Category Archives: Indianapolis

Morty’s Comedy Joint Open Mic Quarterfinals – 7/5/2017

Last night I headed back to Morty’s Comedy Joint after a fairly long hiatus.  There were lots of new faces but the basic crux of the place hadn’t changed a bit.

First up, as is typical, you have your regulars, your “house comics.” You can tell these guys are polished, smooth and in their element. Their expressions reveal confidence and their sets are well rehearsed.  They are your comics of tomorrow and a very amusing tomorrow it will be.  Facial reactions range from “happy welcome” to “I just swallowed a bug” to “God, it’s me, Luke.  Please help me, I’ve just swallowed a bug.”

Next you have your up and coming comics.  They’re here for the sheer thrill of competition as they duke it out in a winner-take-all fight for comedy supremacy.  Of course there is the fact that the winner is determined by vote of the audience and the comics bring all their friends to pack the house but that’s neither here nor there. Never once has that mechanic of the competition swayed the outcome of one of these immortal battles of fisticuffs!

Here the expressions rage hard from “I don’t think that’s a schmedium, honey” to “yeah, I’m 19 and I’m already cooler than all y’all” to “who?  me?”  The bottom row I leave as an exercise to the reader.

The closers are your old pros.  One thing I love about the comedy scene is the equality of it all.  Too fat for other jobs?  Don’t play nice with others?  Too ugly for contact with the general public?  Fuck it, come on down!  Comedy folks love everybody.

Ryan Niemiller is hilarious and I can’t stop thinking about him trying to unbutton his shirt…  I feel bad for thinking about it… but I still can’t stop thinking about it.

Last but not least we’ve got the legendary Chris Bowers.  As rumor would have it he’s one of the absolute nicest guys around but he seems so put together and with-it that he’s too intimidating to talk to.  I’ve exchanged a few words with him and I felt like I was going to shake myself apart like a rusted out 72 Pinto running down the interstate on four bad tires.  I’m 6’4 and 250 pounds and the dude makes me feel like a little kid.

And there you have it, one night of great comedy at the city’s best venue for comedy. Your comedians for the night were:


  • Ryan McMannis (host)
  • Ray Hensley
  • Luke Basile
  • Logan Baert
  • Deon Curry


  • Lissa Sears
  • Riley Dismore
  • Cale Forbes
  • George White
  • Mike Williams
  • Grant Weber


  • Ryan Niemiller
  • Chris Bowers

You can find full-size originals on our IndyLivePhotography website for this show and dozens of others.


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Filed under Indianapolis, Performance Photography

Misc Photos for 11-5-2012

A rather random assortment of shots from yesterday.


Mostly just enjoy the contrast here. Harsh metal versus soft rustling leaves.


The birds are busily cleaning up the fall… whatever those are.


Wandering in the forest we came upon an orange construction barrel. Mother nature has gone a bureaucratic.


One finds the oddest litter in the forest.


The find of the day was this compost bin full of jack-o-lanterns.


This whole situation strikes me as rather iconic of all holidays. We feast, we celebrate, then we discard.


Later in the day back in the apartment I had some items to photograph so there was a brief spate of random puttering.

And that ends thus ends the day. Now if only I’d written proper descriptions for all the photos I took and tagged them with proper keywords. So many layers of work here. Any volunteers?


Filed under abstract photography, Indianapolis, nature Photography

Talbot Street Art Fair 6-9-2012

As I sit here on a balmy June day, I listen to the camera clicking away on the patio. Since 1:00 today it has been dutifully recording the sky at 2-second intervals. I’ve endeavored many times to time-lapse the sunset but something makes me want to do so today with complete perfection, to start with a turbulent and cloudy sky and to watch the Indiana horizon all the way until the proverbial ‘fade to black’.

I’ll admit though that being this lazy about my photography does harken me back to the winter. I recall with great vividness sitting in this exact same spot and being vastly annoyed that the weather was so averse to my usual summer pursuits. Now that summer is upon us, here I sit upon my ever-widening posterior being lazy. That is not to say that I haven’t taken ANY photos over the past week but it certainly hasn’t been a week of abundance that one would expect given my previous annoyance at my force lethargy only 4 months ago. Damn these temperate climates.

Last Saturday we traipsed off to the Talbot Street Art Fair in Indianapolis. For an entire weekend a whole section of the city plays host to hundreds of artists selling their wares. Laura and I debated briefly whether the people who actually live here enjoyed or despised the presence of these people. Whatever the case, the transformation is amazing.

