Monday, February 27, 2012

Baby it's cold outside....

I'm pretty much an outdoor photographer. I've taken my share of "snow" shots, some intentional, others unfortunate. I've tried to work around dripping noses and reddened ears and fingers so numb they can barely press the button.
So Saturday I joined "Photowalking Utah" and went to an indoor photo shoot. It was crazy fun and good diversion from my current worries. Inside a church in Draper all of the trappings had been removed to set up a number of photoshoots complete with models to demonstrate natural light, strobes, wizards, backdrops, props etc.
 Me and my newest 200 best friends clamored for the chance to use equipment I can only salivate over and give direction to real models. They gave us the recipe for how to best use the lighting equipment at each station. It was open to all comers even if you only carry a point and shout camera. Here are some of the results...

 This is the "piano man", no strobes but I did have to tweak my manual settings and avoid the glare of the hot lights.

 Yes, he was waving real swords and I used the telephoto dimension of my lens to stay far enough away.

I'm standing right next to this huge light, only good for head shots, but if that's what you mostly do, then rock on.
This simulated stage, theatrical. A lot of back lighting to work around.
This was one of my favorite models. She stayed in character even when we adjusted her "jungle".
Loved shooting for detail. Check out those eyelashes.
Strobes are a lot of fun to work with. She's standing on white paper but not even a smudge of shadow shows up.
Totally retro, but representing the glamour that photography can be. So I think photowalk in Utah will be in my dayplanner more often. They try to schedule something each month and all you have to do to participate is show up. In pursuing my plan to "Live the life well-lived" I'm trying to "show up" more often in my own life instead of just going through the motions.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"One minute everything is good."

My all time favorite movie is "While you were sleeping" starring Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman. The story centers around a CTA worker who has no family to speak of so she works on Christmas day. That very day, her secret crush, "Peter" whom she has never met is robbed at the station and falls to the train tracks below. "Lucy" heroically leaps on the tracks and rolls his dead weight to safety while thinking it appropriate to comment on how good he smells. When she gets to the emergency room a misspoken comment is taken for truth and she becomes "Peter's" fiance. Before she can clear up the misunderstanding she is welcomed into "Peter's" family in a fashion reminiscent of a tidal wave flattening a beach front resort. For seven days while Peter lays in a coma, she gets to know his brother, "Jack" and all the other Callahan's. "Ox" the father figure is quick to point out, "We are in the estate furniture business, we buy furniture from dead people." In one poignant scene, following "Peter's" recovery from the coma, where he has selective amnesia because he can't remember Lucy, go figure, Ox is sharing Dunkin' Doughnuts with Jack and their conversation goes something like this..."Life is a pain. You work hard, try to provide for the family. Then for one minute everything is good. Everyone is well. Everyone is happy. In that one minute you have peace." Ox says. Jack responds,"Pop, this isn't that minute."
Lucy's next to the last line of the film is, "Life doesn't always turn out the way you plan." So my one minute when everything was good happened in Missouri as represented by the photo from the St. Louis zoo. It was a cold blustery day outside but inside it was a tropical rain forest. The next day I would fly home and learn that my mother was not a surgical candidate for tumor removal in Ogden and we would need to seek medical expertise at the Huntsman Cancer Center. More doctor's visits and more tests later, the cancer is too extensive and invasive for anything other than pallitive radiation and chemotherapy. So it is with a very heavy heart that I challenge you to be kinder than you think you need to be because Life doesn't always turn out the way you plan. Make a "special" minute today and hug someone you love.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy "do-over" day!!!

So we celebrate Ground Hog's day today. It's that magical day when we take our meteorologist advice from a ground hog. Ground Hog's day was made famous in cinema as the day that is repeated over and over and over and over until you get it right. Some "do-overs" are much needed. Like second chances to be kinder, more cooperative and pleasant. Some days are best not to be relived. The only thing I know for "certain" is that life is very "uncertain". The miracle in everyday is to try to do more good than bad and to leave people feeling better than how you found them. Best advice I can offer today? Hug someone you love and be nicer than you have to be.
By the way, I know this isn't a ground hog, it's just the best shot of any vermin I have. Have a good day.