Sunday, August 31, 2014

Made in Ohio

Laura bringing the 'Lakes On Saturday we stopped at the 'Made in Ohio Craft Festival' at Hale Farm. It seemed like there must have been at least 100 vendors there selling all kinds of things - soaps, wines, photos, paintings, yard art, and on and on. We even had a few Great Lakes Beers. It was only 5 bucks to get in which is half the price of the normal admission. Neither of us had been to Hale Farm since we were kids so we spent a good portion of the afternoon touring the exhibits and talking to the actors.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Chemical Color

Bridge at Sunrise
I tried my hand at developing my own color film for the first time today. I bought the Tetenal C-41 Press Kit and used Kodak Ektar 100 film that I shot with the Fuji GSW690III. The process of developing color film is very straightforward - there is a set of instructions and you follow them strictly - its not like black and white where there is a bunch of rough guidelines and you figure out what works for you or your style. The kit is basically 4 bags of powder: developer, blix a, blix b, and stabilizer. The blix A + B get mixed together in one bottle - it is a combination of the bleach and fixer. The developer is supposed to be used at exactly 102 degrees - and the blix needs to be as close as possible to that - so once I had them at temp I placed their bottles in larger containers of water also at 102(thanks youtube). This seemed to work well. One other thing worth noting for anyone who would attempt this is that when you are inverting the tank when at the blix stage gas builds up - it almost pushed my lid off - so the tank needs to be "burped" after each set of inversions.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wet Hopped

Fresh Hops and Red Ale A while ago Laura and I had bought a red ale kit in anticipation of turning it into a red IPA with our homegrown cascade hops. Today we went and checked on the hops, and with the aid of many youtube videos, decided it was harvest time. This was going to be our first attempt to "wet hop" a beer - adding fresh, undried hops directly to the brew during the boil. We also added an extra pound of corn sugar to bump the alcohol content a bit. We both love a good red IPA(Oscar Blues makes a great Imperial Red and Ithaca has their Cascazilla) so hopefully this turns out well...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wood Fired Breakfast

Percolating This little camp percolator changed camp-coffee forever when it was purchased a few years ago for a couple of bucks at a flea market. No more busted french presses or coffee mixed with grease and strained through napkins(don't ask). Anyways, there is nothing like a delicious cup of dark, strong coffee and a breakfast sandwich cooked over a campfire in the morning(a campfire started with only the hot coals from the night before's fire, no less!) Then throw in some veggies from the home garden, *only* a minor craft beer hangover, and a pretty lady and this is almost heaven....

Monday, August 25, 2014

Brewcation Part II

Mash Tun After a great hike on Day 2 of vacation we decided to work a way back east a bit - I had been to Maumee Bay State Park as a kid and we decided to GPS our way there. We arrived early afternoon and set-up camp. A little phone research and we decided to head into Toledo for dinner and drinks at the Maumee Bay Brew Pub. The drive from the park to the Brewery is an interesting one - passing farm fields along the lake which soon give way to a giant refinery and the Toledo Port, then you turn along the river through some interesting neighborhoods, under the Skyway Bridge, and finally across the river into downtown. The brewery is in the Historic Oliver House - a grand hotel when built in 1859.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

3 Breweries in 3 Days(Part I)

Father John's MicroBrewery Laura and I decided to get away for a few days - our time and budget were limited - so we turned to the trusty Ohio Brewery Map for planning purposes. We settled on Father John's Microbrewery in Bryan, OH - a brewery/restaurant inside a renovated church. Drink and food covered for the evening we turned to a place to crash - we found Harrison Lake State Park about 20 minutes away. There was a yurt for rent for only 60 bucks - and with the iffy weather forecast we figured it would be a safer bet than tent camping. We hit the road late Thursday morning and took the scenic route towards Western Ohio....

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Late Summer Wild Flowers(from above)

Joe Pye Weed "Joe Pye Weed"
The other evening I went out with the intention of catching a shot of a field of goldenrod in the late day sun. Of course the sun dipped behind the clouds - so I used the giant softbox to shoot a couple of late-summer wildflowers up close and from above....

Monday, August 18, 2014

In the Garden

Out of Control One of my periodic garden update posts...
Last year we grew all our veggies in pots - and they did just ok. So when we built a few raised beds not far from the porch we expected about the same. We were wrong - our plants took off and went crazy. We have a forest of tomato plants with zucchini and squash spilling out into the lawn. A pickling cuke plant climbed the trellis all the way to the top - and now is intertwined with other plants. A few pepper plants are buried in the mess somewhere... We've managed a good harvest but have learned so much - next year's garden will be expanded and planted quite differently...

Friday, August 15, 2014

All Up All Close

Weed Study 3 A few years ago I picked up a Rokkor Macro lens at an estate sale - a 50mm f/3.5. I have never used a macro lens on any camera and decided to try it out. I gathered some weeds and wild flowers and placed them on a piece of tile. I put the lens on my Minolta X-700 and mounted it on an arm from the tripod so I could shoot straight down. I set up a single hot light coming in from the upper right with no modifier - I thought the hard light would work good for this. It turned out to be quite a challenge to get the items in focus - moving the tripod arm combo slightly was not very easy and trying use a split image focus screen on such shallow depth-of-field really strained the eyes. After a while I managed to start to get a better feel for it - I even practice by putting some paper with logos down so I could focus on the hardlines. The results turned out kind of interesting - I think I need to perfect this and do a whole "Weeds of Northeast Ohio" series.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Akron in Black and White

