Monday, June 12, 2017

Beers, Bikes and a Tipi!

a14
Last weekend Erin and I took a road trip to Southeastern Ohio. Erin found a couple unique places for us to stay near bike paths and breweries. I captured a lot of our biking with my GoPro - hopefully I'll get to that soon. Before we went I also decided to just take one lens with me - my Canon 24mm f/1.4L. I didn't want to have all kinds of gear on the bike and thought this would be a fun way to challenge myself.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Grow Green Compost Giveaway


Reworks gave away 8 cubic yards of food scrap compost to 6 community gardens this week. There was an application process and then the winners were randomly selected. One of Reworks' goals is to reduce food scraps ending up in landfills and this helps demonstrate one of the much better uses for all those fruit peels and veggie stems. It was pretty cool to get to check out these gardens. This is the kind of shoot that makes me love my job - getting to work with the passionate people at Reworks and meeting the great people who were enthusiastic about receiving this product.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Akrun & Crawl


I shot the Akrun & Crawl hosted by Torchbearers on Saturday evening. For the second year they held it at night as a 'glow run' with glow sticks, lights and DJs on the course. I didn't stick around for too much of the "crawl" part of the event as I was running in the Cleveland Half--Marathon the next day.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Common Threads: North Hill


This episode of the monthly Common Threads took place at the North Hill Library and focused on the diverse people of the North Hill neighborhood. The intimate group led to an interesting and free-flowing conversation. After the conversation we wandered over to the Exchange House for a reception with food from the Western Fruit Basket. We were also treated to a short play that was coordinated with the Gum Dip Theatre.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Night at the Races


Last Saturday night my family attended a fundraiser for WABL(West Akron Baseball League). It was a 'Night at the Races' event where you can bet on pre-recorded horse races. There was also a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, other games, wine pull, Swenson's Food Truck, drinks and more. It was a fun time and you don't feel bad about gambling ....for a good cause.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Brewed


Last Sunday morning Akron Coffee Roasters and HiHo Brewing put on a joint tasting. We started with some tastes of coffee and then moved on to beers infused with that coffee. Albert explained the coffee's origin, processing and brewing method and then Jon discusses the special beers he had brewed for the event. There were also local pastries - sweet with the coffee and savory with the beer.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

More Shiny Things


I recently started photographing for a new company in town that makes extrusion machines and their parts. Being that I shoot for another company in the business I wanted to do something to set the two apart. Usually I shoot product photography with a long lens and even use Photoshop to keep things square. In this case I decided to use my 35mm lens, use high-key lighting and more dramatic angles for effect.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Jane's Walk Weekend


Last weekend I attended and photographed three of the Akron Jane's Walks. Jane's Walks take place all over the world and describe themselves as, "...a movement of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs. The walks get people to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities, and connect with neighbors.". The three I attended were: Main Street Revitalization(about the Tiger Grant to update Main), Ohio & Erie Canal(about the Cascade Locks and Mustill Store area), and My City Was Gone(about the Rock and Roll History of Akron). Akron2Akron Neighborhood Walking Tours collaborated on many of the walks. I would have liked to attend even more but my schedule didn't allow for it.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

PechaKucha

PechaKucha Akron
PechaKucha is a quarterly speaker series where each speaker gets 20 slides and 20 seconds to talk about each. It's a cool format and I've thoroughly enjoyed everyone of them - this was episode VII. The location is always different and Greystone Hall had the perfect atmosphere. I wasn't working - I just snapped a few photos from my balcony seat. If you haven't attended one yet I strongly recommend that you do - and they sell out - so follow them on Facebook so you can grab a ticket when they announce the next one.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Akron Coffee Roasters Birthday


Last night we went downtown to help Akron Coffee Roasters celebrate their one year anniversary. They put on a happy hour with coffee beer, coffee drinks and more. When I first tasted the coffee Albert roasted a few years ago I didn't know what to make of it - now I can't live without it. ACR has been such an awesome addition to the Downtown Akron neighborhood - I'm proud to call the owners and employees my friends.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Scales


Did you know that some tow motors(lift trucks) have scales built in? Neither did I - until I had the job of photographing them. I've shot at this location a number of times now - product photography, videos, portraits, how to images and more. Shots like the above one will be "cut out" and used in spec sheets, on the website, and for banners & manuals. I've made an episode of my show about the gear I bring with me for shoots like this - it is a lot of work - but I still enjoy it. It also takes bit of hustling - I'm trying to be in and out and get my job done as quick as possible so I'm interrupting the regular work of the company as little as possible.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bluebell Remnants

Bluebells
Yesterday I went for a hike along Furnace Run in the Cuyahoga Valley to photograph the Virginia Bluebells. I've been shooting and blogging about the bluebells for a long time so I try to mix it up each year - using different cameras and film stocks, shooting at different times of day, and in different weather conditions. The differentiating factor this year is that I came far past their peak - no big field of blue shots. I pretty much had to track down the late bloomers. This challenge though, does set these images apart from the blue-out conditions of other seasons.
Anyways - it was good to get out for a hike with my camera. With all the cycling I've done the last few years nature photography has really taken a backseat.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Wadsworth Brewing Company

Wadsworth Brewing Company
Erin and I went to downtown Wadsworth to check out the recently opened Wadsworth Brewing Company. It was a cozy and comfortable space in a historic building. Everything we drank was really solid and there was a wide range of beer styles available - there are snacks but it is not a restaurant. The husband and wife team that own the brewery were working and very friendly - we always enjoy being able to discuss the beer with the brewer.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Light Stands = Bike Stands

