Commentary - Photolog

(I take pictures, I make notes.)




The pictures from the catacombs in Paris are so dark because I didn't use a flash (only assholes use a flash when repeatedly told not to), and obviously they were way underground. I think my camera takes great pictures in very low light, though!


To prepare for my round the world trip I bought a new camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 (my LX3 got killed by Burning Man duststorms) and a new netbook, both of which I really enjoy. However, I don't have Photoshop installed, so I've been adjusting after all these years to a new tool: Picasa. It's working fine, I guess, but I feel rather constrained. Plus I find that some of the actions I take on pictures make them fuzzier. Just an explanation why, after ten years(!!) of doing this photolog things suddenly seem a


Too bad they don't let you take photos in the Sistine Chapel, because that's where I totally cried.


I'm glad to be finally done posting photos from India; now to begin catching up on pictures taken in the last month and a half.


I didn't take as many pictures at the Malayavanta Raghunatha Temple as other sites I visited in Hampi, but I enjoyed it the most. It's also the only place in India where I took a video, of monks chanting. Outside of the temple compound there was a monk who lived in a rock; he blessed us. Also, the monkey pictures were taken there, too.

On a technical note, I have finally started to use Curves in Photoshop, probably a bit too overzealously, but oh well. Time will balance it out. Also the set I posted today was the first time I really used the 16x9 aspect ratio on my lens, which is exciting.


I've been wanting to visit Goa for half of my life, and now I'm here! The village where I'm staying isn't on a map, but it's near Arambol. Right now I'm settling in, crashing at a house my friend rented for a few days until I move into a cabin by the ocean (which I can hear from here at night). I've always said I'm not a beach person, but now I'm starting to think I was wrong. I only have 2.5 weeks in India before I have to go back to work, but so far it's exactly the vacation I needed.


While my site was down for six months, I let some older photos languish. The ones I posted today of the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, as well as some others that will be posted soon were taken with an older camera, the Canon SD890. They're OK, but looking at them makes me so glad I have the Lumix LX3.


Every picture that I posted this week was taken on the same day (November 15).


So I got another new camera. After having the Canon G10 for five months, I decided I needed something else; I've owned the G1, G2, G4, and G5, and was ready for a change. I'd been semi-coveting Matt and Atom's cameras for a while, so a week ago I bought the Lumix LX3, with a Leica lens. It's the first non-Canon I've bought in eight years, which means learning a new UI, but I'm pretty excited for it.


Pictures from exploring a decommissioned (abandoned) naval listening base that used to have an elephant cage. It's been a while since I did a lot of this type of exploration, and I didn't take as many photos as usual. The ones in the beginning are quick, not well framed; I was still a bit nervous.


I got a new camera, finally: a Canon G10. Still need to read the manual, but I've owned the G1, G2, G4, and G5, so it's pretty familiar. Already loving the bigger lens and sensor; I forgot what a difference that makes.


Since I'll be posting a lot of older photos for the next month or so, check the name of the jpg if you want to know the date. I can't believe I've let them languish for almost a year.


Because the server that hosted this site for over a decade was down for most of 2008, I have quite a stockpile of older photos. The ones I posted in Catching up with friends, July-November 2008 are pictures that I sent out to their subjects (or posted elsewhere) as time passed, so some of them may not seem new. No worries, there are still a ton of new old photos coming, when I make the time.


I need a new camera again. The one I've been using for the last year and a half developed a black patch a couple weeks ago, and it won't go away. It's not something on the lens, but in the guts. I've been taking pictures still, but using the healing tool a lot, not very well. Hence, the weird black splotch. Time to go shopping.


Well, the server where I've been hosting my site since 1998 has been down for the last nine months or so. Still is (bye, pubnix!). However, I've migrated to a new host (thanks, datavibe!) and have many months worth of poctures to post.


It's been a while. After my camera broke in November, I was without lens for months. Then the server that has hosted this site for ten years had some problems, and was offline for oover a month. But I bought a new camera (Canon SD950, my fifth Canon), which I really like. I just feel a little...rusty. But excited.


Oh, I was doing so well with the regular posting and enjoying taking photos again, and then my camera broke. Boo. So I'm catching up, posting things I should have in August, and hopefully will have a new camera sometime in early January.


I didn't mean for so much time to pass between leaving Berlin (just vacation this time) and the posting of the photos, but a lot of things are accidental. Or not. The pictures from today span a week at one of my favorite places in the world, Club der Visionaere.


Derek and I went to his friend Adam's wedding in Sweden a couple weeks ago, spent a couple nights at a nice manor house on a lake about 45 minutes outside of Stockholm. Hence, the really lovely setting for the pictures. We also spent a week in Berlin; those photos are forthcoming.


The pictures I posted today are from the night that my arm got burned. It felt a little strange working on them, specifically the ones of the fire, but I guess that's why I've waited a month and a half to get them posted.


It's been a while, but not without reason. On May 13th in a random campfire accident, I received third degree burns on my left arm and hand. Spent the next ten days in a Burn Ward, getting a skin graft and healing from it; something of a painful and exhausting process. But it's been a month, I am feeling much better, and slowly returning to normal life. Which means updating this photolog more often, finally.


I am *finally* done posting pictures from South America. Now begins tackling the backlog from the last month and a half here in'll be nice when it's all (somewhat) current again.


No pictures will do justice to how amazing Lake Titicaca was; I posted some anyway. More about it in the travel blog entry.

Side note: these pictures I am posting lately were taken a month and a half ago, and are not representative of what I usually like to shoot. Travel photography is different than my daily observances; I am looking forward to finishing up posting all the South America pictures so I can get back to the usual Photolog.


Potosi is a 4000 meter high mining city in Bolivia. Once, it was rich, profiting from the Spanish investment in its silver mines; now it's a bit more rough. My pictures are from a tour I took of the mines and of the old mint, both of which you can read about in the travel blog entry.


I know, there are a lot of pictures posted in this set of snow capped mountains, gorgeous skies, flamingos, rock formations, lagoons. I thought about cutting some of them and trust me, I didn't post all the shots I took. But really, the landscape, amazing. Granted, it's cut a bit short: the morning I got up to see the geysers at 4am was right about when the altitude sickness kicked in, 5000 meters. Once I started projectile vomiting I kind of lost interest in taking pictures of pretty lagoons and mountains. But what's posted here is a good representation of what I saw, while I could still see.

Link to travel blog entry.


The Salar de Uyuni, the word's largest salt flats, were incredibly amazing. Of course there was salt everywhere, which ended up blurring my lens, jamming my camera, and interfering with the auto-focus mechanism. However, I still love the pictures from that day: crazy blue sky, ground so white, everything's intensity cranked up a few notches.

Link to travel blog entry.


Today's pictures are from the travel to, the town of, and the train engine "graveyard" outside of Uyuni, Bolivia. The town of Uyuni should not be confused with the Salar de Uyuni (the world's largest salt flats), which I will post photographs of sometime soon, probably tomorrow.


Wow, La Paz. One of my favorite cities in the world: colorful, esoteric, shy, exciting. Smoggy and confusing yes, but amazing to discover slowly. It's huge, Bolivia's biggest city tucked way up in the mountains; some people get altitude sickness. I was careful not to take too many photographs in public, since many people there believe a camera can steal the soul. I hope to go back someday.

Link to travel blog entries: 1, 2, 3, 4.


Cordoba is the second largest city in Argentina; I was there for only two days because I had some time to kill before heading to Bolivia. However, I had a great time, which had a lot to do with the people I met. Link to travel blog entry.

It's strange posting travel pictures, because they're kind of different than what I normally photograph or choose to display on this photolog. They might not be as well composed, or balanced, or whatever, but I still want to share what I saw, even if it's not perfectly framed.


I have returned from South America, where I spent two months in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and Uruguay. I have quite a few pictures, and a lot of things to take care of here in New York (including find a job), so I'll be posting pictures in increments: one South American city's pictures per day.

I posted a lot from Buenos Aires when I was down there, so today's pictures are from Puerto Iguazu and Iguazu Falls, on the Argentinean border with Brazil. They were quite stunning, their sense of scale isn't captured in any of these shots, but I still like a few of them. Link to travel blog entry.


I don't usually post this many pictures at once, but I am heading out to travel northern Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. I didn't bring my computer, and might not have access to photoshop or other tools, so it may be a few weeks before I can post again.


I went to Punta del Este, Uruguay, with Kate, because she was playing a festival there. The beach town was nice (we actually stayed outside of the main peninsula), the people doing the festival were awesome, and we all had a fantastic time.


Today's pictures are from the Cementerio de Recoleta, Buenos Aires's famous cemetary. Eva Peron is buried there, but I didn't look for her tomb because honestly...I don't care that much. I was more interested in all the rust and decay (big shock there, I know) of the monuments, strange little preservations of forgotten grief.


I'm in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and it's really lovely! Sometimes when I get to a new place it takes me a few days or a week to start taking pictures, much less images I like, so what I'm posting today is kind of mediocre. That's alright, everything in time. I'll also post a few less-aesthetically-nice but informational shots on my long-neglected travel blog tomorrow.


It's with sadness that I post the pictures from Gianna's rollerskating birthday party. The event was actually a great time, but it was also the last night I got to hang out with Meaghan McMahan before she died in an accident on Christmas. The news of her death has been difficult for everyone; she was an amazing person, always had a smile on her face, always dancing. For me it also brought back echoes of Alicia's death a year and a half ago. My heart goes out to her family, and all of our friends.

A technical note: I have been traveling a lot lately, and did not realize my lens was quite smeared and dirty in these pictures, hence their pseudo soft-focus nature.


Wow. I'm leaving Berlin in a few days, hard to believe it's been almost a year here. One of the things I had to do before I left was photograph the housing I go jogging through. It's a former communist housing area in Lichtenberg, past the ring line off Frankfurter Allee, and it's massive. Huge monolithic buildings that just keep going, in a maze, so intense. The pictures don't really convey the scale of it, but I like them anyway.


The Jewish Museum in Berlin is truly amazing. The new wing was designed by Daniel Libeskind, and is incredibly moving and effective. I just wish I could have been there on a sunny day to catch some reflections in the building's exterior, reminiscent of the shots I took of the Gehry building in Iowa. However, I found that the gray rain kind of suited the structure well, too.


I used to take a lot of graffiti pictures. When I moved around a lot, that was typically how I explored a new city: looking for graffiti (and checking out trainyards). It's been about six years since I actively scouted graffiti, but when I was in Queens, there was an amazing building across the street from PS1, so I had to check it out.


Boston. 24 hours. The most fun I have ever had in that town, thanks guys!


New York photos, mostly Queens (Long Island City). I tried something new today: the alternate version. Frequently I take multiple versions of one picture and can't decide which I like best, so I figured I could show multiples for once.


This set is from Dave Siska's going away party at 500 W. Cermak. It's a space I went to a lot for afterparties in the mid-90's, and was rather appropriate for the going away party for someone who has spent the last decade dedicated to Chicago's techno scene. We went exploring during the party and found an open floor that was under construction, that's where these pictures came from.

And yes, there are more pictures from my US tour forthcoming: Chicago, Cincinnati, NYC, Boston. Back in Berlin now, but still getting caught up with the photos.


I've just now noticed that I tend to alternate in subject matter: one day I'll post pictures of people, the next day it's more abstract, textural images. It's not something I do consciously, but an interesting observation.


Love Parade, ugh. The picture titled "hatedit" kind of sums it up; we stayed for only an hour, long enough to walk through the whole thing. It was kind of a clusterfuck. Too many people being nuts, and I'm pretty used to crazy behavior. Ah well, I am glad I saw it, and glad we didn't linger.


Finally got the pictures up from Le Bugue. I went there for a small wedding, a long time in the making, and it was a wonderful weekend. Le Bugue is a really picturesque town in the South of France, and I had a great time running around taking pictures.


I spent four days running around Southern France, having a fantastic time. The pictures in the gallery are from Montignac (the town near the Lascaux cave drawings), some miscellaneous Dordogne region countryside, Sarlat (a crazy medieval village, felt like a movie set), and Bordeaux (a city way less exciting than I originally thought it would be).


Ah, Paris. It's not my most favorite European city, but it's quite pleasant. Thanks so much to Oly for being such a fantastic host, showing us around town. Atom had never been there before, so we did a lot of the sightseeing, which I don't usually do that much of when traveling. Lots of touristy pictures, it was fun. But pales in comparison with how amazing the Dordogne region of the south of France was. Pictures of ridiculously cute French villages forthcoming...


Nick's birthday party at Bar 25. He mandated that the boys dress like girls and the girls like boys, so we did, with somewhat awesome and somewhat frightening results. I rather liked my pseudo-mustache.


Pictures from Karl and Maria's visit; it's always nice to have good friends come to town.


Good weekend: Matthew Hawtin art opening @ Circleculture Gallery -> Pheek, Shaun, Lee, and Mayaan @ MOxxomiHOAX party -> Ryan Crosson and John Tejada @ Watergate -> Mayaan's -> M-nus Beatstreet @ underground atomic bunker -> home, briefly -> Club de Visionaire.


I'm intrinsically drawn to urban decay, waterfronts, and good lighting, so when I found myself down by the docks of the Spree around sundown, I had to run around with my camera. Because I was there to work on music at Nik's studio, and since the light was fading quickly, I didn't really have a thorough shoot; mostly just ran around snapping pictures without properly framing or metering them. Ah well. But so much rust, one of my favorite subjects! The result is that I felt compelled to crank up the contrast on a number of the shots, which I kind of consider cheating, but I still like them alright, for the most part.


