for hours on end. Not exactly a good idea when shooting at say, the beach or downtown. But rest assured, more locations, concepts, and subjects to follow soon!

Not sure which video source works better for these, so I am posting both.

By the way, this did indeed start out as a Tuesday post, but videos take a while to upload! Hope you like :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

A trip to anywhere

A trip to anywhere, originally uploaded by Photomike07.
There are few shows on television that actually entertain me long enough to sit through. No Reservations on the travel channel is however, not one of those. If you haven't seen it, Anthony Bourdain, previously a chef in New York, hosts a rather brilliantly produced travel show with a rather uniquely cynical and humorous approach. If there is one thing that would tempt me to absolutely change careers, it would be to travel with this crew. Zero Point Zero production crew...hint hint. Have passport, will travel!

Speaking of travel, this was shot at the Miami International airport. As I was making my way to the car upon an arrival from somewhere in the world, this colorful structure around the escalators caught my attention. Well, the seasons premiere of the show is on, gotta go!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Son et' Lumiere Sunday - Details from a wedding - part deux

This Sunday for Son et' Lumiere Sunday (a weekly peek into the inner workings of the unique business of special event lighting), I would like to pick up where we left off last week. Although I appreciate all the intricate details that make up the bigger picture, it is in fact this bigger picture that requires the large brush strokes of our lighting design. As mentioned before, this particular event had a common theme......color, and that color was lavender.

Breakers Wedding - Head table

This color, in addition to being utilized within the floral, tablecloths, and decor, was the driving force in the lighting that we painted the room and details with. LED uplighting around the room was dialed into the precise color to complement the decor.

Breakers Wedding - more table details

Each table had elaborate floral details that were individually pin-spotted. This contrast made each center piece appear to pop with brilliance while providing a nice reflected ambiance and warmth.

Breakers Wedding - More of the table

At this point, the cool daylight color temperature of the Florida sun was still sneaking itself into the room through the custom lavender drapes.

Wedding cake

The wedding cake, at an event of this level, is always a spectacular piece of art. It is our job to make sure that it is lit as to be seen by all the guests. (and of course, to fight of the urge to attack it with a fork!)

Hand Painted Dancefloor

An elaborate canopy of cherry blossom branches were suspended from a custom truss grid that we rigged to the ceiling. With the use of electrical chain motors, the decorator was able to wire all of the branches to the grid that we intern were able to raise with the push of a button. After this beautiful ceiling of texture was raised, the custom hand painted canvas was then stretched over the dance floor. An incredible effect indeed!

Capturing the evening on canvas

As a finishing touch and a unique remembrance for the bride and groom, an artist was commissioned to create a painting of the finished room. The finished piece of art actually had quests included that were wearing the exact attire they were wearing that evening!

Hope you enjoyed this little look into the window of one of our events. More next week!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bethesda by the Sea - Palm Beach

For some reason, I have always felt kinda weird taking pictures in these cathedrals. Kinda like I am not supposed to be enjoying the beauty of the space, but focusing on prayer and being quiet. I guess it might have something to do with my early years of catholic schooling. While half waiting for a tap on my shoulders to see what I was doing, I kept this in mind as I wandered about this beautiful cathedral with the tripod while firing off multiple exposures. I did have fun looking for unconventional angles to capture. I must admit though, even the camera shutter was uncomfortably loud!

Top of the Gulfoss in Iceland

Ah yes, the golden hour. Sometimes it can seem like the golden moment however. I clearly remember exploring the coast of Oregon during one of these windows of photographic opportunities when it seemed as if the sun was dropping from the sky like a bowling ball! Another chapter in "chasing the light" for sure.

As a photographer, you become quite intimate with this special time of the day......those precious moments of pristine light that seem to paint just about any subject with a quality of luminance that seems to vanish just as fast as it appears.

While visiting Iceland in May, I noticed that these golden moments seemed to last quite a bit longer, making those evenings a little less stressful. After all, this is supposed to be a fun pursuit, isn't it?

