Sunday, December 30, 2012

Design Ideas That Mattered

Maria Popova on the Brain Pickings web site has a great review on a book entitled 100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design. While browsing the post you realize that like the lyrics to the song by Peter Allen "Every thing old is new again", graphic design today is recycling some of these ideas back into the current designs we see today. It's funny how design works. Very few designs today are truly original and in many ways they reflect the past.  So when so see something that is truly new cherish it and wait a few years to see if it gets recycled.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Quote DuJour

"Knowing others is wisdom.
Knowing yourself is
Lao Tzu

Monday, December 17, 2012

Walking With The Dead

© Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved 

Always so stunning visuals in the Little Village of Chicago.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fog 8

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Quote DuJour

The only way
to make sense out of change
is to plunge with it,
move with it
and join the dance
-Alan Watts

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fog 7

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Monday, December 10, 2012

End Of Line

© Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved 

Many years ago when film ruled the world, I tried my hand with lightpainting in photography using film. The problem was it was a hit or miss process that gave unpredictable results. I shelved the Idea until I tried it again in the digital age. There is a great course on lightpainting through Kelby Training. Dave Black is the instructor and has 2 courses with Kelby training with one more coming down the line. LED lights make the process a whole lot simpler on the lighting end and digital cameras give you that instant feedback. LED lights are downright cheaper than the lighting rigs needed for film. You can even do it with some point & shoot digital cameras as well. I'm having some fun indoors doing lightpainting shoots....Try it, it beats instagrams!

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Fog 6

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Tragedy leads to Triumph!

Jaleel King didn’t have it easy. He’s turned around a tragedy as a youth and turned himself in to a photographer. From a wheelchair he works his photographic magic. It was hard but he made it a success for himself. You can read the story on The Strobist site.
Or you can watch a short video about Jaleel done by Mike Allebach on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Quote DuJour

"I'm always and forever looking for the image that has spirit! I don't give a damn how it got made!"
-Minor White

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fog 5

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Fog 4

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fog 3

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Fog 2

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Quote DuJour

"Style is not important. Style is what is applied on top of what you do.. Develop your heart, develop your soul and then see what happens and what will come out of that will be a style. You can't take it and apply it on top of something."
-Jay Maisel

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fog 1

I love shooting in the fog. There is a certain tranquility to the moment.

© Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved

Quote DuJour

"Traveler, there is no path,
Paths are made by walking"

–Antonio Mchado

Photographer re-write
"Photographer, there is no path,
Paths are made by shooting"

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Blog Post To Check Out

"Photographing Night Time Urban Scenes" is a great blog post worth viewing on the ePhotozine site. It give some good ideas about night urban shooting. Days are shorter and nights are getting longer so go shoot!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Quote DuJour

You can't improvise on nothing man; 
You've gotta improvise on something.
-Charles Mingus

Friday, November 02, 2012

Quote DuJour

Every writer I know has trouble writing.  
Joseph Heller

This applies to all creative processes

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tall Grass

© Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

© Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Jay Maisel On Photography

When you decide to photographic a thing you have 
two ways to control it. 
When you shoot it and where you shoot it from. 
Those are the only things you have.
-Jay Maisel

Thursday, October 18, 2012


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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Quote DuJour

Art is not what you see, 
but what you make others see.
Edgar Degas

Fall Color in Riverside Illinois

© Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


© Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Quote DuJour

"When you're shooting it's not replication 
but revelation"
-Jay Maisel

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sunday, October 07, 2012


Copyright Neil Schierstedt All Rights reserved

Friday, October 05, 2012

Quote DuJour

"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge with it, move with it, and join the dance."
–Alan Watts

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Quote DuJour

When elephants fight,
it is the grass that suffers.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Quote DuJour

"We all live two lives. One life that we learn with and the other life that we live after that."
– quote from The Natural

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Photographers & Writing....Just Another Creative Tool

Chase Jarvis' Blog has a excellent post on writing for photographers touting that writing can be a creative tool for the photographer. Yes we are in it for the visuals and yes we are photographers because we love taking images but sometimes we have to get into a different mode to jog our creativity. It's 5 easy tips and they might be worth a try. Read it here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Quote DuJour

"After all photography is just a tool and the way you see life is the way you photograph it."
Rob McKay

Friday, September 07, 2012

You Never Can Say Goodbye!

