Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dave's Camera Mart - Munster IN

After shooting some "no flash" indoor photography the other evening, I realized I needed a faster lens with a zoom.  My source for my camera crave . . . Dave's Camera Mart in Munster . . .

One tends to use the Internet a lot for finding the best price and for shopping.  I know I do, and I spend a lot of money Internet buying.  However, some things are so personal such as my camera lens, you do not want to rely on someone you do not know on the other side of the keyboard as it were.  It is still the same price everywhere, commercially available, same product.  But what you miss is the service of a friendly smile, someone to talk to, answer any questions you have, and what most people probably do not think about, knowing who you are giving your money too!  There is a comfort in all that.

It is getting harder to find a true camera store these days.  One that can supply and develop film, sell different cameras, sell developing paper and chemicals, and the array of products that go with photography.  Dave's is one of the few places left in NW Indiana that does just that.  Now realize, the digital camera age has brought a lot of models out for each company who makes them.  It is costly to have a variety on display that will fit the quirks of photographers.  So Dave's usually has a limited few, different SLR digital cameras in the case from Cannon and Nikon.  If it is not in the store, it can be ordered, such as the lens I bought today.

Some people hesitate going into stores they or their friends have not been into.  And for some reason older stores more so.  So, I am going to introduce you to the inside of Dave's with some photos I took.  I hope this takes the fear away and you go check it out.

Service is what it is all about.  Satisfying the customer's needs, wants, and desires.  (The definition of quality that I use in my Lean Manufacturing blog.)  Internet shopping is okay, but how does that compare to going to Dave's . . . go and find out for yourself.

Dave's is located off the North side of Ridge Road in Munster, just East of Hohman Ave (junction of Meadow Lane and Ridge Road).  Parking is easily found behind the store.  Enter the store from the front, off Ridge Road.

As of 2015, Dave's Camera Mart is no longer in business.

Dave's Camera Mart
227 Ridge Road
Munster, IN
(219) 836-0100

M-F 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Friday, December 30, 2011

Paul Henry's Art Gallery - Thursday Night JAM 12/29/2011

(Paul Henry's 70th Acoustical Jam)

Can you say JAM . . . Acoustically?

Thank you thank you thank you that I did not have to work this week.  I was able to see the art gallery Tuesday, become interested, hooked up with David Mueller who tapped me into his FaceBook, and I found out about the Thursday night event.  Not only that it is every Thursday night, but this Thursday night was special because it was the end of the year and many artists turned out for this acoustical night (nothing powered here but the lights and coffee pot . . . oh, and the Artists!).  WOW!

The event began at 7:00 PM and was scheduled to 11:00 PM.  I went there tonight thinking I may spend a couple hours or less.  I left at midnight . . . way beyond my curfew.  (Old people need their sleep!)  I have a lot of photos below for you to look at, to get the feel, the vibe of the evening.  You can click on them to enlarge, then click on the photo again to index through if you wish.

At the end of the night everyone was invited to The Blue Room Cafe just down the street on Hohman Ave.  The Cafe was staying open until 2:00 AM for the group and invited the artists to bring there instruments and jam some more.  I wanted to go, but after leaving the gallery sleep was moved to the top of my list for things to do.

It was a very good turnout of artists.  Everyone played for about 2 or 3 songs, then someone else jumped in.  They rotated in and out all night.  D.K. Upshaw (Donna Upshaw) was also drawing caricatures.  I was one of the lucky ones who won a small raffle to have my caricature drawn.

I have grouped the photos by artist . . . not the rotation they played.  I did this perhaps for my own sanity, however in hind sight it really does not portrait the evening as it took place.  So I may have to go back and arrange this as they jammed.

First up was Melissa Welch playing the sax, and she was one of my favorites.  Her rhythm, jazzy sound, ability to pull you in and let you go, was great.  When she teamed up with some of the other artists you can tell she knew what she was doing.  Coming in on cue and taking it when it was given to her.

"Keyboard Richie" Mahoney joined the set after Melissa did a couple solos, with a bluesy jazzy voice.  You could tell he was experienced by his comfort, leadership, cuing what key he wanted next from the sax, basically free styling as he goes but with a plan.

Mitch Wright did very well singing and playing the guitar.  Everyone was different, but Mitch was unique.

Dakota McCoy shows a lot of promise.  He handled the guitar well, sang very well with a strong voice when he needed it.

Home made guitar, slide, and a foot stomping beat.  I found Lou Shields very entertaining because of his care free aura.  He used a couple different guitars through the night along with his harmonica.

Rich Hall seemed to be in his own groove most of the night.  He knew where he wanted to take the music and his fingers had no problem acknowledging his intent.

Talk about a nice rhythm on a twelve string guitar.  Joey Humphrey did well to change the pace and to smooth out the evening.

From what I understood KC Wilkerson was a newcomer to the gallery, and I will say my favorite.  I enjoyed his attitude, how he got into his music, his want to entertain us, and the stories the music told.

The artists teamed up for some more music (Lee Watson, Dakota McCoy, and Mitch Wright shown below).  It was nice to hear this after a lot of solo's.  It gave a different rhythm that was strong.

Rich Hall then joined the set.

And  later "Auld Lang Syne" was played by Rich Hall (piano), Melissa Welch (sax), Rich Mahoney (accordion), and Don Taylor (guitar).

Jason West was stupendous, even with an upper respiratory ailment.  He was definitely polished at his work, and one of my favorites.


The list goes on.  Don Taylor continued on guitar with a new song.

Carl Strain was a gem.  His love of life reflected in his choice of song that he sung.  (Accompanied by Mitch Wright who is shown in the photo, and I believe Lee Watson who was off to the left not shown in the upper photo, but is partially seen in the lower photo.)

There was a raffle for a new guitar that was donated.  Melissa won it.  Lets see if she can play both brass and strings now . . .:)

There was a good turnout.  Being my first time there I did not feel uncomfortable, which showed because I was all over the place taking photos.  The guests and artists were very polite and the room was not too crowded.  Approximately 65 people attended throughout the evening in total.

My friend Dimitrios joined us.  He was like a kid in a candy store.  The gallery / hardware store is a photographer's dream.  There is so much to take in that I am sure you will see more each time you come back.

Originally I was not going to include this next photo, but it is so strange that you might like it.  This was intended as a general shot toward the back of the room, however I failed to setup my camera before the shot.  As a result the camera focused on the lady in the center of the picture, while others were a bit out of focus or blurred because of movement and my slow shutter speed.  I don't think I could have arranged this to happen if I tried, however I am going to try on purpose the next time I am there. (With the cooperation of the guests, and if I can remember what I goofed up on so I can repeat it.)

And just a couple last inside photos near the end of the evening . . .

The end of the night for me, at midnight.  One last photo of the back of the gallery before I go.

Well, maybe not the last photo.  As I looked across the parking lot I saw the mural that is painted on the side of a building, all lit up.  I remember seeing the lighting mounted during the day every time I passed it . . . just never thought to go back to see it at night.  So this was my opportunity to photograph it at night. . .


Paul Henry's Art Gallery
416 Sibley Blvd.
Hammond, IN
Tue - Fri 10:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Sat 2:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Sunday Noon till 5:00 PM
Thursday Night Jam Starts 7:00 PM

Oh, and I realized I it is time to upgrade my camera . . . I think.  Tonight proved that I did not have enough shutter speed for "no flash" photography and people in motion.  At the end I finally stepped the ISO up to help (instead of leaving it on automatic), however I believe my lens is restricting me.

Click on this line for my copyright.