Monday, February 25, 2008

Senator McCain speaks to NE Ohioans in Rocky River (Cleveland)

Today was another political rally that I was out on assignment for-- this time covering John McCain's Rocky River Town Hall meeting. The highlight of the event was the audiences question and answer session. Senator McCain had great expressions when he answered the audience. One man asked if he (McCain) supported the draft. McCain said that he would enact special legislation for a draft of only one-- that would be him-- the man who asked the question. McCain then popped back to seriously answer the question.

My favorite photographs from this rally (like the Obama Cleveland rally) were from a lower angle of coverage so I could include the more colorful background behind McCain and to add more depth to the photographs of people in soft focus infront of McCain. The McCain rally was smaller than both Obama rallies and the backgrounds had a more polished look-- they had less area to decorate and therefore were able to more thoroughly decorate the backgrounds with the American flag, McCain posters, etc.

Rocky River Rally:

Press Q&A after Rally:

All images ©2008 John C. Kieger /

Until I Blog again, remember not to take life too seriously and make sure you tell someone that is close to you how much you care for them.

Thanks for reading,

John :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

GasBuddy's Map Feature: the Google maps of Gas Prices

Many of you are familiar with Google Maps and I'm sure a good many of you have searched the internet for great values on gas prices. Imagine if the two could be combined. Well the wait is over. I just stumbled accross a site that offers prices posted on a map that uses the Ajax platform to allow you to move around and zoom in or out of the map. The site is GasBuddy's Maps!

Give it a try for yourself:

Search for gas prices by US Zip Code

If you would rather search the site with a traditional text search you can do that as well (see below):

Search for gas prices by US Zip Code

Until I Blog again, remember not to take life too seriously and make sure you tell someone that is close to you how much you care for them-- no one knows when our loved ones may depart so we should try to let our loved ones know how much we care for them.

Thanks for reading,

John :)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Barack Obama Rallies in NE Ohio (Akron + Cleveland)

Today was a busy day for me. I was out on assignment covering both the Akron and the Cleveland "Keeping America's Promise" rallies with Barack Obama. Obama ended up arriving a 1 & 1/2 hours late to Akron which in turn threw off the Cleveland rally as well.

Both rallies were very different atmospheres. The Akron rally was a smaller and more intimate event whereas the Cleveland event was significantly larger and had more people in the backgrounds that detracted from the photographs. For some of the coverage in Cleveland I opted for a lower angle of coverage to give a cleaner background behind Obama and to add more depth to the photographs. I ended up leaving the Akron rally early to allow time to arrive in Cleveland so I only was able to photograph the meeting the crowd in Cleveland.

Akron Rally:

Cleveland Rally:

Meeting the crowd in Cleveland:

All images ©2008 John C. Kieger /

Until I Blog again, remember not to take life too seriously and make sure you tell someone that is close to you how much you care for them.

Thanks for reading,

John :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Jott: Creating and e-mail or Blog Entry ViaVoice, or at least the modern equivalent!

Imagine calling a toll free phone number and hearing "Who do you want to Jott . . . Got It!" What in the world is John talking about? I originally titled this piece "Creating an e-mail or Blog Entry via phone! As soon as I started to write this down, I realized everyone would think it was a pretty easy thing to do-- you just need an iPhone or other web enabled Smart Cellphone. Actually what I am referring to is a nifty WebApp called Jott. This WebApp from Jott networks allows anyone with toll free 800 phone access to access their web server. Like many Apps on the web, it is currently totaly free. Yep, you can essentially call from anywhere in the U.S. to access your account to e-mail them from your pre-defined Jott e-mail address book. The Jott Application is a Voice voice to text transcription service program.

How well does it work? The first time I tried it I was amazed. It can sometimes take some time transcribing your spoken word. If you are speaking difficult words you can spell them out to aide in the accuracy of the transcription. After your voice is transcribbed, it provieds its own evaluation of the specific "transcription confidence" such as:
Transcription Confidence: HIGH
Transcription Confidence: FAIR

If it is not very confident and states "Transcription Confidence: FAIR" it may be best to click on the link enclosed with the e-mail message to your original voice recording. That's a great feature that you can use even if you don't have a Jott Account!

