Thursday, August 16, 2018

Sigma 105mm Art

Sigma 105mm Art Tests
A few weeks ago I bought the newish Sigma 105mm f/1.4 Art lens. My goal was to have a better portrait & product lens and also something that would be a little longer for shooting at events. I haven't had the chance to use it a whole bunch yet but I brought it to my friend Kyle's to show it to him and try test it out a bit at his son's first birthday party. Most of these images were shot at f/1.4 and they are pretty brilliant. The lens is super sharp and the separation with that shallow depth-of-field is pretty awesome. The lens is also known for its pleasing "bokeh" which is a word that describes the quality of the out-of-focus blur in the background of a photos.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Earthquaker Day 2018

Earthquaker Devices Day
Yesterday was the third Earthquaker Day - I have been to them all and it has gotten better every year. So many friends, great bands, demos, artworks, cool vendors and great food and drinks. If you don't know, Earthquaker Devices is a guitar pedal manufacturer in Downtown Akron. This "festival" is kind of their open house. Many of the EQD employees are longtime friends of mine and others have become friends more recently. I do photography work for the company but on this day I was just hanging out and having fun. I kind of wish I took more photos but I also really enjoyed all the great conversations I had instead. 
The after party was at Lock 3. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Christmas in July

On Sunday Akron Snow Angels held their Christmas in July event at Grace Park. Volunteers work to put necessities directly in the hands of the area homeless - lunch, haircuts and other services are also provided. If memory serves I have shot the event all four years - Snow Angels is one of my favorite non-profits to volunteer my services to. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Bikes, Boats, Beers & Ducks

Erin and I loaded up our bikes Saturday afternoon and spent a few days in the Sandusky area. We stayed in a cabin at Camp Sandusky which served as a great home base for exploring. The first day we rode into Downton Sandusky for dinner, the second we rode down Catawba and hopped the Ferry to Put-In-Bay, and the last day we checked out an awesome brewery/farm market and went for a dip in Lake Erie. It was a nice, short get away and we were very lucky with some great weather too. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Akron2Akron: Middlebury

This month's Akron2Akron walk focused on the oldest part of Akron - which wasn't actually originally part of Akron at all - Middlebury. Middlebury was already thriving when Akron was just a plan on a map that General Simon Perkins had drawn on land he owned. Middlebury's huge industry was clay products and the business was so thriving many thought the village would outpace Cleveland's growth the become the region's largest city. The fortunes changed though when Perkins convinced the Ohio Legislature to put the Ohio & Erie Canal through his property. Akron took off and eventually annexed Middlebury. On the walk we not only saw the history of Middlebury but examined its current status and businesses. 

Friday, July 6, 2018

End of the Line

Bike Packing
My friend Ben and I packed up our bikes and decided to find the Southern end of the Towpath - which we did - both the official end and an un-official end a little further beyond. We camped at a very cool campsite outside of Massillon on the first night and a few of our friends joined us that evening. In the morning we all said our goodbyes as Ben and I continued on south and everyone else headed back north. The next night we camped at a family campground about 5 miles down country roads outside New Philadelphia. In the morning we rode the whole way back - 70 miles for me from the campground to my door. It was a blast and I learned a ton about bike-packing. More details on our stops and experience follow. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

Bike Packing

Adventure Bike
Bike camping is something I have been interested in for a while but have never done. Lately I acquired some of the gear I needed and also built up this bike. This is an old French bike that I inherited when my close friend Josh died. Originally it would have been a cheapish steal road bike, when Josh bought it it had already been converted to some kind of hybrid, and now I've frankenstiened it into a gravel/touring bike. 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Latte Art Throwdown

During Downtown Akron Partnership's 'Third Thursday' Akron Coffee Roasters hosted a "Latte Art Throwdown" - or a latte art competition. The Hop & Bean were there recording live and there was also beer, food and prizes. It was a really fun evening. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Exploring with The RubberCityRatz

