Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lady Grey

As I mentioned yesterday I shot some black and white at the Ohio and Erie Canal Reservation - it was Lomography's Lady Grey 400(which is Kodak TMax 400). These shots are from a grouping of old farm implements that were left in the area from a no-longer-existing family farm. The light was really perfect for this kind of thing - these are just a few of the images I made. Old rusty machinery falls into the category of train tracks and old barns, a bit cliche I know, but hey - I like to look at classic black and white photography and I like to shoot classic black and white photography - you really can't be mad at that!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Expired in Hidden Valley

Short Line Bridge
I loaded a roll of expired Fuji Pro 160C film in my Pentax K1000 and headed to the Ohio and Erie Canal Reservation a few morning ago. I had never hiked the part of the Towpath Trail that runs through this part of the Cleveland Metro Parks - and I had never shot any Pro 160C - both turned out to be beautiful. From what I've read the film is supposed to be a modern color film along the lines of Kodak's Ektar - very sharp, low grain, wide exposure latitude & dynamic range, and very good for scanning - my expired version showed a decidedly green color cast but definitely hit on the dynamic range and low grain marks. 
The part of the Canal Reservation I hiked is known as Hidden Valley - the area runs under a huge train bridge, has many historical signs, and the canal is watered. I found it to be educational and scenic - it was hard for me to choose a spot to turn around at - I kept going and going. I definitely will return to the area - I also shot a roll of black and white here which I will be posting soon.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Zeiss in the Park

Beaver Pond Color
I took my Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super BC out for its first roll on a few hikes - at Blue Hen Falls and down to the Towpath - loaded with a roll of Kodak Ultra Max 400. I use this film as my test color film for a camera because it is relatively cheap but still looks decent. The Zeiss has a light meter but the battery compartment on mine is quite corroded so I used an external light meter - besides the meter the camera is fully functional mechanically. All of the cameras controls are on the lens - shutter speed, aperture and focus - which took a bit of getting used to. The focus was super simple and precise with a split-image prism combined with a sharp 50mm lens. I'd like to clean up the battery compartment and shoot the camera again with its own light meter - but everything else seems to be in perfect working condition - those Germans build 'em to last!  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Langes Study - Autumn

Autumn Gold
I seem to have made a study of the seasonal changes at the Langes Run Bridle Trail off the Wetmore Trailhead since last Spring. When the snow flies my cycle will be complete - I'll have to do a retrospective post I guess. There is just something about this part of the Cuyahoga Valley that I love  - the old barns, the drops and climbs, the varied kind of trees, ponds, overlooks, wildlife and the fact that I've never passed another living sole while hiking here. This evening's hike was a short one, but long on beauty - as evidenced by these photos. Should I say that I love Fall again? - yeah why not.
I added some gradient filters in Camera Raw to a couple of these photos - darkened the skies and lightened the foregrounds - its a perfect effect for these shots....and it saves me having to go buy expensive gradient filters for my large lens. I'm not lazy - just cheap.  I wish camera manufacturers were putting most of their resources into improving dynamic range of their sensors - they still can't touch good old film on that front(without lotsa Photoshop tweaking anyways).   

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fog, Again

Tree in Fog #1
So I like foggy mornings in the Cuyahoga Valley. So I like to shoot at Indigo Lake. So I like to shoot foggy mornings in the Cuyahoga Valley at Indigo Lake. So do a lot of others. Well, none of them took these photos at this time this morning except me. Look at 'em - you can't be mad at that!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Autumn Arrival

I love fall - I really do. Its my favorite time of year - the colors, flavors, weather, feelings, and smells can't be beat. I love the deep blue fall sky. I can go on and on - and now it is my first chance to really enjoy every thing fall has to offer in years. Still I feel a bit of reservation - I find myself not quite ready to say goodbye to Summer - and even less ready to say hello to what comes after Fall - Winter. I will still make the most of it photographically, though, of course....and here are my first attempts....

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Office Pano

Office Panorama
With it being a fairly dreary day today I decided to leave the cameras on the shelf and tackle a project I've been putting off - organizing the ZCP World HQ office. I organized everything from old photos to lenses and hung a few shelves. I spent a good 4 hours and it feels much more comfortable in here - plus I'll actually be able to find the things I need when I need them. 
I made the above panorama of my work in Photoshop - or I should say Photoshop made it. I let it run its algorithms and barely tweaked it - for some reason it dropped the last few images so this is about a 300 degree view instead of true 360. My patience had run out though - so this will do. If you click the image and go to flickr you can see it much larger.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Just This

Late Light
Yup - just this. Some nice light on an old camera. I shot a bunch of film this morning but I don't have it developed yet - a roll of color and a roll of black and white. So enjoy this nice shot of an old Brownie - hey - you can't be mad at that!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Manchester Road Morning

Magic Hour Walk
This morning I went for a hike on the Towpath Trail north from the Manchester Road Trailhead. A few years ago I parked here and headed South but I had never hiked the part of the trail I walked today. The morning was perfect - the sun was just rising over the horizon and starting to burn off the fog - always one of my favorite situations to shoot in - you can point your camera in almost any direction and get an interesting shot - as long as you expose correctly (you're light meter is going to be much help in a situation like this). I feel the clock ticking on the remaining nice weather for the season - it serves as my motivation to drag myself out of bed at 6 in the morning.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Steam in the Valley

Steam Study #1
I went down to the Valley to see the Steam Engine at the Boston Mills Depot twice - on Saturday night and then again on Sunday morning to take Laura to see it too. On Saturday evening they were letting everyone walk right up to the train - that is when I shot photos like the one above. I went though a good part of a roll of Kodak Tri-X shooting close-ups of the different parts of the engine - trying to capture the mechanics mixed with the steam and smoke. I ended up with a bunch of stuff I liked - these are my favorites.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Blue Hen Hike

