Archive for the 'photos' Category


recordings, and Flatland

Lately, I’ve been recording an album for a friend.  This has me thinking about the recording process, and how it’s similar to photography… namely, that both are very limited representations of the event they are trying to capture.  Obsessing over “accuracy” when making recordings of any sort is somewhat irrational, because recording itself is so relativistic.  What, exactly, constitutes “accurate”?  Put two different microphones in front of a guitar, get two different sounds… and neither sounds the same as listening to the guitar in the room.  Likewise, what the guitarist hears is different than what a listener hears!

In photography, the distortions and misrepresentation are more obvious, so I think they’re a little more tolerated.  But audio recording?  Why does anyone think this sounds “real”?

The residents of Flatland had no idea that they lived on a two-dimensional plane in three-dimensional space.  But we do, sort of.


Faron laughing

[[Faron laughing]]

Testing from Flickr a second time… (I like this photo because it really captures one of my daughter’s characteristic expressions, how she squints her eyes shut when she laughs.  I’m not so sure about the soft-focus effect I put around it… I’m not a fan of Photoshopping (well, Picasa-ing) in general, and this is perhaps why)


share and enjoy, aka two great tastes that taste great together

guitar'n'bass abstract

(Edwin Scherr and me onstage at the Acadia Cafe, 4 Sept 2007)

Last night, the nameless improv trio I’m in (with drummer Ryan Lovan and bassist Edwin Scherr) played a gig at the Acadia Cafe in Minneapolis, as part of the ongoing improvisation series there.  I brought my camera along and photographed the other two groups that were playing, but couldn’t photograph while WE were playing, of course.  A friend of Ryan’s who knew his way around a camera agreed to shoot the show for us.  Although the camera itself was unfamiliar to him, he understood aperture priority and manual focus from using 35mm, so I handed him the camera in aperture priority mode (Nikon D40, 50mm f/1.8 manual-only lens) and hoped for the best.

Being unfamiliar with stage photography, he soon learned the pain joys of trying to focus correctly and limit blur with low stage lighting.  But this inspired him to experiments that I wouldn’t conduct myself, using very slow shutter speeds and panning the camera.  I really liked the results, as you can see here.  I wish I could remember his name to give him proper credit!


choosing the subject

Sometimes, the best subject for a photograph isn’t necessarily the focus of attention at the moment.  Last weekend, I attended a wedding.  When the adorable flower girl walked down the aisle, all eyes turned her way. Rather than trying to photograph her directly, I photographed the bridesmaids’ reactions to her…

admiring the flower girl

The photo has some technical problems (lens flare, poor framing, excessively shallow focus), but it does capture the feeling of the bridesmaids, and everyone else, admiring the little girl.




After taking a number of baby portraits at the long end of the 18-55mm lens, I decided I wanted to try to get the bulging, distorted look of wide angle instead. Eve had been a very cooperative and photogenic subject, so I tried with her. But getting a portrait-style shot with a wide angle lens means getting REALLY close, which caused her to back away until she got comfortable with it.

Lighting was a combination of tungsten and flourescent bulbs, plus some late afternoon sunlight streaming through south windows.  Shot at 1600 ISO, hence the noisy look.  I’ll take noise over icky flash-light any day.