Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008


Saturday night I got together with a few of my friends at Crave in Downtown Akron.
Crave Crowd
Mike and Kelly have recently been engaged and were starting to get some plans together for their wedding while in town. My friend Pat, as well as Kelly and Mike were in from Seattle, WA. It was also good to see other members of the gang, that even though they live in town, I definitely don't see enough of....

I will be sharing the big news about the blog in a few days.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Walking in Akron

Yesterday my friend Kyle and I went for a walk around the Akron Municipal Airport area.
Goodyear Airdock
This is the only picture I've posted so far....I'm working on some more of Derby Downs and The Rubber Bowl which I'll have on Flickr soon.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Morning for the kids...
This is my niece opening up a book I bought her.
I set up a couple of flashes behind the camera, pointing at the ceiling to balance out the light from the windows.

Hope you had a Merry one...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Have yourself a....

...Merry little Christmas? - whether your celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Winter Solstice, the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire(Hanukkah), whatever Kwanzaa is, getting together with friends/family, or just enjoying a day off of work - from all of us at The Zipper City Empire we hope it goes great!

I just finished up my traditional Christmas Eve Christmas shopping. You should see me riding around town(Montrose) singing Christmas songs at the top of my lungs - Christmas music is one of my guilty pleasures - since I've never worked in a place that played it on a constant loop I really enjoy hearing it for two days..... Happy Holidays! ...and watch out for the guy drunk on Christmas cheer(and Great Lakes Christmas Ale) in a little red Tercel singing 'Run, Rudolph Run!'

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Real Dogs and Friends

Last night I went out to the Zephyr in Kent to see a few of my friend's bands.
The Real Dogs
I took some pretty good photos. The band above is The Real Dogs. I used to play with Wes, the singer/guitar player. A mutual friend of ours, Pat, was in town and drove us out to the show.
New Body TypeThe band pictured left is New Body Type consisting of Gabe, Robbie, and Greg. They are kind of an Akron super group as they all play in other bands too. Gabe plays bass in Akron legends Houseguest, one of my favorite bands...but that's not to say anything bad about New Body Type who are dang good in their own right. I also took pictures of the band Food Court who is another band made up of members from other bands - such as The Trouble Books and Hell's Information.
All of the pictures I've posted can be viewed here.

I have some big news about my photography coming soon so stay I have to head out and get a start on my Christmas shopping....

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Welcome All Thats Difficult!

Today I had a bunch of BS dropped on me by a "friend" and it really ruined my day.
I just don't understand people sometimes....I hate drama - especially drama for drama's sake. Anyways, for some reason reading a few pages from one of my favorite books made me feel a little better....
The Great Gatsby much so that I decided to take a photo...
I light this photo with an overhead umbrella to the left of me with my 580exII pointing into it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


My friend Josh and I went to visit our friend Eric in Youngstown last night.
We met up with him at the Rosetta Stone Cafe where he works downtown.
Rosetta Stone
We had a few drinks there and then walked over to Cedar's, but the bands playing were pretty we headed out to a Winter Solstice Party that Eric's roommate was throwing.
The party ended at 11 but continued most of the night back at Eric's.
Click here to see the rest of the photos I posted from the trip.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Last night and this morning I've mostly been messing around with my new light stands and umbrellas. They definitely make using off-camera flash more enjoyable.
Here are a few of my first shots...
hangin' with my gear
looky here
I primarily bought the umbrellas to be "shoot throughs," but before I take off the black covers I've been messing around with using them reflectively.

Tonight I'm heading to Youngstown for a friend's winter solstice party - I hope to get some good photos there(before the booze kicks in too much).
On Saturday I'm going to the Matinee to listen too and take pictures of my friend Wes's band The Real Dogs. Wes used to sing in a band I played in.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Yesterday I went to down to Columbus to visit my friend Brad, his lovely wife Leslie, beautiful daughter Sofia and to stop at Midwest Photo Exchange.
I enjoyed catching up with Brad....its been far too long.....and we ate delicious pumpkin Blizzard's from Dairy Queen.
NewAt Midwest Photo I picked up a couple 8' light stands and a couple of 43" Westcott Umbrellas - I wanted something a little more manageable than my half-homemade lighting gear set-up(and its time to retire the 1970's tripod seen in the photo). It was nice to browse a store in person instead of just a seeing picture on the internet - not to mention the one benefit of economic collapse is how affordable driving has become again....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One of those days dude?

Sometimes I plan to shoot a certain situation - I set up my camera and flashes, pick the shutter speed and aperture, set the flash's power and zoom, snap the first test shot and I'm blown away with how close my exposure is to what I want.
Today was not one of those days - I couldn't get anything right!
I was experimenting with a certain lighting style - but after getting the flashes kind of how I wanted them I started getting that black across the bottom of the image.

