Friday, May 07, 2021

iPhone Photos from a North Shore Trip

I shared some photos last month shot with my Holga from my North Shore trip in late March. Here are a few (shown chronologically) shot with my iPhone 12 and the "silvertone" filter.

[click each image to enlarge]


A beach in Two Harbors


Two Harbors


Just below Gooseberry Falls


Black Beach


Black Beach


Sugarloaf Cove


Sugarloaf Cove


Sugarloaf Cove


Near Artist's Point in Grand Marais


Grand Marais


Grand Marais


Grand Marais


Back at Sugarloaf Cove (the back side)


The back side of Sugarloaf Cove


The back side of Sugarloaf Cove


A gale warning in Grand Marais


Hwy 61 from the Cascade River


Cascade Falls


Pools of water below Cascade Falls

Related: check out my first test of the "silvertone" filter and the wide angle lens along the Mississippi River from just after I got my new phone 2 months ago. And here are more North Shore photos that I shot with my Holga.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

An Instagram Experiment

I started my Instagram account about 4 years ago. About 2 years ago, I had 400 followers. And as of a few months ago, I had 800 followers. (So it's grown pretty linearly long-term over these last 4 years.) I mainly used it as a place to dump images, and I wasn't really active at all on Instagram. Around March 20th, I thought I'd try to be a bit more engaging and see "where that got me." So I started clicking on hashtags randomly and would "like" many photos from strangers (not people I had already followed).

Doing that just off-and-on for a bit gained me 100 followers in 20 days.

And then another 100 followers in the next 20 days.

So I was up to 1,000 followers on May 1st. Throughout this process, I would "like" more than I would comment (by FAR), but if I liked a photo enough to want to leave a comment, I made sure the comments were specific enough to not seem like a copy/pasted comment that I could be leaving on hundreds of photos. I found myself following more local people who made interesting photos. And I enjoyed tunneling through all kinds of hashtags and following them down random rabbit holes - especially locally based hashtags.

After posting something specific, I made sure to interact with similarly tagged images over the next few days. So that meant a lot of "North Shore"-based hashtags after have 3 posts about Lake Superior. And then a lot of Minneapolis-based hashtags after posting some images from downtown. That way, people who I were interacting with who were curious about my page would come see things that might be interesting to them.

I discovered something everyone knows: smaller/local hashtags appear more infrequently, but might get you to something more interesting to you. And larger hashtags are so broad and so very commonly used that you might be seeing everything.

But I've noticed that I've gained more followers while interacting with "bigger" hashtags, like #photography #photographer #nightphotography and #longexposure for example.

However, I ENJOY looking at work with "smaller/local" hashtags, like #minnesotaphotographer #minnesotaartist #northshoremn #captureminnesota etc.

Just for fun (and because I had a number of car appointments, vet appointments, and lots of extra time spent waiting around), I hit Instagram extra hard over the last few days. So hard that Instagram "stopped" me 2 times for a bit thinking I was maybe a bot:



I think that just happens when you hit up ONE hashtag too much. If you keep looking through (and liking) different hashtags, it doesn't seem to happen. I could still use the app normally during that time, but I just couldn't keep liking images. I was good to go again after an hour or two.

After being much more active, I was up to 1,138 followers as of last night:



I gained 138 followers in less than 4 days by just being active on Instagram. (Overall, that's nearly 250 followers gained in less than 2 months of this down-time experiment.) There's no secret. Comment on images you like, "like" posts with hashtags that interest you, and people might come see what your page is all about.

The PRO of these last 6 weeks are that I've stumbled across more local photographers that I've followed. (I wish I knew how many people I followed before starting this, because I wonder how much that has risen... maybe by 20-30 people?)

The CON of doing this over the last 6 weeks is that Instagram has started to feel like a bad moblie game. It has the feel of a game where you don't really get anywhere, but you're still spending time to get there. Like a game where you keep playing to keep upgrading so you can keep playing. And there's a percentage of people who only follow you with the hopes that you will follow them back - if I'm off Instagram for a few days, my follower count will drop a bit as those people have given up on me.

So, if you're interested in gaining more followers on Instagram, just be active. After searching for a topic, refresh the "recent" tab of hashtags to see brand new images waiting for likes and comments. And then interact! Happy scrolling!

Oh yeah, and follow me on Instagram at photostenzel.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Virtual Exhibition Closing Party

A few weeks ago, I posted about the juried exhibtion I was a part of at North Central University. Recently, they held a "closing reception" for the artists. Being they are still only letting faculty, staff, and students in to see the work, they hosted a virtual closing reception.

Here's a photo of me attending from my dining room as Elizabeth was showing the work to everyone watching:


Yep that's one of my pieces.

It was great talking to the other artists! Honestly, this virtual closing reception was more fun than I thought it would be! Thanks Elizabeth, Judy, and North Central!

Again, if you missed it, here's the post showing the work.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Payment for Creatives

A bit of humor from The Oatmeal:



Saturday, April 24, 2021

Nude Model

This takes me back to Drawing III in art school:



I know... I know... this is some kind of "Boomer Humor." I must be getting old...

Sunday, April 18, 2021

North Central University's 2021 Juried Art Exhibition

Recently, I had a few pieces accepted into a small exhibition at North Central University. I saw the flier around campus asking for work:



I dropped off 3 pieces:


I use quilts to transport work. The middle piece is under the blanket.

Here are a few images from the "2021 T.J. Jones Library Juried Art Show:"

[click each image for a larger version]










My pieces on the middle of that wall.






A final shot of my 3 photographs.



Friday, April 16, 2021

"Be an Artist!"




The Warhol quote... ha!

Friday, April 09, 2021

North Shore Holga Photographs

It had been nearly a year and a half since I last got out my Holga. But when the boys and I took a drive up the North Shore 10 days ago, I had to pack a few rolls of film. Here are some images made as we headed north along Lake Superior.

[click each image to enlarge]


Gooseberry Falls.


Black Beach (with my boys climbing those rocks back there...)


Sugarloaf Cove.


The backside of Sugarloaf.


A windier day at Sugarloaf Cove (we stopped there twice).


A gale warning in Grand Marais


A few waterfalls along the Cascade River.


My Holga all taped up between outings at our Airbnb.

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