Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Morning at the Harbour in Villefrance, France.

By the time I arrived to explore this little port just East of Nice in the South of France, the fisherman had long been back in port and cleaning their catch of the day. As far back as my days bumbling around the Greek Islands, I have always wanted to hitch a ride with one of these ole' salty dogs and head out before sunrise to witness their life for a day. Actually, how fun would it be to bumble about the globe, with only a back pack and a camera or 2 to document the world? People at work, everyday life, the pulse of humanity, ....... without a care in the world? I have always found the concept of the documentary fascinating actually (if done well). Swoop in, get absorbed in another perspective of the world as seen by someone else, live it for a while, capture it, share it, and move on. I know, dreaming again...... :)

Crazy skys in Palm Beach - and a Timelapse Tuesday video

We indeed have some rather cool skys down in South Florida. It has recently come to my attention that if I ever cause an accident while driving around here, there is a good chance its because my head is in the clouds. Yeah I know, I guess I gotta watch out for that!

So anyway, check out this link. This was taken from the ole' patio again, a convenient place to setup a timelapse from!

By the way, I am totally open to any suggestions to improving this quality. I usually upload these as .mov files and youtube compresses these to the extreme......a night and day difference from my original. Any ideas???

Monday, September 28, 2009

The lights at night in Honfleur

Wow, with all the images I have for upload, not sure why I chose this one. I guess after last night, my memory of this location hit a cord with me. Honfleur Harbor on the West coast of France in Normandy, a location I hope to explore again someday soon!

I must say, that although I love HDR techniques and what it can do to an image, I am a little over it. Although I have quite a few ready to post that I intend to upload sooner or later, its nice to take a break from it. If you have followed my images so far, you might agree.

Sometimes, in my quest to capture the essence of a scene or location, I tend to get a little bit hung up of the dynamic range and what I can create in post. Sure, there becomes an art to it in post, but sometimes the real reason you were drawn to the scene gets lost in that translation. For this image, it was all about the movement, the quiet moment of the couple, and the reflections of light in this serene French harbor. My hope is that you can feel it as well......

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Honfluer - boats in the morning

For a little while now, my weekly Sunday posts have been about the industry I have happy to be a part of....Special Event Lighting. While entrenched in the pace of this unique field, I have found it quite rewarding to reflect back on events as we were doing them and share with the world. As I reflect on my post tonight however (hence the image above...get it, reflection....aaaahhh, never mind...) I realize that I'm just not feeling it now. With a questionable season coming up, I must admit I am a little concerned. I know I have posted and blogged a bit about this before, so I don't want to harp on about it as I am trying to focus on the positive. I am embracing the fact that perhaps all of this, as it related to me, is perhaps just another step in the evolution of my journey. There is a lot of change in the air lately, but with all this uncertainty, there are opportunity's. I must admit that it has been a bit exhilarating to embrace some of these new possibilities.

So, all that being said, as my involvement in the events world starts to pick up, I am sure that I will be posting from time to time about them. For now though, my Son et Lumiere Sunday posts are on temporary hiatus. I set out a few months ago to give myself a little structure in my posts, but I guess I am starting to hate the structure. I guess my free spirited side is winning this one. Time-lapse Tuesday, however, is gonna hang in there for a little while :)

So, anyway, this reflective image was originally captured from my trip to Europe in 2007. A year that I will always remember as a renaissance to my love of photography and yet my introduction to the world of digital art. As a "painter of light", this has been a great progression for me personally, and yet another way to express my passion for color, light, and texture.

Good grief, what the hell am I babbling about!

As always, more on all of this later.....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Isolation in Iceland

Isolation in Iceland, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

In exchange for some incredibly longs days in the summer here in Iceland, they pay the price in the winter, thats for sure. I'm guessing that hibernating like a bear might be one option for dealing with these long dark days.

While trekking about this incredible landscape in my rental car, I couldn't help but imagine what I was doing to the undercarriage of this vehicle.....I mean, I did everything but trash this poor little thing!

