October Madness

October is the month where my photographic life starts to pick up. With the cooler temperatures come more outdoor events  here in the beautiful state of Florida, specifically South West Florida.  I shoot more concerts, festivals and portraits during the fall & winter months than any other time of the year, and some weeks it’s totally crazy.  I  don’t mind  the crazy because October is what I call my “sad” month; it’s the month my father passed away thirty-three years ago on October 17.  I have written before that he too was a photographer and I know if he could see what I have done with a camera he would be incredibly proud of me, but I miss him.  This is also the month my oldest son Jimmy turns 33; where has the time gone?  I was just a young girl of twenty-four when this all took place, truly a lifetime ago.

I have a lot of wonderful events on the books and I’m sure I’ll be writing more as they unfold, but for now………daddy, this one’s for you.

2013 09 05_Dad and Camera_6057_edited-2
My father Azle Marteney and my first real camera

Eye Contact

You hear all the time that the eyes are the window to the soul, one of my goals when I’m shooting concerts is to get the eye contact; now mind you I don’t ask for it, I don’t do anything distracting to get it, but generally it happens, even when I don’t think they can even see me as with Alice Cooper.  I was way over off to the side and a couple of rows up, yet this happened;Alice Cooper-6

There wasn’t anyone that I could see in his direct eye contact, I even asked the photographer behind me if she got him looking our way…….she didn’t.

On Monday I got kind of the same thing, but it was almost as if I was recognized, don’t see how that’s possible, but REO’s bassist comes out on stage and this happened;REO

and it continues with the other two bands Tesla………Tesla-14Tesla-3

and…….Def Leppard;Def Leppard-15

 

Photographic Funk

It’s not often I get this way, normally I have lots to share and lots to write about, but lately I have been in a photographic funk.  It’s not something that will last as I have had them before, but I’m having a difficult time getting myself motivated to shoot anything other than concerts, portraits and weddings.  I know these are my true niche because I love the excitement of it all.  Especially the concerts!  I love meeting people and seeing them excited like when I took photos at the Big Ole Bonfire in the Photo booth.  Or meeting the artists and photographing their fans like I did this night at The Ranch (my photos have my watermark on them).  I love seeing the look of excitement on peoples faces when they get to meet their rock star idol like this young man did with Sixx: AM at Fort Rock.  This excites me! Check out more about Fort Rock here on my blog Festival Daze

My funk comes within my own realm of doing photos for myself.  I need to find something outside of my “normal” range of concerts, weddings & portraits to shoot.  I have tried the “photo a day” challenges and I feel bad when I can’t complete a day’s challenge so I stop doing them.  I need something other than beaches and flowers too;  I need something exciting, something that catches not just my interest, but my eyes.  I need to slow myself down and create my own masterpiece, something worth sharing and talking about.  But what would that be?   I’m not really sure.  Do I need a vacation to somewhere other than here? Maybe, or maybe I just need to take in what’s around me and see it in a different way, but how?  I love adventures! I love taking adventures on my own where no one but me dictates how or when.  Maybe I need a day of adventure, to explore somewhere new on my own and to get back within my grove.  Or maybe I need a day with  couple of my friends who are incredible photographers, who are creative and like to think outside the box. I’m sure this will pass quickly as it always does, but in the meantime if you, my readers have any thoughts or suggestions, please comment below.  Until next time, from the Life of a photographer.

 

The Get-Away

Oftentimes we think of a get-away as going off to some exotic destination, but for me it’s time spent alone and/or with family. Some often ask me if they can come along, but I am hesitant for several reasons; I’m on a structured day to day routine with work and any photography I may have after work or any edits, so my personal time is extremely valuable. I really don’t want to be anyone’s entertainment for an entire weekend. I also crave that alone me time, to sit and do nothing, take a nap or go on a drive or hike and not feel responsible for anyone, but myself. If I do ask someone along it’s because I know they can go off an entertain themselves or they understand my need for solitude, mind you I’m not anti-social, I love people and I love talking to them, and finding out their story, however there are times when I simply want to be silent and sit alone and ponder things in my life and clear my mind. That’s the beauty of being solitary for a time. I’m an Introvert and for years considered myself shy, but yet when around friends and people I care for I am as outgoing as any Extrovert I know. Talkative, animated and full of life, the difference is, I don’t feed off of the energy of people around me, I feed off of quiet and solitude, it’s what restores my soul.

