Is your Vision blinding you?

Ava_Fleming at Austin Belly Dance ConventionA recent comment by a friend reminded me of how easy it is to be photographically blind to what we’re really seeing in front of us.  

In particular, years ago I was photographing the Austin Belly Dance Convention in which Ava Fleming was the headline performer/instructor.  While pulling selects from the performances, on her Friday night performance I hit a brick wall.  My selects just didn’t feel right.  Something wasn’t clicking for me.

I had to back away from the tunnel vision of having looked at the performance photos for too long and take a break.  So I went and watched “Shall We Dance?” (US remake).  While watching the movie it struck me – Jazz!  The lightbulb went on!  I remember in reading her instructor bio that she had a modern dance background.   I ran back to my computer and BOOM! the selects were trivial to pick.

My vision was locked in to the familiar forms and moves and I was missing the picture she was presenting.  I could see it, but I couldn’t access it until I shifted my frame of reference (or my focus) to a different place, then the pieces fell into place.  

So have you been in a place where your vision (photographic, dance, life) is keeping you from seeing?


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Sherwood Forest shoot with Marti

Marti is operations director for the Sherwood Forest Summer Camp.  She wanted an updated bio photo for their website.

Thankfully there was a work weekend coming up.  That meant the site would be open and we could shoot on-location. Excellent!

Got on-site at 9am and started scouting for a location where I’d be able to control/modify the light and would be convenient for Marti as she’d only be available for a short time (as this was very close to opening of the Summer Camp and she’d be organizing quite a lot during that day). 

Below are my thoughts and what I did to carry out the shoot.

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3rd Coast Tribal 2014

Rose Marine Theater, Fort Worth, Tx

Rose Marine Theater, Fort Worth, Tx

For those of you attending 3rd Coast Tribal – 2014, there are a couple of things different this year.

Biggie!  2014 marks the 10th year of 3rd Coast Tribal!  So make sure to give everyone who helps make it go hugs, high-fives, pats on the back, …   It takes a ton of work and people to pull it off each year and doing that for a decade is no small accomplishment!

Thursday night show!  There will be 3 shows this year.  In addition to the excellent Friday and Saturday night shows, they’re adding Thursday night.   So make sure to get your tickets.   In fact, it appears the “Rockstar Seating” for Thursday has already sold out!

Live music: Friday night’s show will feature live music for all the performers.  Apparently more music courses have also been added to the conference this year.  Good opportunity to expand your repertoire.

There is also an overflow hotel, and also (I think) a new class venue as well.  Yow!  Sounds like a lot in the works.

It’s taking place in Forth Worth, Texas – January 9-12, 2014.

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Why I like light meters… REALLY

Oskar Hasselhoff examing his sword.

Oskar Hasselhoff examing his sword.


Fizgig pushing pies. Mmmmm….

I don’t use a light meter all the time. In particular when walking around renaissance festivals or moving around a lot outdoors when light direction and clouds are changing, I stick to Aperture Priority (Av on the Canon dial). However there are times when flipping things into full Manual and using a light meter is the way to go.

Basically when your light is going to be consistent and not changing much during a shoot.

Case-in-point: The Combat Tournament of Sherwood asked me to take some shots of them earlier this year prior to the opening of Sherwood Forest Faire. The faire grounds in February have lots of dappled light in the shade under trees (no leaves yet) and the shoot would be mid-day. (Isn’t it always that way? 🙂 )

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3rd Coast Tribal 2013 photos – in Zaghareet!

Zoe Jakes at 3rd Coast Tribal 2013

Zoe Jakes at 3rd Coast Tribal 2013

The May/June 2013 issue of Zaghareet! magazine has a review of 3rd Coast Tribal by Clarissa Rosario on pgs. 52-54 that features some of my photographs from that event.

Congratulations to Zymirrah and everyone who assisted her in creating another great year of 3rd Coast for everyone to enjoy!

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Sherwood Forest Faire updates

Sherwood Forest Faire - Robin & MarionI was over at Sherwood Forest Faire today – volunteer workday.   Helping clean up the grounds prior to the upcoming Summer Camp that they are holding July 8-13.

Grounds are in pretty good shape.  Still losing trees, but thankfully at a slower rate than last year – which was really bad – lots of trees just couldn’t handle the drought.  Hauling, mowing, general grounds cleanup.

Eric showed a photo of the collectable coin they’re going to have for 2013.  Pretty cool.  I’ve got a complete set so far.  He also showed a couple of designs – either for the mug or a pen, maybe both.  Anyway, well done artwork.

The falconer is out there setting up for the summer camp as well as some of the vendors working on their booths.

Weather worked out pretty well, mostly overcast early on.  But no rain so work was able to be accomplished.  I bailed around 2:30pm, wish I could have stayed for the potluck this evening, but I had stuff to continue working on back here.   Hopefully I can stay late next time. 🙂

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Club Bellydance – Austin, Tx

Sabaya Bellydance Collective at Club Bellydance

I was invited by Stacey-Lizette of Sabaya Bellydance Collective to photograph the local groups performing in the recent Bellydance Superstars Club Bellydance tour which came through Austin, Texas.

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