The Chillin’ Place

If you have not already figured it out yet, I LOVE music.  And I LOVE using music to put me in the right mood as I edit my photographs.  When my buddy in Hamburg showed me this place, I immediately knew I had to share it with you all, and I knew exactly what kind of music I’d use to process it:  Lounge or Chill.  Even now, as I listen to Blank and Jones’ Florent 2 a.m., I feel like I’m sitting in that cool lounge just chillin’ out after a long day and night.  Blank and Jones sure do dish out some awsome tunes, if you are looking to relax!

My eyes seek reality…

How many times have we walked past a homeless person, perhaps living under a bridge such as this one, not even taking a moment to acknowledge their existence.  We just, walk on by.  These nameless, faceless people, curled up, huddled under blankets against the cold bitter world outside.  When I just walk by, I spend days thinking about what I could have done, what I should have done.  But I can’t make a difference, can I?  I’m just one man, right?  Sure, I could fold a few Euros into his or her hand, but then I wonder if they’ll spend that money on something they really need, like food or clothing, or something else.  Maybe those are some of the things they need, but I often believe there is something we can give: a moment of our time, a moment of  acknowledgment, of caring, and, very importantly, respect.  Perhaps the next time someone reaches his or her hand out, I should not fear to take it.  Take it, hold it firmly, and give my fellow man one of the most precious and finite gifts I can: my time!

Out with the old?

Where does the time go?  Here I am, another year gone, and it’s out with the old, and in with the new!  Right?  Hold on there.  What’s up with this whole “out with the old, in with the new” thing?  What’s wrong with old?  I don’t know about you, but for me, at least, “old school” rocks!  As a matter of fact, URBEX (Urban Exploration for those not yet familiar with the term) is all about exploring the past, embracing it and showing it to others.  So I say, remember and cherish the old, while welcoming the new.  Learn from the past — from your own experience, or from someone else’s  — and apply what you’ve learned (successes or mistakes) in 2010 to your lives and the lives of others in 2011, and beyond.  After all, as American philosopher George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  Happy 2011, everyone!

Did it really look like that?

The answer to that question, at least in photography subjective. I just started reading David duChemin‘s latest masterpiece, “Vision & Voice”, in which David talks about hearing this question from someone in the audience while he and fellow photographer Matt Brandon were lecturing at the Himalaya Club in New Dehli, India. David’s bottom line answer is: “it looked like [that] to me.” Trust me when I tell you that I have REALLY simplified his response, which he delivered so much more eloquently than I could hope to do, or even dare to try. David discussed the limitations of one of our primary tools in photography, the camera, in bringing our “vision” to the print, and effectively argues for the legitimacy of using a postcapture tool (Lightroom 3, for example), to coax from the digital negative the vision our camera (given its limitations) cannot deliver alone. It will take time for me to digest David’s wisdom, but it is a journey I look forward to completing (and likely repeating after completing it the first time). Based on my reading of the first several chapters of the book, as well as a thumb-through of the rest of the work, I highly recommend it!

So, which one of these two photographs looks better to you, they way my camera and Photomatix Pro delivered it to me (second image), or the way I “saw” it when I was on the scene (and how I tried to convey my vision to you)?

Better like this? (This is how I "saw" it and how I want to show it to you!)

...or like this? (This is how my camera captured the scene & how Photomatix Pro rendered it!)

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