Monday, February 28, 2011

First Shots - SRT-101

On the Fence
These are some of the photos from the first roll of film I shot with my Minolta SRT-101 since I fixed it - they were shot on long-expired 35mm Fuji Superia 400 film. I had them developed, printed, and scanned by Dodd Camera - the scans were better than those I got from but still not good enough to change my mind about buying a film scanner(see a couple posts down). The files were 3000-2000 pixels at 400dpi. The thing I was most happy about though was finding out that my camera worked - I was afraid I'd get the negatives back with nothing on them....
Cranz Barn
It was interesting shooting the old Minolta and the variety of lenses I have for it - almost like a photography history lesson. I have a couple more old rolls of film that I'm going to try in my Minolta X-700 and X-570 to see if I succeeded at fixes the light seals on those too. Then I'm going to start shooting some of the new rolls of 35mm I've bought.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wedding Wind Down

Three Birds
Today my friend Mike and I shot a wedding at Three Birds in Lakewood. It was our first outing of this type together and I think we did a pretty good job. We have a lot of editing to do in the next few days. I'm ready to relax a bit after a fun, but long day....

Friday, February 25, 2011

It Happens to the Best of Us

Yesterday Laura and I decided to go hike part of the Towpath that we hadn't before - the sections that snakes between Akron's water treatment and composting facilities.  We were a little more than a mile into the hike when we saw some good photographic material. I got my camera out and switched the lenses, set up my mini tripod, and started to compose my shot.  I couldn't figure out why nothing was happening - then it it hit me - I opened up the battery compartment....nothing there.  I had taken it out to charge it the night before.  I felt heartbroken and completely stupid at the same time.

Laura took this picture of me with her cell phone.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Long Shadows

Casting Long Shadows
I prefer shooting my outdoor shots around sunrise as opposed to sunset - the only problem being that sunrise happens to be in the early morning. A few days ago when I woke up I saw the golden light on my wall, threw on some clothes, and headed outside. I shot for about 20 minutes before getting very cold and starting to lose the really great light.
Alien Silhouette
I've been looking at some websites that help you find good times to shoot based on sunrise/sunset times and the sun's location. There are also multiple apps for smart phones. I'm mostly working evenings now so shooting at sunset isn't even an option - my plan is to force myself out of bed and get some good sunrise photos at better locations than my front yard....
*Note* Originally posted on

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Negative Bro!

So I decided to see what my printer's scanner could do with some 35mm negatives - as you can see above - not too much. And that is after trying to finesse them in Photoshop. This poor attempt at analog to digital conversion led me to do a bunch of research on film scanners. I'm starting to believe that I could purchase one in the $200-300 range that would suite my needs. I'm going to continue researching and asking around though before I pull the trigger.
Two I'm looking at right now are the Canon 9000F and the Epson V600. I'm more interested in saving some money by getting some quality over the amount of time it takes to scan.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Two Great Years

2 Year Roses
I had to do a post dedicated to my wonderful girlfriend and the two great years we've spent together. I love you Laura!
Dam Girl

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lousy Mug!

Cleveland Mug
This is the latest addition to my ongoing series tentatively titled, "Stuff I Find at the Thrift Store" - and as you can see its a real beauty. I'm planning on putting together a page for these shots soon. Below are two cameras I found at the thrift store too - they will be added to the Vintage Camera page soon along with a few others. I'm working on redoing the organization of that page.
Vivitar 220/SLPolaroid Spectra 2

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Today we(Laura and I) did a little bit of antiquing at the shops in West Hill on West Market Street. The prices are a little to rich for our blood - we're more of the thrift store, estate sale, and flea market types. I'd rather put more effort in searching to save some money.
In the above photo I was trying to capture the cluttered feel of the antique store.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Under the Bridge

Under the Bridge
Treacherous Hike
On my way home from the thrift store this morning(where I found two pretty cool cameras - more on that over the weekend) I decided to stop at Memorial Parkway and go for a hike on the Towpath Trail. I didn't get very far. As you can see to the right the trail was covered in ice - the conditions were pretty treacherous. After sliding around for a bit I decided I to turn around but before I left I took the above picture under the Memorial Parkway bridge. I set my camera on the hand rail so I could use a small aperture and longer exposure - I wanted an overall sharp photo and enough light to get some shadow detail on the bottom of the bridge. I used a black and white gradient map in Photoshop and a decent amount of the 'unsharp mask'.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lost Canoe Trip

