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Thanks to a recommendation from someone, I discovered a wonderful artist who makes these stunning hand painted pin badges for me!

The photo absolutely doesn't do these justice! They are much better in 'real life'. Think the wide angle has especially distorted the outer ones!

Being as there is very little out there commercially available with shieldbugs, I have to seek these special ones out!

On the recommendation of a friend from Oslo I cropped my original version. This one better isolate the main motive, the Original shows more from the the nice location (marketplace in Lucca, Italy). Thanks alejandra, that was a realy good hint. Scan from Kodachrome slide.


For more I suggest my slideshow click

My recommendation for foggy days: start early in the morning and enjoy the sun on the mountains.

This is landscape photography with ISO1600 and f1.4 and not f22.... .


View On Black

... recommendation ...

for life is too short



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I've taken some time off of Flicker for a bit for a variety of reasons. I've had a really difficult Autumn, first with a bike accident and with three bikes being stolen despite being locked up securely with at least one if not two expensive locks in broad daylight. My job has also become incredibly intense and pretty much unmanageable in terms of stress and what is possible in a day. I've also been thinking a great deal (as usual probably too much) in terms of my own photography and my own sense of self as an artist. I really still feel very drawn to street photography but, at the same time, have always felt some need to capture the expressions of humans I admire who happen to be creative artists themselves. Finding this balance has always been difficult and sometimes impossible.


I've been working on some of my street photography and hope to share more of this in 2015. My goal is to post a couple of photos a week on average, which seems more reasonable than 5 a week considering my work schedule. At the same time, I know many of you enjoy music and like to experience live music as well from time to time. So, the next two posts will be about my favorite live shows and albums of last year complete with links and such in case you'd like to check out my recommendations. Let me know if you decide to or if you experienced a great show yourself, whether it is on my list or not. Sharing is caring ;)


Happy New Year.


Best Live Shows of 2014


1. Slowdive October 30th, 2014 Vic Theater, Chicago Illinois


Seeing Slowdive at Pitchfork Music Festival was a phenomenal sort of experience for me and one that made the whole weekend worthwhile but seeing them play their own headlining show was even better. The band had by then even more so perfected their live sound and there were also a few more songs they played, most notably "Dagger." There is also something to be said for seeing a band with all of their die hard fans who are there just for them (or for them and Low, who were also fantastic as usual!) As a long time Slowdive fan, I've been listening to their albums for over a decade without the hope of ever seeing them live. I am so glad I had the chance to!


2. Temples May 3rd 2914, Austin Psych Fest Austin, Texas


I saw Temples three times last year and I treasured every set but I will probably never forget the first time I saw them at Austin Psych Fest (which is the best festival I have ever gone to and this year is called Levitation Fest.) These Brits play the sort of mesmerizing psychedelic rock music that fills my heart with sheer joy. It makes me feel connected with the entire world somehow. If home is really just a state of mind, I think I found it with Temples.


3. Low, June 16th, 2014, Subterranean, Chicago, Illinois


I have been seeing Low for the past 15 years or so and none of their shows have ever disappointed me. They are one of the bands I feel very connected to emotionally and would see even in the middle of a blizzard on a Monday night. Few bands have as many fantastic albums and such a genuine sense to everything they do.


This particular Low show was special because they played two long sets and pretty much every favorite song of mine that I had hoped to hear. It really moved me to tears!


4. Thee Silver Mt. Zion, May 8th, 2014, Lincoln Hall, Chicago, Illinois


TSMZ or pretty much anything connected with Efrim Menuck is also a band I am quite dedicated to. Their albums are always so filled with anguish and intelligent politics. Many people have a difficult time with Efrim's passionate vocals but the music is supposed to challenge you.

TSMZ live is a little different than their albums though because of the unpredictable and somewhat awkward experience of the Question and Answer periods...if you want to read more about that, here's a link to this show review with more photos aa well.


