PHOTO WALK : Meandering With Mike K ……. Port Richmond Edition

To Meander : following a winding course: a meandering lane. Proceeding in a convoluted or undirected fashion

By popular request a return to Port Richmond.

Come on out this Saturday evening for the second “Meandering with Mike K” street photo walk.  This time we will explore Port Richmond, where I live and have been photographing for years now. 

Port Richmond, occupying the Delaware River front to the north and northeast of Old Kensington, was brought into prominence by the establishment at that point of the tidewater terminus of the Reading R.R. Co. For its immense coal traffic by sea. 

For MORE Port Richmond History CLICK HERE

We will meet at the wonderfully friendly Green Rock Tavern. There is plenty of angled parking on Lehigh Ave,  a very wide street. We will then “meander” around this historic part of our fair city. Not just a photo op but some history lessons too and will stop inside some places to experience the vibe of the neighborhood. First we will check out the beautifully adorned PortSide Art Center. (Blue fish and other reef creatures). If this was in center city it would be on the tourist maps. Then we will go under the Lehigh Viaduct via Belgrade St. Maybe we will catch a softball game in progress at Cohox Rec Center. Then we will be amazed at the architecture of the three churches on Allegheny Ave. There is a hidden mural to discover. Then we will explore Campbell Square Park, a smaller version of Rittenhouse Square in my opinion. It has a tree carved into a NW Indian type totem pole. And the fanciest wrought iron entrance arch around. A true work of art. You will be blown away. Rittenhouse can’t compete. 

Part 2 will be the return trip. We will walk down Thompson St. and check out a still functioning yarn mill. Nearby is a used bookstore in a old theatre. If it is open we will take a walk inside. It is huge. If you want to peruse the photos in old National Geographic Magazines, this is the place. We will swing by the PR Library: the building was build in 1910 by Andrew Carnegie. We will see another beautiful church  And there we are back at Green Rock thirsty for a beer. 

You don’t want to miss this meander.  See you then.



Let’s meet Saturday 6:00 pm. Lets avoid the afternoon heat and catch some sunset shots. Allocate a few hours and wear comfortable shoes. Fee is $5 each.  This is a guaranteed good time. Your camera will thank you. 

Any questions: post them below

Demystifying Photo Book Making Workshop

Design and self-publish a photographic book with the latest developments in publishing.

Demystifying Photo Book Making Workshop

1. Why Photo books :

Like Brooks Jensen says in “Letting Go of the Camera” half of photography is taking the image, the other half is printing it.   Photos are not complete until in physical form. Photobooks are the least expensive way to make physical copy with some unity and theme; portable, carry with you to show others; no Gatekeepers to jump thru hoops to please or abide by their timeline.  Learn to edit your own work for selection, learn to edit your work for sequencing and story telling 

>>HAVE A COMPLETION<< Satisfaction of job well done Add it to your bookshelf or coffee table and look at often. Don’t need wall space to hang.

Come to the workshop and get your questions answered. Get you first photo book ready. Have it in your hands a week after submit. Sit back and enjoy turning the pages!


2. What

Are you  feeling stagnant in your photo creation? It’s possible that, like me, your creativity is hampered because you have not Completed the photos you have taken. This is a side effect of the move to digital cameras. 

In the film era, all film was printed (at the very least a contact sheet). Maybe you collected them in a shoebox and never did anything more, but at least there was a physical form created. 

Nowadays, most people never print their work. And hence are left in the limbo land of incompleteness. Imaging a painter just making sketches on a computer but never putting paint onto canvas. Would you call them a painter? Not likely. But that is what has happened to a many photographers. 

Another aspect is choosing the type of paper to use: smooth, matte, textured, etc. This effects the results and is an artistic decision process that grows you as an artist. 

Photo books solve both issues and gives you room to grow from simple to more complex productions. All under your control. Just in time publishing makes one-offs affordable. So the risk is low. You are free to experiment. So how do you start?

3. How

I suggest starting with the simplest layout, one image to a page and working with images you already have. The goal is to blow down the excuses and delays and get a decent first book produced. Not a perfect first book.  Perfectionism in this case is counterproductive. You want to learn as you go, feeling free to experiment and build your confidence. That comes from doing, not stressing about perfection. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Just don’t repeat the same ones on the next project. 

Come to the workshop and I will give you some methods that worked for me to pick a theme and get the best into a book template. I used and the LightRoom book module. If you are not using LightRoom yet, get started. It makes the process quite painless. We will be using LightRoom collections folders to help in the image selection process. 

Selecting the format :square, landscape or portrait. Size and paper options. Softcover or hardcover. 

Picking the cover image and title. Print as PDF to Proof.

Repeat the proof and revise cycle until your are satisfied. 

This workshop is a lot of individual coaching and group feedback to spur you on to completion.  

