Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Day and Night

Barn in Morning Light
The sun broke over the horizon and hit this barn for about 2 minutes before retreating behind the clouds - I happened to look out the window and grab my camera from the trunk just in time. This is what perfect light looks like, no?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Beaver Pond Wildlife

Great Blue Heron
Wildlife photography isn't really my cup of tea(I don't have the patience - I need to keep moving)but when I stumble upon a great blue heron and a eagle in one hike I obviously gonna do me best to shoot them(with a camera)....

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Papercuts @ Emily Davis Gallery

Papercuts VI
Last night I attended and shot the Opening Reception of 'Papercuts' at the Emily Davis Gallery on the University of Akron Campus. It was a challenging shoot - a lot of white on white. I brought my strobes with me but ended up mostly shooting long exposures of the artwork. The lighting on the pieces was pretty good so I didn't see a reason to try and mess with it too much. I always enjoy trying to bring something out of a show that should definitely be seen in person(go see it!). The show was really cool - some of the tiny hand cuts were amazing - its hard to fathom the patience it most take to create works like this.
This is just a small sampling of the work....

Trick Or Treat

Zane and Reaper
Tonight I went Trick-or-Treating with my nieces and nephews. As usual I was the family photographer - and I took all the classic kids-on-the-porch-in-costume shots for my brother and sister - and as always - my favorite shots were the much more candid ones.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Pumpkin Kicking
Last night we all went over to my parents to carve pumpkins. Everyone was Instagraming photos with their iphones - I had the Canon 7D and big 580exII and processed the photos in Photoshop... Andrew(center of shot above) started to get bored with everyone taking photos - until a pumpkin accidentally got knocked off the table - then he started laughing and attempting to kick the rest off the table...and I assume he thought to himself, "oh, we're knocking everything over - ok - I'm down with that!" Those moments always make for better shots than the typical "look here and smile everyone".

Friday, October 25, 2013

Porch Rokr

Missile Toe 2
These are some shots from the 'Porch Rokr' part of 'Art in the Square'. Porch Rokr is a Highland Square festival where bands play on various neighborhood porches all day long. It was pretty fun to walk around listening to music all day and to see the diverse crowd wandering around Highland Square - everything from punks to parents.  These are from the same roll of Tri-X as yesterday's pot - when I developed it I thought "oh yeah, I shot some film at Porch Rokr".  

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Autumn in Black and White

Morning Fishing
Man, I'm not gonna lie, I love the above photo. Its from a roll of Tri-X that I've been working on for what feels like forever. With all the fall color I haven't been picking up my Minolta that much the last month or so - this roll had lasted so long I wan't entirely sure of what was at the beginning of it - which made for a pleasant surprise because there is some really good stuff here. A few years ago I wouldn't have even considered shooting any black and white during this time of year - I'm glad I found out it can work quite well.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Grain and Blur

Straw Man
I've been running a roll of 12 year old Kodak Max 400 through my Soviet made(in Belarus)Zenit ET for a while now. I picked the camera up at a flea market in Rome which after my initial "Ciao, Quanto costa?" the negotiations mostly took place with hand gestures. Anyways I think I paid about 20 bucks for it. I could tell that the light meter was wildly inaccurate(I Sunny 16'd it) and it wasn't the easiest camera to focus(no split-prism screen) - that topped with the old film made for some rough images ...grainy and blurry. There were a few however that had a certain "feeling" or "vibe" that I felt shined through the technological disadvantages. I shoot old cameras and expired film to achieve a different look - I definitely succeeded in that this time...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Liking Langes

Keep on Shroomin'
I did it again - I went back to the Langes Bridle Trail this evening. I've written about it too many times to try and add a new twist or observation - I just love hiking here. No place is ever really the same place twice anyway - photographically speaking - the light is constantly evolving with the seasons and time of day...