Obviously you would not want to Jott anything that is private or sensitive in nature since everything is being stored on the Jott Servers.

Jott allows its users to be able to "Jott" notes to themselves or others when it wouldn't normally be safe to do so such as when you are driving a car, as the video illustrated.

The WebApp also comes in handy for people who might not be as internet or computer savvy. (Note: a friend would have to set up the account for this type of person). They could communicate with someone who is constantly on-line when they are constantly off-line. The only downside-- it ends up being a one sided conversation-- the on-line person could not communicate back via on-line. Wait a minute, they could resort to an 1870s device to communicate back. That 1870s device is, ofcourse, the Telephone!

Until I Blog again, remember not to take life too seriously and make sure you tell someone that is close to you how much you care for them-- no one knows when our loved ones may depart so we should try to let our loved ones know how much we care for them.

Thanks for reading,

John :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Google introduces GOOG-411

Google has introduced GOOG-411 as a toll free directory assistance number for anyone to use for free anywhere in the United States.
They will even connect you to the looked up phone number for free. The service appears to just be for business right now. One word of caution-- when you are connected the phone conversations are recorded so don't call at talk about something private!

Until I Blog again, remember not to take life too seriously and make sure you tell someone that is close to you how much you care for them-- no one knows when our loved ones may depart so we should try to let our loved ones know how much we care for them.

Thanks for reading,

John :)

Friday, February 15, 2008



What in the world is Pre-Blogging? Well I'm not sure if anyone else has coined this term before. It might just be a Kiegerism. A Kiegerism is something in which I created!

A little known secret about blogging is that you can customize and edit the post date. Why would one ever do that, you ask. Simple. It allows you to slack off and not write in your blog for a while, such as when a loved one is in the hospital dying or when you are really sick! By customizing the header date- it just means you are telling when, chronologically, the event happened-- for historical purposes and not when it was written.

To read my Pre-Blog please select the label filter "Pre-Blog" and then you will read everything in my life before January 5th, 2006.

Anyhow, I have decided to post events in my life that occurred before my Blog existed. I hope you like this concept. Feel free to post a comment here on the concept!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Nancy Moore, Shaker Heights Vice-Mayor

Today I have the privilege of photographing Nancy Moore, who is Vice Mayor of the City of Shaker Heights, other council duties include: Chair, Neighborhood Revitalization Committee; Member, Finance Committee, Economic Development Task Force, and Tree Advisory Board. She had been past President of the Shaker Heights Board of Education and she has always been very involved in the community. It was fun scouting locations for the photography since Nancy's house provided such a beautiful background. The first series of photographs were taken when Nancy was being interviewed by Jen Proe. The second series of photographs were environmental portraits.

Candids during Interview:

Environmental Portraits:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Assisting Dennis Brack

While reading Chris Walters photo blog, I came across his "How Photog's work the State of the Union" and much to my suprise the video included an interview with Dennis Brack. That took be back down memory lane when I assisted Dennis on a job here in Cleveland about ten years ago. Dennis gives a lot back to the photo community and went out of his way to mentor me.

Dennis has won awards from the National Newspaper Photographers Association, the White House News Photographers Association and the World Press Association. For the past ten years,member of the five member board of the Still Photographers Gallery of the U.S. Senate. Member of the Executive Committee of the White House News Photographers Association.

Here is what I commented on in Chris' Blog:

Great job Chris!

I really enjoyed watching this video on the Washington photographers photographing the State of the Union. I had the pleasure of Assisting Dennis Brack when he came to Cleveland about 10 years ago or so. He was shooting with his Canon Film Cameras then with the old style of Chimping with the Polaroid Back on one of the Canon EOS cameras. I can not say enough great things about Dennis. I have assisted many great nationally recognized photographers, but he was the only one who immediately became my mentor. A week after I worked with him he mailed the book "MAGNUM Fifty Years at the Front Line of History" by Russell Miller.

The Other thing I remember about working with Dennis was his little film case which was his fathers Amo Case from the Korean War that was made out of a Black Rubberized material.

