Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Travis Shredd podcast interview!

My Slam Bang Media podcast had the guest Travis Shredd of the band Travis Shredd and the Good Ol' Homeboys. You can listen to two of their songs and hear Travis (aka: Eric Wilson) talk about the days of the band, and where he is now, and what he is doing. (Audio for events in Las Vegas!) He has a special announcement which ties into the music he did for Travis Shredd.....so go and listen to it now!

You can hear some of their songs here: Travis MySpace.

And do a search for Travis Shredd on YouTube so see some of the videos they made to some of the songs.

Also check out www.travisshredd.com and order their 3 CD's. Do it now, they are so funny and talented.

We had a mix up and I waited for Travis to call in and he was waiting for me to answer an email I didn't get. So I ended up talking with some callers instead, made that Episode 11. Meanwhile Travis was kind enough to answer my questions and send me the audio file of it. I used that to create the Episode 10 show with Travis. So check them all out.

Also you can hear the shows through iTunes, a free upload to your iPhone or iPod, or iPad by visiting iTunes, then doing a search for Slam Bang Media.


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Night Shooting Photo Class

Introduction to Night Photography--Mark Holmes.
(Photo above shot while crossing the bridge.) Took a one time photo workshop last night in Coronado, CA. It was only 15 minutes or less from me as I shot down I-15 to the end of it, then north a short hop on I-5, then over this massively tall, winding bridge to the island of Coronado. What a beautiful place this is. I drove to the Ferry Landing and there were people walking around, sitting in outdoor cafe's, water, beach, pier....

I had about 45 minutes to take it in before I was to meet the Photographer putting on the class at 6:00pm. I got a few shots before the class started
I got my backpack full of gear and was carrying my tripod and sure enough right on time was Mark dressed all in black with a black cap on his head. There was one other girl waiting with her camera and tripod. Mark was very nice and mentioned that we both used the Nikon D300 and the same zoom lens (18-200 VR Nikkor) most of the time. The girl had a nice Canon camera. We waited for about 10 minutes for the other 4 to show up and one lady did finally make it, the others didn't. So the 4 of us walked down the beach area a bit and set up our tripods. It was already past the blue sky stage and quickly moving into the black night sky stage. I usually try and get shots during this blue before black time as that is the best for night shots. The shot above I took before the class. Mark knows a lot about cameras and settings. I think I do but I don't know all the f-stop equivalents and I rely on my meter too much, as I was to learn during this class. We learned that the light meter in the camera tends to under expose trying to make up for the lack of light in the scene. This makes things brighter than you want them to be. You have to adjust for this. Same is true when metering off snow in a winter scene. it wants to under expose to make up for all the lightness.

I did bring my shutter release cord that hooks into the front of my camera so I can take shots without shaking the camera. We shot some photos with the mirror locked in up position, also to keep the camera from shaking. I got most of his questions right...like what f-stop would be best for the night shots. I said f-16. This gets a nice sharp shot and it closer to the sweet spot on most lenses. Some tend to not be as sharp in the wide open or very nearly closed positions. Better in the middle zones usually. Mark also noted that you get a nice "star" pattern coming off the highlights in the scene, the bright light from lights in the scene with f-16.
I also was correct in saying I shoot at ISO 200. 200 is my lowest setting mostly used for bright scenes but I knew since we had the tripods we could do long exposures and thus use any ISO setting so why not use the one that gives you the least noise. The Canon cameras can also go down to 100 ISO. One girl had a very expensive Canon but she had just bought it (so she said) and didn't know anything about it. She also didn't know how to set up her tripod. She was a beginner and admitted so. That's fine we all have to start someplace. Since the class was so small Mark had more time to deal with her issues than he normally would. The other girl was more experienced and had even taken some of Mark's other classes.

I had not shot very much night photography. Only a handful of times did I ever remember to bring my tripod with me. Two or three times I'd go out with a friend of mine Tim Jensen in Seattle and he was a master at it. He'd help me. I got some nice shots of the Tacoma bridge with him on one accession. Last 4th of July I read all about the settings to shoot fireworks and took my tripod and went to the Owensboro, KY (where I was living then) fireworks. I took a nice folding chair, set up my tripod. Followed all the things I'd read and it worked like a charm. My best fireworks shots ever. So it does pay to take notes. Oh, I just remembered that in 2009 I went up in the Space Needle (there on a visit) and took a short tripod and it fit just right on this ledge where I could shoot between some bars to get the skyline of Seattle from the top. I was there way too early and my son Dustin was with me. It took hours before the sun finally started going down. I got plenty of shots before, during and after the sun was down. Worked out great. I really just kept experimenting with different settings, didn't know as much about it as I do now, that's for sure.

