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

Wildflowers
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

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!

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....

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

ACR Turns Two!


On Monday night Akron Coffee Roasters celebrated their Second birthday. They had special drinks, snacks and a second anniversary box with two special coffees. I've been shooting photos for my friends at ACR for a while so even though I had another obligation that evening I wanted to stop by and at least congratulate Albert and the crew.
Here's to many more years of success!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Jane's Walks Day 2


On Saturday morning i took off on my bike at stopped at Countryside Conservancy's Farmers Market at Howe Meadow. From there i rode to Deep Lock Quarry for the first Jane's Walk of the day. It focused on the history of this one time quarry and the Towpath Trail along the Canal.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Jane's Walk Weekend Day One


Jane's Walks take place on the first weekend in May and are free neighborhood walking tours that aim to connect neighbors and have people think about where they live. "Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) was a writer, urbanist and activist who championed the voices of everyday people in neighborhood planning and city-building." For a number of years now I've attended and photographed as many of them in Akron as I had time to.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

France Part III: Reims & Lyon

Lyon
Erin and I left Lille in a rental car since there was a train strike. We had hit the road without eating much and knew we wouldn't make it all the way to our destination in Lyon. Erin's research lead us to the city of Reims and it made for a great stop. We had a fantastic lunch, visited the incredible Gothic cathedral, some Ancient Roman sites, and wandered by a few other beautiful buildings and streets before getting back on the road. Driving on French freeways isn't the best experience - the truck speed limit is far too low and no one drives at a consistent speed - good luck trying to use cruise control(the car did end up coming in handy later in Provence though). We arrived in Lyon in the evening and met our AirBnb host - we were sleeping above her art studio/gallery space in Vieux Lyon(the old town) and it wasn't long before we were smitten and thinking we should have planned more time for this city.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Akron2Akron - North Hill: Culture & Concrete


After a brief hiatus the Akron2Akron neighborhood walking tours have returned. The first one focused on North Hill and was lead by John Ughrin, North Hill resident and head of the North Hill Neighborhood Group. It was a bit of a dreary day but there was still a great turnout. We started at the library then visited Family Grocery, The Exchange House, and The African Market. We ended with some music and drinks at Lynn's Pub.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Akron2Chattanooga

The Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition and Knight Foundation sponsored a trip for community leaders and & activists to study what Chattanooga has done right to revitalize their community. The city is a similar size as Akron so it was enlightening and inspiring to see how bustling and full of local businesses and residential their downtown was. They still have certain neighborhoods that are struggling and they didn't try to gloss over that. But it seems that if the same efforts and planning that went into turning around their downtown the future in these parts of town is hopeful too. 
This is slideshow/video I put together of some of the photos I shot on the trip.

Monday, April 23, 2018

France Part 2: Paris-Roubaix

Paris-Roubaix
Erin and I had planned our trip to coincide with the most famous single day bike race in the world - Paris-Roubaix. So we left Montmarte and hopped on the TGV(high speed train) to the French/Belgian border in the city of Lille. From Lille we took the local train into the town of Roubaix. Roubaix had the vibe of a working-class English city. We stayed in a Air BnB house with a woman and her son and after we were settled decided to head back to Lille for some dinner and drinks. The vibe & architecture was quite Belgian and the town was busy and exciting. The cycling race was in the morning and we had a British bus tour arranged - more on all that below.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

France Part 1: From Montmarte

0A8A2392
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

Taxes

Taxes
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.