Silent Night Nothing’s Right


Ok Ladies and Gentleman, A tremendous greeting to you all. I would Like to welcome you to my latest post, I am Michael Sargent and you are reading my blog.

Without any delays, let me dive right into this post. For the past year I have been involved in a thought-provoking project known as Silent Night Nothing’s Right . The point of this very short film is simple. This time of year means many different things to many different people, and what our film does is make you well aware of just how we as a culture have not changed much over the last several years. Now without going to deep into the film, allow me to point out my role in the making of this. I was asked by Torquil Studios CEO John Wragg if I would be willing to provide him with some stunning photos that he could use for this project. After hearing what he had planned I gave him my full participation and was even able to create some content for the film based on my own creative thoughts. John and I traveled around the Western New York area photographing some of beautiful man-made objects to show the viewer, that despite the state of the country, and our world for that matter, we have beauty all around us, we only need to take the time to see it.

Ok so let me explain to you the inspiration behind this. John was out christmas shopping last year with his wife. They were in fact at a local mall, and within the mall it was the usual scene. People were out in the masses spending their hard-earned money on gifts for their loved ones. Many were smiling and enjoying the christmas music that is a main stay in many malls across America.

John however couldn’t help but faintly hear the sound of the local newscast and as his attention focused on the news, his mood became saddened by what he was hearing on the telecast. Despite the holiday season he realized at that moment, despite all of our advancements, things are still the same in this world. Thus the birth of the Silent Night Project. Simply put, this short film will again mean many different things to many different people, but one thing is certain, the more things change, the more they stay the same. We suspect ,that what you see and hear in this video is not just centralized to our little part of the world, it is in fact what goes on all across the country if not the world.

Very shortly I will be posting a video explaining in more detail about why we decided to produce this, as well as explain to you the whole Torquil Studios, M. Sargent Photography connection and the reason for what we are doing. The film is scheduled to be released on 12-12-11 and it will be posted on You-Tube, and yes I will be posting the link all across the web using my social media platforms. What I ask of those who follow me is to take a look at the video and share it . I have learned that the people who follow me on twitter are truly and incredible group. The support they have shown me is a clear indicator that the power of social media is highly relevant and great things are to be had by using these platforms. Once released my hopes are that the video will go viral. I will be hashtagging #silentnightnothingsright , and hope that you all will follow suit. So without any further running of the mouth let me thank my Facebook fans as well as my twitter peeps. We can show the world the Power of Social Media.

Now on to one of the photos you will see. This shot is of the Grand Island bridge. One aspect of my photography is the ability to capture long exposure shots with very low lighting. This aspect of photography has always been one of my favorites for the simple reason that our eyes can only capture so much. By shooting a slow exposure you get to see things in a whole new light. This is one aspect of photography that I have excelled at and some of my most commented about shots are ones that have been taken in low light situations. So on to the setup. We scoped out the area to determine the best location for the photo and although a side shot may have been suitable, I made the decision to snap the shot in between the two bridges. The photos I shot are far different from what you could see with the human eye, but it is a clear example of the term “Shooting the Light”. During the set up I found the sounds coming from the traffic going over the bridge incredible . It sounded like something out of a science fiction movie. After setting up I used the camera’s built-in light meter to determine the settings I would use to snap the shot. The shot itself was a thirty-second exposure, with an aperture of F-28 and an iso setting of 200. I did in fact use a tripod for stabilization and here are the results.

Grand Island Bridge

On that note, I hope you enjoyed the post. and as always I look forward to your comments. In closing I hope you will take the time to view and  share the short film Silent Night Nothing’s Right once released. We have put a lot of time into this and it is our hope that you enjoy it as much as we did producing it. Until next time, Here is my wish for a safe and joyous holiday season. Once again thanks for reading.

