Archive for July, 2009

The Ruins of Detroit

Posted in Photographers with tags , , on Monday, July 27, 2009 by Miserere

by Miserere


Text and photos by Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre.

Merchand Meffre Photography - The Ruins of Detroit

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the city of Detroit
developed rapidly thanks to the automobile industry.

Until the 50’s, its population rose to almost 2 million people.
Detroit was the 4th most important city in the United States.

It was the dazzling symbol of the American Dream City with
its monumental skyscrapers and fancy neighborhoods.

Increasing of segregation and deindustrialization caused violent riots in 1967.
The white middle-class exodus from the city accelerated and the suburbs grew.
Firms and factories began to close or move to lower-wage states.
Slowly, but inexorably downtown high-rise buildings emptied.

Since the 50’s, “Motor City” lost more than half of its population.

Nowadays, its splendid decaying monuments are, no less than
the Pyramids of Egypt, the Coliseum of Rome, or the Acropolis in Athens,
remnants of the passing of a great civilization.

Photography partners Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre present a superb set of images exhibiting the decay and abandonment one would normally associate with a natural disaster. Please see the slide show on their webpage.

Merchand Meffre Photography - The Ruins of Detroit

What The Duck Giggles

Posted in Humour with tags , on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 by Miserere

by Miserere


I really have to restrain myself every time I see a new What The Duck cartoon strip; if I didn’t I would repost them all! But this one just made me laugh too much.
What The Duck 198

©Aaron Johnson.

And by the way, happy 3rd anniversary to WTD! It was 3 years ago on July 19th that Aaron Johnson hatched WTD. I look forward to many years more!

Who Watches the Watchmen Photographer?

Posted in Photographers with tags , , , on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 by Miserere

by Miserere


Clay Enos - Watchmen: PortraitsEven though I am not a dedicated comic follower, I still fondly remember the hours I spent as a child, hidden away in my room reading Spiderman and Batman comics. I also had a large collection of 2000 A.D., which fellow Brit readers might remember. As I grew up, other activities required my time, but my love for the characters that inhabited those comic book worlds did not fade and I always looked forward to any new film based on a comic superhero. Most of the time I was met with disappointment, but every now and again a director who truly understands the comic will take the helm and create a memorable movie.

I think this is what happened with Watchmen, the seminal graphic novel by writer Alan Moore and illustrator Dave Gibbons, directed for the big screen by Zack Snyder.

I confess that while I knew about the book well before the film (surely the blood-stained smiley face is embedded in most people’s consciences), I didn’t read it until after I saw the film. This was a purposeful decision, as I wanted to see the film with fresh eyes, and then delve even further into the story by reading the book.

But it is the imagery of the movie that this post is about, this being a photography blog and all. I was blown away by the camera work in the film, most of which was inspired by the comic illustrations themselves. Moving images created from static ones, and an imaginary, alternative reality brought to life through the talents of many artists (not least of which Larry Fong, director of photography).

To come full circle and return the flesh and bone characters to the confines of 2-dimensionality, Zack Snyder hired New York photographer Clay Enos. Mr Enos had the enviable task of being on the set of Watchmen during production of the movie, with the job of documenting the process through his photography. While doing this, he conceived of a personal project photographing the characters in between takes. 220 of these photographs have now been published as a book, Watchmen: Portraits. Mr Enos has kindly made some of these available on his website.

The stark, contrasty B&W, likely inspired by Rorschach and the inherent dichotomies that support the story, works marvellously well in Mr Enos’s capable hands. I could keep on going, but I suggest you just enjoy the view.

Clay Enos - Watchmen: Portraits (Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre II)

All photos: ©Clay Enos.

Photo Walk – Boston (Financial District) Edition 2009

Posted in General, Miserere's Photos, Photos with tags , , , on Sunday, July 19, 2009 by Miserere

by Miserere


NEW: I’ve created a discussion thread for all Boston Photo Walks within the EtL Flickr Group. If you participated in this, or any other Boston Photo Walk, please consider adding some photos to the group and discussing your experiences.


