Sunday, June 27, 2010

Just Get Out and Do It!

I was listening to the Chase Jarvis and Zack Arias talk once again. If you haven't heard it, it's available here. Originally done as a live interview, it has been posted so people who missed it have a chance to catch up. Both very successful photographers, both very open and willing to help teach what they do. Chase Jarvis has started a internet live class concept, where if you watch the program while it's being made, it's free. If you miss it for some reason, you can go back and purchase the show later. Zack was in town to do a two and a half day class for this service on lighting and business.

Around the 1:05:00 mark, they were answering questions that people had sent in. A question came in about projects and how to go from concept to execution. Both of them basically said, you need to just go out and do it. A few comments I wrote down that struck me.

Actions Speak - Chase
If you have an idea do it. Put it on the books and go do it - Zack
All the ideas inside your head is just that - Chase
No ones impressed with the ideas inside your head, The only thing anyone's impressed with is what you put out in the world. - Zack

These particularly struck me. I know a lot of very talented people who when I mention that I had entered a local show, or tried this or that, come back with, "I should have done that" or "I was going to do it and I forgot".

I've learned long ago, that the only person holding me back is me. I forget things once in a while, but I tend to make a lot of notes now. I know I'm somewhat disorganized, but I've learned how to do organization when I need to. I still don't really have the get up and go to take my photography to the next level this year, but I believe I'm getting better. I wish the good photographers I know would learn the same lesson.

After all, the only one that can hold you back is you.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Grand Rapids Regatta

As part of the Meijer State Games, there was a rowing regatta on the Grand River. I didn't get going early enough this morning to spend much time at the race, but I did get about an hour to photograph before they shut down for lunch.

It looks like an interesting sport, but done on way too narrow of boats. Since I have trouble standing upright at times, much less balancing myself in a boat like that, I don't think it's for me. I did have fun photographing it though and I'll have to keep an eye out for more races like this.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


A group is trying to create a skateboarding park for the Grand Rapids area. They held a contest downtown at Rosa Parks Circle this past Sunday to raise money for creating the park. There was an entry fee for the skaters, a raffle and various other forms of fund raising.

It's entertaining to watch the abuse some of these people do to themselves. They will do the same stunt over and over again, usually with the same result. Falling on hard concrete. Once in a while, someone will make it and there will be some applause. Usually just a big smile on the face of the person who made it.

The competitors where all male also. Usually there is one or two female skateboarders, especially in a slightly younger crowd, but not this time. A few girlfriends and mothers on the fringes, but not many.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Turkey you can't catch.

The wild turkey has been somewhat plentiful in the area for over 10 years now. Yet I still don't have a photo of one that I really care for.

I had another chance yesterday. Driving down a back road in the mid morning, I came across a small flock in a field just off the road. The male was in full display with his tail feathers in a wonderful arc. There was a small berm that I hoped would allow me to get somewhat close without them becoming aware of me. Hopes were soon dashed. I pulled the car over, and opened the trunk. I had my 100-400 zoom and my camera with me. I left the trunk open, so I wouldn't slam it shut and started walking down the road, quietly or so I thought. All of a sudden I saw a head pop up on top of the hill and look at me. Soon two of the turkeys were in flight, flying across the road to the woods that were close to the other side. The rest took off running soon after.

For such a maligned bird, the wild turkey has excellent hearing, runs very fast and of course flies. I've never seen them fly very far, never more than a few hundred feet, but as fast as they are on the ground, they really don't need to fly very far.

Hopefully one of these days I will get the photo I want.

The above photos were crops out of the center of the photos I did happen to take. Both are at 400 mm.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Blues on the Mall

WLAV's "Blues on the Mall" started again this past Wednesday. Little Ed and the Blue Imperials were the opening act and they were great. I should add, "as usual", but I've come to expect the best from this band.

Those of you who have been reading this blog for any length of time, know I like to do street photography, or my version of street photography anyway. This event is one of the best ways to get a cross section of Grand Rapids in one place. There are other events in town and even bigger events, but none that have such a cross section of the people that make up the area. That makes it one of my favorite events to photograph.

It runs every week through August. I expect I will be there most weeks, so you can expect regular posts about this event.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Festival of the Arts Weekend

The 41st Festival of the Arts is over and it was a great time as usual. I spent a good part of the weekend downtown taking it all in. Such a smorgasbord of art, music, fun, and food. I tried to see it all, but that was impossible. I did my best anyway. A few photos from the weekend.

The Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra with Edye Evans Hyde. She is probably the finest jazz singer in town. I need to admit I went to college with her, so I may be a little influenced by that.

Of course, there had to be a little rain, but it happened late Saturday. The shut the show down at 8:30 pm, but it got going full swing the next day.

It's too bad it is over, but it is a huge event, all run by volunteers. It is the biggest all volunteer event in the country and they were saying that over 20,000 people volunteer to make it happen. Considering the scope of it, I can believe it. I can hardly wait for next year already.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Festival 2010 Opening

The 41st Festival of the Arts opened Friday. I took a long lunch hour and went down for the opening ceremonies. That and to sample some of the food the non-profits sell in the booths.

It started out with a short parade from Rosa Parks Circle to the main stage at Calder Plaza. Leading the group was these signs produced by the folks at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art.

There was a local group of hoopers, called Audacious Hoops, which were far more talented thanI would have thought at first. There was also a group of artists from the Avenue of the Arts, which is a block of artists on North Division. They were having an art sale event coinciding with the Festival. They showed up for the parade in paper mache masks.

Lastly there was a band called WaZoBia, which does African and Afro-Cuban drumming. I followed the parade to the main stage and watched the ceremonies for a while before I grabbed some lunch and headed back to work. A very good start to the weekend and a good way to spend a lunchtime.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Festival 2010 Artists Reception

I was lucky enough to get two entries accepted into this years Festival of the Arts Regional Arts Exhibit. There was an artists opening reception this past Friday, where the artists could come see the work hung on the wall, schmooze with the arts community in town and invite family/friends to get an early look.

I attended of course. I still get a big thrill out of being accepted and I need to keep pinching myself to make sure I'm awake.

I was there for almost two hours. There were a lot of folks I knew who also were there. Taking classes at GRCC and attending photo outings held by various groups, I've gotten to know a surprising amount of the local photographers. I didn't know many of the other artists, but I wandered through the painting and sculptures also.

I had invited a bunch of folks, a few who actually showed up. The couple in the lower photo is my brother Rick, and his wife Jackie. Since they don't like having their photo taken, I thought I would point them out.

The exhibit is open during Festival this first weekend of June and is also open the following weekend. The exhibit this year is once again in the old GR Arts Museum on Pearl and Ionia. I've volunteered to work the exhibit on Saturday the 12th, from noon to 3. Stop by and say hi. There is a lot of good work being shown, and I'm sure the artists would appreciate you attending if possible.