Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The intense color of Iceland

The intense color of Iceland, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

"I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within." - Lillian Smith

I frequently look to travel quotes to help express some of the deep feelings I have about this passion of mine. I've often taken the time to wonder about this. How or why I have taken such a liking to totally detaching from who I am to wander somewhat aimlessly in the world at times still eludes me.

I often play that mind game for fun. You know, the one where you wonder what you would do if you could do anything. Forget money, work, physical restraints, responsibility......freedom, total freedom. You are free to do with your life WHATEVER you want....starting tomorrow. What would you do. Really, what would you do. Who would you help, what would you create, where would you go, who would you spend time with, what would you want to see? Its fun, try it!

So, think about it.....are you on that path now? What steps are you taking to create those dreams? Are you taking the time to create those dreams? What's stopping you?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A warm and cozy overlook of the Blue Lagoon

And indeed, warm and cozy it was.....inside of course! Just outside of those incredible floor to ceiling windows was another experience however for this Florida boy. After a quick change in the locker room and a pre spa shower, I was ready to brave the cold. Nothing like walking out into the frigid tundra whilst completely dripping wet to get you wondering where exactly you left your sanity! Once in the warm therapeutic mineral waters of this world class spa however, it was simply heaven!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Everest - Disney Style

Everest - Disney Style, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Seems like every year about this time when the season starts to quiet down a bit, my mind starts to wander about......where to wander off in this wonderful world of ours! Lucky for me, just a short trek and a couple of hours up the turnpike is a pretty cool place to get away.

Those Disney Imagineers have quite the knack for detail don't they? Recreating the worlds largest mountain is certainly no easy task, especially when it houses a pretty cool roller coaster at that. Wanna take a ride? Lets go :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Deep skys in Palm Beach

Deep skys in Palm Beach, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Yikes! There are days that I kinda glance out the window and kinda yawn at the even tones in the flat sky, and then there are days when I do a double take, yell out "Oh shit, look at that sky!", and stumble out the door with the camera and tripod. On this particular day, it was time to race over the bridge to Palm Beach and capture what I could.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pull up a chair and have a bowl - Shanghai surprise!

I gotta tell ya, I love a good bowl of soup like the next guy. And a great conversation with a complete stranger in back alley Shanghai? Count me in for sure! A stomach of steel might be needed here though, waddya think. The more I look at this, I'm not really sure where the line between food containers and vessels of mystery fluid begins and ends. Good grief!

I gotta few more from this little back alley adventure. Look for a few more to come.....oh, enjoy your meal :) .... try a little from the sawed off 55 gallon drum on the right if ya dare!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Louvre

The Louvre, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Ah yes....Paris, at night, with camera,........ wandering about in the city of light......nuff said really. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The colors of Provence

The colors of Provence, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

My post this evening was somewhat inspired by a pretty cool show that was on this evening. I don't frequently slow down enough to allow my mind to absorb the mindless chatter of TV, but when I do, there is one show I do enjoy. Anthony Bourdain and the No Reservations crew were in Provence, France this evening. Having spent a little time there this past summer, it was time to dig around in Lightroom and see what I had from there. Not exactly the flavor that the geniuses behind that show so cinematically displayed, but a few images non the less.

Enjoy :)

A simple life in Provence, France

Rooftops in Arles, France

Siesta in Provence

Old World France

Sunset in Arles, France

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A pretty cool event in Miami (and more to follow soon)

Just a little taste of things to come. Here in South Florida, we have been hopping a bit providing lighting for some pretty cool events. Although the season isn't breaking any records, there are still a few events keeping us busy. I plan to roll out a few multi image posts of some of these events when I get a few moments to process a few from the files. Looks like that time might come as early as next week, so stay tuned! I'm actually looking forward to working on these as the details, as always with our incredible clients, have been quite stunning!

This is a sneak peak from a show we did for the Food Network in Miami Beach during the Food and Wine Show in February. Ken Ryan and company created a rather cool and ingenious custom water screen that was suspended over the pool when the guests arrived. We then rear projected a video graphics loop onto the water fall. Awesome work Kenny!

More soon....

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lobby in the Driskill-reverse and repeat

I've been pretty luck to have gotten to stay in some pretty cool spaces over the years in my travels. Having never been to Austin (surprisingly) before, I was pretty excited to experience it. During Trey Ratcliff's....aka Stuck in Customs...aka, the grandfather and top dog of all things HDR......aka, a pretty cool cat.....(all right Mike, we got it)....

All right, what was I saying?...... oh yeah....