We also played around with flash. I'd brought my SB-600 flash and Mark's flash he realized had been on stand-by so long (by mistake) that his batteries were down. So he just used my flash. He showed us some slow-sync flash, and 2nd-curtain flash. Most folks have someone stand in front of some great night scene. Then they blast the person with the flash. The background is all black. You have to manipulate the flash to take in the background as well as evenly light the subject. My little S90 Canon has a setting for this. You'll see it as a flash icon with a person, and the person icon has a star or building behind them. This is forcing the camera flash to do a slow sync to take in the surroundings. Try it if you haven't already. I'll have to experiment more with using my SB-600 as I've only been using it to shoot indoor events.

To see the full skyline stitched together from 6 shots go here: PANORAMA.

We did some fun slow exposure flash shots.....I drew the word PHOTO with a pen light and then posed next to it with my arms folded....all taken in one shot. Mark also tried it and did it the first try.

I can't wait to take another class with Mark!


Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy Halloween!

Yep, I went to Disneyland (10/23/10) for the first time. I'd been to Disneyworld two times. This was a blast. I Drove 1 hour north to Temecula, CA. Met up with my pal Dean LeCrone (star of stage and screen) and his son Paul and Paul's friend Troy. We hop in Dean's car and drive 1 hour north to Anaheim, CA, home of Disneyland. On the way there we recorded a funny little free-form podcast. SLAM BANG MEDIA.

We had to board a bus to take us from the parking lot to the park. We ride on the Toy Story bus from the Woody area.

To see all the photos I took and posted on Facebook go HERE.

I've been watching just about every season of WEEDS. Don't know why I'm hooked on this. Even got my wife watching it. We have Netflix and can use the wii to stream movies and shows onto our TV. Pretty cool. Someday I'll use the wii to play more games...who has the time?

I got a iMac a few weeks ago and I'm having some fun figuring out stuff. Lucky for me I don't get frazzled easily....I do have a book "iMac for Dummies" but so far haven't cracked it open yet. I've been figuring out how to do the simplest things...make a new folder...etc....it's like the PC but turned on it's head. I've pretty much totally started doing all my photography work on it already, using Lightroom 3, and all the other Adobe programs....I even edited up some audio for my podcasts and some video. I'm starting to really like it. Especially the 27" screen. I like the fact the Mac is helping me correct my spelling even in this program! Makes me look smarter.

I'm looking forward to a workshop I signed up for Wednesday night (Nov 3rd) to help me with night shooting. I have to drive out to this island (Coronado) which I have been out to once before when Bonnie and went out exploring. I'm to get there at 6:00pm but I'm going early to catch some sunset shots. Seems the sunset starts about 5:45pm....or is it 6:15? Either way I'll get there on time. We will shoot night shots of buildings and models and use a tripod etc... I have two tripods yet rarely have them with me. This session could help me out, plus I'll meet some folks that like photography.

Still haven't started on the web site www.slambangmedia.com. Will soon. Dean and I will team up and work together on some projects and help bring in clients, etc.... the site will showcase pretty much the stuff I have up at www.allenfreeman.net and add in cartooning and acting videos by Dean. Together we can do everything an ad agency can do, pretty much.

Also hoping to add up some new little videos to my YouTube account. Dean and I shot some funny footage at Disneyland that I need to edit up.

My podcast today has been moved from the usual 5:00pm EDT to 8:00pm EDT as I need a nap. Stayed up too late last night...should be asleep now to catch up. Call in: www.talkshoe.com/tc/89106

The sun came back out after a few weeks of all white sky....one day it is in the mid 70's next day high 60's.....well, at least last night we went out to get something to eat and it was 60 degrees! I was not prepared. I had on shorts, short sleeve t-shirt....yikes!


Friday, October 22, 2010

It's About Time

This is the view from my patio a few weeks ago when the sun was still coming out. We got a few weeks of sunshine before late summer hit. They say here in San Diego the weather has seasons, like early summer, summer, late summer, etc....

We are now in late summer I guess. It is still in the high 60's so no worries. Nothing like it will be this winter back in KY I presume.

It's about time I added something here. How about a photo of a store window all decked out for Halloween? This is from the Mission Valley Mall where we like to hang out. The malls in San Diego are "open air" or no roof malls, which is fun. Especially when it is sunny out. We arrived here Sept 18th and it was bright and sunny for a few weeks, then it got hazy, and we haven't seen much of the sun for the last 2 weeks. We anticipate it will return eventually.

Here is the cover to my next issue of SLAM BANG, #6 vol III (or issue #46). Out early 2011.
Contributors so far: Dan Burke, Clint Basinger, Matt Feazell, Nathan Corrigan, and more!

I'm going to Disneyland with my pal Dean and his son Paul and his friend Troy. I'll be documenting the trip with photos and video.

My next comic con will be Stumptown Comics Festival in Portland, OR. It is in April.
Hope to see you there.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

SPACE 2010 is the PLACE. Con Report of the 11th Show!

