Friday, May 31, 2013

Morning Daisies

Daisy and Dew 4
Yes - I've walked and photographed the train tracks between West Market Street and Hawkens Avenue tons of times - its my little strip of nature here in Wallhaven. I like it in the Spring and Summer because it is also a good indicator of what is happening in the Valley - the same kind of wild flowers and plants seem to grow in both places.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


When I was shooting the Fuji in Cuyahoga Falls the other day I stopped at this sign in front of an artist's studio - I loved the color so I reached for my 7D. This is a shot that wouldn't have had any meaning in black and white....

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fuji GSW690III Test Drive

Gears I
I took the borrowed Fuji690III, or "The Beast", out to Cuyahoga Falls for a spin today. I had the camera loaded with Fuji Neopan Acros 100 black and white film. I made the 8 exposures then came home and developed it. I realized I was doing something kind of dumb in the middle of the developing process - I was using a film I had never used before, in a camera I had never used before, and with a dilution of developer(HC-110 (E)) I had never used before. The problem with this being that if something didn't look right I wouldn't know which part of the process had gone wrong - my exposures or the development. Fortunately I like to think I'm pretty skilled - but it was probably more luck - and all 8 of the photographs turned out really well. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Cook-Out

Tanner and Marshmallow
My brother had family and friends over his house on Sunday for a cook-out to celebrate the holiday. I shot all afternoon with my Canon 7D. I like to treat family gatherings as event photography - I just like to capture the moment and get good candid shots. As with most photographers, I'm not a fan of the "hey, everyone look over here" shot - there is nothing real or interesting about those...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Flea Marketing

Laura and I have an annual tradition of getting to the Hartville Flea Market on Memorial Day Weekend. If the weather is nice the amount of vendors and junk to buy is just amazing. This year the wind was a little chilly but I think it was better than the near-pass-out-heat of last year. I'm usually on the hunt for old cameras and tools and Laura like to find classic jewelry and Browns memorabilia - we also search for random little household items. This year we ended up coming away with more produce and plants than other treasures but we always have fun no matter what - some booths are just cool to peruse as if they were museums...

Friday, May 24, 2013

Neopan on the Bridle Trails

The Light is Right
I'm proud of the above photo - everything came together perfect: the light, the lens, the camera, the time, the place. This shot is gonna be near the top of the list when I start making black and white enlargements.
I shot this roll of Fuji Neopan 400 over a few days of hiking on the Wetmore and Langes Bridle Trails - as I said before - my new favorite Valley spot. There is still a lot of parts of the trails I haven't explored yet - so expect more photos like these. I actually switched it up with the lenses a bit on these trips - I started trying out my 50mm Rokkor macro lens and used a cheap wide angle I have - the wide angle isn't very sharp but I still like it for certain situations.  ....but I still shot more than half the roll with my trusty 55mm f1.7 Rokkor.  

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"The Beast"

"The Beast"
I was shooting the breeze with my friend Rick the other day in his photography studio - we were discussing old cameras and developing film when he told me he had something to show me. After searching a few of his cabinets he pulled out this monster, a Fuji GSW690III. It is a rangefinder that takes 120mm film and makes 6x9 exposures(kinda an over-sized Leica). I started to mess around with it a bit and Rick asked if "I'd like to borrow it and try it out?" Of course I would! "You're gonna get some strange looks walking around with that this weekend!" No doubt. I loaded it up with a roll of Fuji Neopan Acros 100 - a film I've never shot before. I also ordered a roll of Fuji Velvia 50 to run through it next, which should be a perfect combination(as long as I expose correctly(no light meter on this behemoth)).  I'm pretty excited to use this.
I should have some photos posted next week.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

From Rome to Home

Pyramid & Arch
Last week I developed a roll of Fuji Neopan 400 that I thought I shot entirely in the Cuyahoga Valley - but to my delight the beginning of the roll was from my last two days in Rome. It was kind of a throwback to my younger days when I would start a roll of film at and event - only to not finish it until I went on vacation(or something similar) - when it would finally get it back from the lab I would be surprised by the early part of the roll that I had forgotten about. I don't think this experience has ever happened to me digitally. Anyways - this Neopan has travelled thousands of miles for you to visually feast on - gorge yourself. Barn Contrast Study 4

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dead Film, Dead Camera

I had my trusty Nikon F3 loaded up with one of Kodak's now discontinued slide films, one I had never shot before - e100gx, it was a slightly chilly, and misty morning after a late evening rain. I was crouched down in the woods surveying the spring eruption of color near Furnace Run. I focused in on a rain drop covered group of bluebell flowers. Ready to click, but no meter reading, change the settings, nothing, press the shutter button, nothing, turn it on - turn it off, turn it on again, nothing. A digital day it was as I reached for my Canon 7D. "Dead batteries" I figured and made a trip to Batteries + after shooting. New batteries loaded in the F3 and ready to go - flip the power on - nothing. The F3 was dead.

Monday, May 20, 2013


From the Backside
Yesterday I went for a solo photo walk around Downtown Akron. It had been a while - I mostly followed the Towpath trail through the center of the city with a few side detours. These are photos I took with my Canon 7D - but I only had my 7D with me for its meter - the reason for this will be explained in tomorrow's post(slide film with the F3).

