Friday, April 30, 2010

End of the day from the Society of the Four Arts - West Palm Beach

Having a music and arts festival called Sunfest happening just steps from my door this weekend, I feel like a few more posts of my beautiful city might be a nice way to finish out the week. Although I shot the base images for this one a few months ago, they waited o so patiently on the hard drive for their moment to be played with. As I processed this one tonight, I tried a few techniques. I first blended 2 differently exposed HDR tonemapped images. I then brushed in a little bit of an effect from a Nik filter I like called glamour glow. And finally, a bit of Topaz simplify was mixed in here and there for a more painterly look. Hope ya like :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Time for Sunfest!

My love of music has previously had me running off to places like Roskilde, Montreux, Copenhagen, and Rotterdam. Just so happens, this week... music, art, food, and people come together for a pretty cool festival in my town called Sunfest. I must admit, its kinda cool to be living about 2 blocks from the gate! My earliest memories of this festival were of my own rock band playing at one of the stages. In retrospect, we were kind of a mess....but we had good intentions and ALOT of energy. Although this event has kind of evolved from a jazz and blues festival to more of a free for all collection of musical styles, its still a great place to chill. In fact, what am I doing here.....time to wander over there!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Unwinding, originally uploaded by Photomike07 /

Whilst searching for an image for the daily upload, I have to admit its quite difficult to conjure up anything of value to ramble on about as the hotel TV off in the background blasts off a seriously hilarious rerun of the "Office".

The Moment? - winding down and making the attack plan for tomorrow

The Plan? - a site survey up here in Amelia Island for an up and coming event here in a couple of weeks

The update? - a million things to get together for this event and one right after it

The concern? - the million things I have to get together

The short term wish? - to get up in the AM and catch a nice sunrise with my camera and eyes

The question marks? - not sure.....what's with those Mike!?

cheers :)

An evening in Montmarte, Paris

There are many places that just seem to have that "I'm in the center of it all" feeling. You know, like you are at the point in which all around seem to gravitate to. This is one of those places. Montmarte' in Paris. This place has long been the hangout of artists and musicians, and although it can feel a bit touristy at times, its still a great place to explore.

And, for the musical journey.......

Sunday, April 25, 2010

At the dock

At the dock, originally uploaded by Photomike07 /

I took the foundational image for this piece while on a site survey for an up and coming destination wedding we will be lighting towards the end of May. These remote location events are quite the challenge as you cant just pop on over to the shop for a missing adapter. More on this as the event unfolds.....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

From the Patio at the Oasis in Austin

Wow, could it actually be? It seems like I have been blogging for over 2 years now. Yes, over 2 years of random thoughts and verbal diarrhea. What on earth have I rambled on about for the better part of 25 months!

I must say though, my usual blog time (between 11PM and 2AM) has yet to find me in the sharpest of cerebral moments. A million times a day, I find myself saying to myself "oh, thats a brilliant perspective...I should blog about that". These moments of course seem to get flushed out of the mind a couple of hours before I find myself in from of the keyboard attempting to recall a morsel of anything entertaining......and well, this is what ya get. LOL....just me, and rambling on about nothing.......

The image? Taken and processed during a workshop in Texas with the one and only...Trey Ratcliff from Stuck in Customs. I loved those cool shadows raking themselves across the deck...very cool :) .... ya like?

Hope you all are enjoying this wonderful weekend!

And of course, the video link below has not an ounce of reason to be here....other than this band rocks. If there is one performer I could see touring with, Jamie Cullum would have to be up in the top 5 for sure. This clip was from the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam. Three days of some of the worlds best music. Enjoy!

Friday, April 23, 2010

End of the day in the Cote' D'Azur

I absolutely love train travel! For me, some of the best tracks around are the ones that trace the coast of the Mediterranean. Here in the South of France or specifically....the Cote D'Azure, there are endless little pockets of goodness to explore about. Yummy! Pick a train, pick a random stop, and go!

And on a totally unrelated note....I got chickens...lotsa chickens! I paid a little surprise visit to one of my newly acquired rental properties today and took a peak around back at one of the units and .... well...there was this cage, with what appeared to be about 5 or 6 chickens. Actually, looked like mix of roosters and hens, very strange non the less.

