Tag Archives: stephen

As camera and editing technology increases creativity finds new releases and form. As new technology becomes more affordable trends form and then die off and then take off again years later in a new way. Just like it says in that awesome series “Everything is a remake”. Some notable trends in Vimeo films I have seen over the past two years and tried my hand at are Stop Motion, Timelapse and now Slow Mo. Slow Mo is the new Timelapse, or is it it will be for a bit when it becomes really high quality. No matter the trend, at the end of the day I like what my homie Vincent ( says, “It is after all about STORY and HOW WELL you tell it.”

I was excited to try slow mo and time remapping after watching the Art df Flight. I asked a Nikon rep if I  could borrow the Nikon V1. I was excited to use the function where it would capture 400 frames a second for 5 seconds. That would turn the 5 seconds into 1 minute 5 seconds. The Biggest problem is the quality. To meet that function records in 640×240…way less than HD. So my wife and I filmed our daily life for two days very slowly. 5 seconds at a time.

I initially liked all the lenses that it came with and found that the zoomed in 30-110 was the sharpest when zoomed in.

I found this camera hard to use from someone who is used to the functionality, speed and response time of high end DSLR. It wouldn’t record at times when I wanted it to. Another big problem I found were the two sensors on the back that were there to detect if your face was close to the view finder. I would lose visual during different camera angles sometimes and that sucked. Between the three lenses I shot with, nothing ever really seemed in focus either.

The cool thing about this camera was the inspiration it gave me to view the world differently. I had a new lens (so to speak) to explore and to make a film about stuff I love.

More to come….

Original thoughts are great. Often hard to come by.

When you are searching for your own voice in your art medium and can’t find it or don’t know how to define it, try listening to others and repeat what they are saying with your own accent. After awhile you will find what you are looking to say. Einstein said “creativity is creatively hiding your sources”.

During Stephen McGee Films shoot

During our interview with Naomi Long for Kresge Arts in Detroit I used the same camera I was shooting the interview with to snap a quick portrait. I toggled the setting on the back of the 5d Mark II to my black and white mode and took this shot. I love Naomi Long's poetry and love for other poets.

“This just in!!!! Detroit photographer and cinematographer Stephen McGee unveils new website showcasing his ten years of reportage photography and short films and it encourages people to document the world around them to help others and educate “.

Well, Thats what I hope the headlines will say but for now I just wanted to share with the few people that read my blog that my new site is being launched today. I am still making modifications and adding Portfolios with old work.

You can visit the site here…

I will also start posting my creative process as I finish my 96th film for Kresge Arts in Detroit.

All while learning more about my faith and where I belong in this visual world. Would love to know what you think!

Oh it’s Sunday morning now and wow, Saturday was filled with inspiration for me to shoot some great photos. The best inspiration though was formed from a message I got from three photographers, Kevin, Jeremy and Bill. Combined that message was to remember that i am first and foremost an ambassador of Christ in the field and as a witness I am to speak about what He has done for me. Career is not what I should live life for for at the end of it if all I have to say is “I’m at the top” how empty a life that will be. Hearing Jeremy talk about putting his awesome family first really encourages me too.
Sitting on a panel with a bunch of awesome believers who make great images was a bit, well, I just feel like i could have been in the audience listening to them and hearing so much about stuff i need to learn about!
I am filled with a knew knowledge of the wholeness of the Lord. I met some awesome students this weekend and one of them won the student contest! I will write more about them later. God will show me the next step and will carry me there.

Sometimes the ideas just hit you and then you have to write them down, all i can say is that it was God breathed. I really think there are stepping stones to create the path.
2005, I really fell love with photography. Becoming a photographer is like a step off a cliff and God is like, “Come on, come on”.
(When I went to africa I found an image I loved.) We’re supposed to see the things nobody sees.
Realize your tools when stepping.
Tools to me are relationships, photoshop, etc.
The iphone forced me to be a new photographer.
You don’t have to have a 5d, shoot with a phone if you have to.
A quiet whisper of God saying Go. And I went to Haiti and the photos landed in the halls of the UN.
I have a passion to be working in the world and hopefully someone will something different in me.

I am so humbled that in the midst of all the craziness in my life that God has direction. And direction for not only me, but for all.

Right now I’m listening to Bruce Strong talking about photography and the exploration of having an audience perceives images when the text is stripped away.

