Monday, November 28, 2011

2011 National Geographic Photo Contest

I made the decision to do something with a photo and I've already gotten 5 likes! I would love it if you could take a look and give me some more likes and positive feedback!

You've already seen this shot, but I've done some additional burning to really make the image stand out. 

The Fame

If all 7 of my readers wanted to pass it along to some of their social media friends, that would be amazing! Thanks!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Is there anything better than a Laser Background Turkey Portrait? No. No, there is not.

Wishing all of my readers and the rest of the internet a relaxing Thanksgiving. I'm lead chef for the first time as my mother recuperates from carpal tunnel surgery.

Talk about a bad ass cast! The bird is in the oven, only the side dishes remain. I just might make it.

I was thinking about Thanksgivings of the past; many were spent freezing my butt off at high school football games. Whether I was part of the marching band performing at half time, covering the game for one of the 19 papers I work for or lending my gloves to the poor girl that just moved to Connecticut from Hawaii (I still think you're a fool and I WANT MY GLOVE BACK!!!) I'm happy to be spending this Thanksgiving at home, cooking. James has the main photographer duties, so I'm sure there will be some fun pictures to share.

Be safe and enjoy your time with family and friends.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Prep

To all my loyal readers, I bring you my favorite episode of The Rag Show. I've been trying to find a copy of this for years and I'm happy to tell you they are all available on iTunes for FREE! That's right, go to the iTunes store, search for The Rag Show and enjoy. Maybe if we give them enough love, they'll produce new episodes.

Leave comments on the blog and I'll pass them along to the creators!

Friday, November 18, 2011

I've known Mia for one whole year!

It still feels like it was only a few days ago that I shot that picture of Mario and Vanessa in Hawaii at their wedding, so I can only imagine what they're feeling now that their daughter is a year old. Mia's been in front of my camera a lot during the first year of her life: from her first day to her portrait sessions and just goofing around in between.

Here are the most recent set of pictures from Halloween. Mia likes to chase you around the room which puts her in that hard to photograph phase of childhood. She's pretty good with posing for a self portrait for a not yet one year old, don't you think?

Happy Birthday, Mia!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds at the Beacon Theater

My 2011 concert experiences ended with a bang last night. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds were incredible. I've been waiting for Gallagher to start a solo career since I was in high school. Finally free from his brother's unprofessional antics, Noel really shines. He put together a great show, visually pleasing, good light for shooting, with a string of songs that kept the audience singing along the entire night. I ended up attending this show by myself, but I really felt a connection with the fans around me. It was a great, warm atmosphere that I wasn't expecting.

As I waited for the show to the main act to take the stage, the lights came up, allowing the audience to get a good look around the Beacon Theater. It is an incredible venue that you really need to experience. The intricate Art Deco sculptures and facades were absolutely beautiful. While the majority of the audience checked social media sites on their smart phones, my eye was trained on the five photographers on the floor. They were corralled along the left side of the stage, chatting with each other as they waited. I would love to be included in their ranks, but at big shows, the press is escorted out after three songs. I can't understand that; some of the best shots happen later in the evening. It's a trade off for me. I didn't have my SLR, so my shots aren't the best I can produce, but I have images that "official" photographers don't. Still, I'm thrilled that I had a camera with me, and I'm happy with what I have to share.


One of my favorite shots of the night. I've always had a fondness for silhouette shots, but this one really struck me. The band left the stage as Noel did acoustic versions of Wonderwall and Supersonic. Both songs were striking, and the dramatic lighting was perfect. The lights remained low for this set, as you can see in the photo below.

I was trying to do a crowd interaction shot here. This is what you see when you go to a show these days: everyone trying to capture an image with their smart phones. Just look around the next time you're at a concert and you'll be looking at a sea of LCD screens. I wonder what it looks like from the musician's point of view.

Noel doing band introductions. He explained that his guitarist somehow managed to trick him by masking his American accent when he auditioned.

I was pleasantly surprised with Noel's interactions with the crowd. Oasis, more so Liam, had a bad wrap for being stuck up. I didn't find that with Noel. He poked jokes at the fans in the front and seemed genuinely happy to be there. He commented on our cheering, really liking the Noooooo-elllllll the British fans from the balcony started.

During the encore, the right side of the first balcony got very rowdy. I was fortunate to be in this section with a bunch of fans that were singing along the entire concert. When Noel came back and played Little By Little, our section erupted into cheers and jumped to our feet. I managed to snap this shot right before, and I love the interaction with the fans in the front, cheering on our cheering.

I waited all night for it, and in the last song, Don't Look Back In Anger, Noel finally took the lead. This is the quintessential Noel Gallagher shot. It was strange for me to see him playing rhythm and acoustic the majority of the night because he is such an amazing guitarist.

Oh man, I never thought I'd find another shot to rival E's howl picture, but I did. Love the intensity.

Our section remained standing for the entire encore, unlike the lame center and left balconies, and I think Noel noticed.

