Sunday, January 30, 2011

Utilizing our skillsets

As my visual integrity evolves and I gain more experience and aquire more skills, I always remind myself not to take things overboard. Of course it is acceptable to manipulate images in post production using the thousands of programs available to us. Why wouldn't it be?

For the sternly technical fine art photographer who lives as a caveman beating his chest slandering photoshop users and the one who doesn't appreciate technology, I can see a point of keeping your captures limited to what is available. But in the world of digital photography, we are encouraged to use our resources to fix all sorts of things.

Don't forget that not all of us can afford fancy diffusers, variable output flashes, filters that give you results, or cameras that coincide with the cutting edge. We use what we can to get by and I am grateful we can 'fix' alot of it later. This is one reason we should never sell ourselves short in getting our contracts signed for a fair market value. We spend way more time in the digital darkroom (until our eyes are strained) piling through our huge image banks, retouching, cropping, fixing red eye, color correcting, adding effects...... You get the point.

This particular image was a high key glamour shoot of Karen, who was a fabulous subject to have in the studio. Her makeup was self applied and I was glad she didn't overdo it. Neither one of us could get a makeup artist at the time to volunteer. I didn't mind because I knew it could be fixed later. I concentrated more on getting solid expressions from her which would make the job of editing outtakes easier. Thank you Adobe (they didn't pay me for that) for creating Photoshop and keeping it moving in a good direction for photographers and designers alike. We would be "cavemen" without it. |||JDB-01/30/2011|||

Friday, January 14, 2011

Billy Vazquez and Border Patrol

Billy Vazquez - lead vocals/guitar

Jimmy Powers - rhythm guitar 

Rodrigo Zambrano - bass guitar

John Yarling - drums

sitting in...
David Shelley - dijembe drum

If you haven't heard them yet, you are missing out.
Especially if you love Funk, Blues, RnB, Rockabilly, Etc...

Take it from me - these guys can pull a crowd and keep them groovin til the sun comes up. They don't mind playing an Encore for the screaming fans. They are in it for the love of music, Because of this and their diverse and distinct talents, I see them striking up a tour or record deal soon. Be on the lookout at at local venues around South Florida. Come out to Fort Lauderdale and show your support. You wont be sorry.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Hanging on the Music"

At this very moment I am at a local bar (where I now work weekends as a bar back), supporting my good friend Beverly, who is an amazing songwriter & musician. She plays over 10 instruments & always has a smile & a hug waiting for me when our paths cross. I am highly appreciative of what Beverly does for a living. I have a much larger respect for the friendship that has been built. She is the definition of a performing artist, first & foremost, taking her love for music and translating it into raw therapy for anyone willing to listen. She commands attention without screaming into the microphone & has the soul of an old wise philosopher. She keeps her own rhythm in life with her Guild acoustic guitar and Alexi keyboard, but always supports the fellow musician and offers her guitar or mic up for a new sound. She has a subtle heartfelt kindness in her home as well as on stage. Beverly's time in the limelight can't be denied because she is that good.- And for these reasons, she deserves praise.

Human kind needs an uplift. Don't get me wrong, there are alot of really good people in this world & I believe we each have something wonderful to offer one another. Take it from a fellow Cancerian like Beverly. Our Zodiac sign similarity is one that is naturally gifted and artistic. We are passionate about life and love good company. It is our business to please. I feel Beverly's contribution is greater because she knows how to make people feel good with music and a genuine smile. Behind that smile there is years of experience.

Lyrics and rhythm in music can grab us by the seat of our pants and take us to places way beyond our fears about death or confusion of love. Alot of great music and artistic genius is filled with sadness. This is unavoidable because as artists we want to see the world happy and we feel grief in a big way when those around us are unhappy. As artists of all types, we sing, play, sculpt, paint, create and capture our way through life & only hope for positive change in the world and in ourselves. I appreciate every chance to photograph such an amazingly talented person. Without this proof and kind of documentation along with the ocassional recording, its all just noises off in the distance. Step outside and follow those noises to the music that you hang on to (sometimes by an emotional thread). It defines us as lovers of life. Every one of us.
||| JDB 01/12/2011 |||