So, now that were rambling here a bit, here's something even more unrelated.....

Just a quick clip of a pretty cool "fire effect" we created for an event this evening. Worked out pretty cool actually. As always, my rock star crew helped make it all possible.. Thanks everyone!

Now, what to do about those chickens........hmmmm......

(more on all this later.....)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Village hopping around the lake - Lake Como

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover” – Mark Twain

Forever smiling - Lake Como

More details around the lake - Lake Como

Preserved in concrete - Lake Como

Monday, April 19, 2010

Warm thoughts of Italy - Lake Como

"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." - Lao Tzu

In my typical haphazard way of bumbling about Europe, its actually a miracle that I eventually made it to my destination here on the lake. One wrong train and bamb, your 5 hours off track. Well, like I have said before, its all about the that of course, I embraced it :)

In an effort to cut back on my usual HDR style posts, I decided to present a few tamer shots. Its a nice change actually. Hope you enjoy!

Details around the lake - Lake Como

Soaking in the sun - Lake Como

Italian detail - Lake Como

Afternoon color around the lake - Lake Como

Bella Bella.....

You know, its kinda funny. Hearing the reports of stranded travelers in Europe over the past couple of days from the Icelandic volcano eruption actually seems kinda nice. I guess its all perspective. About this time of year, when the season starts to tank a bit and head fast into the dog days of summer, I can think of nothing better to do than get lost in the European rail system. Grab a plate, throw on a little bit of Norwegian Fiords, Greek Islands, Summer music festivals, Spanish beaches, Swiss Alps, Italian Lakes, and French Villages and you have yourself quite a meal!

What would you do if you could just pick up and go? I love quizzing people sometimes. Its great to see someone's reaction when I ask them "if money were no object and you could wake up tomorrow with not a responsibility in the world, what would you do with your life?" That seems too stump a lot of people. Not sure why. For me, I am sure there would be ALOT more travel.......yes, bumbling thru Europe sounds like a great idea!

Look for more images from around the Lake soon :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Street life in Old Shanghai

Street life in Old Shanghai, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

A curious traveler from the west, exploring the back alleys of Old Shanghai. A simple click.....a memory...and off he goes to soak in more. In the words of Anthony Bourdain "Its a beautiful world out there.....and I want it al!"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

An evening on the Seine in Paris - and a really cool project from Pat Metheny

I've always been fascinated with artistic pioneers. Those who plunge forward with a vision of their art, reguardless of the critiques, naysayers, and acceptence of the masses. When in Paris, of course, its hard not to feel and embrace the the presence of the early masters of impressionism.

Similarly, a musician I have followed for sometime now and a pioneer in his own right was my inspiration as I worked on this image tonight. Check out his new creation below!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bird....big bird....really big bird! (Blue Heron perhaps?)

Just seconds after firing off a few exposures, this winged beast took flight. Guess he had more important things to get to?

You know, the nice thing about a slower economy and housing market is the opportunity for these critters to enjoy their native habitat a little more. There has been a lot of insanely selfish over development here is South Florida over the past few years. Neighborhood after neighborhood built on precious land full of houses that the end buyer could never afford in the first place, but I am sure you are quite aware of all that. I must admit, its nice to see it slow down a bit.

As far as this image, I did a little experiment with a couple of textures and a little Topaz filters. Hope ya like :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Trecking about the Swiss Alps (gasping for air and thirsty as a dog!)

Yeeeeup, I might have kept this one on the ole' stove a bit too long. Overcooked as it is, I still kinda like it.

I spent a bit of time on this hike, partially from not being in tip top shape, but also because there was so much to see. The clouds change up in a flash providing a constantly evolving feast for the eyes.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Isolation in the San Juan Islands

"A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it." - George Moore

Is it me or are these weeks just flying by! Seems like our season just started out and bam....summer plans are being made, the South Florida events schedule is winding down, and....(insert third item for sentence balance...sorry, I can't think of one...)

