the categorical days: Photography

December 31, 2010


Checking out dud links

I'm extremely lucky that I've the week off between Christmas and New Years. Often this time is filled meeting up with friends that might be in town for the holiday, taking down decorations, catching movies at the theater, or simply doing things I want to do.

In this case, I finally caught up with "favorite" photo albums to span the last few years. It's an annual event I let slip back in 2007 and I'm not sure why, as it's a fantastic way to give some shape to the flipping of the calendar.

So I hunkered down after Christmas and sorted. And sorted.

It's an arduous process and I seem to leave more snapshots on the cutting room floor than I'd like, but that's part of the curating process. I call these albums "favorite" photos instead of "best" because they might not be the most excellent photos in the world. But they might represent a moment that was meaningful.

And 2010? Well it was the hardest to whittle down. The year started with a trip to SXSW and I met so many great folks for the first time. (And I've never posted all the photos from that event because there are So. Many.)

I went to Brooklyn. Played ambassador to the midwest for visitors from California. Did a handful of roadtrips to St. Louis, and Pennsylvania and West Virginia. I went to Southeast Asia—for three weeks. I came back from there and went right back out to spend a big hunk of time on the left coast.

And in between all of this travel? I enjoyed my time at home in Ohio. Met new friends. Made new traditions. Enjoyed some old ones.

I like to think 2010 was great, and I'm hoping 2011 continues on that trajectory.

So enough words, here's links to the favorites: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.

Filed under: Photography, Pondersome | | Comments (2)

July 21, 2010

My photo processing technique


Folks write in and ask what process I use on images and I'm not ashamed to say I start with an action set called Vintage Film for Photoshop. It's free. Though, I should mention the cost of Photoshop isn't included. The good news is that most of the techniques used in the automated set can be achieved with free or inexpensive photo editing programs and websites.

Once I run the default set I go through and fiddle—usually lowering the opacity of these layers made by the Vintage Film Action Set:

  • Sepia 
  • Cross Process
  • Vignette
  • Center Fill Light
  • Magenta Cast

The amount varies but I usually keep things around 20% opacity.

Why do I do this? Well, in January I set out to make the entire year of 2010 appear as a cohesive set when viewed together. I honestly don't know why but I always think things will make more sense once you get everything together and take a step back.

Oh, and it's fun.

PhotosView the latest photos in the Album

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (2)

October 28, 2009


so many days, I lost count

So those 60+ days that just rolled by? Well, I was taking photos all along the way. Don't worry, I'm fine, really. Just remiss and have lots of stories and news to share.

At one point I thought I'd never get my act together and post them. So I spent this week sorting and selecting and did a push on Sunday, filling in all the visual blanks.

There were a lot of moments that deserve their own journal entry - but for now? This'll have to do:

PhotosScroll through all the snapshots at the "album," ten days at a time.

Current music: Oingo Boingo "Just Another Day"

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (4)

March 22, 2009

over there

shirt, book, swatches, bronco, patio, daffodil, elementary

Packing a lot into the days of late, enjoying the temperature and light, work is keeping me out of trouble, spending lots of time in the evenings and weekends welcoming spring around the house... all good stuff.

What I haven't been doing is diligently updating the ol' journal here. In my quest to find the best way to tag, sort, and search information, I'm spinning my wheels thinking about options. So for now, I'm still throwing bigger photos up over there on the album.

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (0)

January 26, 2009

the way I saw it, or, how I gave up on reality

The normal crop didn't work on this image

How many times do I pass a scene thinking, man, I wish there wasn't so much visual noise around that thing. (Usually the thing in question is a tree.)

This mindset is exactly why I love the work of Marijke van Warmerdam and South Korean photographer Myoung Ho Lee. His series Forest for the Trees puts a brilliant spin on the notion of isolating a subject from its environment. (Hat tip to swissmiss for pointing out his work.)

In lieu of constructing large backdrops, I've been allowing myself to enjoy technologies available and help turn photos into what I envisioned all along.

For a while I thought this manipulation to be false. Like auto-tune abuse in pop music, it was a lazy way to cover imperfection.

But I'm letting that go, and I'm not stopping with trees. If I can subtlety correct my pear shape or lessen dark under-eye circles, so be it. I'll try not to get too uncanny with Madonnafication.

So when I passed by this scene near our house, I didn't see the tree in the soccer field surrounded by powerlines and cell phone towers, I saw something clean, simple and lovely.

PhotosThe full view with before and after

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (4)

December 10, 2008

At night, in December

kinda, technically the first snow

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (4)

November 04, 2008

the leaf collectors

with camera reflected

Getting ready to leave yesterday morning, we heard some rumbling out front.

