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Bodybuilding, Florida, life, and beyond


Category: Bodybuilding

Shots from the 2022 Ultimate Muscle Classic in Lakeland are up on the site.

I’ve said before that it’s a poor workman who blames his tools, but on the other hand, Al Unser never won the Indy 500 in a VW Beetle, either.  So having obtained a lovely new Canon lens, I was able to get some shots I’m really happy with.

I’m still suffering from the demise of my laptop, which is hard to replace because I refuse to use Windows 10.  Using the camera screen as a reference, the shots came out a trifle darker than expected, but I was really pleased with the color accuracy and depth.  I’ve got another solution that I’m anxious to try out at the Lake City show in a couple of weeks, too.

As usual, Deb’s show was smoothly run and the competitors looked excellent.  I hope you enjoy.

Shots from the 2020 Monsta Classic in Lake City are up on the site.

The show was moved from Gateway College to the Columbia Country School District building.  The new venue was nice enough, though the lighting was a little flat. I’ll have to research what to do in that situation.

COVID fears apparently didn’t reduce the number of either contestants or spectators, which is great news in a year that’s been rough on everyone.

The official shots, as well as shots from the finals, can be purchased at I hope you enjoy these.

Just to prove that I still occasionally shot a contest or two, shots from the 2019 Monsta Classic, held on August 10 in Lake City, are up on the site.

Between the change of venue of the Gainesville show out of the area and family schedule conflicts I’ve been unable to attend the shows I usually try to shoot, so it was nice to learn that I haven’t totally forgotten how to work the camera.

Gateway is still one of my favorite venues, largely because the steep tiers give me an unobstructed view of the stage, and whoever handled the lighting and stage banners for this show deserves a BIG thumbs-up. With all the vertical lines to align against, there was almost always some background object in the shot that helped distract from the parallax and give the shots a cleaner, more parallel appearance.

(I also proved to myself that my viewfinder is almost exactly one degree out of rotation from the sensor, as I took a number of carefully-aligned shots for that exact purpose– but that’s another story.)

I’ve started shooting tethered wirelessly to my laptop and when it works it’s wonderful; today I was running into some issues that I think had to do with the antivirus and the server software not playing nicely together. My connection crashed a couple of times and a few shots were missed for reboot while others were saved to the camera card out of numerical order.

I think I managed to get what I could salvage rearranged correctly. I’ve since changed antivirus and updated the server software, and it seems much more stable now, so next show I shoot should go much more smoothly. And when is that next show, you ask? As of now the plan is to shoot the Ultimate Muscle Classic in Lakeland in October, but I hope to be able to sneak in another show if the opportunity arises.

The official shots, as well as shots from the finals, can be purchased at, and I hope you enjoy these.

Shots from the 2018 Gainesville Classic are up on the site.

As always a fun and inspiring show, this year had some great quality competitors and resulted in a nice donation to cancer research.

The LED lighting was pretty blue; I was able to compensate by compressing the blue midrange a bit and adding a touch of red in the post-processing. However the trophy platform was way back in the shadows; I did what I could with those shots.


Shots from the 2018 Monsta Classic, held on April 28 in Lake City, are up on the site.

The prejudging was even more well-attended than in years past. As nice a venue as Gateway College is, the show is getting a little large for the site (good turnout is a Good Thing).

I missed the start of the prejudging, as flyers had been posted advertising a 10 AM start time. I was there about 9:20 and had to scramble to get set up. Moral: if there’s ever a question, verify with the promoter!

I did manage a decent shooting position– this is one of the easiest venues to shoot– and got pretty good shots of the rest of the show. There was a dark spot to the right side of the stage, but otherwise it was very evenly lit, and I had little work in post-processing to get the shots done. The competitors were in great condition and everything ran smoothly.


Guest poser at 2017 Gainesville bodybuilding showShots from the 2017 Gainesville finals are up on the site.

As usual promoter Tony Curtis put on a great show and the proceeds went to help cancer research.

As popular as LED lighting is becoming these days, I’m really surprised that the camera manufacturers haven’t included a generic (tunable?) white-balance preset for them.

I shot auto-white-balance for the prejudging, which I suspected was a mistake– sure enough, the balance changed depending on the athlete’s position on the stage. One day I may get around to rebalancing those, but it will be a chore. Might just convert all to B/W and load ’em up. :)

For the night show I managed to set a pretty good custom WB using the letters on one of the stage signs, so I’m pretty happy with both the color and consistency of these shots.

Enjoy the shots.

Shots from the 2017 Galaxy, held on April 15 in St Augustine, are up on the site.  Smaller turnout than usual but as always an enjoyable and well-run show.  Next up: 2017 Monsta Classic in Lake City.  Enjoy!