Today was one of those rare not too hot / not too cool sunny days in Florida. Hence, I ventured out on one of my favorite nature trails in a woodsy area of Central Florida. It was beautifully peaceful. Couldn’t even hear a car I was so far into the woods. But then I DID hear a bird. Not being heavy into ornithology (what a big word, huh? lol), I had no clue what I was listening to. Nor can I tell you what kind of bird it is in the photograph I captured herein this post. But he / she was gorgeous and sang like a … well … like a bird :).
So the plan for today was to go to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to see the new, “Rivers Of Light” show. However, in the 19 years that Animal Kingdom has been there, I’ve NEVER seen the parking lot so full. Every single section of the lot was 100% full. And I’m told that they eventually had to close due to capacity. Soooooo – I really didn’t have any other plans and didn’t have any more work to do shooting The Festival Of The Arts at Epcot. Henceforth, I began the track back home. This time I decided I’d exit off the property on the road that passes in front of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.
Well there on the opposite side of the road was a herd of deer grazing on the grass in the gorgeous magic hour golden sunset light. Here are a few examples of what I was able to shoot, once again testing out one of my new telephoto lenses.
I had reason to be downtown Orlando in the Mills Avenue area today.
While waiting for a repair, I strolled the streets a bit. Came across this cool street mural on the side of an old building. No idea really what the artist(s) was trying to convey – if anything. But obviously whomever did this creation definitely does have some talent.
I don’t know how many of you remember the late Charles Kuralt. Charles was (as far as I know) the first journalist that used to travel America seeking out human interest stories, mostly in ‘small town America’. I use to love watching his show on CBS when I was younger. When I really got into photography, I used to wish I could be the next Charles Kuralt. Still, do actually. But in my wish, I don’t necessarily want to limit myself to just interviewing folks. I wanna take great hidden treasure photos from, well, everywhere! So if you’re listening CBS or any major network or journalistic entity, here I am!!! 🙂
This photo I captured today (Monday February 13th, 2017) at one of Florida’s 176 State Parks. Can’t you just feel the warmth and smell the forest? The weather today was one of those picture perfect (no pun intended) days to begin with. But during magic hour (golden hour – sunset time frame), it got even better. I was lucky enough to be way out in the woods on one of the trails. Lighting & timing were also picture perfect (pun intended this tim lol). I managed to capture 3-4 great shots in addition to this one – they’ll be posted later. And that’s not a brag when I say “Great shots.” On any given day I go shooting, I usually manage to snap off several hundred shots if not more depending on the shoot. If I get ONE good shot, I consider myself lucky. But to grab 3-4 really good shots is one for the record books in my humble opinion.
Enjoy the peace and serenity of this shot. Everybody be good to each other – we’re all we’ve got 🙂
You’ve all heard the old expression, “A day late & a dollar short?” Ya’ well – I guess my timing was off tonight. I wanted to capture the lunar eclipse tonight. But I guess I need to relearn how to read a lunar chart so as to pin point exactly when the moon would be on the rise, since that was supposed to be when the most noticeable portion of the lunar eclipse could be seen. OOPS! But I still managed to get a nice closeup of this golden, full “Snow Moon.” So – I thought I’d post it for your viewing and relaxing pleasure 🙂
Years ago while traveling around the state of Florida – particularly in the Pan Handle area and the Everglades region, I noticed just miles and miles of beautiful saw grass or rivers & streams. No mountains like I’d grown up with in New England – just flat lands as far as the eye could see with nothing in the way. Hence, the self invented title of “Beautiful Nothingness” came to be in my creative mind. This shot is one of those pictures, though not taken in the Pan Handle or Everglades. Just a river (name unknown) running through the Lake Wales, (central) FL region. Kinda falls into that “60 seconds of peace” segment I’ve done here a few times. Only this one is not a ‘moving’ picture.
So I grabbed this shot at the Morocco Pavilion in Epcot at Walt Disney World last week after I’d completed my “work” for the day. I was really just looking for different angles of stuff I had never shot before. But when I got home and saw this, all I could think was that silly camel in that TV commercial talking about “Hump Day.” 🙂
Due to a hack on this blog, I unfortunately have to remove all users & subscribers. Additionally, the former option of signing up for email notifications has been removed and is no longer an option. I believe this all to be temporary until the problem with the hacking has been resolved. Apologies for any inconvenience – especially to the subscribers who’ve followed my blog for a while now.
