A New Year, A New Season

It’s been a long, long time since the last post. There are lots of things I could say to bring you up to speed. But that would definitely be TMI. So much has happened, and those moments are gone. This is a new year, a new season of rediscovering photography for what it is…not software manipulation in an attempt to explore uncharted artistic territories, nor to create some new visual masterpiece…just chasing the light. Old school. Seeking those “moments” between moments. Digital manipulation of images isn’t a bad thing at all. Thousands of people get lots of enjoyment from it, and are creating some really cool stuff. I embrace the technology and don’t particularly want to be left behind, so to speak. But for capturing those moments spoken of, yes, bigger-better-faster tools surely help. But nothing takes the place of intuition, anticipation, and timing. There are plenty of examples from the days of black and white film that have proven that this remains true to this day. 

In the current face of large multi megapixels sensors, and lightning fast focusing lenses, there’s much that could be said about maintaining a bit of simplicity as it regards hardware. I’m going out on a limb here, but dare I say that the real “software” is internal, deeply spiritual, and the ultimate in simplicity. It can’t really be manipulated. The only requirement is that you constantly listen, pay attention, and then take action when it ‘speaks’, being sensitive as it moves you. Hardware is always secondary.

I attended a photography expo recently here in ATL where I live. My wife (also a photographer) is a member of the organization that hosted the show. We didn’t attend any of the classes, just browsed the products and services of the various vendors. She got a good deal on a new lens, and a speedlight. I took a chance on a shotgun mic from a company I’d never hear of, as I plan to create more video content for my business and personal ventures. That was it for me. Turns out, the reviews on the mic are quite good! I’ll do some testing and posting in the future. 

And man, what a bunch of cool new toys out there! One of everything, please! That could get expensive real fast. It all comes down to knowing who you are, what you want to accomplish, and choosing the correct tools to get the job done.

I enjoy listening to and watching old school traditional jazz musicians perform. I suppose my musical activities as a jazz pianist (I prefer the term “improvisor”) carries over into keeping “G.A.S.” costs down (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). I own 5 keyboards, but will only take a maximum of 2 to any given gig. Only 3 of them are used for performing. 2 of them never leave the house. On jazz gigs, it’s just 1 one digital piano with the needed amplification. That’s it. Wedding/dance bands usually require 2 because of the quick changes, fast pace, and the variety of sounds and styles of music covered.

My current photo gear setup is 2 bodies, 2 lenses, 2 speedlights, a few stands and other small accessories. Obviously camera gear is much more compact and portable than music gear. But streamlined is the operative word, at least for the types of jobs I currently do. My wife will often go on a job with 1 camera body, 1 lens, 2 speedlights (one is a backup). She gets the job done, and quite well, I might add! Her kit is growing, and will soon need a larger carrying case!

But with all this said, it is indeed a new year, a new season to rediscover photography and creativity. In spite of the multitude of ideas I have, where it’ll lead is yet to be determined. One thing tugged at my heart from the expo, and that is volunteering. There were two booths there seeking volunteers for their specific causes. Both were good, and worth looking into. But I only have so much time, and can only do so much. I’m sure you understand what I’m saying. I’m looking forward to trying out the new lens my wife bought, and my new microphone. But I think in this new season, which also means a new mindset, it is imperative that I spend some dedicated time listening to the internal software as it creates new programs for me. Hmm, never thought of it that way until now! So much for 1’s and 0’s.

Happy photographing, AC

And Then There’s Music

In addition to wearing a photography hat, I wear a musical one also, as keyboard player/lead vocalist of “The Weekend Getaway Band”. We performed at ‘Pigs & Peaches BBQ Festival’ held in Kennesaw, Georgia. It’s always a challenge to get pictures in a double duty situation. I wasn’t the photographer for the event, so this was more about getting quick snapshots for posterity.

The Pigs & Peaches BBQ cook off is held every year. A winner is announced and receives special recognition. This was the first one I ever attended. I don’t know who won, but I sampled a lot of good BBQ!

There were three musical groups. When I arrived, a steel drum trio was performing. I was moving my gear and didn’t have my camera handy. So no pics of that. Weekend Getaway was second. The headliner was ‘A1A’, a Jimmy Buffet tribute band. They took the audience to the beach!

There were vendors galore, lots of BBQ of course, games for the kids, the usual outdoor festival stuff. Kennesaw Mayor Derek Easterling (blue shirt) introduced ‘Miss Big Shanty Ambassador 2018’. The Weekend Getaway Band is sitting at the round table in the green room, reflected in the mirror. The A1A Band is on the stage doing an extensive soundcheck getting the levels adjusted in their in-ear monitors. There are two photos of the WG Band, one with the attendees in the background. The woman is my good friend Lexxi. She’s not a regular member of the group but joined us for a few songs, specifically to pay tribute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who passed away a few days prior to this event. She rocked it, like she always does! The other photo is WG in action. I’m on keyboards and vocals. It was a great day!

He just posed, I pressed the shutter!

He was already posed, I pressed the shutter.

It all about that Q, ‘bout that Q

WG in a not so deep conversation. Ha!

Mayor & Miss Big Shanty

Side view of attendees under the tent

A1A at the beach in a Kennesaw parking lot

WG w/ Lexxi

Weekend Getaway doin’ it!


Life and…

The cemetery is a place of tranquility like nothing else in the world. There are only a handful of times I’ve ventured into one after dark. I won’t try to describe it….you’ll have to experience that yourself, if you’re up to it. 

The following photos were made from several visits. No need for a lot of text. This kind of thing speaks for itself. The viewer just needs to listen closely while perusing slowly. The message you may need to hear at this point in your life will make itself heard.

Take your time. Look at the dates on a couple of the head stones. Humbling. Life is short, and even shorter for others. Please, make sure you’re making the best of the time you’ve been given. All the best! AC

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