Hipstamatic at Aman Park

aman park

aman park, photo by abigail burch.

The city of Grand Rapids says that the 331-acre Aman Park is located on Lake Michigan Drive, about 6 miles west of the city and has six self-guided trails. They take you from the succession of plants to a mature, climax forest.

Regarding the photo, Abigail took it with her favorite app, Hipstamatic, which is also my favorite cameraphone app. You may remember the Hipstamatic camera.

Check this out in her Nature set (slideshow).

Ice Cream Season

Miller Bro

Miller Bro, photo by jack quinlin.

I heard it opens this weekend. Make mine Mr. Monkey from Moomers.

Yes, it’s film. Check it out bigger in Jack’s Fisheye slideshow.

If you want to geek out on gear, check Wikipedia’s Fisheye lens entry or a little Fisheye Projection theory or settle back for the Fisheye show from the Absolute Michigan pool.

Urban myPhone

Urban myPhone

Urban myPhone, photo by gatsbyj.

This photo makes me think that social media will probably replace advertising someday.

You can see this bigger in Christian’s Around Detroit slideshow (view the set).

You might also enjoy Detroit at Night from the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr.

supersampler II: I dream in Technicolor

I dream in Technicolor

I dream in Technicolor, photo by Amy Palomar.

Amy says no photoshop. right out of the camera.

More about the supersampler.

St. Johns, Michigan Bicycle Band

St. Johns, Michigan Bicycle Band

St. Johns, Michigan Bicycle Band, photo by Seeking Michigan.

I thought I’d follow up yesterday’s rant with something from the Archives of Michigan. A number of people have assured me that the Archives and Michigan’s broader arts & cultural support will remain following whatever reorganization happens. I hope so.

This photo made me think about how much more attention early photographers had to pay to lighting and composition. I can’t imagine getting this shot with the cameras they had in 1890. It was the December 2005 Image of the Month and you can read a lot more (and see another picture) there:

According to the Clinton County Republican-News Centennial Issue (published in 1956), the St. Johns Bicycle Band existed from 1886 to 1891 and usually consisted of about twenty pieces. The Republican-News Centennial Issue includes this photo of band members (pg. 6) and identified the drum player above as George Woodruff.

More at seekingmichigan.org and in the Seeking Michigan Fickriver.

A Polaroid Elegy

gull slide, photo by mfophotos

Frequent Michigan in Pictures contributor Mark O’Brien has just published A Polaroid Elegy – My Last Year With A Polaroid Camera. He writes:

This book is really about a journey into the slightly surreal world of Polaroid photography. Not everything you see looks the same after being shot with a Polaroid camera, and this book may give you a better appreciation for the wonderful invention of Edwin Land. The film used to create the photos in this book will no longer be available, hence the title.

Click through to preview and order the book. You can see many Polaroid photos Mark has taken in his Polaroids slideshow (photo set).

No Polaroids you say? Savepolaroid.com (where you can learn more about the history of Polaroid and Edwin Land’s work) notes that on February 8, 2008, Polaroid Corporation announced that it will discontinue production of all instant film. Apparently there is something called PolaPremium that will be revealed in a few days, so all may not be lost. Speculation is rampant.

Berry Branch and Bokeh

Berry Branch

Berry Branch, photo by Voxphoto.

In Bokeh: What it is and isn’t, Ross (Vox) says that although “bokeh” is the Japanese word for blurry, before this useful term degenerates into just another name for “blurry” we should take a stand to preserve its specific technical meaning:

Bokeh refers to the subjective quality of the blur. Is it “jangly” and busy-looking, or creamy and smooth? Do out-of-focus highlights have odd, distracting shapes, or are they unobtrusive circles? Does the blurred area seem to “swirl” around the center of the photo in arcs? These are some of the factors which might be mentioned as aspects of the bokeh for a particular lens. And these may be the reasons why a serious bokeh geek would chose one particular lens over a different brand with otherwise identical specs.

The word “bokeh” officially entered the English language in 1997, in an issue of the magazine Photo Techniques—whose editor Mike Johnston decided to add the final ‘h’ to make the pronunciation less ambiguous. He tells the story here, and includes some interesting photos showing different subjective effects in various blurred backgrounds.

Read the rest for more technical observations on bokeh from Ross’s excellent photography blog silverbased.org and check out this bokeh slideshow from the Absolute Michigan pool.

Lansing through the lens of R.C. Leavenworth

1934 Oldsmobile F-Series Six, photo by R. C. Leavenworth (courtesy Archives of Michigan)

The Archives of Michigan’s Image of the Month for May 2008 was taken by Lansing commercial photographer R.C. Leavenworth, whose Leavenworth Photography of Lansing created one of the largest collections of Oldsmobile photographs. Oldsmobile was founded in Lansing in 1897, and this year is the 100th anniversary of General Motors.

The photo is from a rare Agfacolor glass screen plate in the Leavenworth historical photograph collection. The Afgacolor process was similar to Autochrome process in which the glass plate overlays a mosaic of red, green and blue dyed resin grains. They relate that their scanner is unable to justly reproduce the color tone of these plates and they invite you to attend the upcoming exhibit: “The Picture Man: Lansing through the Lens of R. C. Leavenworth” to see the plates illuminated in person.

…Leavenworth started out photographing lumbering and mining camps in northern Michigan, using a horse-drawn darkroom. He relocated to Lansing in 1919 to document Lansing’s transformation into a major industrial city and automotive capital. For over a century, Leavenworth Photography has shot hundreds of thousands of images that tell the story of industry, business and social life in Michigan’s capital city. With subjects as diverse as street scenes, car parts, workers’ strikes, vaudeville troupes and football games, Leavenworth lived up to the slogan plastered on the door of his company car: “Anything photographed, anywhere, anytime.”

“The Picture Man” runs May 30 to September 30 in the temporary exhibit area on the first floor of the Michigan Historical Center. Admission is free. R. S. V. P. at (517) 373-1408 for the opening reception on May 29, 5pm-7pm.

You can also read Leavenworth Maintains Commercial Niche from the Greater Lansing Business Monthly (July 2003).

flame on

flame on

flame on, photo by jenny murray.

This is part of Jenny’s ttv (through the viewfinder) set (slideshow).

Hope your weekend is as exciting as this mailbox … I’m pretty sure that if you get a tattoo or paint your face like this, it will be!

Grand Rapids Camera Club seminar by Darrell Gulin

Painting the Big Red Lighthouse,photo by Darrell Gulin

Painting the Big Red Lighthouse, photo by Darrell Gulin

The Grand Rapids Camera Club and Canon is presenting a day of education and fun with Canon Explorer of Light Darrell Gulin on May 10, 2008. You can get all the details and registration information in the Grand Rapids Flickr group.

Darrell is a full time nature and travel photographer and is past President of the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA). He makes his home in Sammamish, Washington and you can see much more of his work at his web site, gulinphoto.com. He took this photo when he was in Holland last August giving a program. They did an early morning shoot at the Big Red Lighthouse, painting it with a powerful flashlight.

From the Grand Rapids Camera Club (GRCC) web site, I learned that the GRCC is the oldest camera club in the United States (in continuous and uninterrupted existence) and was organized in 1898 as an outgrowth of the Valley City Photographic Society.