Lots of pictures of Jen. Nice to have a new subject, one who is already very comfortable with me and has been for years. She's here visiting for a week, and I'm so glad to have her company.


More design and architecture nerd pictures. We took Die Bahn an hour and a half south to Dessau, which houses the Bauhaus Kolleg. I'd been to the Bauhaus Archive here in Berlin five years ago, so I was eager to visit the school. Unfortunately, we missed the Meisterhaus tours, but I still enjoyed everything we saw. Dinner at the Kornhaus was really good, too.


I know a lot of the pictures from the Reichstag dome are redundant, but I couldn't stop taking them. It's just such a geometrically sweet structure.


The pictures posted today are from the third part of the Best Vacation Ever, when I got to run around three European cities with a bunch of my friends. It started with London, then we continued to Amsterdam; this set is from when they came back to Berlin with us. I suppose I am on semi-permanent vacation right now, living in Berlin without a job, but the last week and a half felt like a vacation from my vacation. Awesome.


Pictures from London. I flew there on Friday morning to meet a bunch of friends from Chicago, New York, London, and Taiwan. We were in London till Monday, which was a blast excluding the day I had food poisoning. That day I loaned my camera to Joanna and Brian; I'll post the pictures that they took on Flickr, and link it here when I do.

On Monday we flew to Amsterdam; I'll get those pictures up tomorrow. On Wednesday we flew back to Berlin with six friends (lost a few en route); it's really good to be back. I am surprised at how much I missed Berlin while I was away, and by how quickly it felt like home.


I've been not so happy with some of the pictures I've been taking lately. Perhaps it's the new camera, or the new surroundings, or something else or everything...But I like the pictures I took today. There was a pause in the snowstorm after we left Ikea (cheap furnishings for the new flat), so the light was interesting. Plus I was in a part of town I'd never been to before, near Spandau, which jarred me into paying closer attention to what I saw. Basically: I think I'm getting back into textured/abstract semi-pretentious photos again, perhaps because I don't know as many people in Berlin, so portraiture opportunities are limited.


Besides moving to Berlin, my other big news is that I have a new camera: Canon Powershot S80. I'm still getting used to it, trying to remember when to check what, but I like the UI a lot.

I walked around my neighborhood today, taking a few pictures of the mediocre graffiti (there are a ton of awesome pieces around, but a lot of them are in trainyards I don't have the nerve to sneak into...yet) and Eastern European architecture. It's so gray here; a lot of the pictures look shot in black and white but they weren't, like the one of the power lines. I think until spring comes, I will be converting many of my photos to black and white, since so much of the color is washed out anyway.


I moved to Berlin from Chicago yesterday, and just posted a backlog of pictures from my last week in Chicago. Pictures of Berlin to be posted in the next few days, of course. I know I've been taking a lot of pictures of people, but I will miss them all very much. Back to the pseudo-artsy texture, abstract, and architecture pictures soon.


The rest of the pictures from this weekend, such an amazing time with wonderful people. I included the already-posted pictures from Tini Martini on the big page for the sake of chronologic completion. Most of the pictures take of me with my camera were taken by Derek.

Something Kendra said stuck in my head: after looking through my photolog and years and years of pictures, you see the same people repeatedly. I'm so glad to have the friends in my life that I do. It's meant a lot.


Today's pictures are from Atom's and my going away party on Saturday at Tini Martini, which Atom and Derek played at. We are leaving on February 6 to live in Berlin till this summer, and then travel through Asia and South America. I'm very excited! The party was a ton of fun, thanks so much to everyone who came out. After a certain point I stopped taking pictures, but Kendra picked up the slack with a number of amusing ones of me yelling, dancing, freaking out, and chugging Belvedere straight from the bottle. Good times.


Playing catchup. I put my camera down for a while, or more correctly: forgot to post the smattering of pictures I've been taking over the last two months. So this week I'm working through the backlog with renewed interest.

Looking at older pictures makes me so glad I took them, even the ones with shitty composition. Sometimes: especially the ones that aren't aesthetically hot but contain people I love. I know I'll be leaving my home of the last six years soon, which kicks the documentation urge that's always been a pretty major force in my life into higher gear.


I've been having a lot of fun unintentionally documenting the exploits of my friends. It's been nice getting more comfortable with shooting people while indulging the preservationist freakout that I had after Alicia died. But lately, I've been more drawn to textures and lines as subject matter, the stuff I was originally interested in. One of the rare times when a step backwards might actually signify some kind of progress.


Every year I get my birthday off work as a personal holiday; every year I go to the art institute. This year, however, Robin suggested we head to the MCA instead to check out the Dan Flavin exhibit. Wow. Wow.

They asked that you not take pictures of the exhibit, and I can understand why. Its beauty is somewhat ephemeral, and cannot really be captured on film. The installations themselves are neat - all done using fluorescent lights - but the really amazing part is the atmosphere it creates. The transitions between rooms as your eyes, adjusted to green, see everything white as pink. Things like that. I was wondering around with a huge childlike grin on my face. If you're in Chicago, please go see it before it leaves on October 30th.


I love my friends. Sundays are the best. Summer '05: lookin' good feelin' great. Getting stupid and enjoying the silliness. This weekend was too much fun; the pictures come nowhere near doing it justice.

In a nutshell: falafel party, fake mustaches, shirts off, Jager body shots off Eric, limbo, sambuca, barely conscious poker, let's go to the beach!, rum water, smoke bombs, THE FINAL COUNTDOWN, upskirt video shots, ten cent chicken wings, THE FINAL COUNTDOWN, Sunday night dance party, chicken fights on concrete, shotgunning beer, THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!!


Pictures from Johnny and Atom's party Saturday, Vamos a la Playa. I can't believe how many people turned out in swimsuits, myself included. Total fun time, total debauchery ensued. I didn't take any pictures from about midnight to 3am, when the party was in full swing, so these are kind of before and after pictures. After it got busted, I mean, though the police were ridiculously nice about it.


Somehow I misplaced the first compact flash card full of pictures taken at the barnwarming campout, so now there are more. The newer ones (at the top) are from Saturday evening and the older ones are from sunrise Sunday.


Kurt Eckes from Drop Bass bought a farm in central Wisconsin, and these pictures are from the housewarming campout party. It was small, much more low key than most barn parties, but good to be partying in Wisconsin again. I really really - really - miss Furthur. I didn't take many pictures, and the ones I did take started just before dawn Sunday morning. Nice to see another sunrise.


There was the wedding, then the wedding party; I also took some silly pictures before (decorating) and after (cleaning up plus killing the keg) the wedding party. Yeah, I waited a month to post these, oh well.


Pictures from Matt and Jen's wedding party. Not sure why it took me two weeks to remember to post these. See also: pictures of the wedding.


The pictures posted today are actually from May, flying home from Coachella with Alicia and Atom. I guess I just forgot to post them, but I do like them. Brown, textured: two of my favorite compositional things.


Saturday evening was a shoot for The Timeout Drawer's new video. The whole thing was a little tongue-in-cheek, as they're an instrumental band: hanging out with friends, drinking Sweet Cobras by the lake. Fun times. I was wearing a wig, and the last four pictures in the collection were taken by Adam Dorfman, since it's hard to photograph yourself when you're at the bottom of a human pyramid, or arm wrestling.

Funny, now that I look at the pictures, I didn't take any of the band, even though it was their video. Sorry, guys! At least with this set, I think I did a little better job of balancing out people pictures with photos of brown textured rust.


Jen Palmer and Matt Hellige's wedding. Seven years in the making? It was really beautiful. They were really low key about the whole thing, did it in her mom's backyard. It was a beautiful Buddhist service. Jen asked me a few days ahead of time to be one of the two official photographers, which I was honored to do, though a little nervous. Heather was supposed to be the other, but her battery died, so I was the only one. Hence the ridiculous amount of pictures. And I took so many more that I didn't post.

Anyway, congratulations to Jen and Matt, it was a wonderful weekend, and I know they'll continue to be very happy together.


I wasn't going to do commentary for today's post, since it's basically some odds and ends from the last week or two. Hanging out in Wicker Park at night. Hanging out in the park on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Hanging out at the Billy Goat (the fake one in Atom and Rob's building, not the original one under Michigan Ave.). That's about it. I'm glad I have friends who don't stop being silly just because a camera has been pulled out.

Usually I assume no one reads the commentary, but Nicole requested it. I guess while I'm here I'll add some for the last two collections.

Pride - Unlike most people, I didn't care about taking pictures of queens on floats. Don't get me wrong, I love drag. But I haven't been in much of a celebratory mood lately, so Pride was really just another excuse to take pictures of my friends. Which, you can tell, I've been really into lately.

Summerdance - Same thing. It was the Jeff Mills Summerdance, and I didn't take a single picture of Mills. Not that unusual though; I rarely photograph DJs, unless they are friends of mine. But yeah. Summerdance and Pride pictures are both posted in chronological order. Which means a progression is visible, subtextually. If you're into that sort of thing.


The end of an era. The last night of martini Mondays at Mod, where we used to go (with Alicia) every week for so many months. The day before summer solstice. Time to figure some things out.

I think the last couple weeks has helped to reconcile me with taking pictures of people. Where it didn't interest me much before beyond documentation purposes, now I really want to photograph all of my friends. A lot. Rust and textures are still fun, but yeah. Getting more comfortable with people pictures.


This fucking sucks.

One of my best friends ever, Alicia, died two weeks ago in a bicycling accident. It's been horrible, I miss her, I can't even begin to say how badly my heart has been gouged out. She was an amazing person, appeared in this photolog a ton (she was such a great subject, always putting up with me shoving a camera in her face). I can't say much more, except to link to the eulogy I gave at her funeral.

Anyway. The pictures I posted today are from when we scattered her ashes, at her favorite place on the lake. I felt weird taking the pictures, but I asked everyone involved (Matt, Dave, Kate, and Atom), and they said it was ok. I feel weird even posting the pictures, but in a way, it kind of helps. We actually scattered the ashes a week and a half ago, it just took me a while to be able to look at the pictures.


Detroit Electronic Music Festival, again. This one turned out to be my favorite festival weekend since the first one! I had such a blast seeing old friends, dancing with them, hearing terrific music...good times.

As for the pictures, I haven't been doing much photography lately, so I vowed to take pictures of everyone that I ran into at the festival. That lasted...about a day. By Sunday evening I basically gave up, pictures are pretty sparse after that point. They're also chronological, following the progression of the weekend (and my state of mind).

I spent a lot of time in Detroit from 2000-2003 (hi, Derek), when I loved to run around and take pictures of the urban decay. I didn't get to do very much of that on this visit, but I did take some fun shots of Eastern Market at 4am Sunday morning.

Festival highlights included (but not limited to):

- Dan Bell at the underground stage
- all the hot people at the Italo party at the gay leather bar Jeffrey played Sunday night
- the family feeling of the Meiotic afterparty Sunday, arriving to find all my friends dancing
- Alexander Robotnik's set at the electro tent
- running around Eastern Market taking pictures at 4am
- wah wah wah wah wah wah wah
- when Luciano played sunrise techno and everyone around me waved their arms in unison - it couldn't have been choreographed better.
- Jason Snell's set at the breakcore party in Eastern Market
- the fall I so ungracefully took walking over a concrete block without spilling any of the drinks in my hands, having Greg almost step on my face while trying to break my fall.
- Greek breakfast with Sneak
- taking pictures in the bathroom while not exactly sober
- the pain game compressed into one sweatbox of a room
- Mike Passarati's set. Wow.
- La Shish - so tasty
- Sweetwater's wings make chicken worth eating
- the accidental netmeet during Derek's set at the Nefarious booth
- bring given water and a space to dance behind the metal fence by Chuck and Jason when I thought I was going to dehydrate during Rich's closing set

Yeah, the above highlights are kinda cheesy, but I really did have a wonderful time this weekend. Mostly because of all the fabulous company I kept, but also the amazing music.

Previous festival pictures 2000, guess I didn't take any at 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004.


Coachella pictures: I had a blast! It was so much fun hanging out in the desert. The pictures don't do it justice, but the Indio valley is surrounded by a panorama of gorgeous red mountains. Some mentions: the blurry dark picture is of Alicia and Perry Farrell in the v.i.p. tent. Atom was trying to get me to be in the picture too, but I hate bugging people, especially celebrities. The last two pictures of blue sky on the drive back to LA were photoshopped: the smog was so gross and thick the sky looked gray. Seriously, you could barely see mountains through it. But the windmill farm was cool.

As for the music, my sets of the weekend were: M.I.A., The Locust, Matt Dear, and Weezer, in that order. Honorable mention to the first ten minutes of Bauhaus, the first half hour of Nine Inch Nails, The Prodigy for entertainment and nostalgia factor, Gang of Four, and M83. I feel like an ass for missing Fantomas for the Urb afterparty that sucked. A little tip: if you're not used to the desert, it's not OK to drink vodka all day instead of water. It will catch up to you, in a terrible way.


The pictures posted today remind me a lot of the ones I took when I first started getting into photography: intensely macro, high on contrast, all about texture. A regression? Perhaps. I haven't been taking pictures regularly for months, almost a year, so it would make sense that I'm back near where I started.


