Friday, October 31, 2008

Zombies Attack

Thousands of Zombies took over downtown Grand Rapids Thursday evening. A local person organized an attempt at the Guiness Book of Records for the most people in a zombie walk. I've seen some estimates of the crowd at between 2 to 4 thousand people. I have to believe it was higher than that. A good time and generally well behaved.

I'm not sure if it was planned or not, but once the walk started, the crowd left the plaza and took to the streets. No police blocking them, just vast crowds walking down the middle of the roads, blocking traffic. I saw one very upset motorist, but for the most part people looked pretty amused by it. Of course you did have idiots in the crowd. I saw one guy jump up on a trapped city bus and do handstands. A little later a part of the crowd started rocking the bus.

The police finally appeared and blocked traffic. They also tried to get the roads cleared of walkers with limited success.

All in all an interesting time.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Convergence Pt. 2

Of course once it was announced that the new DSLR's would do video, the accessories had to appear. Does anyone else think this is a mite overboard? I'm sure that if you shoot video professionally you may need a rig like this, but I would imagine you would be using a real video camera also.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Graduation Photos

I did some graduation photos for a daughter of my best friends. Went out to Meijer Gardens late in the afternoon and found out we only had an hour before they closed. So we are running around trying to find good backgrounds. We had a great time. Now I just have to try to pick out the best shots.

Friday, October 24, 2008

SoFoBoMo 2009

There's been some mutterings about a Solo Photo Book Month in 2009. The originator of sofobomo, Paul Butzi has since announced that it will be continued next year.


Hopefully this year I can get past the book creation part where I stalled out last year. Once I came up with a project, taking the photos was no problem, it was putting them together where I crashed and burned.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wesley Strikes Again

For some reason science fiction shows on TV always seemed to have a cute kid. It started with Lost in Space, they were in the original Battlestar Galactica, Seaquest DSV and probably others. I guess they figure that science fiction is only for kids and they need one in the show. Thankfully they've seemed to stop this annoying practice for new shows.

For me, it peaked with Wesley Crusher in Star Trek - The Next Generation. It never made sense to me that a teenager would be appointed to effectively drive a huge spaceship with hundreds of people on board. I mean, what happened to the folks who were supposed to do it? Plus I never really cared about the character.

Wil Wheaton, who played the Wesley part was on Criminal Minds last night. My wife watches the show regularly and had it on while I was working on something. Wil did a very credible job, but I just couldn't get past the Wesley character. I could easily see how Wesley could turn into the character on this show. Since he was the evil, bad guy, there was a chase scene near the end of the show and all I could think was that they should just stop chasing him and just shoot him. Preferably in the head. But no, he got his just desserts a few minutes later in a somewhat trite ending.

Wil Wheatons Blog

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Face Collector

I came across the blog of someone who wants the title "Face Collector" printed on his business cards. Somehow that just works for me. An incredible title that rates right up there with "Ruler of the Known and Unknown Universe" on a business card. Much better than some boring title thought up by a bean counter somewhere.

Plus he's got some great photos. I wish I did street portraits as well.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Busy Weekend

It was busy this weekend. Saturday morning, I helped hang a display of photographs at the Biggby's Coffee shop in Cascade. Once again I planned this for one of the local camera clubs. At times, trying to get everything together and pull this off seemed like herding cats.

In the afternoon, I did some graduation photos for a friends daughter.

Bright and before early Sunday, I went out and photographed the Grand Rapids Marathon. A great day, and since I had a volunteer shirt on, I was able to pretty much go where I want.

I just need to go through all the photographs I took this weekend, I think it will take a bit.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Strange Colors

That mysterious object called film seems to be still holding on. I came across an article on cross processing film today at It's good to see that some people still value film and the various looks it can give you.

