I'm late on this week's post - I know. But here is what happened. I took a two-day trip up to Wyoming for some photographic education and some personal shooting. That is what I had planned on blogging about - not what you are about to get. I'm a pretty active person, I like to keep moving. My theory is that when you quite moving you die. But what that thought failed to take into account was what happened to me after my road trip. A photographer friend of mine accompanied me on the trip. We left on Friday hoping to catch something interesting to photograph, spend the night in Kemmerer, Wyoming, then head up to Big Piney in the morning to attend class and drive home. Saturday was a long day. When I got home I unloaded only the essentials out of the truck, downloaded my card, and headed to bed. I was exhausted. I thought I slept pretty well, but when I woke up Sunday morning some respiratory illness was killing me. I didn't have the energy to even go to church - I was wiped out. I had been asked to model for another photography class on Monday, but by Sunday afternoon I sent the instructor a text and backed out, I was headed to the doctor! By Monday afternoon I was on high powered antibiotics and other stuff. Aside from the class on Monday I was planning to spend much of the week photographing the wildflowers up in the hills above my home, a project that required a considerable amount of energy just to haul the camera and tripod to the locations. But my accomplishments for this week so far? A big fat Zero! No energy! By Thursday morning things started to change. I was finally starting to feel like I could function again. It was a good thing because I had tentatively booked a very important head-shot sitting for Friday. Late Thursday night I discovered the because of my "big fat zero" I forgot that I had shoved everything to one side of the studio last week to photograph something rather large and studio all needed to be put back together. I will have to get up in the morning to clean the studio and make preparations. During my "big fat zero" time . Today is gong to be a challenge! I guess my point is, your health is important and it can change on a dime. And it is very difficult to accomplish anything when you are Wiped out! #tedyorkphotography #headshotsforbusiness #lookgood #keytosuccess #dontgetsickever
I was sick a few weeks ago. While I'm back up and running, because there are some respiratory side affects, my first trip up the hills behind my home and studio kicked my butt! It took me a few times to work my way back up to the top, but I'm glad I did. The wildflowers are well into bloom with more varieties on the way. There is a particular location where the purple Lupines, surrounded by red Indian Paintbrush and various yellow flowers are gorgeous. I don't bill myself as a professional wildflower photographer, but I got into photography trying to capture some of my other interests and of course my camera skills and professional equipment help to capture some of these images. With this year's abundant rainfall we are having a great bloom. On the days I carry my equipment up, you can find me on my hands and knees maneuvering a tripod and camera into position to capture the blossoms. I don't want to make this blog about photography as much as taking time to literally "smell the roses." There is incredible beauty around us and to hurriedly pass it by without noticing is to deprive us of some of the simple pleasures this earth we live on has to offer. The first time I hiked up these hills was some 23 years ago. It was mid to late February and there was snow on the ground at the higher elevations, but the sun was out and the temperature was around fifty degrees! I was accompanied by five young children who I thought would start complaining and cut the hike short, but they didn't. Every time we crossed over a ridge there was a new herd of deer to chase and that kept them entertained all the way to the top. That was the last time I went up until I started hiking last year. While I don't mind photographing a deer or two I prefer to photograph the things that are not so fleeting. My camera is often aimed at the mountain peaks as the clouds move around the peaks. I particularly love the early morning or late evening when the rising or setting sun casts beautiful color on the scene. But right now there is magic happening on the trails. Plants are springing up and new color is appearing in the form of wildflowers so that's where my emphasis is at the moment. So if you are out hiking the hills and you see a guy with a camera take the time to say hello, but be prepared to be asked to shade my subject or block the the wind so I can create the perfect image of my next wildflower. After the shutter clicks and the image checks out to my satisfaction we can perhaps strike up a conversation, sit down, and smell the roses.
I think television is a waste of time. My 90 year-old mother, who lives with us, likes to watch it and she likes to have some company when she does. So I was in the family room enjoying a movie with her when one of my daughters came in to tell me my wife was hurt. It took a moment to register, then I began asking questions as I rose out of the couch and followed her out of the room. I arrived at our patio to find my wife laying on the concrete crying in pain. She had apparently tripped while coming down the steps and planted her face into the cement. One look at the blood and bruising around her left eye and forehead told me we would be headed to the emergency room at the local hospital. It was hard to listen to my wife as she moaned in pain during the 15 to 20 minute drive to find a doctor. How could this happen? She was just in the yard doing a spring time tuneup of our sprinkler system. I was reminded of a flight into Mexico City many years ago. I was at the controls of a Boeing 757. We had just begun the initial approach into the airport when things changed. While, due to the mountains around the city, the approach can be challenging, the weather was good and the stars were out. Without warning the electronic screens that project the instruments went blank. Our heart rates went up as adrenaline pumped throughout our bodies. Then just as fast as our flight instrument disappeared, they came back and we made an uneventful landing. They were blacked out for seconds, but it seemed like forever. After a CT scan the doctor told my wife she was fine. Neither her eye socket nor her forehead was fractured and soon we were on our way home. Although she was not able to sleep as well as she liked, she was up this morning working around the house no worse for wear. We never know when our lives will change due to circumstances beyond our control or just a moment of inattention. Live life to the fullest, and don't forget to take a photo once in a while for your posterity. And while you are at it print those photographs so they will be there for the future, because you never know when something will change in a moment's time.
Growing up my hero was Sandy Koufax who pitched 12 seasons for the Dodgers. I've never been much of an athlete, but I did like to play baseball and football. I didn't for any high school or college team, but out in the streets and fields. I wanted to be a pitcher, throwing ball after ball to my dad. It was the dream of a young boy who had spirit but lacked in coordination. These days I'm creating portraits of people. Recent jobs found me photographing high school athletes aspiring to perform well in their chosen sports. Shooting athletes is fun because it gives me a chance to be a little edgy in my creativity. Most if not all of these boys will not go on to play college or professional sports, but for now they are enjoying the game. My desire is to capture them in a serious way, depicting their concentration when they play. They look tough in these portrait because they are serious about what they do when they do it. In fact had to work on a few of them to get that expression because off the field they are all smiles and about having fun. Creating these images took me back to another time when I went door to door collecting my friends for a rousing game of baseball at a neighborhood lot where I imagined the crowds as I threw the ball across home plate wanting to be my hero, Sandy Koufax.
The GPS in my phone was lost. It was still showing me a ways to go down route 45 when I saw a sign by the road telling me to turn left for Fantasy canyon. I did what I figured I should do and turned left. Now I wasn't sure where I was and the GPS was giving me erroneous information . My daughter who I designated "Keeper of the Map" had left it in the hotel room. Fortunately I met a van coming the opposite direction. Waving him down, he stopped and gave me directions. A lucky break seeing as we were out in the middle of no where surrounded by desert sand and oil rigs. We continued down the dirt road finding signs about the time we were ready to give up and finally pulled into a small sandy parking area with a sign warning us about pygmy rattlesnakes. Time was short so I immediately unloaded the camera gear and went to work exploring and looking for photographs to create. I was already wishing I had come out earlier. I should have known "canyon" meant I needed to be there when the sun was higher in the sky, but I had to deal with what I had to work with. There was an extreme ratio of light and dark, nice for silhouettes, but I wanted foreground detail in my shadows so I resorted to High Dynamic Range photography. Done properly it gives me a 32bit file to work with in the computer. That allows me unbelievable options and image quality. Unfortunately I did not have a great deal of time to explore and make decisions so I had to move fast. Here are some of the results of my efforts. I wanted to stay a while longer to capture the residual light and color, but I needed to make my way out of the area before total darkness set in. Did I mention my GPS was lost?