Monday, March 23, 2015

March 21, 2015: “From Here”

On Saturday night I had the privilege of shooting Christina Custode for the release of her cd From Here.   She is an extremely talented person who arranges and writes her own music drawing heavily from her personal experiences.  Her performance encompasses everything a great performance should emotion, fun, stories, spot on vocals and beautiful arrangement.
One thing I learned about Christina tonight is that she has an easygoing way of telling the story of her songs.  Light of Day (Song for Kelly) and Each Time were dare I say a lyrical reality check if you take in what she is truly saying.   The somber subjects tugged at heartstrings and sucked the whole audience in.   She cruised through her new music to an active crowd.  Whether solo or with the band she possess an endearing quality to command the stage from behind her keyboard. 
She is filling her own niche and making the music she wants.  I got to talk with her for a few minutes before her set.  There is a passion that is evident, a personality that exudes creativity and fun.  The future is bright with big things coming.   The great thing about the music industry is you can make a big impact from a small place and are no longer beholden to record labels to have your music heard.  
Go hear her like NOW.  I recommend you visit her at and drop her a line below, you know you want to:

Sunday, March 15, 2015

March 15, 2015: “Speedlight”

March 15, 2015: “Speedlight”
Today was a horribly shitty day in every facet of what shitty could be.  I worked, people were assholes and needy.  There was not near enough coverage and it just burnt me out and made me wonder what the hell am I doing.  I literally didn’t think about photography or anything other than how this life sucks and seems worthless.  I’m wasting it miserable, underappreciated and struggling to get by day to day.

I then thought I have this 365 project I have been working on, I have no idea if anyone is actually reading or looking at the photos yet everyday I continue to do it for myself.  One of the most beautiful things in the world is a spinning tire.  It goes slowly up hills, fast downhill and steady on the journey.  I truly love the feeling of each, peaceful and painful. 
I did a very minimal setup because of my mindset.  This photo would be pretty amazing if I had taken the time to setup a backdrop.  My attitude and self pity said no.  I turned off my lights to be in complete darkness other than a tv light which I used for ambient.   I spun the tire for 13 seconds, while it was spinning I shot a led strobe to add a little pop to the blue and the spokes.  You can see the motion and the speed.  In post production I took out the color in the bookshelf.  I will likely redo this against a black backdrop at some point.  Today though it capture beauty in angst.  How I feel today.  Today was just a bad day.  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Photoblog:3/13-3/14 Tea and Pi

March 13, 2015:  “Rusty Chain”

My weekly tea photo is just that a tea photo.  This project is called daily photo for me to take good photos, bad photos, great photos.  To take photos set up, to take photos quickly, to just simply take photos.  As I take the photos I learn a little each time, no matter what it is how intricately setup or lazily thrown together.  This project is meant to help me grow and develop my photography, creativity and focus. 

Some days I surprise myself and some days I disappoint myself.  Days like this I am disappointed in my lack of creativity and overall photography.  I will take a lot of tea photos probably highlight it once a week but I want it to be something special.  This is not special but alright.  I do love my coasters they are really cool from my old bike parts.

March 14, 2015: “PI Day”

This is not a picture of pie nor of the number pi 3.14159265359…  This is picture of my fondest pi memory.  If you know me I have always liked numbers, always excelled at math in school.  Solving a problem was always a challenge I wanted to take on.  I could sit analyzing numbers for hours and even today still can.  My life is separated into spreadsheets for financials, concerts, workouts etc.  all created by myself to analyze myself.  Numbers, numbers, numbers and what is better than a number that never ends like PI.

I don’t remember the grade but for PI day we were given the challenge of memorizing the first 100 digits of Pi.  I think I was 1 of 4 in the whole school who did it.  It was intriguing and challenging.  Looking back now I don’t know how I did it but I did.  That may be the most challenging thing I ever did.  I didn’t do it for a prize, I did it because I was fascinated by numbers and am still

superfascinated how that number can never end.  My photo today is of that memory.  I received a Cadbury milk chocolate bar for the accomplishment.  It was by far the best candy bar I ever had.  I setup the photo for to focus on the candy bar and it kind of turned into something else.  I really do like the setup and image.  I learned a little today and saw a few different things I knew about but this image taught me a bunch and turned out excellent.  Happy Pi Day.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Photoblog March 12, 2015: Rough Road Ahead

March 12, 2015: “Rough Road Ahead”

This time of year we see what the winter has done to our roads.  For my bike it is almost ok but in a car it is a game of dodge a pothole.  I spend my day driving an extra five miles so my car does not become engulfed by a pit of darkness.  I found rough roads, roads that survived ok.  I think everyone agrees that we need innovation to create a smooth fluctuating road that doesn’t need to be repaved almost yearly. 

