Category Archives: Contemporary Photography

VIEW 2019 part 1

I wanted to meet Skarred Ghost.

Tony, Antony Vitillo, is the AR/VR consultant who runs Skarred Ghost, one of the top blogs for VR and AR. I met Tony online in 2016, and we have shared our problems and joys since then. I was invited to speak in Munich and Paris, and hoped that somehow I could finally meet Tony in person, in Europe.

However, Tony was going to be in China until he returned to Italy, to give a presentation at VIEW, in Torino, Italy. I had never heard of VIEW. When I saw it, I immediately wanted to go. But my trip was on a budget far below “low budget”. Perhaps I could volunteer, like I would do at AWE, in Munich. Tony said he would ask the organizers, and that was how we left it.

 I arrived in Turin on the morning of Sunday, October  21. I’d taken an overnight bus from Munich; the city felt both friendly and alien. Two officers in a polizia car asked me if  I knew where I was going. 

“Corso Marconi...”

Though the officers described the bus and train options very well, I didn’t pay too much attention. Bubiko and I were going to walk.

An hour after leaving the bus, this tranquil scene of the River Po.
Man Ray, Man Ray. Will have to dig up my Man Ray story. No, I never met him, but did meet Julia, his wife, twice.

And, walk we did.

The address turned out to be the administrative office for VIEW, not the venue. I was relieved when someone answered the intercom; and happy when Ricardo, a handsome young man walked out. He attentively listened to my volunteering idea and seemed genuinely interested in my Bubiko demo. Like the polizie, Ricardo gave me directions on how to the venue, a place called OGR, which seemed to be near where the bus from Munich had dropped me off. I thanked Ricardo, slung my bag over my shoulder, and began rolling my little suitcase down the road.

 A blonde young woman called out to me! She was the driver for OGR, and she was going to the venue. As she drove me to OGR, we talked. She lived outside of Turin, and told me how beautiful the golds and reds of Autumn were beneath the snow-capped peaks of the Alps.

Bamboo! Eco Hostel!
Just down the street from the VIEW administrative office.
Mustafa, whose nice little restaurant is very near to Bamboo Eco Hostel.
Bubiko with a group of very , very talented professional animators!

 We arrived at OGR, once a train station, now an art center.

I didn’t know what would happen inside, but I pretended that I did.

(to be continued)

Turino, 5AM...

San Francisco: Traffic Studies

There is a similar series of images about Detroit here.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is one of the largest and most effective bicycle advocacy groups in the United States, and their efforts are impacting street usage.

Augmented Reality's impact upon the world of bicycling is of great interest to me, and this interest has, in turn, lead me to research street surfaces, traffic apps and autonomous vehicles. I am now working on a "live" book that summarizes my research. It is called AR on Wheels and it is on Amazon.

San Francisco
San Francisco signage
Stop light for bicycles.
Bike stoplight in action
A bicyclist, a pedestrian and vehicles sharing the street.
I am not sure how to read this...
Public transportation, vehicle of private enterprise.
An emergency and a man who is probably going to work.
Street cleaning is a part of traffic planing.
How well does that tree protector function as a bike rack?
Parking is king!
How do autonomous vehicles "see" these two?
Autonomous vehicles can shift gears perfectly... right?
One Sunday morning.
Road maintenance.
Streetlights: another part of transportation and urban life.


On the train from the airport into the Tenderloin, to see the premiere of Bubiko Foodtour!

Near the City Lights Bookstore. Beautiful, but it would seem that, at certain times of the day, anyone driving, riding or walking would be looking right into the sunset.


On August 8th, I will be giving a talk on Augmented Reality and Autonomous Vehicles at Altimetrik in Detroit. Stop by!

Detroit: Traffic Studies

As I become more involved AR's potential impact upon traffic, I see roads, vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles differently. The following documentary photographs are study aids; barely related to my previous street photography projects, such as the Bus Stopping series.

There is also a study of San Francisco here.

