Friday, May 28, 2010

What's That Say?

Sloppy handwriting (although I'm one to talk) on a handrail in Ping Tom Park in Chicago's Chinatown. Why even bother with graffiti if all you can think to say is 'fuck'?

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I was on a walk a few weeks ago, and shot this closeup of a storefront.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another McCord Photo

Here's another of the collaborative pieces I made with Dan Jarvis for our exhibit at McCord Gallery. We like how these turned out, and are thinking of shooting some more.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Exhibit At McCord Gallery

I'm going to be doing a two person exhibit at McCord Gallery in Palos Park, IL with Dan Jarvis. Dan's a former student of mine, now studying photography at Columbia College Chicago.

In addition to our individual pieces (which are visually dissimilar, but share a similar theme), we tried collaborating. I shot a roll of color film, purposefully underexposing it, then gave the roll to Dan, who shot the same roll, also underexposed.The resulting images were scanned, cleaned up a little, and printed. One of them is at the top of this post.

The Postcard for the exhibit can be seen on Lightbender, my other blog. The image on the card is one of my pieces.

Tyler Hewitt and Dan Jarvis, McCord Gallery,
9602 West Creek Road (130th St. at La Grange Ave),
Palos Park, IL
Opening reception Friday, May 28, 6:30-8:00

Sunday, May 23, 2010

One More Infrared

Here's one last digital infrared photo (for now). It's from the same group of photos I shot in Chinatown last weekend.
I tried a few more infrared shots in my backyard a couple of days ago, but wasn't having much luck. One, it wasn't sunny enough, and two, I was trying closeup shots using macro focusing, and was having a difficult time focusing through the dark filter. It's supposed to be sunny (and hot) tomorrow, I may try again.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Digital Infrared IV

Here's a couple more digital infrared photos, and a link to a website full of good (if very technical) info about the process.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Digital Infrared III

In my last post, I mentioned a test to see if your camera is capable of recording infrared images. When you're aiming a remote at your camera, what you want to see is a bright, crisp spot of light, hopefully white in color. If the spot is dim, fuzzy, and red, your camera is still sensitive to infrared, but to a lesser degree, and it may or may not work for infrared photos.

If you can see some light from a remote aimed at your camera, and want to try infrared photography, you'll need an infrared filter. There are many types and strengths available, at widely varying prices. A bit of research turned up recommendations for the Hoya R72 filter, and that's what I bought (about $30.00 on This is a very dark red, nearly black filter (filters that remove all visible light can run $200 or more). Screw the filter onto your camera (or hold it over the lens of a compact digital camera) and shoot. A tripod or stable surface is helpful, the dark filter adds several stops of exposure, and hand held shots can be blurry as a result. Some blurry shots are still pretty interesting:

Most of the reading I've done suggested shooting in color, at the highest resolution available, and converting to grayscale later (the color shots are pink to deep red in color). Adjusting levels and/or contrast in a photo editing program will bring out the details.

Unfortunately, after buying an infrared filter, it's quite possible that you will not get good results. The biggest issue seems to be a bright spot in the center of the photos you shoot this way. It's apparently due to the way some digital camera lenses are made. I actually bought my infrared filter for my old camera, and found this was the case. Here's an infrared photo shot with that camera. I left it in color, so you can see what the images originally look like.

That bright spot is near impossible to remove, and will ruin your attempts at shooting digital infrared shots. If you're lucky, you won't get that spot, and will be able to shoot good photos.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Digital Infrared II

Here's a couple more infrared photos shot with my digital camera.The top one was shot in my backyard, the bottom one at Ping Tom park in Chinatown.

Many digital cameras are sensitive to some amount of infrared light. To find out if your camera is, turn it on, and aim a remote from your tv, etc. right at the lens and push a button. If you can see a light appear in the viewscreen of your camera, than it's able to record some infrared. Just because your camera can record infrared doesn't mean it can do it well, however. More on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Digital Infrared

I was playing with the digital camera I bought in March this past weekend, and discovered that it does a pretty good job with infrared photos. I shot a few in my backyard, then several more in a park in Chinatown. I'll post some over the next few days.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Polarizing Filter II

Here are a couple more shots taken through a polarizing filter. I shot these today in Chinatown.They're not great photos, but they do show the filter's ability to cut through or emphasize glare.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Polarizing FIlter

Here's a quick photography lesson. It's a demonstration of one of the uses of a polarizing filter. Both photos were taken with a circular polarizing filter attached to my digital camera. The way the filter was rotated changed the amount of glare on the surface of the water.

Which one do you like better?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nishika San Francisco

I shot this with my four-lens Nishika camera in October, 2007, when I was on sabbatical. I spent a week in San Francisco, mostly shooting museums and shop window displays for my sabbatical project. I think this was taken near the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, but I can't remember for sure.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Before And After Dinner

Dinner tonight was at a restaurant in Chicago's Vietnamese neighborhood. I enjoyed my seafood and rice baked in a clay pot, and I also enjoyed grocery shopping in a couple of Vietnamese groceries before dinner. I bought fresh cherimoya (which I love) and mangosteen (which I haven't tried before, and I hope I like, because they were expensive!).

Saturday, May 8, 2010


I shot this photo while on a walk earlier today. There's nothing really special about it, but I like the reflection in the puddle.

Friday, May 7, 2010


I shot this photo in Zion National Park in Utah in 2001.I'd like to go back to that area. Both Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks are beautiful places.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Window Sushi

I shot this a few weeks ago (during my spring break). I like the reflections and the lines in this photo.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Washington From The 8th Floor

This was shot from my room on the 8th floor of a hotel in Washington D.C. last September. I was there for a wedding.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I took this photo in Chicago's Field Museum a couple of years ago, while shooting for a project I was working on. While it's not a great photo technically, I've always kind of liked it.