Sunday, June 30, 2013

Back in Ohio City

I had to drop off the photos from the job I did for the Cleveland Brew Shop on Saturday so Laura and I decided to make an afternoon/evening out of it. On multiple recommendations we ate at The Tremont Taphouse(above photo). They had a great patio, amazing beer selection and outstanding food. Definitely a place we would go back to. After that we hit all the usuals in Ohio City - Great Lakes, Nano Brew, and Market Garden. We also popped our heads into The Bier Market and the Speakeasy.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Slippery Pete

This is our new friend, Slippery Pete. He lives under the front porch. He is a scary looking snake. What kind? That's what we want to know.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Zeiss Ikon Balilla

Beer Here
Last weekend I took my Zeiss Ikon Balilla out for its first shoot. I picked this camera up at a flea market when I was in Rome, Italy. I really haggled with the non-English-speaking vendor. I finally beat him down to 30 Euros. I kind of felt bad when I got home and found out that the camera regularly goes for over 400 bucks on e-bay -and is pretty rare. Zeiss is a German company but the camera was made for the Italian market only, starting in 1936. Balilla was the name of Mussolini's fascist youth group. I thought the camera took full 6x9 images on the 120mm film(I used Ilford Delta 100) but it actually takes smaller images. With box cameras you have to wind the film until a number is visible in a red window on the back of the camera - the numbers and windows line up in different spots depending on the size negative the camera takes. When I developed this roll I had an image "every other space". The film this camera originally took must have had a different numbering system. I ended up with only half the shots I should have - this has never happened to me before and I'll need to look up how to line up modern film correctly in this camera.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cleveland Brew Shop

Cleveland Brew Shop
Here is one of the photos from the job I did for the Cleveland Brew Shop. The shop has been open since last November and they have everything you could need to do home brewing. For the shot I set up a mini-studio right in the store. I put a piece of seamless white poster board on one of their tables and clamped it in the front and supported it with a glass carboy(from the store obviously!) in the back. I then used a 580exII over head on full power in a shoot-through umbrella, a 430ex off to the left on half power in a shoot through umbrella, and a 550ex on the background at 1/4 power(all these flashes are Canon Speedlites). I triggered them with the flash on my Canon 7D. So it was a pretty simple set-up but anything more probably would have been over-kill for what in essence are just cardboard boxes.
It was fun to do a shoot while discussing beer and photography with my client - my two loves finally meet....

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

To Hold You Over

Well - I have three rolls of color film at the lab - one roll of black and white to develop and one that is unfinished in my camera. I had a "real" photo shoot today that I haven't finished editing yet and I have photos of my new nephew but I don't want to beat my sister to the punch by showing those. Oh yeah - there is also a roll of color in my Nikon L35AF from an event Monday that I need to finish.  In other words - enjoy this photo of dinner rolls that I baked last night.... Dinner Rolls

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Instagram - The Hard Way

Downtown at Dusk II
Step by Step.
1.  Find old box camera at an estate sale.
2.  Order ISO 100 120mm film
3.  Respool 120mm film onto antique 620 spool in complete darkness
4.  Load respooled film into old camera(1940s Kodak Target Six-20 in this case)
5.  Shoot camera on day with plenty of sun
6.  Remove film from camera and load onto development spool in complete darkness
7.  Develop film using black and white chemicals
8.  Hang dry film for 4 or 5 hours
9.  Scan film with scanner
10. Open image in Photoshop
11. Add tilt-shift blur and make adjustments
12. Add color gradient and then adjust levels
13. Upload image to
14. Post on blog
15. Share blog on Facebook

Monday, June 24, 2013

South Main on Kentmere

Clothes Shoes
I'm not to sure what is going on in the above photo - is the donation box full or did someone break into it to try and get the "good" stuff? Also - how often do you see a payphone anymore. Anyways - these are some more shots from the roll of Kentmere 400 that I had in Catawba. I've shot in this area, South Main Street in Akron, a few times and I always find something cool. I have some color photos from that morning at the lab now(patiently waiting - they only develop E6(slides) once a week in the Summer). As I said before I'm pretty happy with this Kentmere film - definitely a good bargain. I have the previously mentioned Arista 400 in my X-700 now and I can't wait to compare these similarly priced films.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Snap! at The Massillon Museum

