Monday, March 31, 2014

Last Snow(hopefully)

I shot this photo while Laura and I were out running errands yesterday. It depicts what is hopefully the last last snow of a long, cold, snowy Winter. A post for the archives - as I use my flickr as kind of a personal diary or record. For instance I can go back and see how nice this time of year was two years ago.
*Plus, it will probably be the last snow on Omnova as they are moving out of Fairlawn....

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cleveland Museum of Art

Atrium On Friday night Laura and I went up to the Cleveland Museum of Art - neither of us had been there since the renovation was completed. I'm not a big fan of the looks of the new building from the outside but it did add a considerable amount of space on the inside. The huge glass atrium(above) is pretty cool but gives me the same feeling as the newish lobby at the Akron Art Museum - tons of new space but not necessarily exhibition space - I guess these places are meant to be a show piece and bring people in for other events?
Anyway, the highlight for me was the temporary exhibition, Beijing: Contemporary and Imperial: Photographs by Lois Conner. They were photos shot with a 17x7 camera and the prints were platinum contact prints(and a few digital enlargements). Really great stuff - many juxtaposed modern Beijing's growth against the older dwellings. Definitely worth checking out for the price of admission(free).

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things

Grain Focuser
I like to light is some stuff.
"MinSight Grain Focuser" - I should have bought one of these before I even set up my enlarger to make darkroom prints. I was squinting at the photo paper turning the knob up and down, "is it in focus? a little more this way, well, maybe a little more that way?" - this alleviates the problem and makes focusing a breeze. They really aren't that expensive either - which is a rarity for photo equipment. This is the same focuser from two different angles composited together.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Akron Collage In high school photography class we made collages with cut-outs from magazines and glue sticks before we shot any photos - no one at the time would have thought of the way it could now be done in Photoshop.  The above collage came about while I was trying to makes something entirely different - I kept heading down a different path and ended up with this Akron homage.  
Unfortunately, I've been really sick this week and I haven't had the strength to face the cold to shoot anything new....but I have taken the chance to finish a few great photo books - I'll have some posts about those soon. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Analogue Akron

Geese Cross Main #1 "My name is Tim ...and I take photos of Akron."
This is the yin to yesterday's color yang. This roll was shot on two separate walks through Downtown - one the same day as yesterday's post and the other was a few weeks ago when I walked up out of the Valley and down a street I had never been down before. This was my last roll of T-Max 400 that I had one in a contest a little while back. I used a hypo clearing agent for the first time ever when I developed this roll. I started to feel guilty about the amount of water I was wasting when washing the fixer from my film - this cuts the washing time considerably. I was amazed to see it also washed Kodak T-Max's pink tint away. This is something I should have been doing all along - atleast now I'll be saving some time and being just a bit more "green"....

Monday, March 24, 2014

Follow Me To Akron

Into the Setting Sun Yesterday was a beautiful day in the former Rubber Capital, albeit still really cold. I'm not usually one to complain too much about the weather - but I am getting sick of the cold fingers on the camera at this point - especially on a day where standing in one place waiting for the sun/clouds is necessary. Anyways - I did my usual park at Cascade Locks and walk into and around downtown. I like doing it on Sundays when I can catch photos without much traffic. Nothing too groundbreaking for me here - just more Akron shots from different angles on a very pretty evening.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Hard Way on Purpose

David Giffles Last night I went to see David Giffels speak and read from his newly released book, 'The Hard Way on Purpose' at the Akron Public Library. It was the second time I have seen him read in person and it was fantastic. (As I've mentioned before - I had the honor of taking the author shot that appears on the back of the book jacket and in the promo material). David does a great job at his readings keeping things entertaining and added off-the-cuff remarks that really played to the hometown crowd. Even though the book is about living in the Rust Belt(particularly Akron) many of the themes will still be universal. I would really like to see a reading in another city to see which lines get the most laughs. After the reading there was a Q&A that got rolling really well - David kept the crowd laughing until the library had to shut it down to get to the signing - which made sense - I think it would have gone all night...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Old Bottles, Old Flint

Old Bottles
I had a photo shoot canceled but I decided to light some things anyways. When I'm out hiking I often pick up the unique old bottles I find - in this shot there is a "Get Up" which also has "Akron, OH" printed on the back, a "Grapette", an "Akron Brewing", A "Golden Age" - from Youngstown, and a couple unknowns. Even when the painted label has worn away if you hold the bottles up to the sun a certain way you can usually still read what the label used to say.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Layers of The Ledges

The Ledges Walking The Ledges Trail at Virginia Kendall always feels like a walk through history for me - and I'm not talking about the geological history of the sharon conglomerate. I started hiking here as a little kid with my Dad, running cross country practices, a high school photography field trip, one of the first places I took my original digital camera, countless hikes with various friends, and on and on - there is a memory around every rock and turn. 
Anyways - when I was there on a evening last week I felt maybe I would finally be able to get a decent photo of the Ledges from below. Being late day and Winter gave me a good chance - in the Summer the leaves on the trees block any kind of magic hour light.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast
I had never done the "kegs and eggs" thing on St. Patrick's Day before - my friend Pat and I decided to give do it - we figured its one of those things you should try once. We got to the Matinee in Highland Square around 7AM and there was already a decent crowd(they opened at 5:30). I went with a pint of Guinness and Pat braved the green beer, and then we enjoyed the free breakfast buffet set up next door in Mr. Zubs. Karaoke started and 8am which made for a surreal experience. The "first shift" crowd started to dwindle around 11 and so did we - walking out into the bright sunshine of the day...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Weekend Hikes

