Weekly Winners (October 23 – 29)

Weekly WinnersWeekly Winners is a fun little thing bloggers do to showcase some of their favorite photos from the previous week. It is brought to you, me and everyone by the lovely Lotus, aka Sarcastic Mom. Visit her site and find all the participants. See some amazing photos brought to you by bloggers around the world. Leave a little love when you do — its like food for the soul!

Photos taken using my Droid Incredible or a Sony DSLR A230.
View all of my photos on my Flickr stream.

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Oh what a week of photography for me!!! So super-long Weekly Winners this week, with more explanation of everything as we go along.

348: Cornstalks (LR)
Tall cornstalks of the corn maze
Fall leaves
The delicate beauty of fall.
Chuy's Midtown
The new Chuy's location in downtown.

Recording Session – I blogged about this a few times this week. Photos from the recording session for a friends new CD project.

349: Recording Session
It's Rick's project... almost 20 years in the making.
Recording Session
Laying down some bass.
Recording Session
Beautiful acoustic lines added to guide the songs.
Recording Session
A piano ballad that stands alone.
251: Recording Session
Background vocals that give you chills.
Recording Session
It's all enough to make you smile.
Recording Session
A group effort of love and respect.

Bluebird Cafe —  I couldn’t have TRIED to get better seats for photographing friends in a writer’s round at the Bluebird.

Bluebird Cafe Writer's Round
Brad "Fast Dang Mustang" taking his turn.
Bluebird Cafe Writer's Round
The only lady of the round.
Bluebird Cafe Writer's Round
Singing a song I can't wait to hear on radio some day.

 Happy Halloween!

353: Halloween lights
Lights are strung up.

354: Spooky drum riser
Would you like to sit in and play?

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Thanks for viewing! Now go visit Lotus and find all the WW participants.
Leave a little love when you do — its like food for the soul!

Giveaway: Diecut Business Cards from UPrinting

Just in time for Halloween, this is no trick… I have a treat for my readers: My first official giveaway! UPrinting.com is offering one of my readers 250 Die Cut Business Cards.

We all know the importance of having a business card when we meet a new professional contact. They are an excellent networking tool, and your business cards say a lot about you as a professional. Just like you never get a second chance at a first impression, your business card is the representation of you that your new contact will physically hold long after you’ve met in person.

UPrinting wants to step in and help you leave a positive lasting impression. UPrinting is an online printing company that offers all sorts of different print products. One of their many products is business cards — including custom business cards.

So without any further adieu here are all the details of the giveaway:

Prize details
250 pcs Die Cut Business Card for one winner
1.75” x 3.5”, 2” x 3.5”, or 2” x 2”; 2.5”
Diameter (Circle) Rounded Corners, Leaf, Rounded Single-Corner, Half-Circle Side, or Circle;
14pt Cardstock Gloss / Matte / High Gloss (UV), or 13pt Cardstock Uncoated,
6 Business Days Turnaround, *Free shipping
die-cut business card templates available for download
Restriction: Limited to *US residents 18 years old and above only.

How to enter
Simple! Just leave a comment!! Tell me about a time you wished you had a business card. Tell me about the best business card you ever saw. Or just say, “PICK ME!” (Even though that really won’t help your chances of winning… but it’ll make me giggle.) The contest will end on November 7th, and a commenter will be chosen at random to win. Please be sure to include your email address when you comment so I can contact you about winning! I will need both your name and email address to win, incomplete details will disqualify a winner from receiving the prize, and winners are only allowed to win once over a six-month period.

Like/follow UPrinting on Facebook and Twitter and get to know them!

Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given and I will receive die-cut business cards for hosting.

In the studio

Recording Session As I posted earlier this week, I was in the studio shooting photos for a friend’s new recording project. First off, I really want to do more of this kind of photography. Everyone shoots live concerts. Anyone can do head shots, etc. I want to document the creative process.

And it is a process!! By the time you purchase a CD (or download a song from iTunes) hours upon hours of time went into that final product. Which is precisely why music pirating is SO damaging to the music industry! (No, this blog post isn’t going to be a huge, “Music sharing is evil!” post. So don’t run away!)

I am not going to claim to know all the ins and outs of the recording process, but I have been around enough studios to know a few things. One of those things is that I could seriously sit and watch it happen for hours. (Well, given I have slept the night before… going into the studio on no sleep is pretty much a bad idea.)

A song starts with a songwriter. The person or people who conceive an idea. It might be a throw away line someone overheard in a bar. It might just be a single concept. For example, a song that I absolutely just love written by friends came to be just because they thought it might be fun to write about tattoos.  Yes, tattoos. What came to be is a beautiful song that you should go listen to. (Visit here and check out “These Tattoos”… then go ahead and listen to everything else on that page. Kay?)

Skipping ahead a WHOOOOOOLE LOT OF STEPS, like years of tedious steps (did you know a lot of the songs you hear on radio today were probably written years ago?), lets pretend a song has been chosen to go on an album. Hallelujah, that songwriter whose heart is in the words celebrates, here we go!

Here is where the studio time comes in…

I posted on Twitter the other day that the recording process reminds me a lot of the writing editing process. You take the whole story/article/post in general, then you take it apart piece by piece. Word by word. Sentence by sentence. Perfecting it. Tweaking it. Making it a masterpiece.

Now take a song. You have the basic song — the whole story. It has a groove. Then… it comes to life as piece by piece is added. Music. Vocals. Background vocals. Each piece can take hours as you perfect it.  Bobble a segment, that’s okay. You can do it again. And again. And again. And that moment it just comes out PERFECT? You can get goosebumps its just so good. Some little pieces might get scrapped for a better idea later. Often when you leave the studio after you’ve done your part, you still have no REAL grasp of what its going to sound like in the end.

Once all the pieces have been recorded, it goes to mastering. This piece is louder than that piece. Maybe we decide we don’t REALLY want background vocals in this line, so lets cut those out. The guitar laid down a great solo over here, but the piano’s solo just fits better, so lets put that in instead.

HOURS go into the recording and editing processes. By the time you listen to that song on your iPod, a producer, artist, engineer and musicians will have spent the equivalent of days of time on it. Not to mention the love and soul of the writer that started the whole thing. Its these hours that are forgotten that I got to photograph this week. These hours that no one sees in little studios all over the place. On any given day, the #1 hit of next year could be finding life through the talents of the people whose names you may never know.

It’s a true labor of love.