One evening last week I rode my bike out to the Springfield Bog to get in one of my hikes for the Fall Hiking Spree. This was my second time hiking the Bog - last time there was bit more color in the trees and the blimp was over head(view here) but there where still plenty of pretty fall colors from the wild flowers this time. The Bog trail is a simple loop but offers a cool view of the evolving meadow and bogs.
Monday, September 26, 2016
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
The Gorge has long been one of my favorite of the Summit Metro Parks. I love the rocky formations and ledges of the Gorge & Glens Trails, but since living within walking distance I've come to appreciate the Highbridge Trail on the other side of the river for a different reason - the constantly changing, seasonal vegetation. Yesterday morning I went out to capture some of the late-summer wildflowers with my 85mm lens and extension tubes for close-ups. It was a perfect, dewy morning for it.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Last weekend I shot my third Better Block. This one was interesting in that there was no street traffic - it was on the Cuyahoga Falls Pedestrian Mall. The Pedestrian Mall used to be a main street that was closed to traffic decades ago. The concept at the time was that it would help save downtown by competing with the suburbs. Some say the concept didn't work because the area is very underutilized - seeing the Better Block be a smashing success made me think that maybe the concept didn't fail but the timing of it did. The area has a few antique shops, one cafe, one bar and lots of abandoned store fronts. The Better Block added multiple food places, outdoor seating, a beach-play area, beer garden, night market and more. The area was packed with people for two days.
Take a look at these photos - could the area be like this every weekend with the right mix of business and activities - or does the street really need to be reopened to traffic to succeed.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
I went with my family to see the Rubber Ducks on Monday evening(well, I rode my bike and met them there). The weather was perfect and the Ducks won....but on top of that my one nephew got to throw out the first pitch, my other nephew was in the color guard, and my niece got to stand on the dugout and play a quiz game and win a prize.
The mascots roaming around, all kinds of between inning entertainment and reasonably priced food & drinks - an all around great night.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Friday night I photographed the TorcheBearers Summer Social at Mulligan Springs Golf Course in Mogadore. It was a beautiful night on a patio with drinks, food, great conversation, games and a perfect sunset. This is one of the few TB events where it is just about hanging out and connecting - they are usually off doing so much for the community it is nice to see them chilling out for a few hours.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Growing Up Akron at Thirsty Dog Brewery is always one of my favorite events to shoot. I love the laid back atmosphere of the evening. The goal is to raise money for Child Guidance & Family Solutions - but have a good time doing it. The weather looked like it might be a little rough at first - but the clouds cleared off and people stood outside drinking, eating and enjoying the soundtrack provided by Roxxymoron.
Monday, August 15, 2016
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Earthquaker is a guitar pedal company that makes their pedals right here in Akron. Last Saturday they hosted "Earthquaker Day" - a festival with vendors, food, beer, a riff contest and great bands at the shop. I rode my bike there and captured some of the bands with my Minolta and some Kodak Tri-X. I was wondering if the photos would come out in the tough lighting conditions. The bands played in a tent that the sun dropped behind throughout the day. I was impressed that I managed mostly good exposure and that I hit the manual focus on a lot of the shots.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
I sometimes post photos from the events I cover for work but I've rarely ever posted any of my product photography. Here I'm posting a small selection of photos I shot for a company based in Akron that was building a new website and working on a new catalog. I brought my lighting gear to their building and spent a few days shooting over a thousand photos. Lighting and shooting products is my favorite kind of work - but I'd be lying to say it didn't get a little tedious at this volume. Lots of lighting adjustments and different angles were followed with over a week of work on the computer. When shooting items like this there is a lot of clean-up work in Photoshop - removing dust and scratches - and even adding some logos to certain parts. The relationship with the company is now ongoing and they drop off new parts for me to shoot at my studio from time to time.
I find that there is art in shooting anything - making the Cuyahoga Valley look cool with black and white film is fun - but making a transmission crossmember look cool can be equally rewarding and challenging.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
My friends Wes and Aaron asked me to come over to their practice space and shoot a couple of band photos for them. They practice in an old building that at one time was a Schrader Valve factory. There were so many cool parts of the building to shoot in but we were on limited time and choose the upper floor with the sunset and in front of the old China Gourmet signs that Aaron had salvaged. The photos came out really cool - but I still want to go back and photograph in the building again.