On our weekly Wednesday night bicycle ride we decided to follow the train tracks, gravel, and some lesser known trails on our way out to Hoppin' Frog Brewery. We also made a stop to say "goodbye" to the Rubber Bowl and a trip down Derby Downs. I put my GoPro on the back of my seat post and let it run on the way out - here is an editing version of that footage.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Akrun & Crawl

This year's Akrun & Crawl(put on by Torchbearers) was held in the morning and had a brunch. There was some rain during the run but it wasn't a complete wash out. This was the fourth time I've shot the event - the first time it was in the afternoon and the last two were "glow runs" in the evening. They have all been a fun time.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Front Street Grand Opening

On Saturday Cuyahoga Falls, held a parade, ribbon cutting, and festival to celebrate the opening of Front Street to vehicular traffic. I photographed the day-long event for the city.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Akron2Akron: Kenmore Music

The latest Akron2Akron Walking Tour focused on the music scene on Kenmore Boulevard today and in the past. We recorded a song on the stage of the Rialto Theater, took album cover photos with a local professional photographer, and toured more studios, guitar shops and former music sites. It was an interesting and unique tour. 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Cycles Peugeot

Cycles Peugeot
I had to set up the studio today for a shoot with a dark backdrop. While shooting the test shots I got the idea to shoot a photo in an early 80s advertisement style. Its also my best attempt to look like part of a fictional 1980s French National team. Adobe has recently added some presets to Camera Raw and I used their "matte" one as a starting point for this - it gives it kind of that magazine look. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Akronym Brewing

Akronym Brewing
Erin and I finally got around to checking out Akronym Brewing which recently opened across High Street from the Akron Art Art Museum. They did a really nice job with the space - it was a completely empty shell before. The beers we tried were all really solid. It was threatening rain when we were there but I look forward to enjoying a few more beers on their great patio. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Virginia Bluebells 2018

I guess in all my years of photographing the bluebells I've finally run out of good puns for the title containing "blue" or "bell" - or the final bell has tolled on my puns. Sorry. I can't help myself I guess.
Anyways - I finally got myself out of bed to catch some early light and photograph my favorite spring wildflowers. I usually like to get down to Furnace Run a little earlier in the season to catch a more dense group of flowers and also to shoot some when they are still pink. It has just been a busy spring for me. The silver lining is that the trilliums were turning pink which I think is pretty cool.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

France Part V: Back to Paris

When we arrived back in Paris it was training pretty good and we quickly made our way to our AirBnB in the Le Marais neighborhood. Once the neighborhood of nobles, it fell into disrepair after the revolution but is now considered one of the hipper areas of the city with its galleries and trendy restaurants. The rain eased up and we went out for dinner and drinks at a really good craft beer bar. We were back in the room fairly early as we planned to get up in the morning and try to beat the crowds to a few of the sites.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Holy Toledo!

I had a few portraits to take in Toledo today so Erin and I decided to make a bit of a get-a-way out of it. We left on Saturday evening and after checking in to the hotel went out for diner and a few drinks. We were already tired and it was raining so we didn't make it very late. We had spotty weather on Sunday but the evening turned out nice and on Monday it was all thunderstorms so we didn't stick around long. We did everything by foot or bike so we were only in the downtown area. I do remember hearing downtown was a no-go zone back when I had friends who went to the University in the late 90's. Compared to that it seems like it is on a bit of an upswing but there were still a lot of empty buildings - although I do hate to judge a city on a rainy Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

France Part IV: Nimes & Provence

Pont du Gard
When Erin and I were leaving Roubaix our AirBnB host asked us where we were heading next and we told her "Provence". "Oh yes, heading to the Sun," she replied. They say that is so windy in Provence that any clouds at all are rare. Driving down the freeway just outside of Provence we saw the sign for the Pont du Gard aqueduct bridge - we made the snap decision to get off and see it just before sunset - and it was the last we saw of the sun for the next few days. Eating lunch in Nimes the next day with one of Erin's friends(who was living there while teaching English) he said, "Well, you'll be the only one with rainy Provence photos!" Glass half full for sure....