Snowpacolypse 2010

This past week was spent snowed in. Nearly 24 inches of snow fell on Pittsburgh during a two-day snow event dubbed ‘Snowpacolypse’. Half the week was spent at home alone with the kids, while my wife was stuck in Nashville at a social media confrence. During the week I made it into the village only once to run a few errands and take a few pictures. The snow made my everyday scenery take on an alpine appearance. The isolation of the storm required me to make good pictures close to home and sometimes from within the home, like the Gigapan featured above. The challenge was to create differently than the routine to help quell the mounting cabin fever. You can see more images from ‘Snowpacolypse 2010’ here.

Max and Andy

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”~The Shining.

Non Linear Photojournalism


Dr. Illah Nourbakhsh speaks to Point Park University photography students at Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab. The lab developed and produced the GigaPan robot.


The Point Park University students, enrolled in the Specialized Photography course, will use the GigaPan as a tool of reportage. This is the first university level course dedicated to the exploration and production of non-linear photojournalism.

GigaPan images produced during the class will be compiled and edited for use in GigaPan Magazine.

art studio as seen on GigaPan

“I would hate to tell the world that I am really interested in just painting horses and sunsets, and look back only to realize that I had doing that for the last twenty years.” ~ Billy Ritter

Billy Ritter, originally from Elwood City, Pa., is a Master of Fine Arts student at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. He is often found within his Lake-Olson Hall studio. For the past year and a half while in the MFA program, it is at the studio where Billy creates drawing, painting, multimedia and sculpture. His ideas for art are based on his experiences, his environment and his history. He has been working with language and imagery. Ritter says, “It’s really an age-old concept that we are exposed to from birth, and it never subsides until we die. Although it has been said a billion times that “a picture is worth a thousand words”, I often believe the cliché is currently more applicable if reversed.

A recent set of textual and dimensional paintings incorporate notes and relics found within mementos left behind by his father and grandparents. This incorporation reveals a concept common to all people. This creative use of what remains re-purposes the notes and effects that would normally be seen as junk. The personal items, though, carry great sentiment and are often hard to throw away. His paintings allow the individual to live on in a very personal and creative way.

He spends time video taping his creative processes on a found VHS tape recorder destined for the dumpster. He says it is appropriate that his ‘found object works’ are documented with another found object. “I say this, as we exist now in an age where hyper technology resides at the reigns of communication, and we as respective participants or bystanders are subject to make sense of the informational influx that consumes our existence.”

All things considered, his ultimate intention and focus is to relay the banality and mediocrity of what society believes our incredibly important lives actually looks like in the eyes of others. He often illustrates the complexities of situations or scenarios in a map like system of correlations and networks, while other encounters or statements can be best portrayed as dark and satirical one-liners. Regardless of depiction or subjective application, Ritter always intend his work to be accessible and universally inclusive on the human level. “Things are always changing for me, and I hope more than anything it always stays that way…fresh.”

Silk Painting

Evi Slaby

© 2009 StartPoint Media, Inc

Evi Slaby, of Angelsilks, in her Moon Twp, Pa. studio where she creates paintings on silk. Her studio encompasses the great room and the dining room of the family home. Her family enjoys the space as a studio where they can all be together to create art.

Her art is derived from the spiritual. Everything that she creates and everyone that she teaches is touched by God. Slaby teaches silk painting to the community at the Father Ryan Arts Center in McKees Rocks, Pa and at the Rhema School in Moon Twp, Pa. Her passion lies in teaching others rather than creating art to sell. Her silk painting lessons are therapeutic, healing and a massage for the soul.

Check out a GigaPan of her studio. This GigaPan will be featured in an upcoming edition of GigaPan Magazine.

Veterans Day Parade

Veterans Day Parade

© 2009 StartPoint Media, Inc

Dror Yaron, outreach coordinator for Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE lab and GigaPan, watches the annual Pittsburgh Veterans Day Parade pass below along the Blvd. of the Allies from a vantage point at Point Park University Wednesday, November 11, 2009. For more images from the Veterans Day Parade go here.

Yaron was on hand to review and critique student GigaPans for an upcoming edition of GigaPan magazine. The theme for this edition is the environmental portrait. The magazine will be available online in January. You can get a sneak peak of their GigaPans here.


Point Park GigaPan

© 2009 StartPoint Media, Inc

Sarah and Brittany make preliminary checks to the GigaPan robot while on their first shoot in downtown Pittsburgh. The two are part of my Point Park University Digital Photography course. During the course the GigaPan is used as a tool of reportage. The theme this term is environments and environmental portraits.

See previous work featured in GigaPan Magazine

GigaPan Magazine First Edition

© 2009 StartPoint Media, Inc

GigaPan Magazine

Check out the first edition of GigaPan Magazine featuring GigaPan images created by Point Park University Digital Photo Editing students. The students used the GigaPan robot camera as a tool of reportage to create articles and imagery in a new interactive way.

The student produced GigaPan images will be on display at the Point Park University Library during the fall 2009 semester. The library is located at 414 Wood Street in downtown Pittsburgh.

In this edition I was given the honor of writing the ‘About’ section. Thanks to Dror Yaron, Outreach Coordinator of CMU’s CREATE lab who partnered with my Digital Photo Editing class on this project and for the opportunity.

GigaPan as a tool of reportage

Dror Yaron, originally uploaded by StartPoint Media.

© 2009 StartPoint Media, Inc

Dror Yaron, Outreach Coordinator for Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab, is conducting a GigaPan workshop focused on using the robotic imaging system as a tool of reportage. Yaron has partnered with students from the Point Park University Digital Photographic Editing course. The students have been capturing, stitching and uploading imagery to the GigaPan website. Once uploaded the students take virtual snapshots of elements within the picture. Those snapshots are then researched and reported upon. The stories become an embedded part of the snapshot and are read within the GigaPan web interface. The students Gigapan images and reporting can be seen here .

GigaPan Workshop at Point Park University

Adam Flanagan, a Point Park University photography student, shows his enthusiasm for the GigaPan robot during a recent workshop with Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab Dror Yaron.

Yaron is spearheading a movement to use the GigaPan as a tool of reportage through the use of notes and snapshots on the GigaPan website. The notes would contain full text stories relating to the subject of the snapshot.

Flanagan said one of his ideas would be to GigaPan photograph a graveyard and compile stories about the lives of the soul who rest there.