Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Yellow Creek
A combination of things led me to wander around in the woods where Yellow Creek dumps into the Cuyahoga - more commonly understood to be the intersection of Bath and Riverview Roads. The Beacon had an interesting article about the town named Botzum that once stood there and I had visited the spot briefly to photograph the Yellow Creek Culvert - I wanted to do some more exploring. I started to come across some old barn stones and then the below pictured wall - I was thinking I was looking at an old bank barn foundation until I looked down the bank and saw some more stones. The layout led me to believe I had found the foundation to one side of covered bridge that once took Bath Road over the river. It was quite a surprise because the Beacon article said the bridge had been torn down in the early 1900's(the same time the town pretty much disappeared). When I got home I looked at the historic photo of the covered bridge in the paper and it left me pretty sure what I saw was the remnants of the bridge.
Bath Road Covered Bridge
I plan to head back to the area one more time for some more exploration and to get some better photos.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Goose Pond Weir

Goose Pond Weir
Today I hiked the Towpath Trail from the Red Lock/Jaite north for a few miles(see a few posts down for my trip on the section just south of here). Besides the always abundant natural beauty(saw a really cool red-headed woodpecker) there was only one major Canal Era feature. This was the above pictured Goose Pond Weir built in 1826. It was a four-sectioned, 50 foot long structure used to regulate the water level in this section of the canal. There was a high-water wasteway on the north end(far end) to keep the water level at four feet and a flood gate at the south end(near end).
It wasn't my best photographic outing but I'm always pleased to discover another little piece of local history.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Browns Game

Fans Sunset
When going to a professional sport's games I always debate on what equipment to bring with me. Most arenas/stadiums rules state that "professional gear" and "bags" are not permitted(they give you dimensions of the bags you can bring). I always play it safe and bring my camera with the kit zoom lens(a 24-135mm) - its not a great lens but the long zoom range give me the most shooting options. I've never had a problem bringing this with me in my holster-style bag but have yet to push the boundaries and try to bring more lenses and a flash(I'm always parked too far away and don't wanna risk going back to the car). Anyways - since I'm just trying to capture some of the experience of going to a game, not the actual sports action, I'm usual fine with this simple gear set-up.
Laura and IWorking!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday Fest 2010

HolidayFest 2010
It has become a family tradition for me to head to Akron's Lock 3 on the Friday evening after Thanksgiving to see the lighting ceremony and fireworks display. They also open up the ice rink for the season. This year the added a ginger bread house collection in the basement of the old O'Neal's building and my niece and nephews decorated some ginger bread men.
I always enjoy checking out the onsite Akron History Exhibit and Toy Marble Museum too.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cleveland Gems

West Side Market
One of the great things about having family in from out of town is showing them some of our local gems. Today we took some of our Florida relatives up north to see some of them. We stopped at the West Side Market which hugely impressed them - as I think it would any foodie. I took the above shot by setting my camera on the floor-railing of the balcony(make-shift tripod) and taking a one second exposure - I liked the motion it gave the crowd. 
After a little shopping we walked over to the Great Lakes brewery where we indulged in a few too many Christmas Ales and some delicious burgers. Feeling good we stopped at the East 9nth Street Pier - not the best day to show someone Lake Erie but I think the Great Lakes took a bit of the blustery edge off.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Effects Affect

Before/After Sample
I'm often asked by other photographers what I do in Photoshop and by casual photographers if I "Photoshop". So I decided to post a before/after Photoshop photo. I shoot all my photos in the RAW format on pretty neutral settings. When shooting outdoor non-flash type shots I tend to intentionally over-expose my photos. i find then that bringing up the blacks in Photoshop gives me more contrast. After that I bring up the saturation and vibrance quite a bit and finally sharpen the photo.
I find that many non-serious photographers consider this "cheating" of some kind. The thing that they don't realize is that push/pull processing is something that photographers always did - even in the film days. Photoshop is the digital dark room and using it doesn't equal cheating in any way - the people who think this simply never made their own prints even in the film days. I chooose to use my own tastes in color choices - not my cameras programing - if thats wrong I don't wanna be right.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

