Thursday, July 31, 2014

Finding Vivian Maier

John Maloof Tonight Rick and I went to The Palace Theater in Canton to see the documentary 'Finding Vivian Maier' - which tells the story of John Maloof finding and bringing to the public eye the photographic work of a Chicago nanny. I've read the criticisms of John, the documentary, and Vivian's work - I'm an unabashed fan of Vivian Maier's photos, thought the movie absolutely fascinating, and thank Mr. Maloof for doing so much to bring the collection to prominence. The research for the film was exhaustive and even though the gist is how mysterious of a woman she was, I was surprised by how much we actually do know now. John(pictured above) held a Q&A after the showing. 
There is also an exhibit of Vivian Maier's photos at the Joseph Saxton Gallery that opened last night - I will have to return to see it. I'm one of the people who believes her stuff stands with the Franks, Erwitts, Winogrands(insert name of your favorite street photographer here) - it blows me away - I love it. Street photography is definitely not my strong suit - which is probably why I like it so much... If you have any interest in photography, photographers, or great stories I would highly recommend checking out the film if you get the chance.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Contrasty Akron

Big Sky, Old City Here are a few shots of Akron - just the way I like it - on Kodak Tri-X and shot with my red 25 filter.  Some nice crunchy monochrome - eat up!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hocking Hills in Glorious Color

Hocking Hills
I finally remembered to get a roll of 120mm film that I shot in Hocking Hills last Spring developed. Those of you that hang on my every word will remember that my Canon 7D died just a few hours into our trip - so almost all the photos I took were shot in monochrome on Tri-X. I did, however, shoot this one roll of color film - Kodak Portra 400 - in the Fuji 690GSWIII(which makes awesome 6x9 shots - but only 8).

Sunday, July 27, 2014

2014 Burning River Fest

Laura on the Pier Laura and I attended our second Burning River Fest on Saturday night - which takes place on Whiskey Island and at the Historic Coast Guard Station. The Fest benefits the Burning River Foundation - an environmental group focused on freshwater resources - that was started by Great Lakes Brewing. There is music, arts, education and Great Lakes Beer at one of the coolest spots in Cleveland. The weather wasn't nearly as ideal as last year but the views of the city as day turns to night are still worth the price of admission...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Redder Than Red Pt.1

I tried out a new kind of film with a new to me, old to the world camera over the past few weeks. The camera was a Miranda Automex III that was made in 1965 - it has a selenium meter but I didn't have the right kind of battery so I used an external meter. The film was Rollei Redbird(400 ISO) - which is C41 film that is rolled backwards so you shoot through the base. This gives the images a diffused look and the decidedly red tone. I tried various exposures and shot it in multiple locations - it seems to be more red(and look better) when under-exposed. Its not something that I will shoot very often - but its fun for the vintage, Instagram-y, old filmy look....

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Taste of Akron

Taste of Akron Earlier this evening Laura and I ventured to Hardesty Parks for the 'Taste of Akron' - the kick off event to the Akron Arts Expo. We've been to the Expo multiple times but never to this. There were around 30 restaurants represented and multiple food trucks - it made decision making daunting. Its a great event for trying various restaurants you maybe have never been to before - or just stuffing your face with some of the best food around. There was also live music and yellow, fizzy beer for sale. We were there around 6PM and there was already quite the crowd...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Langes Run, Finally

Spotty Light
I went for a hike at one of my favorite trails, Langes Run, for the first time since last Winter. The trail was closed for a while due to the early May flood. It really bummed me out because there is a certain part of the trail that is pretty amazing in Spring. Last year I was there on a day when flower blossoms from the apple and crabapple trees were blowing in the breeze and their scent in the air was amazing. Anyways - I'm glad the trail has reopened - and I'll be picking some blackberries there soon - and some apples in early fall...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Six-20 Day 2014

