Friday, December 23, 2016

Missile Toe at the Museum

Missile Toe
I went and saw Missile Toe at the Akron Art Museum for the third year in a row. Missile Toe is great everywhere but I really like the juxtaposition of loud rock and roll and the Museum lobby.
If you've never had the pleasure of seeing them(and trust me, it is a blast) make it our to the Empire Concert Club tonight or the Matinee on Christmas night.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Liz Walters Swearing In

Earlier today I attended the swearing ceremony of my friend Liz Walters to the Summit County Council. I wasn't there in an official capacity but I still wanted to capture the moment as a proud friend. Summit County and Akron can use some fresh(younger) blood in government and I can't think of a better person to fulfill that than Liz.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


I attempted to shoot a time-lapse video with my GoPro on the Rubber City Ratz annual Christmas ride. The camera did shut down on me once. I'm going to buy another memory card and see if that fixes the problem.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Deck the Hall

Deck the Hall
Going to see Stan Hywet dressed up for the holidays has become one of my family's traditions. The evening that worked for all of schedules this year happened to turn out to be a very cold night - which definitely limited my photo-taking. It was still a pretty night and fun to get everyone together...

Monday, December 19, 2016

FitzPhoto Show Episode 6

Some computer troubles over the weekend delayed this episode - but it is posted at last.
As I have said before - the idea of me bringing back the weekly show(and other videos) isn't as much that I think I'm some great on air personality with amazing pearls of wisdom to give to the universe - but more about me improving my video shooting and production skills. With that said - I do hope to improve the content too - this episode is a little dry.

Friday, December 16, 2016

ArtsNow Meet & Greet

Summit County Art's organization, ArtsNow, hosted a a meet and greet with the new Summit County Executive, Ilene Shapiro, and members of the art community in the county at the Mustard Seed Market in Montrose. There were brief remarks, food, drinks, local art hanging on the walls, and mingling.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

2016 Year in Photos

Springfield Bog
So 2016? It was another interesting year. As far as my business goes it was my best year yet - making a living as a commercial photographer is a dream come true. I learned new skills, shot more things, and traveled for work more than ever.
Personally the year started on a high note and is ending on one as well. Anyone who knows me knows the middle was a little rough - but hey - that is how it goes. You can't enjoy the good times if you don't know what the bad times feel like.
So here it is - my 2016 year in photos - two of my favorite photos from each month of the year. I think I've been doing this for something like 8 years now - how the time flies... 
Click HERE to see it.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

GoPro Hero 5

In Episode 5 of the show I attempt to shoot a GoPro right out of the box. I tried to get it to work right for a few days but didn't succeed. I like everything about the little camera except that it kept shutting down on me - kind of a big flaw!
Check it out!
Hopefully I get this thing working right...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Black Friday in Cleveland

Brick and Barrel My family has no tradition of shopping for retail items on Black Friday but we do like to help the local economy - by drinking beer. I'm not sure how many years ago we started heading up to Cleveland - but I remember my Florida cousins wanting to see the West Side Market and get a Christmas Ale at the source(Great Lakes). This year my cousins weren't in town and the nieces and nephews didn't come the trip turned into an impromptu brewery tour.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Lock 4 Lights

The Ohio and Erie Canalway and Knight Foundation held a Harvest Festival to celebrate the lighting of Lock 4 Park and the Towpath Bridge over State Route 59. Groundswell Design Group designed the urban park with plenty of color changing LED lights. The projects is one of many that are planned with the Reimaging the Civic Commons grant of 5 million dollars. The weather was perfect for the evening - and even though I couldn't get there until later - there were still lots of people hanging out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Akron Auto Club HQ

Last Saturday I covered the grand opening of the beautiful new Akron Auto Club HQ in downtown Akron. It really is a great looking facility - inside and out. I was also impressed to learn that i in 5 Summit County residents is a member of Triple AAA. I should sign up myself - considering the age of the cars I drive!
Here are a few photos from Saturday morning.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