Eric and Pat
In a previous post I mentioned that I had some rolls of 35mm that I wanted to get developed to find out what was on them. I believed that they all were from the old cameras that I've collected from thrift stores. I sent four rolls into - which turned out to be a little over-priced for the quality of the scans I got. One roll had a couple of portraits and the rest was blank and another had nothing at all. The third was some pics of college girls drinking and having some generic fun. The fourth is what made the whole thing worth while - it was a roll I shot of a canoe trip that Kyle, I and a few friends went on about four years ago. I remember Kyle and I being too nervous to bring our DSLRs on a two day canoe trip with a substantial amount of beer aboard. I brought my Minolta point and shoot sealed in a few plastic bags instead...
Getting these developed brought me back to the days when you would buy a roll of film for a specific event and then not finish it. Later you would break your camera out for something else.... and on and on until the roll was finished. By the time you got the photos back you would be surprised by what you had taken. ....good old days...
Dave and Josh
*note* I originally posted this at

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Reflections IV

Upside Down Sunset
This one might take you a second to figure out...... it yet?  I took this photo of the sunset in a puddle on my street this evening - then I flipped it upside down.  I though it makes it kind of cool and disorienting.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Aperture, 35mm, and Polaroids

As previously mentioned I stopped by Aperture, a newish photography store in Tremont, on Saturday afternoon. The store focuses on film photography such as Polaroids, Medium-format, 35mm, Black and White, and Color. They have a pretty wide selection of vintage cameras and are one of a handful of certified dealers of The Impossible Project's film(for Polaroids). The store also acts as a gallery and is starting to host events. I picked up a couple rolls of 35mm film - Kodak Porta 160VC and some Iford XP2 400 B&W(which can be developed like C41). I plan to shoot those rolls in a couple of my Minolta SLRs.
Polaroid 600s
I've never been a huge Polaroid guy but I recently picked up the above 600 film cameras really cheap...and I might sell a few of them(I've promised my face book page fans the first crack at them). I also have a SX-70 One Step Sonar(not for sale!)that after seeing the PX 70 PUSH film at Aperture I really want to try out. Next time I'm up there I'm going to buy some.
I should have the first roll of film I've run through my SRT-101 posted soon...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Baby Blue on the Lift

'Baby Blue' on the Lift
I spent a good chunk of my Valentines's Day getting my Valentine's car fixed at Cut-Rate. My film/Aperture post will appear tomorrow...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mexican Feast

Mexican Feast
Last night Laura and I went out to Lakewood to visit our friend Lindsey and to stop by Aperture 'A Photography Variety Store' - I'll post on that tomorrow. We got some great grub at El JalapeƱos which roughly translates to 'The Jalapenos'. As always I was messing around with my camera...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The May Company

The May Company
Last night I went out to Thursday's to see the debut show/CD release of the band The May Company. The band was really good but Thursday's isn't the best place to take photos. I still managed to get some that I was happy with.
The May CompanyThe May Company
The May CompanyThe May Company

Friday, February 11, 2011

(Fireside) Laura Sleeps

(Fireside) Laura Sleeps
I took this shot last night when Laura fell asleep next to the fire. I used my foot stool as a tripod to take a 13 second exposure at f/14.0 - the ISO was 400. In Photoshop I added a metallic gradient map layer at 35% opacity and then brushed in the original color on her lips, the fireplace wall, and the vase behind her. After adding the gradient map the contrast needed to be cranked up a fair bit to keep the image from being too washed out. Lastly I used the unsharp mask and a small touch of a noise filter.
Its not my usual style but I like the results - "something different" as they say....