I've lived in the Berwyn area all my life. The one and only landmark this area can hang its hat on is what was called the Car Kebob. It was a public art work that was created for the Cermak Plaza shopping center. Junk cars mounted on a spindle. It was there for years. It rusted, the pigeons pooped on it and quite frankly it was turning into a big mess. Its big claim to fame was an appearance in the B movie Wayne's World. Walgreens wanted to build a store on the spot near where the kebob was so in 2008 it was torn down. End of story……not. 
It seems the two top cars were kept in a shed on the Cermak Plaza property. Now the Route 66 Museum, using the old Anderson Ford sign pole, wants to create a two car pileup which will adorn the Route 66 Museum parking lot on Route 66 (aka Odgen Avenue). They are hoping to use Kickstarter to fund the project. More info can be read here.

Images © Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Visualization by Ansel Adams

I ran across this clip of the great photographer Ansel Adams talking about visualization. It's short, but the master photographer gets the point across.

Image Photobook Update

Click here to view this photo book larger
Shutterfly baby photo books are the perfect way to preserve your baby's precious moments.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

DIY For Photographers

Sometimes you just cant afford your equipment or you just want to tinker. Here's a site for you. DIY Photography It has a lot of simple ideas and projects for any level photographer from ring lights to a homemade slider for that video shoot. Check it out there might be something there for you.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Quote DeJour

“The unfed mind devours itself.” 
-Gore Vidal

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Enjoying Photography

Sometimes as a photographer you lose your way and forget why you love being an image maker. Digging down deep to recover that chi can bet tough. Photographer and blogger Scott Bourne has an excellent post called five secrets to really enjoying photography. They are simple but are somethings that we sometimes forget. Read it, enjoy it  and go out and shoot. You can read it on the Photofocus site.

Monday, August 13, 2012


© Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Robert Hughes Is An Art Critic That Will Be Missed

There are two writer I have always enjoyed reading. On the political scene it was Christopher Hitchens. You may not have what he had to say but he always entertained you and made you think. We lost him this year and his writing will be missed.

Now we have lost one of our best art critics in Robert Hughes. Hughes was an eloquent writer and art critic who took no prisoners. Love him or hate him, like Hitchens he spoke his mind on art with his rapier criticism.

On being a critic he once said:
"One gets tired of the role critics are supposed to have in this culture: it's like being the piano player in a whorehouse; you don't have any control over the action going on upstairs."

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

On The Soap Box

I don't normally use this blog as a soap box of griping but this time I am. Cold calls can be annoying but I can deal with those by saying politely "No Thank You and please put me on your do not call list. Robo calls are the most annoying call on the face of the planet. If you hang up they just call back. You have to wait to the end to opt out and they still call back. And to Ann of card services who claims to be from my credit card company and never identifies the company......bugger off!  So I can get this out of my system if you plan on calling me, remember this video clip..... Oh yeah your an automated piece of garbage. The Marx Brothers are always relevant!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Quote DuJour

What uses having a great depth of field, 
if there is not an adequate depth of feeling?
- W. Eugene Smith

Orderly Conduct

© Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 06, 2012

Quote DuJour

"The further we delve into what we are and
what things we are, the more mysterious
we and they become."
-Wynn Bullock

Friday, August 03, 2012

Friday ClixPix

© Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved

Monday, July 30, 2012

Wall Madonna

Little Village, Chicago
© Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Quote DuJour

"Light to me is the most profound truth in the universe.
My thinking has been deeply affected by the belief that
everyone is some form of radiant energy
-Wynn Bullock

Saturday, July 28, 2012

On The Run

Little Village, Chicago
© Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved

