Longer days, more sunshine, warm soft breezes…

According to National Geographic, Spring officially arrives on the vernal equinox, which this year occurred today at 1:48 am Eastern time. I am soooo ready for it this year! Longer days, more sunshine, warm soft breezes… It’s my second favorite time of year, right behind summer.

I shot a special project today – I can’t talk about it yet, but soon! The image above may be a little hint…

I’m still working my way through all the images I shot in Chicago – two concerts and one portrait session, and four more mini-portrait sessions – it’s a lot. But yesterday I got a series posted of Bobby Kourelis at Hammerfest. Seeing the images all together in one spot, you really get just how passionately he plays – he’s something else! I also have some engagement shots to post tomorrow that I shot on Monday here in California – beautiful, beautiful couple!

Oh, and I met a photographer in Chicago – totally random – you just never know who you’ll bump into! I checked out his portfolio today and he’s good – his work is really modern and clean. If you need a headshot in Chicago, he’s definitely worth checking out! Hans Rosemond at hansrosemond.com.

Isn’t Spring just the best?

Hammerfest 2008 in Chicago

When I interviewed the Lovehammers back in early 2006, I remember being impressed by the way they talked about their fans and the huge shows they put on in their hometown of Chicago. And I sort of decided then that if I ever got the chance to shoot one of those big shows, I’d take it! I’ve always wanted to go to Chicago…

The opportunity came last weekend – two years after that interview – some things are worth waiting for! Hammerfest is a big deal and this year it was at the House of Blues in downtown Chicago. Great venue! All brick, two balconies that circle around the floor, and it feels small and intimate yet holds a LOT of people. I went with five friends – two who live in Chicago, and three others that flew in for the weekend. We spent the whole weekend together, but they were good sports when I abandoned them during the show.

Shooting any show is always intense – but the Lovehammers multiply that intensity by ten. Their shows are incredibly passionate and vital, and there’s movement and color and action everywhere. It’s an amazing thing to see live – and capturing some of that magic in a still photograph is one of the most satisfying things I can think of to do. They create magic onstage, and I tired to tap into that vein, and mine some of their magic in my images. It was a blast!

This image is one of my favorites because of the orange and violet lighting – the colors of RockBandLounge – and to see Marty Casey, our RBL Ultimate Rock Star bathed in those colors was great fun!

To see more images from the show, go to:

Desert Hot Springs, California

One big benefit to all the rain we got in January and February, is the wildflowers in March! I was out in the desert today – out by Palm Springs – and everywhere you looked there were wildflowers in full bloom. It was a gorgeous day too – warm and sunny with a big beautiful blue sky.

Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs

Yellow & Blue // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

House in Desert Hot Springs

For some reason I can’t really explain, I really like this tiny little house. Maybe it’s the colorful window coverings? Maybe it was the quiet? The only sounds were some chickens clucking in the distance. Maybe it was because it was smack in the middle of the best field of wildflowers I found? Yeah, that’s probably it.

When I got out of my car, a jackrabbit came crashing out of the brush only a few feet away from me. I love jackrabbits! They’re like mini kangaroos with massive hind legs and they soar when they jump. He wasn’t too afraid of me, he only went a couple of dozen feet away, and then sat and watched me as I worked. I kept expecting him to hop away, when I turned my back, but every time I looked over, he was still there, sitting totally erect, with one eye on me.

Jack Rabbit

Can you find the jackrabbit? It’s tough. If you look at the two brown cactus in the center of the photo, he’s sitting right in front of the base of the cactus on the left, and he’s in profile.

Bee in Desert Hot Springs

I also saw a few healthy bees. Lately all I’ve seen have been dying bees, on the ground, walking in circles. It’s a real crisis, so I was happy to see some bees doing what bees are meant to do – hopping from flower to flower and helping to pollinate the world. We need the bee!

And I saw lots of wildflowers and cactus and brush – really pretty stuff!

Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs

I can never resist beauty…

Orangey Pink Blossoms

Orange and Pink Glow

I love both these images – shot yesterday – but the second one positively glows. It looks like a watercolor painting to me. It was shot at f1.2 at 1/2000th of a second, and only the petals nearest to the camera are in perfect focus – the rest are just a beautiful blur.