Pale Blue Eyes
Yesterday I went down to the Massillon Museum to see the opening of the 'Snap! in the Photobooth with Andy Warhol and Friends' exhibit. My friend Dave Rich and members of The Bizzaros and Tin Huey formed a Velvet Underground cover band called Pale Blue Eyes and played outside on the museum lawn for the occasion. The band was awesome although the lighting conditions were really tough for photos - I should have brought my flash for some fill light. The exhibit was really cool - mostly photobooth strips that Warhol had made along with a few silk screen prints based on them. The Museum had a couple other really good exhibits at the same time and I would even consider heading back down there to see them when it is less crowded. I managed to get my best photos of the night walking back to my car - a few long exposures.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Six-20 Day

Thursday was a day that some of us camera nerds celebrated - that date was 6/20 or 620 - we celebrated it as Six 20 Day as in Six-20 film. Six-20 film is no longer made but a whole group of us from flickr went out and shot our Six-20 cameras with 120 film. I re-spooled my 120 onto Six-20 spools and use my Kodak Brownie Target Six-20. I shot my film(Ilford Delta 100) Downtown Akron at the magic hour. My only problem was that the light was so great I kept pulling out my Pentax K1000 that I had loaded with color film(Kodak Elite Chrome) - I had to force myself to focus on the task at hand - black and white compositions with the 1940s Kodak. It wasn't easy - rarely is amazing light a problem for a photographer....

Friday, June 21, 2013

Kentmere on Catawba

Dock on Catawba IV
I developed my first roll of Kentmere 400 today. I had a hard time trying to find a reliable source for the development time with my chemical of choice - HC-110(b) - so I dug into some of the online forums. Much of what I saw seemed ridiculously long to me - many suggested 8 minutes - I've developed 5 different 400 speed films in HC-110 and none longer than 6.30. I finally found a guy with sample photos who said that he did 5 minutes but that his photos could be a bit more contrasty - so I went with 5.30 - and it worked perfectly. The negatives looked to have the same density as my Tri-X or HP5. A lot of people said that the problem with this film is that it had less contrast than other 400 speed black and white films but I didn't find that - the grain didn't seem that bad either. Granted, I'll have a better comparison when I start printing - but so far I think this is a great film for the money.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Weekly Update #1

I've been planning on making a weekly video like this for a while. Now that Laura and I are on an unofficial-summer-hiatus from BrewView I finally got around to it. The idea was inspired by the homebrew community on YouTube who make "HomeBrew Wednesday" videos every week. They just talk about whatever homebrew related topic they want or what they have going on/planned. So that is what I'm gonna try and do with photography every Wednesday or Thursday. If you don't like it - don't watch it!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Good Time Buds
I took these two photos yesterday at Lizardville in Fairlawn. Laura was heading off for a work trip today so we decided to have a nice goodbye with some craft beers, bourbon, and cigars last evening. I don't have any shots to post from today because I only used film(the new Kentmere in my X-700 and Kodak Ultra in my Pentax K1000). I also spent a good chunk of the day messing around with the new version of Photoshop....and starting tomorrow I'll reveal a new weekly feature for the blog... good stuff coming - stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Expired Neopan

I must have been asleep at the wheel because a few weeks ago I found myself without any fresh black and white film - and I always like to have a roll in my Minolta X-700. So I searched my "film vault" and found a roll of expired Fuji Neopan that I had bought at an estate sale. It became one of my infamous "well-traveled" rolls as I shot it over about three weeks. I pushed the development time by about thirty seconds to hopefully make up for any speed lost by the roll being expired. I don't think it lost too much though because it came out fairly contrasty.  I scanned the roll in "color" which gives it this sepia look(as opposed to true monochrome). 
Anyways - now I'm working on my first roll of 'Kentmere 400' - a inexpensive film made by Ilford - I'll be interested to see how that turns out(hopefully good - I have 4 rolls of it).