Mike

Michael Sargent

M.Sargent Photography

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Low Light and Low Life’s


Greetings,

In today’s post, I am going to share with you a photo that is going to be used in a somewhat controversial video, that is going to shake you and reveal the reality of we as human beings. Lets take a look at things and come to a realization that our country is a mess. The economy is terrible, our government has taken a direction that no longer represents the people, and the average person is struggling to make ends meet. As most, I also find myself making tough choices. Simply and in summary I have to ask myself why? Is this how we do things in America now? Has anybody looked into solving the real problems that we as citizens are enduring. A story was recently shared with me regarding our local town board meeting, and although I personally have not looked into it, I was a little disturbed by the information that was shared with me. It seems that our little township recently had a board meeting. This was an open meeting and many people from the town were in attendance. One topic of discussion was property taxes, and assessments. It was proposed that taxes were to be raised in the area of four percent. Despite public outcry our leaders went ahead and voted in favor of the tax increase. Now here in Orleans county which is considered to be one of the most depressed areas of NY, people are really struggling. So let me pose this question. Why do our leaders feel that it is responsible to raise taxes on people who are barely making ends meet. In recent months, all I have heard about is entitlements and how we as people have come to expect things that we have not earned. Lets look at reality for a second. What does our township do that justifies these increases? Like most branches of government the trend is spend spend spend. It is our tax dollars they are spending and personally I don’t feel it’s right for them to do so based on the way things are in the world today. Although unconfirmed It is rumored that our town supervisor is one of the highest paid supervisors in the state. My response to this is really, for a little town Like Shelby, Ny. No wonder he worked so hard campaigning for  votes. Who wouldn’t want a job that pays 70 grand a year in this economy. Now that the election is over, I suppose we wont see him again until the next election.

So this brings me to the photography part of this blog. To be a photographer you have to see things differently than most. It is truly not what you see but how you see it. Even though things are in bad shape right now, I want you to try to take a step back just for a moment and be mindful of your surroundings. We live in a world of natural and man-made beauty. Although we each have our own struggles, there is beauty all around us, if we just take the time to see it, by doing so it may just change your perspective, and allow you to refocus on what is truly important. My job as a photographer is to capture both the beauty and the reality of life. So without any further delay I want to share this image with you in hopes that for a minute you will put aside your thoughts and troubles and enjoy something that I felt was a beautiful sight.

Night shot of Peace bridge

A friend of mine and myself set off one eve in an attempt to capture some images for a project we are working on. One of the photos we decided to use was of the peace bridge. The goal of this shot was to catch the contrast of colors and the reflection of light that casts on the Niagara River. As always I like to explain to you the settings I used to shot this. The camera was set to take a 30 second exposure, using an iso setting of 400, with a f-stop of 28. The results right out of the gate was this image. To note, I should have set the iso to 200 as I feel that in reflection in may have caught a better image. I also need to stipulate that this image was shot off a tripod with a 2 second shutter delay, and I used no lens stabilization other than the tripod. After the shutter closed, the anticipation I felt before viewing the photo was at an all time high. I hit the button on the camera to review the photo, and to the delight of myself and my company, I felt a real feeling of accomplishment as we walked away knowing that we had just experienced  a rare moment in photography. Low light shots are difficult, and generally it takes some experimenting with the camera to capture images like this. For me to get it right on the first try boosted my confidence in the low lighting capacity. As always you must learn to SHOOT THE LIGHT. A feat that I feel I have excelled at. Whats you’re take? Did I get it right?

So let me say this as I come to a close on this post. Yeah things are tough right now, we are all experiencing difficulties in our lives trying to make ends meet. When things seem like they are at their worst, take a step back and look at the world around us. There is beauty in everything, we just have to find a way to see it. Better days are coming, until then, endure.

As always please share this post with your friends, and please leave me your comments. I enjoy reading them and interacting with you.

Until my next post, take care and may your lives be enriched.

