Category Archives: Contemporary Photography

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.

Stephen Black at SXSW 2019


I'm telling myself that this is a self-portraiture/conceptual art/writing exercise. I do not stand next to celebrities very often; almost never am I photographed with them. SXSW was incredibly brilliant (Cliche police! Arrest that man!), but it was also "very interesting" financially. If this post brings people to my blog and I can sell some books or connect with some funds for my AR startup and/or VR movies (here and here), then I guess this is OK. And if any galleries poke around this blog, that might be good.

OK?

OK.

I am listening to this. I discovered them because of Orions Belte. I knew nothing about OB before they walked onto the stage. The thrill of unexpectedly discovering a great live performance is extremely rare, at least for me. This is a very nice recording of Joe Frazier, but very different from what I experienced that night in Austin.... imagine being dragged to a karaoke night and discovering

Orions Belte with Stephen Black at SXSW 2019. Photo by Bubiko Foodtour.
OB on Bubiko's Instagram account

PS. FWIW: One afternoon at SXSW, I found myself in a nearly empty room with a business partner of Roger McNamee, who wrote a book about Facebook.

I gave McNamee's business partner one of the small goofy pieces of paper I was passing out during SXSW, said "Low tech, high art" and walked away. So there ya go.

Book Merah!
Carlos Trujillo
We met on the train, talked, went to his show that was part of a Columbian music showcase. Lucky, lucky. (His version of a Paul McCartney/Kraftwerk song!) More photos of Pablo and more on this SXSW music blog post.


Guy Kawasaki, hosting an event at the Mercedes Media Lounge. Complete surprise: the decision to attend SXSW was extremely last minute and the first day we had a basic schedule, but discovered many events by chance, like this one. Guy was also releasing a book, Wise Guy.
I thanked him for his work on his APE book, APE meaning Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, which I highly recommend to all independent writers.

Not only was SXSW life-changing, almost across from the Convention Center was the O. Henry Museum!
O. Henry is one of my favorite writers. One example: A Municipal Report.
Another favorite is about a painter who creates portraits that can reveal the soul of the sitter; he sees people in their "true light". I cannot find the name of the story at the moment.
That goofy paper again, this time held by David Mims. David bought a one way ticket: Detroit to Austin. Respect.
An interview in Japanese and in English can be found here.
Yes, I wore the same style Teeshirt all the time. Thanks to Jupmode and Philipp Aldrup and Stuart Rankin/Sixcat Studios! Number 5 on my list of things to do is get some of of these AR Ones tee shirts ready to sell. Message me if you'd like one. Oh yeah... this is Ollie (on the left).


Spontaneity/unpredictability/destiny/Southby synchronicity.. whatever you want to call it... The first night, we're exhausted. But still I am passing out the goofy pieces of paper. I see a guy using a phone on a stick; probably talking to a friend or it's a business call or something. I wait until he's done, then slip him the goofy piece of paper. EXCEPT that he is still talking to someone. I am embarrassed, pull away. Instead he waves me into the camera and asks me to say hi. Suddenly I am talking to two people in Korea-- two students who are studying VR filmmaking! I make VR films!
We talk about screen writing, and I mention my experiences with Robert McKee... and one of the students holds up the book on his desk: Story, by Robert McKee.
I say wow, everyone else says the Korean equivalent of wow. The man next to me,
Chui Shin is involved with a Korean VR festival.He gives me some bread as he is talking to the students and says "wow" a lot. He says I'm an angel; I say no but the students say yes. Anyway, I head toward the bathroom but come back one minute later... with an angel.

So, then, five minutes after the VR/angel incident...who comes by but Leonard Maltin, whom I do not know. But he's in a great mood and there is a friendly little crowd and we end up getting our photos taken with him. Only later did I learn who he is.

MUKASHI MUKASHI NIHON NI SUNDEMASHITA!


W
W + Bubiko

So... for quite a few years, I have wanted to write about the cover of the Soldier album, by Iggy Pop. It is a gem, a stick of dynamite made of stencils and spray paint. He's wearing wild eyeliner and a tee shirt. Every time I searched for information related to that studio shot, the trail led to a video of Dogfood on Youtube. I write about photography; and that cover, shot in 1979, is spectacular on many levels: technique, the times and everything else. I wanted to research and do a blog post about it. I'd research this topic every few years.

So... we're standing on the corner on a beautiful Sunday morning, our plan being to go to the Samsung exhibition again. Mari Goround stops and points to a sign. It is a talk about "screens"(video here), with a collection of VR projects upstairs. The venue is the beautiful hotel right in front of us. We go in. It starts in five minutes. Open bar. We mingle. The speakers are all experts and I am excited that we have discovered this. It starts. One of the speakers, right off the bat, says his name and that he did the art direction for the Soldier album by Iggy Pop. His name is Alex McDowell. A very big deal in Hollywood (Minority Report, Fight Club +++) he is now BUILDING WORLDS. But yeah...Soldier.

Quiet and small in public, a huge force in my life: Sayuri Okayama

Stephen Black with Barry Black, Chief Scientist at Black Ranger Software.
We connected immediately, even before we discovered we share the same last name. Barry told me that he'd traced the history of the Blacks, and got as far back as Belgium. I looked at a basic genealogy map once, and saw that there are/were Blacks on both sides of the Irish Sea.
Regardless of my past, I am very thankful for the present, and excited about the future.

Stephen Black projects.

Recent Bubiko projects, including the MIT talk

I discovered the photographer who shot the cover of Soldier.