Weekend wrap-up, games, a boat, soccer, and menswear …

This was a good weekend. It started on Friday with a healthy games night with friends Monte and Anne.

We played a card game called Bohnanza, and if I could become a perfect ambassador for the game, I would. It’s a tough one to teach others how to play, but it’s a good game that teaches negotiation tactics, manipulation, mind tricks and haggling.

On Saturday, I played soccer in the afternoon with a league that needed an extra sub. It was full-field, co-ed, two 25-minute halves. The sides ended up being 10 on 8, because you have to have four girls on the field at a time, and our team only had three girls and the other had two.

We beat them 4-1.

I love that soccer is back in my life and love how good I feel after a game. I don’t have full game legs back, but I’m not in shabby shape either.

On Saturday night, we were asked to photograph a private charter boat party on Lake Michigan with a group of buyers, retailers and industry menswear folks in town for a trade show. We were able to enjoy ourselves with the private group and see some spectacular sights.

Then on Sunday, we worked out in the morning and in the afternoon, photographed that trade show that I referred to above.  It was Tina’s mission to get some Sartorial-type portraits of some of the better dressed people. So here’s a sampling below.















Police: Driver Who Asked Jesus To Take The Wheel Hit Motorcyclist

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (CBS Cleveland) – Usually when someone says “Jesus take the wheel” it’s meant to help them through a rough patch in life.

But police say an Indiana woman took the phrase literally on July 11th, when she took her hands off the steering wheel as she was driving.

The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette reports 25-year-old Prionda Hill told authorities she let go of the wheel because “God told her he would take it from here.”

Unfortunately for Anthony Olivery, her car veered off the road and slammed into his motorcycle, throwing him to the ground. Then the car ran over him.

“When I looked at that bumper and looked at that tire, I told myself, today is the day you die,” he told the paper.

Read on. 

New hashtag recommendation: #DGB (Did Google Break?)

In case you didn’t know, we live in a connected world with connected devices. If you have a phone that flips out and texting the letter F means tapping the number three three times, pinch yourself. You probably don’t exist.

In conversations, if you can’t remember something, type it in your phone and the question you’re asking will likely auto insert into your browser and you can have an answer within seconds, pending your location and signal strength.

Just last night, a friend was over and she’s beating her brains out over the minutiae of some actors name in a movie. She can’t move on with her goddamn story until she remembers that goddamn name … ugh, it’s on the tip of my tongue!

In the middle of cooking burgers, corn and rushing around the kitchen, I type in the title of the movie and say, “Mark Ruffalo!”

She pointed at me and said, “Yes! Gosh. I was about to die trying to remember.”

Did Google Break?



Hashtag. DEE GEE BEE.

Write it. Learn it. Use it.

Last night, I met Bill up at the bar. We were talking to a 20-something female friend of ours and the topic of kinky sex came up. “What have you done?” “Well, what have you done? That’s when I learned, from the 20-something, the term “Pegging.” I can’t unlearn that. And Googling it brought me to a wiki page for it, and now I really can’t unlearn it.

Not only is it a true term, Google wasn’t broke and I can’t find a reason to not talk about it more often from here on out at every party I go to.

Hashtag, IWGB = #Iwishgooglebroke.

This morning, I received a message from a friend. She did some nicey nice and then asked, “So I need your expertise. I want to do a movie night outside on the cheap. What projector should I buy to do this? Is this one good enough?”



Did Google fucking break?

I mean for fuck’s sake. I’m not an expert. Nobody’s an expert anymore. All you need for almost every question in the universe right now is a computer or smart phone, a browser, and a finger to tap your questions.

Wondering about what camera to buy. Google’s not broken. Type it in.

Wondering about a topic to write about. Google’s not broken. Type it in.

Wondering about a religious question. Google’s not broken. Type it in.

How about cars? #DGB

No! Google’s not broken.

Wondering about that red dot on your stomach that just appeared …

You better hope your Google’s broken, because in two minutes, you’re going to self diagnose yourself with cancer.


Tack sharp photos … how the hell do you do that?