With my day job as an administrative assistant, I am either on the phone, or dealing with residents and vendors who stop by, or our employees, so daily I expend a lot of physical and emotional energy. Then you add to that after a full day of work, I go off and photograph concerts with loud music and lots of people and heavy equipment or shooting portraits of individuals and families with children, I have to be “on point” and my energy level must remain high as I am constantly talking and directing, By the time I am ready for some down time, I’m READY! I love being a photographer and I love the excitement of the crowd and the thrill of getting that perfect shot; it’s what drives me daily, but in order to keep going I have to spend time within myself and alone so when I’m asked if someone can join me in my short weekend sabbaticals, I certainly hope they understand why I am hesitant or tell them no. I need the time to recharge my batteries within myself. It makes me better at my work, it gives me clarity to see I’m doing the right thing and it rests my body so that I can keep up the pace set before me. Foggy Morning

It gives me peace.

Being Present

This past week and into this weekend life got a bit busy.  I work a full time job on top of being an almost full-time photographer. My photography work week began on Wednesday with an Elton John concert, followed by The Moody Blues on Thursday, Adelitas Way and Saving Abel on Friday and finished up Saturday with running a photo booth and photographing Trace Adkins. I did take time to join some of my fellow photographers to visit a most interesting ‘castle’  and today I met with an April bride.  The week was full of music and people, and lots of photographs.  To say that I’m tired is an understatement and my mind is also in need of refreshing.

Even with all the activity going on, I took a moment last night to make some observations.  As I was waiting for Trace Adkins to take the stage I took a good look around me and this is what I observed;  a large majority of the attendees were not really paying attention to the concert, they were on their electronic devices, either posting their activities or taking photos and videos.  While this isn’t necessarily bad, it did make me wonder if they were truly missing life by not being engaged and present.  Personally I try to put my phone down when I am out with friends, I don’t constantly check what is happening on Facebook or document what I am eating.  I do however post quite often when I am working events, but after my observation last night I am going to try to be more present in my activity.  Yes, I’m a photographer and I document life events and live music, it’s what I do, and I try to post on social media on the behalf of who I’m shooting for, but after I am done with my camera, I need to put my phone away and simply enjoy the music.  We get so busy taking selfies, recording the next YouTube video or simply capturing the moment, when in fact the moment is gone never to be returned.  Be present in your moment, enjoy the music, your family, your friends and loved ones.  Put down your phone and dance.  Music is cathartic and it take me to back to my younger days; especially with the bands I photograph, I want to take in every moment.

I am honored to have photographed some of the top names in every genre of music and to photograph in some of the largest stadiums & arenas and also incredible local events and happenings.  I also get to stand next to some of the best photographers in the business whom I get to call friends.

Please enjoy the photos from the week.  I truly love being a photographer.

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Canon 70-200 f2.8

Here I am with the box!
Here I am with the box!

I purchased this lens a few months ago and have had adequate opportunity to use it.  I have shot several concerts local venues and national acts, I’ve photographed a night wedding and I have taken portraits with it.  I am going to approach this with the Pro/Con format.

Pro’s

This is a sturdy lens (see con’s) with 23 elements and an all metal body which is dust & element resistant.

The lens is fast, with that f2.8 I am able to shoot in extremely low light situations;  with my Canon 6d I can successfully photograph in near darkness with little noise  at an ISO between 800 – 1600.  The wedding was a late evening outdoor wedding with very little lighting or should I say very little good lighting.  However with the help of the videographer (always make friends with the videographer!) I was able to have enough light to focus and pull some great images,  even with the ambient light as long as I had enough to focus with I was golden.

Focusing is quick and tack sharp and extremely fast with a manual override even in auto focus mode. It comes with a removable tripod collar, a hood and a beautiful carrying case.

