Sunday, February 27, 2011

Simply Hardware #1

A few years ago I did a photography project with my friends Jerilynn and Tony. We took photos in a neighborhood hardware store in St. Paul near IFP where we were taking darkroom classes. The project culminated in a photo show in the windows of the hardware store. It was a great project and I think one that all 3 of us are proud of. All of the images were taken with film. This one was taken with a wonderful film by Fuji with a 1600 ISO rating. That accounts for the larger presence of grain. I took this one using my 100mm macro lens at 2.8. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Rivets from the underside of the Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth. Makes me homesick for the North Shore and homesick for black and white film. I think I might still have some in the freezer. Hmm...

Monday, February 21, 2011


Back to my black and white roots for the next few posts I think. This was taken in a little toy store in Stockholm, Wisconsin using my film camera. I've scanned a lot of my black and white negatives and have spent hours in Photoshop removing scratches and dust spots. I guess the good news about Photoshop is you only have to do that once and then you have a clean digital file, but I really miss the wet darkroom - the smell of fixer, the sound of the revolving black door as folks went in and out and the miracle of putting a blank piece of paper into what looked like a tray of water and watching the image appear like magic. I wish you could see how this one looks in a gelatin silver print. If you're ever in my neighborhood, stop in and take a look at that version along with many others that are languishing in plastic bins in my basement. I'll put on a pot of coffee or tea and you can go on a treasure hunt.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lessons learned from outside my comfort zone

Last week was a big week for me photographically. My vocal instructor, Kenny Kiser, puts on a variety show every month. Kenny allowed me to take photos at the rehearsals this week for him to maybe use on the show's website. On top of that, after rehearsal on Thursday night he was going to perform in an upcoming music video by a great singer and performer named Sean Ensign. He got the okay for me to hang out there and take photos while the video shoot was going on. Those of you that know me and know that I am not a landscape photographer, also know that I am not a people photographer - so you know this journey was a big old trip outside of my comfort zone.

The rehearsals for the Kenny Kiser show went well and the performers were very kind and ignored me. It was great and I became less self-conscious as the rehearsals went on. Sean Ensign and his team were very nice to me and generous with letting me get in the way during the video shoot. It was an awesome experience.

There were lots of lessons learned about shooting in challenging lighting conditions, shooting at ISO 6400, shooting subjects that didn't stand still and hand holding a long, heavy lens. There are many things I'd do differently if given another opportunity that would make the images technically better. I also learned lessons about the generosity of artists and how it feels to be treated like a real photographer. And, probably most valuable of all, lessons about me on my creative journey. Here are a few of my favorites from behind the scenes of the making of the video. I hope you enjoy them even a little bit as much as I enjoyed making them.

Please check out The Kenny Kiser Show. It's an awesome production with a great variety of artists that are extremely talented. The next show is on March 26th at the Old Arizona Theater. Maybe I will see you there.

Monday, February 7, 2011

An Old Friend

The last 3 weeks have been a creative struggle for me so I went back to see an old friend to see if she had a message for me. I saw her there, standing alone in the snow, and wanted to capture her quiet beauty and strength amidst the grip of our Minnesota winter. I didn't quite have a long enough lens to capture what I saw in my mind's eye, but I am comforted by knowing that she's there when I need her.