UpCycle Art Project

ReWorks sponsored an art project that involved 15 local artists making a piece out of only reused items. The point was to turn items destined for the landfill into art and raise awareness in the process. I followed the project from Goodwill Industries of Akron's Outlet Store(where the artists could pick up items), to the third floor of the Summit ArtSpace where the artists constructed their works, to the opening night at the Transition Gallery on the first floor of the ArtSpace during the November Art Walk.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Coffee Tasters

On Saturday night I went to Akron Coffee Roasters for the 'Flight of Fancy' coffee tasting contest. There were four kinds of beans that needed to be matched to corresponding cards. I tasted the coffees but would have had an easier time matching the hops to the beer I was drinking. It was interesting to watch the experts in the room discuss the flavors and possible origins - even though it was mostly over my head. The educated guesses are submitted and the winners announced on November 18th and various prizes awarded.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Akron Spirit

Akron Canton Airport threw a party/press conference to welcome Spirit Airlines. Spirit will be flying to four non-stop destinations right off the bat with more added shortly. They are an ultra-low cost carrier - I found round trips to Florida for under 100 bucks($80 to be exact(now I just need to figure out how to work a trip into my schedule)). CAK went all out in welcoming Spirit - beach volleyball, a lifetime free flying contest, a water canon salute to the first plane and more. 
I've said it before - my job gets me into some cool places.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Virtues and Vices

Last Saturday evening I shot Child Guidance and Family Solution's fundraising event at Portage Country Club. There was gambling, food, drinks, music, magic raffles and more - all to raise money for a good cause.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Pump House

As this amazing run of Summer in Fall weather continues I had another great opportunity to take it in. The old Pump House on Summit Lake is soon to be turned into a community event space. Exactly what that is going to look like was the point of the party last Saturday. Hunter Franks and his group, The League of Creative Interventionist, along with Lets Grow Akron, The Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition, The Knight Foundation and more were gathering information on what the neighborhood would like to see happen there. They had pizza, music, storytelling, and more on a perfect day.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Beyonderers CD Release Party

The Beyonderers
On Friday I went to Musica to see The Dreemers and The Beyonderers. The Beyonderers were releasing their new CD, 'Estimate of the Situation'. Neither band dissapointed. 
Musica actually had enough lights on this time that I didn't have to use a flash - which was nice since I didn't bring one(I was on my bike).

Friday, November 4, 2016

Russel Ave Ribbon Cutting

Yesterday I rode my bike out to the Russel Avenue underpass on the Towpath(near Summit Lake). The Ohio and Erie Canalway was holding a ribbon cutting for one of their iTowpath projects funded by the Knight Foundation. The landscaping in the area was improved, a mural was painted, and colorful LED lights were added under the bridge. It was a nice way to spruce up a fairly drab stretch of the bikeway. They also had music, hot dogs, smores, and a campfire. It was a beautiful evening for a ride and cool event.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Lieberth Award

Theresa Carter received this year’s Lieberth Community Vision Award from Leadership Akron during an breakfast yesterday morning at the John S. Knight Center. The organizers of the event pick a theme based on the interests of the recipient - this year they focused on Theresa's love of dance. This was my third time at the event and it is always a really touching morning - albeit one that presents challenges for a photographer. The recipient's family beams with pride, laughs, and struggles to keep their eyes dry. The event was co-MC-ed by Leadership Akron president Mark Scheffler and Heather Burns.  

