I was finally able to go out and really test my new lens. I went to this place called Masons Live. It's on the south side of town right past the small strip mall where Outback is located. I have never been before, heard about it, but never been. My friend and I got there around 7:30. She showed me to the back patio area. We chatted while a band called Smokepoint was setting up.
After some loud squealing feed back issues were taken care of...the music poured out. They played covers from Bon Jovi to Journey, to Maroon 5. The singer was animated. He was all over the place.
Usually when I shoot music I have seen at least one of the bands before, I know the promoters, or the venue owners or someone. Not last night. Ooooh no, my friend and I didn't know a soul. So I walked through the empty dance/corn hole area to the stage and started snapping away playing with the light. After the first song I walked back to my friend at the bar and my hands were shaking. I was nervous! I realize it was because no one had expected me to be there like the other places/bands I shoot. I was an outsider barging my way in. However, this feeling only lasted about half way through the next song. Then it was time to go inside for a restroom break.
I kid you not we pushed the doors open to a room that was nearly empty an hour before and walked right in to the 70s or was it the 60's? Not sure, but that was the vibe I got. For all I know it could have been today's music, but I felt I was in a disco. So....guess what I just had to do...
I had to, and as soon as I got up to the stage, the dance floor started filling in behind me with ladies dancing to a single lady anthem they were playing. It was pretty awesome. I found out this band was called Unique. I believe they are from the Tampa area.
There you have it, my little Saturday night adventure at Masons Live Lakeland FL. I got an unexpected two for one performance, a night out with my friend, and some pretty cool shots.
Oh, wait, that's my family. My flesh and blood family. Aren't we cute though? There I am on the left, and my handsome boy. Oo la la who's that hunk next to him? That gorgeous girl, that's my daughter.
We'll meet all of them another time. Right now I need to talk about the 35mm 1.4 Sigma Art.
This was shot at f/1.4; 1/160; ISO 1600
I am very happy with the performance so far. I have wanted a Sigma Art for quite a while now. I was looking at the 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm. I already had the Nikkor 1.8 of the 50mm and 85mm so I went with the 35mm. I heard great things about all three of these, but I heard more about the 35. That was also a prime I didn't have. I do have that focal length with my Tamron 24-70mm, but primes give you more flexibility with aperture and sharpness when shooting wide open.
Shot at f/1.6; 1/2000; ISO160
I can not wait to shoot some live music with this lens. So if you're debating on getting a Sigma Art...if you can afford it get it. Choose a focal length you don't have or that maybe you love and sell the other model. I would love to see your shots with any of the Sigma Art series.
Last year was the first year we used a private CPA office instead of a popular nationwide chain to file our taxes. Our guy, let's call him Doug*, did a fine job. It was simple, we met, talked, handed over our paperwork and a few weeks later we got our return. Easy peasy.
This year, Doug called my husband giving us a friendly reminder to make an appointment for this year's tax season. My husband, being one that doesn't handle such things, relays the message to me. So, I dropped a short email explaining we are just waiting on some paperwork to come in the mail and we will surely be making our appointment. I mean, last year was so stress free and simple. A couple of hours later I received an email from one of the owners of the firm and his reply surprised me. Apparently Doug no longer works at the firm, and quit suddenly a couple of weeks ago, but not before taking the client list. EEEEK. Doug had been calling all these clients implying he was still with the firm. Not sure if he actually said he was still with them, but he omitted the part about him now being independent or with someone else or whatever the case may be. Now if Mr. Tax Firm* had not emailed me back I wouldn't have known until the day of the appointment. Even then, would Doug have then told us he was now on his own or would he have just told us he was remote? Maybe he hoped we wouldn't question the new location at all. I have no idea. All I know is that he wasn't completely honest with us. He took information, I'm assuming by Mr. Tax Firm's reaction, that he wasn't allowed to have. So now I question Doug's integrity. Which means if given the chance to work with Doug again, I'm not going to trust him with something so important. Something that if done incorrectly or dishonestly could cost me a lot money, time, or worse.
Our integrity is a very important thing, that if tainted can change other's view of us. I'd like to think that Doug* had a good reason for leaving the firm, that he was just desperate to have clients this tax season as not to struggle financially himself, and maybe that's the case. Maybe he was done wrong by Mr. Tax Firm, maybe he was underpaid and over worked, maybe he needed to work from home..but because he wasn't forthcoming with the fact he was no longer with The Tax Firm*, and he took information he shouldn't have... I can not trust him to do the right thing when it comes to our taxes.
Stay honest, don't skirt around the truth, and be bold. It's OK to be out on your own, but don't do wrong to others to make it.
* Names of the firm and person in question have obviously been changed. Please do not assume otherwise.