Seeing the world through the lens and beyond – Deborah Owen, Photographer

Archive for the ‘Photography Meanderings’ Category

Bucket List

What does an iconic drummer and a bucket list have in common?

Ever since I saw the movie The Bucket List, I too have a bucket list of things I want to do or accomplish before my time on earth is up. Tonight I was able to cross off one of those items. Tonight I got to photograph one of my favorite drummers (no not Neil Peart; that’s a bucket list item for another time), I have loved this man from the first time I saw him on TV on February 9, 1964’s Ed Sullivan Show.

I was privileged to photograph former Beatle RINGO STARR! I really think my love of rock drummers came from this early  introduction into American culture on that iconic day in 1964. I was only 4 years old at the time, but I remember that evening as if it happened yesterday. Ringo was a part of the “original” boy band of the time, and although he was not the original drummer, he remained their drummer until the Beatles announced their separation in 1970.  Not really sure what the draw was, but over the years I have found him witty and entertaining.
I went into this shoot as a true fan and wanted to show that in my photographs. It was surreal, here I was pointing my camera at Ringo and I felt so honored. The concert hall was packed and when he came out everyone stood up and since I was toward the back I was hoping they would sit so I could take the photos I wanted to take. The audience did sit and for three songs I clicked away. I still can’t believe I was there and was able to do this.

Thank you to all involved. The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall is a wonderful venue. It’s intimate and the sound is spot on perfect. The staff is always gracious and accommodating. I wasn’t able to stay for the entire show, but was in for the first three songs, the only thing missing was the fact that I didn’t get to capture him behind his drums. But I did catch is iconic peace sign and that wonderful smile.  He was humorous as always and I know put on a great show.  You can find the entire album on my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/kdphotocreations

Love and Friendship

Chris

This week has been rough, but not as rough as it’s been for my really good friend Chris.  You see she just found out that she is going to be in the battle of her life and she’s not going to fight it alone.  Chris is an amazing woman and has some wonderful friends and family who are praying for her and cheering her through her battle.  The love of her family and friends is going to feed her life.

I met Chris several years ago as we were taking classes to pass the same test and after nine months of sitting next to her in class we became friends.  She was fully there for me as I went through a tough time the end of last year and totally had my back and now as her friend I will have her back too.  Seeing her in the hospital tonight, head shaven and tubes everywhere she was in great spirits and as a photographer who has seen her in my lens was just as beautiful without hair as she is with it.

Chris and I are close in age and when one of your close friends is hit with the news of having the big “C” it really makes you stop and think about your life.  I have been really fortunate because I have been blessed with wonderful children, wonderful family, and some of the most amazing friends on the planet.  Thinking about my own mortality I realize I want to fall in love again and make it forever, I want to live life to the fullest of my ability, follow my passion to create amazing images, and to continue to be completely happy.  I will not be content to sit back and watch life pass me by, I plan on making sure those I love know it and to find new love again, and my photographic work will keep improving and showing the passions I possess.

I know I don’t post personal stuff often, but I felt the need tonight, maybe it’s my way of dealing or the fact that I want to be more open in my life which will include  not only the good stuff, but sometimes the bad stuff too.  All I know is right now I could really use a big hug.  God Bless you Chris, I love you and I have your back!

Pondering Questions

Six Mile-1-2 Six Mile-3 Six Mile-5 Six Mile-6

This past week I have been pondering a couple of questions.  One is why do I prefer digital over film and why use my Canon 50mm f1.8 lens?  I’ll tackle the digital question first.

It was asked on one of the Facebook pages I follow why I think digital is better than film?’  I don’t think it’s better, it’s simply different.  With film you had to wait for the outcome and didn’t always know what was on that film; was it any good? was it usable? and if you didn’t work it in your own dark room and lab you were at the mercy of a third-party developer.  My father had a dark room and I watched him many times manipulate his images in the darkroom element.  I did some shooting with film, but never did my own developing and sometimes was not happy with what was returned to me.  In the beginning of shooting digital I would take numerous photos download them and get frustrated because there were too many images to go through.  Now, I tend to shoot as if I am shooting film and really think through each image before I press the shutter.  I’m much happier with what I capture and processing time is cut way down because there is less of it.

