Monday, March 31, 2008

Bridge Swivel

I finally started developing some film yesterday. This is a shot from a couple weeks ago when I was in Chicago with the Asylum. This is a swivel that would swing the bridge out of the way of boats coming up the river.

I really need to see if I can get my film/camera/developing process calibrated. This scanned way overexposed and I had to fiddle around a lot with it. Of course, it could always be the way I'm scanning also. I'm definitely a tyro when it comes to that.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


A couple of us were out shooting architecture in Grand Rapids this morning. We ended up shooting mostly churches. Two of us were using our 4x5's primarily, those negatives still need to be developed. I was carrying my dSLR also and ended up with a few good shots.

Friday, March 28, 2008

SoFoBoMo Update

While I haven't written about this in a bit, it hasn't totally escaped my attention. I've been keeping up with what else is being written out there and actually joined the flickr SoFoBoMo group.

A lot of other bloggers are much more organized than I am, one person even has a daily photo log up so he can track his progress online.

Since my start date is most likely being pushed back until the end of April for the project I've picked, I'm not too worried. The actual date depends on the weather, I would like the trees to at least have a hint of green on them. However, in the midwest US, we are still getting snow at times.

I may decide in the near future to do a second project, one I can start earlier and get done relatively quickly. I'm still mulling over the idea.

As far as equipment goes, I know some folks are posting pictures of their cameras. I'm afraid since I'm using pretty common equipment, a Canon 30D and their 28-135 mm lens, I'm not going to do that. I have a couple of other lens I will probably use also, we'll see. Since I'm going to try geotagging these shots also, I will be carrying around a handheld gps also.

I'm still trying to get my options sorted out for the print on demand vendor I'm going to be using.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

MegaPixels Revisited

I just saw via a link from The Online Photographer that Sony is showing off a model of their high end dSLR with the 24 megapixel full frame sensor. No details were really announced but there are a lot of pictures. Nikon recently brought out a full frame camera, but Canon has been suspiciously silent on the 5d replacement. It will be fun to see where the full frame sensor movement goes.

Pictures of Sony's 24 megapixel dSLR

Controlled Burn

I had an opportunity to watch one of the local Fire Departments burn down an old double wide trailer. It gave me a new respect for what these folks do. Once the fire was fully involved, I had to step back and I was already 100 feet or so away. Yet these folks were right up next to it training in heavy canvas outfits. This was a volunteer Fire Department, and they all had regular jobs. They also had been up a good portion of the night on calls.

We don't pay them enough.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Changes, changes, changes

Yes, there is a new look. After looking at the old default theme of this page for the last couple months, I decided I didn't care much for it. We'll see how long this one lasts...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

March MWLFA Outing

The March outing for the Midwest Large Format Asylum was to photograph bridges in Chicago. As usual I had a great time. Of course we had to stop at the Calumet retail store at their warehouse and we had a great lunch in Chinatown. The only downer was it got downright cold in the afternoon and I really hadn't dressed for it. At that time we were shooting what I though was the most interesting bridge of the 3 we stopped at. I'll need to go back again.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

SoFoBoMo Planning

After reading a few of the other blogs that are posting about this, I realized I hadn't really thought this through.

I've pretty much picked my subject, though I'm still mulling a few others yet. Part of my problem picking the subject and the start date is what the weather does. April in Michigan can still be quite wet and miserable. While I tend to be a fair weather photographer and I know I need to get out in inclement weather, I'm not sure I want to start with this project. I may have to wait until closer to May before I start. Unless I pick a different subject.

I will be using a digital SLR for this. While I would love to use my new 4x5 camera, I'm not sure I'm familiar enough with the work flow to get 35 images out in a month.

My three options at the moment for putting the book together is Open Office, scribus or Apples Pages. I've used OO for basic word processing and spreadsheet, but I really struggle with it at times. I'm also unsure about how it will handle images. Scribus, I've never really used, so it is out of the running. That pretty much leaves Pages. I haven't done a whole lot with it, but I played with it enough that putting together the book seems relatively easy. Of course until I actually do it, I really don't know. I could be in for a rude awakening.

I've read a couple comments about people not knowing how Pages handle color spaces, but I guess we'll see.

I suppose I could buy Indesign or whatever Adobe is calling it these days, but I can't see spending the money for something I would only use once or twice a year.