Defend What You Love This year on Six-20 Day(June 20th) I took out a Brownie Flash Six-20 which I had never used before. I respooled Kodak TMax 100 onto 620 film spools(620 film is no longer made but it is the same as 120mm - the spool size is the only difference). This was my second Six-20 Day and both times I used cameras that I had never used before and with success. This year I already had a photo-shoot scheduled so I took my little box camera with me. The Flash Six-20 is similar control-wise to most Brownie box cameras - a lever for "instant" shots or "b" for long exposures and a second lever for focus "5 - 10 feet" or "beyond 10 feet" focus. This camera is better made than most of my other Brownies(metal not cardboard(or plastic)) and its shutter mechanism feels much more solid. The photos look pretty similar though - a little dreamy with corner vignetting and blur if not held very still. This camera model was made from 1946 - 1955 and was a little bit expensive for a post-war Brownie.
Its been a busy month and thus the delay in getting this roll developed - which was done in Kodak HC-110(b). 
Last year's Six 20 Day post can be found here

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Oldies But Goodies

No. 2 Folding Autographic Brownie Last week I had a photo-shoot canceled so I took the opportunity to update my camera collection page on flickr. I've picked up a few new ones at the Hartville Flea market this Summer. I'm currently re-designing this whole website so I haven't added them to my Zipper City Camera Page yet because I'm not sure exactly how I'm going organize the page yet.  The new front page to Zipper City is now 'live' but it is still a work in progress. I'm not going to change the body of this blog but there will be new navigation - which will point to the new galleries. I realized that my Creative Cloud membership includes Adobe's Prosite(which makes it fairly easy to make portfolio websites) - so I figured its time to give up my hybrid of hacked blogger pages and flickr slideshows... and maybe have a more professional looking website in the process?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Downtown @ Dusk

Downtown @ Dusk
I hadn't been to a Downtown @ Dusk at the Akron Art Museum for a long time - tonight's weather was perfect so I decided to head down.   It was also the opening of 'Working Artist' - a show featuring works by museum staff members.  All of the stuff was pretty good but I was partial to a silver gelatin photograph taken from the High Line in NYC by Arnold Tunstall. Analog black and white print, New York City - you know - right up my alley. There were a couple pop-artish screen prints(I think) I liked too - I should really take notes at these things so I can remember the artist's names and piece titles - oh well - just go see it.
After viewing the art I chatted with a couple friends and then bought a Thirsty Dog beer and sat out in the grass watching 'Zach' - a local band/guy/music thing. Zach isn't really my cup of tea and the light outside was really great - so I strolled through downtown and shot a roll of Tri-X. I snapped a few with my Canon 6D too - and here they are.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Latest Selfie

I had to shoot some portraits last Friday and the person I was working with didn't feel like standing in for the test shots. 

So I put the most handsome subject I could find in front of the camera - me. 

I took a bunch of tests with my remote trigger while getting the lighting right. 

This was my favorite. 

I used slightly more flattering light on the portrait subjects though....

Monday, July 14, 2014

Never Not Working: The Art and Influence of John Puglia

Untitled Last night I went to the Emily Davis Gallery at Akron U to see the opening of a retrospective of John Puglia's work - and some work of the people he influenced. The place was packed - and packed with great people and artwork. John died one year ago and this was the perfect way to celebrate his life. It was amazing to see all the different ways he was interconnected with different people around town and beyond. So many good conversations last night.
I plan to go back when the gallery is not so crowded to take in the work more and photograph the installation....

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Italian-American Festival

Downtown On Friday evening I had nothing going so I decided to head downtown and take in the Italian-Fest. I was impressed that there was more than just the typical "fair vendors" - there were local businesses and groups represented too. In other words - there was actual food being cooked and things being baked.
No matter what - I still enjoy seeing Downtown Akron packed full of people - and I enjoy the randomness of the crowd. ...and there was still some electricity in the air from the LeBron Return....

