Out goes the old year and decade and in comes the new!
I’m not going lament on not posting a blog regularly, because I have let that go, I’m never have felt guilty or that I needed to this past year. 2019 has been an incredible year. My best in a very long time! I want to share with you all the wonderful things I have experienced. So without further ado lets get into it.
What have I been up to this past year? It comes to 91 different photo opportunities for the year which comes to almost 2 events a week. Here is a breakdown of what I have accomplished for this past year.
6 – different elements of commercial type work.
9 – Concerts outside of Hertz Arena (most with the radio stations I provide for).
1 – fun creative project
13 – events outside of concerts and Hertz Arena, again supporting the radio stations.
28 – concerts & events at Hertz Arena
4 – local band shoots
18 – Meetup events with my Shutterbugs group
7 – different places visited
4 – portrait sessions
1 – wedding
This year was also epic because the new owners of Hertz Arena where I am the house photographer decided to use several photos I have taken the past few years of events and concerts. Imagine my surprise when I found out they were museum quality prints in a large format on metal in approximately 38″ x 42″ size. Also, they posted an approximately 50′ collage banner all done in black & white over one of the concession areas.This year was also epic because the new owners of Hertz Arena where I am the house photographer decided to use several photos I have taken the past few years of events and concerts. Imagine my surprise when I found out they were museum quality prints in a large format on metal in approximately 32″ x 48″ size. Also, they posted an approximately 50′ collage banner all done in black & white over one of the concession areas. *Disclaimer: Melvin Vigo took the photos of me in the gallery photos and Ali O’Connor took the banner images; also the hockey images are the work of Kevin Bires.
Another exciting event was Stars on Ice. Last year I took a photo of Olympic Gold Medalist Charlie White during one of his routines with his partner Meryl Davis. This year, I had him sign the photo. Can’t wait to hang this in my new apartment!
Some of my favorite images from this past year are from many different events, concerts and work I have done in 2019.
I cannot wait to see what 2020 will bring my way, I know by looking at my new planner it’s already filled with numerous events & concert.
Feel free to share your 2019 with me and the best thing you are looking forward to in 2020.
Every year I start out with, “I’m going to blog more, I’m going to shoot more and I’m going to post more”; then, reality hits and it doesn’t happen. This year, because I want to take better care of myself mentally and not put the weight of this upon myself, I am not going to set any resolutions. However, my usual goal setting is going to happen, because I achieve more when I set goals, but they will be things that will enrich my life and not make it more stressful or things that won’t make me feel guilty if I fall through.
Another thing that is going to happen this year, is I’m going to focus my energy more in doing concerts and open myself up to doing more local band portraiture work.
I also want to do more nature photography which takes me to my happy place. I will continue to do the occasional wedding and portrait shoot; in fact I have a wedding on the books for August of 2019 and I know I will be photographing my favorite little and her family a few times this year. I really want to focus on what drives me which is the music and being out in nature.
I want to grow my Instagram and will be focusing more on the concert side of that with my @photocreationsbydeb page. I may create a new one for my own personal work with the natural environment, but time will tell.
The point is, I’m not going to goal myself to the degree where I beat myself up if I don’t achieve the goals. I’m putting them out there, if they are completed, great! If not then that’s ok too and I will just work smarter on the important ones.
A Quick Look Back
In 2018 I decided to take a full vacation, somewhere other than Florida. I went to North Caroline to spend time with girlfriends who know me better than just about anyone (and they still love me, imagine that!). I began planning early which made the excitement build. It was such a wonderful trip with lots of mountain air to clear my head and exploring new and exciting places.
On Sunday June 17, 2018 three iconic bands from the 70’s & 80’s took the stage at MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater in Tampa, Florida. Styx tours yearly and always has an incredible line up of stars with them. This year was the band Tesla and Joan Jett & the Black Hearts.
Tesla opened their eight song set with a rocking start as lead singer Jeff Keith belted out I Wanna Live then went right into Hang Tough. Vocally Jeff was strong as he worked his way across the stage, giving the audience a show of his still youthful moves and kicks. Mid set they performed the iconic Signs cover from Five Man Electrical Band. It was an incredible fifty minute set. Dave Rude (the only “new” member) is fun to watch on stage, he plays to the audience with flair. Overall they were tight and the audience was into the experience.
Next up was Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. I saw Joan Jett last year and wasn’t really impressed with her vocals, however this year she was on the money. Her Vocals were strong and remained so throughout her sixteen song set. She began her set with Bad Reputation and continued with several of her own songs and quite a few covers such as Cherry Bomb from her former band The Runaways, The Arrows I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll and Tommy & the Shondells Crimson and Clover. She also performed I Hate Myself For Loving You and Fake Friends. Overall her set was solid and she performed well. Unfortunately there are no photographs as no one was approved for Joan.