Gitane Tour de France
So I really, really like to ride bicycles - as any regular reader may have noticed. Over the last few years I've collected a few vintage road bikes - none have a ton of value - I like to find them cheap then fix them up into riding condition. I'm not a retro purist and I wouldn't say that I am "restoring" them either. 
Anyways - for a work stand I had been using some clamps and a two by four on my workbench - it gets the job done but it definitely isn't the best. Every Wednesday I go on a group ride with some friends and a few were mentioning that Aldi(of all places) was selling bike work stands for only 30 bucks. I started to think I should get one - then it occurred to me - I have every kind of stand, clamp and arm possible in this studio to hold up lighting gear, cameras, and backdrops. After trying a few different pieces and parts I came up with the above solution - why didn't I think of this before!?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Akron2Akron - Goosetown


This edition of the Akron2Akron walking tours focused on the area of the city that was once known as Goosetown. It had sandstone ledges(Wolf Ledge), a German immigrant population and a stream that early Akron breweries took advantage of. The creek can still be seen in the basement of the old Burkhardt Brewery(which now houses Thirsty Dog and Aqueduct) but the ledges have long since been filled in. The German legacy is mostly in the old churches in the area. Interstate 77 did the neighborhood no favors when it came through and cut the hood in half.
Again. as with all of these walking tours, I went to spots I never would have and picked up on so many little facts about Akron's history I never would have known.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Car Parts II


A couple of years ago I started shooting for a company in downtown Akron that makes car parts - specializing in transmission crossmembers. I set up and shot at least a 1000 photos in their warehouse for their website and catalogue. They have an employee who lives near my studio so now whenever they come out with a new part(s) he stops by and drops it off here for me to shoot and picks up whatever I shot the last time. It is a perfect relationship as it allows them to keep their website current and me to do my finest product photography while keeping their costs down.
I show a lot of my event work and hobby photography on the blog - so I wanted to share more of the other type of work I do as well.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Bikes and Brews in PA

Erie Ale Works
Erin and I decided to take Good Friday off and head on a short road trip. We stayed a little ways outside of Erie, PA at a camp ground/RV park and spent our first day on Presque Isle and then exploring the city. The next day the weather was iffy so we decided to travel around a bit - we visited a few towns and multiple breweries. I always enjoy trips on the back roads with no serious agenda.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Common Threads III


The third edition of Common Threads(a collaboration between Global Ties Akron and the Knight Foundation) was held at Jednota Lanes and focused on Akron artists. The four artists discussed what life was like as an artist in Akron. The dialogue with the audience had a focus on what could be done to help make life easier for artists and the importance of art in the community. At the end the panel broke up and bowling commenced!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

ReWorks: Single Stream


Here are a few videos in a series that I made with Public Design for ReWorks. The process is the same as a I mentioned in the last post - the work I do is mostly the technical stuff.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Hip Hop 2 Health


I did the videography and editing on this video for Child Guidance & Family Solution. Being someone who has only ever used a digital workflow for video I always wonder about what a pain collaborations like must have been back in the day. I shoot and upload the raw footage for the marketing firm to view(in this case Public Design) and then also a rough cut. They come back with the edits they would like to see. When we get it right they send it to the client to see. I then make any additional edits. Finally they will send me the graphics and I drop them and the sound in and clean up the cuts and colors.
There is still a lot of work involved - but digital mixed with cloud storage is amazing.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Washed Out Film, Washed Up Camera

Bike
I loaded my late 90's Minolta Freedom Zoom camera with some Fuji Superia for St. Patrick's Day - I have a tradition of shooting old point & shoot cameras for the holiday. Most of the St. Pat's photos that came out ok will be on facebook - I finished the roll up in Ohio City and that is what I have here. I was pretty unimpressed with the results. I have done much better with my early 80s film cameras than this one. There was a lot of missed focus and the majority of the exposures were way blown out. I actually had to bring down all of the highlights in Photoshop to even make it worth posting a few of these.
So here are some snaps to check out - but this camera will be spending the rest of its life on the shelf.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Fitz Photo Show #12


I started with a pln - then went in a totally different direction. You never know what will happen on this highly entertaining photography show!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Akron Cruise

On late Friday afternoon I took off from the studio on my vintage Peugeot bicycle. I captured some of my ride with my GoPro Hero 5 Black and edited this video together showing some of my favorite parts.
Later in the night I ended up at The Hive Mind for a show - my previous blog has photos of the bands I saw.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hive Mind

Operator Music Band
On Friday night I rode my bike out to the DIY venue, The Hive Mind, to see Gabe Schray, Stems, and Operator Music Band play.
Since I was out riding I only had my Canon 6D with the 16-35mm f/2.8 lens - no flash. The venue was very dark and there was no light on the bands besides the back lighting coming from the projection screen. It made trying to get some useful shots interesting. All of these were shot at ISO's between 6400 and 12,800. I think the photos came out unique with the challenge though. 

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.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Process II


The other day I went down to Canal Fulton to photograph the glassblowing process for a local artist. I had done this for him before - but he has since switched studios. He also wanted the process of him making one of his signature angels documented. This was a fun shoot - I have to keep on my toes to stay out of the way and capture the right angles - and I also find glassblowing fascinating. Here is just a small selection of photos that I took.

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

Akron2Akron


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?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Glass


I've been shooting glass art for a local artist for a few years now. He dropped off a few pieces at the studio the other day for me to photograph. I really like shooting his stuff because it is challenging but when I get it right I think it looks super cool. He recently switched where he blows his glass and I'm going to be heading out there to shoot his process soon - that should make for a interesting shoot.

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

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.