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Halloween Charity Ball

I shot my third Halloween Charity Ball yesterday at Tangier. It is one of Akron's best parties - if not the best. On top of all the dress up, drinking and dancing fun it benefits a couple of great causes. 
This year's the beneficiaries were Akron Snow Angels(who I've done volunteer work for) and Young Black Professionals. 
Here are a few of my favorite shots from the evening.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Walters Fundraiser

Liz Walters(above with her Mom) is running for Summit County Council - at-large. Last night I shot a fundraiser her friends through for her at the vintage, resale store Birchwood Supply Co. Liz is a great candidate and Summit County government can definitely use some younger voices.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Downtown Prototyping

There were a few new additions to Main Street in Downtown Akron last week from Wednesday to Saturday - pop-up coffee shop, café lighting & seating, beer garden, movie night, oversized games, and hammocks. The project is implemented by DAP with support from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation under the direction and inspiration of Gehl Studio. I photographed some of the action on Wednesday and again on Friday night. Everything was temporary - the idea was to see how people would interact with the ideas and gather information on what they would like to see downtown.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Chillin' with Knight

The Knight Foundation launched their Knight Cities Challenge at the new ice cream shop in Akron, Chill. Chill unveiled the 'Knight Cities Crunch' flavor. The Knight Cities Challenge is a chance to submit your idea to improve Akron and win a grant from the 5 Million dollar pot. If you have an idea or want to find out more information check out the website.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Century Ride

Peugeot on High
On Friday morning I set out on a "Century Ride" that I had planned earlier in the Summer. It has been a goal of mine to get a 100 mile bike ride in before the weather changes too dramatically. My route took me down the Towpath to Massillon, on the Sippo Trail over to Dalton, up 94 through Wadsworth, and then winding my way through Bath and into the Cuyahoga Valley. I'm always torn about how much to pull my camera out and how much just to cruise and enjoy my adventure. I decided to just shoot at my planned stops and push my tired legs through the beautiful scenery - the mental snapshots will always be with me anyways....

Friday, October 7, 2016


I photographed Connect2Akron for the third year in a row. This year the event was held at Tangier. The goal of the event is to connect young professionals with volunteer opportunities at area non-profits and charities.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Wide Angle Fun

The Beyonderers
On Friday I went to Thursday's to see Royal Bangs, The Beyonderers, and Actual Form - three bands that have been featured on the blog before. I brought my new(to me) 16-35mm f/2.8 Canon lens. It was a fun lens to use at a show - I haven't had a lens that wide in a few years. I think I'm ultimately going to sell it on ebay though - I got such a good deal on it and another lens that I just don't think I need it. My 24 and 35 are wide enough for most of my work - and I just don't shoot bands in small clubs that much anymore.
All the bands were awesome, by the way, one of the best shows I've seen in a while.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The French Connection

French Cyclist II
I just purchased a new camera lens - the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 L II. I needed something a little wider for certain group shots and event shoots. I also just finished building up my early 80's Peugeot 12 Speed and bought a few vintage French cycling jerseys from ebay. I decided to combine all of these things and try out a few lighting techniques in the studio. In the above photo I desaturated the image a bit to give it a slightly vintage feel.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Springfield Bog

Springfield Bog
One evening last week I rode my bike out to the Springfield Bog to get in one of my hikes for the Fall Hiking Spree. This was my second time hiking the Bog - last time there was bit more color in the trees and the blimp was over head(view here) but there where still plenty of pretty fall colors from the wild flowers this time. The Bog trail is a simple loop but offers a cool view of the evolving meadow and bogs.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Late Summer Close-Ups

Fall Flowers
The Gorge has long been one of my favorite of the Summit Metro Parks. I love the rocky formations and ledges of the Gorge & Glens Trails, but since living within walking distance I've come to appreciate the Highbridge Trail on the other side of the river for a different reason - the constantly changing, seasonal vegetation. Yesterday morning I went out to capture some of the late-summer wildflowers with my 85mm lens and extension tubes for close-ups. It was a perfect, dewy morning for it.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Wine Mill Wedding

I don't shoot weddings - but sometimes I shoot weddings. This one was at the Wine Mill on State Road. It was a really cool wedding venue - and now that I know they serve draft craft beer it is a place I imagine I will ride my bike to.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Cuyahoga Falls Better Block