During a workshop in Austin in January, I got a chance to explore about the hotel I was staying at. A pretty cool place called the Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin. Definitely a place to check out when you are in Austin. I hear the Christmas tree is awesome there by the way.

Hope ya like the effect I decided to apply. I kinda like it :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Boca Resort Lobby - wandering about in the late evening

Sure I get a lot of strange looks from the late night staff, but there's nothing like wandering about a hotel like this at 2 in the morning with a monster size camera and set of sticks. After a nice long 20 hour day lighting an event, I can think of not a better way to relax and chill (other that of course, sleep!) LOL......

Anyway, enjoy :)

Kinda strange that those 2 columns are different now that I think about it. Hmmm....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Worth waking up early for!

Worth waking up early for!, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Catching and photographing a great sunrise for me now is like shooting fish in a barrel, or perhaps like hunting deer from the house (don't laugh, my brother actually did that once. Actually, I think he shot a deer FROM INSIDE the house. Don't quote me on that one though. LOL)

Anyway, every once in a while, those conditions are just right and magic appears in the sky. It was nice to be able to roll outta bed to catch this one. And no Dave, I didn't see any dear wandering downtown!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Somewhere in Cali

Somewhere in Cali, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Wow, I'm kinda wondering why I didn't just roll down the hill, bounce off the grass, and frolic among the tide pools when I was here. Looks like there were a million areas I could have...., well....., frolicked. (how does one frolic by the way.....and how weird would that have been?)

Yeeuuup, dats about it....tide pools, frolic, hill....I think I've covered it all.....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Along the Oregon Coast

Along the Oregon Coast, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

I took so many images on that trek up the coast that I faintly remember this one. I will tell you however, it was not the traditional multi exposure HDR creation that I tend to be known for. This was created and processed with one single raw image with several techniques painted in to create more drama, contrast, detail, and color to the scene. This artistic endeavor took place during a few commercials of this evenings new season premier of the Apprentice of course. A TV head I am not, but that's one or two hours I am gonna try and catch every week. And speaking of weeks, have a great one. Create a magical one as you are the artist of your own life canvas! (Geez, that sounded corny didn't it?!)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

An explosion of color at the Tampa Convention Center

While on an action packed week of events for AOPA in Tampa this past November, I had to stop for a few moments to capture the energy and color of the night. Over looking the Bay, the opening night was an appreciation party for the vendors about to welcome the conference attendees for the week long program.

Iceland - Landscapes forever!

My evening scan of images has me a bit in a reflective state. I guess the usual punch of color and screaming detail I usually present via HDR can take a back seat for a night or 2.

Iceland, wow...

I was chatting a bit with a long time client and friend today about our awesome opportunity to make it over there last year. For me, anytime I get a chance to actually leave the country is in essence, a license to unplug from any real responsibility. I guess I have a bit of a split personality. Although I am an entrepreneur and need to be running my own ship for most of the time, it sure is nice to jump of the gang plank and abandon ship. I can remember bumbling about Europe a few years ago during one of my first trips over there. Just before leaving, I let Carl (the guy I left in charge) know that I would check in often. Well, 3 weeks later, I finally got around to checking in. I kinda miss those days without internet and cel phone. Kinda hard to REALLY escape these days. There's must be some place thats virtually unreachable on this planet. Guess I gotta do a little more work finding that place perhaps....LOL!

Ah yes, the feeling of wanderlust....

The images below were from just one of those kinda trips. Unplugged, exploring, and loving it in Iceland!

Iceland - Solitude in isolation

Iceland - Icelanic beauty

Iceland - Barn and Boat

Iceland - All right, where am I

Friday, March 12, 2010

A perfect night for a new beginning - Wedding at Turnberry

As I type this post while glancing out at the deluge of rain we are getting here in South Florida, I am reminded of the risk one takes in planning an outdoor event here. On a great night however, there is nothing quite as special as a wedding outdoors. This one we worked on a few months ago was for a long time clients daughter. Just another from the stack of files I have yet to get to! I am often asked just after the event if I can forward my images. Sounds easy, but its really not. I shoot them, but its not really my gig. When I eventually get around to digging back thru to process them, its easy to get a bit overwhelmed. Take this one for instance. After merging 9 exposures in photomatix, I set the clock. After merging, tonemapping, cropping, blending in layers in photoshop, painting in a few sky textures, adjusting curves, and sharpening...well, about an hour passed. Yeah.....hold on a second.....I'll get to those images from your event soon....hang in there... LOL!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just before the sky's opened up over Reykjavik

About 2 seconds after the image here was captured, like outta no where.....instant waterage. (My gosh Mike, what kinda sentence is that, yikes!)