A tough life in Shanghai.....for some that is

Shanghai was one of the most unique locations I have ever had a chance to wander about in. Although we were quite sheltered and pampered at the Hyatt on the Bund, the "real" Shanghai was just outside the door and a few blocks away. I spent a couple of afternoons exploring what could have taken weeks to really dive into. Smokey alleyways with pots of soup, skewers of mystery meet, dirt floored shops, wild dogs, kids running about, strange smells and noises, like I said, weeks to really explore.....

The river kind of cuts this vibrant city into 2 halves....the high tech, glossy, and colorfully lit newer side, and my favorite......the grungy, Old Shanghai side with its somewhat European influenced Bund and Old town area. As they scurry (well, not these 2 guys LOL!) to prepare for the up and coming worlds fair, it will be interesting to see if some of the old world charm is preserved. I have always appreciated the beauty in decay while traveling, and this area had alot of it. I can only hope that some of it remains as the beautification project continues for the Expo. I guess I'll have to head back someday to check it out again!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lighting painting in the San Juan Islands - Racalling a great week at a DLWS workshop

I have a few images that have been hanging around waiting for their turn in the limelight. You know, it sounds kinda silly, but these little files have waited around very patiently and to be honest with ya, are getting a bit upset about the new images from Europe coming in and muscling their way to the front of the line. I mean, that one yesterday totally cut in line like a Frenchman at a taxi stand at Gare de Nord!

Yeah, I know, just a bit weird.......

So this little group of images.....

Taken last year about this time at a really great workshop I went to called the DLWS or Digital Landscape Workshop Series run by Moose Peterson and Laurie Excel. If you are ever considering a workshop for your photography, I highly recommend it. I link to it on my blog. What I liked most about the experience was that it forced me to look around at all the opportunities that are available. When given a little time to let it all in, its refreshing to find a world that you might have not had a chance to really see. I guess it kinda hit me as a parallel experience to this summer. Sometimes you have to take yourself out of the groove.....way out of the realize that you were actually in a rut. It happens to alot of us, I know. When you feel that happening, give yourself a chance to step back, open your eyes to what you have, reevaluate your mission, refocus, set some new goals, and get back into the game.

A series of reflections


Waiting for a gig


Wandering about the Coliseum in Arles, France

Indeed, there are many times I hit the upload button, only to cringe upon the harsh realization that I need to comment on or at least mention a cool fact about the image that happened to muscle its way to the front of the line. Perhaps I put too much emphasis on this silly requirement. I mean, isn't the picture supposed to tell the story?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Timelapse Tuesday - A quiet day in the harbor - Varenna, Italy

Ah yes, time-lapse Tuesday.....that weekly post of mine dedicated to the art of time-lapse video. I have to be honest though, I am a little perplexed at this whole video quality thing when I upload to youtube. The loops look screaming crystal clear and bright on my computer but after the upload, the video gets severely compressed or something, cause, well, it looks how should I garbage! Dark, squirrely, and choppy....hmm, not making much sense her, I know....kinda frustrating. Any video gurus out there with a recommendation? I spent a little while researching this, but am getting nowhere. Anyway, heres the link .....let me know what ya think :)

By the way, the timelapse was taken from a window at FLOOR level (not really sure what that was all about) in Varenna on Lake Como, Italy. The still was taken from the same town but just to the South. Awesome place too. Enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A great view to wake up to - from the balcony here in West Palm Beach, FL

Having just gotten back from bumbling about a bit in Europe, I was reminded of just how incredible the South Florida sky can be. Europe, for the most part, seemed a bit hazy and that can be challenging at best for capturing landscapes, so I was kinda charged to wake up to this luscious sky just after my return. Created as a 5 shot HDR panorama, I tried to capture the full tonal range of an early morning view from my balcony. As the winter months approach, I am looking forward to the sun slowly making its way a bit more South. Nothing like capturing a brilliant sunrise without every leaving the pad (LOL!)

As always, more to come.....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Son et' Lumiere Sunday - "a small but important part of a special event"

Yes, indeed it is Sunday again, and for this guessed it.....Son et' Lumaire Sunday. That one day a week that I have reserved for a peek into the unique industry I have been a part of.