Last weekend I shot my third Better Block. This one was interesting in that there was no street traffic - it was on the Cuyahoga Falls Pedestrian Mall. The Pedestrian Mall used to be a main street that was closed to traffic decades ago. The concept at the time was that it would help save downtown by competing with the suburbs. Some say the concept didn't work because the area is very underutilized - seeing the Better Block be a smashing success made me think that maybe the concept didn't fail but the timing of it did. The area has a few antique shops, one cafe, one bar and lots of abandoned store fronts. The Better Block added multiple food places, outdoor seating, a beach-play area, beer garden, night market and more. The area was packed with people for two days.
Take a look at these photos - could the area be like this every weekend with the right mix of business and activities - or does the street really need to be reopened to traffic to succeed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Canal Park

Canal Park
I went with my family to see the Rubber Ducks on Monday evening(well, I rode my bike and met them there). The weather was perfect and the Ducks won....but on top of that my one nephew got to throw out the first pitch, my other nephew was in the color guard, and my niece got to stand on the dugout and play a quiz game and win a prize.
The mascots roaming around, all kinds of between inning entertainment and reasonably priced food & drinks - an all around great night. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

TorchBearers Summer Social

Friday night I photographed the TorcheBearers Summer Social at Mulligan Springs Golf Course in Mogadore. It was a beautiful night on a patio with drinks, food, great conversation, games and a perfect sunset. This is one of the few TB events where it is just about hanging out and connecting - they are usually off doing so much for the community it is nice to see them chilling out for a few hours.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Growing Up Akron 2016

Growing Up Akron at Thirsty Dog Brewery is always one of my favorite events to shoot. I love the laid back atmosphere of the evening. The goal is to raise money for Child Guidance & Family Solutions - but have a good time doing it. The weather looked like it might be a little rough at first - but the clouds cleared off and people stood outside drinking, eating and enjoying the soundtrack provided by Roxxymoron.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Food Scrap Compost II

Last spring I went around and photographed deliveries by ReWorks of food scrap compost to community gardens(view HERE). I went back and photographed a couple of the gardens now that they are growing strong with the help of the compost.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Earthquaker Day

Earthquaker Day
Earthquaker is a guitar pedal company that makes their pedals right here in Akron. Last Saturday they hosted "Earthquaker Day" - a festival with vendors, food, beer, a riff contest and great bands at the shop. I rode my bike there and captured some of the bands with my Minolta and some Kodak Tri-X. I was wondering if the photos would come out in the tough lighting conditions. The bands played in a tent that the sun dropped behind throughout the day. I was impressed that I managed mostly good exposure and that I hit the manual focus on a lot of the shots.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Day Job

I sometimes post photos from the events I cover for work but I've rarely ever posted any of my product photography. Here I'm posting a small selection of photos I shot for a company based in Akron that was building a new website and working on a new catalog. I brought my lighting gear to their building and spent a few days shooting over a thousand photos. Lighting and shooting products is my favorite kind of work - but I'd be lying to say it didn't get a little tedious at this volume. Lots of lighting adjustments and different angles were followed with over a week of work on the computer. When shooting items like this there is a lot of clean-up work in Photoshop - removing dust and scratches - and even adding some logos to certain parts. The relationship with the company is now ongoing and they drop off new parts for me to shoot at my studio from time to time.
I find that there is art in shooting anything - making the Cuyahoga Valley look cool with black and white film is fun - but making a transmission crossmember look cool can be equally rewarding and challenging.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

White Lighter

My friends Wes and Aaron asked me to come over to their practice space and shoot a couple of band photos for them. They practice in an old building that at one time was a Schrader Valve factory. There were so many cool parts of the building to shoot in but we were on limited time and choose the upper floor with the sunset and in front of the old China Gourmet signs that Aaron had salvaged. The photos came out really cool - but I still want to go back and photograph in the building again.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Garden Party

Garden Party
A few weeks ago the Akron Art Museum threw a party celebrating the opening of their "Bud and Susie Rogers Garden". The new space is wonderful. There is a spot for bands to play and activities to take place but it is also possible to wander around - there is a good "flow". I've enjoyed going downtown to outdoor events at the Museum for years - but after they build the new building and removed the old sculpture garden it wasn't the same. Now it is better than ever.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Middlebury Better Block