I tell ya, if it wasn't for weddings, I don't know what we would have done this year. Of course, I have a little bit of a back log of images to get to, so stay tuned :)

Speaking of weddings, tomorrow finds me hopping over the pond a bit to the Bahamas for, yes you guessed it, another wedding! This is just quick look see at the event space to fine tune the logistical plans for the tech side of things. If all goes well, it will be a nice destination event for us towards the end of May!

Hope you have a great week and hope you like the quotes. My time recently has me searching a bit in the self growth area as you might have guessed. More on that soon too :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Stumbling about the beach in the San Juan Islands

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

And on a totally unrelated note...

"Remember that after browning the fish and then placing the pan in the oven for 20 minutes, the metal handle is really not quite ready to grab after just 1 minute on the stove top. I indeed have the burn marks to prove it after this evenings fiasco in the kitchen."

(just a little nugget of insight for ya)

Cheers everyone :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Colorful muck along the shore in the San Juan Islands

Feel like taking a walk in the nuclear sludge? Its no secret that HDR really pulls out the color in a scene....color that may or may not have actually been there! As is so often the case, its all up to the artist...or in this :)

I remember not a couple of short years ago, a fellow photographer and digital artist in an attempt to apparently speak his mind at a training class shouted out something like "of what value is this HDR stuff? You'll never see it in any publications or ads!" Wow, kinda shortsighted indeed. Just the other day in fact, I opened up a copy of National Geographic Explorer and counted over 15 images that were obviously tweaked. From ads to feature stories, lets face it, HDR processing is now a widely accepted technique as well as art form.

As promised this to enjoy the image by. (could you imagine tuning that thing by the way?!)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Palm Beach - a special place

Palm Beach - a special place, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

Sometimes I forget how lucky I am. In fact, just the other day I took a knee jerk reaction turn and headed over the beach with my little one after school and pounced about in the sand (not here as this is the intracoastal.....beach is much cleaner!). After spending a few wonderful moments there, I had to stop and wonder what in the world has prevented me from taking the 7 minute trip from my place over to this paradise recently.

In continuation of my little theme this week, I am posting a link to the music that inspired my creation of the image this evening. I first heard Josh Varnadore perform this live last year at a church that we were lighting a Passion Play in. I hope to hear more from him someday! Very catchy tune and a wonderful message. Hope you like :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

A hike in the Swiss Alps - Zermatt

I've been searching for "themes" of sorts to tie in my blog posts for the week, or at the very minimum....nuggets of wisdom. Not sure if any of that makes sense in the slightest, but yet I plunge forward....

Music is powerful. It is quite often the catalyst for setting the mood when I head out for capturing the feel of the location and......(good grief, this is going absolutely nowhere....)

aaaanyway, hope you like what I created in post. I applied a bit of a painterly look with Topaz and of course, photoshop. And as far as the music that drove the mood? (I guess thats the theme of the week....The music that drove the mood!)

In a spiritual place - St. Pauls Cathedral

My posts of recent seem to find me searching through the ever deteriorating file of finished images in a desperate search for the "Image of the day." I guess this one works as this evening brings a close to one of the holiest days of the year for Christians.

I have designed, programmed, and operated lighting and effects for countless passion plays and church performances over the past 25 years. Today was no exception. I must admit, it doesn't matter how many times I run the ques, I can never quite make it thru the run of the play without viewing a portion of it thru tear filled eyes. When the synergy of the stage drama, music, sound, costuming, and lighting all come together in its beautiful harmonious blend, we're in the zone. Its with that passion that I embrace the art of "painting with light". How wonderful to be able to apply this gift with such a wonderful message. Thanks Robert and all the great folks at The Covenant Center for allowing me to be a part, once again, of such a wonderful presentation. I look forward to the next one!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

An infrared look in Jupiter, FL

"When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college - that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me, incredulous, and said, "You mean they forget?" ~Howard Ikemoto

How cool is that quote? It is so true. I have frequently said, that we are all born artists. Its a shame that somehow, just beyond youth, life seems to get in the way while our current society tends to beat that out of us. For the lucky few, the journey eventually brings you back to that opportunity to speak from within.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A brilliant display to end the day - West Palm Beach, FL

"Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale 'til its appropriate liberator comes to set it free." - Ralph Waldo Emerson