Category Archives: Creativity

Chicago’s Donald Trump rally protest photos

Chicago, I’m proud of the way we came together to send a loud and clear message that Trump and the hate that is churning in his rallies and within his supporters is NOT welcome here.  We shut down the rally and that’s a victory for us all. I hope other cities do the same. 

Most of what I observed was peaceful protest. THOUSANDS were on the streets that night but the media focused on the individual instances of violence.  Sadly, that’s what they are most interested in showing the public, contributing to the fear and speculation that these protests are chaotic and dangerous. 

In a somewhat uncharacteristic move, Chicago Police were being very heavy-handed in how they tried to force protesters out of the intersection at Racine and Van Buren. Police would swarm in packs of 50 at a time — crowding in protesters and attempting to create a wall of force to push protesters around. I saw someone get hit with a billy club and several people pushed to the ground.  Even with repeated instances of police officers aggression, the majority of the protesters remained peaceful. 

Below are some of the images I captured from #DumpTrump in Chicago. 

Today I helped stop a fight on the train… by SINGING! [Updated!]

UPDATE 8/2/2012: This story was picked up by NewCity and featured in their publication here.
Today, I was riding an overcrowded CTA Red Line Train. The train was hot, we were sweating, everyone was constantly pressed into one another, and for the last 10 stops, it was so crowded that no one could get into the rail car. Two girls began to argue and couldn’t get close enough to fight each other so they started throwing cans and water bottles at each other.

I was thinking – I should do something — a song that everyone could sing, maybe? But I wasn’t quite bold enough to just break out singing. Then I heard someone say “you guys should sing instead of fight!” So I did just that! lol

The whole train got in on it too! I didn’t think anyone would believe me if I just told the story… so I recorded it. 😉

I just wish I sang it better. 😛

YouTube released video editing effects!

I heard YouTube has released some editing tools that allow you to modify content after you upload it to their service.  I’m still dabbling my feet into video and wanted to check out the options.  So, I uploaded about 16 seconds of video that I shot recently at one of the sister campuses of my church.  The video was shot on my Canon EOS 7D with a Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 lens, hand-held, in a theatrical lighting scenario.  As one might imagine, shooting with a lens that big and heavy means that there’s a large amount of camera shake in the video. Check out the original video (unedited below):

After uploading, an link appears in the standard information screen that allows you to go to a simple video editing interface.  There are tools for rotating the video, trimming the length, stabilization, contrast, fill light, color correction (color temperature), as well as an “I’m feeling lucky” button which I guess would auto apply the features (I didn’t try it). There are other tabs with audio options (to replace the entire audio track) and an “Effects” tab with visual effects like Sepia tone, black and white, and color effects from mild to wild.   The editing screen also features a side-by-side low-resolution preview of both the original video and a modified version based on what edits you have selected.

I was most impressed with the ability to see changes based on my selections almost instantly.   I don’t know how it works for longer videos, but for this one, a new preview was ready almost as soon as I clicked a button – even image stabilization!  And while the correction features are nuanced and overlap, the effects options only allow one effect at a time and has no adjustment options.  Overall, the experience was pleasant and gives me good reason to play with the feature more in the future.  In researching for this post I also discovered this.

Well, here’s the YouTube edited video.  I’m pretty happy with it but the stabilization seems to create some pretty trippy effects where the guitarist seems pretty steady but the microphone stand and everything around him seems to twist and distort in the renderings attempt to keep the frame ‘still’.

My New Toy! Kodak Zi8 Review

Yay – My Birthday came early this year. 🙂 I’ve wanted a Kodak Zi8 since I first read the reviews of it posted on C|Net a few months ago. Well I found it on sale at Target and picked one up tonight.  The price seemed quite reasonable and the video quality seemed to be pretty nice for a mini-cam.

I’ve only played around with it a little tonight (before I even got it home) and I couldn’t wait to load up the video and see how things were looking. You can check out two videos I made with it below.

Continue reading My New Toy! Kodak Zi8 Review

Willow Chicago’s First Worship Arts Reception Was A HIT!

WCC_ARTS-2009 Reception PhotoThis summer I attended a workshop at the Willow Creek Arts Conference this Summer.  Jason Hatley of the Journey Church led an AWESOME workshop that was the foundation for this event.   I just wanted to share with you the exciting news about our first Worship Arts Reception.  We had 45 RSVP’s but only 20 of those who RSVP’d showed up.  However we had 60 people come to the reception unregistered totaling at LEAST 80 in attendance.  The room was PACKED!

A few things that I think worked for us:
Continue reading Willow Chicago’s First Worship Arts Reception Was A HIT!