Furnace Run With the warmer weather I had to get out into the woods. I went in the evening on Friday and Saturday down in the Valley. I expected it to be muddy but I didn't think about the fact that the creeks and streams would be so swollen with melt water that they would be impassible in places. On Saturday I had to cut my hike short because I couldn't find a suitable place to cross Langes Run. On Friday evening I hiked farther because I had to find ways around what would normally be small ditches. It was still good to get out in the fresh, late-Winter air though...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Wind Through the Trees

Another one of my fascinating mini-documentaries. This one is filmed in the Cuyahoga Valley.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The End of Akron Color(film)

Mustard Seed 'New Mustard Seed'
I think this will probably be one of the last rolls of color negative film you'll see me post here - I'm out of the stuff and I'm starting to wonder what the point is anyways. This was the last roll of expired Kodak Max 400 I had. My scanner hates this expired stuff, I end up trying to fix it in Photoshop, virtually no one makes optical prints anymore, and I have to outsource the development(I'm not going to put the effort into learning C41). So If I want to shoot color it will probably be digitally. There is still some beautiful color film out there(I have a few rolls of E6 slide film left to shoot) but when it comes down to it if I can't control it from beginning to end I'm just not that interested. I think it will be analog for black and white and digital for color from now on.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

They Say its Your Birthday

Happy 25th Internet! Apparently it is the 25th birthday of the "internet" today. Maybe you've heard of it? 
Yes, this is my photo and those disks do reside in my collection of nonsense. I somehow lost my amazing Powell Peralta Steve Caballero deck but these dang floppies have made the life journey with me! And yes, that one disk is AOL for Tandy and the other one is indeed Version 1.1 for Windows. Prodigy, I have a Prodigy installation disk for chrissake!!! 
Well, Happy birthday Internet - Comcast/TW hopes it will be one of your last.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Keep Calm and Stamp On

Sorry - there was actually a stamp that said that at Pat Catan's today when I went to buy an ink pad - now its all I can think of - hopefully using as a title will put it out of my head. I actually had no idea where the "Keep Calm" craze came from until I just Wikipedia'd it. Anyways... Rubber Stamp 
I had a few rubber stamps made at Sackmann's on Exchange with some simple logos I came up with. I figured they would be a good way to get my name on the prints I sell or give out. ....and now I'll probably just go on a stamping spree in general.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Man Ray in Canton

Man Ray Opening On Friday my friend Josh I and I headed down to Canton to take in the opening of 'Man Ray: A Surreal Vision' at the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography. The show consisted of photogravures pulled from a limited edition book of Man Ray's work. I've never been a giant Man Ray fan but thought that maybe seeing his work in person might change my mind. To be honest it didn't. I more appreciate him in a historical way than on a simple aesthetic level. I'm well aware that his Rayograms(photograms) and solarizations were innovative at the time - but they are also some of the first techniques we learned in my high school photography class. Its just hard for it to feel fresh or exciting now. You have to know that they are "Man Ray's" to appreciate them. To me the analogy is when Radiohead switched to making records that to me sounded like a bunch of noises - people would say to me "but no one has ever done this before" - and I would say, "I can appreciate that - but it still sounds like a bunch of bleeps and bloops".
I was definitely more fond of Man Ray's portrait work - but even those don't blow me away.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Darkroom Friday

Test Strips II
I spent most of Friday morning and afternoon in the darkroom(my temporarily converted bathroom). These are a few of the test strips I made for prints. I was planning on making some larger prints but decided to hold off and order a grain focuser first - I don't want to waste paper just to do it.  I made 7 prints and 4 of them I'm pretty happy with.  I'm definitely starting to get a better vibe on how long to expose my paper for - better at judging the negatives "density" - as they say.     
I've shot a lot of film this week but don't have any developed yet - so nothing new to post for now...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Rokkor on the Lake

Optical Illusions This is my film take on the photo shoot that broke out with my friends a few weekends ago. These are the kind of photos where the Rokkor 55mm f/1.7 shines - that 3d look it can give to portrait/people shots. I love it. I've written about this lens many times - the kit lens for a late 60's early 70s Minolta SRT-101 - not even Minolta's top of the line lens. No matter - nothing in my collection tops it(not even the 1000 dollar lens on my Canon 7D) - I think it almost defines my black and white film look. I used to try out the other lenses in the 50mm range in my Minolta collection but every time I did I regretted not having those shots with this...

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fat Tuesday, Still Life

Honest Abe and the Boys
I don't shoot film indoors very often but its something I've been looking to do more of - probably inspired by my film flickr groups and images I come across on tumblr. So I decided to finish off a roll of T-Max by setting up my Minolta on a tripod and shooting around the house. My intuition of exposing more than the meter reading was right - as anything I exposed exactly as the meter said was a little dark. I had a hot light setup for the self-portrait and cocktail shaker shots - the others were just good late-day sun coming through the window. More of this roll later in the week....

Monday, March 3, 2014

Wine Bottling

Wine Bottling I've never really captured Laura and I bottling any of our beers so today I was glad I was able to capture a few when we bottled our wine. The larger size of the wine bottles afforded me a little more time. I filled the bottles with our homemade Cabernet and Laura corked them with our new floor corker(courtesy of the Cleveland Brew Shop). Everything seemed to go pretty smooth for a couple of first time wine makers. We ended up with about 3/4 of a bottle at the end of bottling - so we figured we better test it out. It was pretty good even though it tasted fairly "green" - with some age its going to be pretty nice. They say to wait at least two months before drinking it - we'll see how we do. As a side note we got our black IPA in bottles on Saturday - which I'm very excited to try out when its finished carbonating.