Pics of DJ Drama at Orlando’s The Beacham

Last Saturday at Orlando’s The Beacham, DJ Drama performed a set.  For those that don’t know, not only is he a DJ, the Philadelphia-born DJ Drama also released five studio albums.

Fridays and Saturdays, I photograph for The Beacham.  Here’s three pics of DJ Drama.

Downtown Orlando’s Third Thursday Art Event 3-19-2015

Every third Thursday of the month,Downtown Orlando art venues premier new work by mostly Central Florida artists. I brought my Canon 10D with me.  Some pics are by the Canon.  Some are by my iPhone 4.

DIY External Flash Diffuser Created with Photo Paper

Last Monday night, my buddy Mike was on his way to pick me up.  Almost every week, he drives Yoda and me to Wally’s Mills Avenue Liquors, an Orlando dive bar. He picks me up first. Then, he picks up Yoda.

After gathering my camera equipment, I realized I lost my foam diffuser, a homemade flash diffuser I learned about from photographer Chuck Gardner’s website. In a YouTube video, Step by Step Photography instructs how to create it also.

Because Mike would soon be arriving, I didn’t have time to make another foam diffuser.   Then, I remembered I could create a diffuser using photo paper, something I used before buying the materials for the foam diffuser. DIY Flash Diffuser Made with Photo PaperThis wasn’t my idea.  Chuck Gardner mentioned it on his website.

So, I grabbed some photo paper and decided to create a diffuser at the bar.

With crappy camera phone pics, this blog post shall now instruct on making a diffuser out of photo paper.

Supplies needed: Two 8 1/2 by 11 sheets of photo paper, any kind of tape, scissors (optional) and stapler (optional).

Step 1: Put two sheets of photo paper together.  You can use one sheet.  Yet, I prefer two for sturdiness.

DIY Flash Diffuser Step 1

Step Two: From the top, go about three inches down.  Then, tear about two inches over. Do this for the other side. If you prefer, you can use scissors.  I didn’t ask the bar for scissors.

DIY Flash Diffuser Step 2

Step Three: Go to the bottom.  Go up about three inches.  Then cut or tear about three inches over.

DIY Flash Diffuser Step 3

Step Four: Take the top and form a dish.DIY Flash Diffuser Step

From here, your external flash bounces light and reflects it on the subject/subjects.  The closer you are, the softer the light.

Step Five: Staple or tape the curve.  I borrowed a stapler.

DIY Flash Diffuser Step 4

Step Six: Place top of external flash inside bottom part of diffuser.

DIY Flash Diffuser Step 5

Step Seven: Like the pic in Step Six already shows, fold over bottom flaps and tape them  down.

Your diffuser should look somewhat like this.

Complete

At the bar counter, three hipsters sat directly across from my friends and me. It was two females, a white and black, with a white male.  The white female pointed out my camera to the male.  Dude looked at my camera and scoffed.

For the record, I recommend this diffuser for emergency purposes only.  Truth be known, anything with a reflective white surface will do. If you want soft light and hate direct flash on your subjects, I recommend including the foam diffuser among permanent camera equipment.

Now, for the technical stuff.  My camera’s ISO was 800. To get ambient light, shutter speed was 1/15.  When photographing nightlife, I usually leave my camera on shutter speed priority. When I want to catch fast action, I could quickly move the shutter speed up.  For flash photography, many photo purists recommend the manual setting.  Newsflash: manual can over and underexpose just like automatic, even at the correct setting.  Hell, just do what makes you feel comfortable and tell purists what to kiss…or suck.

Here’s some of my Wally’s pics.  I can live with them.

Cowgirls Rockbar Orlando: Now Hiring and Opening in May

Cowgirls Rockbar Orlando

In May, Cowgirls Rockbar invades Orlando’s International Drive. Southern-style dishes will served by cowgirls. Music will range from country to rock to pop.

Also, Cowgirls brings in a mechanical bull. Plus the establishment encourages dancing on top of the bar.

A job fair happens April 2,3 and 4. Along with cowgirls, openings are for DJs, restaurant supervisors, promotional models, servers, and hostesses. For more information email: CowgirlsOrlando@gmail.com.