From Boston to Jaite

Desolate Day
A couple red-tailed hawks, whitetail deer and me explored the section of the Towpath Trail north of Boston today - it is a pretty desolate section of the trail(at least on a Tuesday afternoon in November). Besides the usual former farm fields(now wetlands) and a few canal locks there are a some cool historical sights. First and foremost is what is left of the Jaite Paper Mill that operated from 1905-1984. And what is left? Pretty much a just a concrete pad and one of the huge 1927 fourdrinier machines used to make four-walled cement bags. The park tore down the rest of the mill in 2006 - I'm sure due to the constant explorers and vandals - the place was after all falling in on itself and probably quite dangerous.
I also located the 1826 Brandywine Creek Culvert that was constructed to carry the Ohio & Erie Canal over the creek. This side(below) of the culvert looked mostly original - the other side(not pictured) had been refaced with concrete at some point.
Brandywine Creek Culvert

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bringing Back the Light(s)

A Self Portrait
After a full Summer and Fall of shooting photos with nothing but natural light yesterday's Christmas Card Photos(see below post) inspired me to get back to my strobes. I love experimenting with my speedlites so I decided to make myself a new profile photo for Facebook and the like. I shot this with my 580exII up and to the left with a reflective umbrella and my 430ex low and right with a shoot-through umbrella to add some fill light. I'm holding my 'new' 1935 Kodak Junior Six-16 to make the shot a little more interesting.
Lighting portraits is my favorite thing to do with my camera and I'm looking forward to some of my upcoming portrait jobs.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Angels with Wings

Its that time of year again - Christmas Card Photography Season. I was doing some shooting this morning for a friend(of her daughter - Sophia). We shot some of the Christmas scenery at Chapel Hill and then this shot(and others) back at their house. This shot will probably be an outtake but I loved it. I thought the pose looked like something out of a Michelangelo painting.
Send me an e-mail so we can do your cards!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


On my way back from a visiting some friends in Lakewood I remembered(thank god) that I needed some gas. The BPs and other usually suspects were all closed - but beyond the freeway overpass appeared a shinning beacon of freedom and petrol - Gas USA. God bless these United States of America.
While in Lakewood we checked out the restaurant whose legend seems to grow by the day - Melt - and it didn't disappoint(well, they were out of the "The Lord Humongous Turducken Melt"(turkey stuffed with duck stuffed with chicken)).
Again, God Bless these United States of America.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Opening Up the Studio

My Lil' Studio
Now that I have more time on my hands I decided to get my little studio space back in order. I use it for product-type shots such as the photos for my camera collection page(which I'll be adding a bunch more to soon). Its nice to have a little space where I can go and not have to worry about tearing down my lights or seamless white back-drop. The biggest thing I can realistically shoot in the studio is head shots - hopefully I'll have a bigger space soon.
Sweet Stuff
I was organizing and condensing my shelf space too so I can display some of my random camera stuff that I don't want up in the house.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Luxuries

The Luxuries
Last night I went to the Matinee in Highland Square to see my friends' band The Luxuries play. It was the first time I've seen them and I was impressed.  Though I've played with Pete(singer) and Wes(drummer) it was my first time in a crowd watching the two of them in a band together.  
The LuxuriesThe Luxuries
Because I've shot so many bands at The Matinee I don't need to worry about my settings too much. I usually go with an ISO of 200, a shutter of 1/125, and bounce my flash of the ceiling at full power - I adjust my aperture for exposure. I like this because I can concentrate on catching a cool moment instead of worrying about the technical side of things.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bus Stop Kids