Make sure you check out Peter Zack’s Photo Walk report from Prince Edward Island, Canada. Peter should be starting a separate discussion on the EtL Flickr group soon.

Since this was a photo walk, not a chat walk, I’ve decided to skip the prose and simply post some of the pictures I took. Nonetheless, I do want to thank Michele Peterson for organising the Boston – Financial District photo walk, and Gary Hoyt for leading it when Michele was unable to due to a last-minute emergency. Thanks also to all the nice, chatty and friendly photographers I met; it was a pleasure walking, talking and taking photos with (and of!) you. I hope to see many of you soon!

Somehow, my friend and I managed to get there early, well before the 9:00 meeting time. Seemed like a good time to take the first pic of the day.

Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Photographers praying to Our Lady of Perpetual Construction that we may be spared of rain. (We were.)
Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Gary takes the group photo. Hopefully I’ll get that photo at some point.
Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

And after the group photo, The Walk was officially started. Click on the photos for larger versions.

Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Thanks to Greg for the idea on the following photo. Maybe he’ll post a link to his version and we can compare our different approaches.
Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Yes, she’s silver!
Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

The end of the Photo Walk! Outside Boston’s Beer Works, a few weary photographers compare notes before going in for some well-deserved food and drink.
Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Not that the intrepid photographers were out of danger!
Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

Which is why some didn’t take their cameras off, even to eat.
Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

But not everyone had the same priorities.
Miserere - Scott Kelby's Photo Walk Boston

And that’s it from me! But if you still want to see more photos I took, they are all here.

Photo Walk – Charlottetown PEI Edition 2009

Posted in General, Peter Zack's Photos, Photos with tags , , , , on Sunday, July 19, 2009 by Peter Zack

by Peter Zack

Scott Kelby’s Photo Walk Charlottetown Prince Edward Island, Canada, edition. This article will be different than my usual submissions. Normally it’s written and proof read, changed and sometimes after reading it several times tossed in the bin. The others are posted on ETL.

Make sure you check back and go to the bottom of this page for any updates. There will be a few over the next ten days or so and then we’ll have a seperate article to highlight the winners.

This will be an evolving article to a certain degree. I expect Miserere’s will be similar. I’ve invited the 50 participants in our walk to submit photos and we’ll create a Flickr gallery of the Charlottetown ‘walkers’. I also hope the group sends in a few stories to add to the article.

Scott Kebly's World Wide Photo Walk
I liked the grunge look of this spot. A building that needed repair but someone has decided to make this stark looking area a summer sitting spot.

So our walk started on the Charlottetown waterfront at Confederation Landing Park near Peake’s Quay, a local hot spot on the weekends. I arrived around 6 AM, hoping to find some sleeping party-goer, passed out near the bar. Start the day off with a funny shot of last nights festivities. Alas nothing like that anywhere.

The leader of our group, Stephen DeRoches, –thank you Stephen for making this a fun event and having it go smooth as silk, sent out 3 possible meeting times earlier on with a note “I must admit, I was concerned scheduling early would mean nobody would go but at the moment, most are favoring earlier the better…” The first idea was to meet at 5:30 to start walking. Stephen didn’t need to be concerned, it was a ‘sell-out’ with 50 shooters. For me, being a wedding shooter, this was going to be a long day, as I had a wedding later that day and would get home at 11:00PM. So eventually a compromise was reached and we started at 6:30. People began arriving around 5:30 AM hoping to get a sunrise but alas, most of the east coast of North America was either covered in dark cloud or rain. We got the dark cloud and realized that this was going to be a high ISO shoot for at least the first hour.

Other than us milling around, we were alone. But we did attract the attention of the police. They cruised us repeatedly to see what was going on. Next time just roll the window down and ask. No bad intentions here.