Friday, July 27, 2012

Quote DuJour

"My imagination is a monastery
and I am it's monk"
-John Keats

Monday, July 23, 2012

Storefront Shrine

Little Village, Chicago
© Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved

In the Mexican community they take their faith seriously. In the case of this store they have included a shrine to the Virgin Mary in front by the entrance.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mannequin Glow

Little Village, Chicago

© Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Grafitti Little Village, Chicago

© Neil Schierstedt

7 Habits of Highly Creative Minds has a great post on the "7 Habits of Highly Creative Minds". It's a good read to help inspire and jog your mental rhythms. Read and be inspired at FreelanceSwitch.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Quote DuJour

"All art is autobiographical; 
the pearl 
is the oyster’s autobiography."
-Federico Fellini in a December 1965 piece in The Atlantic

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Creative Vapor Lock

It's summer. Hot, 90 to 100 degrees....sticky and just plain uncomfortable. Tis the season to hit creative vapor lock. My mind is putty and it has stalled out. So I go to the Apple app store and wandered around for some mind stimulating candy. Behold a free app just to jockey the photographic mental digits into stimulation.  The free version is DotMatrix FREE by Blackop. The program takes an image from your video cam snapshot or a photo and lets you create a whole mess of unusual and funky images using their presets which you can tweak any way you want. Designers and photographers can play with this for inspiration. Playing with this shakes the old brain cells alive. Download it and give it a shot. The free version creates a lo-res .png file.  They also make a studio version for a price. I'd love to do a review on that to see how well that works. But for now the free version allows me to kick the tires. It's on Apples app store or go to Blackops site.  Below are some samples.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Quote DuJour

“ When a man realizes his littleness, his greatness can appear. ”
— H.G. Wells

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Quote DuJour

"A creative is ultimately a person of action. 
They have dreams, but they toil. 
A dreamer is someone 
who never achieves a dream. 
Dreamers are bullshit."
-Lapo Elkann

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Quote DuJour

"Know the enemy,
know yourself.
-Sun Tzu

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Principles Of White Space

There is a great blog posting by blogger Leo Babauta of zenhabits that deals with the use of white space.

Some of the things white space accomplishes in design:
  • greater legibility
  • feeling of luxury
  • breathing room & balance
  • more emphasis
To read the entire blog article go to DesignTaxi.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Quote DuJour

"Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for miseries and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." 
~Blaise Pascal

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quote Du Jour

“Opportunity is missed
by most people
because it is dressed
in overalls
and it looks like work”
–Thomas Edison

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Back To Basics In Photography In A Large Way

SILVER & LIGHT from Ian Ruhter on Vimeo.

Ian Ruhter shows us what passion he has in an old school method of photography.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Quote DuJour

"One photographs things in order to get them out of one's mind"
-Franz Kafka

Friday, April 06, 2012

Kurt Vonnegut on how to write a short story

If only some writers would actually follow these ideas.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Quote DuJour

"...innocence of eye has a quality of its own. It means to see as a child sees, with freshness and acknowledgment of the wonder; it also means to see as an adult sees who has gone full circle and once again sees as a child - with freshness and an even deeper sense of wonder."
-Minor White

Monday, March 12, 2012

Quote DuJour

“Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual."
-Edward Weston

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Quote DuJour

Photography my passion, the search for truth, my obsession."
-Alfred Steiglitz

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday ClixPix

Copyright Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday ClixPix

Something to warm the eyes up on a winters day. Color!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Quote DuJour

“I’m thinking there may be a market in being the guy who helps to un-train you of all the ‘tips’ that the ‘experts’ teach you.”
-Patrick Rhone

Friday, January 13, 2012

Press On

Press On

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not;
Nothing is more common than an unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not;
Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education alone will not;
The world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Monday, January 02, 2012

Quotes DuJour

I don't want to create stuff,
I want to observe stuff.

If you're going to explore something,
don't start with a plan.

-Jay Maisel