As far as the actual design of the book, I've decided on a pretty sparse format with a lot of white space. Each spread will have the photo on the right side page while the left side will have the title, exposure info and geolocating info if I get it. If I can come up with some narrative about the image, that will go there also. I need to figure out a cover design along with a frontpiece.

Since I probably will want a hard copy of the book, just for my own vanity, I need to start looking at Print On Demand options. The company I pick will influence page size and paper. That should be interesting.

More later.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


They've been building this new store for most of the winter. Lately I've been intrigued when I've driven by and seen this big empty box lit up. Once again I finally stopped and grabbed the picture. I figured I had to do it soon, since it looks like it's getting close to completion.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

MegaPixel Wars reports that Sony has released a point and shoot camera with a 13.6 megapixel sensor. See the article at

The photography pundits keep proclaiming the rise in sensor megapixels are over. They've continued to do so for over 2 years.

The pundits are correct in that we really don't need more megapixels. The current crop of cameras are more than sufficient to make an 8x10 print or put a picture on a web page.

The pudits are wrong in that it doesn't matter. We've moved into a marketing driven technology cycle.

The pundits forget there is a comparable technology that we can compare to the current camera race. The history of computers was similar except instead of megapixels, there were megahertz. Once computers became essentially a commodity, the marketing forces took over. They only differentiator that the various companies had was something faster. They had to find a way to get the market share and to keep the shareholders happy.

Well once digital cameras starting getting popular and affordable, the camera companies no longer had the luxury of bringing out a new camera with incremental improvements every 5 years. The market has changed to a consumer driven 18 month cycle. It also hasn't helped that big consumer electronic firms like Sony have entered the market. To keep getting market share and to keep the shareholders happy, there has to be a marketing gimmick.

The easiest one that consumers understand are megapixels. History repeats itself.

Night Light

Time to put up some more photography. I kept driving by this light and finally decided to stop. I need to stop more often, there have been a couple of places I meant to photograph, but they're gone now.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Why is everyone so paranoid?

Why is the world so paranoid lately that photographers are viewed with so much distrust. From the reports of photographers in the US being arrested or harassed, to this new promotion by the London police. Turn in the odd person with a camera. Well, that describes a lot of people I know and probably me as well. All we want to do is take photos.

London Metro Police Campaign

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Day the Earth Stood Still - Redux

It turns out the original short story the movie(s) are based on is available on the web. It's got a somewhat different ending also.

Farewell to the Master by Harry Bates

This copy appears to have been researched and the original copyright has expired. I'm continually surprised by what you can find on the internet.

Monday, March 3, 2008

SoFoBoMo - Part 2

Since I wrote about the Solo Photo Book Month in January, I've given it more thought. I am going to participate. I will need to come up with 35 images in a months time period beginning sometime in April and ending in May.

The problem lies in picking a theme.

I have an idea for a long term project I'm going to start pursuing this year, but it won't work for this.

A couple of ideas I have had.

One, do a short project on the barns of Byron Center. This area is among the highest growth areas in the county and a lot of the old buildings are disappearing. It would be relatively easy to do, just drive around, stop on the side of the road and photograph.

Two, do something with the Sleeping Bear Dunes area. I've been thinking about spending some time up there early this year and this would be a good excuse. It would mean I would probably have to spend a couple of weekends in the area during that month.

While I have no illusions that I am going to get a high quality book out of this or even if I'll finish it, it should be interesting.

A couple urls.

The gentlemen who started this.

A page of links to bloggers who have committed to this, I may have to have my page added.
bloggers page

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Originally an alien invasion movie made in the 50's starring Michael Rennie. Actually the invasion was one spaceship containing a man and a robot. Seen by a lot of people as an allegory for the cold war, it is still a classic. I have a copy on dvd and I still pull it out now and again, or if I happen across it on the tv, I usually stop and watch it.

Now it's being remade and is starring Keanu Reeves in the Michael Rennie role. I can't believe it will be as good and I actually agree with a couple comments I've read about maybe Keanu should play the robot.

While I actually like some of his (Keanu's) work, I wish he would stop remaking science fiction movies. They usually just don't turn out right.

I hope I'm wrong about how this turns out, but I'm afraid I won't be. It's supposed to be released in early December.