Monday, September 7, 2009

Mango Hafla, September 2009


I had promised myself I would finish these photos before bed. They are uploading now, and now is 4am. From now on I only make myself happy, pleasant promises - like "I will finish the pictures by Wednesday", or "I shall have cake."

I hope you will enjoy the pictures. It's time for bed.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Checked my stats today and noticed...

that were were a big group of visits from Pelotas, Brazil. Why? That I can't tell you, but there is one thing to say -

Pélas de Grettings, Brasil! Aqui de Contente de vê-lo!!!!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shaia Fahrid and students at a Milwaukee benefit...


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Originally shot in Mid April of this year, this set of shots was relegated to the bottom of the pile until recently. My aplogies to Shia on that, as she and her students deserved better treatment.

The venue was incredibly small, and so was the stage. But the women (and one man) filled it with grace.

I took over 225 shots at this event. My goal in editing this set was to whittle it down to 50 shots. I was unable to do it - there are 62 shots here. There was just too much stuff,and I know some good shots hit the cutting room floor along the way.

Expecting a shorter show I was a doofus and did not pack enough batteries to power the flash through till the end. It died with a couple of dancers left to go so the end of the performance went unrecorded.

If you are interested in learning more about Shaia's Milwaukee school you can get information from www.milwaukeebellydance.com/ . At the very least you should check their performance schedules. The shows are more than worth attending.

If you're reading this you already know...

that this blog is unfortunately updated on the most irregular of schedules. The last update was four months ago and the update that will go up shortly is of pictures that should have been processed and posted in the middle of April.

Suffice it to say that my work schedule - two jobs, one of which is physically tiring and the other which was just a pain in the ass - took up a lot of my energy. In the hours between I either played video games to unwind (yes, I am such a guy) or worked some freelance photo jobs to help make ends meet.

Things have changed a bit in the last two and a half weeks now. I've abandoned one of the jobs and cut down hours on the other. Photography -which I love doing and working on - is taking up more of my time, though not enough yet. As it is, I finally have the time, energy and motivation to start putting out some photography.

And that means I should start having more time and resources to update this blog.

To make it easier on the few of you who visit here I have opted to cut down on the number of photos I show in each set. My goal is no more than 50 shots per set. That saves you time and helps make sure the quality of what you see is better.

Anyhow, it's time to stop blathering and end this. I have another set to post.

Mike

Erika Ochoa at the Chicago Botanical Gardens...

Erika led a class of volunteers into the world of Belly Dance 101


These were edited with my laptop. As you might know, the brightness of a shot varies depending on what angle you see the picture from. I was hoping to get these right, but am afraid they are a bit too dark (maybe 1/3 to 1/2 stop).

My apologies if they are. This week I don't have time to fix them so you have a big mea culpa from me on this one!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wanted to thank Rowena for looking so good in this photo - her "shine" got me invited to join a belly dance photo group on Flickr.com where I host my photos.

Thanks Rowena!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

MidNight Tribe with Mother Grove at Ballydoyle Downers Grove

Click on the picture above to see the photo set.

Thanks to the women of MidNight Tribe, a tribal fusion belly dance troupe from Chicago's northwest suburbs for inviting me to this gig.

The Ballydoyle in Downers Grove is no small place... not unless you pack it full of a Celtic band - Indianapolis' own Mother Grove - a troupe of belly dancers and a huge group of folks who destined to enjoy themselves.

Manoeuvring the crowd was tough and there simply weren't a lot of angles to shoot from. But I did what I could.

I even tried a new shooting style to see if I could take advantage of the band's lighting. For a first attempt it worked pretty well.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy the pictures - and ladies, thanks again for the invite.

Mikasi

Monday, March 9, 2009

March Halfa at the Sphinx - Mango


[to see the photo set please click the picture.

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It's been a while since I was last at the Sphinx to enjoy the belly dancing and food – so long that they'd changed the name and the buffet. What was then the Sphinx is now the Mango, a Latino dance club I believe. And, unfortunately, what was a Middle Eastern buffet is not Mexican.


Lord, but I miss that hummus.


But while some things changed some remained the same. Fifteen really excellent acts filled the floor and I was able to reconnect with some dancers who I'd known in passing, including the hostess, Zayna.


I snapped loads of pictures, but due to a pinched nerve never ventured from my seat. The one angle made the shots repetitious. For this reason I've limited the number of pictures posted – instead of putting things up en masse, I've elected to post just my faves from each performer. That means that some people got as few as 3 shots while others got upwards of ten.


So if my flash misfired – and it did a lot – or the focus was off – and it was often – then you were short changed here. And for that I apologize.


Ladies and Essam, please feel free to use any of these shots on your web pages or for other personal reasons. If you need them for professional reasons please email me and we can arrange something.


Thank all of you for sharing your time and your talent. We all look forward to next month.