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Breakfast Picnic

Breakfast Picnic
This morning my friend's Greg and Terra had a few of us over for breakfast. They, as well as our friends Brad and Leslie, are vegan - so we ate a delicious, healthful, vegan breakfast. Sitting outside eating a drinking coffee with good friends was a perfect start to a day. I took some shots that were just average because of the spotty, bright sunshine - I realized the problem and was able to fix it with some fill-flash. Never forget about your flash just because the sun is out!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Flash and Flowers

On a Big Tree
On today's hike I came upon this big tree - I had my flash with me but no modifiers or light stands. I decided to set it up on the tree in the same direction that the sun was setting - the shadows are pretty harsh but I liked something about it - not my usual style but maybe that's what I liked. I took a few that were much more balanced but they just looked real boring...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Late Light(too late)

I went out tonight to try and catch some evening light on the Langes Bridle Trail - unfortunately I waited a little too long and was only able to get a few shots before I lost most of my light. I did witness a beautiful sunset though(but got no good shots of it). The above shot is my favorite - I call it 'Twisted'. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Zoo B-Day

Double Touch
Laura and I attended her niece's birthday party at the Akron Zoo yesterday. If you haven't been to the Akron Zoo since you were little you will be hugely impressed - but if you try to compare it to Cleveland or Columbus you will be disappointed. It was, however, a great spot for a birthday party and all the kids had a really good time. I cannot say enough about how wonderful the Zoo staff was... 
I didn't see any signs telling you not to use 'flash photography' but I decided against it anyways - it just didn't seem right to be firing flashes around wild animals - so my indoor shots are very high ISO. They wouldn't make great large prints but they are fine for 500px internet images.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Ohio City Romp

Laura and I
Laura and I made our way up to Ohio City yesterday for some beer and groceries. We started out picking up produce and cup cakes at the West Side Market. After dropping the stuff at the car we walked over to the newish Nano Brew Cleveland - which is a small one barrel brewery/bar owned by Andy Tveekrem, who also runs Market Garden Brewery. He uses Nano Brew to make one of a kind beers that may make it over to production at Market Garden. Laura had a green tea wheat beer and I had an IPA - both were pretty good. Feeling a slight buzz off of one beer we decided we better eat - we went over to Orale! Mexican Restaurant - where we had amazing tacos - some of the best tacos ever actually. With full bellies we wandered over to Great Lakes and had a couple of their brewery-only-release beers in the beer cellar and on the front patio. Great Lakes seems like it is always packed no matter when you visit - but hey, it is Great Lakes. We crossed the street to Market Garden and enjoyed some of their beers in their beer garden - and quickly seized the opportunity to sit near the fire as the sky turned to night. One more drink by the fire and a quick stop in McNulty’s Bier Markt and we were carefully on our way back to Akron. We commented how if we lived in the area we probably would have spent all night outside at Market Garden. Ohio City truly is one of the great spots anywhere for beer and food nerds.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Pool Hall

Laura and I set up her pool table and went on a pool playing marathon tonight. Our friend Mike stopped by to say "goodbye" before he took off to join the Air Force. I shot some high-ISO photos to capture the exciting action on the quirky pool table.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

April Showers Bring Blue Bell Flowers

The Blue Bells
The Cuyahoga Valley is home to many beautiful sights - but my favorite is the springtime blooming of the bluebell flowers. In certain places they blanket the forest floor in blue. This year I went out and shot them on a perfect misty morning after a rain. There are a few great places along Furnace Run to see them, but these were taken in my favorite - which I won't disclose. A true moment of Zen.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Two Things in the Valley

This is the photo from the Langes Trail Hike the other day turned into a "graphic design". I really like how it looks - did I rip this look off from something?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Buckeye Trail

...between Peninsula and Boston. Even on a hugely busy day in the Cuyahoga Valley this section of the Buckeye Trail(off the Pine Lane Trailhead) was pretty empty - and that is why I like it. I was able to turn the hike into a loop by returning on the Valley Bridle Trail - which is another great reason to park at Pine Lane. Hiking Trail 
Being that it was midday with bright, overhead sun I didn't take that many great photos - I did however sit in the shade and shoot the opening scene to a video I'll post tomorrow.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Buckeye Flowers

Buckeye Tree Flowers
Today I was taking a long hike along the Langes Run Trail when I noticed some flowers I had never seen before - I then realized that they were on a small buckeye tree. I guess I have never seen a buckeye tree in bloom before(above photo). I've now been on various parts of the Langes Run Trail a few times and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite spots to hike in the Valley - it is beautiful and I rarely pass another soul. I also shot some black and white film photos of old structures I found on my hike - those will be posted soon.

Friday, May 3, 2013

More Gardening

Laura and I planted some verbena flowers in her front garden today while enjoying a few Bell's Oberon's. Instead of food and beer pairings I think I should start doing beer and activity pairings - because this was a perfect match...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hop Planting

Cascade Hops!
Laura and I planted our Cascade and Northern Brewer Hops in the ground today. Our plan is to get them to climb up the arbor I bought Laura for Christmas. I know that you aren't supposed to get a ton of hops the first year you plant them - but it would be so cool to brew beer with some hops we grew ourselves.