Minneapolis Daily Photoblog

A photo outpost on the edge of the great western prairie, Minneapolis Daily Photoblog records life in the beautiful rugged northern land of Minnesota. Minneapolis is a bustling metropolis with beautiful greenspaces, rivers and truly epic winters. This unique city was created by the railroad and lumber barons in the wild frontier leaving lots of awesomely rusty hulks and quiet wooded corridors to photograph.

Purple Delights

Purple Delights

I saw the purple invasive plants in the background and changed to my telephoto so that I could group the thistle in the foreground with the soft, out-of-focus plants in the back. Just as I got the picture framed up, this little hero dropped in for his close-up!

The Mascot Arrives

The Mascot Arrives

Here’s the new Mitchster.com mascot. This is a 30 second exposure of a glow-in-the-dark duckie. I set it up on glass to get the reflection.

Back to the Source

Back to the Source

The last day has arrived for the TFTTF Workshop (explained below Oct. 11). The assignment was: Go find the object from the first assignment and take another picture using the things we leaned in class. So back to my little Fire Plug I went.

This time I used the dark wet ground as a background. We learned that light objects on dark backgrounds sand out better than the reverse, and I also used Joins to create crossing lines through the image. Throw in a shallow DOF and I think it worked!

Fake Solution

Welcome to Day Three of the TFTTF Workshop (explained below Oct. 11). We went on an excursion to Historic Fort Snelling. The assignment was: Find something fake at Fort Snelling and use a predetermined focal length – I chose 28mm. I went to see the doctor and found on his shelf this little bottle hiding on his shelf, tormenting me in his bad light. Once everyone else left, I asked the ‘doctor’ if I could move things around. He said sure, and I set this image up while he continued to try lighting some wet logs in the fire place. I think I had greater success than he did. The light from the window cast some great shadows through the rippled glass and by using a big aperture, I was able to narrow the Depth of Field to draw the eye to my intended subject.

What's Yellow Isn't

What’s Yellow Isn’t

Welcome to Day Two of the TFTTF Workshop (explained below Oct. 11). This was for the assignment: Silhouette without using the Rule of Thirds. I struggled for a while to find something to silhouette on this typical gray rainy day. I eventually saw this dandelion and went to work on it. I found the McDonald’s wrapper in a trash can near by (it was right on top and pretty clean, and yes, I put it back). Placing Matt’s Nikon 800 strobe under the edge and taking lots of shots to get the light in the right place, I managed to get a silhouette.

I like the yellow background for the recognizable dandelion shape, sort of a negative space effect.

First day of the TFTTF Workshop in Minneapolis

First day of the TFTTF Workshop in Minneapolis

This innocent fire hydrant spends it’s days guarding the Chanhassen Rec Center, but on this day is starred in my first assignment for the Tips From the Top Floor Workshop. TFTTF is a podcast produced by Christoper Marquart of Tubingham, Southern Germany. I started listening to Chris years ago when Podcasting was in it’s infancy. He’s a great guy, and a lot of fun to listen to. He’s right on with the ‘tips’ and I’ve learned oodles of things from him and have been inspired to spend thousands of dollars as well.

Back to the assignment. After our introductions and an overview of the upcoming four days, Chris sent us out for our first assignment: Take a Picture, time: 15 minutes. I great way to see where we were at and to get us thinking about the ‘work’ in workshop. When I wandered out of the clean, organized & safe suburban rec center, I was confronted with a clean, organized & safe suburban parking lot. Being a city kid, I went looking for something that reminded me of home, and the smooth lawns and perfect flowers didn’t cut it. I chose this little guy and chose my framing to isolate him from the background and to revel in his flaws. The gray Minnesotan sky adds a lonely starkness as well. I give you the mighty fire plug.