I hate watching the highway departments throw a fresh layer on blacktop over the problem rather than digging up and repaving.  The pothole we hit last year is now 3 times the size and does much more damage.  When did the world just go for the quick fix rather than doing quality work.  Every road seems like a rough road ahead.  When will it change when will we figure out how to innovate, we are able to do it with everything other than roadways.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Super Blog March 6-11: From Timmy's to Garth to Cycling to Life to Lovebirds and Beyond

March 6, 2015: “Loser” 

I chose to do Timmy’s otherwise known to the world as Tim Hortons today. Roll up the rim to win is back and I wanted to write blog called winning about winning a free tea.  It failed I lost but this image is still winning.  It became a project to product photograph and I think it came out well.  I shot lighting from both sides with a bit of ambient in the front.

March 7, 2015: “Lovebirds”

Today was a great day for shooting.  I was feeling depressed and whenever I am tend to try to be alone with nature in some way to recenter myself.  I went to one of my favorite trees a weeping willow along the Erie Canal.  I shot there looking for inspiration, to create an epic landscape.  The sky was overcast, the clouds all blended together.  It was dark and nearing dusk.  After shooting for about 30 minutes I was packing up and getting ready to leave.  All of a sudden a hoard of pigeons appeared from hiding.  I watched in amazement as hundreds of birds whipped around in a circles and figure eights through the sky. 

The sound they made was magnified, they even made a wind gust as they propelled towards me.  It was something I watched for approximately 30 minutes before they got tired.  I was going to have one of their sky photos be my photos but where they settled in for the night I had to explore.  Under the bridge the all went most out of a view but a few in view.  I watched some play, some flirt some and some fall asleep.  I saw couple in love, isn’t that what we all search for to be lovebirds?

March 8, 2015: “Garth”

The event of the week was Garth Brooks, 6 shows in 4 days.  I saw the last show in Buffalo, my first Garth show ever.  He was everything that was being said about him and more.  I am happy that those non-country fans truly appreciated his show. It was just Garth being Garth and he didn’t need a single bell or whistle.  Every performer should strive to be as engaging. 

March 9, 2015: “Mess”

Clutter on my desk, clutter on my floor, clutter in my head. I clean but have no room, it never stays clean.  The mess hurts my head so I sit behind a screen, behind some form of contemporary technology. I hide behind my camera, I pull out my phone, the tv creates noise while the pc is on.
My list gets longer the clutter holds tighter.  I’m a mess stuck in a fear of moving forward.  The key if you ask me is one step at a time.  At work it is my motto, one step at a time.  I watch that bear fruit when I focus.  At home, I have a hundred things I prioritize as a single one.  All of them have a grasp on me, I am unable to decide where to start and nothing starts it just adds to the pile.

As the mess grows I lose a piece of myself.   I am able to escape by running outside in nature with fields of nothingness.  I feel truly alive, I carry only a book, journal and a pen.  I could survive being only able to share my thoughts with nothing else in this world.  I’d get my music from the birds, my food from the fields, from the trees.  I’d work hard for a shelter and clothing.  I would be FREE.  No mess, no money, no rules it would be just me until I was arrested and put back into captivity by society.

March 10, 2015: “Migraines”

Dreaming in my head about a long bike ride while at work.  I get home my body was still adjusting to the time change resulting from daylight savings time.  Boom all of a sudden a splitting migraine developed.  I was gone for the next 16 hours until I had to be up for work.  Unable to function in any way, stumbling to and from the bathroom, to and from the kitchen.  I planted an icepack on my face, on my neck popped some pills trying to make the suffering go away.  It would pulse, rendering me non functioning.

I’ve suffered since I was a kid, going to the nurses office and going home everyday for a week before I got a proper diagnosis.  I hated them because it meant I missed school and I enjoyed learning.  I got some medication and they went away but little did I know how prevalent of a problem it would be for the rest of my life.  It has put me down for days, cause horrible sickness and pain.  At times during the most intense ones I think I may die or even that killing myself would be better.  The pain is so intense I am unable to move, open my eyes.  The only answer is time, sleeping it off.  It takes time, and interrupt life.  I’ve skipped concerts, called off of work, cancelled plans because I was unable to function.

Yesterday was intense and I attempted to capture it.  The skylight was allowing a touch of light through, my camera was on my nightstand with a 24mm 2.8 lens on.  I never opened my eyes flipped the cap off, switched the buttons on and snapped a selfie. It came out as expected blurry, dark and unrecognizable.  It captured a small amount of what I was feeling.  The ice pack relieved a little pain but I was extremely incoherent.

March 11, 2015: “Behind You”

This picture embodies what I need to stop doing, looking behind into the past.  Today I started my cycling journey for 2015 with a goal of 3500 miles.  There is no looking back 23 miles in.  Moreso this embodies where I want to go and how I will get there in life and cycling.  Moving forward slow and steady by just making the effort. 

Todays ride sucked, was great, exhilarating, horrible, refreshing, draining, full of ecstasy, full of suffering. It was a complete full range of emotions and feelings.  The way life is, I pushed through each and every emotion, each and every thought.  I started and finished, slow and steady.  My mind said giveup, cut it short, you don’t need to do it this early, you are cold, why are you doing it?  I didn’t giveup, I didn’t run from it, I embrace and overcame it.   I can’t say the same for life.

