Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

Boston Depot
Above is one of my favorite photos from 2012 - it was taken with my Nikon F3 on Kodak Ektar 100. In 2012 I really returned to analog photography in full force - from color slide film, to developing my own black and white, to shooting Polaroid/Impossible film. On the digital side I had my best year of selling prints ever and felt my shooting improved in many ways. Follow this link for my '2012 Digital Year in Review'. I didn't have time to finish the template and layout correctly - guess I already have my first goal of the New Year.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Towpath in Snow

Towpath in Snow
I shot this photo late today in the waning light. I used a tri-pod to achieve the desired aperture. This is the Towpath trail slightly passed Everett.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas and Eve

The Night Before Christmas
All of my family Christmas events took place at my parent's house this year. It was kind of nice not to have to drive very far to get anywhere. On Christmas Eve I shot bouncing my 580exII off the ceiling and on Christmas Morning I shot natural light. I also shot some black and white film which I hope to have developed tomorrow.
New Photographer
New Photographer - Andrew.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Your Christmas Card

Your Christmas Card Happy Holidays from the staff and families of Zipper City Photography to you!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Abandoned Garage

Garage Study #9
Laura and I went for a hike in the Valley today. While walking along I spotted an abandoned building a few hundred yard off of the trail. It turned out to be a falling down garage fairly near to a house that seemed to be occupied. The snow cover gave the sight and enchanting quality - maybe its just because we have gone so long without any snow. We stayed away from the house while exploring the garage and the area around it. Laura found an old plow covered in the snow. I would like to come back and search the area again when there is no snow on the ground and see if there are any other artifacts around. Garage Study #4

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Bokeh

Christmas Lights
'Bokeh' is a Japanese word used by photographers to describe the 'out-of-focus' part of a photograph. Different lenses exhibit different kinds or qualities of bokeh. A really expensive prime lens is often said to have "really creamy bokeh". The above photo is of Christmas lights on my mantle shot with a really large aperture to create a very small depth-of-field. This effect is used on Christmas lights by thousands of photographers this time of year - many do portraits with the blurred lights in the background. So I know I'm not reinventing the wheel here - I'm just enjoying the ride.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lots of Light

Last night I was reading through a photography magazine and motivation struck me - it didn't matter that it was getting late - I had to shoot something. I've had this idea for a lighting set-up for a while and I decided to try it out. I used three shoot-through umbrellas surrounding the camera with Canon flashes in each on full power. It kind of gives a ring light effect. I added the vignette in Photoshop. 
By the way, I've downloaded the a trial of Photoshop CS6(I was using CS4) and I'm learning my way around it. The changes to what I use in Photoshop itself haven't seemed to make that much of a difference(yet) but the changes to the RAW editing program Camera Raw have been huge. The program is so much better at converting RAW images and the adjustment sliders make way more sense. I can definitely make better images with the upgrade - which I will purchase when the 30 trial expires.

Monday, December 17, 2012


The Decisive Moment
I shot some portraits of Laura's niece and nephew for use on her sister's Christmas Cards last week. I think Mom and Dad will be happy with some of the nice family portraits I took - but I really like these two "outtakes". The above is probably my favorite Christmas photo ever. Yeah!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Riding Run Hike

Buried Vehicle in Front of Covered Bridge Study #1
I took advantage of the warm weather and my day off to engage in my favorite hobby - exploring the Everett area of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Besides enjoying nature I was also on the look out for the man made objects the park never removed - such as the front end of a car buried near the Covered Bridge(above photo). As any regular reader of my blog knows, there is just something that fascinates me about the juxtaposition of the recent populated past colliding with the natural present of the park. I've become quite good and noticing the tell tale signs of where human structures used to be - barns/houses/garages- today a tree lined driveway, minus the driveway....  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thirsty Dog

Last night Laura and I went to the Thirsty Dog Brewing Company's tasting room to have a few beers. I really wanted to try the Mayan Last Dog beer being that it will only be available for a short while - it was a very good stout. I also had a smoked lager which was delicious. Laura had a couple of 12 Dogs of Christmas which turned out to taste much better than it does in bottles this year - I'm not sure why. It actually reminded us of what it tasted like last year. The tasting room is a cool spot - pretty much a regular bar but right in the brewery. It was fairly crowded and the bartender seemed a bit overwhelmed but we enjoyed our beers sitting at the bar. The hours are a little strange so if you decide to go make sure you check the website first.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tree Decorating

Classic Glass Ornaments
Laura and I put up and decorated the Christmas Tree last week. We've collected some antique ornaments, bought some new ones, and received a few as gifts over the last few years. We drank a bottle  of Corsendonk, listened to some Christmas music, donned our gay apparel, and had a good time.... The Star

Monday, December 10, 2012

Browns Game

I've finally fixed my computer so I hopefully I'll be back in action for good. I'll be uploading the blogs and photos I couldn't post last week. I bought a new hard drive, installed Windows 8, and downloaded a trial of Photoshop CS6. I also tried to add a few gigs of RAM to my computer but it wouldn't start when I installed the new RAM - no idea why. Anyways - enjoy a couple of photos from yesterday's Browns game - it was fun to watch the Browns route a team. There actually seems to be a sense of optimism surrounding the team now - they are young and improving - I know we've heard it all before but it does seem different.... Nose Bleeds

Friday, December 7, 2012

It's Dead

My computer is officially dead. I re-installed the operating system and after many restarts the hard drive started clicking and wouldn't load the OS. Thank god I had already moved all of my photos and music off the main drive. I won't be able to post any new decent photos until I purchase a new computer....

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ciders and Wines

My desktop computer is on the fritz again....and I have so much to post. I'll figure the situation out this weekend. In the meantime this is a photo of Zipper City Cider Werks....a spiced apple wine K made tonight in front, a hard cider I racked tonight to clear in back, and the Christmas Ale bottle conditioning in the coke crates - shot with my Surface....and posted that way too......

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mitchell's Orchard and Farm Market

Mitchell's Orchard
For a few weeks Dave and I had been passing a sign for Mitchell's Orchard on our way home from where we work(outside Ashland, OH). I had been wanting to get some cider for brewing spiced, holiday apple wine for New Year's Eve. Today we finally decided to stop and check the place out. To our surprise it was filled with all kinds of wines(including local), a large selections of micro brews, and a home-brewing supply section. I was in heaven. I forgot to check out most the other treats that they had(including their apples which I had planned on buying). It looks like they also have a tasting room and occasionally have brewing and other classes. I believe that in the Summer they sell other fresh produce. This won't be the last time we'll be stopping at Mitchell's. 
Mitchell's Orchard and Farm Market

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ohio Brewing Christmas Party

Cutting a Rug
Last night Laura and I went downtown to Ohio Brewing Company for their Christmas Party, which I had read about it in the food section of the Beacon Journal. There was free food, bands, and we bought a growler of Jingle Bell Ale to share. The location was cool - they had a small bar right in the brewery, a "tap room" or "tasting room" as they say, and they set up some extra tables to sit at. We did some dancing to a cover band called 'Average Joe' but didn't stick around for the other bands. The crowd was extremely eclectic. I wouldn't rate Ohio Brewing's beer nearly as high as Akron's Thirsty Dog or Hoppin' Frog - its more or less average for a micro-brewery - but we ended up having a really good time and we would both return for other events. 
I shot these photos at the extremely high ISO of 5000 which is why they are so noisy/grainy. It was one of those situations were I didn't bring my flash and grainy photos are better than no photos.