A Month of Instagram

David Hilgier’s Instagram Photographs

A little over a month ago, I decided to give Instagram a test drive. While the medium of cellphone photography will never replace my preference for shooting with my SLR cameras fitted with fixed focal length lenses, I really appreciate the tool it has become in my continual quest of documentation and creative expression. As I’ve previously written on the topic, it is my assertion that the popularity of cellphone photography is rooted in a desire to not only document, but also in how they allow anyone who wants to try their hand at a slightly more advanced (shooting and editing versus simply shooting and viewing on a computer) form of photography to do so. With the advances in the devices we constantly carry in our pockets the novice now has the ability to edit and alter their photographs, albeit rudimentarily, in a manner that was not possible, or far to cumbersome, with film photography or even the point and shoot digital cameras that preceded smartphone cameras.

Regardless, I love taking photographs with my cellphone. To break some of the daily monotony and malaise I feel, I’ve forced myself to seek and document interesting aspects of my commute to and from work with my cellphone camera. The truth is that I’ve grown rather jaded towards Denver, Capitol Hill and the neighborhood I work in. Thus, until a change is feasible in the aforementioned, I am forcing myself to find points of inspiration and beauty in these areas that I’ve overlooked for the past years as a way to shake these feelings. After all, despite the routine I live, I am a very lucky person to live the life I lead and this new ritual has helped me to re-enforce that fact. This post contains a few of my favorites from this project: everything from beautiful design, ghosted type, the explosion of spring and worn out automobiles.

So yes, Beer and Coffee has been on a bit of a hiatus as I’ve been working on more important things such as another revamp of my portfolio to simple rest after long days of work. I have also considered whether this venue has run its course or not. Only time will tell.

Beer and Coffee Pharma Hacked

Beer and Coffee Hacked

This past week while going to share a link to a recent post on B&C, I started to notice some suspicious activity in regards to this site. A few minutes of digging around and it became blatantly apparent that the site had been hacked. The result: Beer and Coffee’s primary intent changed instantly from a outlet for beer and design to selling prescription drugs. My regular visitors, all 5 of you, would have thought it was business as normal around these parts. The sneaky fuckers that did this are quite crafty as the hack’s impact was only related to search engine activity. If you arrived here via bookmark or by directly typing our url into your browser, you arrived as expected. However, if you were spending your time googling around the interwebs and stumbled upon Beer and Coffee and happened to click on a search result for our site you were taken to a site based in Canada selling Viagra and other pills. Like a flip of a light-switch we went from peddling our ramblings about beer, design, travel and photography to hopefully helping someone get a discount on the pills they were looking for. Despite what a pain in the ass this has been, at least I may have been helping someone on the face of the earth get their rocks off.

Beer and Coffee Hacked

In the end, the hack is rather impressive. It is a shame the brain surgeons that put it together weren’t putting their coding prowess to better use. Outwardly there is no malicious code in the site, as mentioned, a standard visit to the site yielded nothing unusual. But via them cracking this site they were able to generate thousands of faux pages to drive traffic to their site while destroying what little SEO clout I had (see image above).

It took me a bit of time to restore the site to what it was. In so much as I can tell the damage was limited to injecting a few PHP files on my server and fucking with my .htaccess file to generate the redirects. Others expressed altercations to their databases when encountering this hack, however, insomuch that I can tell, they didn’t get that far here. To be safe, I restored the database from a time long before the hack which required some manual addition of content back into this site.

What chaps my ass the most is the fucking balls of someone to do this. This site is my fucking site. I generate absolutely no income from it. It is a speck in the universe of the internet. As I expressed when I started my main desire for doing so was to generate an archive of my thoughts. It still is that and it has also morphed to a much more libation centric discussion. The thanks I get is this shit. There were moments when trying to get things up and running again where I thought of not even bothering and to take all those thoughts to more analog means. But instead I say fuck you to those that did this. I’d kick you in the nuts if I knew who you were. So we’re back for the meantime. Hopefully I kicked the shit from the system.

She’s Back

Peugeot Road Bike
Back in August, while hiking the mountains surrounding the beautiful Crested Butte, Colorado, my knuckled head bashed my favorite lens into non-working order. Heartbroken, I shot the rest of the weekend missing my good friend. Returning to what would eventually become my new job, new schedule and limited time to get her fixed, she sat on my desk begging to be repaired. Feeling rather naked without my 50mm prime for my digital, I turned back to shooting my images with another best friend my Nikon FM2 and experimented with using the cell phone as a documentary device. A few weeks ago, I sent her off to the Canon repair facility* in Irvine, California to be worked on by a team of specialists. While at lunch at Euclid Hall with my co-workers this past Friday, I received a call from Fed-Ex indicating her arrival at my apartment.

Peugeot Road Bike
This past summer, after a stint of trying out running and absolutely hating it, I took to biking to work some form of exercise into my life. After finding it more and more enjoyable, I decided to ask my father to loan me his road bike: a late 1970s early 1980s Peugeot road bike which I’ve named White Lightning Thunderbolt Booyah! Not only does she fly, she’s fucking sexy as all hell. From the white paint to the boss Peugeot typography she is a work of beauty. What she lacks in modern technology, she makes up in her visual appeal. Therefore, since I acquired her on loan back in July, I’ve wanted to document her aesthetic appearance, but I was without proper digital means to do so. Thus, with my lens fixed, my first shots would be of her. If these vignettes don’t quench your thirst, you can see us cruising the Platte Trail, commuting to work or at next years Tour de France.

*Canon’s customer service and my experience with this repair and other issues in the past have been absolutely antiquated and miserable. I love their digital gear (while hating their film gear), but their service is at best shit.