This is me just plain frustrated, trust me - its not an act.
I assume its a flash/sync problem - I've just never had this happen before.
I'm going back to work to figure this out now - and I've posted the pictures in the strobist forum on flickr to hopefully get some advice.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Company Picnic

Last night I took some photos of The Company Picnic at Turnup Records in Kent. Turnup used to be the Mantis - I hadn't been there since it changed. The Mantis was the first place I ever had a beer.
The Company Picnic
Click here to see the rest of my Company Picnic photos.
The band was really good and I like Turnup because its a BYOB place - which is nice until you walk over to the Zephyr and bring your own beer - and promptly get kicked out....

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Morning Paper

I've been working on a new project the last few weeks. Every morning(well, it isn't always technically morning) when I go out to grab the newspaper I shoot a photo or two of my front yard. I guess my plan is to string them together into a time-lapse video when I have enough. Below is one of today's pictures.
It should be interesting since you never know what the weather will be from week to week in Northeast Ohio(from day to day sometimes).

Anyways - tonight I'm heading out to Turn-up Records in Kent to see/shoot my friend Justin Seeker's band The Company Picnic. I'm going to try and pop over to see a few other friend at the Zephyr too.
I'll have photos of these events tomorrow...

Friday, December 12, 2008

(inside the back)Cover of The Rolling Stone!

So like usual I was just sitting around reading the latest issue of Rolling Stone....wait...what? -"anything interesting in there you ask?"
Hmmm...a bunch of year end lists about music and movies I haven't heard or seen.
I'm Famous!
Oh wait, on page 134 it seems they have used one of my photos of the amazing Akron band Houseguest. Oh, I guess I'm completely famous and totally awesome!
HouseguestThis here is the photo. If you pick up a copy of Rolling Stone you might want to grab a magnifying glass as well - it is quite small(not only the pic but the RS - they shrunk it - seriously!). The context of the use is in the "local favorites" section about the top selling albums at Square Records in Akron, OH. There is a little blurb about Houseguest(#2) which has my picture(of said band) next to it. Just because I'll constantly be saying, "as featured in Rolling Stone" don't think this has gone to my head....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Music Video

My friend(and sometimes band mate) Peter Milo has been working on a new album of solo material. Pete and I have been putting together a video for one of his new songs for the past few weeks. It's going to be a stop-action style video consisting of my photographs. We took a bunch more yesterday and one is below.
The video is for a song called 'Switches' and you can hear it on Pete's Myspace page.
We hope to finish up the shooting for the video tomorrow and I'll have it posted here in the next few days.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"New" Cameras

Today I went out to the other Village Thrift Store in town. I bought myself a few nice sweaters and a couple more cameras(when it rains, it pours).
"New" Cameras
Minolta Hi-Matic AF2This one is an early point and shoot Minolta - the Hi-Matic AF2. It came out in 1980 and although its not - it looks similar to the Minolta rangefinders of the time. It has a 38mm f/2.8 lens. Many people liked the fact that you could choose to pop-up the flash when you wanted(its not automatic(the camera gives you a warning beep in low light!))

Kodak Pony 135On the right is the Kodak Pony 135 and it was made between 1950-53. The lens is a Anaston 51mm f/4.5. I found this site about fixing the camera up. I haven't tested it to see if it works yet - its definitely an interesting looking camera(and my oldest).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Few Beers and an Old Nikon

Last night Pete and Josh came over my house and we did a bit of drinking.
Late in the evening(when any reasonable person should have been asleep) I got them to sit for a few photos.
Pete and Josh
Earlier yesterday I went out to The Village Thrift Store for "50 Cent Monday"(on Mondays items with a certain color price tag are 50 cents).Nikon L35 AFI found this Nikon L35AF priced at $8, but it happened to have the right color tag so I snagged it for 50 cents. I did a little research and it turns out this was Nikon's first point and shoot auto-focus camera. It came out in 1983 and cost over $200. It has a 35mm f/2.8 lens that has threads for filters. Tomorrow I'm going to go get some new batteries and see how this "classic" works.

Monday, December 8, 2008

All the Lights are Coming On Now...

I was looking at some of my old Minolta XG1(a film SLR) gear. I picked up the Promaster 135mm f/2.8 prime and was playing with the manual aperture and focus.
I focused it on the Christmas lights when I though, "hmmm this might make a cool picture." I grabbed my Canon and took this....
(The blurry black circle is the Promaster lens)
I was using my Canon 50mm f/1.8.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fairlawn Lanes

I went for a walk around my neighborhood today in the freezing cold.
When I left my house the sun was out but near setting "the magic hour" -but of course when I got walking it settled behind the clouds and then set.
...but I took this picture of the abandoned Fairlawn Lanes building anyway.
Fairlawn Lanes
A few years ago a former owner of Annabell's(a Highland Square bar) bought this building with plans to turn it into some kind of fitness center. After maybe a month or two of some activity it went silent again....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Its Cold Outside

So instead of going out today and trying to get a cool photo I took this inside in the mirror.
another mirror shot
Just messing around with some bounce flash.
This is my last self portrait for a while, I swear!

Friday, December 5, 2008

New Blog

My new blog - about photography.
I'm going to try and post a picture everyday....and write some other stuff.


Driving home from Josh's last night.