Tuesday, April 17, 2018

France Part 1: From Montmarte

Erin in I arrived in France at Charles de Gaulle Airport and took the train & subway into Paris and ultimately to our Airbnb on Montmarte - the tallest hill in the City of Light. Montmarte was originally a separate village with wineries and windmills and some famous artists as residents. The hill is topped with the church Sacré-Coeur(which can be seen from all over the city) and at the edge of the neighborhood is the red light district of Pigale which is where the legendary Moulin Rouge is. Our room had an amazing view of the Parisian skyline including the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame- I stood at the window for a long time when we first arrived(above photo). So this was our home base for the first couple days in France and these are some of the photo I took during that period.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Adventure Time

Vacation Time
So I am heading off on another adventure - and pretty much the first long one since I started this business. Its actually not a beach vacation at all - I just wanted to make that photo. I'm heading to the North of France to Photograph the most famous single day bicycle race in the world - Paris-Roubaix or "The Hell of the North" or "L'enfer du Nord" or "A Sunday in Hell" or "The Queen of the Classics" or "la Pascale".... you get the point, anything with this many nicknames has to be great. It is one of cycling's five monuments and also a "cobbled classic" - one of the races in the North of France or Belgium that partly takes place on ancient cobbled streets - miserable to ride/legendary to win. I will also be heading to Paris and Provence. I won't have my cell service turned on but I will still be responsive to emails and any other social media(all links are on the main website).

Monday, March 12, 2018


Tax season isn't so fun when you work for yourself. Not only is it the work and complications of figuring out the paper work - but I don't pay taxes all year - so I'm not getting "something back" but writing a big check to Uncle Sam. Anyways - as I started to organize my papers I pictured myself sitting there in the poker visor that Hunter S. Thompson was wearing in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas(or that Johnny Depp's version is in the movie). When I was in Vegas I looked everywhere for one but never found it - in this day and age of Amazon and eBay it took me about three minutes to find one and have it here in two days. Straight up bought it for the above photo. This is a simple two light shot - a soft box camera left and another one pointing in from the other room.
The hat was worth it - and may be a Halloween costume next Fall.  

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Maple Sugar Festival

Hale Farm
This morning Erin and I went to Hale Farm for the Maple Sugar Festival. We enjoyed a pancake breakfast(although sans real maple syrup - there were tastings outside), demonstrations on tree tapping, how the syrup is made and the other museum exhibits(the homes, blacksmith, glass-blowing etc.) We are both fairly acquainted with the the maple sugaring process and the museum - but it was still a nice way to spend a pretty, late-winter Sunday(and Hale Farm is always fun to photograph).

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Exploring in the Snow

My friend Ben and I went out in the snow on Thursday evening to explore a piece of property in the Northampton area on our mountain bikes. I attached my GoPro to my seat tube for a "unique" perspective. 
I've been noticing lately that when I upload my videos to YouTube the colors come across very flat even though I've applied fairly saturated color-grading. I'm using Premiere Pro's YouTube preset for rendering but something isn't working right. I'm not sure if it is just YouTube's codecs and algorithms or if I need to be rendering my videos different. Time for some research.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Boston - The Movie

I finally got around to finishing the video from my Boston Trip in late January. I flew out there to surprise Eric on his birthday. This is some footage of us walking and driving the city - being general goofballs.
Photos from the trip can be seen HERE.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Genuine Article

Micah Kraus's artwork is featured on three different versions of the cover of the three year anniversary issue Devil Strip. I was lucky to be able to shoot photographs of him in his West Akron studio for the accompanying article. I hauled all of my lighting gear over there but his studio was so well lit that I only ended up adding a little bit of fill by bouncing my on-camera flash. You can pick up The Devil Strip all around town but you can also click HERE to see the digital version of the article.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Biggest Box

I had a portrait coming into the studio on Saturday morning and my Friday night was free - so I decided to set up and take some test shots. I had just been covering an event where a portrait photographer was using a light modifier that I hadn't used before but remembered seeing somewhere in the studio. Before I ever found that I found gear bags with two other very cool things - one was a massive 6 foot soft box. I didn't know we had one that big. Next I found a strip box that was 8 feet long! I forgot about what I was originally looking for and started to put these together.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Front Street

Cuyahoga Falls
When I woke up this morning and saw some sun and checked the temperature I decided I had to get out for a little bit before spending the rest of the day behind the computer. So I grabbed my bike and camera and rode down to Front Street to check out the (now open) road where the pedestrian mall was. They did a nice job on the design and I do believe the district will take off. There was a lot of places to lock my bike but my one gripe would be that it doesn't look like there will be dedicated bike lanes - the street is quite narrow. I know this should slow traffic but I also know how impatient drivers are with bikes - and even though it will only save them a matter of seconds they will try to squeeze by.