5. Loop, May 5th, 2014, Austin Psych Fest, Austin, Texas


I really hope that Loop play another US tour because their headlining set at Austin Psych Fest was phenomenal and way better than I was expecting. I really wasn't familiar with the band's albums before then and I regretted that I hadn't seen them when they played Chicago earlier on as it was on a Sunday night and didn't want to start another intense with week totally exhausted. In any case, I was glad I had a chance to catch most of their set at Austin Psych Fest. I know there were a ton of people let down when Primal Scream cancelled (they are playing this year, though) but I've seen Primal Scream and Loop's set was very special.


6. White Fence, October 18th, 2014, Subterranean, Chicago


It's really no surprise that I would enjoy this set as the band has put out their best album to date and one of my favorites of this year, For the Recently Found Innocent. They also seem to be ready to take the songs to a higher level on a live front and really managed to put on an amazing show.


7. Superchunk, January 18t, 2014, Cabaret Metro, Chicago


Superchunk isn't quite the same live without Laura Ballance playing on stage but this was still a really fantastic live set with some great vigorous jumping too! More photos and details within the live review here:


8. Bo Ningen, May 4th, 2014, Austin Psych Fest, Austin


Japan and now London based Bo Ningen come out like sort of underground and dizzying superheros. They have these incredible robes and long black hair and they are in almost motion twirling around like psychedelic dervishes. Unfortunately, both this set and their set at Cabaret Metro were extremely dark and difficult to capture the essence of what makes their live performances a bit spooky, extremely heavy hitting, and very powerful. These guys come with a high recommendation!


9. Liars May 3rd, 2014 Austin Psych Fest, Austin,


Aussie Angus Andrew has always been unpredictable and strange but this tour saw some of his most unpredictable behavior yet with a mask made of yarn on his head for the beginning of the performance and Angus back to flipping his hair, dancing, and pacing like he used to before he started having some back problems. Touring on their most recent album, Mess, brought about one of the most intense sets the band has played in a long time or ever.


10. Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), November 12th, 2014, Schubas Tavern, Chicago,


It's probably more telling to read the show review and see the photos to really understand what this tour was about but suffice it to say some of the bizarre ideas behind the American Interior album and tour that relate to fictional early Welsh explorers making way for Lewis and Clark is at the very least unique and memorable.


Honorable Mentions:

Each year, I shoot a music festival or two and end up catching some of a set that is exceptional but, as there are often overlapping bands I am assigned, I rarely catch all of one band but do catch a significant enough part of a set to have a sense of how good it is. The following are some of the sets I saw that I was wowed by as well as some other sets that I felt worthy of a mention.


Austin Psych Fest 2014:

As I already mentioned, Austin Psych Fest was my favorite music festival and was the best music festival I have ever been to, which includes numerous Lollas, Pitchfork Music Festivals, Hideout Block Parties, Riot Fests, Tomorrow Never Knows fests, and Coachellas as well as the dozens of street festivals which often have stellar lineups throughout the Chicago summer. I've always been more fond of psychedelic music than any other genre of music but this fest was also great because they really sought out diversity both within the genre and in terms of international bands I wouldn't have been able to see otherwise. It was an incredibly memorable experience for me and I also had a wonderful time with my friend Randy Cremean, who is an amazing photographer. I also wanted to say that the overall crowd for Austin Psych Fest was very invested and showed some astute active listening skills. They weren't talking or texting or being generally obnoxious at any point in time and that made the overall mood quite pleasant and enjoyable.

If you are interested in Levitation Fest tickets, here is the website:

My coverage for this festival was through The Big Takeover:

Friday (Day One):

Saturday (Day Two):

Sunday (Day Three):


Boogarins at Austin Psych Fest

Boogarins also played a great opening spot gig for The Clean (who unfortunately didn't live up to my expectations, though it was an odd night in comparison to the previous time I saw them in Chicago). This Brazilian psychedelic band is fantastic live and on album! Highly recommended!


