Category Archives: Photoshop

The Other Art Festival

Last year I went to the Des Moines Arts Festival downtown. I can’t say there was a single thing that impressed me. Only things that left an impression on me. The biggest impression that I left with was the thought, “Wow, no need to go to this thing again.”

What I didn’t know or didn’t realize was that at the same time that the Des Moines Arts Festival is going down, there is another affordable art festival going on at the State Fairgrounds. On Saturday I met Shannon down there to check it out.

I learned a few things. I learned that there was more and more interesting (and utilitarian) things at the State Fairgrounds. Shannon had told me that this festival was considerably more affordable.

It certainly was more affordable. Although neither of us bought anything (unless you count the pie pan that Shannon bought for a friend) there were many things I considered buying. I heavily considered buying a painting of a cow or a pig. I also considered buying a letter opener from Shannon’s legendary knife guy. I had heard her spin many a yarn about his knives for quite sometime now, so it was exciting to actually see him in person. He does make beautiful knives, but I couldn’t pull the trigger on the deal. I already have 3 letter openers at home that I don’t use.

I also learned that Shannon is big into mixed media. I also learned that her hyper-organized mind is drawn to art that is very structured. I on the other hand do not like that much structure in my art. I also revealed a strong affection for paintings that could be found in children’s literature.

There are times that I consider trying to have a booth at an art festival. What I noticed from looking at the photographers that were set up was that they all seemed to have a specialty. There was the person that did flower pictures. There was the person that did Iowa landscapes. There were people that had pictures of specific foreign countries. There was a person thats specialty seemed to be splitting landscaped up into three separate pictures.

There was a person whose specialty was making photos look like paintings.

Cross Hatch Flower
Something like that.

There was a person whose specialty was desaturating everything in a picture except one thing.

Something like that.

Another person made photomosaics.

Something like that (Hope you can recognize the original image.)

It is a big file! Over 26MB. The tiles are from pictures I took in June.

Fortunately nobody was there with what is well known to be my specialty.

Godzilla Bird's Eye View

So looks like I would not have any direct competition if I got a booth there next year.

I also snapped a couple of photos on my return journey to my car.





I will return to this festival in the future. Despite the lack of a single black and white photograph of a naked chick on a beach holding a sword and flowers.

Burnin’ Sensations

Last Friday was another hugely successful night for Ames on the Half Shell. The band was Burnin’ Sensations and they were phenomenal. Here are a few pictures from the evening.

06-14-08 - Burnin' Sensations
Abi and Melissa

06-14-08 - Burnin' Sensations

06-14-08 - Burnin' Sensations

06-14-08 - Burnin' Sensations
Birthday Girl

06-14-08 - Burnin' Sensations

06-14-08 - Burnin' Sensations

06-14-08 - Burnin' Sensations
Burnin’ Sensations

06-14-08 - Burnin' Sensations

06-14-08 - Burnin' Sensations
Andy and Charby

06-14-08 - Burnin' Sensations
Working the Picnic Table

06-14-08 - Burnin' Sensations
Possibly Discussing an UnHingd Reunion?

Every once in awhile when I’m editing pictures I find something that amuses me in a picture that was completely unintentional. Sometimes that happens when I’m not really concentrating, but just taking pictures quickly. One of those pictures above amuses me in just such a way.

I took a picture of one of the singers from Burnin’ Sensation out working the crowd. I was impressed by this because they were the first band to really work the crowd in such a fashion.

I think if there was somebody standing on top of my table playing a tambourine, I would probably be so impressed I would watch them, but that isn’t the case for everybody. Some people would rather text message.

I also made a panoramic image of the event. These are really hard to post because of their extreme width. So below I spun this image counterclockwise 90 degrees so that you can at least go through the image to some degree. It is also compressed to about 10% of its actual size. In its full resolution it is much crisper.

