Welcome to the Best Year Ever! 2009 Will Rock!

It's 2009. Everyone gonna tell you how it sucks... Tell 'em to shut up... you're busy building a new career.

Well, the last year of a strange and rocky decade draws to a close tonight. I know this past year has been an emotional roller-coaster for me as well as a very successful one with the workshops and the business.

I hope you will join me in saying ‘hasta la vista, baby” to 2008, but also in telling it to get the hell outta here. No more political crap for another couple of years and let’s get to the business at hand… building a great set of images.

Many of you have expressed a desire to go pro, or at least semi-pro and that means I need to focus a little on the business of photography, at least how it pertains to me, as well as the lighting. Thing is, there are wonderful blogs out there that do that sort of thing better.

Same with other areas like DIY and Photographer’s rights. I recognize that I need to get some of that into the site, but it will be through some amalgamation of the stuff already out there. Watch for a bi-weekly post on links to valuable information found on other sites.

Learn to Light with inexpensive tools at Lighting Essentials

We will also be focusing a little on getting some great photographers on with tutorials and interviews. That will take place more on the LE Magazine site, but honestly we are really working trying to figure out some avenues to drive some of this info down without it getting convoluted and – well – lost.

I have some good stuff coming this week, and the tech sheet will go up on Saturday morning instead of Friday for several reasons, but mostly because I want this post to be up for Friday morning as well.

Well, here are our three Desktops for January 2009. We will only be issuing 2 per month coming in February, and I will share the reason for that in February. Hey… it’s a good thing, you’ll see.

Our first is for the Briana fans out there. Shot with a small white umbrella in late evening light, I balanced the umbrella to only give me open shadows and a pop to the dress, not to overpower the ambient light. And hey, you Briana junkies may want to visit her site and get her dance calendar or a poster or, hey… both.
Briana January 2009 Calendar Desktop

Get the images here and remember to use the Save Link As option to get them.

Next up is the lovely Prescilla in Mexico. This shot was done with one speedlight to camera right and balanced with the ambient sunlight which was coming in from camera left behind Prescilla.
Priscilla in Swimsuit for lighting essentials desktop


The last one is a brightly colored wall shot in Tucson very early in the morning. I like old walls and doors and such. They are such great metaphors for things that are hard to express in other ways.
Yellow Wall and Red Light for Lighting Essentials January 2009 Desktop


Now we are all hearing how the next year is gonna suck. That sucks. No, not the year, that someone who knows nothing would tell you something to try to bring you down.

If someone had told you a year ago that the United States would elect an unknown Black Senator to the presidency, your house would be worth 30% less, and gas would be about a buck-fifty a gallon, would you have believed them? No, me either. Not because it is bad that it happened, only that no one expected it. Hillary was our next president, that was a done deal. House prices were climbing like crazy and gas was supposed to hover around $4 a gallon before it went up again… look it up… its all there in black and white from the ‘experts.’ Fools. Don’t let them take your hope and your dreams.

Screw ’em. Live. Live well. Create and look forward. Are there bumps, sure, but we have had bumps before. This is a marvelous time to take advantage of the wimps and doom&gloomers. Kick ass. Don’t bother taking names unless you need to.

Have a great year and see you on the other side of today!


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  1. Well said! Happy New Year!


  2. Thanks for the desktops! They’ll brighten up my space for a few weeks. All the best in 2009.

  3. Here!!! Here!!! Set to Shine in 2009. Happy New Year.

  4. Have a great New Year Don


  5. “Set to Shine in 2009″?! Must be a lighting joke! 😛

  6. Ive been following your awesome site for quite some time now. Don, I feel like I know you and Briana personally! Im really wanting to attend one of your workshops in the near future. I saw that there currently arent any near North Carolina on your list. I couldnt make the one last year in Winston Salem. Maybe Ill just have to save up and see ya in Mexico. GOD bless you in the new year!

  7. Happy new year, Don. I hope to see you in the great white north in the near future!

  8. Happy New Year, Don…. Best of luck in the coming year… and thanks for continuing to put together a great site.

  9. Thanks for the desktop. happy new year to you.