Fantasmes at Austin Psych Fest

This Puerto Rican band also played some lovely and interesting psychedelic music!


La Femme at Austin Psych Fest


La Femme from France did the art work for the festival and performed. Their set was quite engaging as they each had their own costume. One of the male singers also danced around in a blue cape for pretty much the entire weekend as he watched all of the other bands play, which was quite nice.


Quilt at Austin Psych Fest as well as SubTerranean in Chicago 2014


Quilt really are coming into their own as a band and both of these sets were fantastic! Don't miss them on their next tour!


Mikal Cronin at Austin Psych Fest


It's fantastic to watch Cronin's career progress and his ability to perform in front of an audience strengthen as time goes on. He presents himself as more accomplished and confident on stage even when he's singing his more personal songs and it's a great experience to witness all of this.

Lollapalooza 2014:

Coverage for the festival on Wondering Sound:


Kate Nash at Lollapalooza, Chicago in August 2014

Kate Nash was in top form dancing, jumping, and joining the crowd at Lolla. She had an amazing energy and sense of light heartedness that made her fans even more devoted.


Outkast at Lollapalooza, Chicago in August 2014

Outkast has put out some of the catchiest songs the world has ever heard. They get stuck in your head and you don't ever want them to leave like the welcome visitors they are. It was nice to finally see and photograph Outkast this past summer and, though I couldn't stay for their entire set as I needed to get home and photoedit for a deadline, what I did hear was fantastic!


Benjamin Booker at Lollapalooza, Chicago in August 2014


I wasn't familiar with Benjamin Booker's music but was very impressed by both his energy and his sound at Lolla. He played early on at a side stage but I could already tell that if he kept up with the stamina and stellar songs, he would really go somewhere quickly.

Pitchfork Music Festival Chicago July 2014:

Coverage for the Festival on Big Takeover:

Day One (Friday):

Day Two (Saturday):

Day Three (Sunday)-Slowdive:


FKA Twigs at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago

From the time that Tahliah Debrett Barnett emerged on stage, I was a little transfixed. Her style in every way seemed intriguing from her dress to her stage presence overall and her music. She's a great performer and one that I hope to see perform again someday.


St. Vincent at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago


I had seen Annie Clark at the Riviera Theater back in the spring but, even though her actual performance of the songs is always good, I was really bogged down by her sort of inane stage banter. Annie Clark is a super intelligent woman but she sort of ruined it with this faux flaky meanderings that mainly just encouraged bro dudes to cheer and gained her more middle of the road fans. Her music, in my opinion, has been slowly heading down this direction as well and, though she is a guitar goddess live, her recorded tracks in recent albums haven't measured up to her album Actor. She was in great form at Pitchfork, though, whilst bringing her stage setup with her as well as her performance artist moves. She's very visually engaging to watch and listen to while she's playing.


Grimes at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago


Claire Boucher or Grimes isn't really my thing so to speak. It comes off as very light hearted pop music live to me (or at least it did in this set). Though, then again, I spend quite a bit of time listening to drone music so that might explain a bit more. Boucher was very entertaining and seemed to be having the time of her life at Pitchfork but I don't think I'd really have the same feeling about the music whilst listening to the albums at home.


Riot Fest in Chicago:

Coverage through Wondering Sound here:


The Buzzcocks at Riot Fest in Chicago September 2014


The Buzzcocks were definitely my favorite performance of what I caught. I have previously caught whole sets by these Brits but not in several years and I was happy to see that they still had the kind of energy and dynamic playing that makes their songs some of the most memorable singles of one's lifetime.


Gogol Bordello at Riot Fest in Chicago:


Riot Fest this year was really cold, rainy, then extremely muddy. I had just had a bunch of dental work done that same day and I probably would have been more miserable had my friend Lindsey Best not been up visiting to shoot the fest with me. Gogol Bordello played in the pouring rain but Eugene Hutz and friends definitely made the best of it. I spent most of the time with my heart in my throat worrying someone was going to slip and fall right off the stage but they put in a daring and stellar set and managed to salvage

much of the dismal soaked evening.