Monday, June 17, 2013

East Harbor State Park

Lake Erie
Yesterday Laura and I finished up our mini-vacation at East Harbor State Park. East Harbor has hiking trails, camp grounds, and beaches. The beach is cool for a couple of reasons - it is very natural with the trees going right up to the beach and you can walk at least 100 yards out into the water and still only be about waste deep. The beach is on a narrow peninsula with Lake Erie on one side and the harbor on the other. The park also has marshes that are some of the last remnants of the Great Black Swamp. There was a decent amount of people around but it didn't feel crowded - but I have read that it is a very popular park in the Summer with lots of families camping and swimming.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Miller Ferry
Laura and I decided to go for a bike ride on Catawba Saturday afternoon - we passed the docks for the Miller Ferry and after a little discussion("there is a brewery on Put-in-Bay") we were sailing to the island. Laura had never been to Middle Bass Island and Put-in-Bay and I had not been there since I was a kid. I was well aware that Put-in-Bay has a party-town atmosphere but I didn't realize everyone was going to crack beers the moment the ferry departed(cuz, ya know, you can't wait 15 minutes to get to the island). When we arrived we cruised on our bikes towards town, stopping and Perry's Monument and riding the 'main strip'. We found our way to Put-In-Bay Brewing Company which was a really cool place - an old fire station - and had a few of their beers(which were unique but hit or miss). On a tip from the bartender we went to get some food(and more drinks) and Wharfside("walk through the tackle shop, it will seem weird, to the bar on the water at the back"). A delicious, local perch sandwich and a couple drinks at this really cool bar and we were on our way. Thinking that no trip to Put-in-Bay could be complete with out a drink at the "World's Longest Bar" we stopped in the Beer Barrel Saloon. A few photos around the park and Laura said - "we start heading back to the Ferry or we're sleeping here"...back on the bikes, back on the ferry, back to Catawba to wrap up the day with a campfire...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Gem Beach

Silhouette Tree
Laura and I were very fortunate that a co-worker of hers allowed us to use their cottage on Catawba Island for the weekend. On Friday night we went for a walk on Gem Beach - which was just a short walk down the street from the cottage. We grilled and then returned to to the beach so I could catch "the magic hour". A couple beers, some cornhole, and a fire and we were out for the night. I woke up early on Saturday and walked to the beach to shoot the morning light and enjoyed watching the early birds head out on their boats. Back at the cottage Laura and I had breakfast and coffee on the peaceful porch and then headed out for a fun(booze) filled day.....more on that tomorrow....

Thursday, June 13, 2013

More Valley Ruins

I went out for another hike on The Langes Run Bridle Trail today - I was thinking of going somewhere new but I wanted to see how much the foliage had changed since the last time I was here. Everything is so overwhelmingly green now! It becomes harder this time of year to hunt for my beloved "Ruins of the Valley" - but I did end up following an old driveway down a hill to a former house. I try so hard to imagine what these places would have looked like when they were lived in but its not easy - what is amazing to me is some of these places aren't even that old. You can tell by the building materials and trash left around that someone could have been living here less than 50 years ago - now its just weeds and bricks(and the oven - the ovens are always still there!).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Kodak UltraMax 400

David Bay Leaf 3
I took my simple Nikon L35AF with me to the David Bay Leaf show at Annabell's a few weeks ago. I finished a roll I had been working on and then started a new one. That second roll made it a few places - Barberton, Indigo Lake, The Matinee, Wallhaven.... Both rolls were Ultramax 400 which is  Kodak's standard consumer color negative film(I believe its the same as Kodacolor and Gold). For only costing about 2 bucks a roll I'm always happy with this film - the colors are fairly natural and nicely saturated. I shot it with flash, in the sun, in the clouds, and at various times of day and it performs well under all those conditions. Its a good film for testing out new(old) cameras too.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


The Darkroom
This afternoon I decided to hall my enlarger and other darkroom equipment upstairs to figure out what worked, what didn't, and what needed to be repaired. One thing led to another and before I knew it I had it all set up in my bathroom. I found some old Ilford Multigrade 8x10 paper from high school and spent about an hour blacking out the bathroom and I was in business. I didn't have any filters for the multigrade paper(the filters control contrast) but I figured it was really old paper and I just wanted to experiment anyways. I exposed six sheet of paper and managed to get 3 decent enlargements - these aren't going to be mistaken for Ansel Adams prints but they definitely aren't bad for my first attempt in over a decade.
I have some Ilford filters on the way from B&H and now I'm excited to see what I can really do.  I'll then scan the prints and show a comparison to the scanned negatives and give an in depth look into what goes into the enlarging process.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Valley Sunset

Valley Sunset IV
It rained almost all day today and I had no intention of going outside to shoot any photos....but then I found myself driving home and the Sun emerging from behind the clouds. I had already decided which chores I was about to get into as I approached my street - but I didn't turn South, I turned North and headed into the Valley. I went to the closest parking lot(Bath Road) I could get to knowing there wasn't much time before the Sun dropped behind the wall of the valley. I walked around the train tracks and Towpath Trail for about an hour catching every last bit of Sun I could...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