Bus Stop Kids
On Monday my niece and nephews had the opportunity to be 'Bus Stop Kids' for WKYC 3 Cleveland. On the evening news when they do the morning weather report they will show footage of the kids in outfits appropriate for the weather. They shoot different groups of kids all day and then show them randomly throughout the Winter.
I went up to shoot some photos for my brother who couldn't make it. It turned out to be a pretty cool trip - after the shoot we were given a tour of the station's studios, control rooms, and news room. The camera man who was shooting was extremely friendly and interesting. We got to talking about DSLR's that shoot video(because he saw my 7D) - he told me that they have been using Canon 5d mkII's for some of their footage and have been getting great results.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pipe Study #1 & #2

Pipe Study #1
Today I gave my friend a lift to a job interview on Kenmore Blvd. I had my camera with me(like always) and decided I should find some shots for the blog. I looked around, walked a bit - just a bunch of boring brick and concrete block buildings on a cloudy day. I was convinced that if I was a good photographer I could make something around there into art of some kind. These were my two best attempts.
Pipe Study #2

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Terra Vista

Hit the Brakes
Rusty cars/trucks, disintegrating farm implements, old cemeteries, overgrown hiking trails, stone foundations - if any of this stuff peaks your interest you should check out the Terra Vista Site in the Cuyahoga Valley. The Park considers the site historical for its remains of an Early Woodland Indian village - a 1975 excavation found many artifacts. You would have to be with an expert to identify what they consider the Indian Village though - plowing, mining, and vandalism have seriously damaged the site.
Tinker's Creek Cemetery
I was more interested in the old cemetery - which is known as Tinker's Creek Cemetery, Old Indian Cemetery, Hillside Cemetery, Pilgerruh Cemetery and Terra Vista Cemetery. Pilgerruh, which is German for “Pilgrim’s Rest,” was a name that came from a brief Moravian settlement in the area - but most the graves are from the Canal Era and there is supposedly a unmarked mass grave of Irish Canal workers too. It seems as if an illness must have swept the area in 1844 because many of the tomb stones are from this date - regardless of family. Only a 1/5 of of the burials listed for the site still have grave markers.
BoneyardDrive Wheel
We also found the remnants of someones farm/back yard. There where various farm implements, an old truck sinking into the ground, and most amazingly a late 50's Mercury in a collapsed garage.
We didn't pass another person on our hike and the trail sometimes becomes hard to locate - in other words a great hiking spot...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Antiquing in Amish Country

Antique Mall
On Tuesday Laura and I decided to go on a drive through the country in the general direction of Amish Country. We pretty much just grabbed an Ohio road map and took off. After a scenic drive past the farms and barns we ended up in Berlin, Oh which bills itself as "The Heart of Amish Country". We grabbed lunch and stopped in the Antique Mall. I snapped the below photo and was promptly busted for shooting pictures.
Inside the Antique Mall

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gabe Schray @ Musica

Gabe Schray
On Saturday night I went to see Gabe Schray perform at Musica and to see the opening of 'Visual Music' upstairs in the We Gallery. The photography exhibit in the We Gallery is a must for any Northeast Ohio Rock and Roll fans.
I shot the photos of gabe using my 50mm lens and only natural light - this was a departure from my normal concert photography style using my wide angle lens and flash(es).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fall in my Yard

The Fallen
This morning I tried to get up and catch some of the morning sunrise in my yard. I didn't get out as early I wanted (it was COLD) but I still caught some good light. I was shooting everything with my 50mm lens wide open(f/1.8). It made some of the photos look a little soft but I love the background blur I get at that stop.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Light Fantastic

New Morning
This morning I woke up to the revelation that I didn't have to go to work. I walked out of my room towards the bathroom... "what in the F! why are all the lights on!" ....then it hit me - this is what my apartment looks like when the sun is shinning through the windows. I know it sounds stupid, but I haven't seen my apartment in the morning light for over 5 months. I left when it was dark - I got home when it was dark. After putting the coffee on I got my camera and explored my new morning world.