When we were driving around the Columbia River Gorge in December, I had us stop so I could look at the decaying ribcage of an animal by the side of the road. I realized from a hoof nearby that it was a deer. Across the road, Kurt saw something way more disturbing: two recently killed deer, just left there. It was really sad. What was more messed up was that there were some organs laying around in big baggies, and discarded plastic gloves. It was disgusting, sickening: killing, dismembering, and then just leaving the animals there. All I could really do was take pictures; the lens creates some kind of distance.


Sometime in November (I forget when, hence the "??" in the date) I was over at Atom and Johnny's. Johnny needed a picture of himself by the next morning for a piece that UR was doing on him; since I had my camera with me, I took some pictures. It was kind of fun to photograph someone who was specifically wanting me to do so, instead of annoying my friends and family as usual. Anyway, they're kind of a group of shots, kind of funny, so I posted them. The black and white one of Johnny looking in a mirror was printed in UR, and I was uncredited as the photographer. Thanks a lot, crappy paper. Oh well, it was a bad printing job, I don't think I'd want credit for it.


Mark and Emily's wedding at the Little Church of the West Las Vegas. I cried, it was very sweet. Congratulations!


Las Vegas, wow. It was my first time there, and yes, those are footballs of Everclear. Ouch. I guess that explains why most of the pictures are really blurry. Not my best photography, but I post them for the memries: I had a blast! It's fun town to spend a few days in (no more than that, I can't take it) with some good friends: Atom, Mandy, Mark, Emily, Emily, and Josh.

A couple side notes. First, it's a shame that you can't take pictures inside strip clubs and casinos, because that's where the craziest stuff happened. Second: pictures of Mark and Emily's wedding, the main excuse for going to Vegas, will be posted separately. Third: I really don't like gambling. It's just not fun for me. Which is good, otherwise I'd be even more broke than I was coming home. Oh, and the black and white pictures mark a different day: Halloween, getting ready to go out, post-wedding. See also: Atomly's pictures of the trip.


The pictures of the Art Institute are from my birthday; I get the day off work as a personal holiday, so for the last three years I've gone down there. My favorite room is the Ando room (I think it's called?), quiet, dark, pillars, Japanese screens. The best place to just sit.

Yeah, my birthday was almost a month ago, I need to get caught up. I used to have a routine, most nights before bed I'd post pictures, but the last year saw the evolution of a different bedtime routine. However, that... [distraction] moved to Portland, so perhaps now I can get back into the semi-daily picture habit. That would be nice; it's pleasing to the documentation freak in me to have a somewhat accurate chronology.


It was really dim on the warehouse that held the Lyric Opera costume sale, so a lot of the photos are low-light blurry A lot more are redundant. So it goes.


Sometimes I hold pictures back, waiting until I have a place for them. When I post daily groups of pictures, I want them to be somewhat harmonious, not incongruent. So today's pictures are from different points in time, but all of them have bright color, and all but the fish picture use the rockstar flash (longer exposure + popping the flash).


Today's post is a collection of CTA pictures for the public transportation photo contest at This is Grand. I'm not posting the ones I submitted, but the ones I took and didn't use. Green Line Lake street near Western, the Logan Square stop, the Clark and Lake stop, the Oak Park Blue Line stop, and some Brown Line El pylons on Franklin near Erie.


The Redmoon Theater Autumn Spectacle was fantastic - in every sense of the word. When the show began I wanted to take a ton of pictures of the actors. Unfortunately, I was too far away and it got dark, so the few shots I took were blurry. But that's ok; when I stopped taking pictures I got totally absorbed by the show, especially it's finale.


Pictures from the Clybourn Metra stop. I had some time to kill waiting for the train to visit my family for my sister Kay's birthday, so I poked around with my camera. Decay being a favorite subject of mine, I loved the underbelly of the walkway between platforms.


Almost all of the pictures taken on Saturday (posted today) while Kurt was starting to move out were through a window, or about a window, or had a window in it. Unintentional, I must say.

Also, I'm starting to enjoy more blurry pictures. Digital cameras tend to produce really sharp, crisp images, but lately I've been going for something a little softer, slightly blurred. Not sure why.


Labor Day pictures from the barbecue at Paul's house. I didn't get my camera out until dusk, so all the shots are low-light, long exposure. Hence: a bit of blur. But I ended up liking some of the blur, like the black and white pic of Lauren, or the in-motion shot of Kurt playing soccer.


Once again a total backlog. Lately, the days don't seem to have enough time in them. Much more coming (especially Labor day pictures for Paul). Also would like to note that the numbers that appear in a few of the pictures were taken at Frank's request, for use on The Outside Agency record covers. Upon reflection, I don't even like the pictures I've posted today; perhaps that's what happens when I let things lapse.


Pictures have piled up, waiting to be posted. Last week was a blur to me, though yesterday I started taking pictures again. After a long time shrinking from her former self, my grandma passed away last week. So today, I am posting green things, flowers. Not really sure why.


Even though I grew up in a sports household (my mom is a nut), I'm not a real sports fan. But I had never sat in the bleachers at Wrigley, so I took the opportunity to go with Mikey, Chris, and Nate. It was fun, though somewhat brutal: no shade at all + no clouds = a wicked burn, even with sunblock. I wish I'd had a polarizing filter. A good time was had; it's definitely rowdier in the bleachers. Though now that I've done it once, I don't really feel the need to bleacher bum it up again.


More shop pictures; I just love the color that saturates the place. Sure, the paints are horribly toxic, but aren't the drippings pretty? Ha. Anyway, not too much to say about this set except that these two were taken through a piece of pink plexiglass or something.


I love the picture of Kurt posted today, even if you can't see his eyes. And I chose to post the picture of Nikko because it's the only one I've taken in a long time where she isn't smiling; I like that she's making a weird face, though she has such a fantastic smile.


The pictures posted today are the last of the crappy 400 ISO screwup. They're a little grainy, but since they are very textured pictures, it's not such a huge deal. Oh, all except the screen picture, that one was taken at a normal film speed emulation.


Dammit! Seriously, crap. Summerdance last night was such a blast, everyone dancing their asses off with huge smiles, but I screwed up and left my camera on 400 ISO emulation so all the non-rockstar flash mode pictures came out grainy. That's the second time I've messed up settings less than a week that I've had my new camera; at the shop on Saturday (pictures I haven't yet posted), I left the exposure turned up for the duration of the day. Am I out of practice, or just not used to the new UI? I'll get it right, I just wish I hadn't messed up last night's pictures. On the bright side though,Matt commented on how happy having a camera again seemed to make me, that I was glowing whenever I took a photo. To be fair, I was pretty darn happy all night just to be dancing with so many friends.

Anyway yeah, none of these pictures are posted because they're good pictures, because most of them are pretty bad. But I had such a fantastic time last night that I had to post them anyway.


People pictures! Not something I'm always comfortable taking, but there they are. All of these were taken with my new camera, which I am still getting used to.


Today's pictures are still from the old camera. But good news! I ordered a Canon Powershot G5 (since I loved my G2 so much), it should be here in the next couple days. In the meantime, I've been taking pictures with my Ericsson t-610, which I am considering posting here. Mobile photologs are kinda silly, but also kinda fun. Since I've been doing it daily to fulfill my urge to photograph after my real camera was stolen, I might just post a few.


My camera was stolen. Today's images, and the grain elevator images I'll post tomorrow are from the last week or two. I will be buying another camera very soon, probably a Canon Powershot G3 or G5 since I liked my G2 so much, but I don't know for sure yet. Very frustrating.


Friday's sunset was spectacular, as watched from Kurt's third story back porch. I posted most of the pictures I took, in chronological order, (even the boring ones) because it's kind of neat to observe the progression. I feel the sunset peaked around the time of this photograph.


The pictures of Emily and I running around Detroit with two bottles of Jack on a Sunday night. Um, trouble.


Detroit Electronic Music Festival, again. This year I barely took any pictures, especially compared to all of the previous years. Most of the pictures from this year aren't good because I wasn't really interested, and um, when I was interested I was pretty drunk. Speaking of drunk, there's a series of pictures I may or may not post from running around Detroit with Emily and a couple bottles of Jack Daniels. We'll see about those.


Ok, that was definitely the longest hiatus this photolog has seen, including most of September when I was in Ghana. Quite the opposite to last May, when I did a project with Naz that had us shooting photos every single day.

Anyway, I'm back. During the time I didn't update I was still taking pictures, though not as frequently; the next week at least will be posting photos from the last month and a half. It's funny how difficult a habit, once broken, can be to get back into. Especially when I'm so distracted.


I usually don't mind killing time if I have my camera with me; seeing pictures keeps me occupied.


A few preliminary pictures from Costa Rica. I've gone through about a hundred of the four hundred I took while there. That may sound like a large number, but really, I feel like I didn't take many at all. The trip was basically the opposite of my trip to Ghana: I didn't want to take pictures, I didn't want to buy souvenirs. I just wanted to be an unintrusive visitor, and I think I did an ok job of that.


Odds and ends, catching up. One from January, even. I'm not particularly into any of the pictures posted today, but they're ok. Mostly, I wanted to put something up this week; I'm leaving Saturday for 10 days in Costa Rica, and didn't want to leave the photolog un-updated for that long.


Again, more brown-centric pictures. I can't help it, I love the color.

Once again with Devil's Lake I wish I'd brought my camera when we were at the lake itself, climbing rocks and bouldering around, instead of just taking pictures at the semi-frozen campground. The quartzite rocks there are awesome, purple and huge and great for climbing.


Suddenly, a backlog of pictures again. I haven't been home much, so no real time to do the daily maintenance of posting the pictures I've been taking. I'll catch up.

On Friday I had some time to kill at the Old Colony building, and so took some photos in a hallway. Low key pictures all around, which I think is why I felt the need to crank up the contrast and such on so many of them.

Note to manual camera users: avoid Mid-State Camera. Their service is horrific, slow, and incomplete. Extremely rude and unpleasant to deal with, which would be somewhat acceptable if they actually finished the job they were hired to do, anywhere near on time. Nine months later is not on time. I'll stop now.


For most of the pictures I really wanted to take this weekend, I didn't have my camera with me. However, it wasn't laziness that caused me to leave it behind. We were hiking and sledding and climbing trees along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, in Michigan, and I knew that sledding down some serious hills and dunes would probably lead to a few wipe-outs. Plenty of wipe-outs! Not to mention the sand that got was a good choice to leave it behind.

So the pictures I took were from Saturday and Sunday in the late afternoon by the car, after we were done climbing and falling all over the place, walking out onto the lake, enjoying the impending spring. There were some incredibly beautiful sights, details, and moments that I wish I could have photographed, but that's ok. I'm just glad I got to spend two days playing with someone fun in fresh air.


Last Saturday I spent the afternoon at the shop where Kurt works, casting molds and painting. It was neat to be around the machinery, and to see stuff get built, but what caught my attention the most was the wall where the airbrushing is done, so much color!


I suppose I should cross-post these pictures in the graffiti section, but since they were done on a window in an art gallery I'm a little less inclined. And by that I mean "lazy."


On the #56 bus southbound, around 7:30 Wednesday night. I usually prefer to ride my bike or take the El, but the Milwaukee Ave. bus goes basically straight from my house to Atom's, it's too easy.


In the midst of a day full of running around, we stopped at Dave's new place to relax for a few minutes. It's west of the loop, as evidenced from the skyline. I've taken pictures there before, but not in the daylight; it's a rehabbed warehouse, but they left a lot of rough edges around, which I thought was pretty neat.


Kurt's apartment doesn't have a doorbell; that's ok, I usually call when I get there. But on Sunday he didn't hear his phone, so I had some time to kill outside the front door. Fortunately I had my camera, so wasting time was fun, especially because the doorway was so brown and that's my favorite color.


I hadn't picked up my camera in what felt like weeks. Too cold, no daylight...and (grudgingly admitted) I think I've lost some confidence in my photography recently, for whatever reason. Anyway, after dinner Japonais (where much hot sake was consumed by Alicia and I), Dave was driving north, lower Wacker to the Drive, when I felt like getting out my camera. And snapping sixty or so pictures. The dirt on the car windows and the intoxication adds a bit of a dreamy feel to them, I like to think. While no one picture in the set really stands out to me, I like the group of them.


For Christmas, I got a tripod. It's lightweight and fairly portable. With it being winter (and thus dark out so much of the time), I really should start using the tripod; then maybe I'd actually have some sharp pictures.


I enjoyed Boston much more this time than on previous visits. The pictures I'm posting today are from riding around on trains, going to meet a friend in Cambridge. I was rather fond (obviously) of the high, arching T (subway) ceilings - they make Chicago's El subway stations feel claustrophobic. (However, Chi-town's 24 public transportation owns Boston's last train at 12:30am bullshit.) Anyway, the low light + a few glasses of vanilla bean and fig-infused Maker's Mark made for some not very steady pictures. Blur happens.


I had difficulty getting my camera to focus properly on the earth below. Also, spots are visible on the windowpane of the airplane. They're all very blue.


Wow, backlogged. I took some fun snow pictures last night, after most of the 9 inches stopped falling, but I'll wait to post them till tomorrow. Had to clear out some of the random shots that have been piling up over the last week or so.


From the empty lot at the intersection of Leavitt and Wabansia.


