photography

The Legend Of

It wasn’t my pick. Honest.

No, it was the boy saying, “I want to be a bokoblin for Halloween” that got the whole train started. Now, we’re doing the Legend of Zelda costumes – the whole lot of us.

The forecast looks chilly for trick or treating tonight. Let’s hope our mostly-homemade costumes keep us warm.


Down On the Farm

I’m a gala man, but really any apple will do.

This year, it’s easy to get positively drunk on them. And with some cider varieties, that’s entirely possible.

I’ve always been an apple guy. As a kid, my mom would get bags of red delicious, and I would have half the bag gone in the first day. As I developed an actual taste, golden delicious and gala, jonathan, and fuji were all favorites. Just this year I discovered the pinova variety – what a beautiful apple!

Here in Michigan, it’s apple season, so we packed up the family and headed out to the countryside – our old stomping grounds – for the annual pumpkin and orchard trip. It’s easy to stick to the regular old apple varieties, so this year I looked for some new kinds. Apples, and squash. There are a million squash varieties.

And like apples, I’ll try them all.


Serving The Song

My first experience with the Tragically Hip was a memorable one. My friend Driver invited me to Pine Knob, the summer after our freshman year in college, to see this amazing Canadian rock band I had only barely heard of, with an enigmatic lead singer and bluesy vibe. I was really going to see the opening band, Guster, but the Hip were a new, added bonus. I had no expectations.

Then they opened with “Tiger the Lion,” a booming, slightly psychedelic rant on a hot July night, and I thought, “My God, where have these guys been?”

The rest is personal history. I’ve since seen the Hip more than any other band (more than a dozen concerts, easily), traveling back and forth over the Canadian border to see the North’s favorite rock and roll band. The last time, in January 2015 at the Windsor, Ontario casino, was just months before lead singer Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

The news hit last week that Gord passed away. I’ve spent the last week in mourning. It’s been rough.

Last Wednesday I loaded up my Hip playlist, grabbed my camera, and hit the streets for some fresh air and therapy. It’s all I felt like doing: playing music, and making pictures. What else can one do when a music hero dies?

All of Canada mourns Gord’s death. But we sure sent him, and the guys in the band, out on a high note last summer when the Hip headed out for one more tour.

Thanks Gord, for everything: the music, the memories, and that magical summer night in 2000 that gave me 17 wonderful years of your performances.


On Camera Reviews

Waiting For Another

Om Malik, on the cruddy quality of camera reviews:

All I want to know from reviews is how it feels in hand, the pictures it makes and what is the actual performance from a daily usage stand point. The sensor size, the sensor type and what kind of processors mean absolutely nothing — what matters is the photos.

Even more helpful: give me a year-out view, after you’ve spent some quality time with the camera, and really tested its capabilities.

What would make me love it more than what I already have? What are the limits of its use? Where have you taken it, and what did you see?

A few of the big photo sites take a stab at this philosophy, but I value reviews from individual photographers more than any review-heavy site.

(via CJ Chilvers)


Jon + Amanda

As I’ve said, I don’t do weddings unless (a) I know you and (b) I like you.

That’s why I was happy to capture Jon and Amanda’s wedding a few weeks ago. Amanda and Jon are family, and their small wedding in my dad’s backyard was intimate and lovely.

Photography can be an awesome gift to give – longer lasting than cash or a toaster oven. Don’t be stingy with it.