Monday, March 20, 2017

Akron2Akron: Downtown to Campus

The weather probably suppressed the turnout for the latest Akron2Akron walking tour - but by not donning a raincoat and bundling up you all missed out on another great tour.
"Emily Butler provided some insight into the workings of the STEM school. Nick Moskos gave us the inside scoop of the Freedom Trail. Willy Kollman uncovered some lesser known stories about history of The University of Akron. And Shammas Malik led us through the cold, asking questions about the relationship between UA and downtown Akron." - Akron2Akron FB page.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Common Threads #2

Last night the second in the series of Common Threads events took place at the Rialto Theatre in Kenmore. This one focused on foreign born students. It was interesting to hear the perspectives on Akron and its people(and the United States in general). At times it was fun and funny - but also inspiring - I think a few tears might have been shed in the audience.
Common Threads is a monthly collaboration between the Knight Foundation and Global Ties to bring people from culturally diverse backgrounds together in a common space to share their story and engage in community dialogue. Follow them on Facebook to find about upcoming events.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

G.S. Schray - Gabriel LP Release

G. S. Schray
On Friday at Thursday's G.S. Schray released his latest record -'Gabriel'. Kit Freund and Mist opened the show. Gabe came out and started solo before being joined by a band. It was a fun night with a lot of familiar faces. As my friend Wes put it, "Its like a high school reunion with people we didn't go to high school with."

Monday, March 6, 2017

Victim's Assistance Mardi Gras

I shot the Victim's Assistance Program Mardi Gras at Tangier for the third time the other night. VAP is an amazing organization that does so much to help people navigate through the aftermath of a victimization and or trauma. I love being able to do this for them.
During the cocktail hour a I set up a "photo booth" like area and take photos of the people as they arrive. When everyone moves to sit down and eat I tear down the lighting set-up and move into the other room to cover the event - ceremony and dancing. The believe the event sells out every year as so many people in the community want to support the work the heroes do(it is also a good time).

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Snow Day at the Pump House

On Sunday afternoon Akron Civic Commons, Knight Foundation, Let's Grow Akron, and Ohio & Erie Canalway hosted a community event at the Pump House on Summit Lake. There were ice carving demos, ice cube water color painting, snow cones, hot chocolate, a couple of fire pits and drum performances. The Pump House is eventually going to be renovated and then the community events won't only be on its grounds - but inside as well. It is going to be a great community space in a beautiful location.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Day in The Land

North Union Farmers Market
Erin manages the Countryside Conservancy Farmer's Market but did not have one on Saturday. She wanted to head up to Shaker Square to check out theirs. So we drove up to the North Union Farmers Market. We picked up some goodies and chatted with some of her friends but they didn't have any prepared food so next we headed off to get some lunch. Well, we got the ball rolling and ended up spending most of the day in Cleveland....

Saturday, February 25, 2017


Last night I photographed another one of the Akron2Akron walking tours. With the February date they decided to schedule a mostly inside tour - of Quaker Squarer(formerly Quaker Oats) and Greystone Hall(formerly the Masonic Temple) - but this being Ohio it turned out to be a beautiful 70. Anyways - both places are loaded with history - they are such cool buildings. Quaker Square's grain silos were converted into a hotel and are now University of Akron dorm rooms. The old Masonic Temple is now run by the Akron/Summit County Visitors Buildings and is used for everything from weddings to plays.
I always think I know so much Akron history but come away from these tours knowing so much more. Put March 18th on your calendar to take advantage of the next one.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Torchbearer's Anniversary Dinner

TorchBearers had there Anniversary Event last night at the Tangier. This year was a little different from years past as there was a sit down dinner in the banquet room. It is amazing to me to look around a room like this, see so many great people, and knowing that so many of them are now my friends. When I quit my job as a farm hand a few years back to pursue my dream as a photographer I don't think I could have imagined it being like this. On top of that it was so cool to be photographing an event where two of my high school classmates were the honorees - Betsy Bare Hartschuh as Torchbearer's Distinguished Alumnae and Kyle Kutuchief & John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as the recipient of the Read Family Friends of Young Leaders Award.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Polar Bear Jump

I have seen photos of my friends jumping in the freezing water at Portage Lakes State Park for years but I had never been there. The Polar Bear Jump raises money for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. This year it was a beautiful day, air temperature-wise, the water was still ice cold. ....but I don't know for sure - I wasn't there to jump - but to photograph my friends at the law firm KNR. They had raised the second largest amount of anybody at the event.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Common Threads Akron