So all the participants wandered in on time for 6:30, we reviewed the ‘rules’ and took a group shot. It’s tougher to get 50 photographers together for a group shot than any other type of group. We just like to hide behind our viewfinders. So shot taken, 6:30 hits and the group scatters in various directions along the general route. Most people shot in pairs or small groups. I could see some shooters just discussing gear and not really doing much shooting. Photographers are like golfers in this regard, there’s always a longer ball or straighter shooting club to discuss and buy. When it comes to being a gear head. I’m the worst offender. I think most of us took around 100+ shots. Mine was 167 for the 2 hours. Some deleted on the spot! There were some very high end cameras and some small point & shoot cameras. It was all good and I think from comments heard at the wrap up breakfast, everyone had fun.

I’ll add more in the coming days but will post this one shot from my camera that day. Actually 2 shots…
World Wide Photo Walk Scott Kelby

Scott Kelby's World Wide Photo Walk

These ladies were lovely. They heard about the photo walk and decided to get dressed in costume. They made the dresses themselves and just wanted to be available for us to shoot. They walked around some of the historic parts of Charlottetown and made themselves completely available to us. Wonderful people. I never got their names but hope they see this and send me an email. Thank you so much for being fun and getting dressed up.

More photos and stories to come. You can also follow the Twitter feed of sites across the planet that joined in. Twitter

Cheers and good shooting –Peter Zack


Update number 1: Stephen (our tireless leader) posted some shots and thoughts here.   For you Charllottetown walkers. you might spot yourself in one of his shots.

Don’t Forget Scott Kelby’s Photowalk Tomorrow

Posted in General, In the News with tags , , on Friday, July 17, 2009 by Miserere

by Miserere


A few weeks ago we told you about Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk. Both Peter and I will be attending our local walks and will report back here with some stories and pics. The walks are tomorrow, but there is still time to sign up to a walk near you, do it now!

Looks like even USA Today has picked up the story.

In the Winner’s Words

Posted in Art, Books, General with tags , , , on Thursday, July 16, 2009 by Miserere

by Miserere


A few weeks ago Reed nominated his mum to receive a free copy of Hugh MacLeod’s Ignore Everybody…and she won! I sent the book her way and asked her to tell me her impressions when she was done. In her own words:

I read the book through the night I got it, but then I wanted to wait a few days before writing anything down to let it percolate a bit.

One of the chapters that spoke to me first was the “sex and cash” chapter. I have an uncle who is a drummer. He makes most of his money teaching lessons and playing in a local country band, but he’s also a member of a jazz band. Those gigs make very little money, but he just enjoys them so much. Sometimes I can lose myself that way with my camera, but not usually on anything I planned. I am just a hobbyist, but even the small pressure I put on myself for a particular location keeps me in the present and not in the “zone,” if you will.

The chapter about turning one’s hobby into a job reinforced a thought I have had for a while: that I am not interested in making this a profession (at least right now). People coo and cluck (relatives with low-end P&S cameras, I mean) at some of my pictures, but when I think about the business end of things I lose interest quite rapidly.

I wholeheartedly agree with the “commercial” vs “artistic” argument. Sometimes I am very happy with a photo, and when I post it on Flickr it gets ignored. Other pictures that don’t mean much to me might get hundreds of views. I can’t figure it out, but now I know that I like what I like. Even if I’m disappointed if other people don’t “get it,” I still like that picture.

When I got my DSLR it was exactly like rediscovering my box of crayons, and my youngest kids (who are twins) were just old enough for me to catch a minute to myself now and then. Finally, a creative outlet I wasn’t terrible at (I cannot draw, sing, write or dance). I find it soothing and enriching, absorbing, frustrating—all things that make me feel alive.

I thought the author’s observations were astute, and I appreciate his brisk approach. I belong to several forums that are primarily populated by women, and women tend to be much more circuitous in their approach to things. Sometimes a little bluntness is refreshing. And the cartoons were funny. 😀

Thank you again,

  –Lara Arnold


Lara Arnold - Reed

Reed – Lara Arnold

I know the book is in good hands, just check out the photo Lara took of her son, Reed. I wish Lara the best for the future, and hope for Reed’s sake that the time she spent reading this book was time she didn’t use to pester him with her camera. What more could a son wish for!? 😀