In my circle of Photographer friends, we talk about each others work. We help each other define our styles, as it’s first and foremost one of the most challenging, yet incredibly important, aspects of becoming a successful photographer in an era when photography can be a very difficult profession to make a living in.

If I had to define my style, it’s clean, color-filled if not colorful, and sharp.

Above is a 100% crop from my recent self portrait. I spent a long time making sure my focus was spot on using Hasselblad’s focus feature in it’s capture software called Phocus. You can move focus in small steps using a button in the program from my laptop. It’s very helpful.

Someone sent me an email yesterday asking, “I noticed how sharp your photos are. Do you take care of that in post-production or there are certain lenses you use that give you such crisp effect? I can achieve that in post-production but I wonder if there are lenses on the market that can eliminate extra work.”

My response was long. But in a nutshell, my response amounts to the following:

  • Nail your focus points. Shooting a portrait, make sure your focus point is on the eyeball. If you focus/reframe, be aware that your lens might not accommodate this exactly and you may lose the focus.
  • Know your lenses. Not all lenses are sharp from center to edge. Especially wide open. I have a 16-35 mm/f2.8 lens that needs to be at f10 or f11 to have a decent focus from center to edge.
  • Follow the rule that the shutter speed must match your focal length (at least). If you’re shooting 50mm, shoot at 1/50th or faster. Image stabilization helps, but be careful.
  • Be aware of mirror slap. Many people don’t realize that the mirror in many DSLRs can affect the overall stability of an image. Handheld with a full frame camera, 1/30th is about the limit to a handheld shot. Maybe 1/20th depending on the lens. With my Hasselblad, 1/90th is pushing it, as minor handshake will screw up the image.
  • Consider shooting prime lenses. Double check the reviews for how they perform wide open.
  • Familiarize yourself with sharpening methods in post. I use Photoshop’s Smart Sharpen tool on many images, especially out of my Canon cameras. I have my own workflow that works right for me.
  • Calibrate your camera to the lenses you use. This is something I’m not as familiar with, but it’s a thing and it can be googled at your leisure.

That’s my bullet list. I could go into great detail on this topic as it’s something I push in my work to the point of obsession.

There are things that other lists include like steadying yourself against something stable when a tripod or monopod is unavailable. There’s a long list of things people do to get sharp images. Find what works for you and go with it.

What are things you do to guarantee tack sharp focus.

Got Crohn’s and a Colostomy bag? Be proud!


I’ve never seen a colostomy bag. Have you?

As a culture, we hide so much that makes us modern humans. And rather than embrace the things that make us, well, us, we do a great job of keeping that stuff under wraps.

I have a love/hate relationship with Photoshop for this very reason. While I think every image needs photoshop, sometimes I want to show people with all their bare flaws.

The issue is that most people don’t stare at another person, closeup with nearly as much detail as a person might when hit with tons of light. And while people look better in studio lighting, their blemishes are highlighted in ways that are unavoidable.

This conundrum is partly why I love this story/photo of a woman Bethany Townsend, just 23 years old, who has had Crohn’s disease since she was 3, who has decided to embrace her colostomy bag while on vacation in Mexico. Instead of hiding it directly, she put it out there … even decorated it.

It’s given legs and strength to others with the same condition to shout loud and proud.

Love it.

More here.



My new hero: Casey Neistat and his BAMF’ing videos

Over at Kottke, he posted this amazing video from filmmaker Casey Neistat and his son having a blast at a German waterpark that is built in an old airplane hanger.

I didn’t recognize Casey right away, until I went through some of his other videos. I found this one about the time he took an entire budget Nike was going to pay him to create a film and traveled the world in 10 days.

If by the end of the video, you don’t buy or at least make some mental promise to yourself to buy a plane ticket, you’re an idiot.

But then there’s the video below, that makes me crazy with jealousy and inspiration.

Casey takes $25,000 of the marketing dollars for The Life of Walter Mitty, goes to the Philippines and helps with the relief effort after that huge typhoon destroyed so much of their people and land.

This, dear readers, is something I’m dying and longing to do. If for nothing else, the kind of notoriety that Casey gets for doing such things. What a great guy, great photographer, great filmmaker and great editor.