2012 a year in reflection and a vision for 2013!

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” – Edith Lovejoy Pierce Alright

As always, the New Year gets brought in with a bang as we bid farewell to the old one….the one that hopefully you can look back on as but one chapter, an eventful chapter of course, in the awesome book of your life that you are creating.

For many years now (as many as I can remember), I have been spending these unique and celebratory evenings at events that I illuminate with my lighting design and production company called HyLite. It’s gotten into my blood to the point that I actually feel a little lost at the thought of NOT being on a show of sorts during the countdown……even if the ACTUAL countdown itself is boshed up. (I can’t tell you how many times that has happened by the way……I mean how hard is it really?!)

All that being said, the show I have attended for the last 3 years is one of Palm Beaches exclusive black tie events called the Coconuts Ball held at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach. Although quite a subdued spectacle when compared to the old Young Friends of the American Red Cross parties we did there in years past (those parties were legendary!), its still a great place to be for the incredible fireworks view. Just after the 20 minute show, the party usually really kicks in as the younger jet set crowd makes its appearance at the venue. There is something quite magical when music, kinetic lighting, and a fun crowd ushers in the New Year. Its always a special night for me 🙂

This year, I snuck away from the lighting console to capture a few of the fireworks that were launched. I must say, although I have photographed fireworks many times and even did a video on how to do just that (I think it has over 4,000 views!), I still bumble thru the process. Basically, its simple. Tripod, f11, shutter of about 4 to 6 seconds, and focus close to infinity. (or something like that) I would have loved a little foreground scene to add to the picture though. As I was in my tuxedo and couldn’t wander off too far to compose a cool scene for the shoot, I had to live with the location I was able to scramble to. With a little light processing Lightroom and the use of a cool print template from Matt Kosklowski’s site at Lightroom Killer Tips, I was able to create this record of the evening’s show.

Now that I look at it, it should be easy to top it next year. I have a whole year to work it out I guess 🙂


So what started out as a New Years Day or “Hey, wasn’t that an awesome 2012…now lets kick its ass out the door as we welcome in 2013” post has turned into a kind of a late rescue of my origional idea.

Hey Mike, where have you been by the way?!

Good question! I’ve been pretty busy, just not here 🙁

What started out as a daily place to me to hang out for a while and share an HDR creation and ramble of sorts about either it or something else has kind of tapered off. Like anything I guess, when you are learning and growing at a process or art of any kind, the passion is a little more alive. With this energy and fuel, it becomes not a burden, but an unstoppable drive to share, discuss, and give back to the universe or in this case (without sounding all new agey), my blog.

So with that understanding and awareness, as I work on the necessary rescue of this blog, I am in the process of figuring out new challenges to drive my creative and artistic side to continue to serve up new and fresh content.

As with anything I work on, not all the details are worked out, but I plan on mixing it up a bit this year, so stay tuned for more. Better yet, make sure and sign up for updates in the box at the top right side of the site. I promise not to spam ya!

2012 – My journey with the camera

For the most part around here, you either read about where I have been or where I am planning on going. My trips, even the ones for my lighting design work, usually find me packing a couple extra bags with camera bodies, lenses, adaptors, and well, generally too much stuff! I usually turn a few heads at the TSA checkpoints actually. Like I did last year, it’s nice to look back at the places that I have been fortunate enough to visit. Although I still have piles of files to process, here are a few I like that got around to working with and posting this past year.

Enjoy 🙂  (but come back!)


 Living your passion

I often open up each post with a quote of sorts to help all you other creatives out there that might be on the same journey as me. Society, if you let it, (at least our western society) will pigeon hole you right into the “work hard – comsume – overspend – work harder” without ever stopping to think about what actually makes you tick. Over the past 4 years of my life (my reconstructed life), I have put alot of energy into not only searching for this myself, but understanding how important it is to find and feed this drive in order to truly THRIVE in life!  I’ve often said, the real teacher of the future is the coach, the motivator, the parent, the one who gives permission to the student to follow their dreams. The tools and knowledge are out there to complete just about any sort of specialized training online, but the power is in igniting the spark! Guess I’m going off on a bit of a tangent here!  I’ll go a little deeper in future posts about this, but for now, watch this video for a deeper dive into it….I think you might relate!

Getting out of your comfort zone

So 2012 also found me dabbling a bit in the world of video as well. (man did I just quickly change subjects of what?)

After stretching myself a bit in a 30 day video vlog challenge, I decided to wrap up the last day with a few out-takes and shenanigans (I NEVER get to use that word!) I had fun making this one 🙂


Observing the beautiful gift of life all around you

Now that we are changing subjects around here, here is one I linked to a couple times on facebook. Another “put life into persecutive” clip I think has a lot of meaning. If you’ve already seen it (it really is worth watching again), l’ll see you just below the video for another random wormhole I feel like going down…


You are what you eat

I must be honest that as of lately, this is where my energy has been focused. Without health, you essentially have nothing! I know this topic has virtually nothing at all to do with a photography and art blog but health is real wealth, and like I said, without it, what do you really have? These are both worth a quick view! My passion for this topic has actually got me thinking a bit about a totally new topic for a new blog as well as a new direction for some of my photography. As always, I’ll keep you posted.

Till then, remember, you really are what you eat!


Bucket list

I had a chance to knock check a line off of the old bucket list this past year thanks to a couple of great friends that put everything together. With any luck, 2013 will also find me out on the Playa at Burning Man capturing the unique celebration that to this day, I have had a really had time even putting into words what its all about. Enjoy this little peek into this indescribable event!


Hy-Lite and its journey

Like any business venture out there, especially one that lasts over 25 years, there are bound to be changes. Growth pains, mistakes, economic cycle rides, adjustments, and refinements. As I head into this year and future years, one thing is certain and that is my determination to play at what I do. To surround my self with creatives that look at projects that serve to excite and entertain the world  while at the same time, allowing us to learn, create, and grow synergistically in a world that desires to be entertained, amazed, and gifted with color, light, and energy! (I know, I need to work on that, but you get the picture!)



Parting words from Brendon

Like I mentioned before, the real teacher of the future is the visionary, coach, and motovator. I had the honor of attending one of Brendan’s workshops a while ago, and as the New Year gets off to a great start, I figured that this would be a great share for all you planning your own journey into the next chapter of your life.

Lets make this book one that’s worth reading 🙂

Happy New Year!!!


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