Here’s to happier, less criminal, non hacking times GRRRR!
I ended up at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando Wednesday afternoon. I’ve shot there many a time before. But I can always find something new to shoot whenever I make the trek down there. I think it’d been about 3-4 months since I’d last been there. While walking the path around the lake itself (about a mile or so), I see this guy set up at a table along the pathway. Upon approach, I see what I realize is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while. This guy, Paul, is setup and writing poetry on his typewriter. Yes, TYPEWRITER. Not a laptop or tablet. TYPEWRITER! Hence, the reason I categorize this whole thing as one of the coolest things ever 🙂 (see the photos herein). He has his stand set up with a sign that reads, “Pick any topic – get a poem.” We chat for a little bit. I ask if I can take his picture and post it here on my blog. Paul says ‘sure’!
I chat with him further. He tells me his website (www.getapoem.com). He asked me if I’d like a poem or if there was someone I knew that might like one. I think a bit and remembered an old friend of mine that had recently gone through some tough times. My old friend is definitely back in the almost high speed lane and doing better now, but I thought she could use a little ‘pick-me-up’. He says he’ll do a poem for or about her. While he was writing, I captured several shots of him and his typewriter.
If you’re ever down Lake Eola way and want to impress a special someone with a very personal gesture, look for Paul and his “Poems By Paul” setup. He tells me he’s basically there every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday (I’m guessing weather permitting). Prices, by the way, are more or less on a donation basis. I’d rather not say how much I or others paid him. Being a songwriter for over 35 years myself, I know the ‘priceless’ value something like this can be worth and would not want to short change him or any artist that creates such value for any human being.
Thanks Paul! Nice, creative, original, unique and bold job sir – all the best of luck with your endeavors.
That title sounds like a segment of “Saturday Night Live” doesn’t it? Anyhoo – – –
This post is to bring everyone up to date with a few changes and new direction in the ever changing, ever evolving life and career of yours truly, Mike Thomas. Some of this may not be very exciting to y’all. But to me, these changes have been a LONG time coming and are pretty monumentous (is that a word?) to me.
As many of you know, I’ve been a photographer almost all my adult life and have taken leaps and bounds just in the last 4-5 years with both the business and creative side of this art form. I’m now at a point where I want – correction, NEED to divert my efforts and passions to this outlet.
First, everything Mike Thomas will now be under the title, blog title, web site and more as, “MIKE THOMAS IMAGERY.” All the former titles regarding Mike Thomas Productions, Mike Thomas Music etc… are no more – gone! Which leads into point #3. But first, point #2. Is this getting confusing? Sorry if so. Please read on. It will all make sense in the end I swear :).
Point #2 – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – but mainly, Facebook. Here’s the deal. About 9 months ago, I made a decision to shut down all my Facebook Pages (as in ‘business pages’ – not my personal Facebook page). Well, the decision was not wrong. BUT – (and I’ll say this as eloquently and politically correct as possible), I’ve come to realize that a personal Facebook page does not serve me well. In fact, with the changes in society, I find that whenever I go on Facebook to see what others are up to, I end up navigating away from Facebook after about 5 minutes due to frustration levels, stress levels and observations off many (not all) people’s’ choices to post topics that cause and fuel more stress & negativity almost to the point of anger between people / rivals. This is not what I signed up for Facebook for years ago. Now that being said, I’m all for freedom – freedom of speech and expression more than anything. Anyone can do whatever they choose – this is still a great free country. But this option or right if you will, applies to me as well. Henceforth, all postings on Facebook will appear only on my “Mike Thomas Imagery” Facebook (business) page. I’m just tired of viewing so much negativity and political protests and undertakings. Not saying anyone is wrong or right for what they believe or post. Like I just said above, it’s a free country. But I, too, have the same freedom and I’m choosing to not be part of or view things that do nothing except steal my joy and drain me of creative energies etc… Who knows, maybe someday when things quiet down I’ll return to utilizing social media for fun. But for now, anything and everything regarding Mike Thomas Imagery – the pictures and stories that accompany them will emanate from my web site / blog, MikeThomasImagery.com . Those pictures, stories and posts will appear on my Mike Thomas Imagery Facebook Business Page as well as on Twitter and possibly on Instagram. I sure would be appreciative is y’all would “LIKE” my Mike Thomas Imagery Facebook Page – and if you decided to follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram, that’d be way cool, too. When was the last time you heard someone say, “Way Cool?” – 1985 perhaps LOL. I still live too much in the past, but that can be a good thing with this new artistic preservation project I suppose.