A small sampling of the comics I brought back from SPACE.

On the road to Columbus, Ohio (from Kentucky).

I went to the SPACE (Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo) for the 7th time last weekend April 24th and 25th in Columbus, OH, at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Convention Center. This was the first time Space has been at this location. The last few shows were at the Shriner Convention Center and that was one huge hall with all the tables in about 10 long rows. It was sort of too spacious and loud with all the noise bouncing off the hard floors and walls. Tables along the sides had lighting that didn't hit their tables. This year was like a welcome flashback to the years SPACE was in a Holiday Inn. This year was even better as that Holiday Inn was looking very old and going under some extreme work the last time the show was there. The Ramada Plaza was much more homey, as the tables were closer, the isles were roomy but not spaced extremely apart. This made the show seem more cosey to the fans and there was probably a lot more interaction between the fans and the creators than in the larger convention hall of the last few years.

My table (Fan-Atic Press) was just inside the entrance to the event. Next to me was my pal Clint Basinger who has made the trip with me to the last few shows. He has his own table sporting his excellent, highly creative comics and art under the company name, Cosmic Moustache Comics.

Here we see Dan Taylor holding my Slam Bang #5 vol III, which he contributed to. Dan does some fantastic mini-comics and art. His company is Weird Muse Productions.

Here is a look at 2 of his mini comics. (I plan on contributing to Time Warp Comix.)

One of the new, younger fans of Small Press. (Ben James)

Christina Wald is a frequent contributor to Slam Bang. She is a very busy illustrator in Cincinnati, OH, and the book The Little Red Bat just came out showing off her brilliant art. See her site HERE.

Here is your reward for reading this far. Click this link to watch the full 35 minute SPACE DOCUMENTARY! That's right. This was shot by Allen Freeman and Christopher Moshier in 2007 and edited (masterfully I should add) by Christopher Moshier in April 2010! In fact this was done right before SPACE 2010. I made 25 DVD's and handed them out around the convention. Let us know what you think of it HERE.

Adding some style to the show--- Joseph Morris of Torc Press. See his work HERE

Nathan Corrigan (Oldest son of Tim Corrigan) shows off his publishing empire! Gumshoe Comics! I purchased his book of sketches and you get one of the originals free with each purchase of the book. How crazy is that! I also bought his comic called Weird Comics Drawn Weridly, and it has some very strange and wonderful character drawings and comics in there. Well worth $3.00.

Plastic Farm, writer and artist Rafer Roberts with his better half.
I've seen him at every Space show I'm been to. I always buy his lastest books. You can too, right HERE.

Tim Corrigan of New Voice Media on the left, Matt Feazell famous creator of Cynicalman on the right! Send Tim $15 for a year subscription to his Tim Corrigan's Comics and Stories, a monthly comic book digest with color covers!

Find out about Cynicalman at Matt's site HERE. These are some of the most talented guys at SPACE each year. I come to this show particularly to visit with them and check out their newest books.

Eric Adams is a writer, illustrator and designer, best known as the creator and self-publisher of the comic book series LACKLUSTER WORLD and a partner / creative director with the Cincinnati-based TURNSTYLE CREATIVE. He hosted a panel I was on a year or so ago at SPACE, and did a fantastic job. I didn't have time to check out all of his books this year, but will catch up by checking out his SHOP online.

Bob Corby of Back Porch Comics is the mastermind behind the Space show. Thanks to him this is all possible! Thank you again this year Bob!

A completely shocked Larry Blake is checking out a copy of the stellar second issue of Strange Space Stories put out by Main Enterprises. Larry is a fantastic artist and can be reached only at: Larry Blake, 69360 St. Rt. 124, Reedsville, OH 45722. He has lots of great comics, write him and ask how you can buy them! Larry was also recently showcased in a beautiful hardcover KISS book about all the Kiss Fanzine editors and publishers over the years. He had a write up and a color photo in the book!

Jim Main of Main Enterprises poses with a black and white original portrait of himself, by Larry Blake. As soon as I walked into the show room, Jim returned 3 pages of my original artwork I'd sent him back in 1988. HA! True story! If I looked hard enough I'm sure I'd find some things I've got hidden of others works that got misplaced so no hard feelings. In fact we talked about putting out a top secret project that has been talked about for years. Catch Jim's books (and he has many of them!) HERE
Jim puts out the excellent Comic Fan. #6 is another thick issue full of reviews and articles for people that love comics!

Bruce Chrislip. Bruce could just be the most prolific small press creator that step foot into the SPACE show this year! I mean, come on....check out this bibliography of his work. He came over to my table (behind it actually) and showed me some super rare art and posters from the very early days of small press. Wow! He said he has a collection of over 900 mini-comics. I think that is what he said. I should have been taking notes. Bruce also helped out on the book about the Underground Comix of the 80's that just came out by Fantagrphics. He is also working on his own book about the early days of small press. Wow.