Sunday, January 9, 2011

National Lampoon Comic Shoot

A couple months ago I visited National Lampoon's Underground Comedy Club on A1A in Fort Lauderdale Beach. My friend's band, "Swoop" was playing a music gig so I managed to listen to a few routines of comics and was highly impressed. It was open mic which added an extra touch of mediocrity. I enjoyed the talent and their hard work with the fairly unreceptive audience of a typical open mic anywhere you go, these artists felt passion for making people laugh. No matter what standards were swept under the rug. Of course I had the brilliant idea of brushing elbows and chatting up the manager of the club about the promotional efforts to bring more people in. We had an awesome conversation which led to a good response when I made inquiry of setting up a photo shoot with any volunteer comics who needed material. This was merely a test shoot on location for me. Side lit with a couple ProFoto monolights, that's it! ! ! The three dudes that volunteered were quite capable of creating hysteria. I had trouble framing shots after awhile because I couldn't stop cracking up. To say the least I got some killer test shots at the small cost of conversation with a cool manager and a few quick edit CD's. It was awesome. I love my job!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Photographers New Years Resolutions for 2011 & A 2010 to Remember...

     For awhile now, I have been building my life around photography. This New Year will bring many new opportunities which I will welcome with my best foot forward. I'm saying farewell to 2010...Why? Well we all need resolutions and to be honest... 
  ...Well, the last year has been monumental in so many ways to me personally. 2010 has given me many valuable memories and tons of knowledge from a much needed continued education. 
     2010 has filled me with the strength to wrestle through some very tumultuous times as well. I have had a huge determination to succeed and because progress has been slow, and things haven't been easy, I am now solving some serious issues in myself to find more growth and more potential for future living. No artist is ever perfect so New Years Resolutions seem appropriate at this juncture. Better late then never. 
     2010 has  lent me patience and a strong sense of loyalty to others. I am grateful for every experience. I have persevered through loss, love & family crisises, and several personal challenges of being a thirty something scholar and late emerging professional. This past year has been rough to say the least. 
     I have been on a mission for some years now searching for the kind of work I would love, be great at, and feel a large purpose doing. With all of the lessons I have learned this past year, I am resolving to be more in tune with my needs and responsibilities, get healthier, read more, do some charity work, set aside time for family, and be truer to myself.
     As a photographer with friends who are photographers, I know that we are visonaries of a beautiful world. Let's try to remember why we are making photos. It's never just for a dollar. For most it's just a hobby. But more than anything we should remember that we have the tool to document our existence and therefore we have the responsibility of being true to photographic form and design. Make sure you contribute to your passion. It's why we do it. It is a release. A spring loaded exhileration of sight- frozen in time for eons. Make your photos speak. Resolve to have a final say on how it really went down in your world. Be there to document or illustrate. Get experimental and creative. Share your ideas. Whether is your job or you want to preserve the moments in life: The lazy are never appreciated, really. I really worked that shutter last year but was sorry I didn't do it more.
     Make 2011 a year to be remembered, as well. Don't let time slip through your fingers. Take time to appreciate your life and bring your camera along. Try to make a serious effort to be serious about photography and more importantly, as a humanitarian. You never know when you'll need a favor returned. Do yourself a favor and be passionate in your life. "It only happens once."|||JDB 01.03.2011|||

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Beverly's Many Children

     These birds are amazing. My good friend Beverly is the proud owner. They are very verbal,  lots of fun, and are spoiled beyond belief. Bev takes good care of these birds and they know it. Along with her cat, Simba...
And her dog Hoolie...
     Along with one more bird, Ringo (gotta track down his photos) and a new maltese dog addition, KeKe, and a turtle (I plan on capturing some shots of these two soon)...

     All of her pets are her children and her house seems like a zoo. She is constantly changing food cleaning cages, walking the dogs, and wouldn't trade the responsibility for all the gold in the world. I look up to Beverly because she is such a great provider of love to the animals of the earth. For this she gets a chunk of my blog and constant volunteering to photograph 'her children' for her memories.

     I love animals and I really love people who love animals.