The township had sent around the leaf collecting crew. Luckily Dan had caught this detail online and made appropriate arrangements with the leaves.

Something small to mention is the reflection of camera in this photo. Again, it's the point and shoot.

As far as I can tell, my Canon 20D is near dead. I've determined that it has something to do with the card slot. (The shutter fires repeatedly when a memory card is simply inserted into the body). So while this is sad, I am very satisfied with the performance of the camera. I've had it since February of 2005 and taken over 13,000 photos. Many of those were bad, some I've liked.

Now I'm going to research the slew of new cameras on the market and work with what I've got for the time being.

Current music: The Welcome Wagon "Half a Person" [ mp3 ]

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (3)

October 30, 2008


a statistics meme for Flickr photos

From L to R
My most viewed photo : Ajax on Rails
Most favorited photo : Pantone Autumn
Most comments : Wee Wii

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (1)

July 28, 2008

MIA July

17 images that got left behind

Things pile up.

A recurring theme 'round these parts.

Excuses are easy to come by:

- It's summer. (though is there ever really a slow season?)
- Wear many hats. (have many projects)
- Attempt to find balance. (throttle computer usage)
- Bought a house.
- Stale format. (desire for new image size or aspect ratio? 5 year itch?)

Speaking of formating photos, have you see Boston Globe's The Big Picture? Be sure to click on headlines to see a smattering of curated images on a particular topic in the news. Fantastic BIG, beautiful photos.

Andy Baio of got with Alan Taylor, the creator of The Big Picture and posted this interview.

All that said and done, it doesn't make me feel any better about the 17 tiny photos that somehow never made it onto this here journal. But I gathered them together this afternoon before too many days slipped away and I forgot what it was I was doing.

Photos17 MIA images, July 2008

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (1)

May 06, 2008

The Original Glow Machine

Apologies for the large file size above

I went bowling a while back.

My most recent memory of the game is on the Wii, and going through those virtual motions gave my shoulder some ache. In real life, the sensation is much, much worse.

As for score, a 5 year old beat me - and we had the bumpers in the gutters.

I'd still do it again for the cheap beer and classic typography. The whole joint was a time capsule and I wish I had my "big" camera to capture some of the awesomeness.

PhotosI did however, have a point-and-shoot at my disposal

Current music: Matmos "Polychords"

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (0)

February 15, 2008


under the snow

Short or oblique, I seldom question the value of trying to capture a journal entry with a photo each day. Even when I don't succeed in posting, there's usually a folder of images floating around.

For the most part, there is some rudimentary organization: a date, a named folder. But I long for some system where it forces me to tag images as they're being transferred from camera to computer.

A notion: images appear as a slideshow and one could say descriptive words (out loud). These words would be translated on screen to be checked off for additional images that match the criteria in the batch. Gravy? Everything could be done with keyboard commands and little typing.

All this gestural, talking computing is near enough I figure.

Already it's pretty awesome to do quick searches across almost 6 years of photos and see what comes up, like:

Photos Photos of trains on my hard drive

Current music: Steve Reich "Different Trains"

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (1)

January 23, 2008


fed the meter

I went to the camera shop too soon. The prints weren't ready this morning. That meant I would have to wait all day until after work to pick them up.

When I finally did get them, I went right to the car and tore into the envelopes.

I had been fearing ever since drop-off that things would go sour. There would be some light leak. My exposures would be off. This Canon AE-1 hadn't been used since the 90's, when I took that photography course in college and did angsty things like take photos of my head in a box (warning, no beard).

To my surprise, every single shot came out exposed properly. Not everything was in focus, but I'm blaming my glasses and shallow depth of field. I'm not sure where film fits into things, but it was great to get invigorated and try and find ways to finish out a roll.

What I ended up with is a good representation of my day-to-day life in the winter months: Dan, Tom and Wendy, some food, my car, work stuff, and a little bit of this and that.

PhotosThe Canon AE-1 set

Current music: Brian Eno "Boards of Canada and Marumari"

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (7)

January 12, 2008

A dozen days into 08

Photos I intended to post separately

The year is off and running (fast) and I still feel like 2007 did not receive proper reflection. I'm determined to cobble together a gallery of favorite photos from last year, but for now, moving forward takes precedence.

I've been trying to make more photos with people of late. It's still a mixed bag of candid and posed.

Zoom in on any of 'em here:

PhotosRecent photos on Flickr.

And now, I'm off to a holiday dinner for the studio. Better late than not at all.

