Tag Archives: detroit

inside detroit

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 48mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 150mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/30 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 130mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 145mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 150mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

| currently listening to: Forever got shorter, Braid, Movie Music, Vol. 1 2000, | LINK

the photography:
you know what’s fun? taking an outsider’s stance while standing in an insider’s job. confused? you should be. i’ll lay it out for you:

a) i work in the automotive industry as a photojournalist

b) i’m not an enthusiast (or at least i wasn’t before i started this job) nor am i an automotive blogger

c) i’m not a reporter

d) and i’m not easily swayed (or impressed for that matter) by those who are

when i’m working the show floor, i’m simply a photographer with a job to do and a deadline to meet. thank you so much for understanding my frustration when you step in front of me to make sure you take a camera phone photo of your buddy for facebook. please be polite and get out of my way.

this (almost) oblivious mind-set allows me to work at an auto show as efficiently and as objectively as humanly possible. auto shows are basically cavernous rooms filled with PR suits, reflectively clean metalic cars, million dollar plastic replicas, and thousands of people wanting to know what this that and the other thing are all about. there are freelancers, writers, photographers, and videographers everywhere, snapping pictures, taking video, tweeting, and producing everything from newspaper columns to the occasional online web-isode video about transmission fluid. it’s an interesting group of people to say the least.

by staying in an almost oblivious state of mind, i find that i don’t easily wrap myself up in the notorious game of cat and mouse that i have dubbed, shiny objects (shiny objects is a marketing ploy which causes the buyer or viewer to stare at a new shiny object and because said new shiny object is so amazingly shiny and new, the buyer/viewer’s head is cleared of any thoughts whatsoever. ending scenario? buyer/viewer’s head has clouded over and any sense of how said shiny object fits into the “big picture” is lost; it’s a distraction method employed by many and understood by few).

one of the few historic sights (and the grandest of shiny objects) from the auto show circuit that always draws my attention above the sea of noise, news, lights, and commotion are the gorgeous (and highly-suspect) auto show models. dressed to the nines and paid to stand next to a large hunk of steel and plastic, these models eek out a living looking pretty, standing at attention, and smiling like they don’t know how to frown. unlike their runway cousins, the auto show model must not only fit the part (visually matching the brand) but they must also stand next to their respective vehicle and touch it occasionaly, thus drawing needed attention to whatever is being displayed. it sounds silly, but picture bob barker repeatedly announcing “A new Car!!!” over and over. car show models are a lot like that. imagine this job description:

seeking size 0-3 female, at least 5’9″
must be able to stand under hot lights with very little clothing for 5 hours straight
must be able to smile entire four hours
must be able to stand smell of armor all
must be able to stand up to sleezy reporters and photographers who want to possibly smooch you or buy you drink
must be able to stomach new chrysler lineup
must be able to do all this in 4″ heels

there are more than a few deal breakers in there. jeez…

so anyways, i took some quick pics of the models. my mind always works in funny ways so i tried to create a dichotomy between images of the models being models and hamming it up for the camera, and of models not paying attention to me. i think it works well. the funny thing is, half the time i’m at an auto show, i pay zero attention to the models. zero. except unless they ask me to get them a sandwich (model humor… too soon?!) or possibly a 2,500 calorie protein shake? (way too soon)

photos are with the 5DMKII and the 24-70mm f2.8L and the new 70-200mm f2.8L. i likey. thanks for another smashing year detroit, i actually miss you already. Joe? i’m gonna take you up on that offer to do a DETROIT-IN-24-HOURS-PHOTOGRAPHY-MARATHON. that will be fun.

and just to clarify, i am a little jaded at the process but i love the people i work with and i love what i do for a living. some of the best days of my year are spent walking around detroit during the auto show. i really dig it.

the music:
i enjoyed spending much of my downtime today reading hilarious braid facts posted by their bass player Tod Bell over his twitter feed. this stroll down memory lane obviously led to me playing lots and lots of braid over the headphones. i could listen to them forever. i’m a nerd, a geek, a husband, a former jock, a soon to be father, a photographer, and a braid fan. but not in that order.