Today's pictures were taken last weekend at the post-reception hotel bar after Joy and Zachary's wedding. Congratulations! I had a wonderful time, as did everyone else, maybe too good of a time. Yes, that's my camera strap in that picture of Karl. If you want to know what things looked like for me by the wee hours of the morn (champagne-vision), take a look at this picture.


Winter pictures: snow and ice, and one lone green green green.


I had forgotten how winter affects my photography habit: I take fewer pictures. Because of the reduced daylight, a lot of them are very dark. Also contributing to the decreased number is a hesitancy to get out my camera, fiddle with gloveless hands when my fingers are already freezing. Plus my camera doesn't always work so well in arctic temperatures. Alas.


From Jen and Wade's cocktail party, some loft party on Lake that I stayed at for five minutes (to take pictures), and Jeff, Atom and Emily's brunch party. Good times. Pictures taken not so much for photography's sake, but to remember the people there. A few nights ago some old friends were going through the party pictures section of this site (god we all looked so young!), reminiscing. Even though most of those pictures aren't well-composed or whatever, they're good memories. That's kind of what this batch posted today is.


After too much turkey, I decided a walk was in order; my sister Kay was down for it, so we set about walking around Attica, the small riverside town where my grandma lives. It was almost dusk, and oh how I wish I had a tripod. That would have allowed more of the pictures to have turned out, more crisp, more color saturation with longer exposures. The sky was so gray, but when it started to get dark things were kind of blue for a short time. Yes, lots of black and white; seeing someone's work recently made me want to do more with that, shadow and light.


Call it leftover day, cleaning out the fridge before thanksgiving, whatever. Today's pictures are odds and ends from the last week, don't really go together. But there they are! Back to listening to old jungle mixes and grinnin like it's 1996.


Pictures lately have been a bit blah. I realize that having two commentary entries in a row complaining about not being happy with the pictures I take is rather lame...but I'm doing it anyway. Thought about just not posting anything, but since I have been doing some shooting I went ahead with it. Gray skies make for such flat pictures, and daylight hours are dwindling. Light affects things more than most people realize.


I'm not real happy with any of the framing I did on the Calder statue pictures. Excuses: we were in a hurry, I didn't have gloves on and my hands were freezing, blah blah blah. Point is, frequently I look at pictures and wish I could go back and re-frame them, ever so slightly. A little more to the left, a little higher. But they exist suspended in time; what's there is there.


I am starting to crave a human presence in my pictures again. So many of the photographs I take are of architecture, or weird close-ups of inanimate objects. Being in Ghana kind of burned me out on taking people pictures, but I think I'm finally starting to get over it. Some of the ones I like best lately have, if not people in them, evidence of people being around, haunting the environment.

Speaking of Ghana, three of the bottom pictures posted today are from O'Hare, taken not long after I got off the plane. Rather, they're from the impound lot at O'Hare. Nothing like travelling for 32 hours straight, only to find that your friend who took time off work to pick you up had her car booted in the 15 minutes she was inside waiting for you. Thanks, City of Chicago. Anyway, they were buried in with the Ghana pictures, but I like them and since I found them, here they are.

Also, Emily gives the best haircuts ever. That's not me getting trimmed, but I have been ever so happy with every haircut she's ever given me.


The last of the warehouse pictures. Atom, Jeffrey, Emily, Zoe, Josh, and co. have moved out of the 10,000 square foot space on 26th and State. I took pictures before they moved in, while they lived there, at various parties and photoshoots there, and now today's are the moving out pictures. It was kind of a shithole, but still a lot of fun to run around.


Time for more pictures from Ghana. It's been a month and a half since I returned; when I first got back, I was eager to work on the photographs. Then something happened - not sure what - and I put them all aside for a while, a month. I guess the experience, my trip there, was very overwhelming; coming home was's hard to explain. I filled a whole notebook writing while I was there, and haven't even looked at it since I got back. But I guess I kind of needed to put that stuff aside for a little while to be able to come back and deal with it later. Later being now.

So the pictures posted today are from Cape Coast Castle, one of the major slave castles used in the slave trade. I can't even begin to describe what it was like to be there; "heavy" seems light. When we first went down into one of the dungeons, everyone was standing around, cameras out, not wanting to be the first to snap a picture. It became a game of waiting until finally someone did it, and then we all did. I didn't want to disrespect the place, but Ghanaians were taking pictures, and I really wanted to as well, so I did. When I post the final pictures (69 from Cape Coast), it'll be clear that I was fascinated by the castle's abundance of arches. And the ocean...


Street construction pictures from Damen, by Wicker Park, at night. The streetlights cause that intense orange-yellow tone.


The bike pictures are from Boulevard Bikes, a kickass shop in Logan Square.


Quiet, backyard pictures today. Cranked up the contrast on a few of them, but otherwise stayed close to home.


This time, what wasn't photographed is more important than what was. I just couldn't bring myself to take pictures of every single item that belonged to my great Aunt Casey, laid out on trailorbeds for auction. So I took pictures of people at the auction instead.


For the record, there were no color adjustments made to the bathroom picture. It was pre-dawn, and the light coming in the window looked purple when contrasted with the blue lightbulb we have installed in the bathroom overhead fixture. I know, it looks like a green light in the picture, but it really is blue. I did use the smartblur Photoshop filter, ever so slightly, because I was tired and couldn't hold the camera still enough to get a totally crisp shot. I really need to buy a tripod.


I'd like to note that the pictures posted today (which are from the Legowelt show at the Fireside) worked on with my new computer: a 12" powerbook. Yep, a mac. After all these years I have crossed over, or more accurately, am crossing over. It's kind of frustrating, to learn a new interface, though I am already enjoying Photoshop on it. We'll see how it goes.


Atom, Jeff, and Emily's new place at Washington and Jefferson. I know I took a lot of similar pictures of the alley, but the light was so perfect right then, I had to. Also, I forgot that I had left my camera set to an F-stop of 2, and couldn't figure out why this picture kept turning out weird and overexposed.


Finally, I've started playing with aperture. Took long enough, right? Got sick of having everything crisp, wanted a smaller depth of focus field. So, used the smallest F-stop my camera has: 2. It goes from 2 to 8. I really should dig out my dad's old fully automatic camera and play with it more.


Usually I avoid Wrigleyville, but my friend Dan lives on Sheffield, with rooftop access, so I figured why not? and braved the crowds for Wednesday night's game 2 of the pennant race. Things got pretty rowdy, but it made for a good time. The lights at Wrigley are so bright, I was taking pictures in the street like it was daylight, minimal use of flash.


I took two versions of this picture: one with the background in focus, which I posted, and one with the foreground in focus, which I did not.


Today I posted some of the only pictures that I've taken in the two weeks I've been back from Ghana. Funny how I returned to familiar, comfortable subject matter: industrial design. No faces. The pics were taken on my birthday in the Aerospace Design exhibit at the Art Institute. One guard told me it was cool to take the shots, then another one yelled at me for doing so. I used the Tungsten white balance, though the lighting wasn't totally yellow, which is what gives a lot of the pictures such a cool-toned hue.


Yeah, I've slacked on getting more pictures up. I've kind of been avoiding all photography since I've been back from Ghana, not even picking up my camera. Saturation will do that, as will reverse culture shock. It'll pass.


Consider this a sneak preview of what's to come. Today's pictures are just a few of the 3000 or so that I took while in Ghana, edited while I was there. They were done on a laptop, where the screen wasn't very good for viewing, and I didn't have any of my Photoshop actions with me. So when I go back through and start editing all of the pictures I took, I'll probably redo the ones that have been done. Wow, I've got a lot of work to do. But it was a good trip, quite an experience, one that I'm still processing.


A whole week, barely any pictures. Don't even think I turned on my camera till today. Too frantic - which is too bad; photography has proven a great stress relief for me over the last couple years. Deadlines for work, preparation for the trip to Ghana (leaving in three days!), health problems, blah blah blah, almost thought I wouldn't be posting at all this week.

Then, on the drive home from Cincy I took a few shots. These are three that were a product of the Skyway's tedium, waiting to merge into one-lane traffic to cross the Skybridge (such romantic names for industrial/ infrastructure stuff). Though no one was moving, I was trying to pay attention to the road, so I just turned my camera on, didn't bother opening the LCD or looking through the viewfinder.


Yes, it's a "crank up the contrast" kind of day. A day where I don't mind losing a little detail.


It's kinda funny, now, to think that not so long ago I had to force myself to take pictures of people instead of architecture and rust and other patterned, inanimate, decaying stuff. Perhaps it's caused by summer: so many functions, family. Also, been bringing my camera with me when I go out to clubs, bars, parties. But I'm seriously starting to fiend for a trip down to Gary, to shoot some factories.

For the record, the sky was very overcast, diffusing this weird light at the bbq/reception for the wedding Saturday, when I took the pictures posted. I didn't use the "cloudy" white balance instead opting for black and white.


I used a yellow lens thingy held over my camera lens to produce the yellow picture of Nikko. It's some kind of a lens that I bought at American Science and Surplus for 50 cents, but it doesn't fit on my camera. Hence, holding by hand. I also bought a greenish one, and used it too, but didn't like any of the pictures that it took with it.

The lomoize filter was used on the tricycle picture.


I've never seen it, but apparently The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly makes people want to smoke cigarillos. The sepia was done with a setting on my camera, not in Photoshop, though I decreased saturation there.


No filters or color adjustment on this one; it was taken through the upper blue part of a windshield.

Also, I think I've been doing a better job lately of balancing people pictures with brick pictures.


I used a new Photoshop action on the bike seat picture: the Lomoize action, which I found via Dewberry.


Toldja so. Back to rust and peeling paint.


I guess this was the week for taking black and white people pictures. Next week I'll resume photographing bricks and architecture, I swear.


I needed some passport pictures for a visa application to Ghana. Jeffrey has an old Polaroid passport camera that he got off Ebay for $20. Last night he came over, took my picture; some of the results got a little messed up, but I thought they looked better that way. I am still very uncomfortable having my picture taken.


Almost all the pictures from my family reunion are in black and white because they were taken in bright, harsh daylight. Attempting color then just washed everything out. However, my camera does black and white mode so well, that stuff turned out ok that way.


For the record, the "j" "e" and bottom half of the "s" were already on the ground like that. All I did was move a piece of junk to make the top of the "s" and take the picture. That's my name, don't wear it out!


Another trip to the conservatory. Alicia wanted to go to check out the new sound installation, which nice, but didn't fit the fern room as well as the previous one. Anyway, I used a new setting on my camera: "vivid" (example). The art mode on my camera has vivid, neutral, sepia (which I also used on the shoe pic), and black&white. Now I've used all but neutral. Vivid's kinda cool, and seemed appropriate in a place that was already bursting with color, but it's not a mode to be overused.

We were there right around closing, 5pm, so the light was nice and toned. Plus there were crazy storms blowing through, so that was cast as well.


Regarding the lighting pictures, see yesterday's comment about stupid lights and how I like them now. The band pictures are from a show at The Abbey, and the rest are from a party for the Undershorts Film Festival.


I'm not a huge fan of the fourth of July; patriotism makes me nervous. However, I do enjoy all the fireworks that constantly go off in my neighborhood, because it means people are celebrating, having a good time. For the sparkler pictures, I left the shutter open at a .6 second exposure, which I liked best after trying out various other lengths. Usually when I put together a collection, I pay attention to the arrangement of pictures, try and make each surrounding picture compliment the next, or tell a story, or provide contrast or context. With the July fourth pictures I said screw it, they're up in a kind of randomness.

Also, I'm backlogged again, still need to post pics from various points last week, and the party I went to Saturday night that had lots of pretty lighting. Funny, back when I was a raver I hated all the stupid lights, Intellibeams, stuff like that. Always preferred a pitch black room with a lazer, and maybe a little fog, that's it. A little red light if you must have some. Now I kinda like all the stupid lighting, because it makes for pretty pictures.

One more bit of news: I bought a Lomo Kompakt Automat. After checking out all the pros and cons, I went for it anyway. It's weird, using film again. Uh, viewfinder? Where's my display? This camera's going to have a much higher learning curve (comfort curve), because I can't view the results immediately. I'm liking it already, though.


Should I or shouldn't I? I had a debate about whether it was ok to post pictures from the Nipporn party of people stripping. Obviously, I decided it was ok; I feel that people who participate in a stripping contest at a hipster sex party should not be surprised to find themselves on the internet. Plus, Nipporn seems to be all about sexual freedom and not being ashamed, two concepts that are pretty right on. However, I don't want to upset anyone, so as usual, if you are uncomfortable with you picture being posted here, email me (j3s at j3s dot net) and I will remove it.

Now some technical notes: I used what Lacey dubbed the "rockstar flash" a lot - all the pictures with a red tint and streaky lights. I have decided that while it's a fun setting, it's only really good for portraits; too much ambient light gets in otherwise. So I used the normal flash too, and again screwed up by leaving the exposure turned all the way down. A little turned down is fine, but I've found the -1 setting works better than -2, which is what was on that night. For most of the normal flash pictures, I did auto-contrast in Photoshop, and then turned down the saturation.

Also, I wish I'd gotten closer to some of the people. I've decided that I'd really like to try shooting some nudes, tastefully done. Preferably black and white. Of course, that would require friends willing to get naked in front of a camera, and procuring some studio lighting.


