Ghostbuster Greg Inda

As some of you know I am a Ghostbuster with the Windy City Ghostbusters. We make appearances to support two local charities LaRabida Children's Hospital and Treehouse Humane Society, and you can usually spot us in the St. Patricks Day and Thanksgiving Day Parades here in Chicago. But today is special because now you can also see me in this short film directed by Demian Krentz. Take a moment to check it out and let us know what you thought.


The Windy City Ghostbusters are called out to bust a pretty pesky poltergeist and then it gets a little weird...

City of Samba

I've been a big Keith Loutit fan for a long time. If you look back through my blog, I've posted links to a couple videos which I've always found really inspiring. Well Saturday night I was talking to my girlfriend and for whatever reason his name came up and I decided to check in and see what was new on his vimeo page. Turns out not a whole lot... because he's working on a multiple city project and posting to his personal page now. The project, titled "Small Worlds Project", looks amazing and I can't wait to see how it grows. It's really groundbreaking stuff and I encourage you to take a look.

Keith Loutit's Website
Keith Loutit's Vimeo (with older videos)

And below, check out his City of Samba which can also be viewed on his vimeo page.

Rick Steves on the value of travel

In this Ted talk, Rick Steves talks about the value of travel.

I couldn't agree more.  Who I am is a result of the places I've been and the experiences I've had. The people I've met have broadened my view of the world and the problems we all face as humans.  Consider for a moment that the things we share in common with each other will always outweigh the differences.  As a summer project I'll be blogging about some of my experiences including: 

  • Handing out booze and dynamite to Bolivian miners
  • Staring a lion square in the eye in Tanzania, and being taught by a Masai Warrior how to kill a lion with nothing more than a spear and a cape
  • Visiting the smelliest place on earth, a Tannery in Fez, Morocco
  • Being covered in shaving cream in Sucre, Bolivia during carnival
  • Almost becoming a child slave in Guatemala
  • Alaska, need I say more?
  • And many other thrilling tales!

So look for that this summer, but in the meantime, pick a spot on a map and plan a trip.

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page." - St. Augustine

Work, Sleep, and getting your picture made

Prereq: This video talk by Jason Fried called "Why Work Doesn't Happen At Work."  Just over 15 minutes.

So the long and short of the video is that work is like sleep.  When we sleep, we slip from one sleep stage to the next. You can't rest your head on the pillow and start your REM stage, you have to pass through other stages to get there. And if you’re woken up, you re-start at the beginning.  Work is no different.  You can't clock in, sit at your desk, and be brilliant.  You’ve got to meld into your work and focus at a deeper level. And you can't do that if you're interrupted every 5 minutes with unrelated issues to solve.  If you work retail or you're an administrative assistant you have probably run up against this.

Allowing yourself time and space to focus on your work at a deeper level is beyond valuable.  When editing photos, I'll settle into my own world away from distractions.  Turn off my phone, close my internet browser, and turn on some music that I’ve marked as white noise.  Then I can really get into a file and go through all the minutia of cleaning it up.  Removing sensor dust or moving a hair ever so slightly.  It becomes relaxing once you get really immersed. In the same way that driving out on the open road is more relaxing then bumper to bumper traffic.

So now what about you getting your picture taken?  Would it surprise you to learn that most people are nervous about getting their picture made?  Thinking about how a headshot will generate work, thinking about all the people who will be looking at it and judging it.  It really clouds your mind and offers ample distraction to keep you from achieving great work.  Or to put it differently, once you give yourself over to judgement you are taken out of the moment. You're on the outside looking in.  Imagine trying to drive a car from the outside.  That's not driving, that's pushing.  Consider this, if you're outside of the moment you can't live that moment truthfully.

So picture all the thoughts you have in front of the camera.  "Am I doing this right?"  "Is there lipstick on my teeth?"  "How obvious is my pimple?"  Each one is a distraction that takes you out of the moment.  And every time you stop, you have to restart.  These thoughts are actively inhibiting you from creating amazing images.

Self Portrait from when my hair was at the absolut longest and worst it's been in 14 years.So how do you combat this?

1) Accept that as you stand in front of the camera, you are who you are.  We all wish pimples didn't pop up the day of a photoshoot, but that's life.  The more you try to hide it, the more focus you're going to bring to it.  In post production I can edit out a pimple, but I can't edit your feelings towards that pimple.  Accept it and move on.

2) Make bold choices.  If you want to smile in the shot, smile.  If you want to stick out your tongue, commit to it.  If something doesn't work, the image gets deleted and we move on.  There is NEVER A REASON NOT TO TRY SOMETHING.  Following your inspiration in the moment IS living the moment.  And that's when the real "you" comes out.  Be silly.  Be stupid.  Enjoy yourself.  Peter Gwinn, an improv teacher I studied under, once said "If you arn't having a good time, do something immediately that makes you happy."

3) Focus on the task at hand.  When you're in front of the camera you're a participant in the act of producing something.  Which means some of the responsibility falls on you to follow direction and learn how to make every shot better than the last.  It means paying attention and putting a value on your time commensurate to the product you hope to produce.  As they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.  I'm very thirsty, and if you take me to the trough I'll guzzle it down.

It boils down to this.  Together we can produce amazing images.  When we push distractions aside and relax into the process, we get to a place where magic happens.  As a photographer and artist, that's where I want to spend my time.  

Noah Ginex Puppet Company Presents: The Jameson Talk Show - Episode 1

Today is pretty exciting for me.  I've been working for the past month with the Noah Ginex Puppet Company to produce episode 1 of The Jameson Talk Show.  It's been a wild ride pulling all the footage and audio together and making this thing possible.  I can't take too much credit though.  Noah is the one who directed and cut everything together.  I just followed his lead and helped where I could.

Episode 1 features Chicago Director Jen Ellison and musical guest JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound (they are playing Lollapalooza this year which is awesome!).


Time Lapse

Came across this video a couple weeks ago and found it inspiring.

Metal Heart from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

It's time lapse with a tilt shift lens, which gives it the "miniature" effect. The photographer, Keith Loutit, is from Sydney and has done some other amazing videos that you can check out here. Videos like this are literally hundreds of thousands of individual shots, each one having to remain consistent from one to the next in constantly changing lighting conditions. Then after you get them put together you still have to edit the footage into a full piece. Takes an enormous amount of talent and vision. Kudos to Keith for a great job.

Have a great Saturday and thanks for stopping by,
Greg Inda