Burnin' Sensations

Of course there are about 40 more images in the Snapshots Gallery in an album named AOTHS-Burnin’ Sensations. It is located right next to the Family Night Photo Album.


I should also point out that I had a new life experience on Saturday. To say it was my life experience isn’t really fair, but I overheard something that I thought I would never hear, not even in Iowa.

After a long discussion about life with Becky on her sweet front porch, I made my way down to Tradewinds for the conclusion of Shannon’s birthday shindig. While I was there I was sitting at a table where a creepy guy was putting the “moves” on a lady friend.

One of the things he said to impress her was that he was once up to his nipples in pig feces. I guess you go with what you got, but if that is what you got, maybe you should lie.

Of course, it all happens again this Friday. Not the pig poo guy, but Ames on the Half Shell will happen again this Friday. 5-8 at Bandshell Park. 3 bucks gets you in the door. Another 3 bucks gets a beer in your hand.* 1 buck gets you some Red Monkey.

This week the band is Vivace. They are also excellent. They are one of the two bands that I booked. I got to play hardball with them. The conversation went something like this:

Me: So how much do you charge?

Vivace: XXXXXX bucks. A little more for an outdoor show.

Me: Well this is an outdoor show.

Vivace: Well we can keep it the same.

Me: Sounds like a deal.

Hope to see some of you there. Even my Corporate Sellout friends.

*Technically 3 bucks gets you an orange token that magically gets turned into beer at the beer tent.

Real American

The job posting for a Scab Nader has been closed. Nader has returned to the United States from his trip to visit family in London. We celebrated his return to the States with a meal at King Buffet and a viewing of Prince Caspian.

While eating the semi-edibles at King Buffet, Nader wowed me with his tales of London. One of his tales made me particularly proud. Proud of me. Proud that I have had an influence for the good on this man.

However, there was disturbing aspect of Nader’s return that I had to document. He came home with a way creepy mustache. I think you all know what I believe about mustaches and the men that wear them. He swore to me that he would shave it that night while he was shaving his head. I hope so. Nothing good ever comes from a man growing a mustache.

Creepy Mustache

Look at Yourself

I’m unable to look at that mustache.

Even this cool hat doesn’t help out that mustache.

One last bonus image.

Although I can not in good conscience endorse his facial hair selection, Nader did do one thing in London that makes me very proud.

A few months back Nader joined up with my Rambo Platoon for a viewing of Rambo. This was the first time that Nader had seen a Rambo movie in the theater. He groused about it for days. However, I assured him that although he has been a naturalized citizen for nearly 20 years, it was this viewing of Rambo that made it official that he was a Real American. I even told him that he should get a Certificate of Real Americanism from the Real American Bureau some time this year. (Note to self, need to fake up that certificate at some point.)

While he was in London his mom put pressure on him to move to London so that he could be closer to family.

He told her the following:

“Mom, I’ve seen Rambo now. Once you’ve seen Rambo you are a Real American and can’t move out of the United States.”

I am so proud.

Of course a 64 year old woman living in Tehran doesn’t have the foggiest clue who Rambo is, but that hardly matters.

While I was tearing carpet out of the basement with Jay on Saturday we came across a Rambo toy gun from my youth. I might give that to Nader to show him my appreciation for spreading the Rambo message to Tehran.

On a personal note: Even though Rambo is just a terrible, terrible movie, it isn’t anywhere near as insulting to the franchise as that awful Crystal Skull movie. I’m still angry about it.

LWL Products Page

A week back when I was publishing my endorsement of Little White Lye Soap the product pictures on the Little White Lye Soap were less than satisfactory. They have since been replaced and updated with way more acceptable pictures like this one:

Little White Lye Soap

I urge you to follow the link below and check out the new images:


Olivia’s Stitching Time

I went to the church on Wednesday to take a group photo of the stitching group that Teresa started in Olivia’s name. Here is the result.


This picture is going to go in the church bulletin, so in the end it will end up looking something like this:


I took a couple candid photos of the group.