A terrible photograph, but a great example of the realities of the street. Glare attacks everyone. If there were a dependency upon a device displaying crucial information, what would happen in this situation?
Waze and other apps provide the latest info on detours, construction , travel times and more. With Waze, the data is crowdsourced. What relationships will be formed between these kinds of apps and autonomous vehicles?
The overall picture of bicycle parking in Detroit: what does it look like?
Ebike parking?
What is the future of the parking lot?
Detroit's original layout.
Dashboard of one of May's autonomous vehicles.
One of May's AVs moving out into traffic.
For nearly one hundred years, Detroit has created our perception of what a car is. Let's see what happens next...

I will be making a presentation about Augmented Reality and Autonomous Vehicles at Altimetrik, on August 8, 2019.

There are a number of posts about AR and bicycling here.

These photographs were taken during Detroit Startup Week.

Bubiko: one afternoon in Toledo

Bubiko's guide to AR is now available on Amazon!

San Francisco, Rose City MI, and soon the Pierogi Festival... Bubiko is on the go! In these photos, she hung out with some models at Rustbelt Coffee and then walked around downtown.

One of the hundreds of castles that comprise the Toledo cityscape.
Discussing nutrition at Rustbelt Coffee.
Stephen Black stopped by to take this photo.
Somebody was asked to stop dancing on tables...
Bubiko, contemplating a Rust Monkey Smoothie.
We'll always have pears.
Wow. Kenny at Jumpstart shared a lot of information on angel investors... so much to think about.
Believe it or not, someone was wearing this shirt!
The most famous mural in Toledo, right next to Jack Wilson's sculpture studio. Just down the street from Seed Coworking space.

More scenes of Toledo.

Bubiko was made by Novaby, based on ideas by Stephen Black and Sayuri Okayama.

Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure 2019 (GOBA) 1 of 2

I recently connected with GOBA, and it was great. I attended the first day, hung around, met some nice people and learned a lot about bicycle safety. Important research for my book.

My presentation about augmented reality and the world of bicycling was on June 18th, 2019.

Information about the many uses of AR in the world of bicycling can be found here.

Information about GOBA

Part 2, click here: MORE GOBA

Comments welcome!

Blessed Sacrament Festival, Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Blessed Sacrament Festival, June 9, 2019. Plus a surprise or two.

Summer festival foods
boy playing with an orange traffic cone

Polka Kings: Does Polka Music Really Come from Poland?

menu of food served at Blessed Sacrament festival
Jack Black. Polka.
In the recent Netflix movie The Polka King, the popular Hollywood actor Jack Black stars as the Polish singer and band leader Jan Lewandowski, better known by his American stage name Jan Lewan. The film shows Lewan’s rise to local stardom in 1990s Pennsylvania, how he ran a Ponzi scheme fuelled with money from his, often elderly, Polish-American fans, and his subsequent five-year jail sentence.
Made in collaboration with Lewan himself (who continued his polka music career after leaving prison) and based on a 2009 documentary about him titled The Man Who Would Be Polka King, the film is well grounded in fact.
An interview for Newsweek has Jack Black saying:
When I saw the documentary The Man Who Would Be Polka King, from which this whole project sprang, it struck me like a bolt of lightning (…). This is an epic tale. On a very visceral level, I knew I had polka in my DNA. In fact, I am a quarter Polish.

POLISH SUMMER PICNIC! JUNE 14 and 15

New York Times article: DIVERSIONS; Ardent Polka Fans Take to the Road to Pursue Their Irrepressible Music

Blessed Sacrament Festival
Duane Malinowski with accordion, his son on drums.

A very pleasant time. Besides the people, food and music, there were the delights from the Earnest Brew Works!

More photos of Toledo here.

A very special thank you to Jackie Black.

Old West End Festival Parade (part 2)

The first part of this post is here.

Lauri and Gary Justen, dressed in Edwardian attire.

More photographs of Toledo: 419ness

About Stephen Black

More information about the Old West End of Toledo

Memorial Day Weekend

419ness

A collection of blog posts about Toledo, Ohio

The Maumee River

About Stephen Black

Stephen Black's books

Huaqiangbei electronics market: street photography

Celebration of flowers, the color red and childhood.
A yellow robot
a package going to Peru
Futuristic Shenzhen
image of two men loading boxes
white round objects, black sweater
food scene in Huaqianbei
street life in China
working at night
individuals
red reflections, two men in motion
looking
a vibrant night in China
the design of love

A story about Huaqianbei is here.

Photographic documentation of an international drone competition in Shenzhen.