Well, I can only imagine the hours of light that the fortunate few photographers are being treated to about now over there. If I am not mistaken, there are about 20 hours of sunlight a day, making that golden hour a really long one at that!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Deep thoughts about days past

Depending on your perspective, it can be downright creepy or as I like to see it, fuel for the imagination. As life flies past us and we try to keep up with our lives while focusing on the moment and perhaps the immediate future ahead, it's sometimes nice to stop and unplug. I did just while at a photo workshop up in the San Juan Islands last year. While peaking into this old wreck, I tried to imagine what might have been part of the history of this dilapidated structure. Mind you, I have always seen the beauty of decay, but the feeling I was trying to connect with had nothing to do with the physical place. What celebrations had possibly occurred here. Was it a summer getaway for families to reconnect, tell stories by the fire, or get to know each other again. Did the old place house some sort of summer camp filled with youth creating fond memories for days ahead. If you really get a chance to slow down and "feel" the location, you can almost hear the voices. Truly, if these walls could talk (or at least whats left of them), I would love to listen :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Icelandic ground cover

Icelandic ground cover, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

As much as I liked bouncing about on this spongelike moss covered turf of the Icelandic terrain, I soon realized that it was possibly not the brightest thing I could have been doing. Apparently, this stuff seems to reach out and kind of bridge the gaps left between the sharp edged volcanic rocks that make up this island. With a little imagination, you could almost realize where I could have been spending a few long days yelping out cries of despair as I continue to tighten the tourniquet that prevented the open laceration of my leg of pouring all of my blood through the open wound. (geez Mike, we could have done without ALL of that. Nice image, but my gosh!)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Timelapse Tuesday - View from the new balcony

So, I had a crazy idea........

Before my move a couple of weeks ago, I had a vision of a little movie to put together. It was for-seen as an art-piece or kind of a docudrama with time-lapse sections and narration from yours truly about the move. Of course, if done how I envisioned it, was gonna take 4 camera bodies (2 at the old place and 2 at the new one) capturing thousands of images that I would eventually have to chop into a viewable piece. Well, hope you like the concept, because that all the further it got. Once I started packing a few things up, the momentum kicked in and the project was quickly aborted. So, anyway.....

Tonight's "Time-Lapse Tuesday" is from the balcony of the new pad. I have always wanted to have a safe and somewhat weather resistant place to setup the tripod and experiment with this art-form. I am sure that this is not the first one I will be doing from here. Here is a still HDR from the set. For the flickr folks, the link is below while the blog has the youtube video embedded. Let me know what you think. Its an HDR time-lapse prepared with about 7000 or so images!

New bat cave

Before I actually moved in, I did take a few shots of the raw space. I love the openness of the floor plan. Perhaps some "after" images will find there way to the blog soon. Hope you like the time-lapse. I really like the new diversion and challenge! I have a few ideas brewing so see you next "Time-Lapse Tuesday!"

Monday, July 6, 2009

A late night walk to the hotel in Buenos Aires

For me, its quite obvious that the effects of a sour economy have kinda dampened what could have been an active summer. By this time last year, I had events (and a little personal time) lined up in Boston, Singapore, Brazil, Argentina, Greensboro, Minneapolis, Denver, Oregon, Washington, Napa, Key West, San Francisco, Greensboro, Key Largo, and Miami. This summer? Well, not quite so much to put it bluntly. I'm not complaining, I'm just appreciating what I had the opportunity to do. Outside of the economic opportunities that I enjoyed, I must admit that it was great fun capturing those trips with the camera. This one was taken during one of those late night wandering sessions with one of the guys from the crew as we scoured the neighborhood around the hotel well past midnight in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After the skewers and skewers of meat they constantly feed you down there, a late night walk is well needed, thats for sure!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Son et’ Lumiere Sunday - Details from a wedding

So, Ive decided to add a weee bit more structure to my blog posts starting this week. Last Tuesday I started what I hope to be a weekly post of time-lapse projects I have recently been playing around with. Time-lapse Tuesdays shall serve up a weekly sampling of these experimental pieces. Tonights little launch is intented to be a weekly serving of images from events that I am either currently working on or have never had a chance to display. These Sunday evening posts will from here on out be refered to "Son et’ Lumiere Sundays." This phrase is one that I have always liked as it means sound and light show in French. Although, the majority of the events I work on are more of a synergy of various artisans and designers in other areas as well, lighting, sound, and electronic scenery is our specialty.