Though I'm not a Mac person, I admit the new store was pretty sweet. I felt a little funny taking pictures till this guy saw me and said something to his wife. He then went back down the stairs, she whipped out the video camera, and filmed him walking up the stairs again. Heh. It's so nice to not be the only geek in the room.


I have a new favourite setting! I'd never used the mode on my camera designated by an icon of a person with a star behind him/her. But it's the best for portraits that require a flash! This picture was taken with it. I wish I'd been using this all those times I took pictures of people with a flash.

Also, Naz showed me some neat Photoshop trickery, half of which I've forgotten already. Mainly though, playing with colour balance is so much better than the hue setting. This picture had its colour balance played with.


Today's pictures are also from this weekend, but I felt that they deserved to be posted separately. Walking back to my grandma's house with my sister after a big dinner the light was fabulous, rich, gold. Train tracks, so ubiquitous in my life.


Spent the solstice in Attica, Indiana, going through my grandmother's house with family. She recently moved into an assisted living facility (different than a nursing home - she has her own apartment), and will probably have to sell her house. Her house where she amassed a lifetime of clutter and awesome objects and randomness, which is what we were there to deal with this weekend. Stuff.

To be accurate, not all the pictures were taken in Attica. Some are from Williamsport, ten minutes southwest of Attica, where my uncle just bought an old Carnegie library building. It's also home to Indiana's highest waterfall, clocking in at 90 feet. There, I discovered a limitation of my camera that irks me. Shooting in black and white (art mode) leaves me unable to adjust the point of focus, a feature I use frequently. So in this shot, it focused in the middle of the frame, I didn't get to focus on my sister as I wanted to.

Yeah, the Attica page is a collection that I made for myself. For myself. There aren't many great shots in there, certainly not enough to justify a separate gallery for the weekend. But it was kind of an emotional thing to do, sorting through a house where I've spent a lot of time with a person who is very special to me, and I wanted to mark that somehow. I've noticed that when I look at pictures I've taken for my photolog over the last couple years, seeing them makes me remember events with much more detail, and recall full days that might have otherwise been uneventful. I need to remember.


While hanging out in Wicker Park (the park itself) on Sunday, I started fooling around with my camera settings. I used the panorama mode for the first time, with pretty decent results. Photostitch is a cool program; all other panoramas I've done (mostly graffiti walls) I did by hand in Photoshop. With the exception of the first seam, I think the park panorama turned out really well.

Second: black and white mode (yeah, I know, lots of it lately). Till now, I've been shooting everything in colour, because Jeffrey told me there's more data that way, and that it was best to delete a channel later in Photoshop. But now that I've played with my camera's black and white mode, I think it's better than shooting in colour with the intention of converting to b&w. Maybe it does the metering differently or something...I don't really know how these things work, but I'd like to learn.

Third, several people have suggested that I post the bigger versions of my pictures, perhaps at 640 x 480 instead of 400 x 300. When I started this photolog a year and a half ago, that's about what I posted them at, but over time they shrunk. So now I'm trying to make them somewhat larger, that means 555 x whatever the other dimension is. Yeah.

Finally: go check out the new No East! I have some pictures in there, from the street musician project I did with Alicia.


Pictures from Zoe's fashion photoshoot. When I told people that I'd be doing a shoot on Saturday, they assumed that I'd be taking the pictures. Wrong! I actually modeled some clothes. Kinda funny; I've never been comfortable with having my picture taken. But I firmly believe that if you're uncomfortable with something, you should confront that. So, I had my picture taken. And it wasn't that bad; Zoe's clothes are really cute, and I ended up relaxing. The pictures Andrew took will eventually go on her site for xnx designs.

Because I was having my picture taken, I didn't take many pictures. But when I heard we were going up to the roof for the last set of outfits, I had to grab my camera - never been on the roof of their warehouse. Too bad my compact flash card filled up halfway through that shoot; I had another, but it was down the rickety steps. Ah well, I like what I got, even if it was in midday sun.


All of today's pictures have one subject: light.


Another party at the warehouse where I got drunk and ran around taking annoying flash pictures of people. This time though, Chrise took even more of those than I, and a couple frightening ones of me. Happy birthday, Emily!

Wow, so many people pictures lately! I think I need to return to photographing bricks and sidewalks again, pronto.


Pictures from the Ghostly International show at the Empty Bottle: Midwest Product and Kill Memory Crash. Good music, good times.


Driving towards I-65 on 32 I had to pull over and take pictures in what I later found out was downtown Lebanon, Indiana. I have a special fondness for small town downtowns, especially those in Indiana, with their fabulously domed courthouses. Probably because so much of my family lives in Indiana towns. My mom and I moved to Chicago when I was four years old, but growing up visiting places with Main Streets that are actually main streets left an impression on me. Revisiting them, even little towns I've never been to before that have the same feeling...yeah. Hard to describe, but I love it. But only for so long, and then I have to get back to a real city.


Had my camera with me all the nights I went out this weekend: Darkstar 7 at the Shanley Pavilion, left it in Doris's trunk when we saw Recloose at Smartbar (oops...thanks for bailing me out, Niko), Yo La Tengo show at The Vic, and Todd Sines at Spot 6, which was kind of surreal. Anyway, rather than posting them separately I thought what the hell, just make one page for the whole weekend.


Driving west on US 32 from Carmel to I-65, I kept seeing all these deliciously decaying old barns, half of which had roofs caved in but still somehow seemed to be in use for storage. Unfortunately, they were all adjacent to someone's house, so I didn't stop to knock on anyone's door, just kept driving. Told myself I'd stop at this abandoned schoolhouse I've been driving by for years. Unfortunately, when I arrived it was gated, protected by dogs, so I couldn't get very close.


I learned an important lesson shooting the silo pictures: CHECK YOUR SETTINGS.

On my drive down to Crawfordsville, I saw the silos and had to pull over. There wasn't a "No trespassing" sign but I still felt apprehensive, like I was doing something wrong. So I shot everything very quickly, and didn't realize until later that my camera was set to the fully automatic mode the whole time, which I never use. Ugh. Everything looks so flat. I cranked up the saturation in some of the pictures, but still. I wish I could go back and shoot slowly, with my own levels set.

Plus there was a storm blowing in, and one of the silos was making this creepy squeaky sound, and I'm kicking myself for not using to video function to capture the feeling, and the sound.


Stage lighting is another thing entirely. Dim but bright, total colour saturation, large space to absorb flash. I'm still grappling with it. My mom used to take pictures for a small theatre company in Evanston when I was growing up, but those were always black and white. Still, I should ask her for tips next time, I could use all the help I can get.


May is over. My top secret project required that I take pictures every day of May, every single day, and to get good ones I'd take at least fifty a day; the project is over. I don't have to take pictures today. I can return to taking pictures when I see them, when I feel like it, instead of by necessity. Ahhhh. There's such a backlog now that I can take a week off and if I want, still post every day. Best thing about this though, is now I can write poems again. For some reason, when I concentrate on photography, I don't write much. When I'm writing a lot, I don't take pictures. Really, I wish it wasn't such a binary thing.


After talking to Naz last week about a photo of his that I really like, I've started playing, very subtly, with the hue of pictures. Until now, I've been pretty against digital manipulation of the pictures I take, beyond small stuff, like unsharp mask or a faint tinkering with levels. However, I've been having the urge to totally crank up the contrast on a lot of stuff lately. I was fighting that for a while, till I talked to Naz, and also to Will, who pointed out that this is a while new medium, I should absolutely feel free to digitally manipulate images in any way that feels right. So, ok, here we go.


Another year, another DEMF. Good times, lots of great pictures to be taken. I went with my camera with Gapers Block in mind, that I'd do some kind of article for them. Right now I'm so exhausted that I'm tempted to just make it a pictorial. Long weekend, drank a lot, and that doesn't always make for the most clear photography. What matters is that I had fun, heard some great music.


Been feeling the urge more and more lately to make things black and white, simplify the visibility of line, shadow, crank up the contrast. I haven't been shooting in very rich light, so nothing's lost in the conversion, I just don't want to overdo it.


Pictures from our project for the Fast Forward Film Festival. We got the topic for our three-minute video (start with sweat stains, end with a fake ID) Friday night at 7:30. Stayed up till the wee hours and then back up early again to keep shooting. I'd never done any acting before, and had fun with it. The movies were due at 5pm Saturday, screening at 8. We didn't win, but it was a helluva lot of fun!


Ridiculously backlogged again. A full weekend (and week, I guess) of interesting subjects and good lighting will do that. No time to administer documentation. Beginning the game of catch-up once again.


Alicia and I went on a mission, taking pictures of, interviewing, and recording street musicians. The pictures posted today are from that excursion, which took place yesterday around rush hour. I have more photos that I like, but have been trying to limit myself to posting eight pictures per day, no deluge. None of the pictures for our project are posted; I'll hold off on those till the next issue of No East goes live.

What I'm happiest with was taking more people pictures. Sometimes I wish I had a more powerful zoom, but then I remember how my last camera didn't have a zoom at all. It was cool, too, photographing the musicians; some of them regarded me a bit suspiciously, but being with Alicia made me less shy than usual about it.


Today's pictures are a little too monotone, glad I had a few of the flag pictures to mix it up.


Damn, I have totally dropped the ball on my promise to take more people pictures. The top-secret (ha!) project I'm working on might have some influence over that; it has me on the theme of decay, and thus seeing it everywhere. Though to think of it, people decay too...


Some more either/ors: chose one over the other. And this over that. There are several more that I couldn't choose between, but ended up deciding that neither of them were worth posting. Very indecisive today.


Been turning up the contrast a little more lately. And by lately, I mean today. It started when I had to come up with a small, black and white picture of myself for Gapers Block, and I carried it over into today's batch of pictures. And by today's I mean pictures from Sunday, because I'm still backlogged. Oh well.

I had to choose between two perspectives of this brick wall: one and two. I've been a lot better lately with aligning things perpendicular to the frame, cutting back on the Battlefield Earth angles. But I had to go with the second photo, it's just so much...more clean.

Also, if this one looks a little funny, it's because I heard the train and shot the picture before the lens was pointed to the right place. So the light is metered wrong, and it's a little out of focus, but I actually prefer it that way.


For the first time in a while, I'm a little backlogged. It's Sunday, and I'm posting pictures from Thursday and Friday. Yesterday and today's pictures will have to wait until tomorrow. Playing catch up. The reason for the lag is split: first, having out-of-town guests makes it difficult to be productive. Second, I've embarked on a project that has increased the number of pictures I take. More specifically, it's disciplining me to take pictures every day, whereas I usually have a few days a week when I don't touch the camera.


I realized that I've been taking a lot of pictures in various bars and clubs lately: Big Wig, Smartbar, Gold Star, Rainbo, Smoke Daddy, Earwax. Ok, those last two are restaurants, but still. It's hard to resist long exposures with the interesting lighting one finds in such places. And yes, it's indicative of how I spend my evenings, but I work at home all day; when nighttime rolls around I just want to get out.


The red trash picture is named so because the bathroom where it was was lit by a red light bulb. But it was TOO red, detracted from the texture of the crinkled paper towels, so I went with black and white.


This one is an overexposed (shutter time: .8 seconds at 730pm) shot of water in a fountain, with the contrast cranked up in Photoshop.


Excepting the bottom two images, today's pictures are all about the light. Most of them were taken just before 7pm.


Again, in an environment (dark warehouse) that requires me to use a flash, revealing several things I don't like about relying on it. First of all, it doesn't always get colour correct, though I've found that it helps if there's something white in the picture. Second, I don't want to wash people out, so I keep the flash turned down to its lowest setting. However, sometimes this is insufficient for the subject, and in almost all cases leaves the background completely black, like the person I'm photographing is hovering in space.

Finally, a flash is annoying when everyone has adjusted their eyes to the dark, and they're drunk. I figured that if I was to keep my promise to myself of photographing more people than bricks, I'd just have to deal with that. So I overcompensated, started to enjoy how obnoxious it was to flash a camera in someone's face - oh yeah, I was drunk too. I got so into it that I stopped using the LCD, instead using the Force to frame pictures. Seemed like a good idea at the time, though it resulted in a lot of cropped heads. Ah well, at least I had fun running around annoying people. And I let myself take a few brick pictures, too, though all of those were no flash, several-second exposures.


I love going to the lake. Sitting by the water is one of the most relaxing things I know, a place I've always found peace. But you also meet some interesting people on warm nights, if you're open to talk to them. Last night, one of the people we met was Britney. I let her play with my camera and discovered she had a pretty good eye. She took this picture of Alicia and R-lo, and I really like its composition.

Technical notes: I used a lot of long exposures, especially as it got darker. Two or three second exposures required setting down the camera on a ledge, or the ground. I really should buy a small tripod. And by the way, I'm not down with the new multi-layer cement slabs the city is lining the lakefront with. As a kid I loved nothing more than to scamper over the boulders along the lakeshore; now they're all gone, or inaccessible. Probably more safe this way, but way more lame.

Side note: got my first professional photo credit! Previously, I've let friends use my pictures for fliers and cds, but never thought or wanted to charge them anything. I was flattered that they were interested. Anyway, Urb Magazine online used three of my pictures from the Takemura/Stewart Walker show to accompany the review Josh wrote. Thanks, Josh, for asking me to take pictures. Because of how the site's laid out, I can't post a direct link, but if you go here and click the "Massiv" navigation link and select Nobukazu Takemura, you can see the ones they used. I really like the picture in the middle, glad they selected it. Kind of sucks though, that they misspelled my name. One "s" in Jesica, folks. Oh well, it happens all the time, I'm used to it.