Death Cab for Cutie at Hideout Block Party in Chicago September 2014

I looked forward to shooting Hideout Block Party for quite some time but, while coming home before the fest, got into a really unfortunate bicycling accident. After spending some time in the Emergency Room, I was able to make it via taxi in time to see Death Cab for Cutie headline the evening. I started listening to Death Cab for Cutie back in 2001 when college radio (of which I was graduating from) started playing some tracks from We Have the Fact and We're Voting Yes. Over the years, my fondness for the band sort of waxed and waned a bit but I felt like this performance in particular really showed off some of their better material. I'm glad I headed out instead of staying at home and crying my eyes out.


Coverage here:


Other shows and reviews:


OOIOO at Schubas Tavern July 15th, 2014 in Chicago


Tim Hecker at Lincoln Hall in Chicago January 16th,2014


Disappears at Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago November 22cnd, 2014


Disappears covered David Bowie's Low and it was really spectacular to hear those songs performed live so well to commemorate the artist who the museum is featuring an extensive exhibition of.


Tom Petty August 24th, 2014 at the United Center in Chicago, IL


I've been a long time Tom Petty fan and grew up listening to his albums and watching his videos so being able to see and photograph him was quite heavenly. He really does put on an amazing show and is, as I reassured my mom, still very sexy!


Swans June 22cnd Lincoln Hall in Chicago


Michael Gira is a strange and wonderous sort of beast and when he's performing, you'd best not be texting one of your friends. This was the show where Gira literally grabbed a cell phone out of the hands of the guy next to me up front and set it on his amp for about 15 minutes. He then promptly told the man not to do this again or to go to the back. It was a mesmerizing sort of set as most Swans sets intense emotionally and physically that one became conscious of one's heart beat and breathing. Read more about it and see photos of this here:


Nick Cave June 20th, 2014 at the Milwaukee Theater in Wisconsin


My friend Robert Loerzel incidentally mentioned that he was considering driving up to Milwaukee for this show and, though not having a car this was not something I had even considered, I was grateful and very happy to join him. Robert, Cinchel, and I had some pizza after the drive and then settled in for the show soon after. Nick Cave never had a dull show nor moment when he's performing and it was great to enjoy the adventure that was the day and the artist as well as good friendship. Milwaukee hadn't seen Cave perform in quite some time and fans seemed very thankful. I wouldn't have had the chance to see him this time around (as he didn't have any proper Chicago dates) had Robert not been willing to indulge our collective whims.


Last but not least, I have the exceptional experience of being married to a musician myself who also has a day job but creates art just about every chance he gets. He goes by the name of Cinchel and he puts out ambient and drone music. His best show of the year was at Subterranean on December 10th on the same day that I had my 3rd bicycle stolen in a period of a month and a half (it's been a rough Autumn). Suffice it to say that I wasn't exactly in the mood to socialize or see anyone play but, as usual, he made it worthwhile. It's really something to live with an artist and he's a great deal easier to live with than I am (all of our friends would agree) but it's also very interesting to see the progression that he makes throughout his years as a human being and an artist both in a much more intimate way. Most of the time, I am lucky enough to hear his music live while I am photo-editing but I never take this for granted...he's a musician that should be appreciated and I never forget how glad I am that I married him.

His music as well as some of the paintings he's created can be found here:


**All photos are copyrighted. Please don't use without permission**

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My recommendation- View it Large


After two architectural posts I thought it would be a good change to go rural from urban.

Tried something new on this post as I wanted to bring out the vintage feel along with the cinematic look.

What you see here is a heritage railway in Hampshire, England, running 10 miles from New Alresford to Alton.


