August 31, 2011

Help up give back!

Harrington College of Design seeks not-for-profits in need of Photography.

Social Practices in Photography (or PHO269) is seeking new, start-up or underfunded not-for-profits who are in need of professional photographic services.   We are hoping to provide images to organizations that have historically not had the means to afford a professional photographer in the past.  In order to qualify for this program, images must be used in printed collateral sometime in the remainder of 2011 and carry the students credit information.  The student should receive copies of the final printed piece for their portfolio materials as well.

By shooting for a real client, the hope is to provide a real world experience for the students at the same time as helping them understand the power or value of an image outside of its commercial value. 

This two-part course is part of our new four year BFA program, which adds social service and global awareness to the technical foundation students receive in the first two years of the program. 

If you are interested in receiving photographic services or know someone who might please get in touch with Dirk Fletcher, Department Chairman of the Photography Programs at Harrington College of Design at

August 25, 2011


Check out the ‘City Guide: Chicago’ article in the September issue of PDN for an overview of the Chicago as a photo market including several thoughts and quotes from me!  

August 2, 2011

Conceal carry in Chicago?

Brooks Institute, graduation day 1995

In 1995, I sat amongst my fellow graduates listening to the wisdom of a respected professional and industry leader.  Robert Glenn Ketchum eloquently blended stories from his travels with his thoughts and advice.  His underlining message was this, you are photographers and your tool is a camera.  You are to carry this tool with you at all times and use it to record your life, life around you or just amuse yourself while doing the photographic equivalent of scales on the piano.

Whatever you do, just carry a camera and shoot with it.  

I smiled to myself as I was the only one of my graduating class who had a camera with me, my battered and traveled M4-2 with a 35mm Summilux was over my shoulder and loaded with drug store color print film.

To this day I carry a camera with me almost everywhere I go - it varies from a small Lumix digital camera, a Canonet, Leica, a smoking Yashica T4 on loan from a friend, and sometimes just my Holga, which has been repeatedly modified. 

On a sweaty, rainy and foggy morning last month, I was zigzagging across the loop on my way to a three-day off-site strategic planning meeting for work. As I approached one of my favorite Chicago icons, I saw a most beautiful site; Marina Towers was completely enveloped in fog.  I had the perfect camera with me that morning, a half frame Canon Demi, with its razor sharp fixed 30mm, f/1.7 and built in meter, the EE17 is really a joy to shoot with.  It was loaded with Fuji 160 color neg.  I dialed in a stop and a third of compensation (by adjusting the film speed) and shot almost an entire roll of film.  For fifteen minutes everything in my world just stopped, it was fantastic.
                                                                                   Marina Towers Triptych
Sure I was late to the meeting, but I arrived excited, engaged and totally ready for the (long) day. 

So thanks Robert, thanks for your words that live on daily!