Oh, and Alicia posted some sounds from the lake excursion here.


I thought my camera was broken. Everything kept coming out overexposed, no matter how much I messed with aperture or exposure. Very frustrating. Freaking out. And then I remembered that I had it set to emulate 400 film speed, better to capture pictures in a lowlight environment. Set it back to normal, and whew! Everything was fine. But I was left with a bunch of pictures that were way overexposed, not to mention grainy. So I played with them in Photoshop and salvaged what I could. Looking through the April afternoon pictures, it's pretty easy to tell the point when I reset my film speed emulation.

The pictures were taken round 4pm on a very sunny but somewhat hazy day. Light is so important, I feel it's worth mentioning what time I took the photographs.


The runner up: I chose sidewalk 1 over sidewalk 2, even though I promised myself I'd cut down on funky angles.


It's really too bad that I take most of my walks at lunchtime. Midday light is so harsh, only really good for strong shadows and blinding colours.


Josh asked me to bring my camera to the Empty Bottle to take pictures for a write up he was doing on Nobukazu Takemura and Stewart Walker. In the course of the night, I realized some things about photographing bands/djs. For starters, I had my flash turned down to its lowest setting; I should have turned it up. Second, don't be shy; with that camera, it's ok to get up front to snap a few, just don't be rude and consider retreating when you're finished. If possible, get to a high place to be able to shoot above heads. Use a good zoom. And next time, I'd shoot the non-flash pictures with my camera set to emulate 400 film speed.

Also, friends and strangers are a lot more receptive to having their pictures taken when inebriated.

I'm deciding once and for all to do away with the "Battlefield Earth" (as Chrise calls them) camera angles. It's such a habit now, one that it's time to break. I adopted the skewed angles because I got sick of not being able to properly align the frame. I've gotten a lot better at that - which requires practice - so really, it's time to reserve strange angles as an occasional thing, not a constant.

Incidentally, the show was great. Takemura only played about ten minutes of the stuff of his that I really love: glitchy, child-like noise (circa Child magic, Milano, or Scope); the rest of his set was loungy. Walker rocked it, had the whole place dancing with his no-laptop live PA, everyone screaming for an encore, myself included.


Taking sneaky people pictures in a cafe is easy!


So I've started putting asterisks next to photolog entries with commentary to link it up. Maybe eventually I'll have time to go back and do it for all of the old commentary, but for now, it's a "here on out" thing. I really would like to automate it all; I do all the HTML by hand, which is fine. But when Movable Type Pro comes out, I'd like to redo the photolog using it, if for no other reason than to have categories.


Alicia and I were driving around when we saw this building that used to be a macaroni factory. I get pissed that so many interesting buildings get torn down to make room for generic, shittily-constructed, overpriced condos. So I took some pictures.


The light was so low at the Chicago blogger gathering at the Drake, so I decided to try my camera's 400 film speed emulation. It worked, more light was captured, but the images came out grainy. Fortunately, Chrise had a Photoshop action to fix the grain. It takes about two minutes to run for each picture, but did a pretty good job, don'tcha think?


These guys saw me photographing this mailbox and asked me to take their picture. Now, I know a major rule of portrait photography is Never shoot in midday sun (thanks for the links, Dawn). But I'm so people-shy that I was thrilled to have permission, an invitation even! In the picture I posted I had to crop out one of the guys because the light was bad, but still, it was fun.


I climbed out of the subway on my way to my bookbinding class kinda bumming, because I wasn't seeing any pictures, anywhere. Then I caught one, a hole in the ground with a bucket in it, and took out my camera. As I took a couple shots, a man standing there asked me what I was doing, why I was photographing dirt. I told him it was easier than taking pictures of people. He then informed me that that was his bucket, and I told him it would still be his when I was done with it.

He went on to explain that the building we were standing next to was his: the old Roosevelt Hotel, at the corner of Roosevelt and Wabash. It had been slated to be torn down, so he bought it and rehabbed it into apartments, which is pretty cool; one of my main issues with new development is that it demolishes or ruins old architecture that's really worth saving. But because he was calling them the Roosevelt Hotel Apartments (or something close to that), the Historical Society mandated that most of the original features of the building were maintained. Yay for preservation!

Anyway, he offered to show me around, and though I had to get to my bookbinding class, I accepted. I saw some construction around the back; I usually don't go around deserted buildings by myself for safety reasons (I get lectured enough by parents and roommates), so it was nice to have a guide. Then he told me he was about to give a realtor a tour of the building, and asked if I wanted to see the inside! Of course I accepted.

The apartments were almost all finished, so I didn't find them that interesting, though it was nice to catch some of the views from the upper floors. Decay is just so much more intriguing. But the basement, which was the lobby before Chicago built the sewer system, proved to be a stash of cool textures.

I took all of the pictures very quickly, and really wish I could go back and re-frame some of them. I don't normally crop my pictures, but ended up cropping six or seven this time, oh well. Sometimes when I shoot in a hurry it works out, sometimes it doesn't. The Roosevelt's 20-minute shoot was somewhere in-between. In any case, I felt pretty lucky to get a mini-tour of such a neat old building.


The self portrait I took as part of a sorta-interview I did for someone; she wanted a picture of me with my camera. I've said before that I'm not comfortable having my picture taken, even by myself, but I bit the bullet and took about 20 pictures in five minutes. The one I posted here is not the one I ended up sending her (I sent this one), I just like it because of how the mirror disjoints my arm.


Lots of black and white in the DC road trip pictures. I couldn't resist; so much of it seemed so grave, so monumental...which makes sense, since we were visiting monuments.

I have two compact flash cards: a 256 and a 128mb. Even so, I found myself having to delete pictures through the weekend to make room for better ones. Also, I took most of them on the second best level, not the best (superfine). I think I may need to invest in another card, or a laptop to download pictures as I go. Mmmmm, laptop.


I got kind of carried away with taking people pictures at the protest rally and march in Washington, DC, but it was great! So many faces, lots of emotion. A lot of them, looking back, I wish I'd taken at different angles, but they were all split-second shots, so oh well.

I have some other pictures from the rest of the trip: presidential monuments (I'd never been to DC, really wanted to see them), Philadelphia, Appalachia; I'll post them tomorrow. Road trips are so great, one of the only things that make me wish I still had a car.


Again, weak lighting and unsteady hands made for some not-so-great pictures that I posted anyway, because I wanted to show as many Chicago bloggers as possible who attended the Movable Type lecture.


The lighting in Alicia's apartment is terrible for picture taking. I hate using the flash, so I didn't, but everything there is so dim, all shots come out blurry.


Ok, now I totally know why people take so freakin many pictures of their kids. My nephew Blake is just the sweetest thing ever! I couldn't stop photographing him. Of course, my other nieces and nephews are equally precious, so I took their pictures too, but I had never met Blake before; he lives in Jasper, Texas. I've kind of avoided the place, its reputation frightens me a little. Not all of the pictures I posted are well composed or executed, but I wanted all of my family that was there this weekend to be represented.


Back from a weekend in Cincinnati. The purpose of the trip was to hang out with my sister Monica, who I hadn't seen in years (not sure of how many, I think seven), and her son, my newest nephew Blake. He's so sweet! Lots of personality for a toddler, such a good child. I took a ridiculous number of pictures of him, which I'll post tomorrow. For now, I'm tired, so tonight I'm only posting travel pictures, mostly airport shots.

I left the tungsten mode white balance on for the first few Cincinnati airport pictures, oops. So some of them are blue cast. Also, I took a ton of shots out the window of the plane back to Chicago. Two that I liked but didn't post are this one and this one; didn't want to be too redundant.

The flight home was strange, a tiny ComAir plane, maybe twenty or thirty seats. Before we reached cruising altitude there was a sudden drastic sustained drop, worse and longer than any others I've experienced. This woman behind me started screaming and moaning and hyperventilating, very intense on such a small plane. I wanted to take a picture of the faces she was making, but that would have been rude, I would never actually do that. But taking a bunch of pictures of my nephew this weekend while he was crying made me more interested in the expressions people make when they're freaking out.


First use of the remote that came with my camera.


Oh, how I wish I'd used Tungsten mode when taking pictures at Lazo's.


Shades of gray and tan today.


I am shy, shy, shy. On the el, when I was going to my bookbinding class, there was a woman with a small child and a ton of shiny, colourful balloons. A great contrast to the gray skies and white snow that's been so pervasive lately. Yet I did not take a picture, didn't want to be invasive. She exited at the same stop as I, so I lingered behind while she walked towards the tunnel that transfers from blue to red line at Washington. However, she had a stroller and was very slow, and I was late for my bookbinding class, so I had to forgo the picture.

At that point I had my camera out and snapped this picture as I walked, camera at waist-height, without using the viewfinder. Why am I always so hesitant to take pictures of people? Sure, I'm shy. But a lot of it has to do with personal safety. I'm a relatively small woman, and as much as I'd like to think I'm an asskicker, I hesitate to take out a valuable piece of equipment when I'm by myself. Especially when there are homeless people around, though that has more to do with not wanting to flaunt wealth than safety preoccupations. I pass up on a lot of really cool shots because I'm shy, or hesitant, or nervous. If only I could get some eye-camera implants...

I'm also finding out that my camera does not function so well in the cold. Last night, I couldn't get the macro button to function when I took the wig pictures, so they're a little out of focus. And when I was waiting for the train, I couldn't even get the shutter button to work without turning the camera off and then back on again. The manual says operating conditions are between 0-40 centigrade, and it's been well (paralyzingly) below that the entire time I've owned the camera. Oh, how I am ready for spring, and more daylight.


It was nice to go back to the factory zone that is southeast Indiana. I don't know why, but I've always had a thing for industrial rot and urban decay. While we were there, Alicia recorded some sounds, including a train, and a security guard telling us we aren't allowed to take pictures. You know, we could be terrorists.

The pictures I took on this excursion testify to my ongoing obsessions with trains and rust. When we made plans to go, it was sunny out, and warm, blue skies. By the time we got down there it was totally gray, which I guess is kind of appropriate for an industrial wasteland. Too bad we only had about an hour of good daylight before it began to get dark. Not to mention how badly my fingers froze...

I did a lot better in my attempts to take pictures straight on, perpendicular to the frame, instead of my usual skewed perspective. There were a lot of places I really wished I could get to, closer, but did not have access. Alicia called the BP refinery, but they said they only give tours now to family members of employees, blaming terrorists again. Sheesh.

This picture of Dave shows him using my old camera (I gave it to Alicia). At one of the sites, there was someone at this window taking pictures of us; he waved. The coolest thing we saw was at dusk, when we accidentally drove down a private road. In this area there were piles of molten stuff, huge piles just burning away. We called it the Springfield tire fire. I wanted to stop, jump out of the car to get a better picture, but we were being tailed by yet another security guard, so that didn't happen.


One year ago today I received my first digital camera, and began this photolog. I did not expect taking pictures to bring me so much joy over the next year, but it did.

I have never been comfortable having my picture taken, prefer the other side of the lense. Observer, not subject. For several years I flatly refused anyone who tried to photograph me. Just before I left for a semester in Sydney, I decided it was ok, and lifted the ban. It's strange that there is almost no visual evidence of me for a good three years, mostly college. I did exist then.

So to honour the birthday of this photolog, I took some pictures of myself. Looking at them, I kind of wish I had thought to brush my hair first or something. But that's just vanity, and false; I have always been the girl with messy hair. There are more than the one posted, some of which I even almost like. Don't know why. but the process made me want to attempt taking portraits of my friends.


I'm taking a weekly bookbinding class at the Columbia Center for Book and Paper Arts, that's where the equipment pictures are from (I also took a one-day class there last March). I've never been crafty, or dexterous, but I'm really enjoying learning how to put books together.

It occurred to me this weekend that I've been doing this photolog almost a year and have never printed out a single picture. Kind of silly, but so it goes. So I decided that once I get better at this making books thing, I might try making some small picture books. We'll see how it goes, but so far I'm having a lot of fun with it.


Looking at the Milwaukee Avenue pictures, I realize I don't shoot anything straight on anymore. The April 24 (2002) entry in this running commentary was me giving up on trying to shoot things straight. I was always pulling one hand closer to my body, and got frustrated on trying to align subjects at 90 degrees to the frame. Also, I think I wasn't used to the whole lens factor, that it's curved, lines are affected by the curve like light by gravity. I don't mind that so much anymore.


When I was growing up and winter was dragging long, my mom used to take me to the Lincoln Park conservatory to warm up, absorb some green, soak in heat and humidity. Winter's been getting me down, so yesterday Alicia and I went there; it was the first time I'd been in at least ten or fifteen years. Alicia recorded some sounds, posted them on audible frequency.

The stage lighting pictures are from my second cousin Nick's theatre company's (Smoke and Mirror Productions) benefit on Saturday. A lovely evening, fun to play around with the stage lights. When I was growing up, my mom was the photographer for Live, a theatre company in Evanston; I remember her taking pictures for all their shows. That must have been so much fun! Playing with lighting and character, photographing people who don't mind the attention.


Long exposures again. Only (Photoshop) effect used was on the blinds (a fave subject) picture: smart blur. Nice to see sun on my morning walk, though. Been exploring the alleys around my house, specifically the ones between buildings that used to be factories and are now soft lofts.