Then Becky grabbed the camera and took this picture.


Olivia’s Stitching Time meets two more times before taking a hiatus for the Summer. It is a group for people to come and work on and share their sewing projects. It meets from 6:30 – 8:30 on Wednesday nights in the Parlor of the First United Methodist Church. All are welcome to come.

I also fired off a few other random pictures in the sanctuary.




I might be prejudiced, but I think that we have a beautiful sanctuary. I’d love to seriously photograph it at some time in the future.

Oscar Pictures from Jen

I was sitting at work today minding my own business when an e-mail fluttered across cyberspace and into my inbox. Technically it was two e-mails. I now share with you what was contained in those e-mails, namely pictures from Jen’s camera of the Oscar Party.

Oscar Party - 2008
Jen in her Fur Coat

Oscar Party - 2008

Oscar Party - 2008
I am Mine

Oscar Party - 2008
With the Guitar God

Oscar Party - 2008
Jen and Derrick

Oscar Party - 2008
Sans Beanie

Oscar Party - 2008
That Tie Deserves Better

I think for the 2009 Oscar Party I might switch to a fedora and bring a cane. Although with the beanie Jen says I look “very Mohammad”. I dig that.

I might as well throw up a few pictures I took on that night. I didn’t take a camera to the party. I’ve been considering buying a small camera that I can fit in a pocket for this type of event, but I haven’t done it as of yet.

Derrick Waiting


I know it is derivative, but everybody loves the bass picture so why not post this one?



If you are wondering, I will be buying a Sony. Carl Zeiss Lens! That is all I need to say!

Selling Out

I’m not what you would call a commercial photographer. However, recently I have gotten some commercial photography gigs.

The first gig was (and is ongoing) to do some of the photography for the website of a local soap company. However, I don’t want to delve too deeply into that because I will go into much greater depth about that when the website makes its World Wide Web Debut.

The second and third gig are kind of similar and somewhat related. Look at the picture below.

UnHingd Publicity Still

Some of my best friends were in a now defunct local band known as UnHingd. The members of this band have pretty much gone their separate ways, but they have stayed musical.

Not pictured is Dennis. He has moved on to become the lead singer of 35 South.

Mike has formed a new band with the old drummer from Obsidian’s Dream and some dude named Adam. His new band is called Inebriated Saints. Mike contacted me about taking some pictures of them during their upcoming show.

Mike Practicing
Mike in the UnHingd Practice Lair

Let me tell you what all the cool kids are going to be doing this Friday night. I can hardly believe I’m about to write this: (Grit your teeth you can get through it.) The cool kids are going to be going to The Venue to watch Inebriated Saints win the Battle of the Bands. The winner gets to open for Firehouse. Yeah, that might be one of those win/lose things. It will also mark my first appearance at a Boone Bar since June of 2006. I think it was the Southside if you are wondering.

No really. It should be a great time and Mike is the self proclaimed “Best Bass Player in Ames”. Who am I to argue with that? I will post some of those pictures in the near future.

Then earlier this week I was contacted by Shawn, the former drummer of UnHingd.

Shawn - Homecoming Concert
Shawn-Homecoming Concert

Shawn booked me to take pictures of his new band Act of Gravity for their website. I’m pretty excited about this opportunity and will certainly post those pictures when they get taken.

You can check out Act of Gravity’s website by following this link:

Act of Gravity – Dead Link

One other small tidbit of news. On Monday I had a check pass through my account that made it official: I’m debt free. Not for very long hopefully, but it feels good to breathe the sweet air of freedom

Perhaps you are wondering what happened to Guitar God Derrick Gorshe.

Outburst of the Soul – Portrait of Guitar God Derrick Gorshe

He is also still active musically. Besides being the sound guy for 35 South and being the store manager of Rieman’s Music, he might also be putting the pit orchestra for one of the Ames community theater groups next productions. Look for updates about that as they become available.