CornerStone Brewing and The Brew Kettle

Laura and I decided to try out another Ohio brewery we had never been to before on Saturday. We went up to CornerStone Brewing Company in downtown Berea. It was a nice day so we decided to sit out on the front patio which faced into the square. Unfortunately we didn't find the beer to be all that amazing and the waitress wasn't that great either - we tried a few beers and an appetizer but then decided to move on. We used Laura's smart phone to find our way to The Brew Kettle which turned out to be less than 10 minutes away. On the patio of there we enjoyed amazing beers, great service, and outstanding food. I'm glad we visited CornerStone, and although we didn't really try the food, as beer geeks I don't think we could recommend it.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Danny Lyon Exhibit

The Bikeriders
This afternoon Laura and I went to the Akron Art Museum to see the exhibit Danny Lyon: The Bikers. Lyon shot most of the photographs in this show of the biker club The Chicago Outlaws. These blank and white prints are absolutely beautiful. Anyone interested in photography or biker culture should not miss this.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Indigo Lake and Homemade Buns!

Clear Spring Water
I came here yesterday morning to finish the roll of T-Max in the Fuji GSW690III but when I saw the clear water and beautiful reflected colors in the morning light I was glad I had my Canon 7D with me. The above photo and the one after the 'jump' are two of my favorite Indigo photos - and that is saying a lot - because I have taken lots and lots of photos here over the years.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

GSW690II Part II

To Hale
I like that title - really gets to the heart of the matter. Anyways - I shot my second roll of film(first roll here) through the Fuji GSW690III - this time I used Kodak T-Max 100. I didn't notice a giant difference between the Fuji Acros I used last time and the T-Max I used this time. I shot half the roll in Barberton and finished the roll this morning at Indigo Lake. As I said last time, I really like the way this camera makes you slow down and really consider what you are doing - I have to check my hand held light meter, really make sure I've focused right(different kind of focusing than the SLRs I usually use), and really make sure I want the shot knowing I only have 8 exposures on fairly expensive film(not to mention the time involved in developing). I developed this roll for 7 minutes - 30 seconds longer than the last time I developed a roll of T-Max - I think that I had slightly better results with the longer time. 
I'm already halfway through a roll of Fuji Velvia 50 in the camera - I'll post those soon...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Our Growing Garden

Front Garden
A little photo-essay-update on Laura and my garden. We planted a few things this week and a few new things have popped out of the ground. Our hops and peach trees also seem to be doing really well - I'll have photos of those soon. My garden posts will be an ongoing feature all Summer long...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Climbers 2013

Every Rose...
I love the roses that grow on the side of my house - I've been cultivating them for years now and they do better every year. 
One thing I've never been quite sure how to take care of is this amount of brightness and color in digital photos. If you were to look at this image full size you would see that the rose is over-saturated to the point of losing detail - but if I tone down the saturation the colors of the rose don't stand out the way they should. This only happens with colors toward the red end of the spectrum. I've never printed a photo with this kind of blown saturation so I'm not sure if it is just the limited colors of a computer monitor or if it would be blown out in print too. I think I should get this one printed to find out - and maybe do a little reading to see how to better handle this kind of photo.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Willoughby Brewing & Pickle Bills

Willoughby Brewing Company
Bookending yesterday's trip to Headlands beach were trips to Willoughby Brewing and Pickle Bills. Willoughby Brewing Company is a brewpub/restaurant in Willoughby(obviously). Their beers were absolutely fantastic and we had some great pizza there too. Its a large place with an industrial feel - we ate out at the bar on the covered patio. Their Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter is a must try. 
After Willoughby and a walk on the beach we stopped by Pickle Bills in Grand River(probably only a quarter mile from Headlands Beach). Pickle Bills seems to be two places - the seafood restaurant on the first floor and the patio bar on the roof. Since we already ate we had a few beers upstairs. It was pouring rain off and on but the area immediately around the bar was covered. We sat out enjoying the view of the river and Marina. I can imagine the place draws quite the crowd on a pretty Summer evening. It actually had the feel of being on vacation somewhere on the east coast. We'd like to get back and try the food soon.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Headlands Beach State Park

To the Beach
Laura and I made a brief visit to Headlands Beach State Park near Mentor today. I hadn't been there since a grey day in 2006 - and it was grey again today. We went for a short walk on the beach before a rain shower hit - we ran back to the car and got drenched in the process. We both promised each other we would return when the weather is nicer.  I still managed a few fine photos though.