Several black and white pictures, but I didn't use the black and white setting on my camera. Jeffrey told me that when he scans in black and white negatives, he does them in RGB and then adjusts, something about capturing a more full spectrum. So until I find out differently, I'll probably continue just desaturating in Photoshop.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to school and take some photography classes, it might be more efficient than trying to figure stuff out on my own. But film is a whole different medium, whole nother subject.

I feel like I've been slacking on my new year's resolution to take more pictures of my friends.

This week continues to have a blue cast to it.


Light, from a single source, because it's been pretty dark out. Finally, night comes later. I'll be glad for the time change, take picture walks again, and have more than a few hours a day to do so, and it'll be not so rigoddamndiculously cold.

Lots of blue the last few days.


Playing with exposure today in the kitchen. I found the manual exposure setting last week, but today was my first use of the camera's under and overexposure function. I've done the coveryourass setting (as my mom called it) before, where it takes three pictures, one normal, one under, one over, always ended up liked the overexposed ones' light.

So yeah, overexposure. Perhaps it's a reaction to the grayscale dictatorship of winter?

This one's blurry because I decided to take it as the El was pulling into the station, much vibration.


Many pictures on the highway today, all through the filter that is a winter's worth of dirty window, windshield. I don't mind.


With so many gratuitous line pictures lately, I feel like I'm reverting.


My camera has a setting where it'll take three pictures in a row: one normal one, one underexposed and one overexposed, to varying degress you can set. I played around with it on this flower (fake flower, yay, no sneezes!), and decided I liked it best underexposed, with the form just barely surfacing from the darkness. Yeah, I could adjust it in Photoshop, but for that particular form, I like it dark.


The drachina picture involves no filters or manipulation of any kind. Most of the pictures are from Robin's apartment; these two are some type of edible silver- and gold-plated chocolate, yum!

Played with a new feature: adjusting the intensity of the flash. I tried it out on Robin's rhinestone belt, and liked an overexposed effect on it.

I know I've been hitting the blur pictures pretty hard lately, it's really sweet having a camera with manual exposure and stuff. But for the record, this one isn't a blur, it's the reflection of lights in the metal kiosk windbreak thing at the California el stop. I took a similar picture (elevator instead of kiosk) for the blue line project.


All today's pictures were taken within a block or two of my house.

This one or this one?

As for this one, I was going to kick the wrapper out of the way, but decided to leave it. Glad I did.


Attending my brother's hockey game gave me the opportunity to try out some additional features of my camera. A new white balance was used (florescent), though I don't think I realized how low the light was.

Another new function I played with was the setting that takes a picture per second for as long as you hold the shutter button down. I tried using the thing that lets you focus on a moving target, but didn't quite get it right. Multi-second exposures produced some overexposed fun with blur; on the flipside, I played with exposures of 1/600, which yielded dark pictures. I was hoping it would capture motion, but it just wasn't bright enough.

What I learned today is that sports photographers are quite talented, and that sports photography is...not my forte. It comes down to reaction time, and I was never good at sports in the first place. But I love to sit on the sides and yell.


Used the "cloudy" white balance setting for all of the statue and alley pictures, as it's been that kind of day. It was fun, walking down a back alley with Andrew, Rachael and Cinnamon, because they didn't mind stopping every few feet for me (and Andrew) to take pictures.


Yay for learning how to adjust shutter speed! I was glad I brought my camera out with me last night, it was fun to run around taking pictures of the lights. Most of them were taken with a 2 or 3 second exposure, so I also got a lesson in learning how to get the camera real still. Leaning against walls is good, setting it down is better.


Taking people pictures is good, been getting lots of practice. Nice to diversify subject matter away from bricks and lines and architectural details. However, I feel like because I have no experience taking good people pictures, they're...well, not so good. Part of that could have something to do with learning a new camera, and I've still got a lot to learn. Patience, Jes.


I love how my camera blurs motion!


So yeah, unless you're going for the blue filter look, it's a good idea to take the camera off Tungsten white balance mode when taking pictures outside. Also, I wish I had taken the fork picture in black and white mode instead of desaturating it in Photoshop.


The macro function on the G2 is way better than the one on my old camera, has a better range. I love that depressing the shutter button halfway focuses on stuff, so I can tell if a shot is going to work or not.

Also started using the "set" (AF frame selector) button, which allows you to shift the point of focus from the middle to the left or right of middle in a frame, fun to use in combination with macro. I have quite a lot of rocks, used to collect them as a kid, and can still remember most of their names.

After taking about 100 pictures of random stuff in my room up close, I remembered that one of the white balances is Tungsten mode, which is pretty good with artificial lighting, removes all the yellow. You can tell the difference: auto white balance vs. Tungsten mode. I plan on using that setting for more indoor low light shots from now on.

I got to try out the zoom when at the Freedom of expression press conference. It's really useful for surreptitiously taking people pictures.


The pictures I put up were mostly taken right after I got the camera charged up, which is to say, almost all on the Auto setting, playing with macro and flash but not much else. Chrise came over later and showed me all the stuff my camera can do: white balance, aperture, exposure length, different modes...I have a lot to learn but am looking forward to the experimentation.

One thing I'm really happy with is the quality of low light pictures. Also, this camera captures motion quite well. Haven't used the zoom much, but it's been really cold out. Eventually I'll get around to playing with movie mode (my camera even records sound!), but one thing at a time.


These are the last pictures from my old (no zoom, no manual stuff, 1 megapixel) camera. I'm SO EXCITED to start using my new Canon Powershot G2!


My family was so good to let me practice taking people pictures on them! I must note that most of the funny faces result from the fact that they were eating caramels while I was photographing them. I had a difficult time choosing between this picture and this one, both of my Aunt Rebecca and my mom, but I think the caramel face is more interesting (sorry mom!).

And, on an exciting side note, I bought a new camera! Ordered it anyway, a Canon Powershot G2, can't wait for it to get here!


Making good on my resolution to take more pictures of my friends.


Most recent self portrait.

I haven't bought a new camera yet, but I have narrowed it down, thank you for sending in suggestions! I'll make the decision after visiting a store where I can hold them in my hand.


My new year's resolution is to take more pictures of friends.

And to buy a new camera. I don't know much about cameras, and would appreciate any suggestions.

My current camera was a kickdown from an old friend, one that I greatly appreciate. However, it is time for something new. The old camera is roughly the size and weight of a brick, has no zoom, and only goes up to one megapixel. Plus, if you look closely, it slightly discolours one of the long edges of each image.

For the new camera, I want something portable and discreet, preferably something that fits in a pocket. I'm really looking forward to finally having a zoom! In terms of megapixels, I want something that will produce quality prints at 8x10, at least. I don't know much about megapixels, so I don't know if this means I'll need 3, or 4, or what.

I have budgeted about four hundred dollars to spend. This one has been recommended, as has this one.


today's pictures are from riding the entire length of the blue line, twice, with alicia as a project for the next no-east. i have a ton more pictures (back seat on the last car is nice!), but i'll wait till they are paired with alicia's seventy-something minidisc recording of an uninterrupted, full blue line ride.


winter changes the way i take pictures. it's all very quick now, never more than one shot (in summer i sometimes take two or three pictures of one thing), and my fingers are numb within five minutes. sites aren't explored as thoroughly as i would like. today's pictures are from the scrap metal place northwest from sam's wine.


it's been a shy camera week. not only no pictures of people, but reluctant to publicly photograph. or maybe i'm just tired.

i noticed about halfway through my walking around today that i was staring at the ground. lots of sidewalk and floor shots. not much up stuff.


and here i was, resigning myself to months of snow pictures. but today, such rain!


the frank gehry building on the iowa campus is absolutely amazing. the sheer mutability of it, so many crevices and angles from which to creep up on, so many different faces. i spent maybe ten minutes taking these pictures and wish i'd had more; i didn't get to complete a circle arund the building. it was really cold out, and i felt bad for making mikey, bekka and chrise wait for me in the wind.

i really want to see this building in all different kinds of light, especially sunset, sunrise. don't know if i'll make it back to iowa city anytime soon, though. i got to see gehry's weisman museum at sunset when i lived in minneapolis, it was glorious.


people looked at me funny when i said i was driving to iowa saturday night. can't say i blame them, but it's nice to meet up with old friends in the middle of nowhere.

the night was a fun one. i brought my camera, so i spent some good time running around, playing with the lights, trying to catch them. for years i regarded party lighting as annoying (though i can appreciate a well-done laser), but it was nice to enjoy their presence. turn of events, or i'm getting older; something. anyway, there's about a three second delay on my camera from when i touch the button to when the picture is taken (during which, the viewscreen goes black). so i was trying to catch lights, shots before they went away, it became a game.

looking at pictures from the rest of the weekend in iowa, i notice how colourful they are. kind of a relief, after taking so many snow-monotone pictures. (and winter hasn't even started yet!)

i have a whole bunch of pictures that i took of the frank gehry building on the university of iowa campus, but that's a whole separate thing, i'll post that stuff tomorrow.


pictures from my thanksgiving: chicago (mdw) -> cincinnati -> louisville -> chicago. a water mane broke out front thursday morning, so we had the water shut off all day. got practice taking people pictures with my family.


snow! how wonderfully patterned and monotone and chaotic and falling. i wonder when i'll get tired of taking snow pictures.


sometimes i feel a little silly, taking so many pictures of building details walking down milwaukee avenue. cracks in foundation, crumbling structures, i love stuff like that; but really, how many pictures of bricks can i take? then again, many of the buildings i photographed last spring have since been torn down to make condos, or dirt lots.


two parts today. really, they are pretty separate. part one is from alicia driving me home from work this evening. most of part 2 is from last night, watching auch zwerge haben klein angefangen (even dwarfs start small) at robin's house. i took few other stills from the movie.

the couple table shots in part two are from my office. tomorrow it's closing down for good, a space that once held what, fifty people? now down to five or six. some really random stuff is being scattered about, salvaged, tossed. the journalism picture is a table of things elise is getting rid of. eventually i'll compile all of the office closure pictures for the collections page; i still need to do that with old curious networks pictures.


auntie mame was my godmother. her real name was mabel, but i always knew her as auntie mame, because she loved to travel and was a bit eccentric. at least, that's what i was told. she died when i was something like four, so it's hard to remember.

i actually have two godmothers; the other one's name is wanda, but that's another story.

there's some irony involved here, because i'm not christian, but again: another story.

for my baptism, auntie mame gave me a not insignificant sum of money, which enabled me to go to college (granted, a state school) without taking out loans, and to spend a semester abroad in sydney. the money's gone, was spent on education and travel; i think that would make her proud. i will be forever grateful to her for it.

this chair is the only tangible thing of hers that i own. it's falling apart after who knows how many years, and survived the great flood of west armitage. my mom had a matching couch; she threw it out years ago. my roommates hate the chair, but i insist on keeping it.

yesterday, faced with setting up a home office, new furniture, and a new phase of life (kinda), i decided to put the chair out in the alley. fortunately, amanda stopped me, offered to restuff it. so we took it apart, or she did - i'm so allergic to dust and mould and stuff. i still have the chair, though it needs work. glad it can be salvaged.

the interesting thing about the chair pictures is that it's the closest thing i've done to studio photography. i had a little light in my hand, and shone it on the parts i was photographing. it's only a 40 watt bulb, hence the orangeness of the pictures, but it was really fun to do! manipulate light and play with shadows; all the picture taking i've done up till now has been with found light. the experience makes me want to go buy a very bright bulb and play around some more.


took a quick poll between out #1 and out #2. #2 won, so i used it, but i kinda think i like #1 better. i actually took a total of four pictures of that shot, each framed differently.


thoughts on the protest


i lost my rechargeable batteries, so i haven't been carrying my camera around much this week. that sucks, because i've been seeing pictures everywhere.


i really want to get better at taking pictures of people. it comes down to a shyness thing, i think, reticence. today's pictures from bowling are of people; granted, they're people i've been photographing for years, but still. i'm trying.


took today's pictures in the ten minutes before i left work today. it's really strange to watch the office disintegrate, or dissipate, or something. two more weeks and it's over. i get to bring the purple chair home with me though, i think i'll keep it in the back room where i'm setting up my new workspace.


as usual, the time change has thrown me off a bit. not a fan of daylight savings. it's dark out when i leave work, which is when i like take pictures; nice way to relax after the day. but my camera doesn't handle darkness adeptly, guess i'll have to make time while it's light out.


been taking pictures of *things* (objects, events; no, not people, not yet). pictures that aren't necessarily framed perfectly or whatever, but i felt the need to capture them anyway. like the ambulance on monday, which ran into an el train pylon for no apparent reason, sirens blaring.

like the flower i photographed today. quite possibly the last flower before winter hits. why aren't the leaves changing yet? brown is my favourite colour, and fall is my fave season, but so far everything's still green. it's very frustrating.

the light is changing. gray days make gray photographs. i'll have to find other ways to play with light.

also, i'm out of practice. been sick for weeks, inside, sleeping a lot. before that i was writing more, so i feel like i've gotten kind of rusty in my picture-taking. oh well, only one way to get better.


i've got less than a month in my current office; hq in boston (waltham) is shutting down the chicago branch. this time next month i'll be working from home.

