November 2017 Calendar Desktop Wallpaper – da Vinci Horse in Grand Rapids

Leonardo da Vinci started the project over 500 years ago. The commissioned statue would have stood in Milan Italy upon its completion.

I have always called this piece the “da Vinci Horse.” Incorrectly so. It is one of two original casts made in 1999, this one being “The American Horse,” at the Frederick Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park, near Grand Rapids. The first of the original casts is in Milan, called, “The Horse.”

Other names include Leonardo’s Horse, Gran Cavallo, and Il Cavallo.

Since these 1999 installations, other duplications with varying names have emerged.

This picture here, of the American Horse, is something of a work in progress. It seems fitting. Leonard’s vision took more than five centuries to complete.

– Jon


November 2017 Calendar Desktop Wallpaper
November 2017 Calendar Desktop Wallpaper da Vinci Horse in Grand Rapids

September 2017 Calendar Desktop Wallpaper – Old Mission Point Lighthouse

There is a curious love affair we have with the lighthouse. I think for me, it’s that fantasy of being the Keeper. It’s one thing to dream of an era when technology offered very little in the area of creature-comforts. It’s another to imagine the isolation. A double-edge sword. One day, your friend — the next day, your enemy. Fighting the ill effects of cabin fever, you diligently carry a can of oil up the stairs to the lantern.

We are a pinch north of Traverse City, at the tip of Old Mission Peninsula. Way off the beaten path, this destination is accompanied by one of the most picturesque drives in Michigan! It is a worthy visit any time of the year. Yet it probably goes without saying, the best timing is during the explosion of autumn colors.

And while you’re there, if you happen to see a passing freighter, imagine a century ago that you are the lighthouse keeper. Your beacon is burning bright, fully aware of your brothers at sea and the shared isolation they love and hate. And then a small chuckle escapes, “heh heh. At least I’m not going stir crazy,” you say to the mermaid sitting on the rocks.

– Jon



September 2017 Calendar Desktop Wallpaper
September 2017 Calendar Desktop Wallpaper Old Mission Point Lighthouse

Edward Curtis – The North American Indian at the Muskegon Museum Of Art

Now through September 10, 2017, is the super ambitious exhibition of the photography portfolio of The North American Indian by Edward S. Curtis.

This project is a 20 volume set that is essentially a comprehensive encyclopedia of the native tribes living in the regions of North America west of the Mississippi River.

Not only is this project an ambitious one, it was compiled by a crew led by photographer Edward Curtis. Its sheer enormity is its claim to fame. The accompanying photography is the glorious icing on the cake.

Each of the twenty volumes included a set of art prints, in the form of a gravure, or photogravure. This entire set of original books and gravures have been in Muskegon since its release a century ago. And for the first time anywhere, all 223 gravures are on display, celebrating the artistic vision of an inspired photographer.

This video is part one of a series I will be making about this stunning collection.


July 2017 Calendar Desktop Wallpaper – Fireworks

Happy Birthday America! #441


July 2017 Calendar Desktop Wallpaper
July 2017 Calendar Desktop WallpaperFireworks


About the creation of this picture:

The shutter speed of a typical photo taken outside in daylight would be something like 1/500th of a second. Quick, like the blink of an eye. Properly focused, the action is frozen in time and the subject detail is sharp.

When I normally photograph fireworks, I will use combined settings to force the shutter to remain open a “couple” seconds (give or take). Paired with a tripod (and a recommended shutter release remote), the glowing embers flowing across the sky are recorded as string-like steaks.

With this particular image, I add to the recipe a “rack-focus” maneuver. My lens is set to manual focus, targeted at the fireworks.  After I pull the trigger to begin the exposure, I gently and smoothly adjust the focus to end with a scene that is out of focus.

The result is a photo of steaks that seem to vary in size from end to end. Or in this particular example, the embers flickered in the sky, giving us the dots and blurry blobs.

This is actually quite simple to execute. The reality is that it takes a fair amount of experimentation to master.

– Jon


May 2017 Calendar Desktop Wallpaper – Scott Fountain in Detroit

This is the James Scott Memorial Fountain on Belle Isle in Detroit.

It’s one of those curiosities that fuels my fascination and love for Detroit! This piece of art is big, ornate, stunningly beautiful. And it bares the name of a man that was legendarily unscrupulous. (I’m probably being kind here.)

James Scott bequested his wealth to the city of Detroit with the stipulation of this memorial. It was built in 1925, which was the beginning Detroit’s brief status of world-class city.

What should be a centerpiece and crown jewel in Detroit, is tucked away off the beaten path. Enjoined by only a handful. And occasionally seen on TV during the Detroit Grand Prix.

– Jon


May 2017 Calendar Desktop Wallpaper
May 2017 Calendar Desktop WallpaperScott Fountain in Detroit


MuskeCon | Muskegon Comic-Con

It felt more like browsing through a small neighborhood book store than getting lost in a big-box store. It was the first time for me to attend a comic-con and Muskegon’s first time hosting. It was fun. I’m generally familiar with how a comic-con looks, but to jump into the mix was the best way to experience it.

This video is part of my PHLog series on YouTube. (Like VLOG, but photo-tip driven, thus PHLog.) Enjoy, like, love, share and subscribe!!

– Jon Jacobson