Here is Clint having his harty Hardees breakfast before the show on Saturday. He will tell you he ate all this, but I know he left one bite.

Clint and I saw that every table at Hardees had one of these on the wall next to it. We argued about what it could be. Clint thought it was an early phone device. I dissagreed, as it was too large to fit on your belt, and didn't seem to play any mp3's. He agreed when he realized there was no LED screen to view apps.

These were the billboards that were facing the parking lot when we arrived and left each day. I never knew that glass could be so comfortable, and....no comment on the other one.

David Branstetter of Dim Light Graphics home of Straw Man. David is a member of the Comic Creators Alliance a group that meets once a week at the comic store The Comic Quest in Evansville, IN. Allen (me) and Clint Basinger are also members as well as about 10 to 15 others. Ask us about the comics this group has put out in the last few years.

About Straw Man: Straw Man is an independent comic about a guy that thinks he has super powers but doesn't. Is he crazy? Maybe. To get copies http://www.comixpress.com/ or email: strawmancomicbook@yahoo.com

Ava Ann of http://www.a2alien.com/. She was selling alot of these head pieces, "antennae" at the show as I saw just about every lady and girl walking out with one.

Mike Indovina is the writer and illustrator of TIMELESS a web comic at: http://www.satyrplayproductions.com/ He recently collected these into a printed comic and he has lots of other comics such as; Satyr, Chimera and cards, shirts....I see him every year at SPACE and he just keeps adding to all the great products at his table. Check out his books! (Same link as above.)
Left to right; Tim Corrigan, Larry Blake and Allen Freeman (me). Tim has his wallet out so he must be making change! HA! Wait, now I can't say I took all of these photos. Ratz!

Mike Kitchen with Ultraist Studios. http://www.ultraist.net/ Spy Guy #1 (unlimited series) is a fantastic comic and everyone should see it! Really. I'm also reading his The Possum. Wait, this is by Blair Kitchen and it's from Possum Press. So, which one is in this photo? Either way they are both very talented writers and cartoonists, both comics are very, very good. Spy Guy even has a 16 page text Ultraist Manifesto! Can't wait to read that. (Update: Mike is the one in this photo. Blair was at the show but not around his table at this time.)

Matt Feazell is drawing in a sketch book.

Suzanne Baumann of Fridge-Magnet. She and Matt are from Hamtramck, MI.
Didn't get the info on this character but thought it was interesting.

Tony Goins of PANEL. A Columbus, OH group that put at PANEL the anthology. It's always very original and PANEL #15 has a movie theme and comes in a DVD case. Put out by http://www.ferretpress.com/ Tony also just put out Downs #2. He is a great artist and writer. You have to check out his work. http://www.itradedmyeyes.com/

Kassandra Heller, artist. See more of her work at http://www.kassandraheller.com/

Randy Pare on the right. Contact him about his RKYV digital magazine. It is great. randy.pare@rodgers.com

Steve Peters of Awakening Comics. http://www.awakeningcomics.com/

Here is his character Sparky as Spider-Man (A request from me.). If you buy one of his books he would do up a cool color drawing of Sparky as anyone you wanted. Cool!

Blink Strips vol. 2 by Max Ink. http://www.maxinkcomix.com/
I have to have everything that Max works on and so will you when you get one look at his comics.

The blissful Kel M. Crum of Dangerousbird.com with his Cornelia Catroons. Kel has an amazing singing voice as you'll hear when you watch the SPACE DOCUMENTARY listed above!

I'm still trying to locate all the info I was going to post here about the groups that are helping students learn to create comics and get scholarships in the graphic arts. The man and woman in costume above are models in some of their classes.

Space Prize 2009 Webcomics Category 1st Place: Introspective Comics http://www.introspectivecomics.com/ Ryan Dow

Mini-Comics Short Story Category 1st Place: Aliens poop on Your Children, Chris Garrett. http://www.ninetimesnine.com/

General Category 1st Place: The Dreamer #1-5 IDW. Lora Innes-Artist Writer, Tom Waltz-Editor. http://www.thedreamercomic.com/

Space Anthology 2010 free at http://www.comicsxp.com/

I can't wait till Space 2011! Maybe I'll get out all the books I'd planned to have at Space with me this year. I'll start working on them now!

---Allen Freeman

All the photos I took at SPACE 2010 will be posted HERE eventually. Check it often. Once they are in this set on Flickr, you can download any image at any size, on up to the original.

More photos by Allen http://www.afreemanphotography.com/

Small Press Newsroom. Send your comic to get a review by me! See the blog here: http://smallpressnewsroom.blogspot.com/

My photos of Space in 2004!
My photos of Space in 2007!
My photos of Space in 2008!
My photos on Flicker of Space in 2008!
My Space blog 2009!