My only question is this: Will the cowgirls be diverse? I’m sure others feel the same way. When it comes to our womenz, some of us prefer a multicultural harem. No chocolate? No salsa? No stir fried rice? No cash.

A Black Man Explains the “No Colors” Sign

No colors sign

I personally photographed this in a Central Florida bar who owned no problems serving “coloreds”.

Last night, I was minding my own damned business at Orlando’s Wally’s, one of my favorite watering holes. Here and there I chatted with friends. Yet, I mostly enjoyed my Bud Light and a small bag of Lays potato chips. Every time I come to Wally’s, bartender Cindy always hooks me up with some variety of chips.

Somehow I got in a conversation with a white woman who appeared early thirties. Straight blonde hair touched her shoulders and back. She wore a white shirt with long black sleeves. She was sitting next to a forty-something white guy, a dude I’ve seen in Wally’s before. Blondie was sitting next to me.

“You know what offends me?” Blondie said.

She picked up her phone and searched her phone’s photo gallery. Next, she showed me a pic containing a bar’s “No Colors” sign.

“They’re talking about biker gangs,” I said. Actually, the politically correct word is “clubs”.

“I told her that,” her friend said.

Blondie wouldn’t let it go. On and on, she went …about something. I couldn’t comprehend drunk blonde talk. She mentioned something about being from Miami. Then, she mentioned Crips and Bloods wearing rags.

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s when some white people attempt dictating to me and other black folks on the conversation about race, which makes them look racist. Then, the next thing you know, they can’t stand President Obama. (Yet, that subject is for another blog.)

I kept quiet and let Blondie win.

First of all, if the sign said “No COLOREDS”, the bar may get into shit loads of trouble. Why? Because racial discrimination is illegal.

“No COLORS” is mostly aimed at motorcycle-riding white guys, referencing clothing indicating “club” membership.

Back in the late 80s, I witnessed this in Daytona. Before reaching the beach, the car containing me and two friends passed a biker bar. Posted on a door, a sign said “No Colors”. Seeing who was going into the bar (bikers), I knew who the establishment referred to. White dudes!

How did I know? In The Warriors, a 1979 movie, one street gang told another to take off their “colors”, meaning the vests sporting the gang’s slogan.

After over two decades of people complaining about the “No Colors” sign, you would think folks have learned by now. After my conversation with Blondie, I guess not.

Boozing in Downtown Orlando’s Sideshow

sideshow orlando wall

Some months back, I patronized Downtown Orlando’s Sideshow. Like the name indicates, the bar rides on a sideshow theme. Sideshow signs display on the walls.

As I came in for some booze, Sideshow also serves food. (I’ll get to the beer part later.) I observed the patrons. If young urban professionals aren’t your vibe, this isn’t your kind of bar. Yet, if you are a young urban professional, welcome to your second home.

Florida Seminole fans may also enjoy Sideshow. Just like in other Downtown Orlando bars, patrons wear Seminole jerseys and watch Seminole football games.

Live music plays during the weekends.

Later on, one of the walls turned psychedelic.  As the music played, different patterns displayed. (Refer to top pic.)

Now, about that booze. Outside, the sign said three dollars for domestic drafts, one of the main reasons I entered the place.

sideshow orlando 1

Yet, the bartender tells me the booze is actually three fifty. I can understand tax being added. Yet, a whole fifty cents? I’m used to booze being taxed around twenty to twenty five cents. Maybe, someone knows something I don’t.

Monday through Friday, Sideshow operates between 11 am to 2 am.  Saturdays are 12 pm to 2 am. Sundays are 11 am to 2 am.  Food is served between opening and 11 pm.

Despite my concern about booze prices, I enjoyed my time at Sideshow.

Love and Hip Hop’s Masika at Orlando’s The Beacham

Last month, Masika Tucker from VH1’s Love and Hip Hop:Hollywood appeared at Orlando’s The Beacham. I photograph for The Beacham Friday and Saturdays. Here’s two pics of Masika.