Friday, February 16, 2018

French Food

L'Albatros in Cleveland
Erin and I have been trying to make a point of having a nice date on the third Thursday of each month or #thirdthursday. I've been interested in trying more French food so she took us to L’Albatros in Cleveland. I had some fantastic duck confit and Erin had crispy chicken livers that were great too. Unfortunately the Collision Bend Saison I drank wasn't very good... The dinning room was full with reservations so we ate in the bar - which I probably prefer anyways. It was pretty dark and I didn't want to be staring into my camera anyways - but I couldn't help myself and had to snap a couple of shots...

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Late yesterday afternoon I decided to take a break and go for a hike on my usual route - over the High Level Bridge and down into the Gorge. I figured I could get some cool photos with the sun and the snow. Unfortunately I didn't get very far before I was slipping everywhere and had fallen down twice. I looked down the icy path and realized this wasn't going to be any fun. So I snapped a few bridge photos and headed for a walk around my neighborhood.

Monday, February 12, 2018


I was setting up senior portraits for some friends last week and Erin happened to be around to be my test model. This is my standard two light(in soft boxes) set up. The one one the left set at a lower power to create a little shading. Simple, quick and effective.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Farmer's Rail

Farmer's Rail
Erin and I went and checked out the new butcher shop that Brunty Farms opened - The Farmer's Rail. Its on Cleveland-Massillon Road in Bath in the building that used to be the Flower Hutch. The shop specializes in selling meats & eggs that were raised on their two farms. The also supplement with products that are locally sourced or of high quality. We picked up some jerky, salmon, butter & other accouterments. It looks like the place is off to a great start as it was quite crowded.
I bought my Thanksgiving Turkey from Brunty and have been eating their sausages and other meats from the Countryside Conservancy Farmers' Market for a few years - so it is nice to see them have such a great storefront.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Snow Ride

Otis at Dirty River Bicycle Works convinced me that I could rider in the snow after I had all but given up. He sold me some steel studded tires for my old Trek mountain bike....and I was blown away at the difference they make. Last night I went out for a snowy ride on the Towpath with my friend Ben to try them out again. They are really amazing - its great not to be limited in my winter riding anymore.
This is a short video I made last night in Summit Lake with my GoPro on my seat post to demonstrate. I uploaded this directly to Blogger and I'm not sure why the html to change the size of the player won't work - but it has the option to make it full screen - so click that!.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Show is Back

This is the first Fitzwater Photography Show I've made since last Spring. Making these kinds of videos is a strange thing for me - I really like making videos and sharing my opinions but I really hate being on camera. I only watch these while I'm editing and to check the upload and then I can never look at them again. As I've said in the blog and on the show before, though, is that if I didn't force myself to do this kind of thing I would have never learned how to do audio and video - which now makes up a nice percentage of my business.
Anyways - this is a little ramble about how happy I still am with the purchase of my Canon 5D mark IV a year ago.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Squirt Gun

Squirt Gun
I had a glass artist coming into the studio who has a specific way he like things shot. I've worked with him a few times so I know he likes minimal highlights on the objects and a gradient on the backdrop. It had been a little while since I photographed his stuff so I decided to set up a couple test shots while I waited for him to arrive. This squirt gun suited my needs as a stand in. The trick for these, I've found, is to back light the art with a couple of grid spots. 
I also shot some real challenging glass sculptures for the Akron Art Prize last Summer - it takes some doing - but when you get it right it can look pretty amazing. I'll put together a post with some of that stuff in the near future. Today I bought some new hard drives and I'm working on reorganizing my files...

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Local Brew

Northside Marketplace
I had been hoping to get to Local Brew in the Northside Marketplace this weekend for their grand opening - they had a few special Thirsty Dog beers that I wanted to try. I ended up working on Friday & Saturday night so I didn't make it....but this morning Erin suggested we go and check out their Bloody Mary Bar. The bartenders poured the booze and ice and then we got to choose the mixes, spices and other accouterments. I also tried the Thirsty Dog Pineapple IPA. Being so early we didn't try out the other new Thirsty Dog - and Imperial Siberian Night with Bent Tree Coffee - it was 12% alcohol.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Free Coffee

Free Coffee!
I stopped by my favorite coffee shop, Akron Coffee Roasters, this morning to capture some photos for the owner, Albert - interior shots for their website. What I didn't know is that Eva would be standing out on High Street passing out free coffee to commuters to promote their new drip coffee that will be available from 7-9 am on weekdays. It was freezing. They are crazy. Anyways - I had to take a few snaps.