Saturday evening I photographed the first Common Threads Akron which was held at Birchwood Supply Co. It is a series of events that are sponsored by the Knight Foundation and Global Ties Akron to bring people from different cultural backgrounds together to engage in conversation. This event focused on the foreign born - sharing their stories and contributions to Akron. It was an engaging evening, sometimes fun, sometimes heartbreaking but totally worthwhile.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Summit Brew Path Launch

On Friday I was lucky to attend the launch of the Summit Brew Path at Thirsty Dog Brewing. This program is sponsored by the Akron/Summit County Visitor's Bureau. The idea is to pick up a passport, go and get a beer at a brewery, get it stamped, and when you visit all you get a prize.
Friday was a fun night to get to meet so many of the brewers and talk to the ones I had met before. One - I'm already a brewery nerd, two - I took photos of all the breweries for the website. Kind of a dream job, ya know?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Brunty Farms

Brunty Farms
Last weekend I went to Brunty Farms with Erin - she was buying some chicken for her brother's bday and also picked us up some apple cinnamon chicken sausage. I've since tried the sausage and it is delicious.
They sell various different kinds of meats at their Bath location(2470 Martin Road) which is self serve. Check out their website(here) for more details. They also sell at the Howe Meadow Farmer's Market. I was glad I tagged along and checked the place out.
I'm still getting used to editing the files on the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV - but I'm liking the camera more and more each time I use it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Columbus Video

I shot this little road trip video mostly with my GoPro Hero 5 Black. I was trying my hand at making a travel/short video à la Casey Neistat or Ted Forbes(Art of Photography). I wish I had taken even more video(and photos) - its always a little bit of a struggle between enjoying myself and "working". I hate to hold up the group - so I'm starting to get better at the compromise(also, I'm used to running to catch up!).
If you've watched some of my other videos on YouTube or Facebook you'll remember me having problems out-of-the-box with the GoPro - everything seems to be fine now - which is a relief.
More videos soon - I have a lot in the works.

Monday, January 23, 2017


Columbus Brewfest
Erin and I went down to Columbus to visit my friend, Brad, and attend the Columbus Beerfest. Erin is a big coffee fan so we hit a few shops, also had a couple great meals and cruised around the city on bikes.
Here are a few snaps I took - I'm also working on a video I shot with my GoPro - that will be up later today...

Friday, January 13, 2017

Show #8

In this episode of the Fitzwater Photography show I further discuss my experience with the Canon 5DmkIV. I also demonstrate the app that works with its WiFi.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Winterland - Inside and Out

Winterland II
Yesterday I took my new camera, the Canon 5D Mark IV, out a to a couple of places to see how it would perform. I went for a very cold hike at the Gorge in the afternoon and in the evening to a opening at 22 High Street Gallery. It does seem to have greater dynamic range than my 6D and more low-light capability. I still need some more experience with it before I make final a judgement on the image quality. Its definitely not the instantly noticeable jump that I saw when I went from the 7D to the 6D - that was pretty big.
The main thing I've been enjoying so far is the usability of the camera. The ergonomics and button placement as well as the amazing auto-focus systems. I say systems because not only is it incredible through the view finder but also in live view mode or when shooting videos. Also - the camera is built like a tank - it almost makes the 6D feel like the my old Rebels(maybe that is a slight exaggeration).
Anyways - as much as dSLR's have just become tools to me this one is exciting to use. I can't wait to try it out at an event.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Show 7 - 5D Mark IV

I didn't put out a show over the holidays but I did get a couple of other videos up. In this week's show I talk about my new camera - the Canon 5D Mark IV. I didn't plan on buying a new camera but some problems with my 6D forced the issue. Buying cameras for me hasn't been an emotional decision for a while - it is a tool I need to do my job. That being said this is an upgrade that excites me - as you can see in the video I just love holding this thing. Image quality aside - this camera is going to be so much more of a joy to use.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

First Night Akron

I shot Akron's First Night - a family friendly New Year's Eve event organized by Downtown Akron Partnership - on Saturday night. This was the 21rst year for First Night but the first time I had ever been there. I had an itinerary of different performances and activities to cover at multiple venues throughout the night. Most of the action was centered on High Street but Lock 3 and The Civic Theatre on Main Street were part of the night too. It was fun and challenging to get around to so many different things. I could definitely see returning to First Night in the future.