For this event, a wedding, the beauty is always in the details. Before expanding out to the larger view of the room and its treatment (for some other week), I would like to zoom in a bit close and enjoy the details that the designer created.

Table Details

Cake Details

Food Details
I used a new template idea for the top 3 images as I like these types of layouts. I like how the groups of pictures seem to create more of a complete picture and story to the scene. Although I am far from proficient in this look, I have always liked it, as seen in many travel and bridal magazines (aahhh, not that I look at a lot of Bridal Magazines, but you get the picture.)

If you have ever visited this blog before, you know that I create a lot of saturated and slightly over the edge processed HDR looks. These types of events, especially this last season, have given me a lot of opportunities to explore a more soft side in my search for images and subjects. That time before the doors open for the guest is the time I kinda feel like a kid in a candy store bouncing about the room with tripod (my gosh, that sounded stupid, didn't it?)

The first layout above is a sampling of some of the beautiful table details. Nothing is overlooked here in this cohesive design. The bride had a love for lavender and was the driving force in the color and feel of the flowers, linen, and lighting. The cake, as detailed in the second image, is one of those things that I often wonder if most of the guests get to appreciate. The intricate pieces of icing and texture were fun to explore with the camera. I guess that took my mind off of wanting to grab a fork and dig in (my gosh, could you imagine the horror upon finding a gouged chunk of cake removed from the back side by a hungry lighting designer? I often have....hehehe). While walking thru the cocktail area on my way out to the car before the guests arrived, I couldn't help but grab a couple of details shots of the sushi. Once again, I had to fight the urge!

Wedding Florals

The pastel lavender color the bride loved so much was a predominate player in the lighting design scheme we created. Look for some more images from the event soon (perhaps next week) on another Son et' Lumiere Sunday!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fireworks from Flagler in West Palm Beach, FL

My original plan was to head down to the waterside with an insane amount of gear, tripods, cable releases, and memory cards only to have to sit down later and sort the shots, tweak in photoshop and post the best. Well, the days plans changed and I ended up watching the fireworks kicked back with my daughter and a blanket on the lawn. Pictures? Well, just this casual one with the Iphone. And for me, this one has ALOT more meaning than what I original had in mind :) Good times.....

Happy 4th everyone!!!

Checking in at the Shangra-La

My post this evening has us taking a little trip back to a place I was a few months ago in the wonderful city of Singapore. The reason I decided to grab these out of the file and throw out there to the world has a bit to do with a little lecture I went to last night. The guest speaker at the South Florida Camera Club was a well known local architectural photographer named Jerry Rabinowitz. A great photographer and entertaining speaker! His clients such as Architectural Digest, Florida Design, and Mara-Lago demand quality and realism out of his work. I often start my images out that way, yet frequently go down that road of slight surrealism in the processing. I guess that's ok though, as my client is, .... well....., me :)

In the Lobby of the Shangra-la

Click on each of these to take it to a larger view on black! The detail is pretty amazing if I do say so myself. I remember running about this lobby like a kid with my tripod and kit. The marble, glass, light, and details were a perfect combination for my style of HDR work. As I have said before, some people love it and some absolutely HATE it. Impressionism was also heavily disliked in France in its early years. I suppose all art movements are fought with a little resistance at some level or another.

From the rooftop of the Shangia-La Hotel in Singapore

Atop of the hotel, there was a cool little patio just off of an area that was used for the VIP breakfasts. It had a very hip kinda feel to it and was a nice place to wake up to the vibrant city of Singapore at sunrise. Of course, you have to plan about 15 minutes for the fog to burn off your lenses before a shoot as it is HUMID there! I have a few more from this trip to post someday, so stay tuned :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Waiting for the God Beams in Iceland (and getting a clearer picture of the future)

Life sometimes has a way of throwing you a curveball ..... what seems like a sneaky pitch, but a pitch you have to face head on. Even after a strikeout however, the seasoned batter takes the bench in stride and reflects. What went wrong, will he get to bat again in this inning, perhaps he needs a break for a couple of innings to get his game strategy on focus, or is he perhaps missing what the game is all about? By the way, I'm not sure where all this baseball talk is coming from.....hmm, guess I just feel like rambling out a few thoughts.....