It's also amusing that people will try to recreate those looks with photoshop when it would be much easier to actually shoot film in the first place.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fraction Magazine

An online magazine of photography. The September 2008 issue which is still up when I write this, has a section on Bill Schwab, a Michigan photographer currently residing near Harbor Springs who I follow. Some interesting stuff there and another place to look at other photographers work.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Grand Haven

Some photos from Grand Haven, taken Saturday evening. A simply gorgeous day for October with a lot of people on the beach and even some kids playing in the water. Saw a couple wedding parties and someone doing what looked like senior portraits. While we were at the beach, we were set up on a small hill with about 6 other photographers, with another small army of people with cameras on the beach below us.

After the sun went down, we headed into town to shoot. All in all a great evening.

Friday, October 10, 2008


On the photography blogs I follow, there's a big discussion of still/video convergence driven by the release of new cameras like the 5D MkII and the D90. These cameras, to a varying degree allow one to not only take still pictures, but do video also. is pushing this convergence and threatening dire things for photographers who don't jump on the bandwagon. There has been a counter view to these comments growing on sites like Paul Butzi's Musings on Photography.

I've shot video before, though it has been a while. I did some community access stuff for a while when I lived in the Kalamazoo area. While I liked the documentary aspect of it, doing a good video is hard. This was reinforced in a conversation I had yesterday. I was talking to a salesman at the local camera store about the new cameras. He was a current owner of the Canon 5D and was considering buying the new 5D MkII, primarily for the video capability. We segued into talking about toolsets to manipulate the video and he started telling me about a 10 minute video he had helped create. It turns out there was a story they wanted to film for a local non-profit. For the 10 minute video, it took 5 people multiple evenings to shoot, then someone worked over 40 hours to put the show together.

Even if you don't shoot for a story and go for a documentary, you still have to worry about sound, story continuity, and that big bugaboo, editing. I think the camera companies are adding video features because it is an easy thing to add and another check mark on a marketing campaign.

Let me add that while I don't think video is good for most still photographers, there are a couple industry segments that I do think need to jump on this bandwagon with both feet. Those are the photojournalists and wedding photographers. I can see where shooting video could be beneficial and hopefully pull in more money.

Since I haven't actually seen or handled any cameras that actually have these capabilities yet, I suppose I could be out in left field. But I don't think so and will pretty much be ignoring video for a while.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Officially called the "Cloud Gate" or something like that, this is mostly called the bean. Situated in Millenium Park in Chicago, it attracts a big crowd during the day and even a few early in the morning.

We were in Chicago this past weekend and I made it to this area twice this trip. Once in the afternoon when the crowds were out and once at 6:30 in the morning. Even in the morning, I was not the only person there. Other photographers appeared, early morning joggers and couples stopped by and of course the usual security person.

I was wondering while I was looking at the photos I took, what the attraction of mirrored surfaces are, especially if they are curved. One person commented on my Flickr photos and wondered if there was a camera convention going on since there were so many photographers in the photos.

Even though I wonder, I still think it's fascinating.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Book Deals

I've talked about photo books before, and how I believe that you need to look at a lot of photography to help become a better photographer.

Since then I've found out that the publishing house Taschen is releasing a bunch of books in a 25 year anniversary special. Like this one. The books are on the small side, but they seem to be printed nicely and best of all they are cheap.

I'm sure the photo book afficionados probably don't care much for them, but the editions are a good way to look at photography without breaking the bank.

Monday, October 6, 2008

David Plowden

I've always liked photographer David Plowden who made his career photographing the great plains and the midwest. I own the book of photographs he did at the Sou Locks in upper Michigan, and I want to get the one he did on barns. I was disappointed to learn that he has stopped photographing. He is though, still producing books with one coming out late in 2010.

A interview with him is up at Studio 360, with him talking about how the subjects he preferred are disappearing.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pacific Landscapes

I started going through my photos from my San Jose trip. These are from my drive Sunday down the Pacific Coast Highway, just south of San Francisco. I'm not used to weather around mountains, while it was foggy and 60 near the ocean, it was sunny and 90, 30 miles away in San Jose.