Monday, October 21, 2013

This Year's Model

This Year's Model
I desperately need a new tripod - I have two - my worn out-fairly-cheap one and a flimsy old one that I bought for a few bucks at an estate sale. Fortunately I have a friend who has quite the collection - he let me try out a couple to see which one I'd like to buy. I decided to mess around with both at the same time - the Comet is pictured - and my 7D is taking the shot from the Gitzo. The photo demonstrates what I found perfectly - the Comet looks cooler but the Gitzo is more functional.
As I took a few test shots I started to realize how much my picture looked like another famous photograph - so I decided to turn it into an homage to the cover shot on the great Elvis Costello record - This Year's Model.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Goodyear Heights at Midday

Alder Pond
The middle of the day is the worst time to take landscape photos - but today at Goodyear Heights Metro Park I snapped a few anyways. The sky was the pretty fall blue with puffy white clouds and the trees were beautiful. Laura and I are continuing on our mission to complete the hikes in the Fall Hiking Spree(you only need 8 to complete it but we want to do all of them). There were a lot of people out on a perfect Fall day - everyone is starting to get the fear that it could be the last nice weekend, I believe. Plus it is peak time for Autumn foliage. 
Hopefully the forecast is wrong for this week and we get a few more chances to get out and enjoy the colors...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Another Fall Morning

Trunk Sewer #2
I can stop taking Fall morning photos anytime I want too - I just don't want too.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Park is Open

The Park is Open!
The Republicans finally caved so I headed out to my muse, Indigo Lake, first thing this morning. Lets be clear on one thing - the House had the votes to end the shutdown the whole time(it would have been a bi-partisan vote) Boehner wouldn't allow the vote to happen. Its not the President or the Democrats who held things up by "not negotiating" - but the radical, crazy, right-winger, Tea Party-types in the House. These are the facts, the simple facts, no matter what your beliefs. Anyways - I'm glad the stupid shutdown is over and we can all enjoy OUR parks again.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Hard Way On Purpose

David Giffels
David Giffles new book The Hard Way on Purpose is available for pre-order now. Earlier this Summer I took the above author photo for the book jacket. I shot it at David's house and lit it with two Speedlites and shoot-through umbrellas. David isn't a big-center-of -attention guy aka not entirely comfortable in front of the camera - which I can relate too - I prefer to be on my side of the lens. Friendly conversation over a couple of beers and constant shooting eased the mood - I was happy to come away with shots that look so natural. 
I don't doubt my technical, portrait skills as a photographer - but all that means nothing if you can't make the subject comfortable enough to take a flattering shot.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Furnace Run Redux

Laura and I
The above photo is a remake of a photo that is hanging in a museum in London that I took a few years ago - really. The other version won a contest by a museum about couples called 'Coupling Up' I recieved a book with the photo in it and a spot in the museums permanent collection. When Laura and I went for a hike today we decided to take a photo from the same bench. We also stopped at Country Maid to get some apples - but Laura convinced me to get some of their amazing ice cream too. Their ice cream and atmosphere can't be beat(and helps make up for the abysmal customer service!).

Sunday, October 13, 2013


A little break from magic hour autumn photos....
The other night I was looking through the list of documentaries on Netflix for something interesting to watch. I saw 'Salinger' - a movie about - wait for ....J.D. Salinger and decided to check it out. A little of the way through the film I realized that it must have been made fairly recently so I paused it and went to Wikipedia - turns out it was just released on September 6th and was 9 years in the making in total secrecy. I found the movie to be pretty interesting - lots of interviews with people who hadn't spoken before and some very cool previously unreleased photos and videos. I think any Salinger fan would find it very compelling but if you're not it wouldn't be more than of passing interest. Anyways the big take-away was that the documentary claimed that Salinger never stopped writing and starting in 2015 new books and stories will be released - including continuations of all his work(more about Holden etc.) I though to myself, "how wasn't this news?", so I Googled it and it turns out it was news - I just missed it somehow.
I find this to be pretty exciting - enough so to take a photo and write a blog post....

