Sunday, March 23, 2014

Marche du Nain Rouge!

Today I was fortunate enough to take part in a piece of Detroit Folklore, dating back to 1701 when a red imp got caned by Antoine Laumet de La Monthe, sieur de Cadillac. The founder of Detroit got the whole settlement cursed, and now you can blame the nain, chase him away, and wonder if Domino's was actually channeling him when they made the Noid.

Anyway, this march was amazing! I had a spot right in front of the Temple Bar, at the last turn of the parade. The Nain and his Dragon led the way, intending to burn Detroit to the ground once he reached the stage on the steps of the Masonic Temple. He didn't succeed, of course, but his speech was excellent. A satire of epic proportions, he told the booing crowd that they'd only make him stronger every time they disliked a neighbor for being different, or acted cruel toward one another. He was then defeated by enforcement of a parking ban, so, there's the top satire of the day. Great time. Here's a link to all of the pictures, with a preview posted below.

Friday, March 21, 2014

I went to the zoo a long time ago. Let's look forward to summer.

I am fortunate to live near the Detroit Zoo (which is technically in Royal Oak), and I've been many times. While we've barely thawed into spring so far, I made two trips there last summer -- one for an amazing engagement session, and the other just for fun with my nephew. He isn't featured here, but some pretty awesome animals (except for the one that is an insect) are. Anyway, thinking spring by bringing out these photos.

Red Panda, making the same face my dog does.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Eyes of a Child

My oldest niece, Abby, is brilliant. She will not know a world where touchscreens aren't readily available, and her aptitude for technology is ten times as natural as mine was once upon a time. I don't know if she'll be an engineer, because right now she wants to be a princess doctor, and engineers might be completely redefined by the time she enters the workforce. Anyway, at my grandfather's birthday brunch three weeks ago, I handed her my camera.

She doesn't know how to frame a shot, but she figured out how to use a viewfinder quickly and took the following pictures -- all on her own.

Look at this! Who taught this child depth of field and rule of thirds? 

My wife loves this picture of herself. The five year old outshined me.

Nobody can get this angle, except naturally.

She even snapped a picture of her sister and grandfather. 

Look, the camera was pre-set when I handed it to her. I had it in manual mode, I had determined the shutter, aperture, and ISO. She zoomed and snapped with her tiny hands, and I cannot believe the results. Knowing nothing about the process gave Abby an edge I cannot get. Being really short helped, too.

The artist herself, midway through a spin. 

No, she didn't take this, but look at my amazing family. Look at them! They're great. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hamtramck Music Festival

This past weekend, the first annual Hamtramck Music Festival was a hit. Taking the place of Metro Times Blowout (which has moved to later in the year), a major sponsor of this event was Ben's Encore, a non-profit that promotes music education in the area. I asked some of the board members for Ben's Encore for a chance to shoot at all the venues, and they happily obliged. Here are a few selections from Saturday night.

First up was the Barrel Brothers' Street Band. Excellent trio, great way to start my evening, and perfectly suited for the Baker Streetcar. 

Here's two from (All) The Wild Children, rocking hard at the Mars Bar. I met these guys later on at Small's and they were really cool. 

Rock City Eatery was packed, but I crouched up front to catch a couple songs from Samantha Lewis (currently in transition from performing under "Black Flea"). I still need to eat there one day soon.
Here's a shot from outside. I know it has harsh areas, but the sheer volume of people in Rock City was stunning, and kind of beautiful since the melody came straight through those windows.

BIG RISK HERE. Look, Paychecks, I wanted to shoot a ton of pictures of Blacker Magick, but those lasers could have destroyed my sensor with the right hit! Anyway, pretty on the eyes, but difficult to shoot. 

The night ended at Small's, where I caught most of the set for Bars of Gold.  Fantastic band and evening overall. Check out anyone I linked, and please follow up on the Ben's Encore link to find out more about an amazing charity.