Spring Creek
Since we failed to see the Steam Engine yesterday today we decided to make seeing it a bullet-proof proposition. We went down to the Boston Mills Depot a half an hour before the train was supposed to leave the station. ....and there it was - big and beautiful. But I decided to mostly shoot film and I would like to see how that turned out before I post any photos of it. After we hung around the train for a while we decided to go for a hike at nearby Blue Hen Falls. It was a beautiful day for a hike - we even stopped back to see the train one more time on our way home.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

This is not a Steam Engine

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Laura and I decided to go for a walk on the train tracks near our house to see the visiting Steam Engine go by. We knew that it was leaving Brecksville at 9:30 so we headed out around then and walked for a few hours. The regular diesel Valley train came by - which confused us - even more so when it came back by the other way. Having an understanding about rail road tracks we realized that the Steam Engine was not going to be coming this far South. We went home.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Green Pepper Harvest

Green Pepper Harvest Still sick....but did enjoy some good green peppers from the garden tonight.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Juice's Class

Last night I shot some portraits of my friend Juice and her partner Tito. Juice has a workout class and does massage. She wanted some photos for her website and Facebook page. I lighted the portraits with a couple of speedlites and then switched to bouncing my flash to capture some of the action during her class.
I was/am still feeling really sick - which makes it hard to get out and sit at this computer.  I can't wait until I feel better...I wanna shoot some film!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Full Page, Baby!

Me and My Photo
As awful as this cold I have has been, and and much as it has slowed down my photography, there has been one bright spot - I've been able to work my way through a lot of the newspapers that I hadn't gotten to because of my busy summer.  Today I was reading the July 30th edition of the Akron Beacon Journal and when I flipped over the last page of the A-section I saw something cool - the full page ad the Knight Foundation had run using my photograph of the Akron Art Museum.  They had contacted me about a month earlier after finding the image on flickr to see if they could purchase it for this purpose.  Being a fan of their work, the Museum, and getting paid I gladly said yes.  I never saw it in print until today!  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Big Bend Up Close

Rose of Sharon
I've been a bit under the weather - thus the lack of posting over the weekend. Today I couldn't take it anymore though so I went out for a hike close to home. I walked the section of the Towpath by my house known as Big Bend. The sky was overcast so I planned on taking advantage of the soft, diffuse light to shoot some close-ups of the late-summer blooms. I hope I start feeling better tomorrow so I can get a little further away with more motivation - its crazy - but not shooting for a few days really starts to drive me nuts...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Kalimar TLR 100

Family at the Beach
I remember being thrilled when I found this cool Soviet made Kalimar TLR 100 at the thrift store. It is actually a Lubitel 2 and was made in the Lomo factory in Leningrad - the Kalimar name was put on the export models. I loaded it with a roll of Tri-X not long after purchasing(for 15 bucks) but never shot it - I finally took it out over Labor Day weekend. The view finder is very bright but I can barely tell if things are in focus - I ended up relying more on the scale on the lens and estimated focus. There is no light meter so I used my trusty external meter. I didn't have super high hopes for these shots so I was blown away when I saw how sharp they were - I mean really blown away - not only did I figure I would have missed the focus but I didn't expect the camera lens to be that good anyways(not to mention I nailed exposure on most of the shots). Looks like what I thought was going to be a 'one and done' is going to make it off the shelf fairly often.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

New Portra 400

O'Neil Barn
Last week I took 'the Beast', Fuji GSW690II, out for a few hikes loaded with Kodak's new version of Portra 400. Portra is supposed to be a great portrait film(thus the name) - its colors are very natural and realistic. It works for other applications too obviously - like these landscapes. My favorite Kodak color film is Ektar 100, which has much more saturated colors, but ISO 100 isn't always practical. Portra is also made in an ISO 800 flavor which I have yet to try. As for the Fuji - its an interesting camera to shoot - I used my external light meter and took my time. The focusing isn't the easiest and that is why I would like to acquire a medium format SLR - but I do love the giant 6x9 format of the Fuji. Even my lowly flatbed scanner brings these to near the quality of digital. I have one more roll of 120mm Porta and I would like to shoot actual portraits with it,  but the lens is so wide it might not really work well - I'll have to think of something.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New York on Film

Contrasty Ithaca, New York
Here are 13 photographs from a roll of Arista Premium 400(Kodak Tri-X) I shot on out road trip through New York State. I developed them in my standard Kodak HC-110 dillution B for 6 minutes. I thought these came out really well. I love the crazy contrast in the above shot of Ithaca. At this point in time I'm happier shooting Tri-X in my Minolta X-700 than any other combo(including digital) - not that I'm going to quit experimenting with other cameras, films, or lenses anytime soon - its just that the Minolta will almost always be in my bag too.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labor Day at the Beach

Searching for Beach Glass
My whole family has somehow become beach glass fanatics. Beach glass, or sea glass, is glass that is smoothed and tumbled by water and it has a whole culture of collectors(different colors are rarer and certain shapes and sizes are more desirable I learned). Everyone decided to go up to Headlands Beach State Park to do some hunting on Labor Day and I tagged along. Since I've spent hours in the Cuyahoga Valley, head down, searching for arrow heads and flint I can understand the allure and addiction of the beach glass thing - plus its hard to argue with any hobby that takes place on a beach. Anyways - it was a fun day with the family and the first Labor Day I've been able to enjoy without heavily laboring in years(because of my old job) - not to mention I found a much-coveted piece of red beach glass.