Current music: José González "Remain"

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (0)

October 13, 2007

cross processing

in van, not down by the rive

This week was jam packed. Moving closer to launch on a big project, juggling other bits, and sleeping like a log when the midnight oil runs out.

All this activity is giving me excuse to avoid making a dentist appointment. It's becoming dire. At least I got the bushy beard whacked and hairs trimmed earlier in the week.

Today, I did pretty much nothing but shop for toilet paper and then move a stylus around while sitting on the sunny porch. I napped too. It was awesome.

So now I'm sitting on the couch waiting for Dan to get finished with recital practice and a wedding gig. Poked around some features of Photoshop I've never used. One of which is the curves feature that mimics cross processing.

One thing led to another and I decided to clear off some photos hoggin’ up my drive. Photos I deemed positively so-so.

PhotosHere they are (only a couple got the fancy filtered treatment)

Current music: Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton "Nothing & Nowhere" "Threshold Apprehension"

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (3)

September 25, 2007

Random photos, June–Sept

None of this has anything to do with a turtle

I'm up oddly early so I figured I'd flip around the good morning "news" shows.

Apparently today is all about Halo 3 and not real wars.

I begrudgingly shrug and visualize positive futures because I just saw The Secret this weekend and if I really wanted world peace or an XBOX 360, all I have to do is think about it extra hard. And feel it.

I should mention I'm fine with waking up too early on perhaps the wrong side of the bed. A healthy dose of cynicism is the perfect companion to a sunny outlook.

So to brighten my spirits and tackle something easy from the to-do list, I muted the tube and pulled together orphaned photos that never got journaled.

These are the ones that got bumped off the priority list as days got hectic.

Photos Random pictures, June–Septemer 2007

Current music: St. Vincent "Apocalypse Song"

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (3)

July 08, 2007


Enjoying the water and weather

Dan's birthday turned out real nice up north at his sister’s place. Got there mid-afternoon and spent the next 10 hours enjoying the land, pool, sky, cold drinks, four-wheelin, food and family. He's the youngest of 14—even if a third show up it's a party.

PhotosA handful of photos here, and a few video snippets:

070707 from glass and Vimeo.

Current music: Architecture in Helsinki "Spring 2008"

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (4)

June 18, 2007

Fruit snacks and a new camera

Cub Foods, Dayton, OH [ + zoom ]

I'm blaming Flintstones vitamins for the explosion in the "fruit" snack section of the grocery.

In other news, I got a small camera to lighten my load AND record video to boot. This will make stealthy shots, like the one above, less a headache.

So far, I would have opted for the image stabilization if it was cheaper, but otherwise, quite happy with the Canon PowerShot SD750

Current music: Future Pilot Aka Vs Colditz "Range Life"

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (2)

April 19, 2007

15 random photos and 2 questions

Starts with wheels, ends with wheels

I'm clearing out any photo I have in the 2007 journal folder that doesn't have a home. You'll note they are devoid of humans. I try to post pictures of people on the rare occasion they happen.

Photos15 photos that did not get lost in the shuffle

Now, the questions.

1. Do you love your web hosting company?

I need a new web host for my personal site and a handful of friends' domains. I've got one to consider, but I'm curious if anyone has strong opinions about their experience.

Requirements: multiple domains, email, MySQL, PHP, lots of space and bandwidth, preferably a control panel interface for everything

2. What (small) device records audio well?

Dan wants something to record rehearsals, practice, and a performance here and there(classical, brass). Final output might be for playing at home or sharing on the web. Currently looking at the Zoom H4.

Now that MiniDisc players are gone, what's left? I know someone who uses a mic on an iPod that's happy with using it for voice recording, just curious if there is something else out there.

Insight for either question extremely appreciated. Comment or drop a line

Current music: Sad Pony Guerilla Girl "Good For Cows"

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (19)

March 06, 2007

Favorite photos from 2006

62 in all I believe

Another year goes by filled with family, friends, grub, a bit of travel, objects and flowers.

It only took me two months to select a few, find the originals and post them in this gallery.

I look at the set realizing I've missed some good ones and included some snapshots that might have been best left on the virtual cutting room floor. I also consider things I'd like to incorporate more in 2007: I think some beach shots would be nice. And more people. Never enough people.

PhotosSTART with the first, or View Thumbnails

Current music: Yes "Leave It"

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (2)

February 22, 2007


Even Rocky had a montage

No fog today—in fact, there was lots of nice light and blue skies.

I got to ride around in the passenger seat as a list of tasks were accomplished.

A quick stop at the record store, sandwiches to go, and it was back to the studio for an afternoon of more checkmarks off the list.