Another shot from the same location here


A BIG thank you again to all of you for dropping by and leaving your appreciations and feedback on my posts.


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recommendation: please look at it with a black background (press L)


the moment the picture was stressful. The surf beat against the rocks. Because of the strong wind from the left side the spray was blowing in my direction. The first drops of rain ended the short break. Yes, and I was terrified that a larger wave makes me more wet. I stood on a big plate of rock. Which looks like a slanted table which goes downe into the sea. This plate showed deep cracks of the erosion. Some shows honeycomb pattern. A large crack runs from left to right. If the wave is large enough the crack filled with foaming water. I had to remain in suspended animation on this wave.


Elgol; Take the winding road south from Broadford, through Torrin, along the shores of Loch Slapin to the fishing village of Elgol. The location is superb, with views across Loch Scavaig to the spectacular Black Cuillins. Regular boat trips leave from Elgol pier to travel across Loch Scavaig to Loch Coruisk, a sea loch in the very heart of the Cuillin peaks. Some trips allow the option of spending time ashore, scrambling onto the foothills of the Cuillins or exploring the shore of Loch Coruisk. Elogol beach has some fascinating rock formations, and the limestone cliffs are etched in a honeycomb pattern. But don't leave before the sun goes down; Elgol is famous for its sunsets, which spread a golden glow over the Cuillins.


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Tryptic by recommendation of flickr fellow Vitor Leão (SHOIO). You can follow his great stream here:

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A recommendation article I wrote on what camera you should buy for Christmas.


Recommendation for editors and interested buyer. Click to View in 100% Quality Large here : EASY VIEW OF MY SLIDE SHOW Or View in Black.

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You may also be interested not to miss out some of my exclusive Travel Set assign recently「Seoul So Captivating 」 or China Set「China through My Lens


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Explore #57 11/11/08


“Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it. Those who do not do it, think of it as a cousin of stamp collecting, a sister of the trophy cabinet, bastard of a sound bank account and a weak mind.” --- Jeannette Winterson


I love reading AND I love roses. I don't have to own either the flowers or the books though---so that means I'm not of weak mind, right???

On the multiple recommendations to read "The Art of Travel", by Alain De Botton, I finally headed down to Waterstones and picked up a copy.


In the first couple of pages, it's talked about why we travel, and how we "...might be influenced by the simplest and most unexamined image of happiness; of how a lengthy and ruinously expensive journey might be set into motion by nothing more than the sight of a photograph of a palm tree gently inclining in a tropical breeze"


It's something that sums me up perfectly - i've just booked flights to Socotra Island, off the coast of Yemen, a destination i've wanted to visit for years, based entirely on a few photographs. I have no idea what to expect, but if it's half as beautiful as the pictures take it to be, it'll be well worth the hole in my wallet.


Oh, and that photo above? Taken along the Tongariro Crossing, on the north island of New Zealand. Slightly less expensive to travel to, but still beautiful :)


View large on black.


ISO100, 70mm, ƒ9, 1/125sec

I plan to get EAH dolls someday but I'm not a fan of the factory default look. This is a photo manipulation by Szklanooka. Does anyone know any faceup artists who would be able to do a faceup like that?

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My recommendation for a weekend trip:

Bastei; Elbsandsteingebirge; Sächsische Schweiz; Germany


Right at the border to czech republic travelers and climbers find a great place to stay for a weekend.

Nasty needles made of pure solid rocks....

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A beautiful book from a wonderful (and one of my favourite) illustrators, Joanna Concejo.


HUMO. Antón Fortes & Joanna Concejo. Ed. OQO, 2009

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Cholesterol Levels


AHA Recommendation


Cholesterol plays a major role in a person's heart health. High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke. That's why it's important for all people to know their cholesterol level. They should also learn about their other risk factors for heart disease and stroke.


Total blood cholesterol is the most common measurement of blood cholesterol. It's the number you receive as test results. Cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL).



Thank you to away from junkfood sometime:)

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