Another Blackstar photographer I have had the pleasure of working with has been Cleveland's Mike Steinberg (

I too was impressed with the fact that David Burnett supplemented his digital photography coverage with a 4x5 Graflex style "MentorReflex" camera. I also enjoyed his candor stating that he only shot 10 frames and would be excited if he had one or two interesting shots-- it would be a big deal. I wonder if he was shooting B&W 4x5 or if it was Color E-6 or Color Neg. It was funny that he said he liked brining the 4x5 because in the digital age it is good to sweat every now and then. The 4x5 looked a little heavy-- did he mean sweating from carrying it or sweating until he found out if any of the photos turned out!

On my blog ( I have talked about my photography, TechTalk (info about photoshop, lightroom, computers, etc.)

I like this section that you call musings where you share some insight into the photo biz section. I think I'm going to drop Dennis a line this next we and say hi!

Thanks again Chris!

- John C. Kieger :)

This was such an awesome interview with a bunch of photographers in the White House Press Corps that I have decided to post it here as well:

This video was originally posted on the Photo Business News & Forum.

Until I Blog again, remember not to take life too seriously and have a great Weekend,

John :)

FaceBook and Re-Aquanting myself to my past!

John Kieger's FaceBook Profile
I just turned forty in January and have lost touch with a lot of friends from the past. Not only that, but I started my wedding photography career photographing weddings for other studios. It was a great way to master wedding photography. It was sort of like my commercial photography business. I first started my commercial photography business assisting other commercial photographers. In fact, I would recommend this to anyone who wants to get started in wedding or commercial photography. There is a ton of information you can learn from a seasoned professional.

Well, my point is that with many of the wedding clients that I had early in my career I met and photographed their weddings through other studios. Since I created my FaceBook account yesterday, I have had some really awesome high school and college re-acquainting(s)-- that is with my classmates that I grew up with. It has been less than 24 hrs and I have touched base with a lot of awesome people that I should never have lost track of.

After I woke up this morning, I started to think-- I have had similar connections and bonding with clients from the past.

If you come across this blog and have been trying to find out whatever happened to John Kieger please click on my FaceBook account and feel free to invite me to be your friend. I know it sounds strange-- you should not have to invite me to be your friend. It should be "Re-Connect" to John.

I also have a LinkedIn account as well. In fact I was able to connect with a bride who I lost contact with who moved to Chicago.

If I have lost contact with you I look forward to hearing from you.

If you really don't want to join FaceBook, please send me an e-mail or post a comment here on my blog.

Until I Blog again, remember not to take life too seriously and have a great Week,

John :)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Brunch @ Blue Canyon Restaurant

Blue Canyon Restaurant
Today my family and I went to the Blue Canyon Restaurant for Sunday Brunch. I always love the wonderful Cheese Blintzes. I can never get enough of them!
Cheese Blintzes
Close-Up of Cheese Blintzes
The Smoked Salmon was also quite tasty.
Smoked Salmon

The Buffet room is quit spacious and allows many to come through without much congestion. Buffet Overview

Buffet Servers
Like the Europeans, I always like to have Salad for the last course. As you can see the mixed greens are fabulous!
Mixed Greens

Well maybe not the very last course. There is always Dessert!

They also offer a selection of Twinsburg, OH famous George's Donuts too!
George's Donuts

Worth noting, Chef Brandt makes his own spices which he sells to his customers too!
Blue Canyon Spices

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Chinese Academy of Cleveland Celebrates the Chinese New Year with the Shaker Heights Public School

The Chinese Academy of Cleveland moved their school to the Shaker Heights Middle School this summer. The Shaker Heights School District and the Academy both have benefited from this association. All Elementary School Children in the 1st and 2nd grade at the Shaker Schools learn Mandarin Chinese. They School District works with exchange teachers from Mainland China to teach these Shaker students. They also offer Mandarin at Shaker Heights High School. This year these students celebrated alongside the Academy's student this Saturday February 9th, 2008. I was the photographer for the event and below are some of the images from the event.

Until I Blog again, remember not to take life too seriously and have a great Weekend,

John :)