Friday, June 27, 2008

A Truly Inspirational Inspiration Friday

Good Afternoon Everybody,
And welcome to another Inspiration Friday. I'm kind of inspired because today we hung LaDawn's painting by artist Melanie Feldman. Here's the story - What do you get a women who has everything and wants nothing for her birthday? By the way, she may have a different view on that. And I know she would kill me if I told which birthday she was celebrating!! Well after some thought, I gave her a painting - and it was a painting of her.

I blogged last January about our good friends Alan and Melanie Feldman who operate a very successful studio in the Tampa, Florida area. After many years assisting Alan with the studio operations, Melanie has returned to her true love - painting, and more specifically, interpretive paintings of women. Here is the link to her site - always cool things to see.

After visiting with the Feldman's in January, Melanie was inspired to paint an image of LaDawn - not a regular portrait, but her interpretation of her feelings after meeting LaDawn. It took several months to complete and when LaDawn saw the finished painting she was blown away. Here is the link to the image and the inspiration behind the art right here. Anyway, I called Alan a few weeks ago and purchased a limited edition print for LaDawn for her birthday. LaDawn was super excited when she saw the finished piece up close and personal. Today, she was thrilled to finally get it hung in our home.

What else is going on - well, I'm also inspired because we hit 100,000 pageviews for the last 30 days, our highest number to date. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to enjoy the articles and passing it along to friends and family. As long as you keep reading them, I'll keep writing them.

Hey, let me tell you about something really cool about one of my assistants, Eric Berenson. Eric came on board about a year ago to assist me on weddings and the other events we photograph around the area. He was only 17 when he started but brought a sense of manner and maturity to the job that made him fit in easily on the "client relationship" side of the job.

I remember last year when we were shooting a family portrait and Eric was my assistant. We walked into the client's beautiful home furnished with some of the most amazing original art from glass blowers around the world. In their entry way was a very valuable Chihuly piece - I love Chihuly's work and recognized it right away. Eric proceeds into the client's gallery of many other pieces and starts naming the artists who produced the artistic creations. Boy, was I surprised at his depth of knowledge. It's those little surprises that make me happy that Eric is part of my team.

Anyway, it seems every year National Geographic conducts it's Student Expeditions program. This involves inviting students from around the United States to accompany one of their photographers to one of several exotic locations around the world for one month. Well, Eric, being the go-getter he is, decided to apply for a scholarship to the program. To make a long story short - out of 1500 applicants, Eric was one of only 15 applicants to receive the National Geographic Scholarship!

High Fives to my man, Eric! Eric heads out to Costa Rica on July 1st and promises to give me the full update when he returns at the end of the month. Hey, take a minute and check out Eric's website right here. I'm a big fan of his "Landscapes" and "Photo Abstracts" pages.

OK, are you ready for something that will really blow your mind. Check out the Top 25 Photoshop Pictures Of May 2008 over at right here. These are some of the most unbelievable Photoshop images I have ever seen. Be sure to cruise around the rest of the site too. Good creative content and several good Photoshop tutorials - well worth the peak.
Wait, there's more. I was cruising Rob Galbraith's site a while back and found these two links to some great photo-journalistic photography. One is the The Big Picture over at the Boston Globe right here, and the other is the Week In Pictures Archives over at MSNBC right here. Remember, I'm a true believer in the fact that by looking beyond our own photographic niche, we embellish our creativity by exploring the art of others working outside our niche. Give both sites a peek, the provocative and thought provoking images will definitely give you pause.

OK, here is another one of my "One For The Road" posts not related to photography, but still really fascinating. I can't remember how I found this site, but it is quite the "time waster" for a Friday afternoon.

Here is the deal - Over at they have taken Google Maps of various cities around the world and have overlayed a Flash driven driving game on top of the maps - here is the link. You get to select your city, your car, or even a Mack truck if you want, and then hit the road. They've got the gas pedal, turn signals, speedometer, and steering wheel all right there. Maybe it's the "geek" in me but I thought it was kind of fun. Check it out if you've got a coffee break coming up soon or instead of those Saturday morning cartoons.

Hey gang, that's it for me today. It's supposed to be my day off, but the boss never gets a break, I guess ;~) Everybody have a great weekend and be sure all your pixels are smiling. See ya' Monday. -David

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