it's a fascinating thing, watching an office decline. depressing too. i should put all my old curious networks pictures together, that was a sweet office: converted loft in greektown painted lots of bright colours. when i first got my camera i practiced with it there, a lot, took walks around the neighbourhood after lunch, or on a break.

anyway, i spend a lot of time in offices, so it makes sense that i take pictures in them. my current office-in-decline is at michigan and wacker, right on the canal and mag mile, great views. fifteenth floor. i'll miss it.

the pictures i put up today are of the kitchen in the office, and an aquarium in a restaurant in the pedway beneath my building. i'm thinking i need to take more pedway pictures before i go.


they sure do have some nice umbrellas over the tables in daley plaza. i'll miss the farmers' market there, but i'm glad it's autumn.


for a while now i've been amused by how many pictures of flowers i take. i've never really liked flowers, probably because i'm so allergic to them that just being around them gives me hives and headaches. the irony of such recent photography has not been lost.

however, i had lunch with sarah today; tomorrow she moves to california, and yesterday was the first day of fall, so naturally talk drifted towards the ephemeral. one thing that's always bothered me about flowers, and receiving them in bouquets, is the fact that they die so soon; i've always found it a bit grotesque. however, sarah pointed out that the main purpose of a flower is attraction, and that if it's fully appreciated while it's around then it's served its purpose. or something. anyway, she made a great point, and now i don't feel like such a hypocrite for taking pictures of flowers.


i've been working on poems more lately, which is nice; acquiring my camera and subsequently getting caught up in taking pictures detracted, for a while, from the energy i put towards writing. which is fine, it's nice to do something visually expressive for once in my life. but it's good to find myself back with words again.

what i'd like to draw a balance between the two, or an unknown third or umpteenth possibility. i guess it makes sense to have this ebb and flow, one (photolog) floods while the other (poems) droughts, or the other way around. some middle ground would be nice, perhaps a meeting of the two spaces, though i have no idea how.


took a nice walk down state street today, to the federal plaza farmers' market.


ok so i didn't mean to do it, but when i look at the pictures i took today they kind of tell a story, a small photoessay on how i was feeling. worked late, so many office pictures, and of course: tomorrow, looming. that flag just appeared in the hallway at work, sometime after lunch; don't know if it was building people or someone on my floor or what. it's like this thick humidity, pressing, ubiquitous. i'm not watching tv this week, don't need to see the towers fall eighty thousand more times.


started playing around with desaturation after reading this article.


spent several days in the downtown detroit ramada, running around the hotel. i didn't take any pictures at the party, which is ironic considering my familiarity with the subject matter and the amount of interesting material it could yield. but i said fuckit and just enjoyed the event without feeling the need to document it, much more fun that way.

also, many of the pictures i took over the weekend involved shadows.


for the record, this has not had any levels adjusted. my camera's not that great but it does some interesting things with colour sometimes.


it's been a good week for picture taking!


days of rain and fog make for some interesting light.


beautiful evening for a walk. i can't see pictures so easily with my sunglasses on, though they make a nice filter. my new glasses are pretty great to see through, crisp distant lines.


running around gary, hammond, southeast indiana factory wastelands, tall barbed fences between me and the things i want to photograph, kind of frustrating, made me realize i do better, i think, at closer up shots.

also, i remembered how much i love trains. when i lived in minneapolis, i got to know the city by exploring its trainyards, finding new ones, looking for graffiti. eventually, i got a job right next to one, and after work i'd wander the yards, stalking painted up cars.


strange light today.


one of the things i don't like abut my camera is that there is no manual aperture adjustment. i can't control the light, and a lot of pictures come out overloaded with white. in the last couple weeks, however, i've started not minding that so much.

last few days have seen forgotten offices, alleys, cracks in concrete, cracks between buildings.


i got new glasses today. apparently my prescription had changed a lot in the last two years because wow! i can see far away again! details on buildings are visible, modernist architecture is even more stunning. my depth perception's temporarily thrown off, but i'm still quite pleased.


i like the fact that pictures don't really need titles. they only need names.


peripheral. load-bearing details on the perimeter. balance.


today i went to the dentist and got three fillings. then i came home and took pictures of a lollipop.

there could be a hundred pictures waiting to be taken on the walk home from the train, or none at all. to take the time to find five or ten is pretty nice.


caught up. some of the pictures i posted today were taken weeks ago; i've been a little busy lately. clean slate.


as it turns out, that flat spot on my skull does not make a very good tripod.


the ambassador west hotel liquidation was...surreal. it's an old hotel going condo; they're selling or scrapping everything, but people are free to roam the building's twelve floors and two basements till 7pm every day through the sale (we almost got locked in).

wow that place is neat and creepy! on the fourth floor, where some lady died in this bathtub, the elevator door opens and closes on its own. there were places, particular spots, that made my hair stand on end. it was awesome.

and so deserted. the basement area, where the workers had been, still had so many remnants of recent people, and their desertion: butts in ashtrays, magazines. but it also had old switchboards mounted, and ancient decorations in a storeroom. even the carpet was for sale, but you had to take the padding with you.

i didn't get as many pictures of the basement, it was getting late and i had filled my compact flash card. but i want to go back tomorrow!


for years i've been trying to capture this thin blue light that only shows up in a few moments for me, early morning still awake, something fragile, something precious. i've written poems about it and i think that early tuesday morning, i got it in a picture. well, it does kind of look purple there...


been doing better at that whole taking more pictures of people and less pictures of bricks thing...


taking the architecture boat ride was a blast. working downtown, i've become much less likely to look up; the buildings are always there, so i slowly stop really seeing them. but the tour was a chance to look up, from a different perspective (the river), and learn some architectural history.


a few comments on today's pictures:

i saw this shot walking up milwaukee, north from california. the tint and visible beams are a result of holding my sunglasses over the camera lens. i only took one shot this time, i'm glad it turned out. (there were people all around, i've been feeling camera-shy lately.) the framing of the beams over the roof and the position of the clouds and wires was almost too perfectly aligned in that moment.

i caught this one right after the michigan avenue drawbridge went down. my fifteenth floor office yielded a good view of the moment two hoards of pedestrians coming from opposite sides of the canal had to mix, pass through each other.

been taking a lot of pictures through windows lately, from both inside and out.



i like this one, because it's not really about the fish. it's the aquarium, environment, reflections of a chandelier. bubbles. the fish isn't even in focus, peripheralized, but the plants are moving too.

also, noticing more colour lately or rather, trying not to take so many pictures of brown things. it's my fave colour, brown, i'm used to seeing it. but today, some blue. and red: the marginalized fish. and the dull red tow truck, whose paint job was best caught in a reflection. the rest of it was dirty, i liked the disconnect. i took seven pictures of that truck, different parts of a machine, but only the last one i liked. oddly enough, the truck's name was identified by a decal on it's door as being "blue thunder".


if you're reading this and have an opinion about which of these two pictures you like better you should tell me. i'm curious.


event documentation is a different way of taking pictures, at least for me. most of the time i'm more concerned with the documentation aspect, who's there, what's happening, and don't pay much attention to composition. i'd like to learn to blend the two.

i am also uncomfortable photographing strangers, so i usually stick to friends, people i know. so many years i didn't like to have my picture taken, so i try not to impose it on anyone else. i wish i didn't care, and could run around snapping randoms. jeff sfire has some fabulous pictures he took of people in the crowd when we went to sonar last summer; i'd love to see them posted somewhere {cough}.


still not taking as many pictures as i see. i think part of it is that i'm downtown now, always surrounded by people. i try not to be shy about it, but i just don't always feel right whippin out the camera.


barn party! it had been two years since my last one, felt good to be back (though i'd be better off waiting another two years to rage like that again).

this time i didn't even get out my camera till it got light out, so most of the people had left and the loud debauchery had subsided. when you've been drinking in the cold all night around a bonfire and it starts to get light all you can do is absorb the more quiet madness that sets in, grab a zima (if arno remembered to bring them), and toast making it to the morning after.


didn't really take any pictures this past week. i guess i was preoccupied, dealing with my new job and stuff. i still saw pictures to be taken occasionally, but didn't get out the camera. it's ok. there are always more pictures to take.


whoa, been pretty domestic lately, in terms of subject matter. i'm used to taking a lot of pictures of buildings but usually it's the exterior's details upon which i focus.

being at my grandma's house was great. she was a packrat for most of her life, and has accumulated some beautiful and odd things. particularly, she has a lot of glass objects that i managed to catch in the sun. running around her house was fun, she pointed out things i hadn't really noticed before, knew what kind of lines i like to photograph.

i only managed to shoot a few of the rooms downstairs but i'd like to go back on a sunny day again, there are so many great stained and leaded windows in her house.


twice now i've gone to the chihuly exhibit at garfield park conservatory and been as awed by the plants growing there more than the stunning glasswork. having my camera with me this time really made me wish it had a zoom.



i felt like the cliched kid in a candy store while running around my friends' new warehouse soon-to-be-home. everywhere i looked, pictures. unfortunately the lighting was shitte, so most of them didn't turn out how i wanted them to. next time i go i'm bringing a huge floodlight with me.



today i gave up trying to get lines straight. everything is now at an angle.



of the five days i was in new york i only took pictures once, one day. maybe i was too busy looking around, taking it all in; maybe it's easier to focus on the details of familiarity than an entirely new environment. saturday and sunday nights i saw pictures everywhere, but didn't have my camera with me. it's ok though, i'll be back.

and next time i'd like to go on an old fashioned graffiti crawl, haven't done that in ages.



happier with today's batch. damn, i take a lot of pictures of rust (most aren't photologged). i think a lot of it has to do with the obvious: it's brown, my fave colour. but it's the pattern too, or lack thereof: the total variation on a theme i find fascinating. corrosion.


i don't really like any of the pictures i took this week.


there are some places, things, images that i pass every day, and i see them in a frame: a picture. sometimes i take the picture but it's not perfect, so i don't make it public, whereas something i only see once i might post, even if it's not what i wanted to see.

i know i'm talking a bit esoterically, but there are some pictures i've taken many different times now and am never pleased with how they turn out. is it the familiarity that breeds the instinct towards perfection, when no such thing actually exists?

excuse me for talking all over the place, i've worked thirteen hours today. i just wonder when "ok" becomes "good enough."


i'm still not fully comfortable with taking pictures of people (and wonder how much of that relates to my unwillingness to be photographed for so many years). however, i like the picture of rob's ear, and the one of alicia's shoes. maybe i'll work on smaller parts first, not worry about whole people for a while.



i used to listen to all my music loud. always. blew five sets of (mostly shitty) speakers in my first decade of schooling.

eventually i learned that volume affects the listening experience, as i am learning now that size affects how a picture is perceived.


frustrating day for picture-taking. the light was flat and gray, my angles were off, and i had a hard time holding the camera still. oh well.


i have always loved the rain and now i have one more reason: it makes everything shiny.



pictures lately all seem to be of fences or rust. bordermarkers or corrosion. none of this is on purpose.

i need to balance out my holding. from pictures with solid lines i repeatedly observe that my left hand pulls the camera towards my body. i can align in two planes but the third still escapes me.


lots of pictures through windows lately. instead of fighting it, i'm gravitating towards the patterns on windows themselves as part of the composition, rather than an obstacle to work around: grids, raindrops, snow... just another layer, the existence of which lends itself towards more minimal subject matter.


i wish my camera had some way to control how much light it lets in, i believe it's aperture on analog cameras. that, and i wish my flash was half as bright as it is.


for lack of green outside i shot some plants around the office. substitution's a bitch but it'll do for now.


first day of spring and everything's still gray. never been a big fan of the season, being an allergic freak and all, but for the first time in my life i'm really looking forward to it. first time in my life i'm actually wanting to see flowers.

today started out gray but got sunny for a bit, i had to go for a walk for lunch, take some pictures in real sun. took lotsa shadow pictures because they were actually there to be taken.


i've noticed that when i let myself take 2 or 3 versions of a picture i usually end up liking the second or third shot the best.



south side irish parade's been good for that resolution i made to take more pictures of people (and less of buildings).


trip to mistuwa and the subsequent purchase of japanese products so cutely labeled makes me want to set up some kind of studio at home for taking pictures of small items. anything is better than the stairwell ledge and overhead lighting, maybe a couple lamps and a backdrop?

i haven't done much photographing of individual objects.


becoming aware of the existence of shadows.



sunlight is just so perfect. i don't think i really realized or appreciated it until i got this camera and started using it all the time. i used to prefer gray days in general; now when it's gray out i crave better lighting.


started taking pictures by setting the camera down on a surface and holding it still instead of freehanding it. adds an additional plane to the picture; i like the perspective.


visited the fam in evanston, practiced taking people pictures on them. they're used to me doing strange things, so they were able to ignore me pretty quickly, which helped.


i decided i haven't been shooting many people with the camera, so i'm going to try to fix that.


pictures of corners abound. places where one plane meets another, where edges come together. i'm diggin it.



am i going for too many patterns and lines? they're just so easy to spot. maybe i should start looking for the less obvious pictures.


oooh, snow. gotta snap it while it's there; the kind of winter we've had, it won't last long. can't wait till it starts to melt and gets all dirty and makes great surfaces.


the housewarming at peter and bekah's was great; in the last few days i've taken pictures all over my house and office, it was nice to be in a place i hadn't explored with the camera yet. i think every place must have some pictures, waiting to be taken.

holding the camera still in low light is more difficult than i thought it would be.