Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday 2012

Wal-Mart Store #2816
After reading The Wal-Mart Effect by Charles Fishman, my feelings about Black Friday and shopping at Wal-Mart have been changed forever.

Fishman writes, "The giant retailer's low prices often come with a high cost. Wal-Mart's relentless pressure can crush the companies it does business with and force them to send jobs overseas. Are we shopping our way straight to the unemployment line?"

I encourage you to read the book or at the least his article in Fast Company and the poignant 70+ comments that follow the article. You'll never feel the same way about the store and the effect on all of us, those who shop at Wal-Mart and those who don't.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Gifts from Hueless

I first learned of Hueless from C.J Chilvers in his blog, A Lesser PhotographerIn Chilvers' review of Hueless, he quotes large format, landscape photographer Clyde Butcher, “Color is duplication, black and white is interpretation.” 

The most interesting thing about Hueless is that the software allows you to view and compose in black and white, rather than convert a color image to black and white. For $1.99, I thought it was worth giving it a try and I was not disappointed. During the past few months I've become an informal ambassador for Hueless, posting about 100 images on Instagram and Twitter.

As a result of this passion, the good people from Hueless allowed me to distribute five FREE copies of their black and white camera software for iPhone. Here are the codes:
  • L6XX66L7P49R 
  • AJJ4Y6YTL6Y6 
  • 36XWR637AA9H 

Instructions for FREE Hueless:
  1. Launch iTunes and go to the iTunes store 
  2. Press the "Redeem" button, normally in the upper right hand corner of your screen under "Quick Links"
  3. Enter the code 
  4. If the first code doesn't work, try the second, etc. (each code is good for one download)
  5. If you download the software, please post a comment at the bottom of this blog entry and if you like the software, share the news

Selected Hueless Images

The following images were made with an iPhone 4 and Hueless.
Milo's eye Hueless
Sunset at Gillson Rosie

Sunday, July 29, 2012

21 Years Furthur

The first Grateful Dead song I ever heard was Friend of the Devil played by my college roommate a few years after the release of American Beauty. While, I do not possess a tie-dye shirt nor am I a self-described "dead head," I've enjoyed both the music, the people and the colorful "scene" since my early twenties. Over the years, I've seen several shows, the last one at Chicago's Soldier Field on Saturday, June 22, 1991 (see set list below). Jerry Garcia passed away in August of 1995, the day after our daughter was born.

Fast forward to 21 years to July 17, 2012 and I am once again near Soldier Field, Northerly Island to see Furthur, a band featuring Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, who are still touring, still helping to create the colorful scene that began in San Francisco when the Grateful Dead formed in 1965.

While much has changed in the world and within myself, it was a completely wonderful evening with friends and great music (see set list below). And, I brought back a set of the colorful "souvenir" photographs below. Each of these "dead heads" were incredibly kind and graciously accepted my request to take their photograph.
Grateful Dead Raft
Roses Let the music set you free Sunshine Rose Keep it green

Soldier Field Set List - 6/22/91 
Set 1
Hell in a Bucket
Shakedown Street
Wang Dang Doodle
Friend of the Devil
Brown Eyed Women
Let It Grow

Set 2
Foolish Heart
Looks Like Rain
Crazy Fingers
Playin' in the Band
Terrapin Station> 
Playin' Reprise
Black Peter
One More Saturday Night

The Weight

Northerly Island Set List - 7/17/12
Set 1
Here Comes Sunshine
Mississippi Half-Step
Cumberland Blues
Doin' that Rag
Lost Sailor
Saint of Circumstance

Set 2
Feel Like a Stranger
Viola Lee Blues
Mountains of the Moon
Morning Dew
Throwin' Stones

Attics of My Life

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

35mm Film: The Adventure Continues

During the summer of 2011, I experimented with 35mm film while visting Cape Cod. I used a Pentax ZX-50 camera with Ektar 100 negative film and was pleasantly delighted with the results, particularly with the blue hues. See blog entry Adventure in 35mm Film.   

Several months later, I decided to "return to my roots" and get a little more serious about using film. I acquired the Nikon N6006 camera, shown below. 
Also, I started using The Darkroom, a lab in the San Francisco Bay area that was established in 1976. For $10 per roll, The Darkroom will process film and post 1,024 X 1,536 scans of each image online. Enhanced scans can be made for an additional $5 per roll. These 2,048 X 3,072 images are placed on a CD and shipped to you with the negatives and a mini-proofsheet.

Below is an example of an image of Lake Michigan that was made with the N6006 and Ektar 100 film processed at the Darkroom.
Inspired by my friend and fellow photographer Dan Fogel, I even used a roll of black and white film. Below is an image made with Ilford HP5 film also processed by the Darkroom.
Lake Michigan Curve
Carrying both the film camera and the digital camera in the same bag offered the opportunity to make some comparisons. Below are two images that were exposed a few moments apart. The contrast is rather dramatic. Aside from a minor adjustment to straighten the horizons, no alternations were made to either image.
Sunday Evening at Gillson
Digital image made with a Nikon D300
Sunday Evening at Gillson (Ektar Film Version)
Film image made with a Nikon N6006 using Ektar 100 negative film

Monday, May 21, 2012


Rainbow at Gillson
It is wonderful to run into a rainbow with camera in hand, even a faint one like this. This rainbow appeared at dusk, coincidentally at the same time as a partial solar eclipse at Gillson Park in Wilmette, Illinois on May 20, 2012. Nearly missed it as I was facing the sunset. Fortunately, my daughter pointed it out.

Here are a few other rainbow images from the past.
Distant Rainbow
From the observation deck overlooking Lake Michigan at the Kenilworth Beach on September 23, 2011.

Chicago Rainbow
From the 24th floor of 401 North Michigan Avenue overlooking the Sheraton Hotel and the Chicago River in downtown Chicago on August 23, 2011.

Misty Ocean Rainbow
On Newcomb Hollow Beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet, Massachusetts on August 1, 2011.

Pregame Rainbow
A double rainbow at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. on June 23, 2008.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Gillson Sunset Image Honored by Flickr

Sunset at Gillson Beach
Today, the photo above, “Sunset at Gillson Beach” became my sixty-third image to be included in Flickr's daily collection of “best” photos, called Explore. According to Pingdom, more than 4.5 million photos and videos were uploaded to Flickr each day in 2011. Of these, only 500 are placed into the Explore collection using Flickr’s “interestingness" algorithm.

According to Flickr, “There are lots of things that make a photo ‘interesting’ (or not). Where the clickthroughs are coming from; who comments on it and when; who marks it as a favorite; its tags and many more things which are constantly changing. Interestingness changes over time, as more and more fantastic photos and stories are added to Flickr.”  

Fluidr and Flickriver are excellent tools for viewing Explore images. Click here to see my collection of 63 Explore images.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Going Full Circle

Months ago I downloaded a $0.99 iPhone app called 360Panorama made by a company called Occipital. After checking it out for a few minutes, it was filed away in folder called "photo" and left unused and neglected. 

Our company SmithBucklin holds a few annual corporate events at hotels in Chicago and Washington, D.C. We usually take a few photos to use in the planning of future events. This year someone said, "wouldn't it be great if we could get a panorama image of this room." And it was then that I remembered the 360Panorama app already downloaded and ready to use. Within a few minutes, I was able to create a really nice interactive panorama that could be uploaded to a webpage and share with others. Creating a panorama is now "standard protocol" for the corporate events we hold. 

The 360Panoram app is very easy to use. You slowly move the iPhone camera in a circle to fill in a grid and when complete, save the image. You can then upload it to a personal page provided by Occipital. Below is a panorama created near our office in Chicago.