So whether you are thinking of an Instagram book, images from a recent trip, your still life portfolio, selfies series, whatever; you can do it here. 

Two weeks is a realistic deadline for the first book when on your own. A deadline is a must. In this class you will have help editing and proofreading so hopefully one can upload to Blurb by the end of the workshop. Your call, but highly recommend you come with intention to complete book this day. You will feel great when its complete. 

We will have a follow up presentation of the photo books at the following PPL main meeting. And award the best first time photo book maker. 

4. Resources

For inspiration

Instagram @10x10photobooks

Best Books of 2015

Over 100 customizable layouts to choose from

Automatic update of photos placed into book layouts

What to bring to class:

• bring your laptop computer with Lightroom installed.

 Get the Free 30 Day Trial at :

Students are to bring a “rough edit” of digital images they wish to have made into a book. Maximum ~ 50 images PLEASE. Finished books will contain 20-30 images.


$50 …… $40 for Contributors and Benefactors

Please RSVP via Meetup and CLICK HERE to pay for the workshop. 

(Note: After clicking the link go to the drop down menu in the upper left corner and select the class you wish to pay for.)

Meandering with MikeK in Bridesburg

Now that the summer is here, we will be having meanders later in the afternoon to avoid the mid day heat. As a bonus we get better shadows also. This one will be shorter as Bridesburg is a smaller neighborhood then Germantown. Bridesburg has a long history and is a close knit community. It’s banners proclaim “A Family First Community”.  Reserve the date.

Meanwhile, read this feel good story:

We will meet at the Wawa at Richmond and Sellers streets. Then go south on Richmond to the Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery entrance gate. Unfortunately it will be closed by then but we will get another view later. Fantastic 19th century design. Across the street is a new development called Franklin Town. Its a charter elementary school. Then we continue south to the baseball fields; if we are lucky a game may be in progress to get some action shots. 

Then we will loop up to Thompson St and pass thru the cemetery to get a closer look. Then over to Orthodox St and down to Richmond again. North on Richmond we pass a huge abandoned lot extending all the way to the Delaware. This is an old coke make site that is in progress to be a community park. Dietz and Watson, the meat company, did a land swap so they could expand their facility just north of Bridesburg. Can’t wait till that becomes a reality. 

There are some interesting small building on the way to Bridge Street, like a string band club. On the right side of street is empty lot that was the Rohm and Haas chemical plant. Nothing to see as all leveled. 

But just a ways further we cross the Frankford Creek (the original path not the redirected one below the Betsy Ross Bridge.) On the right is the Frankford Arsenal, originally opened in 1816. (B. Franklin was not involved) Decommissioned in 1997, the campus was convert to an office park and a charter High School. 

Hopefully we can walk around.

On the return we can photograph the still operational DuPont chemical plant across the street with its tall catalytic crackers and tanks. 

Crossing the creek we make a right onto Thompson and head back to Orthodox St. We pass two wonderful churches All Saints and Most Holy Redeemer. Then up Orthodox past the Bridesburg Commissary where a lot of local food trucks prep their food. 

Then arrive at Smokey Pint for some craft beer and grilling outdoors. They usually have a band playing also. The tacos are great too. 

For parking somewhere on Orthodox between the start and finish might be the best bet. 

Seen you then. Tips appreciated. 

Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery

St John Cantius Church

1909 barber shop

Smokey Pint

Legal Issues for Artists

The public is invited to Da Vinci Art Alliance’s Third Thursday Salon on June 16 to hear Legal Issues for Artists by Laura Solomon, lawyer, and Rachael Nave, Interim Director of Legal Services of Volunteers Lawyers for the Arts. This is a program of the Da Vinci Art Alliance with the Corzo Center at the University of the Arts.

Attorneys Laura Solomon, Esq. and Rachael Nave, Esq. will highlight the most comment legal issues for artists and provide useful tools, using examples from Laura’s private practice and Rachael’s work as the Interim Director of Legal Services for Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. 

Attendees will: 

1. Understand the differences between employee and independent contractor status, and addressing ownership of your work.

2. Learn how to find a “fiscal sponsor” for a project, to accept charitable grants.

3. Explore artist legacy foundations.

4. Learn about protecting your art through copyright.

5. Know the costs and benefits of registering for a trademark to protect your brand.

This event is FREE but you must register here:

PPL Monthly Meetup – NEW LOCATION !

Our regularly scheduled meetup that takes place on the 2nd Friday evening of each month.  PLEASE NOTE WE ARE AT A NEW LOCATION THIS MONTH !

All members are highly encouraged to attend, as this is where we set direction and make announcements about upcoming activities and classes.

The monthly meeting is a great opportunity to catch up on PPL accomplishments and upcoming events …… PLUS …….. see the work of fellow PPL’ers and / or share your work, get questions answered, network and socialize.

This is a current image :