The second question is why don’t I use my Canon 50mm f1.8 more often?  I did use this lens a few times on my cropped sensor camera and have never used it on my full frame.  I wasn’t very happy with the results as they seemed a bit soft, so I basically stopped using it. However, a couple of days ago a fellow blogger Rob Moses whom I follow (or stalk because his images are amazing and I think I follow every one of his social media sites.) had posted some incredible images using a 50mm (follow his blog here).  After a few exchanges he convinced me to give it a try (thanks Rob).  I only took my Canon 6d with the 50mm f1.8 attached.  At first I felt hindered and kept thinking “what if I see something amazing and I need my 300mm?”  After a few steps on this overcast morning I realized I was only going to take scenery and waited for the perfect spot.  The water was glass-like and I was able to capture incredible reflections.  I was also able to get close enough to photograph a couple of squirrels; one licking water from the branches and another eating his breakfast.  Overall I think I did alright.  I need to practice more before I decide to use it in a concert situation, but I liked the results, still a bit soft but with practice I think I can become quite proficient with this lens.

Experimenting definitely makes me a better photographer and I love that I will never be perfect at it, and I like that it keeps me fresh and creatively challenged.  I also like that I have fellow photographers whom I’ve never met willing to give me such wonderful advice.

A Day Remembered

A day remembered: September 11, 2001

A day remembered: September 11, 2001

For many of us adults we can remember the day for many historic events; what we were doing, where we were and how we felt at the time.  Because I am in my 50’s I remember quite a few event’s from past history such as Kennedy’s assassination, His brother Bobby and Martin Luther King.  Even though I was a young child I can remember each of those days as if they just happened.  Our most recent event in history was on September 11, 2001 where 343 firefighters, 72 policemen, 227 airplane passengers, and approximately 3,023 died in the attacks, not to mention all the first responders who have perished since then due to various diseases and cancers.

I know exactly where I was and what I was doing, I was teaching music and reading in a small school in Everglades City, Florida I was in totally disbelief and immediately called my husband and was crying, because I had no idea what the future for my two boys would be.  Would they have to go off to war? Would they live in a world where we would always have to watch out backs?  My oldest was a senior and I simply could not imagine my boy having to go off to a country where they hate us Americans. I would have been proud of my young men if they had decided to go into the military, but it was not my first choice for them.

I can’t believe it’s been thirteen years since that horrific day.  So many more have given their life for our freedoms here in the United States by being on the battlefield in a war.

It was a sad and scary time for all of us.  l remember the patriotic outpouring immediately after with everyone flying American flags on their cars and just a sense of total belonging to the best nation in the world.  Thinking about that day and being out and seeing our first responders provide a wonderful tribute to that day, has made me realize once again how wonderful our life is here in the US.  Life is short and we never know what may be around the corner for any of us so cherish each day, spend it with people you love, which I did this weekend.  I spent Saturday with someone who’s been in my life for a number of years however, due to life events we’ve not been able to see each other in about seven or so years, but those few hours we spent talking will remain with me for a very long time.  It’s rare someone enters your life that can make such an impact, but I am extremely fortunate to have a small handful of these wonderful people.  9/11 will forever be burned into out minds and hearts, and during this time of remembrance keep those you love close and tell them often.

Nature’s Concert Hall

 

Corkscrew-12 Walking along the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Boardwalk I realize this is where my element is.  I shoot concerts and portraits and I’m quite busy at it, but this is where I readjust, realign my thinking, learn how to shoot better and get creative.  I arrived early in hopes not to come in contact with too many other humans.  I enjoy interaction, but this morning I need quiet.  I am going to be extremely busy for the next couple of months and I will be running non stop with events, concerts, band shoots, portraits and weddings.  I needed to simply walk and to be quiet.  The silence is golden, there is no one else except for me and an occasional woodpecker singing with many other birds and insects.  I watch the leaves drift from the trees; fall soon will be here.  It’s amazing to just be quiet for a while, to take it in and to learn from nature.

The noise level I experienced with a group of people makes me wonder why they come to a sanctuary like this, where the quiet is what you absorb.  If you plan on seeing anything, you need to be quiet and sadly they will leave the sanctuary thinking there is nothing there.  My morning was quite productive with many wonderful photos taken; not all wildlife, but the flora which is quite beautiful.  However it was the sounds of quiet, the gentle breeze, the buzzing of the bees and the singing of the birds that I took away with me this fine morning.

 

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Positive vs. Negative…Positive Wins!