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Oldies but Goodies

Eric and Tic Tac Fairlawn Lanes
My sister recently gave me a printer she wasn't using which also has a flatbed scanner on it. Today I was testing out the quality by scanning some of my old photos. The quality isn't the greatest but I used it to upload a bunch of classic pics of friends and family to Facebook. The two above were a couple of my all time favorites so, despite the quality, I put them on flickr. The B&W was taken at Indigo Lake of my friend Eric - I used a disposable black and white camera that was able to be processed like color C-41(the way most 35mm is at labs). The one on the right was taken with my Minolta XG1 of the abandoned Fairlawn Lanes building(since torn down).
With the price(too high) and quality(or lack of) of scans most labs provide when they develop film I'm starting to consider buying a better scanner. More on this in the future as I start to research the options....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Two Photos

Pale Blue EyesMe
I had a very busy day but I still managed to get a couple shots I liked. On the left is a photo of two of our cats - Coco and Molly. On the right is another attempt at making a high resolution, well lighted digital photo look "filmy".  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ol' Timey Photos

70's Winter
The prints that I ordered from talked about in this post) are in the mail right now and I'm currently shooting a long-expired roll of 35mm in my Minolta SRT-101. I can't wait to see what everything is going to look like.  I envision the photos from my Minolta looking like the shots above and below. I took these this morning with my Canon 7D and gave them the old-photo-look in Photoshop. I used a brownish/bronzey gradient layer and then adjusted the contrast. I added a vignette for a finishing touch.
Hopefully in the next few days I'll be posting the real thing(film dummies)...
From My Porch

Monday, February 7, 2011

Spring Please

Winter Walk
I'm usually not one to complain about the weather....but today I was complaining about the weather. I went for walk on the mostly un-shoveled sidewalks of my neighborhood and out into the slushy streets when I had too. I brought my camera, like always, but barely used it because the snow was turning into rain. I still have a few winter photography ideas I'd like to accomplish before the snow is totally gone but today had me wishing for the warmer weather and greenery...
On a different note I uploaded a set of my favorite rock and roll photos to my ZipperCity Facebook page today and I enjoyed the stroll down memory lane. It made me think that I might go back and re-edit and make prints of some of the old classics I hadn't thought about for a while. Check the set out here....of course they look better on flickr....

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Continuing Saga of The Space Blazers

Space Blazers Camping
Remember to check for the occasional 'Space Blazers' posts - with all their glorious photography, cinematography, and story telling! Above and bellow are samples of photography and modeling I've contributed to the ongoing web-series.
The Space Travelling TentSpace Blazers Go Surfing
Space Blazers @ The Beach

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pull the Trigger

Remote Trigger
As any regular reader of this blog knows I take a lot of self-portraits - usually to test out lighting techniques. The problem I always have is getting the focus right and then getting into the frame before the self-timer goes off. So I decided to order these remotes from They actually sent me a nicer model than the ones on the website - and they were only 11 bucks.
As you can see from the above photo they work fine - you press the button half way to focus and then all the way to take the shot. The range on the radio triggers is claimed to be 300 ft. - I look forward to testing that out when the weather is a little better.
With most camera gear being outrageously expensive its awesome to spend just $11 on something that works as advertised....

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bath Nature Preserve

Bright Light
Today I went for a hike at the Bath Nature Preserve....with two cameras! I brought along my newly refurbished Minolta SRT-101 loaded with a roll of Fuji Superia 400 Speed film. The roll was left in a camera case I bought from the thrift store and I'm sure it is long expired. It will be interesting to see what kind of photos I get from it - but I know one thing - if the pictures look as good as the Minolta felt in my hands I'll be alright. The above and below photos were taken with my Canon 7D.
Shadows & ReflectionsHillside Blues

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Fleet

or part of it....
Part of the Fleet
I'm sitting around taking new Facebook photos....
I need to get out! This blizzard/ice storm thing is killing me!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Camera Repairman

Resealing My SRT-101
As I mentioned in an earlier post I would like to try and run some rolls of film through my Minolta SRT-101. My new batteries(replacement for the now illegal mercury batteries it takes) arrived last week and my kit to reseal the film door and mirror damper arrived yesterday. I've wiped, cleaned and scraped the old seals off and now I just need to install the new ones. The mirror damper was the hardest to deal with because it moves(above photo).
Most cameras that are at least 25 years or older need the seals replaced. After some research I found many camera collectors recommended Interslice on - he makes pre-cut seals for lots of older cameras and ships them with a tool and instructions. The kits cost 10 bucks, including shipping - compare that to the $40 Dodd Camera wanted to charge me just to look at my camera.
I'll know how good of a job I did when I get my first roll developed.....

*Check today for more on 'Space Blazers'.