From 6-9-2012 Talbot Art Fair

I have learned, as of late, that artists hate to have photos taken of their work. As someone who casts his artistic progeny freely and widely into the public domain, I find this disappointing but I obeyed their desires anyway. Any “artwork” found in these shots is purely coincidental. My main focus for this trip was to capture the attendees and ignore anything of a material nature. I wanted to capture culture, personality, people.. all that intangible rot.

This woman is a sign of our age. She motors along with her child in tow (who is obviously unamused by the whole thing) while she putters with her phone. The yellow necklace and blue nail polish also say something but I’m not qualified to say what that something is exactly.

From 6-9-2012 Talbot Art Fair

So, a few words about this type of photography. Firstly, it’s REALLY hard. My intent in all these is to capture people candidly so there’s not really a whole lot of ‘aim and focus’ involved. You point your camera in the general direction of what you want to capture and hope desperately that it works out. The second that somebody KNOWS that you’re taking their picture the whole universe changes. Life lives on a knife’s edge and even the hint that you’re trying to capture it disrupts it. In this case, I liked the hat. It screamed to me 1960’s Parisian. Unfortunately, she’s out of focus. What *IS* in focus is the guy in the background looking on. I’ll save my more candid commentary on his person but I don’t doubt that you’re thinking the same thing I am. Whatever the case, I love the result.

From 6-9-2012 Talbot Art Fair

I always take shots of these when I can get them because really, they are the epitome of childhood. Parents sacrifice to lift us up and as a result, we get a really grand view. In many cases, it’s a view that we will never, ever have even as adults. This is a grandfather I suspect.

From 6-9-2012 Talbot Art Fair

One of my goals in this session was to focus on strong personalities. This woman screamed personality and strength to me. Clearly the sort of person that if you came into contact with her you want her on YOUR side.

From 6-9-2012 Talbot Art Fair

Outside the concession area, we found these adults looking much like 10-year-olds enjoying their snacks. Oh how little things actually change despite the passage of decades.

From 6-9-2012 Talbot Art Fair

I… well, I don’t even know what to say about this. Dude with shirt unbuttoned, looking on with his pizza in the upright and ready position…. Well, ok, I know what to say, but I’m not willing to say it in print.

From 6-9-2012 Talbot Art Fair

Some of the art was quite visibly alive, though it chose its moment of movement all on its own.

From 6-9-2012 Talbot Art Fair

So one tries to be candid. One tries to be subtle. One tries to just slide unseen through the crowds. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it doesn’t always work. This gentleman seems to peer effortlessly into the photographer’s soul. As I look at him, I wonder what his story is and ponder the possibility of inviting him to have a beer sometime.

From 6-9-2012 Talbot Art Fair

This hat… is dramatically huge. I say nothing more than that.

From 6-9-2012 Talbot Art Fair

And so we close with this face of childhood. As kids, we were all here. WAY too tired and don’t even want to WALK. As parents, we’ve all felt this but seldom actually see it in our children’s faces though we can feel it the small frames that we carry towards their rest.

From 6-9-2012 Talbot Art Fair

And with that, we close. And that was the Talbot Street Art fair.

PS: A while ago I took photos of the Superbowl crowds and against all odds I found that somebody from that crowd actually not only saw my photo but recognized themselves.  If you should see yourself in this blog post, then don’t hesitate to reach out.  Hopefully not with a subpoena.


Filed under Indiana, Indianapolis, portraiture

Since Last Writing…

I realize rather suddenly that it’s been a month since I last posted. It should be noted that the Facebook page for this little endeavor gets rather regular attention but the blog… not so much. Perhaps it’s the necessity of actually putting down words that causes the neglect. Whatever the case, tonight you find me verbose and therefore tonight… you find me at all.

At last posting there was actually a glimmer of a possibility of photographing real people. In retrospect, this was a boon of enormous importance but sadly, like most good things, it came swiftly to an end due to circumstances quite outside my control. Hopefully the time will come when I will again have actual willing humans towards which to point my interest. Until such time as new victims appear, we always have the standard fare.

I have found over the past month that I’m increasingly fascinated by the medium of time-lapse. What would make a fairly dull picture can, with the aid of large amounts of patience, make a reasonably interesting video.