I often hear about how "fake" digital photography is - and while anything can be pushed to far - digital photography is the most "real" photography possible. I'm able to use Photoshop to make a scene look exactly as it appeared to my eye - the exact color, correcting lens defects, straightening out buildings etc. Thats why its so perfect for documenting things - time and place - the images in yesterday's post show exactly what it looked like to be standing on that parking garage at that moment. 
But there is also a truth in black and white - a different kind of truth. Maybe its something like Hunter S. Thompson's "fiction is truer than any fact" thing... Or maybe it's seeing something you've seen a million times in a new and different light - so you are actual seeing it - not idly passing by.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tale of Two Cities

Akron 3
It was a beautiful evening as I climbed a parking deck I had never been atop before. I reached in my bag and grabbed my Canon 6D and snapped, what I would describe as, pretty pictures of my city. But the pleasant, early, evening light and colors didn't hold my attention for long. I walked to the other side of the deck and quickly pulled out my Pentax K1000 loaded with black and white film. I looked down at our misadvised interbelt and the curves of the overpasses and started snapping away. I could already see the gritty scans in my mind. I pointed the camera back towards the city but this time with the parking deck in the frame and my red filter firmly in place - contrasty buildings and clouds. Akron - I guess its the way I always see it - clean and dirty at the same time, risen and felled, rebuilded and deconstructed.....
I shot more film than color - not sure why. I'll have the other "view" tomorrow.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Beyonders Beyond

The Beyonders
I shot these photos in June for the band 'The Beyonders' - it just dawned on me that I had yet to post any to the blog.
I met the band for the shoot before their show at Musica one evening - my friend Josh and I finagled our way into the back lot so we wouldn't have to carry the gear too far. The 'total confidence' and act like you know what you're doing routine worked on the 20 something valet guy. Josh helped me haul the gear to the back alley and then enlisted the door woman to help me find an outlet - I had brought a long extension cord. I already had a plan for the lighting - I had done some test shots in my yard the night before. I knew I wanted a backlight - I was already thinking of the Photoshopped moon in the above shot. The set-up went smooth and Josh stood in for some tests. I love when portrait subjects are able to just walk into the scene without having to see or worry about any of the behind the scene stuff...and just focus on the actual photo taking.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Canal Park Birthday

Canal Park Laura took me out to a dinner at The Game Bar and Grille and then to The RubberDucks game for my birthday. It was Bernie Kosar bobblehead night, the Ducks wore Browns uniforms, and the night ended with Bon Jovi fireworks - so pretty much perfect. Unfortunately I was the first person in line NOT to get a Kosar bobblehead - when I found out people had been in line since early afternoon I didn't feel as bad - it never ceases to amaze me how long people will wait for free stuff. It was a beautiful evening for baseball and the game was a sell out. You gotta love what Ken Babby has done with this team/stadium.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Birthday Boi!

Your Card Comes with a Smile "Your Card Comes with a Smile" - Ryen on my Dad's Birthday about a month ago. I shot this on Kentmere 400 which is Ilford's cheapest black and white film. I usually reserve this film for testing out old cameras but I was out of Tri-X. 
 I would never write about my own bday - but FB has made it so everyone knows anyways I got myself a photo gift this year - a kit to develop c41 color film. I've never tried this before so it should be interesting. The cost would be in line with going to a lab - so hopefully it works out well and saves me a few trips and waiting. I ordered 5 rolls of 120mm Ektar to try first - my favorite color film. More on this when it arrives.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Last Night at the Nightlight

VIP Seating The Nightlight is a newish 48 seat indy theater downtown on High Street. I went there last night to check out a "record release party" but instead of live music Linda Lejsovka and Keith Freund premiered a re-cut of Oskar Schlemmer's "Das Triadische Ballet" scored with their new album "Mold on Canvas". Check out the trailer here to get an idea of how truly weird and awesome this was. Gabe Schray also played a few cartoons he made with his music and had everyone rolling('Worst Beekeeper'). 'Dem Clems' showed the first short - but someone will have to help me fill in the info there.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Redder than Red Pt. 2(Canal Daze)

Canal Exploration Center These are a few more photos from the roll of Rollei Redbird I shot about a month ago. I took these at the Canal Exploration Center - I went there to see a demonstration of a "working canal lock". I already understood the principal but still thought it might be cool to see one in action. Unfortunately there was barely any water in the canal so we had to "use our imaginations" - I do that enough in the Valley already - I wanted to see some cascading water. Anyways, after the demo I asked the(most likely volunteer) ranger a few questions before realizing I probably knew more canal history than her... but the new museum they have there is pretty good - lots of photos and artifacts I hadn't seen before...and there are worse things to do on a beautiful Saturday than walk along the Towpath.  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Square Records 11th Anniversary

The Beyonders
I was at Musica for the second night in a row - this time for the Square Records 11th Anniversary show. Four local bands played - and all with completely different styles- which kept it interesting. Along with the bands these Square shows are alway great for the crowd they bring out - so many friendly faces in one place. So there were two great nights in a row of friends and music - and now I sleep.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Half Cleveland & The Bizarros

Half Cleveland Being that I've somehow never see Akron legends The Bizarros I figured I should get myself to Musica last night - but that was only half the reason - the other half was 'Half Cleveland' a kind of Akron supergroup consisting of Harvey Gold(Tin Huey), Chris Butler(The Waitresses), Bob Ethington(Unit 5) and Deborah Smith Cahan(Chi-Pig). 
The Facebook event page said the show started at 8 so I figured 8:30 would be a reasonable time to show up(I was going alone and didn't want to stand around for an hour) - of course, the show started promptly at 8pm - which might be a first in small venue music history. So unfortunately I missed a bit of The Bizarros set - I still got a couple of decent photos though. Half Cleveland was great - they opened with The Replacements, played some Tin Huey songs and a few of Chris's new stuff  - among other things and closed with a Television cover - you can't be mad at that.