Photo taken by Tommy Owen of phloridaphoto.com

Photo taken by Tommy Owen of phloridaphoto.us

For the majority of my life I have been a perfectionist.  I was that way as a child and a teenager. I was the child who would throw an entire sheet of paper away if I made a mistake instead of erasing it.  If I wrote in pen it was even more difficult for me to deal with.  As I have matured I have come to realize that I will never be perfect and it’s okay not to be. I have learned to be more lenient on myself and in the realm of photography, after all I can’t take myself too seriously when I am on the ground  blowing raspberry sounds to get the attention of the little ones in a family.  Because of this I am more relaxed and a much better photographer; I can literally breathe into my photos and know what I do will be worthy of the clients expectations.  I never come upon any criticism from my clients.  However there are a few who choose to continue to try to tear me down within my social media realm. The ploy to upset me or make me look bad has not been successful, I don’t play the juvenile games of  the sophomoric minded.  Instead I choose to focus on all things positive and my future as a full-time photographer which is growing daily by leaps and bounds.  The extra funds I have, I pour back into my business for equipment, website and domains NOT into my social media outlets.  I have not placed one dime into Facebook or any other site, instead I place it where I know it can be best utilized which is in my business.  I am actually quite blessed with a very good following on my social media sites and my blog.  I also figured out how to tie them all together and utilize the benefits of doing so.

This is an exciting time in my life and so many wonderful things are happening I’m sure there are those who will continue to be small, jealous and bitter because it’s not happening to them, but I don’t have time to focus on the negative as I am too busy focusing on all the wonderful things transpiring within my life.  I have a handful of magnificent photographer friends who are guiding me and teaching me the art of the business, I also have incredible friends and family who have my back and are watching me grow and expand into a wonderful person with each passing day.  I am learning and gaining knowledge within my field of choice and honestly someone being negative has no real value in my life.  The simple-minded can believe and think what they want, I know where my heart is and where my focus is at.  I have amazing clients and I know God is on my side because he blesses his children.  He knows that adversity only makes me stronger and those that try to claim God is good yet don’t understand the simple concept of “do unto others” can’t claim the blessings. This girl is like the cream and is rising to the top, nothing will stop me from becoming successful and I plan on including my friends and family within my success.  God is truly good and I am amazingly blessed.

Thank you all for allowing me to write and to sometimes vent and to share my work with you.  We are all in this wonderful world together.  I’ll see you behind the lens!

Me

Growing and Blooming

Wow!  I cannot believe how much of a turn my life has taken in the photographic world.  I am beginning to make a name for myself and it’s spreading beyond the local Fort Myers area as  I have just reached the Tampa Bay area by recommendation.  My Facebook fan page has exploded and I have a lot of followers on my other social media sites.

I have to take a stand back sometimes to get a grip on how fast things are moving.  For most of my life I have doubted myself and my abilities, and I still do that with my photography too.  I know in my heart that I am good, but sometimes my head gets in the way and I wonder if I’m good enough.   I was called last week about photographing a destination wedding and was supposed to have met the couple on Saturday.  That meeting didn’t take place for whatever reason and I had resigned myself that it may not happen.  I doubted myself,  deep down I wondered if I was good enough.  I had met up with a friend Sunday evening and told him about the meeting not happening and that I was Okay if it didn’t, because  something else would come along.  Our conversation drifted to many different subjects and I really didn’t think much more about the wedding.  I had decided that I was really okay if they didn’t call.  Well to my surprise I received a text message from the groom to be that they wanted to book me for the wedding, I immediately contacted my friend and told him that the wedding was going to happen, he congratulated me and told me he knew I would be getting the job.  I love that I have friends who 100% have my back no matter what.  This knowledge makes me incredibly strong and their belief in me and  gives me the strength to realize I am good enough and I can do whatever I set my mind to.

We should all be cognizant of the fact that the good people in our lives are the ones who stand up for us and cheer us on.  I am incredibly blessed and take none of them for granted.  My one hope is I don’t fall short in that area with them.

I admire the work of many photographers as it gives me creative ideas and keeps my own methods fresh and new.  I follow several on Facebook, and watch their posts to see what they have going on.  I belong to several groups, some promote concert photographers, and some are wildlife related and I am fortunate enough to post to them regularly and I view their work, comparing my work to theirs.  I do realize there isn’t any comparison as photography is an art form and art forms are subjective.  I view the work of others with an open mind without tearing my own work apart.

This I know; I am constantly growing and improving my craft, and every time  I click the shutter my value as a photographer increases.  I also know that I am at my best behind the lens.

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