Building on the lessons learned in the time-lapse I did for our company meeting… Oh, did I mention? My video for my company actually won a grant competition for Kids Against Hunger and netted the organization a $10,000 donation. You can look at the news release on their website here. Despite being a surprisingly anonymous contributor to this effort, I’m still giddy beyond all reason about it. Anyway, moving on… I spent several hours in downtown Indy working on this same sort of “limited attention span” effect. Time-lapse is great and all but after 10-20 seconds, the average person is ready for a new point of view. So I’ve taken to composing short vignettes and moving the viewer rapidly between them. Add some up-beat music and you’ve got a reasonable result, I think.

And, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t include at least one celestial event.

For the race fans out there, we took ourselves to Carb Day at the Indy 500. At almost 7 minutes this is by far the longest video I’ve ever bothered to cobble together. I’d say it sums up the event pretty well though. The last half of the video is the pit-stop competition. Given that the actual pit-stops take all of 12 seconds to finish it felt a bit ironic to be compressing time but it does give one a sense for just how long it takes to set up for those 12 seconds.

Penultimately, my youngest expressed her desire to “do a movie” of her own. Find below her chosen content as well as the music she chose, by specific request by name, “I want the popcorn song”.  Who says the hits of yesteryear are lost on the young?

And finally, you may have noticed that a few nights ago we had a celestial event that only occurs once in a couple lifetimes as the planet Venus passed across the disc of the sun. Of course we were all at the top of a parking garage to see it and time-lapse it. To actually see the tiny dot that is Venus, you’ll have to go with the HD version of this one.

And so we close. Hopefully sometime soon I’ll summarize some of the still shots that transpired over the past week. Perhaps even better I’ll bother to post on a regular basis.


Filed under Indianapolis, Lafayette, nature Photography, night photography

It’s all happening at the zoo. I do believe it, I do believe it’s true.

Tonight finds me in a bit of a quandary.  On one hand, I feel fairly good about the crop of photos from the day.  We took a trip to the zoo and came back with a fair number of interesting subjects.  All’s right with the world, eh?  On the other hand, I can’t help but feel that I’m still really missing out.

The other day I printed several hundred business cards.  Since that time I’ve been busily trying to find ways to distribute them.  I’m a firm believer that photography magic is out there just waiting to be had right here in my back yard if only I can connect with the right people.  From my perspective I’ve done everything right.  I’ve put together a portfolio of my work, I’ve advertised, I’ve offered my services for absolutely nothing.  What else can I possibly do?

To be fair, the people at work are starting to take notice.  I’ve been asked to do some photography at our annual company meeting and to do some marketing pics at a site visit to a customer in a few weeks.  I won’t deny that I was absolutely beaming at both prospects.  The idea that a software developer actually has a creative side is a bit of a hard sell but it seems to have taken hold. So I won’t deny my giddiness but my analytical side still questions why I have ANY free time left at all. Part of me won’t be satisfied until I have a non-paying photography job every single night of the week. It really shouldn’t be THIS hard to find jobs for which you don’t expect to be compensated. Never in the history of the universe has it been so hard to spend one’s time in the unrewarded service of others.

Alright, enough philosophical meanderings. Today, as I said, we wandered ourselves off to the zoo. Lately when I find myself in a particular locale, I tend to play the “pick a lens and stick to it” game. It causes one to stretch as a photographer and helps to put a certain spin on the day. Today’s choice was the 8mm fish-eye lens but ironically the photo chosen for the day is with a telephoto that I gave up and moved to after I realized that I’d already taken the 3 pictures that lend themselves to fish-eye. So much for consistency, eh?

This particular specimen seemed rather attentive to our presence. By attentive I mean that he stared at the exact same spot for 20 minutes and we managed to move ourselves to that spot. Ahh, the beauty of photographic illusion. Sometimes the photo comes to you and sometimes you go to the photo. At any rate, so closes today’s post. Do you have ideas for things towards which I should point my lens? For the love of my sanity, let me know what those are. Like I said, I work for free. You certainly can’t beat the price.


Filed under Indianapolis, nature Photography

Fatally Cold Feet

Friday morning I found a mosquito frozen to the roof of my car after an unexpected frost.  Since the light was poor and I did have that pesky JOB thing to go to, I collected him up for later photographing.  It turned out to be well worth the trouble of keeping him intact for a couple of days.

From Mosquito Macro – 2012-04-14
From Mosquito Macro – 2012-04-14

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Filed under Indianapolis, macro photography, nature Photography