One big checkmark has four wheels and a horn, but I'm not jinxing anything until I have keys in my hand. Fingers crossed that's tomorrow night.

Until then: PhotosThe above photos, separated

Current music: The Grates "Inside Outside"

Filed under: Cincinnati, Photography | | Comments (2)

February 05, 2007


I think this is a poster for something like a Glade plugin

Mall trip.

Dan requires a suit and I needed to return some hats that looked ridiculous.

He got measured and stuff, while I wandered around experiencing all the smells that fill the Dayton Mall.

Airbrush paint, the leather of a Dora the Explorer bomber-style jacket, the distinct odor that is Old Navy, heavy cologne minus the Axe effect, poly-cotton blends that hint of new car, pretzels, bubblegum, shoes, rubbing alcohol and sweaty vinyl around the weird tanning-booth-like massage table with high powered water nozzles, and more airbrush paint.

A smorgasbord of Golden Corral proportions.

PhotosSome photos to help the visual senses.

Current music: The Remote Viewer "They're Closing Down the Shop" [ boomkat ]

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (1)

January 11, 2007


The trusty Canon

After downloading photos, I remarked to a friend this week, "I've taken a thousand photos with this camera." and I didn't think much of it.

Later I realized while backing up my hard drive, it wasn't a thousand... it was ten thousand. Which makes more sense as I got the Canon 20D in February of 2005. Fitting, the 10,000th photo is of a Christmas gift I shall cherish for a long time.

And though I don't have a lens cap, camera strap, or even store the thing properly, it's been a trooper through many days and memories. (knocking on wood)

In commemoration (and preparation for selecting favorites from 2006), I've revamped the photo page on my website. It's a subtle shift, reorganizing albums by date instead of willy-nilly. I've also put everything into sorted directories. While not visible, this greatly helps navigating the mess behind the scenes.

So check it out:

If you find any dead links or wonkiness, comments appreciated.

Current music: Tap Tap "100,000 Thoughts"

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (2)

January 07, 2007

pocket change, and a bunch of photos

Yes, there are still arcades

Great weekend. And this, beside the really craptacular weather we're experiencing. I will admit a soft spot for gray rainy days. Makes staying in and tackling tasks all the easier (though there were some trips to prevent the doldrums).

The tree is down and the ornaments are packed and stored.

Tucked in my shirt and had a nice dinner downtown.

Went to the mall and didn't buy much of anything, but got some good cardio and people watching under the belt. And I hope when I become a future mall walker of America, there will still be arcades like the one I snapped above. But whoa they gotta get something in there to compete with home consoles.

The big check off the list however, was catching up on photo sifting. So if you're really bored, you can now see:

Too many shots from the So You Think You Can Dance Tour back in September.

or more photos from New Years Eve.

Current music: Fiona Apple "Sally's Song"

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (2)

October 26, 2006


granny smith portraiture

Ever since I read this article about how to make a mini light studio, I've been hankering to break out the utility knife.

All the materials fell into place today, coupled with a need to make photos of apples and other fruits that go down the alphabet. A remote firing flash would've been ideal, but this set-up worked fine.

Mental note: the housing of the light gets really, really hot. Do not adjust with bare hands after it has been on a while.

Strobist is a great photography resource by the way, yet if you're feeling more adventurous, this DIY lightbox is pretty excellent as well. If you want post processing tips, this is a fine read.

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (4)

June 12, 2006

checked off

MJ from The Young Republic tickles the keys

Today marked a formidable check off my list of things to do: post photos from past Lounge Acts. There were over 1400, and though I feel okay about the process of selecting and correcting, it's not ideal.

The current process?
- Store everything in folders organized by date
- Open all photos from a particular folder in Preview
- Select and drag images that look promising to Photoshop
- Review at large resolution, close out duds, and for the good ones...
- Correct levels if needed, and use an action to resize, sharpen, add logo, save for web

It leaves lots to be desired, but it's what works for me. I'm curious what process works for other folks sorting through a pile of digital photos.

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (6)

May 27, 2006

random may

The emerging pattern:

Toys, trucks, greenery, food, and a handful of centered compositions.

Photos22 shots that I didn't have a chance to post this month

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (3)

May 11, 2006


Cramming the days together

It's almost the weekend again and I've not caught up from the last one.

PhotosSome extra photos from St. Louis

In other news:

Work continues to be a combination of tending to existing projects and finding time to work on the big to-do list of new things.

Having the TV without any sort of broadcast signal has been super helpful to that regard.

I can't breathe through my nostrils and although this is not the worst thing that could happen, it certainly is annoying.

