Your computer is a factory for ideas. Go build something.

Month: May 2012 (page 1 of 2)

Something I Saw: Self-Portraits Before, During, and After My Haircut

Today I had my hair cut. It was actually a few days later than I’d planned because a deer broke into the salon last Thursday and made quite a mess.


So today I sat in the chair at Cape Landing Salon as Jetty (who’s been cutting my hair for years) told me the story.

Self-portrait Before Haircut - Michael Gowin

Before the Haircut. Camera: Olympus PEN E-P3. Lens: Panasonic 20mm f/1.7.

Jetty explained that a deer had been hit (or walked into a car–unclear) downtown then somehow broke through the glass doors of the salon. Oddly, it didn’t knock over fixtures or displays but it did meet its end inside the shop bathroom.

During the Haircut - Michael Gowin

During the Haircut. Camera: Olympus PEN E-P3. Lens: Panasonic 20mm f/1.7.

The salon was closed for a couple days to get the place cleaned up for business. Today was Jetty’s first day back, so she was booked.

After the Haircut - Michael Gowin

After the Haircut. Camera: Olympus PEN E-P3. Lens: Panasonic 20mm f/1.7.

I’m grateful to Jetty for letting me make these pictures while she worked. And I apologize for the fuzziness of the first two images. I wasn’t wearing my glasses so it was hard to see what was in focus.

Why You Need to Do That Thing Now

No one else can do what you do. So why are you waiting to get started?

A few weeks ago, my son Liam–who loves building things–helped my brother-in-law build a swingset in our backyard. With some leftover lumber, screws, and other parts, Liam fashioned a sign and put it in our front yard.

Liam's sign, photographed by Michael Gowin

It’s funny to watch people walk past the house and slow down to read it. We watch them from our dining room in the evening. I applaud the boy’s efforts to do something creative and, though it would fail to meet the CC&R’s of more upscale neighboorhoods, I’m fine with it in our front yard.

At least for a time.

Take a chance today, risk failure, and make something.

Three Things: Are You a Sissy Photographer?

If you’re a photographer, you probably have a zoom lens.3 Things - Michael Gowin


So says Kirk Tuck, a veteran commercial photographer and author from Austin, Texas.

Always insightful, frequently provocative, Kirk writes about both the technical and artistic aspects of photography and lighting.

In a blog post yesterday, Kirk discussed the experience of bringing just one camera body (film) and two prime lenses on a trip to Italy in 1991. Here are the three things that caught my attention:

  1. Be patient–wait for the right moment, the right frame.
  2. You only need one lens to shoot art (i.e., the images that you make for yourself).
  3. Zooms are for sissies.

Like Kirk (and probably you), I have zoom lenses. All of the images that I’ve posted on this site recently, however, have been shot with prime lenses. These are my art images, the images I make for myself.

If you haven’t tried shooting with primes, give it a go. It’s a discipline that will help you learn to see and make you a better photographer.

Three Things: Be Pleasant, Do Good Work, Be On Time

Mortar boards, graduation gowns, and commencement speeches.3 Things - Michael Gowin

Students graduate and speakers tell them what to expect for the future.

And some of those speeches have messages that transcend the small audiences before which they are initially delivered.

Steve Jobs at Stanford.

Conan O’Brien at Dartmouth.

The message making the rounds this year comes from writer Neil Gaiman at The University of the Arts. Although his audience is largely artists, designers, and creatives, his message applies and appeals to anyone who yearns to do meaningful work. Well worth your time.

Something I Saw: No Parking

No Parking - © copyright Michael Gowin

No Parking. Camera: Olympus PEN E-P3. Lens: Panasonic 20mm f/1.7.

Three Things: Start or Grow Your Business

Good things come in threes, right?3 Things - Michael Gowin

Three wise men. Three Stooges. Triangles.

So I’m introducing a series of posts that will include three things.

They might be three links or three ideas or three thoughts from one thing but the common point will somehow be “three.”

Think of “Three Things” posts as a little more than a tweet but a little less than a full post.

Here are three good business links that came through my feed reader today:

  1. Six-Figure Businesses Built for Less than $100: 17 Lessons Learned – Chris Guillebeau offers this guest post on Tim Ferriss’ blog. Some very practical and unconventional ideas on how to start a business or merely earn some extra money.
  2. Get the “Getting Real” ebook for FREE – The guys at 37signals have built great software, a great business, and a great book (look–three things). Now you can learn their secrets for free (used to be $19).
  3. 20 Revealing Stats, Charts, and Graphs Every Marketer Should Know – Hubspot continually cranks out helpful and insightful tools for marketers and business folks. This post joins the list.

That’s the first of Three Things. More to come. Be sure to share.

Something I Saw: Boy Downtown

Boy with Sucker - Copyright © Michael Gowin

Boy Downtown. Camera: Olympus PEN E-P3. Lens: Olympus 45mm f/1.8.

My son Liam and I took a walk downtown last week to do some errands.

We stopped at the bank and he got a sucker.

We stopped on the sidewalk and I got a photograph.

Something I Saw: Triangle Circles

Triangle Circles - © Michael Gowin

Triangle Circles. Camera: Olympus PEN E-P3. Lens: Olympus 45mm f/1.8.

Triangle wha…? Go ask Zack Arias.

Something I Saw: I, Spy

Self - © Michael Gowin

I, Spy. Camera: Olympus PEN E-P3. Lens: Panasonic 20mm f/1.7.

Stealthy self-portrait in a bathroom mirror. Anyone guess where this was taken?

Something I Saw: Moved

Moved - © Michael Gowin

Moved. Camera: Olympus PEN E-P3. Lens: Panasonic 14mm f/2.5.

The quadruplets moved. Around the corner.

Older posts

© 2018 MichaelGowin.com

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