Point #3 – Music. I know never to say never in this life. BUT – I’ve had a wonderful and rewarding 41 year run with my live musical performing, song writing, recordings, productions, touring and more. But it’s just time for me to move on. I’ve been fighting this for about 10 years (maybe even longer). Not retiring, mind you. I still plan on playing the piano and synth at home in the studio – maybe even write & record a song or two. And maybe even get together with a few select friends and jam or whatever. But the live aspect of it all … well …. life and times have changed y’all and so has my desire to put all eggs in one basket as I’d done for so many years – that being music. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE music and always will. Like I said above, I plan on playing and being a little creative at home, on my time, without lugging hundreds of pounds of equipment from gig to gig. And I will always be so thankful and appreciative to everyone that has supported my by coming to the shows, buying my CD’s and other stuff. Most of all, “To God Be The Glory.” I take no credit for my talents. God gave me those upon coming into this world. It’s simply just time to lighten up, slow down a wee bit and put my creative efforts and juices into another art form – photography & multimedia (and lug around much less equipment 😉 ).
My biggest wish going forward is that I can be creative in such a way that my artistic abilities / pictures honor God and the humanity of this ever changing world. What do I mean by that statement? Well, I’m all for progress. I’m a geek, tech head and more – love new things :). But there are some aspects of life that need to be preserved. Whether it be for simple beauty or be it for future generations that may not get to know enough about our heritage or history. This doesn’t have to be huge happenings necessarily. I can think of so many geographic areas, incidents, and progress that has over shadowed what once was etc… Unless someone documents them in one form or another, they may just fade away like invisible ink. THAT, my friends would be too sad for me to just stand by and do nothing about when I possess another God given talent that might lend itself to the artistic preservation of such slices of life.
Please keep an eye out for lots more news, updates, postings and more from yours truly. And please follow me here (subscribe above left) or on Facebook, on Twitter or Instagram – or ALL THREE! :).
That’s it for now. Be good to each other – we’re all we’ve got!
WAIT! So how did I get a night time sky with the subject matter all lit up? HA! The beauty of old fashioned filters and black & white photography. And that’s all I have to say about that (can’t give away trade secrets or I’d be outa business lol).
For various reasons, I ended up needing a single, small, prime lens. Specifically, an 18mm. Those reasons have to do with work related stuff more than just fun, games & pleasure – although creativity does come into play there a bit. So I picked up a good deal 😉 this lightweight, tack sharp beautiful lens. I needed to go out and test it to make sure it was gonna do what I needed it to do. Happy to say, IT DOES – and does it very well. Tomorrow and/or Thursday, I plan on heading out and doing either some street photography or landscapes, putting the new lens through further tests. But for today (Tuesday January 31st, 2017), I did the testing over at Disney World – specifically, Epcot.
Unless you have a good eye or you’re a photographer yourself, you might not notice the difference or beauty of this lens itself. Along with an A/B comparison with a few other lenses, I had some free time left (since I was there on my own time and not shooting for Disney today), I strolled around World Showcase Lagoon and tried a little artistic, creative shooting. The link below will take you to several of those shots (like the two atop this blog post page).
Well, the story goes like this … I was out on Cocoa Beach, FL Wednesday night. My objective was to shoot time lapse photos and morph them into a starry night sorta thing and use as part of my live, interactive, multimedia show, “Florida Backroads.”. But, as happens all too much when I attempt to shoot night shots of the stars, there’s just too much light pollution. Perhaps “pollution” is a bit harsh – too much ambient light all around, everywhere. So my goal was not reached. However, Since I DID manage to knock off several pretty good shots, I thought I’d post one – for your relaxation, stress relieving pleasure :). Also to show just one more thing to do in Florida besides the parks and attractions – not that that’s a bad thing … just an alternative ;).