Spring is here.

What a weird world we are in right now. Quarintine, isolation and social distancing has made 2020 a strange time to be living for sure. I have tried to get out for a couple drives here or there to just get out of my house but not stop anywhere, unless it’s for essentials.

While driving around or in the yard I have been able to capture some great in my opinion images. I wanted to share these with you simply to share and maybe give you something new to see besides the insides of your house or whatever it may be.

Dogwood and Mayapple I think is what we have here. The dogwood have these beautiful white flowers that bloom all over the tree. The mayapple has one flower that blooms under it’s canopy as you can see in the third image before the topside photo. They cover the whole forest floor in areas.

These images were all taken with the Canon 5d Mark Iv and the Canon 85mm f1.8. I shot most of these at 1.8 or f2.

Hope everyone is well and staying busy, as well as healthy and safe. I am working from home so thats the reality for the past couple weeks and it’s been good and they days fly by really. Being busy really helps and being able to be home with my wife and pets more throughtout the week has been a blessing.

Soon I will have a short film/documentary out that I can share with you all. My wife is a nurse on the Intensive Care Unit at a local hospital so that’s the premise, her job that is.

See you next time!

Fire down the street

Some background … I was at the gym doing a workout and the windows face the main street where I live. Three fire trucks go by and you don’t really think much of it. Then I am heading home about 10 min later and as I drive the 7 blocks to my house I see lights and smoke and realize they’re at a house a block from mine. So, I run inside and grab my camera and without hesitation throw the Canon 85mm f1.8 onto my Canon 5d Mark Iv.

So, the wife and I drive down to a side street on the backside of the incident and I get out and go out for some photos. This is something I have been wanting to do for a while. That is capturing firefighters at work and with the cold air and slight mist and smoke the atmosphere was creating some interesting lighting. This also caused some tough focusing situations and I was trying to work fast. I switch my focus to single photo instead of servo, so I can have the AF confirmation and it still wasn’t perfect. I didn’t really think of settings as I am trying to capture the situation without missing anything. Most I shot at f2.2 to give me some room on the depth of field and I was at a relatively low ISO. ISO was set to 800 for all the photos and shutter was pretty slow which regret as some photos they were just moving to fast and that caused some blur. I should have gone to 200th of a sec and raised the ISO to help a little bit, but next time am I right?

Also, as of right now, no news of anyone being hurt, as the 30 min I was there, firefighters were in and out and no one was brought out to the EMS. There was crowed standing with the cops on the other side of the street and they might have been the homeowners. No news outlets have posted about this either, so hopefully that means it was a safe exit for the family.

Here are some of the photos I captured.


The smell of being there took me back. I lost a house due to a fire but mostly smoke damage when I was a kid. I don’t think it really effected me much looking back. Yeah, I had toys and stuff but toys are really just things you play with for a week and then they’re old news. It’s actually an on going joke with my dad that we kindly jab him with off and on. Sure it wasn’t a good thing as we then had to find somewhere to live until we finished the new much smaller house in the same spot but it could have been worse.

Anyways, the lens that I never doubt is the 85mm f1.8. (https://amzn.to/37Ysf9t) For the price and build, this lens is a tank. The autofocus is faster than the L series canon 85mm, the f1.8 is awesome for low-light and portraits, it’s just an awesome lens. I highly recommend this lens to anyone looking for a great street photography lens, a portrait lens or a low-light lens with some reach.

If you have any questions, hit me up on instagram as that is the best way. @ derekliving

Until next time!


Behind the Scenes

Hey Everyone!

Recently I shot a video for a local barbershop and it was a collab with another barber from California. The whole premise you can say is “Razor(Kansas) vs Shears(California)”.

What I want to talk about is the shoot in general. This is my first client shoot since I left the marketing agency and it was a blast. This shoot was given a main idea by the client/friend but they were totally open to ideas and didn’t shut everything down that I might have come up with it. The workspace was super chill, relaxed and totally up my ally which made this shoot very enjoyable. I am pumped to get to do more shoots with this client and with others in the future.

Now to the shoot. The main stationary camera was the Canon 5d Mark iv with a 35mm f2 IS USM and that covered both of the models as they got their haircuts/styled. Then I had a Canon 5d Mark III with a Canon 85mm f1.8 on the Zhiyun Crane 2 capturing close-ups of the action(cutting, blading, etc). For lights, I used a $30 led panel that I placed up high and angled it down and that served as the main light and then I used two can lights with LED bulbs. With those, I had one focused on each model. No diffusion on any of these lights.

Here are a couple behind the scene photos I took with my phone so you can see what it kind of looks light for overall set up.

I am picking up the footage from the client later on today so I can get a little video together to show you guys some of the shots I captured during this 3ish hour shoot. When I say “picking up the footage” .. this isn’t a typical shoot where the client gets the footage raw and all but this barber/friend is doing a video competition and she does video edits herself, so she will edit and create the video she wants from what I shot. I am simply getting the footage so I can create something completely independent and have something for my sample reel for future clients possibly, plus I just like to edit and create videos.

Well, I will have sample footage in the near future but thanks for coming back and checking out my new post. Check out my older ones and follow me on the socials.


Instagram: @DerekLiving @DLsports



Canon 85mm f/1.8 – Amazing Bokeh

Trying to be consistent on making videos and uping’ my video game, here is another one I have added to my youtube channel.

This video I show examples that I have gotten with the 85mm f/1.8 Canon lens. I own two Canon lenses as some of you may know from previous blogs. The 35mm f/2 and the 85mm. I love the sharpness and the bokeh the 85mm has to offer and for the price, you can’t beat it in my opinion. Sometime I will probably jump to the 85mm f/1.4 L lens just to have the extra stop and the even faster autofocus.


Do you all have a lens that you love and swear by?

I am always looking for new lenses..(don’t tell my wife. HA) In all seriousness, I love finding great lenses that are in decent price ranges, as I am sure everyone is. I say that because I feel like some people jump straight to the L series lenses, like the 50mm 1.2 and the 85mm 1.4 and never look at the options that will give you great results for cheaper.


Let me know your thoughts here or in my youtube comment section on lens suggestions or what you think of this lens.


As usual until next time… stay, ON THE SHUTTER!