I am quite proud of the fact that in addition to flawlessly serving the social, corporate, and event markets (which is quite rare for a small company to accomplish), we have always been a full technical production house with a design driven focus. While, it is quite common to find equipment rental companies, labor organizations, and design organizations, having all of that under one roof can sometimes be a bit of a juggling act. I can proudly admit that we are but one in a few that has successfully accomplished driven production with a passion for excellence.

Ok, enough of the pat on the back for now......

What I really want to focus on goes a little deeper.....

In the events world, it takes quite a bit of focus from a lot of vendors. Meeting planners, designers, production coordinators, caterers, florists, etc., all working in complete synergy for the same goal.....a flawless event. I love that! Sure we all have other events we are working on with a million things that need to be done, but when it comes down to it, nothing matters before the event except for THAT event.......nothing! Doors happen on schedule and there is NO excuse. When I start to loose that focus, I remind myself of one thing. Be it a wedding, corporate meeting, concert, party, or theatrical performance, there are a few key individuals that have lived this event in their minds for a long time. The bride who has dreamed of her special night, the meeting planner that had the vision for that special launch promotion, the artist that has practiced for months for their performance, the fundraising committee that has worked tirelessly planning for all boils down to that special time, show time. As an event professional, you have to realize that, tune into it, and become a part of it. To give it anything less that 100% is really letting down those who have entrusted you to help carry out their celebration and vision. I sincerely look forward to once again, harmoniously being a part of this magic over the next few months as our season kicks in.

Just outside the entrance

Wedding details - just before the guests arrived

A walk back to Varenna - Lake Como, Italy

I love to balance out my travel locations. Little out of the way villages and towns can be a great retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. As the infamous travel guru Rick Steves puts it ....... "a vacation from your vacation".....and Lake Como was just that. There are countless towns along the lake that are connected to each other via passenger and car ferries. As a train traveler to this area, this becomes the best way to explore once there. Oh yeah, and since George Clooney never got around to giving me a personal tour of the area like he promised me, (he has a villa near the town of Como in the southern tip) I guess I'll have to make it back there someday!

On a completely different side note, at which point do you stop watering your neglected brown and withered plants and just call them dead? My daughter tells me its a hopeless cause.....

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tour Eiffel

Tour Eiffel, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

As many times as I have seen it, its still quite difficult if not impossible to stop photographing it. Although I originally intended to pass it right up, I actually stopped and spent my first afternoon looking for new vantage points and angles to capture this most unique of structures. Incidentally, off to one side (I think it was the west side) beyond the little lake but before the park benches, was the largest gathering of French police I have ever seen. In addition to the 30 or so cars there were several out patrolling the area fully armed and ready to kick in to full attack mode. Still not sure what that was all about. And oh yeah, one more thing, has anyone actually ever bought one of those silly little LED Eiffel Towers from one of the thousand duffel bag totting Nigerian vendors? Just wondering.......

So, posting at 7:00AM......just another example of how I am STILL not over the jet lag :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Villa on Lake Como

Villa on Lake Como, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Having arrived back home safe and sound, I realize once again the one of the best parts of traveling this great world of ours is coming home to the ones you love! As I am still on European time and about to collapse, this post will be a bit brief.

Paris, Provence, The South of France, MIlan, Lake Como, Zermatt, and Burgandy.....all I can say is the camera bodies are still smoking from all the shutter clicks over the past couple of weeks. I look forward to processing and posting over the next few months as I have thousands of images to go through.

I hope all is well out there and thanks for viewing. Now, before my head hits the keyboard, Gnite all!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eiffel Tower from the Roof of the Pullman (and thank you security for letting me up there!)

As my little getaway comes to a crashing halt, I figured I would post one from when I started this little loop. By tomorrow about this time, I will be back in Paris....most likely scouring the streets like a madman trying to capture more images from the "City of Lights."

