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

Life Shared

Yes, I know this is a photography blog, however I will take liberty now and then to get more personal on it.

I LOVE being a photographer, I can’t think of anything I have enjoyed more.  There is nothing I would love more than for this to be my full-time job. However arriving to that point I stay very busy getting my name out.  Because of the busyness I am missing out on a lot of personal things in life, for instance;  I love the outdoors and recently I’ve not been getting out and simply enjoying this paradise I live in, I want to camp and to hike more.  Outdoor activities keep me focused and creative and I am a much better person when I have had my “green” time. I need to slow it down and take the time to enjoy where I live. Secondly, I would like to have a partner in life, a special someone who gets me and enjoys me for me.  My friends  on several occasions have encouraged me to join dating websites and I have to appease them.  I  detest this form of “dating”, I’ve given it another shot recently and I don’t feel this is what I should be doing so I’m sure I will be deleting my account (again).  I’ve had people say “you meet so many cool people” it’s true I do, but in the atmosphere I am meeting them, they are not what I am looking for.

I take up my  time with extra photography gigs on the weekends because it’s better than sitting home alone; I would love to share that aspect of my life with a man who understands how important it is to me and will encourage me. I know he’s out there somewhere.

I miss being close to someone and long to share my day and my experiences. In the past few weeks I’ve taken inventory of what life looks like for me.  When faced with life and death issues it causes you to take stock in life and reassess what matters and the important things in life.  I have had women tell me “you don’t need a man, they can tie you down and hold you back”  I don’t see it like that, I do need someone, I need to feel wanted and loved, it’s who I am and it’s what I’m about.

I enjoy my life now, I love being behind the lens I am truly blessed with the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met, but I know I’m missing an important element and that’s someone to walk down the path of life with hand in hand, after all life is better when shared, at least for me it is. Corkscrew-7

Riding the Wave

"Ride the wave baby"

“Ride the wave baby”

I was given an encouragement recently to “ride the wave, baby” and I’ve been thinking about what that actually means.  I’ve had an incredible year, I have allowed my talents and gifts to grow and I’m constantly trying to improve my work as a photographer.  It seems as if one wonderful thing after another has been coming my way, with so few setbacks they are not even worth mentioning.  Not to say there hasn’t been rough patches, there has been, but I don’t dwell on them as I would have in the past.  It was said that maybe I’m no longer interfering with the flow of my own energy.  I had to think about that statement too and what that really means.

I have always been a bit of a perfectionist, from the time I was young, I didn’t like erasing on my paper or if writing in pen I had a difficult time crossing through because I would want to start over on a clean sheet of paper. I have always had the need to do things perfectly. It was a fear of never being good enough. I have carried this perfectionism through most of my life and into adulthood and I know in looking back it has interfered with relationships; not intentionally, yet I would expect those around me to adhere to the same standards and become upset when it didn’t happen and not always expressing it outwardly, I would keep that disappointment deep within my mind. This created a lot of stress within myself and my relationships and I made some poor choices.  It also caused me to listen to the negative voices of not being good enough.  It’s an extremely self-centered and self destructive way to be.  I’ve learned some difficult lessons, but I have learned to “let it go”  The full journey actually began over two years ago when I laid my worrying to rest through the guidance of my friend Karen Ziegler’s book Freedom From Worry* based on scripture Phil. 4:6&7.  I also started being thankful for everything in my life, and still keep a gratitude journal almost daily.  This has allowed me to open up and to be more authentic and to remove the blockage which in turn opened my eyes to the fact that I needed to eliminate toxic relationships from my life, not an easy task but needed and very freeing.  Immediately, wonderful things began happening, people entered my life who were only on the sidelines before and have given me a lot of wisdom and encouragement.  I am so thankful for each one of them.  I have found an outlet for writing and of course foremost, there is my photography which has taken off by leaps to where it was.  I have made some incredible contacts and have projects in the works.  Blessings are happening daily and  sometimes minute by minute and now I take the time to be thankful for all I’ve been given.  And, yes even though I don’t totally understand it all, I am going to ‘ride this wave’ of positive energy as it is only building in momentum.

The only other thing that could possibly make this any better is to have a life partner who shares my enthusiasm; after all life is better shared,  yet I am wonderfully blessed with friends and family who share in my  successes as I ride through this incredible life we’ve been given, I encourage every reader to ‘ride the wave’. Practice gratitude and take the most important people with you on your journey.

*Karen Ziegler is in process of writing another book and I was honored to be the one to take the headshot for this newest book.

Book headshot

Book headshot

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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