A few years ago, about 25 actually, I embarked on a career. There were, and still are, a million things I love about this career. As a special event lighting designer and business owner, I have had the good fortune of working creatively and in synergy with countless colleagues all over the country. In this crazy and sometimes round the clock environment, I realized early on that I was about to lead a very lopsided life. As my dad used to always say, work hard and play hard. I soon adapted the same philosophy. As what I did was quite seasonal, I adapted quite early on, a concept of seasonal work. From about November to April was the crazy time. Countless late nights in the warehouse, drafting table, event sight, loading dock....wherever ...thats just what it took. The balance in exchange for this chaos, was a time to recharge over the summer. Starting in the late 80's, I decided to embrace a rather unique way to recharge and refocus. Just me, a backpack, an unlimited train pass, and Europe! What started out one year as a 2 week sabbatical, quickly blossomed into a 2 month yearly journey. For me, there has never been anything quite like a long train ride thru France, or perhaps a ferry ride between Greek Islands to get your perspective back on track. New ideas, creative visions, and plans had a time and place to grow. This annual summertime escape was what got me thru the insane season. And so, the seasonal focus of my company continued for several years, and that's what worked best for me. So, what happened?

Well, for better or worse, life changes. Relationships begin, focuses change, new responsibilities come into the game, you expand your vision, you work harder and harder for what you think is your future, and in my totally forget about yourself. Yeah, you somehow put your own freakin life on the back burner! Of course, its not all bad when the relationship goes well, because somehow thats all part of the investment. But if it doesn't work out, soon after it severs, and you dig a bit deep, you can start to wonder why you compromised so much of yourself and your own personal vision for so long. Yeah, maybe a bit too deep here, not sure.

So, to put it in plain English here, the sagging economy has forced me to make a few decisions. Actually, a major one was made a couple of months ago. What used to be only a seasonal workforce with my business, eventually, as other circumstances demanded, grew into a full time staff. I never planned it that way, it just kinda happened. That seemed to go well for a few years. This recent recession, however, forced me into laying off the staff for the summer except for a couple of small projects. I use the word staff, but I use it with much hesitation. I think the proper word is Team. It was a hard call to make as every member of this "Team" has a very special life and circumstance that has now had to adjust to a new focus and future. I can't hardly thank them for all they have done for me and this company.

As I know that my little company is but only one in possibly thousands throughout this country and perhaps the world that has had to adjust, I still must think of myself. I have taken this recent down time to begin recharging and reinventing myself through a deeper investigation into self growth books and CD's. I have also been getting caught up on some reading on subjects like trend predictions, business strategies, and creative processes. I hope to incorporate some of my findings and thoughts into some future blog posts as I continue on my personal journey of discovery.

Perhaps I was on to something in my early years in business in my "European" approach to life and work. A current trend in employment strategies is that of project based or freelance agreements. The film industry is a great example of that. Another word for this is the "Business Colony." In this business model, talent such as directors, cameramen, makeup artists, etc. swarms and forms around a specific project. Once the project is complete, the workers swarm and form around anther project. Perhaps this might be the new model for me? I have a lot to consider, thats for sure. Perhaps a little peak into the past can provide a clearer vision for the future.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Reflections in the rain - Reykjavik, Iceland

Rain is one of those "perspective" kinda things. Its all in the eye of the beholder. As a mind's eye sees reflections and another layer to the dimension of the image. As a lighting director and provider of illumination for events, well, lets just say that water and electric don't play all that well together.

As I listen to the soft rain from my patio this evening, I considered heading to Cityplace with my tripod, but since they seem to like harassing the DSLR and tripod toting photogs like myself (regardless of the hundreds of dollars spent there), I think I'll just promote Iceland instead. As was the case in this scene while wandering thru Reykavik looking for reflections, I was never hastled at all. But 2 blocks from my own residence, were I contribute to the local economy on a regular basis.....a totally different story. Have fun driving around in your little golfcarts ya overzealous security jackass's!

Wow, that feels better.....

Thanks :)