There was a great mixture of old and new songs throughout the night. Noel even threw in a new song that he's planning on releasing next year. He's another song writing machine, like E, and I'm sure Gallagher has his next three albums already planned. I look forward to hearing those albums!
Set List:
• (It's Good) To Be Free
• Mucky Fingers
• Everybody's on the Run
• Dream On
• If I Had a Gun
• The Good Rebel
• The Death of You and Me
• Freaky Teeth
• Wonderwall
• Supersonic
• (I Wanna Live in a Dream in my) Record Machine
• AKA...What a Life!
• Talk Tonight
• Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks
• AKA...Broken Arrow
• Half the World Away
• (Stranded On) The Wrong Beach
• Little By Little
• The Importance of Being Idle
• Don't Look Back In Anger

And if you're looking for more concert reviews, check out my fellow blogger, Hank, who was at the Foo Fighters concert last night. (And check out how many smart phones are in his picture!!!) Both Hank and I were trying to give away our extra tickets last night. My solution was to order a tea at the Starbucks a block away from the Beacon. I explained to the barista that I had two extra tickets and to give them to someone she knew loved good music. Those seats weren't next to mine, so I have no idea if they were used, but here's hoping that someone enjoyed the tickets. I'm all about the good concert karma.

Noel Gallagher Teaser

It's not easy to get a decent shoe shot from the balcony with your point and shoot camera, especially when monitors are in the way. Eventually, he moved farther back on the stage so I could bring you this super cropped in picture. Nice boots, Noel!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Anyone want to go to a concert tonight?

I'm getting ready for my last big concert of the year. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds are playing at the Beacon Theater tonight and tomorrow. Noel's first solo album came out last week, FINALLY. I planned on doing a lengthy post about the new album and the way we purchase music these days, but I was sidelined last week with a nasty stomach bug. I still plan on getting to that post, but for now, it's time to think about the concert.

I can't wait to see Noel play live and the Beacon Theater looks like an amazing venue. I'm not as excited as I normally get because I know I'm not going to be getting pictures like I've become accustomed to. The last few shows I've attended, I've had my digital SLR and I've been beefing up my portfolio. I know I won't be able to swing that at the Beacon, so it's back to my Lumix. Don't get me wrong, that little camera is a champ, but I know I'm going to feel almost naked without my real camera. I think that says a lot.

And if anyone is in the area and wants to come see what I know will be a great show, let me know. I've got an extra ticket that I really just want to give away to someone that will enjoy music at this point. Hit me up in the comments if you're interested!

Monday, November 7, 2011

NYC Marathon

Over 47,000 people ran in the New York City Marathon yesterday, and my brother was one of them. I won't even get into how insane I think running is, much less running for 26.2 miles. People from all over the world come to run and as you can see, some go so far as to run in full costumes. We went to the South Bronx to see my brother run and we were across the street from some incredible drumming. Grace got a big kick out of watching the runners. I noticed more than a few runners notice Grace bouncing around and clapping for them and smile despite the pain.

We stood in front of Nick's Diner because the sign couldn't be any more appropriate. He and brother-in-law Kevin, who ran in support for more than half the marathon, approach our wild cheering section.

He's looking pretty good for running 20 miles, don't you think?

Grace totally dug the pennant I made. I wasn't able to find the illusive giant foam #1 hand, but I think the pennant was just as good.

A parting shot of Nick and Kevin. I'm so proud of Nick for finishing in 5 hours and 1 minute. Just like the banner says, You Rock, Brother!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Caturday: Guest Edition

I thought it only fair to include a picture of Mario and Vanessa's cat,  Cletus, on Caturday. This is his costume for the Lost finale. Isn't he a charmer?

Somehow this weekend became incredibly hectic last minute. I've had to change my plans several times, but I think I'm going to be able to attend a bunch of different functions. No time to waste though. I'm in search of a giant foam #1 hand.

Wish me luck!

Friday, November 4, 2011

I'm famous because I'm on the internet!

The internet is so much more fun when you share. One of my favorite Lost sites, F%$& Yeah Lost, had been posting a lot of Halloween costumes, so I emailed him some of my pictures. Huzzah!

Maybe I'll get a couple more readers out of it! C'mon, Lost people! Follow me!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Grace's Birthday

Nothing like a Nor'easter to celebrate your first birthday. Many family members braved the snowy slushy mess to celebrate Grace. There were plenty of cute kids at this party.

A fun pumpkin cake creation and Tristan showing off his Halloween spirit. Old school Legos were a big hit with cousins Grace and James.

My present to Grace, from an amazing Etsy seller, Joni. She rushed this hat for me, and I'm really grateful. Check out her store here.

Tristan was all smiles.

Aria struggled to stay awake.

E.J. is always happy.

Grace loves music, so she got a big kick out of us singing to her.

As you can see, I had a little competition in the photography department...

James did such a good job, I put together a collage of his work.

My favorite has to be the headless shot of my uncle, wearing the Mickey Mouse sweat shirt. I think James just really liked the shirt. He has such a fun perspective of the world, don't you think?

I can't believe how much Grace has changed, even over the few weeks since I saw her for the Medieval Festival in NY. She's going to be walking on her own any day now.

 I can't believe she's already one! Happy Birthday, Grace!