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Light in Autumn

Light in Autumn
I know - more colorful, digital, fall photos during the magic hour(evening this time) - trust me - I'm ready to get out and shoot some gritty black and white photos on Tri-X....and I will soon. I just have about 7 years of pent-up vibrance, clarity and saturation that I'm dying to use on the fall foliage. My work schedule is finally allowing it and I'm taking full advantage. These were all taken last night at the Bath Nature Preserve - the light was beautiful - I hiked until the sun dropped below the trees...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hinckley in the Morning

Magic Morning
This morning I got up nice and early and headed out to Hinckley Reservation. This government shutdown has me searching for other places to hike during the 'magic hours' - and its kind of been working out for me(but don't get me wrong - it still pisses me off). Today was the first time I have ever hiked around the Hinckley Reservoir - and I picked the absolutely perfect Fall morning for it. There was a fog hanging over the lake as the sun rose - and the trees foliage is near peaking. It was amazing - one of those times where you can point your camera in almost any direction and take a great photograph. I think I shot around 100 images - I had a hard time deciding which ones to edit and post...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Gorge

Who doesn't like The Gorge? Everyone likes The Gorge. I went there tonight and didn't even take one photograph of the dam - notice I didn't say "post" - I said "take".  For real, besides, I already did it perfect, right?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Silver Creek and Apples

Apple Picking
Yesterday Laura and I decided to knock out a couple of Fall activities. We are in the middle of Summit County Metro Park's Fall Hiking Spree so we decided to go for a hike at the beautiful Silver Creek Metro Park. Silver creek is a great place to enjoy the fall color - we also had fun nerding out with all of the tree identification signs along the trail. After the hike we drove to the nearby Rittman Orchards - which we had never been to before. You can pick your own apples there, but we opted to pick them out of the apple bins in the market(the above photo is staged). They also had a wide selection of other fall goodies and produce at reasonable prices - definitely somewhere we will be returning too. The light wasn't that great for photography but the views from the orchard were very pretty as it sits up on a hill overlooking a pond, farm fields, and fall foliage in the distance.

Friday, October 4, 2013


New #Selfie
Lately I've been working on organizing some of my photos into galleries and slide shows for this website - the goal is to try and display them in some kind of coherent fashion. One of the sets I organized is a collection of all of my self portraits over the years. You can check out the #selfies page here. Most of the other pages on this website are now finally functional - I just have a few more things to finish up. I've designed the website so I can easily change and display different projects as I complete them. Right now all the slide shows are based on flash, which I know presents a problem for certain mobile users - I hope to rectify that soon. I'm open to suggestion for any ways to fix or improve this website(aside from the design -I'm personally happy with the new, clean layout).

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall Shutdown

Closed Parks
Thanks the Republican Party's inability to tame the crazies on their right flank the Federal government is partially shutdown. Here in Northeast Ohio this means that the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is "closed". Being a sprawling 33,000 acre park between Cleveland and Akron, though, this is hard to do. This morning I went and surveyed some of my favorite spots to see how effective the closure is. Places like Virginia Kendall and many of the Towpath parking lots do have gates that were locked - but parking in pull-offs or at nearby private lots was an option. I ended up parking in Peninsula and walking to the Towpath. I can't be stopped - I need my fall photos!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Colorful Morning Downtown

Exchange at Sunrise
I woke this morning and decided to try and capture some sunrise photos - the question was where? With the government being "partially shutdown" I decided I didn't want to risk driving to the Valley only to not be able to get into a parking lot. I decided to head Downtown instead. I parked at Cascade Locks and walked into town and towards campus. I've had the newish parking deck on Exchange Street in the back of my mind for a while and I climbed its stairs right as the sun began to rise. I managed a few golden hour images that I really liked - and here they are. Unfortunately the bit of fog that was hanging around added a hazy look to some of the photos that otherwise would have turned out pretty good.