Keith McKenna Photography | Blog

Hey Death, Back the hell away from my friends!

September 07, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Not to happy with my day today. Not getting much done. Checked my Face-Book page, saw a post from a friend. He got a diagnosis today from his doctor. Bad news, VERY BAD NEWS! I guess my day is not so bad after all. 

My friend is a motocross racer. 19 years old, fit and trim, handsome! Comes from a large family that seems to be very close. I suspect them to be pillars in their church, and in the business community. The racing community here is HUGE. Will be a source of great support, but, how can any amount of support get a person through what's ahead?

That kind of news can really put you on your heels. Everyone around him is probably feeling pretty powerless right about now.

19 years old. Where's the justice! Hard to accept on faith. But what you gonna do. 

I did a photo shoot with him at his motocross track that was in the front yard of the house he and his family live in. He was up for anything that day. Undoubtedly some of the best motor-sport's photography I have ever done happened that day. I e-mailed him last week to see if he would be interested in doing more. I truly hope I get the opportunity to shoot him on his bike again. The dude has some pretty mad chops on the moto course.

Another friend of mine just arrived home from the Burning Man Festival, out west. Sounds like it may have transformed her to a heretofore unrealized plane of conscience-ness. She will be forever grateful for the experience.

So. Here's THE point. You have heard it a million times and your gonna hear it once more. What ever "IT" is, don't put it off! You think you got tomorrow? You don't know that!

Hey Ben, I do want to do another shoot with you. So get better, Dammit!

Maybe I'm not totally the worst!

September 06, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Given my personality, I am from time to time, prone to self doubt and self deprecation. I think about my work and think, I'll never measure up. I'll never get "THERE"!  

"THERE" can be pretty ambiguous. I look at the work of shooters like Jamey Price, Josh Rud, Joey Tichenor, Andy Kawa, and Camden Thrasher and it's pretty easy to get reflective about my own work with all of the shortcomings that I can conjoure up. But, then I take a look at the photo's in my Face-Book albums. I see what worked and why. I see that the victories become increasingly closer together, and I realize, that I can indeed get "THERE", and maybe in the not too distant future.

I'm always experimenting with my techniques. Trying different lighting, different lenses, different vantage points, all in an effort to push myself and my knowledge just a little bit farther that the last time. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it does NOT work.

I was at a Sprint Car race this early summer. A very wet early summer. On the infield there was a bit of a little lake that had formed from all the precipitation that had come the day before the event. There were 5 or 6 other photographers shooting from the edge of the infield, filling their frames with cars sliding through the corners, clods of clay shooting from the rear tires of the 700 horsepower earth shakers. I spied this body of water that was taking up space in my shooting zone. Instead of cursing my now limited space to roam freely, I carefully made my way into the ankle deep water. crouched down till my butt was almost touching the surface and began shooting across the plane of water, quite a long distance for the lens I had at my disposal. What I got were some images where the cars were sliding through the corner, with a mirror reflection of the car on the waters glassy surface.

Glad I brought extra socks for the drive home. My boots were a mess.

Point is, I had to take a risk to get something that those around me were not getting. I had to risk, my dry feet, I had to risk looking like a fool. I had to risk, time wasted while the cares were on the track. I has to risk the possibility of slipping and falling into the water while holding some very valuable camera gear. I could see some of the photographers, out of the corner of my eye staring at me in wonderment.

I could stay safe and dry and get what everyone else was getting, or, I could risk getting a "Ruddy Bumm". I challenge you to recall, Who ever became famous for never risking anything? 

It's crazy how many hours I spend, how many times I wake up in the middle of the night, and my mind starts racing with the thoughts of "how I can make my images better that they were last year, or last month, or even last week". What new lens will get me where I envision? What lighting scheme will allow me to reach the standard that my fevered brain imagines? 

My work was good last year, but it's even gooder this year. 

A hobbyist at the races told me once that they don't like the "Artsy racing photo's that are showing up lately". Those "Artsy " photo's are the very thing that I am building my reputation on, That is the battleground that play's host to the thousands of psychic wars that rage in my mind, often between the hours of 1:00am and 5:00am. 

My work was good last year, but it's even gooder this year. 

I'm jonesing for a little action.

February 20, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Monday morning, coming off of a super boring weekend. The high point was that I found a Canon 40D body that is super clean with little use for a good price, so now it's mine.

I want to get out to test with it, so that I might be a little more familiar with it's operation before next weeks AMA Arenacross races at the Target Center. 

I would love to head out to the AmsOil SandBox Arena to shoot some indoor Motocross practice or go to the ERX Motor Park to shoot some Snocross practice but neither place is open today. 

In my previous post I told you that this is "The year of no fear". I've been taking some extra risks lately, both professionally and Personally. I thought for a long time that I would make my living, assisting other photographers, helping them to build and sustain their professional careers.  It would be nice if I could stay so busy assisting others that it could be a full time job for me, but, that is not my reality right now, so I am officially throwing my hat into the ring. Going to continue to assist as much as possible. I think that doing that is a great way to stay fresh and be exposed to new techniques, new gear, new perspectives and new motivation. But, the time to move to the next level is now. So I've been talking to a Producer, laying the groundwork for what will come later. But big things are sure to come. I can feel it in my bones.

Here's a shot from earlier this year. Every time I look at it I get pretty jazzed. This is what motivates me! Look for much more in the near future.

So, What about you? What year is this, for you? The year of_______!


L8R, K.

The year of NO FEAR!

February 17, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

So, this is the year! The breakout year. The title of this first post is The year of NO FEAR. This doesn't mean that I have no fear, but rather that fear will not stop me from becoming what I now believe I can become. What fear held me back in the past? The fear of Not knowing what I'm doing, or worse, fear of you seeing that I don't know what I'm doing. Well, guess what? I don't always know what I'm doing. No one does when they step out of their comfort zone, but, that is how we advance, right? There is a saying; If you always do what you've done, you'll always get what you've always got. So here I am, new to blogging, new to tweeting. Got an e-store and website. Upgrading my gear, asking questions when I need to get somewhere but don't know how to get there.

It's gonna be a BIG year for me. I'm meeting a lot of people in the motorsports industry and I got big plans.

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