Con’s

This lens is HEAVY.  3.28 lbs before you attach it to your camera body.  It’s not your day-to-day knock around lens that’s for sure and it requires a steady hand.  For such a large lens the telephoto is only up to 200mm on a full frame camera, so if you are looking for something to get the wildlife that’s far in the distance, this would not be the lens to grab.

This lens is not cheap.  The starting price is around $2500.00, but it is an “L” lens and it’s one of Canon’s top of the line and premier lens so is it worth the price? That’s for you to decide.

My Recommendations

I highly recommend this lens for those who are portrait or wedding photographers.  I do photograph portraits and weddings from time to time, but my most of my work is events and large venue concerts.  This lens is perfect for those dark venues, with bright lighting.  I have had some great results with this lens.

I hope this helps anyone who may be on the fence about making this large of a purchase.  Maybe if you are not sure if you want to spend the money, then  borrow the lens for a few days, see if it’s what you are looking for.  This is exactly what I did, I have a photographer friend who owns this lens and I was able to use it and well, I knew I needed to have it.

The Prize
IMG_1251 The Prize

Looking Back – 2015

Lakes Park B&W-5
Reflection

 

A Look Back

Time seems to be passing by way to quickly these days, I barely find myself catching up with one thing and it’s already on to another. I will say it has been a fabulous year and has ended with a bang.

I was able to photograph a lot of great bands and to work several large festivals, which is always fun. I have met some incredible people and have broadened my social network.  Last fall I joined a little photography Meet-Up group and fell in love with the people, many have become really good friends and we have all grown together.  We have learned and participated in numerous excursions and enjoyed each other’s company.

I have expanded my business this year to include a small home studio, it’s not perfect, but it works for me and that’s really all that matters. I have stayed busy with portraits and weddings and hope to increase that business next year.  I was told this year my wedding price is too expensive , but the potential clients who said this got exactly what they paid for by not using a professional.  I learned this is not my battle to face, because I am geared to a certain type of client and I will gladly allow the them to learn their lesson.

This year I finally purchased my dream lens; the Canon f2.8 70-200mm.  This lens is awesome for my concert/wedding and portrait photography.

The Future

I am looking for 2016 to be bigger and better than ever. I have had an invitation to go to Vietnam and photograph a resort there and will be working out the details of that potential trip and my son may go with me;  I can’t think of anyone I would rather work with more than him.  Which brings me to another note, he will be opening his first full solo photography art show on January 9, 2016 and will run through the end of February.  I’m excited for him as he is quite talented and has captured the flora and fauna of the Everglades quite well.

Another new feature for this new year is the rebranding of my business.  I unveiled a new logo and will incorporate it within my website/blog and all social media.  I have also finally changed my Facebook page web address from the former kdphotocreations to: http://www.facebook.com/photocreationsbydeb.  This was two years in the making, but at the time I had recently ordered business cards that had this address on it and needed to use them up; I received my new business cards and now I am ready to put a final note on a past element of my business.

I hope to do a lot more teaching this next year and expand on my basic digital camera workshops and add editing to the mix.  I also want to be involved with a few more communities.  I will include myself in the  need to be taught, I am constantly wanting to improve my own skills and continue to grow and simply be better.  Learning is huge for me, and there areas I struggle with, but I try to find those who can teach me.  If you are unwilling to learn and add to your craft, your craft will die a slow agonizing death, I’m not willing to allow that to happen.

Each year for the past couple of years I have adopted a new word for the year, instead of setting unreachable new year resolutions.  I have grown in leaps personally by applying these words to my life almost daily.  I began with ‘authentic’ and last year was ‘joy’, this year it will be ‘creative’ and I will do whatever I need to keep up my creativity.  I have a plan to create a wonderful show for a museum or gallery.  I will expound more on this once I am confident of the progress and talk to the powers that be in order to create this wonderful exhibit.  I will say it’s something that is extremely close to my heart and it’s going to be wonderful.

So as my eyes shift from the rearview to looking forward, I would like to wish you and yours a very Happy, Prosperous and Exciting New Year, hug your loved ones more, and enjoy time spent with those you care about.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!