Michael

M.Sargent Photography

WWW.MRSARGENT.Com

A Father’s Pride Coming Together


There can definitially be something said about persistence and the swell of pride that a father feels when he sees his only son achieve success in his own endevours. In addition, it is truly amazing how a family can come together, just to get things done.

So let me lay this out for you, as some of you may know I come from a long line of outdoorsman and we happen to be hunters. Although you dont see me yet,…. on weekly television, my harvests over the years have been notable and based on what I have been taught, and learned through experience,  I have passed that skill set on to my son. This past weekend, we were hunting in New Yorks Southern Tier region, and Sunday Morning happened to be a great day for Daddy’s Special Boy! Around 8:30 am He called me to notify me that he had arrowed a deer. He also said that he was going to wait for a half hour before tracking it because, he felt the shot may have been a little low. At this point I was excited for him. Five minutes later I received a text message ( Ah, Modern Technology) from him stating, he had just arrowed another. My excited turned to jubilation, because I knew he had turned into that alpha predator that he had worked so hard to become. I informed him I would be down to help him out shortly, and give him his due congratulations.

Once arriving back at camp, I had noted that he had one deer recovered and spotted him looking for the other. I began thinking mmm, problems. He explained to me that he was having trouble finding the deer, and that his blood trail was spotty at best. We recreated the scene and my son had done as he was taught. Blood spot, toilet paper, The trail was a clear indicator of the direction the deer was going. Based on the evidence, I knew we had a dead deer walking and a decision had to be made on which part of the forked road to take. By this time my Uncle had arrived back at camp from his morning hunt, and we employed his skills as well. Now knowing what I know regarding deer and their habits, a wounded deer rarely goes up hill. We agreed that our elusive deer had to have gone towards the corn field in search of cover. This is were the reading gets interesting. Somehow, some way , I have been given two gifts by the hunting gods.  I know where to put a stand and I have a unique ability to spot blood. I did in fact pick up the trail, and the trail was through the thickest nastiest briar patch, and you can bet I have the cuts all over to prove my dedication to the recovery of this dear. Now two hours had past, and still  no harvest. We had lost the trail again, and I was starting to become frustrated.

Now after venting some minor frustration, with a few choice colorful metaphors, I had begun walking the edge of the field, in between the briars and corn in the hopes that I would pick the trail back up. At this moment I looked to my right and inside the briars I could swear my eyes caught movement. Then I saw a twinkle  and  knew that we had a deer bedded in these briars. Calling out to my son and uncle, they confirmed my suspicion, we knew we had found my sons second deer. We ethicially harvested the deer, and begun the task of feild dressing.

Here is the part of the story that makes me proud as a father. My 17 year old son, had doubled down sucessfuly and after a two hour ride home, we knew the work was only begining. We process our own deer for obvious reasons ( A butcher never goes hungry) and honestly we feel that we do a much better job, and save a few jacks in the process. Having to return to work that night, I knew that it was going to be a long night based on what tasks we had ahead of us. My wife, daughters, and my parents all pitched in and we had the deer processed in no time. I was extremely proud of my son as well as my daughters who dug right in and helped with the boning out process, and between us, I was able to get a 2 hour nap before going into work.

This was by far the most incredible weekend I had experienced in the woods in a long long time. This is why I became a photographer. I will always have this image to look back upon, and it will help me relive that very special day. The shot: taken with a Canon camera, and ISO of 400, an aperture of F-8, with a shutter speed of 1/500 of a second. I also used an external flash to avoid shadows caused by the high sunlight, and the cover of the canopy.

Wade Sargent and Dr. Randall Gilbert

I hoped you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Never giving up, and being able to relive your life through your son is one of the greatest gifts a son can give to a father . Congratulations Wade, you have made your Dad very proud, and for my girls, I am very proud of you two also. Most girls these days would not have helped and gotten their hands dirty. What can I say I am a lucky guy, and a father who is very, very proud of his children.

DECCAYEAHS,

Michael

M. Sargent Photography