Monday, August 8, 2016
A few weeks ago the Akron Art Museum threw a party celebrating the opening of their "Bud and Susie Rogers Garden". The new space is wonderful. There is a spot for bands to play and activities to take place but it is also possible to wander around - there is a good "flow". I've enjoyed going downtown to outdoor events at the Museum for years - but after they build the new building and removed the old sculpture garden it wasn't the same. Now it is better than ever.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Akron had its second Better Block event last weekend - this one was in Middlebury. The Better Block concept is a way to show what an area of a city could possibly be like. Bike lanes, pop-up shops, parks, games, safe street crossings, plants and more. The goal is for real change to come to an area but at the least it is a great way to bring people together for a community festival.
In my opinion demonstrating the changes that are possible is much more effective than meetings with Power Points.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Akron Snow Angel's put on their 'Christmas in July' event on Sunday at Grace Park. 60 volunteers helped to feed and clothe approximately 220 adults and 40 children. Each adult received a reusable tote bag full of supplies. Then they were able to wander around to the sounds of a DJ and get free lunch from Retro Dog, ice cream, medical supplies, haircuts and massages. There were also games and other activities. The children received a backpack from special guest, Santa Claus, full of school supplies and more.
I'm always proud to be a part of Akron Snow Angel's events - whether it is volunteering or helping to document and promote with my camera.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
This morning I woke up early and decided to go for a sunrise hike in The Gorge. I snapped a few shallow depth-of-field photos of some summer wild flowers - also known by their scientific name "weeds".
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
I spent the Fourth of July weekend in the Finger Lakes region of New York. I was there to shoot a friend's wedding reception(I'll have a post on that soon) but also did a bit of exploring with my friend Brad(who drove us). I've camped throughout the Finger Lakes before but there was still plenty more to see and many sites worth visiting again. Also - new breweries must open weekly there.
It was a perfect way to spend an extended weekend with great friends in an amazing place.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
It was history and we had to be there.
I hate traffic and waiting in lines....so we rode our bikes. I met Ben at the Memorial Road Trailhead for the Towpath at 7:30 AM and off we went. We tore through the Valley and met our friends on their bikes a little before 9:30 by Rockside Road. We arrived in Cleveland and chained up our bikes around 10:30. The parades route was packed - over a dozen deep in places. We walked around a while before settling on a spot in front of the Q where a slight rise in the road allowed us to see a little bit. It didn't matter - the point was to be there and enjoy the camaraderie with 1.3 million Cavs fans. With the parade being so delayed and slow we decided to walk over and see where the Victory Rally was going to take place. We snapped a few photos and then headed back to our bikes where we planned to ride over to the West 25th area. There were thousands of people crossing the bridge back to the Westside so we went with Plan C - rode over to Tremont for beers and lunch and watched the events on TV. We took off with enough time to race back to Rockside and catch the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad's Bike Aboard car. A nice slow ride back to Akron with a couple of beers in the AC.
The trip was an adventure and totally worth it...and we didn't sit in any traffic.
Monday, June 20, 2016
Akron Bike Party's Mike Finney Memorial ride was on Friday night. Mike was senselessly gunned down last year - he was an avid biker and Bike Party-er. So in his honor the theme was "dress like your bike". We had a great turn-out and a lot of fun - and also a moment of silence....
Friday, June 10, 2016
I rode my bike out to Mucky Duck Brewing Co. in Portage Lakes last evening. The brewery has been open in this location for a few months - it was previously across the street in the basement of Nauti Vine Winery. I had three beers and they were all decent. I would say that they could have a little more body - the wit was tasty and refreshing but just a bit watery. Same with the bourbon barrel aged ale - the oak-aged flavor was there but the beer was just a little too light. I also had an IPA that was a decent classic pale with American hops. I overheard the bartender saying that they didn't have the Belgian triple because it didn't come out right - which is a good sign to me - a good brewer is willing to dump beer that isn't right - instead of serving it. I'd still be willing to go back and try more of their offerings - and I believe this is a spot that will improve over time.