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Celebration

The Decision, The Letter, The Return....
THE CELEBRATION! The Celebration
I'm sure four years ago I said I would never want LeBron back - I lied!
As we say in Akron - "Go Cavs!"

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Morning Prayer

Sunrise at Kendall Hill Yesterday morning I knew I had a lot of work to get to and I was early to rise - but when I saw that it was fairly clear out I decided to take an hour for myself. I drove to Kendall Hill knowing that the black-eyed susans should be in bloom and that the sun would be rising over the misty hills. I felt a little bit guilty until I got there - and was again amazed by the Valley's beauty. Some people go to church or a temple to unwind or recharge or to reconnect to a higher power - everyone has their own reason I guess. My temple is The Valley and my prayer or meditation is a camera in my hand at sunrise.

I needed to be there yesterday morning - and I'm sure I did better work all day because of it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Keep On Truckin'

Laura and New Truck All my photography work this week has been actual photography work. All the shooting and editing hasn't left me any time to bring you the fascinating stories and mind-blowing images you have come to rely on on a daily basis. For that I apologize.
On the plus side we did get a new photo-mobile - well, technically it is Laura's ....but it will make it way easier for me to haul my gear around when need be - with her permission of course....

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fake Beatles

1964  The Tribute Last night after a finishing a photoshoot at the John S. Knight Center I decided to wander down to the Ribfest and take in '1964 The Tribute' - a Beatles cover band. The guys do a really good show - funny, entertaining, and they play the songs very well. Any true Beatles nerd could nitpick a few things but its a better time to just have a couple of drinks and enjoy it.  I couldn't go see cover bands too often but once in a while its great to hear your favorite songs live and sing along....
The combination of my new 35mm lens and the Canon 6D can be quite amazing - as in the above shot.  It allows me to capture what I once only envisioned.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day! Laura and I got around yesterday. We started at Hartville Flea Market, took a country drive, had lunch with friends, worked in the yard, went to her sister's birthday party and then split - she saw some fireworks and I went to a fire at my parents'. I captured it all with my Canon 6D and new Sigma 35mm f/1.4 - which is an awesome lens.
Check out my "Fourth in Fotos"!

Thursday, July 3, 2014


I added my latest lens to my prime lens collection and last night I went for a hike to test it out. Its a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART series. Unfortunately I didn't get to do much testing - every time I would stop to shoot the mosquitos would eat me alive. The lens feels extremely well made and seems to have a good "look" even from these few shots - but a full review will have to wait until another day.
Have a happy Fourth everyone!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Same As It Ever Was

Birthday Cake On Sunday my sister had the family over to celebrate my nephew, Charlie's, first birthday. As I was getting my flash attached and dialing in the best settings to capture Charlie "blowing out the candles" I noticed something for the first time - I was the only one with a dedicated camera. ...and I don't mean professional SLR - everyone else was only taking photos with their smart phones. Its probably been this way in my family for a while but it was the first time I noticed. I didn't think about it much until later - and what I thought was "that makes sense". There is a the common photography saying, "the best camera is the one you have with you" - and for most people that is their iphone. The camera my parents have - an ancient(in digital years) point and shoot Canon - could no longer hold a candle to the images their phones and tablets make. And most people want to be able to capture a moment as simply and with the least amount of thought about technical considerations possible. Its why the Kodak Brownie made waves over a hundred years ago and why new, better and simpler "automatic" and "point-and-shoot" cameras have continually been released and sold in the millions. A lot of the nerd photo-blogs sites will decry "iphonography" and the like but I don't get it - besides the fact that "photo-enthusiasts" and pros have a long tradition of knocking "lesser" photographers. Give it up already - the point-and-shoot camera as a stand alone product is on life support - and for good reason. There is no reason for super high-megapixel cameras for people who, most likely, have no intention of ever even printing them - and if they do, probably not larger than 5x7.  
My cell phone contract is up in October - and you can bet when I finally get a smartphone I will opening an Instagram account....