Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Sweet 35

For years I have been wanting a Lensbaby. I first heard about them when I noticed a college’s new twist on portraits. When I asked how she took the images, she said, “with a Lensbaby!” I thought, “what the heck is THAT?”

Needless to say, I immediately looked into it and ever since, have been waiting for the day when I would own my own. Well, that day has come, and I must say, this fun, creative lens was worth the wait! It takes some getting used to (all manual focus on a tilt!), but what better way to crash course yourself than with highly spirited, fast moving Arabian horses?

Go Pro Hero 7!

This summer I bit the bullet and bought a brand new Go Pro. I’d been wanting one for years, especially during some grand adventure when I’d think, “Man, it would be so cool to record this on a Go Pro.”

Since my purchase, I’ve barely put the thing down! Currently, I am working on a vlog with a fellow teacher which highlights inspirational teaching practices, but in my spare time I am having a blast recording the fun activities at my school. Here’s a quick video of the class cheers from Spirit Week!

Breakers Water Park

One of the rewards of staying in touch with former students is that you get to be a part of their life even after they’ve graduated. This weekend one such former student, Caleb Trainor, arranged for me and a handful of my current photography students to do some night photography at Breakers Water Park.  Caleb had done some drone imagery of the park recently and the owner happened to see it, making a connection which led to official access of the grounds this weekend.

Originally constructed in 1982, Breakers Water Park provided the people of Tucson, AZ with cool, family fun for nearly 35 years. Today the park is officially closed, and while it is kept under lock and key awaiting a buyer, people still illegally enter to vandalize the property. The graffiti makes for neat photography, but I’m sure the owner does not appreciate it. As a former patron in my youth, it was very odd coming back to the park in its current state. Pangs of sadness were mixed with nerdy, photography exclamations like, “Oh! Those paint cans make an awesome picture!”

Remember trying to get up the ladder at the deep end of the wave pool? That was quite a feat! What are your favorite Breakers memories?

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Behind the Stage

I recently did some behind the scenes photography for a local organization, Kids Unlimited, a place for young performers who wish to explore the excitement of singing, dancing and acting with other children who share this interest. According to their website, “No other organization in Tucson provides the unique performance classes where students learn a diverse combination of dance, musical theatre, voice and drama by professionals who have entertained across the United States and abroad.”

I really enjoyed the access I was given to the goings on behind the stage and before the public performance. I had no idea how much work goes into live performances! And, all of their actors, singers, and dancers are 18 years or younger. Whoa!

Here are some of my favorite images from a week’s worth of a “backstage pass.”

Photographing the stages of our lives.

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