This morning I met a man of God and got to buy him coffee. His name is Jeremy Cowart and he is a photographer. Really cool guy and has had success. We also had two students with us as we went to Starbucks. He asked these students who were fans of his work about them and didn’t talk about his work unless they asked. I love that. So much about Life is about asking other questions.

There is something really human about being with other humans. Not living in the work.

God builds platforms for us to talk to the world and a harbor for us for protection against ego.

This morning Vincent Laforet used a film of mine for an example of creative filmmaking. I had forgot that the workshop was this weekend because I was speaking at another conference in Texas. I also had on my mind 7 videos due yesterday and 28 others due next week. So preparation for that deadline is crazy as you can understand. So when I got his email at 12 am asking where the film was that he wanted I was rushed to upload to meet his deadline. I was super humbled and excited to even have this opportunity.

I spoke last night at SWPJC. Not sure how I did but I do know that God uses imperfect people for his perfect will and that is why I was chosen.

Peter looked at the crippled beggar who had never walked and told him to get up. The beggar didn’t get up. Peter, filled with the holy spirit reached down and picked him up and as he did the beggars’ ankles were strengthened.

The Holy Spirit empowers us with a Found God. I lived 23 years searching for christ with my own strength and then met the spirit and everything changed. If you don’t know what I’m talking about just ask Him.

Jesus went to a blind man and rubbed mud in his eyes to give him sight. He left before the man opened his eyes. The man ran around with sight for the first time telling all he could see. When asked who did this, all he could say was, “I don’t know, all I know is I was blind and now I can see.”

I did not know it at the time but Jesus was prepairing a clear stepping stone approach to my career, to his will, through each part of my life I have seen him become the answer to my why, my where and my how.

Like the blind man who didn’t know who healed him, I was blind to where I was actually going, and now I see where I have gone. Jesus didn’t stick around to tell the man who healed him because Jesus knew it was him and by what authority it was accomplished. Each step I take becuase of circumstance, ability or leading I am not always sure it is where Jesus is taking me, but you know who knows, Jesus. He knows that the mud he has put in my life is going to be wiped off at the right time and at that time I will go around telling everyone what had happened. The pharisees asked who healed the blind man when he came to them seeing, and all he could say was, I don’t know, I just know that I was blind and now I see.

Don’t seek within yourself the cure for your miseries.
Our prayer life should reflect the way Scripture talks about itself.
Trust in Jesus and step.

Wow, what a day, I woke up and met james willer at the elevator building. I was so excited to meet up with him. Having watched the world cup the night before right after losing our last game of the season, I went to bed at 4. I also finished my first draft of the painter video. I was way tired when I treid to wake up at 930. I got there and james and I talked for awhile. It was hard for me to imagine exactly what the space I was getting was going to be. I tried to put it all in my mind but ended up feeling more overwhelmed than encouraged. James was going to be 600 dollars which is a fair price, actually inexpensive price. I did leave very bummed though because the cafe buildout was alone going to be 20000-30000. that was more than I expected.

I can not explain how bummed i was after the meeting with james. i thought what I wanted to do was too big.

Tim came over and had some good stuff to say.

I don’t really know what I want to remember today.
Tim and I went to lunch and he paid. which was nice.

Before we went in to eat Tim said, Lets pray. My focus had gotten away from knowing Christ. Tim led me back.

then i came home and fell asleep. I was so tired.

I woke up to jerry calling me to go to the imagination station because there were some volunteers. I edited my short film about the empty school that Alex, Chris and I explored. I arrived at the is and met the most handsome irish family who flew into the city to work specifically at the is.

i interviewed them for 15 minutes and then met up with tyler at avalon. we drank coffee and talked and then went off to see the imag station. there i met studio klinic 7 photog and she was excited for my space.

we chatted for awhile. jerry left. marry left. and then tyler and i went off to home when sarah dandar texted me telling me there was a phone droid that was going to be given out. tyler and i positioned ourselves by the river front. we found the tweets and waited four minutes.

finally verizon sent out a location and it was at slows. we sped, me being the best driver i know, got there in 5 minutes. there were a few people snooping around for the phone and I saw a camera man outside the slows corner. he had a red shirt.

we walked around and around and finally i went inside slows and asked the man behind the counter. he said check the patio. there were a few couples out there in the patio. I went out and within a minute found the phone. well actually it was a piece of paper with a 17 on it. a few cameras came out and i knew i had won. it was crazy.