detroit rock city, 2010

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 57mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 24mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/640 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/6400 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 32mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 40mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 38mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/1000 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 45mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 38mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/640 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 32mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 54mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

| currently listening to: A house, Doves, Lost Souls 2000, | LINK

the photography:
i’ve been MIA for a bit. sorry about that. the holidays are busy with family and really busy with work. my bad. but i’m posting now, right?

i spend at least one week in detroit every year as i cover the north american international auto show as an automotive photojournalist from the floors of cobo hall. it’s always a wicked exciting time to be around for the major car releases from the big three american automotive giants with all of the pomp and circumstance that comes with the dance party that is the press days. sigh. january in detroit? sigh.

every time i enter the detroit city limits, all i want to do is spend my time photographing the world outside of the hall walls, the desolate, decrepit, weed-infested streets, and burned out house shells that make up the greater detroit metropolitan region. this year i took the plunge and i snuck out of the hotel and i explored. it was amazing. on that warm/cold/warm morning, i took the time to photograph the GMC Safari van that is jacked up with at least an 18″ lift kit complete with gigantic mudding tires affixed to it’s tiny axels making it look like the ultimate redneck salute to the A-Team. too bad it’s painted tan (or should i say faded tan). finally. i have been eyeing that bad-boy for three years.

one of the glimmering pillars of detroit’s losing battle with it’s own humanity is the Michigan Central Depot, located on Michigan Avenue in detroit, just down the street from the former Tiger Stadium. this building has been empty since Amtrak left in 1988 which means that the 17 story structure (slightly guessing since the first floor atrium has 76′ tall ceiling) has been empty for more that 22 years. the condition of the building is a national and architectural travesty that many photographers have taken a stab at capturing. so i gave it a my best shot with the time i was alloted and i feel quite good about the results. i will, mark my words, one day return and climb inside this building and i will document the horror that lies within. one day.

another stop on my way out of detroit is this great little diner/hamburger joint. two of us ate 2 eggs over easy, hashbrowns, toast, and bacon. we paid $7.47. crazy. the man behind the counter shredded the potatoes for the hashbrowns while we sat and waited. amazing.

it was a gorgeous couple of days but much of my time was spent in a conventional hall and then in a casino. don’t ask. i didn’t bet a cent. but the time i did get out and take some photographs, the light was perfect, the sky was filled with voluptuous high clouds, and the temperature was perfect while sitting right around 33 degrees. i couldn’t have asked for a better 1.5 hours. next time? i’m gonna take a couple of days and document the city of detroit as it should be documented. it’s a beautiful place. truly beautiful.

the music:
i first heard the band doves when i was working in a crappy design job laying out old-people-group-tour catalogs for an old-people-group-tour company located in boston. boring, mind-numbing, and anti-inspirational were the terms we threw around that office like oyster crackers onto a bowl campbell’s clam chowdah. an aging hipster coworker (in his 40’s who wore chucks and took care of his 15 year old daughter on the weekends) spent much of his time pulling me aside and chatting about bands in hopes of passing the rock’n’roll torch to an up-and-coming music junkie such as myself. it worked. his first lesson was to never forget the importance of punk music no matter how trite and watered down it becomes and his second was to always listen to captain beefheart. i soaked up a lot of information during my 6 month freelance stint on the third floor of that brick building just south of the five points channel. a lot.

one of the records that was passed down to me during that educational period was the doves, lost souls, the first full length from these three chaps from manchester. it’s quite a fantastic record from start to finish with the ebb and flow of songs that peaks with the epic “the cedar room” which needs the calming cool down of “the house” to bring the record back to earth. if you want to know where coldplay get much of their sound from i can tell you that it’s not all radiohead ripoffs. doves mix floating chords and keyboards with a smooth rhythm section and echoed staccato guitars to make you feel right at home in your chair with your headphones on. i went so far with my love of doves to track them down during their first couple of tours to the states. the opening band for their first tour? a little group called the strokes. the second tour? a little group called my morning jacket. not too shabby kids. not too shabby.