Monthly Archives: July 2013

Carmex in a jar and other Brand Loyalty.

Carmex_fb700In the 80’s I was fortunate enough to be given the chance to attend the Lowell Whiteman School in Steamboat Springs, CO. The campus is nestled in a valley near the Continental Divide and many natural wonders. I started my high school career mid year, in January of 1983. Within a day or two I realized that my stick type lip balm wasn’t going to cut it. With the cold temperatures stick based balms were not soft enough to apply whenever you wanted. I started to notice these little white jars with a yellow screw on lid all over school. The stuff was called Carmex. I asked a friend if I could try it, and took the first of many index finger dips into the world of lip therapy.

If you have never tried Carmex, I invite you to go out and buy a jar at your local drug store. When you rub or barely dip your index finger into the balm (NOT DUNK, just barely touch the surface enough to get a dab on your finger) then touch your finger to your lips the first thing you notice is the menthol. Just enough to make you notice. Then when you start to move your finger across your lips, you realize how easy it is to apply. After a while you will realize that the stuff is still on your lips and you can pretty much toss out that yucky stick of your old lip balm. If the idea of dipping your finger into balm is not for you, don’t worry, they have tubes and sticks.

YES, I HAVE tried other balms, and yes, I liked Burt’s Bees, but kept craving my Carmex. Don’t get me wrong, I love the scents and tastes that Burt’s comes in, but to me, lip balm is not about scents and tastes, it is about how well it works. I can apply Carmex in the morning, have my coffee, breakfast, etc, and still know it is working on taking care of my lips.

For this there are multiple jars of Carmex in my life, my laptop bag, my car, and in the house.

When I started to mentally compose this post I got to thinking about what other brands am I pretty much loyal to death over. I would say the two most important tools of my career, Nikon and Apple. Other then for normal wear & tear, my Nikons have never failed me (yes, I have blown shutters, but to me that is wear and tear). I can bang the heck out of the bodies and they still work. When I used to hike with my trusted Nikon F3hp, I would take the motor drive with me. Why take a motor drive in the woods? Because I would unscrew the MD4 from the body and guess what, I now had a hammer, sure NOT a 20# sledge hammer, but it worked when I needed it. The point being that my Nikons are VERY durable and I know that they will take the punishment I hand them.

YES, I  tried other brands of camera systems, and unfortunately, even with the help of the company sales reps, none of the could take the punishment I dished out. Within a couple of months I had destroyed several other brands of camera bodies doing things that my Nikons would not have an issue with.

So readers, what brands are you fiercely loyal to and why?

Jim Varney and Me on A Carousel in Cannes

I don’t remember if it was 1993 or 94, but I had the pleasure of spending some time with Jim Varney during his turn at pitching a project in Cannes, France during the annual film festival. I created a niche market for myself as a personal photographer for the American celebrities that were in town for what equated to a half day tour. Some stayed a while, a whopping 18 hours if they were lucky but the average was barely a half a day and a non stop whirlwind of activity.

Jim Varney playing on the carousel in Cannes, France. We had roughly 3 minutes before he spotted a group of paparazzi heading towards us.072013__0013_fb700

After spotting the group of paparazzi I will never forget him telling me, “Mark, here they come”. I saw a very happy man’s face change in an instant.072013__0002_fb700

“Maybe we can out run them, Giddy up horse”.072013__0006_fb700

Less than a minute later the group was at the carousel and Mr. Varney slipped in to his Ernest role and posed for the cameras.

First Baptist Church of Winter Garden Exterior Detail

First Baptist Church of Winter Garden. Photo: ©2013 Mark E. LepowWhen I drive or walk by this church, which is at the corner of Plant and Dillard Streets, I see different angles and ways to photograph it.

What do YOU see in this photo? Do you see eyes and a pith helmet or is it just me?

Photo: ©2013 Mark E. Lepow

“No Trespassing In Love”

"No Trespassing IN Love"You should be able to figure out why I would call this image “No Trespassing In Love” when I found it on the backside of a building in Center Hill, FL.

Enjoy, Mark

A Very Disney 4th of July + 3 Days

LEP_9047_fbcpOne of the cooler things about living in Central Florida is being able to visit the theme parks at a moments notice. In my opinion, of all the spots to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks (from OUTSIDE the gates) is from the Polynesian Resort. Of course, Disney will kick it up a notch for the major holidays, but really, what is more American than fireworks on the 4th of July? Of course, we all know that the BEST portion of a Disney fireworks show is the finale, which is what you see above during the last show for 2013 of the Disney’s Celebrate America! – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky. Just to give you some scale, see the red and blue fireworks near the middle of the image, well, in the middle of that is Cinderella’s Castle.

Yes, you can get closer at the Contemporary Resort, or the Grand Floridian, BUT the Poly allows you to have a nearly straight down Main Street USA view of the pyrotechnics.

I created the above photo on Sunday, July 7th with my Nikon D800 equipped with the Nikkor 28~300mm f3.5/5.6 lens at 35mm. ISO 1600 with the manual exposure set at 1/15h of a second at f7.1. BTW, I was not using a tripod on purpose. Yes, this is a totally hand-held photo. I then cropped the image to fit Facebook’s Cover Photo sizing of 851 x 314 in Photoshop.

To see a larger view of this file, head on over to our facebook page.

Now that the 4th is officially over, they will once again shoot off the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular, and is USUALLY at 10PM, but click the link to verify.