So the time finally came, I dreaded it, I tried to fight it, and I couldn't even contain the nightmares of the truth...My 30th birthday. For some this is an exciting time in their life, maybe a turning point or pinnacle. Maybe a time to toast to the future and remanisce about the past. This is not the case for me, I have self proclaimed the worlds earliest mid-life crisis. Some would say that its a quarter life crisis, but I'm sure I had that around the age of 18. So yes, this is my mid-life crisis. It came early, as I expected, and doesn't seem to be leaving anytime soon. Of course I didn't go buy a sports car or take up gardening, as you may know, I picked up a camera. I knew that if I was going to panic and worry about forgetting priceless memories, I needed to start documenting it. Not only the idea of taking photos for myself but also taking it up professionally has somewhat eased my panic into a standard normal anxiety, which is a good thing.
The photography end of things has really triggered the use of my right brain, it's challenged me beyond my initial expectations. Making a leap from hobbyist , to whatever one might call me, it has been an amazing transition. Constanlty learning new things, engulfed into blogs, how-to videos, and daily shooting challenges has proven quite the ride. There are some things that can't be taught, these are the things you learn by actually using your camera and shooting in all different types of situations. Of course when you encounter a new setting, lighting type, weather etc..., you have to learn to adapt on the fly and trust your instinct. Remember what you read and think about the advice a pro might have given you. With that being said, this is where I have now coined the term "Whiskey Sharp". We made the journey over to the Abaco's to celebrate my, and a friends "Dirty 30" birthdays. Over the weekend, down in Hopetown, there is an annual called called the "Hopetown Song Writers Festival". Its where some of the biggest names in country music song writing get together to perform the hits we've all heard, cried to, belted out in a smoke filled bar, and definitely danced the white boy boogie thinking we were a cowboy version of usher. The wind calmed, clouds gave way to blue skies, and the temperature rose to that classic Carribean warmth. The weekend was epic, the music was great, and the song writers couldn't have been more genuine. We sang, some danced, and we drank...we drank like a 29 yeard old with the worls earliest mid-life crisis (responsibly of course).
I toted my two cameras everywhere, fully determined to get some amazing photos....or so I thought. This is where I learned a valuable lesson of shooting with very low light, moving subjects, and no flash. I like to shoot without a flash when possible as natural lighting can be so much more authentic and create the dramatic look your eyes can only see. Of course shooting in low light without a flash will require the right lens, A very steady hand, and the perfect settings...and obviously, I happen to have 2 of the 3, the lens. So over a two night span I snapped photos, wondered my way to places I wasn't allowed and acted like I was supposed to be there. This all of course was with a little whiskey courage, not a term coined by me. So camera in one hand and a tall Bahamian cocktail in the other, I felt like a multitasking genius. I would snap, adjust, and move, peridocally looking at the little screen and checking the outcome. Everything looked perfect on a 3 inch screen at night. I was feeling good and confident about the images I was getting, I was as proud as a lion in the wild.
Growing up an avid golfer, I learned very quickly that just when you think your game has turned a corner, and you are now posting lower scores consistently, golf can quickly remind you: you're not as good as you thought. It reminds you that you need to continue to practice, and on any given day, the golf god's can rear their heads. All golfer's know what I'm talking about, the days you go out and hack the course like shaq from the free throw line. It's an ugly and deflating sight. Well, photography is the same way, you're on a high, photos are looking great, and the past few shoot's have you believing you've turned a corner. At that moment, the golf gods apparent cousins, the photo gods, rear there heads and remind you to continually practice, be confident yet humble, and frankly, you're not as good as you thought you were.
Back in the good ole 'Merica, I was anxious to load the photos and getting to work on another amazing memory. As I pulled up the 1,700+ images I was quickly learning that the low light and whiskey multitasking combo I loved, was not my friend. So many photos look great on a 3 inch screen, to bad its not what anyone views them on. These days of 4k this, HD that, and Retina screens, means your work needs to be sharp, unique, and clean. I learned, at that moment, I apparently was "Whiskey Sharp". My kentucky friends had rendered my vision slightly enough for me to believe I was on fire, I was getting the perfect shots and everything was going to turn out stellar. Yup, my eye's had lied, and the whiskey had me fooled. So many potenitally great photos were blurrier than a 1980's tube tv. It was a slight dissapointment, but yet a teaching moment from the photo gods. The good news was, I had 1,700+ to choose, I knew, more liked hoped and prayed, that I had to have gotten lucky on a few. I was right...if you throw enough darts, one is bound to hit a bulls eye. With that being said, the link below will take you to a gallery of photos from this trip. Some are good, some are ok, and others will have you knowing how I got to the term Whiskey Sharp. I hope you enjoy them as much as me and my multitasking self enjoyed taking them.
Thanks to those who inspire me, deal with endless questions (CG), and encourage me to continually chase this dream. An especially big thanks to those who laugh at, criticize, and poke fun, you guys motivate me.