Sunday, April 26, 2009

Summer Like Weekend

During the latter part of the week I was singing in my head "Everybody's Working for the Weekend." It's an 80's song by the band Loverboy. The weekend weather forecast was for sunny days in the high 80's and I was looking forward to the weekend and doing some athletics outdoors. I have spent a lot of time indoors in front of the computer screen, and the recent nice weather got me motivated for sports. I think it's important to have balance as a photographer.

I didn't take too many pictures this past weekend because I was so into athletics. This was actually a good thing for me because I have done so much with photography and not enough of other things with my time. I went road biking with a friend on Friday evening for a good distance at a good pace for us, as we were preparing for an upcoming intermediate road bike ride on the W&OD trail. I got back into playing one of my all time favorite sports...Volleyball! I'm a competitive player and I avoid jungle ball games. On Saturday I played Volleyball with several others for about three hours in the mid 80 degree heat on a sand court. Later on at a BBQ at a park I played an hour of Volleyball in a sand court. Sunday afternoon was nearing 90 degrees but I still went road biking with a couple others. I'm feeling a little tired, but I'm glad I was able to get back into athletics, which is the primary way I keep in shape.

So what does this have to do with photography? To me it's more than being a photographer, but it's about a lifestyle. It's important for me to be healthy, active and to continue growing. Maintaining a healthy and athletic life helps me to see things from a different perspective. The rush I get from athletics opens my mind up and allows me to think on a different level. I don't want to live a sedentary lifestyle, so I'm doing what I can to stay active. Now I just need to get more sleep at night.

Even with such an athletically active weekend, I did manage to take a few pictures here and there. The first picture is from the grand opening of McGinty's Public House (Irish pub) in Arlington, and I was able to take the photo from behind the bar. The second picture is from biking near DC with my iPhone, and I wanted to capture the beauty of the day. The third photo is from a dinner Sunday night at an On the Border restaurant, and I enjoyed the colorful environment there.

Monday, April 20, 2009

To Everything Turn, Turn, Turn

The weather this past weekend in the DC metro area was warm and sunny. Friday night was a friend's birthday and a bunch of us celebrated the birthday girl with dinner, mini-golf, and night of dancing. An interesting thing about the birthday dinner was the cake made for the birthday girl by one of her friends. It's great to capture birthday memories on camera, as it's such a meaningful day with family and friends. I named this the carnival cake.

On Saturday I went biking on the Mount Vernon trail with a couple others going from the Pentagon City area (near Reagan National Airport) to just past Old Town Alexandria. It was more of a scenic ride and I had brought my camera taking photos while biking at various stops. That evening I went to the Art Whino Inked Souls opening in Crystal City. I had seen the Art Whino store at National Harbor on March 21 while on a photo jaunt there.

On Sunday I did an engagement session in Washington, DC. We started off near the Jefferson Memorial and walked by the Tidal Basin and to the FDR Memorial. The Cherry Blossoms were mostly gone by then, but the area is still incredibly beautiful no matter the season.

The warm and sunny weather was replaced by rain on Monday. It was a heavy day as I went to a memorial service for someone I knew in our community. She was a wonderful lady and it's good to know that she is in a better place. Toward the end of the service, pictures of her, her family, and friends were shown on the screens in the auditorium. As I watched each photo as music played along, I was reminded how precious life is and the people in it. Sharing life and memories is a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

End of March, Early to Mid April

Alright, so it's not the most exciting of blog titles, but it's a good descriptor. It's been a productive few weeks and here's a recap.

* March 25 - The Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College hosted a lecture and Q&A by Will Crockett called Wake Up and Smell the Pixels! This seminar was sponsored by and Will Crockett taught about the importance of becoming proficient with resources and how to take the shortest (and most profitable) pathway from "click to print."

* March 27 - I had seen the 80's cover song band The Legwarmers in concert before and they were playing again at The State Theatre in Falls Church, VA. A few friends and I got together to dress up in 80's style clothes and rock out to 80's tunes. It was a fun night. I felt like I knew most of the lyrics and the song's rhythms. I brought my Canon compact camera and took shots till my camera battery ran out.

* March 28th, Will Crockett of gave a seminar at the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College. It was about "Lighting with Off-Camera Flash."

Fashion for Paws - That evening was a night I had been preparing for called Fashion for Paws. It's a fundraiser for the Washington Humane Society. Hundreds of people came together including some well known DC socialites, professionals and it drew some celebrities such as Val Kilmer this year. I had photographed this event last year and enjoyed it and the location at the Embassy of Italy in Washington D.C. It's great to see everyone dressed up, including the dogs, and the highlight of the night is the fashion show with both local socialites as well as dogs going down the runway. I was able to get access to take pictures of all areas of the event, and I was glad to have had one of my photos published in The Washington Post.

* April 4 - Cherry Blossom season in DC is a big event as thousands of people flock to the area to visit the Cherry Blossoms during their peak bloom and enjoy the National Cherry Blossom Festival. For the past several years I've helped to coordinate getting people together for a bike ride to see the Cherry Blossoms and tour DC. I was able to take pictures at this year's Cherry Blossom Bike Ride:

* V's Dream Party - I celebrated my birthday over the weekend with friends. It would have been nice to have a birthday party in an exotic vista, but it's important to me to be able to celebrate life with many of my friends around. This Dream Party was about bringing together friends and having fun, yet also to encourage one another in pursuing our dreams in life. I wanted to give props to Martin Luther King Jr and his I Have a Dream speech. This was also a hat party, recognizing that hats are part of identities that we put on or that are brought out with them. We can wear many hats, but the identity of the inner person is paramount. A friend brought over Rock Band and that provided lots of entertainment. We also had a photo room with one of my cameras set up on a tripod, where people could take some "photo booth" type shots with a timer. It was a simple night as far as set up, but it was profound in relationships and community, and that's what matters.

April 14 - I'm late in reading a guest blog entry from Scott Kelby's blog from February 18, but I'm glad I did. I noticed it because it was Scott's most popular blog post. The guest blog was from Zack Arias and he didn't write the entry as it's usually done, but he did a video entry for it. He also has the video and a description of it on his website.

The bio on Zack's OneLight Workshop really moved me because it's such an amazing story, and one that likely many photographers can relate with. May this help to "Edit: Transform" you.