I talked with phil cooley who was sitting in the corner about my space and told him that I had four photographers interested. It was cool.

the best part after all the interviews and such was a guy named chris. he came down from a few miles away, after reading that I had found the phone, he couldn’t even have won it. he just came down.

tyler and I stayed around and slows to eat when chris came in and started talking to the verizon team that had stayed around to eat. I told him to pull up a chair.

Chris was chatting about he started a blog about the droid and wanted to see the scene. he told us more about that. I asked him to pause for a second and told him we were going to pray for our meal. he said sure, and prayed with us. that opened the coversation about christ. At the end of my day. About Christ. At the end of all the ups and downs and feelings of defeats and worldly successes my conversation was about Christ. And it met Chris right where he was. He didn’t really know why he was coming down for a competition he knew was already over. I told him many things that encouraged him and Tyler listened. I knew the Spirit was working in this moment. I am not only confident in that, but I believe the explanation is more than a simple “the spirit was working through me”. What limitation and self forwardness. Although it is true but that is a single side. We often find a single side of God’s work and claim it as the fullness. Tyler is the physical reason I was there. We were hanging out at the end of a long day. And the conversation was about Christ.

Verizon, change to it? I might need some incentives besides a free phone.

Friend Mary,
Thou wouldst welcome upon
these pages, the momentoes of thy friend’s
momentoes, the perusal of which will bring to
remembrance, in after years, the pleasures of bye
gone days, and how pleasing will be the
thought, that many who have placed there
tokens of respect, upon these pages, were friends
indeed, but first pause, and consider
who are thy friends, and let none be
received as such, until they have truly
proved themselves worthy, and well deserve
the name.
To Miss Mary A. Millis

From her friend
M. A. James

Oswego, Oct 29, 1838

plans fall like the rain in spring. I sometimes expect God to work in the excitement of amazing possibility. When the jobs fall through though God is there and he is telling me that they didn’t “fall through”, they are going according to plan, my plan. I have lost four large jobs this year that I “should” have had. One was going to take me from China to India to South Africa to Argentina. Another, was going to take me to India and yet another was going to take me to Kenya. And most recently I was asked to come over to London to live for one month, with my brother, and take four day trips around Europe shooting beautiful films. I tried so hard for that one to happen, my client, an amazing man I met in London while praying aloud, really wanted me to come over to work with him. All was in the clear, even a great budget, and then we realized 7 days before I was going to leave that I didn’t have a work visa. At that moment I was disappointed even though I had been praying through it. But praise God that my flesh was overcome by the Spirit and my joy was restored when the Lord reminded me of his faithfulness by saying, if your goals aren’t my goals and you are following me, then your goals shouldn’t be working out. At that moment like the spring rains I realized I was being restored from a moment of back faced to God faith.

I had an amazing day yesterday. I continued photographing at the boxing gym that is up the street from me located in a pretty crazy neighborhood. The lead guy is a role model for the kids. More to come later. See sample videos on my page.

11 of my 50 photography journals that Cathy and I created with inspirational quotes and field notes from my travels were sold at a market in Vietnam.

My nephew and I were photographed and printed in the Detroit News (–microbrewery)

I humbly photographed a funeral of detroit baseball announcer/legend, ernie harwell.

I sent out my VII Photo portfolio with an emphasis on video! Pray for that and the reception of my work amongst the 11 very respected and skilled photographers who will review it.

I went out to meet this singer named Chris from Never Shout Never cause he wants to do films around the world with me and I with him and this other guy Russ Hubley who is awesome from Portland. it was crazy to see that many people singing his songs and then I walk downstairs right after the show, having never met him, (an 18 year old who got kicked out of high school and toured the country selling hundreds of thousands of singles by himself. then got signed to warner bros). I walked into a small cement room and he said, “i am a fan of your work”. we chilled for 3 hours and then I drove him to Taco Bell and ordered 42 dollars flat of tacos for all the busses. Drove back and watched the Mummy Returns which was horribly bad.
I love what I do. “Not many people can live like we do” a friend named Russ told me. I live the way I do Trusting the Lord will work. I think more people should have less jobs that structure their life accordingly especially if they are just in it for providing for themselves a lifestyle they admire.