I hope everyone is OK out there and thanks for checking in. I look forward to posting more in the weeks and months to come!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The view from Riffelberg today in Switzerland

Having "unplugged" a bit over the past few days, I must apologize for those who happen to peek at the flickr stream and blog every now and then. My days have been spent exploring countless locations here in centraI Europe. I look forward to posting a quick wrap up soon after I return as well as posting images over the weeks ahead. Before I head out in the AM to train it back into France, I decided to hijack a ride on a wireless connection here in Zermatt, Switzerland and get an image out. I took an incredible hike today, dodged a few clouds, captured a cool timelapse, and recorded a few videos. One is of the technique I used on this panorama of the Swiss Alps. Look for it soon. Well, thats it for always....more on all of this later :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wandering in Montmartre' - Paris, France

Finally, a post from Europe! Sorry 'bout that....had a couple of lame connections lately. This was taken up in Montmarte' in Paris, which is a really cool area to hang out on a brisk Parisian September evening!

Btw, I am already in the South of France! Look for more posts over the next few weeks from Paris, Provence, and the Cote' de Azure :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Boardwalk to the mountaintops in Iceland

For years, specifically the early 90's, I was blessed with a schedule that allowed me to be to celebrate the exhilaration of solo travel. To travel into personally uncharted territory with nothing but a skeleton of an itinerary and a backpack seemed to be my goal for each summer. The unknown world was just outside the door, knocking impatiently for me to answer, and without hesitation, I answered it every year. Even though I focused my world of travel in Europe, it was my world....a nomadic home away from home of sorts.

Like the image above shows (or at least I hope it shows), there is something quite exciting about having a vision of the trip ahead of you. A clear view of the end without an idea at all about what is around the corner.

Well, fast forward a few years and as could be predicted, life changes......having a family does that to you. I'm not saying that's bad, in fact if it all works out, I am sure that there is nothing better in the world. My wonderful daughter actually, continues to be one of the few things that keeps me grounded. She needs me, and I definitely need her. But like I said, sometimes life changes. We hear a lot about the struggle of the single mom, and I understand it fully. We don't hear, however, much about the struggles of the single dad. The constant wandering of the mind in finding its awkward new place in life. The part time dad, giving all that you can, never really pleasing your ex wife, while redefining who you are and what you gave up....yeah, its still a constant struggle now that I think of it...

It is, however, after deeper self discovery since I have become single again, that I realize how much I have tried to adapt. I, somewhat unknowingly let a passion, a serious passion for travel, discovery, and exploration, become trapped inside. You know, everyone has their heros. Super heros, titans of industry, sports figures, actors, musicians, .... you name it. Sure I have mine (lately its been a few self growth leaders), but I have always had a secret admiration for the wanderers. Nomadic courageous individuals who had the guts to take off for a years or two to walk, bike, and trek about the world always been seen by me as those who were truly living life......but hey, thats just me...

So, although its a challenge at this moment in my life to wander off too long, I have decided to dip a bit into the shallow end of the travel pool again. My career has taken me quite a few places in the past few years, but its time to bumble about on my own again. Thanks to a few extra frequent flyer points as well as some other reward points, I am hitting the road again. Although, there is a side of me is screaming to head out longer, I am limiting this little trek to about 2 weeks. My reignited passion has me traveling through a bit of France, Northern Italy, and Switzerland. With a focus on photography, I think I have laid out a nice variety for this short trip.

I hope to post a bit along the way, but at the same time, I am hoping to really "unplug" from technology for a bit. Good grief, the French can do it for 6 weeks every year...what's with us Americans. All that being said, I am sure you will hearing from me along the trip.

One more thing, I am sure I am not the only one that gets this feeling, but I wonder how many other people in their 40's wonder what they are going to do for a living when they grow up. LOL! For me, I can only hope that travel continues to find its place in mine.

Lastly (no really, ...... lastly)......thanks for reading. I know that this blog is somewhat of a self indulgent thing.....not always.....but usually.....

Well, next post from Europe!!!

Timelapse Tuesday - Aegis in Boston

About the only thing I learned when I worked on a layout for this collage tonight is that indeed I am NOT a graphic designer. Good grief, what's with that background I have going on! Hmmm, maybe I'm just a bit tired.

FYI, the time-lapse for this is being uploaded right now. I'll post a link when its finished.

Check back next week for the world famous (yeeeeaaaa) Time-Lapse Tuesday.....and with any luck, it will be from somewhere else in the world ;)