I am letting my past failures control my future successes by not even trying.  I’m my strongest on my bike and need to transfer that to my life.  If you are like me you need to let the past be the past and stop looking behind yourself.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

March 5, 2015: “”Everyday I’m Journaling”

Why did this come about today?  Why am I sharing something extremely personal?  Why am I showing what I perceive as vulnerability?  I don’t know.  I wanted to shoot a different image that had nothing to do with journaling and collecting my life in the pages of a book.  Today at some point it triggered in my head to write a letter to you, to express myself in a journal entry.  This here is that, I randomly opened a few on my many journals on my lifes journey to share with you random contents.  I did not censor or change pages.  The 4 open are readable and writings from different points in my life.  The only thing I could have done differently was use the hardwood floor to add contrast an tone rather than the carpet.

By right clicking on photo you can open in a new tab to enlarge and read entries if so inclined.
As I went into my cabinet and began to pull out the journals I was amazed at how many I had filled.  I have always put my thoughts in the journal.  They are filled with a lot of negativity, self hatred, loathing and depression.  They are also filled with happiness, love, hope and dreams.  They are filled with the gamut of human emotions.  They contain poems, rants, letters never sent, and even stories I began to write and never finished.  I have a love for writing over talking.  In all reality I would rather write a letter than speak to you.  In my everyday life I don’t share much, I am quiet and observing.  To learn about me you have to ask questions or I may just sit in silence.  I don’t like to talk about myself, feeling any action I am taking is not meaningful in the big picture of things. 

I speak in a matter of fact type of a way.  I put more importance on actions to help the world than anything great I may have done.  These journals contain everything I was ever afraid to say.  My mixed up life is full of fear.  As a result I am content with a status quo.  In every journal I see the same trend that would make me clinically insane.  I have been doing the same thing my whole life and expected different results.  The change I have never attempted to create has me stuck, my inability to ask for help and truly share myself are holding me back.  I share myself with these journals.  My best friends are books where I can take on the roll of whomever I want and get lost in an adventure.  My writings are my poorly taken adventure. 

Everyday I’m journaling I see growth in all but the way I want to grow.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Photoblog Feb 25-March 4: I missed March 2 first day this year without a photo :(

February 25, 2015: “Substitute”

 Life is about living and nourishing your body, mind and soul to become the best you.  The easiest way to start is putting natural and healthy food in your body.  One of my goals is to cut out as much processed food as possible.  One of my favorite snacks I substitute for the unhealthy is yogurt and honey.  MMMMM honey natural sugars with the light taste of yogurt.

February 26, 2015: “Buy Me. Please”

I’ve had this watch for years.  It is a gold Bulova, please buy it, it wants a good home.  Plus look at this product photography if it doesn’t scream give me a new home I am not sure what does.

February 27, 2015: “Planet Hoth”

The Lake that is Lake Ontario is a frozen wonderland. Wow just wow it doesn’t get any better and if you haven’t taken a few moments to get outside and be in awe of mother nature you are missing out.  As depressing and stir crazy as winter makes us, the beauty it brings is unmatched.  The power and season make it look like a fairy tale.  I am glad to live in a reality where everyday I am surrounded by beauty.

February 28, 2015: “Winter Amazement”

Frozen Falls are not quite frozen, have not quite stopped flowing.  The massive iceballs at the bottom, the frozen rive.  It doesn’t get more intriguing and enlightening than this.  I walked across to the Canadian Side.  The tourists flocked took their selfie sticks, took their pictures race to the falls but I ask did they truly enjoy its beauty and power.  I sat there, I stood there tried to listen to nature, watched the cracks in the river fill up with beautiful blue water.  I became present in the madness even meditating for a few minutes on an ice hill.  Presence in chaos allowed me to truly see natural beauty in the midst of the concrete playground which is the Canadian side of the Falls.

March 1, 2015: “Japanese Tea”

I love Tea and Photography, putting them together is perfect life harmony and what comes about is a piece of me.

March 3, 2015: “Screened”

I was sitting being a mindless zombie infront of a screen.  How much more appropriate could it be to capture my start of the downfall that technology has a hold of me.  The lighting is the screen in a dark room, no other lights and it turned out pretty cool.  I honestly thought I would look more sad/depressed/out of it for staring in and work at computer which is mentally draining and I a not.

March 4, 2015: “Gu and Me: Polar Bear days”

I made a friend today. This is my friend Gu he decided that it was cold enough here to come visit. He was basking in the snow and cold although he misses his family. After sharing a warm cup of tea Gu caught a plane and is now headed home to see his mama and papa in Alaska.

This was inspired by Jess whom I asked for an idea and she goes polar bear.  I thought where and how am I going to create a cool photograph of a polar bear.  A little creativity and it almost looks as if it were a real polar bear in snow.  Thanks Jess for the inspiration and I hope this image lives up to your expectations.