The Foshay Tower, Minneapolis

2014-08-28 Foshay Snapseed Square800.jpg

The Foshay Tower, Minneapolis

Wikipedia —

The Foshay Tower is a skyscraper in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Modeled after the Washington Monument, the building was completed in 1929, months before the stock market crash in October of that year. It has 32 floors and stands 447 feet (136 m) high, plus an antenna mast that extends the total height of the structure to 607 feet (185 m). The building, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, is an example of Art Deco architecture.

The Foshay Tower was the lifelong dream and namesake of Wilbur Foshay, an art student turned businessman who amassed his fortune by building up three utility company empires (operating as the W. B. Foshay Company). At the time the tower was being built, he had sold his previous two empires in turn and was building up his third (which was eventually to stretch from Alaska to Nicaragua). He planned to locate his business and residence on the twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth floors where a three-bedroom, three-bath suite was built, with a fireplace and library, Italian Siena marble walls and glass-paneled ceilings.

Foshay invited 25,000 guests to the dedication ceremony and provided all-expenses paid trips to many who included cabinet members, senators and congressmen. Half-nude dancers entertained. Each guest received a gold pocketwatch. The military gave 19-gun salutes. John Philip Sousa conducted music, including “Foshay Tower–Washington Memorial March” a march he wrote for the occasion. Foshay presented Sousa with a check for US$20,000.

The march was only played once during Foshay’s lifetime. Six weeks after the building’s opening on November 2, 1929, Foshay’s corporate empire was thrown into receivership at the onset of the Great Depression. Ignominiously, Foshay’s check to Sousa bounced, and in retaliation, Sousa prohibited the playing of the march so long as Foshay’s debt to him remained outstanding. Foshay never lived in his new home, which also went into receivership. It wasn’t until 1988 when a group of Minnesota investors repaid Foshay’s debt to Sousa’s estate that the march was permitted to be played in public again.

The Cameleon App

This iOS app from F295certainly sounds as if it could be the one. The estimated date of availability in the App store is May 15th.

Cameleon doesn’t want to be your novelty, toy camera app of the week, but is looking for a serious long term relationship. It doesn’t rely on kitsch filters or novelty toy lenses, film packs, or in-app purchases, but instead gives you an almost infinite amount of control over the picture’s most important parameters. We realize that one app can’t nor should do it all, so we concentrated on the important things:

1. #getitincamera Get the shot you want, with your distinct look, the first time, and eliminate nearly all routine post processing.

2. #nopostprocessing As much as possible eliminate those time consuming same steps often repeated over and over to give an image series your signature look.

3. The Digital Safety Net The ability to make a picture and change it as often as you want without losing data. For example, let’s say you snap it with your own tweaked and highly customized black and white, high contrast look, but later you think golly! I wish I would have made this in super saturated color! No problem! Go into the Cameleon editor and dial it up! Done! No more sacrificing.

4. #Onward The power is in your hands! Moving beyond toy lenses, film packs, and predefined unchangeable parameters.

5. Fast Cameleon is lightening fast. No delay or lag at start-up that causes you to miss the shot.

6. No in-App advertising We hate it, and suspect you do too.

7. No tracking of your information We don’t care where you were, where your going, or who your with. We only care about giving you the tools to make awesome photographs. Cameleon doesn’t harvest any of your personal data.

Photographers and Social Networks

Two days ago I wrote and posted this on my weblog on how I wanted to set up a Flickr-style gallery that would allow me to post edited images directly from my iPhone or iPad to my website and maintain complete control over both the images and styling. Then today I read this article by Oliver Laurent on the British Journal of Photography‘s website. 

For Tomas Van Houtryve, a VII photographer, Instagram has allowed him to take pictures he’d stop taking altogether. “Sometimes, with digital cameras and huge raw files, I actually hesitate to take a picture because I don’t want to deal with downloading it and backing it up on my hard drive and captioning it later,” he says. “With Instagram, it has kind of brought that joy back where I can just take a moment – it’s worth what it’s worth – send it out and move on to something else. Not everything has to be a raw file.

This statement and the BJP article’s opening statement “Have photographers become complacent with their only commodity in order to expand their community of followers?” both resonate with me but the last one is the reason why I’ve never posted many photos on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. It doesn’t matter whether or not I’m a commercial photographer, or whether it’s my only commodity and I’m reliant on it as my main source of income, it’s my commodity.


Over the past few years I’ve become increasingly used to taking photos with my iPhone and processing them with one of the many apps available – I’ve tried them all. I love the look and feel of the images but I haven’t been sure of where they fit within my website. I could easily set up a gallery page to display them but that would mean transferring the images to my computer, writing code for the relevant pages and uploading both. And then repeating that when I had new images…

What I wanted was the ability to post easily from my iPhone or iPad wherever I happened to be and on a regular basis and to have a photostream-style page, like Flickr, where the images are automatically updated. This isn’t difficult as there are plenty of plugins that will mirror a Flickr feed, but most are designed to be a widget in the sidebar, not what I wanted. But I really needed to style it my own way.

Posting via the WordPress app to my weblog was an easy option, but that still meant inserting images into a post before uploading. And then the images would be in a post form and separated by date, whereas I wanted to see a stream of thumbnails on one page.

So, with the help of a few WordPress plugins, some personalized stylesheets and some code-tinkering, I think I’ve achieved pretty much what I wanted.

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