Actually, I'm sure that it wasn't really "outta no where - am I spelling that wrong?." There's no real telling where my head is whilst in hot pursuit of a cool HDR setup.

On a completely different note, I was lucky to have one of my images chosen for a travel book showcasing the Palm Beach County area. Front Page of the book! Kinda cool. I saw a mock up and it looks awesome! They may use an image on the back of the book as well.

On a completely different unrelated other note (there he goes again!)....

I get alot of email about how I finish off my images. First off, I welcome those. I know when I was learning, there were alot of people I looked up to, learned from, and cherished the mentoring that I received. With that in mind, I hope to ramp up my site soon with a new look and a little bit of a tutorial section, perhaps with videos as well. Can't promise when as I have a few irons in the fire, but stay tuned for that.

More on all of this later :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Austin sunset

Austin sunset, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Dabbling a bit with textures, my intent was to create a more painterly effect on this image. I posted a different variation of this a while back, but I kinda like the linear motion in this one.

Wow, feels like a Sunday evening to me as I just arrive back home after a rockin weekend in San Diego. So, here's to an awesome week! I'll leave you with this quote:

"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." - Lon Yutang

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tracks in San Diego

Tracks in San Diego, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Wearing headphones is indeed not the most intelligent thing to do while hanging out on the tracks during a time exposure, but it helps make the time go buy. After another day chock full o' education, inspiration, and motivation, I took a couple of hours to wander the city of San Diego to clear the mind and take a break from the ballroom. It was indeed a cool experience to be in the room with like minded investors as well as being a part of the launch of a really awesome application called Freedomsoft. More on that soon!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cameo on the streets of San Diego

After what ended up being a 10 hour day packed full of so much information I thought my head was about to explode, it was time to head and sticks in tow, and clear the mind while searching for the light. As always, I like to set a cinematic mood via the Ipod, and tonight was no different. After packing the memory card shots from several locations, on the way back to the hotel I had this idea in my head of what I thought was gonna be a cool cameo of your truly sneaking into the shot kinda Hitchcock style. Well, this is what I got LOL!

More from the evenings outing in weeks to come :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

A view from the room - San Diego

Upon checkin, the usual question that seems to be the first to be asked is would you prefer a king or 2 double beds? I say screw it, give me a beanbag chair, as long as I can get a cool view. And a cool view I was able to get!

My morning routine this morning had me in a bit of a confused state. While anticipating the excitement for todays session, I actually found myself sitting by the window in a relaxed state during sunrise, attempting to meditate whilst catching a glimpse of the rising San Diego sun painting the morning cityscape, while at the same time......and get this.....stretching, tweeting, checking emails, and chugging down a cup o' joe. Yeah, a little too much to actually focus on the meditation. LOL. Lets see how tomorrow goes!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A walk about the harbor - San Diego

After a slightly uncomfortable flight across the country sandwiched between 2 overweight passengers, I decided it was time for an attitude adjustment. A late lunch of sushi down by the water, a 90 minute massage at the spa, and a trek about the marina around sunset was indeed just what the doctor ordered!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Nightfall on the Lake at Varenna

Bleary eyed and scrambling to pack a few things for a trip I am leaving for in the AM, I decided to take a few minutes and post an image. Now for the hard part.....verbage. That moment of realization that I have no real information to pass on, no morsel of guidance, and no insightful words of creative description for what this image means or why I even picked it! Geez, this blog seems to be heading down like the Titanic! LOL.....

Yeah, I know, the posts have been quite lame haven't they? Sorry bout that....

I fully intend to get a bit caught up with the goodies soon.

We have been quite a bit busy around here in the event lighting world. When the smoke clears and I take a few minutes to sort thru the images, I promise to post a few. Till then, well, its a grab bag!

I realize lately that my attention has shifted a bit. My spare time has me laser focused on a goal and mission that really has nothing at all to do with lighting, travel, digital imaging, or what I originally intended this blog to be about. With that in mind, I hope to take a few little outings while I am in San Diego to do just that. Clear the mind, chase the light, and focus on the art of the image again. As far as the other opportunities I am focusing on? Well, more on that some day soon :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Warm night under the banyon tree

Wow, what a nice little blog break that was! Our events schedule this past week made it virtually impossible to live anything close to a normal life, but thats ok. Those who know me best understand that I kinda like a random and somewhat chaotic schedule. My only regret, especially after taking a peek at the closing ceremonies tonight, was that I didn't get to watch the Olympics more. Oh well, there's alway 2014.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a fantastic week. I have a lot to drone on about, but I'm a little beat more on all this later.

I hope to post a couple later in the week from a couple of the events that I was able to capture. Until then......