Monday, February 8, 2010

Clouds of Wonder

I'm a Summer kind of person. I thrive on Daylight Savings Time. I crave those extra hours of sun. January 2 should be the first day of Spring as far as I'm concerned. But the weather stays cold, the skies stay gray and it keeps raining.

Now I know that we need rain. That we're facing a drought. And early mornings when the household is sleeping, I love to hear the sound of rain on the roof. But come on!! I need some blue sky and sun!!

I have found an upside to the rain though. It's when the rain stops and the sun makes it's way through the clouds. Suddenly we're looking at crystal clear beautiful blue skies and puffy clouds, and I'm off. I've become a "Cloud Chaser." Sunday morning I told the trash out just as the sky was showing the beginnings of blue and the clouds were amazing! So I grabbed my camera (thankful that my children had been to lazy to take out the garbage the night before), and started driving and shooting. It was beautiful.

But driver beware! It's one thing to drive and shoot through your windshield, but it's another thing entirely to shoot the sky. You're constantly looking up. I do almost all my driving and shooting at stop lights or along the side of the road. There is so much beauty, so much wonderment, it's almost impossible to drive and shoot. But even stopped and shooting, the sky is an amazing thing. I'm always happy to drive-by.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fly-By...Drive-By...I'm Just Shooting

I was in LA last week. I went down to attend the Grammy party at the Village and to meet with people and to drum up some business. But, if truth be told, I went to shoot...

I was not happy Tuesday morning as I sat at the Oakland airport. It was raining and I was flying. Bad combination. But, two weeks earlier in Anaheim it had been raining, and once we got through the initial shaking, the sky was beautiful, and hardly any turbulence. So what could go wrong this trip? Ha! Don't tempt faith!!

After sitting through 3 hours of plane-shaking, panic-inducing turbulence and thoughts of imminent death on my 55-minute flight, somehow we landed safely and I was off!! First to Avis. NO, I do NOT want the brand new Camaro. Have you looked through the windshield? Barely enough room to hold a camera lens pressed against it. I want my Ford Focus with sun roof!

Now five days of driving bliss. I was afraid that having a GPS would cramp my style. Because, afterall, I've gotten some of my best shots while lost. But I still got lost. And when I wasn't lost, I was relaxed, knowing that my friendly GPS would get me to where I was going--eventually.

And the sun came out. I drove along the Miracle Mile. I drove to North Hollywood. I drove to Beverly Hills. Santa Monica. Pasadena. Venice. Malibu. I drove and drove and drove. Camera in hand, in between meetings. Shot after shot. It was a perfect trip. Perfect weather. Five days and 1,680 images. I filled up my 4 GB card in the air on the way back to Oakland.

I've missed my traveling and shooting. But it's a new year, new events, more traveling. Some places will be the same, but the shots are always different. And some places will be new. It's always an adventure and always fun. (Well mostly...except for the flying...)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fly-By Shooting

When I first started my event production company, one of the first things I started doing was bringing my camera with me on all my trips to Los Angeles to fight the boredom of sitting in so much traffic. Hours upon hours of crawling along freeways and surface streets, usually lost, always able to document my travels and so started my Drive-By Shooting series.

I'm sure that most of you know how afraid I am of flying, which is totally ironic because I am flying all the time . So now I enter the plane with my iPod blaring and camera in hand. As the plane takes off, if I'm lucky, the flight attendants have not asked me to turn off my iPod.
And as the plane starts to taxi down the runway and my hands start to shake and my heart tries to pound it's way out of my chest, when I know that I can get no more messages of reassurance from any friend, no more calm voice on the phone telling me to breath and that I'll be fine, as the wheels start to come off the ground, that's when I pull out my camera and start shooting.

I was in Anaheim last week for NAMM. It was raining in Northern California all week before I left, but thankfully it stopped raining long enough to get down to sunny Southern California. But no such luck on my return trip. It was dark. It was cold. It was rainy. And no one to tell me that lightning was NOT going to strike my plane or that flying through big, angry, dark clouds and the turbulence associated with it, was going to be fine. So iPod blaring again, I sit at the window, right on top of the wing, watching the rain fly at the window. The plane takes off and it's shaking!

But what kind of pictures can you take when everything is dark gray. You can't. Or at least I can't. So I pretend to read and all my senses are being numbed anyway because my music is so loud in my ears. And the plane is shaking and I feel like throwing up. But then suddenly I see blue skies and sunshine and white puffy clouds and everything is alright with the world. I pull out my camera and start shooting. And it's beautiful. The light, the colors, the clouds. It's okay. Sure, we hit more turbulence, but I'm shooting and distracted, and when we start to descend into Oakland and it's dark and gray again, I'm fine. I know we're landing in just a couple of minutes (and hopefully not in the Bay), and now I just want to get home and see what images I was able to get. Not that when I board my plane next week that I won't be scared to death again. I just need to remember--I need to look for the beauty.