Category Archives: iPhotos

Mad for a Capp

In downtown Grand Rapids, there is a lovely coffee shop called Mad Cap coffee. I first stumbled upon this place when visiting the city for Art Prize in 2012. I fell in love! This the first place I learned of “pour over” coffee, which is delicious and worth the wait. There are no Pumpkin Spice frappacinos here, but there is beautiful latte art and delicious coffee. Waiting in line on my visit this year I heard another customer say that Mad Cap is one of the best places in the country to get a coffee, he could be right.
Here are some pictures form my first experience at Mad Cap in 2012, and below that, in the slide show, are photos from October 2014. As you can see, the coffee shop has evolved, as have my photo skills.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

West Michigan

I took a semi-spontaneous road trip to the west side of Michigan today in order to drop off a photo print on canvas to an art competition in Holland. My mother and had planned to go tomorrow, but the weather was so nice today that after breakfast we decided to leave early. On the way we stopped at Fredrick Meijer Gardens. This was both of our first visits to the gardens, and we both enjoyed it thoroughly. We visited the butterfly exhibit and children’s garden, and the sculpture gallery.
On this trip, I took along my old Pentax 35mm camera and shot with film. Sometimes it’s good to change things up and challenge yourself. In a way it’s good to shoot with film, you choose your shots more carefully, and think about exposure more critically because you have a limited number of chances to get it right. Also, there’s something nice about film in that, when you run out, you’re done shooting. It brings me back out of artist mode and into spectator faster. I think with digital it’s easy to get trapped in the view finder and never look up or around so see things with your eyes.

I wasn’t completely digital free, however. I had my iPhone, of course, and later in the day I had my Nikon point and shoot.
So since I shot film, I won’t have my prints back for a bit, but I thought I’d share my iPhoto’s as a preview.

The first few images posted here are from the Meijer Gardens, and the last from Mt Pisgah Boardwalk and then JP’s Coffee in Holland, MI. I’m so glad we left a day early. The day turned out wonderfully!

























Instagram Afternoon

I went out on the Disc Golf trails today to practice filming video with my new 7D. So while I didn’t take too many slr photos I took a few with my iPhone. The trail we took is at Addison Oaks County Park in Oakland Township, Michigan. The trail is very scenic and I enjoyed the walk through nature. Here are a few Instagram shots I took.







Clouds in my Coffee

Last weekend I stayed at the City Flats hotel in Holland, MI. This is a very modern hotel that is the “greenest” hotel in the Mid-West. Atop the hotel is a restaurant called City Vu. This is on the fifth floor and has a beautiful sky view of Holland. It also has some interesting modern details. My mom and I stopped in there for Sunday breakfast. I took this shot of my coffee cup with my iPhone. All of the natural light coming through the large windows in the restaurant made for some soft light. This photo reminds me of a black and white print that a girl I knew in college made for me that she had taken of her coffee cup in a Denny’s. I have to admit, I tried to copy off her a little bit. While I did not get the beautiful shadows that she had in her image. I still like this photo as it reminds me of my trip with my mom, and of the yummy warm coffee on an over cast Sunday morning.Her is the same image as above, cropped and manipulated in the instagram app on my phone.

And again another couple of photos from City Vu.

My breakfast, veggie frittata in its very own cast iron pan!

The very skinny and some what hard to use silverware at City Vu. Image from iPhone, then cropped and manipulated on instagram.


On the evening news tonight they played an interview with famous photographer Annie Leibovitz . They asked her the dreaded question that EVERYONE asks of a professional photographer :”What do you say when someone asks you what kind of camera to buy?”

First off, I have been asked this countless times. Really, it’s a ridiculous question, because I am NOT a camera salesperson, nor am I a camera expert, I am a photographer, and an artist. I don’t spend hours figuring out the specifics on what is the best camera or studying how a camera work, I spend hours creating great photos. So, I don’t know what the best camera is for you to buy. My best advice, and my canned response i give to this question is this: “I recommend Canon or Nikon, because lately they tend to be at the forefront of technology. You can get a way with as low as  a 4 megapixel camera if you are printing mostly 4″X6″ photos. If you know a little about how ISO and shutter speeds work, you might wan to look for a camera that will allow you to adjust those settings.” End of discussion.

So, if you see me out in the field doing my job, don’t bother me with grilling me about what the best camera specs are, chances are I am too busy to talk about it, or I just don’t really know. You DO NOT need to be a camera equipment expert to be a great photographer! (nor do you need the fanciest camera)

Getting back to the Annie Leibovitz interview, she answered that, in her opinion, the best point ans shoot cameras are…iPhones! Now isn’t that a revolution in thought?!

I happen to agree to an extent (If only I could get the new iPhone with a flash!). I used to always either carry a point and shoot camera in my purse, or in the center console compartment of my car to capture whatever I might run into or see. Doing my job, running all over the county all day, I see a lot of funny, interesting, and sometimes unbelievable things. Since I got my iPhone, almost two years ago, I have not needed that point and shoot as much, because I always have a camera on hand.

Leibovitz remarked in her interview that the phone has also replaced the wallet photo album. If someone were tos how you a photo of their kids, they now just whip out their phone. It can store hundreds of photos!

There are also lots of apps to edit photos straight on your phone. adobe even has a mini version of Photoshop for the iPhone!

So I was inspired by Leibovitz  to post some of my iPhone photos here. Ways inwhich I have found my iPhone useful are:

#1 Self-portraits. Iphones are easily held at an arm’s distance for a quick self-portrait session, while it would be much more difficult with the heavy Dslr, where I would have to set up a tripod, and use a self timer to get a shot

#2 Motion Blur. While sometimes frustrating, my iPhone 3G’s lack of flash allows me to play with motion blur, my favorite of camera tricks. I have had some interesting outcomes on my iPhone in low light situations.

#3 Photojournalism. I have used my iPhone for my job too. Out on assignment I have snapped a photo on my phone and quickly uploaded it to the Spinal Column’s  Facebook page in seconds while out in the field. Where as my Dslr photos would have to first go onto a computer before upload to the web, taking much more storage and time.

#4 Kitties and Puppies! Of course, there are the endless pet photos on my iPhone.

Here are a few of my favorites I have taken on my iPhone. I am sure there will be many more on my blog to come.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.