posts tagged with the keyword ‘photo’


Brett W

Saturday night I got a text message from someone at CBS58 telling me that Brett Wiesner had died, and asking if they could use one of my photographs for a news story. The news was shocking, to say the least, but I immediately gave permission to use any photos I’d taken. My wife and I were driving through Bay View at the time (I was the passenger) and I thought about what photo was being referenced, and then checked Flickr, and informed my wife that she too was in the photo. It freaked her out a bit (she was a big fan of Brett’s) but I told her they would probably crop her out. (They didn’t, which made it all the more weird when we watched the news.)

I didn’t know Brett very well, but did work with the Milwaukee Wave for years while z2 was doing all the marketing and photography for the team, and he seemed like a great guy, so the news of his death is even more saddening.


Basement Photo Studio

Recently Steve asked about my setup for the photos I take. So I thought I’d show a few behind the scenes shots.

The setup consists of a table with a white sweep. There’s a roll of white paper held up by a few pieces of wood and a length of PVC pipe. This lets me unroll the paper to replace it as it gets dirty and worn out. A few spring clamps hold the paper in place at the edge of the table.

Basement Photo Studio

The camera sits on a tripod and there are two light stands with flashes and umbrellas. The flashes are old, and fully manual. One of them does have a dial to adjust the intensity, but the other does not. I end up moving them closer or farther a lot to adjust the light. The stands make it easy to move them around and raise and lower them. (There’s also some sandbags holding them stands steady.)

Basement Photo Studio

The flashes are fired by a set of wireless triggers, and even though I’ve had them for years, I’ve rarely had to replace the batteries. The flashes are a different story. I’ve got a set of 12 Sanyo eneloop rechargeable batteries and two chargers. Each flash takes 4 batteries and they tend to eat through them pretty quickly!

Basement Photo Studio

I shoot with a white background most of the time, but if I need black I’ll toss down some black fabric, or more likely, a piece of black posterboard. I’ve also been known to use hot pink posterboard, or yellow, or blue, or whatever I pick up at the dollar store.

I’ve got a few folding reflectors as well, but often I’ll just grab a piece of white foamcore board to use as a reflector. (Cheap foamcore is also available at the dollar store, though I tend to use the better stuff from a real art supply store)

I also shoot RAW images, which gives you a lot of room to adjust things when processing the images. Oh, and right now I’m shooting with a Nikon D3200, and for lenses there’s a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 and a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 that tend to get used the most.

That’s the basic setup. Any other questions?


The Art of Tinkering

I recently got my copy of The Art of Tinkering and I must say, it is a beautiful book. It just looks amazing. It’s full of ideas and images and makers and artists.

I’ve only read bits and pieces so far, though I’ve spent a lot of time pouring over the images and admiring the layout.

And yes, I know you kids with your “e-books” don’t care about “dead tree editions” but I still love books made with ink and paper. They just have a certain quality a digital copy will never have. (And yes, you can hack the book! It’s got conductive ink right on the cover which you can build a circuit with.)

The Art of Tinkering

Oh, I should also mention that one of my photos is in the book! On page 183 is a photo of the MaKey MaKey Banana Pong I created last year.

If you’re at all interested in creating things, or perhaps you just need some inspiration from others grab a copy of The Art of Tinkering.



It’s been a while since I thought about my film days, and honestly, I don’t know the last time I’ve use the term “digital photography” when describing “photograpy” but there are still people who shoot film, RachelK is one of them, and another is Troy Freund.

Troy wanted to let me know that he’s involved with an Analog Photo Seminar at Cardinal Stritch University on October 9, 2011. Here’s the details:

This seminar will feature presentations and demos by Wisconsin film-based fine-art photographers. Nick Olson, Dr. Yong-ran Zhu and Mark Brautigam will present on their experiences in large-format photography. Over the lunch-break, I will talk about the experience of working with Leica rangefinder cameras.

Each photographer will give a 30-40 minute presentation of their work, followed by a short Q&A session. The afternoon will be spent with each photographer giving a hands-on demonstration of their working methods.

See Troy’s blog post for all the details.

If you’ve got any questions, I’m sure you can hit up @midwestphoto on Twitter and he’d be happy to answer them…


Ready for Pushing

So I’ve been working on this button, and one of my “in progress” photos got a mention on Make, and that was cool, but I wasn’t quite done. :)

NOTE: Need a button? Now you can buy one! Visit our store or Etsy.

The button was just part of this larger project to build a photo booth, which is mostly done, as you can see by the photo below.

So basically, this button is ready for pushing. I’ve got a number of events I’ll be at in the few weeks, and this thing will accompany me to some of them. Oh, it can also automagically upload the photos to various web sites on the Internets…

Ready for Pushing

I ended up building a stand for it which places it at the correct height for the typical human being, and thanks to the button, the whole thing can be operated by a single press. No keyboard, no mouse, no muss, no fuss.

The first test is tomorrow… we’ll see how it goes!

« Older Entries |

buy the button:

Buy The Button