So many folks getting married or having babies. A good friend called to say she stopped drinking, and immediately I knew she was pregnant. Both (future) parents are really awesome people and I'm thrilled.

I was hoping for more excitement from E3 announcements, but more than anything, I just vacillate between being over and underwhelmed. I'll admit I'm a Nintendo fanboy, but waving a controller in the air sorta freaks me out.

A highlight of the week was renting The Family Stone from the videostore up the street. It was free because I've rented so many movies. The downfall? It was a flimsy shod of a movie. Two thumbs down, minus 3.5 stars.

Filed under: Photography, Travel | | Comments (3)

April 11, 2006

grab bag

Pictures that I never got around to posting this month

I'll sort through photos almost daily and corral a few for cropping. Perhaps the shot seems reasonably good or related to a major event (and by major I mean there's a new flavor of Pop Tart). Some are just downright bad or predictable, but I keep them around to hold on to some semblance of the day.

They invariably turn up in these grab bag posts, and though there are great stories around each — I'm not so good at telling them, and taxes are due soon.

I think I need an extension*.

PhotosRandom photos from April (so far)

* Not for my hair

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (1)

March 12, 2006

rainy weekend

I've always dug the paint job on this Metro Scooter store

I did not find any four-leaf clovers or drink green beer. Instead, kept it pretty mellow as it rained.

PhotosLittle bits of spring

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March 10, 2006


...a print, my bald spot, and an aversion to ironing clothes

So I'm looking at a sample print of a photograph. It's big – roughly 30" wide, and printed on canvas for that extra special Kinkade effect. The image looks better on photographic paper, but the canvas has potential... for something...

It's such a freaky joy to see tactile results from digital media, that I run to record the moment with a timed snapshot.

Now I see the bald spot I've never seen before. I see the effect of not using an iron for my clothes.

Deep down I know this is cause for wrinkle-free fabrics – not concern.

We'll see what shakes loose with all of this.

I should mention, this image is one I've never posted. It is a favorite from a cocktail party I covered for my first professional gig this past January.

Quite happenstance really — a great blend of subject, location, and bounce flash.

Girl at the stairs

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (7)

February 18, 2006

2 duds + random photos

If you can't read the Post-Its®, the text is below

Dear Bughouse -

Sorry these 2 movies (Wedding Crashers & Dukes of Hazzard) are late.

I will pay the fees, but in the future — if anyone is upset these movies are NOT available, please inform them that both movies are terrible anyway.

I’m embarrassed I even rented them, but Bubble was checked out.

On a different note, there've been lots of photos that haven't found a home yet:

PhotosLeftovers (so far) in February

Filed under: Movies, Photography | | Comments (3)

January 31, 2006

This is not my beautiful car

You scream and you holler about my Chevy Impala
But the sweat is getting wet around the ring around your collar
– Beastie Boys

Hard to keep up with everything.

2006 is starting off at a quick clip it seems.

I've finally gone grocery shopping. Now I'd like a blizzard and school to be canceled.

Not that I'm in school.

PhotosLeftover photos that didn't get posted this month

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (7)

January 19, 2006


Too far?

On the left, the un-retouched photo of the snow covered trees through window.

On the right, (a crop of ) the version I posted, modified with these adjustments:

1. Shadow and hilights: dark parts brightened, light parts darked
2. Lens correction: perspective and curvature
3. Background stretched: to fit into format (keeping integrity of window proportions)
4. Slight rotation

I don't feel too much guilt about this, but there is some. I don't go this far very often. A goal is certianly to improve my process to minimize or eliminate "fiddlin."

For the web, for different monitors, and for the aspect ratio, I think the adjustments work okay. It's also an experiment, understanding the tools available.

But there's something about the original that seems to be lost.

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (2)

January 09, 2006

favorites from 2004

65 clicks this time

I truly enjoyed going back through photos from 2005. So much in fact, that I thought I'd go back through the previous year. I already had the templates and actions set in Photoshop so it was a simple workflow.

Some interesting things happened, comparing the years. I apparently have an obsession with call buttons on airplanes (I spared including those), and I have a thing for standing behind folks when they're preparing food.

I also snapped a number of self-portraits in '04 (rare these days). Many are included (one embarrassing), and a handful taken by other folks.

Seems that I took more photos of people in general, an area I'd like to strengthen in '06.

Lots of emotions here, a few sad, but for the most part it was a year with many fond memories.

Favorite photos from 2004

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December 27, 2005

Favorite photos from 2005

70 or so clicks

Filed under: Photography | | Comments (10)

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