Last up was STYX, iconic and strong and one of this writer’s favorite 70’s & 80’s bands. This band does not disappoint. Lawerence Gowan (1999) is not just a great vocalist, but he’s an incredible showman and fits right in with James “J.Y.” Young (founding member 1970), Tommy Shaw (1975), Ricky Phillips (2003) and Todd Sucherman (1996). STYX opened their set with Overture which showcased each member as they entered the stage and opened with Gone, Gone, Gone followed by Blue Collar Man and The Grand Illusion. The set continued with them doing all of their best hits such as the rock ballad Lady and Too Much Time on My Hands. We were waiting on founding member Chuck Panozzo to make an appearance; as he normally does and I heard he did in Oklahoma. However, it did not happen in this show.
The only cover was Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody performed by Lawrence Gowan. STYX closed their set with Come Sail Away and encored with Mr Roboto; yes, you read that correctly. Renegade was their final number for the evening.
Over all this entire tour was fantastic and delivered all that was expected.
Going forward, I will be adding a segment to my blog called Lens & Pens. It will be photographs and a review of concerts and events I attend. I have been wanting to take this blog a bit further and now it’s time. Once I move my blog over to WordPress.org I will become more active and will have a lot more content to add. Thank you to all who have subscribed, I appreciate each of you and your comments.
One of the most difficult habits to break is comparing my work to the work of others. There are those moments when I look at my current work and I’m not happy, I don’t see the quality I want or the creativity I desire, and I get frustrated. The work may not be horrible, but it’s not good, it’s not the type of work I strive for and I become really tough on myself and even doubting and fearing that I’m not any good.
I have to take a step back and ask myself, why do I feel this way? What caused me to underestimate myself? What can I do to improve my current thoughts about my work.
To answer those questions I simply need to take a step back and regroup. Look at my work from a different perspective and try to figure out how I can improve.
Concert work is wonderful, but there are variables I have to deal with, such as lighting, venue and energy of the room, things I have zero control over. However, I do have control how my camera picks up the light, I have control over where I point my camera and I have control over my own energy. I need to stop making excuses and use those times of bad lighting to improve my camera skills, to work my scene and get the right angle even if I’m shooting all the way in the back, and I need to be truly excited about what I’m doing, and stop comparing my work to someone else.
There are times when life slows down to a snail’s pace and other times I feel as if I can’t catch my breath. This month was one of those times.
I was supposed to have gone to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens with my photo group, but because I had such a late night the Friday before with the Garden Bros. Circus, I woke and decided not to push it. We have a horrible flu epidemic going around and the first thing I don’t want to do is lower my immune system and come down with the flu because I’m stressed and making myself over tired. I also had a large metal concert, RoxStock and I needed to be on my A-game while mentoring a young lady and wanted to give her my best self.
That Sunday found me doing a class on portraiture (always want to add some training to my time behind the camera) and then Sunday afternoon another event Clam Jam. So I cleaned house and just relaxed to some great Mozart instead of going to the gardens.
I had decided a few weeks ago to take the following Monday off because I was offered a behind the scenes tour at Calusa Nature Center with a fairly new photographer friend. It was a wonderful way to end the long weekend. The rest of February was pretty much a blur with concerts and side shoots throughout. I enjoy being busy and I see no let up in March, so keep a look out as I’m trying to also do more writing and sharing with my followers.
I hope you enjoy sharing my adventures as much as I enjoy sharing them. Until next time, get out there and shoot something!
Being a photographer I have a good collection of gear. I love gear, new, used, doesn’t matter, if it goes on or near my camera I want it. I have great lenses, extra batteries, things to light up my subjects from the smallest critter to an entire family of people; I can create beautiful images in natural settings or provide the gear to set up a studio. Yep, that’s me the gear nerd! Recently I added to my addiction in the purchase of a new (to me) Canon 70d crop frame camera. I had the opportunity to purchase another full frame Canon 6d, but opted for the crop frame for several reasons. First of all, I needed a second body so that I don’t need to change lenses while in the concert pit or at weddings and chance missing the shot, the second reason is because the 70d’s button placement is almost the same as my 6d and lastly because my son shoots with the 70d and as my second for weddings I may need for him to use the second body and he needs to not have to think about where the buttons are and what to control. I tried it out this past weekend and I like it a lot, the shutter is a bit noisier, but overall the pictures were clean and crisp; I will use silent shutter for events.
My next purchase is an upgraded 50mm. I currently own the Nifty Fifty which is Canon’s f1.8 5omm lens. Great little lens, but I need something a bit sharper and faster. I have looked at the Canon f1.2 and have read, watched videos and compared it to Sigma’s ART series F1.4 50mm. With a cost difference of about $400 I think I may be going with the Sigma Art Lens. The reviews are incredible and I’ve even seen a few who pit it against the Canon f1.2. Stay tuned………..