Akron had its second Better Block event last weekend - this one was in Middlebury. The Better Block concept is a way to show what an area of a city could possibly be like. Bike lanes, pop-up shops, parks, games, safe street crossings, plants and more. The goal is for real change to come to an area but at the least it is a great way to bring people together for a community festival. 
In my opinion demonstrating the changes that are possible is much more effective than meetings with Power Points.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Christmas in July

Akron Snow Angel's put on their 'Christmas in July' event on Sunday at Grace Park. 60 volunteers helped to feed and clothe approximately 220 adults and 40 children. Each adult received a reusable tote bag full of supplies. Then they were able to wander around to the sounds of a DJ and get free lunch from Retro Dog, ice cream, medical supplies, haircuts and massages. There were also games and other activities. The children received a backpack from special guest, Santa Claus, full of school supplies and more.
I'm always proud to be a part of Akron Snow Angel's events - whether it is volunteering or helping to document and promote with my camera.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summer Hike

This morning I woke up early and decided to go for a sunrise hike in The Gorge. I snapped a few shallow depth-of-field photos of some summer wild flowers - also known by their scientific name "weeds".

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Finger Lakes

Atwater Winery
I spent the Fourth of July weekend in the Finger Lakes region of New York. I was there to shoot a friend's wedding reception(I'll have a post on that soon) but also did a bit of exploring with my friend Brad(who drove us). I've camped throughout the Finger Lakes before but there was still plenty more to see and many sites worth visiting again. Also - new breweries must open weekly there. 
It was a perfect way to spend an extended weekend with great friends in an amazing place.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Victory Parade

Cavs Victory Parade
It was history and we had to be there. 
I hate traffic and waiting in we rode our bikes. I met Ben at the Memorial Road Trailhead for the Towpath at 7:30 AM and off we went. We tore through the Valley and met our friends on their bikes a little before 9:30 by Rockside Road. We arrived in Cleveland and chained up our bikes around 10:30. The parades route was packed - over a dozen deep in places. We walked around a while before settling on a spot in front of the Q where a slight rise in the road allowed us to see a little bit. It didn't matter - the point was to be there and enjoy the camaraderie with 1.3 million Cavs fans. With the parade being so delayed and slow we decided to walk over and see where the Victory Rally was going to take place. We snapped a few photos and then headed back to our bikes where we planned to ride over to the West 25th area. There were thousands of people crossing the bridge back to the Westside so we went with Plan C - rode over to Tremont for beers and lunch and watched the events on TV. We took off with enough time to race back to Rockside and catch the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad's Bike Aboard car. A nice slow ride back to Akron with a couple of beers in the AC.
The trip was an adventure and totally worth it...and we didn't sit in any traffic.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Bike Party!

Akron Bike Party
Akron Bike Party's Mike Finney Memorial ride was on Friday night. Mike was senselessly gunned down last year - he was an avid biker and Bike Party-er. So in his honor the theme was "dress like your bike". We had a great turn-out and a lot of fun - and also a moment of silence....

Friday, June 10, 2016

Mucky Duck Brewing Co.

Mucky Duck Brewing Co.
I rode my bike out to Mucky Duck Brewing Co. in Portage Lakes last evening. The brewery has been open in this location for a few months - it was previously across the street in the basement of Nauti Vine Winery. I had three beers and they were all decent. I would say that they could have a little more body - the wit was tasty and refreshing but just a bit watery. Same with the bourbon barrel aged ale - the oak-aged flavor was there but the beer was just a little too light. I also had an IPA that was a decent classic pale with American hops. I overheard the bartender saying that they didn't have the Belgian triple because it didn't come out right - which is a good sign to me - a good brewer is willing to dump beer that isn't right - instead of serving it. I'd still be willing to go back and try more of their offerings - and I believe this is a spot that will improve over time.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Cincinnati, OH

On Sunday and Monday I traveled to Cincinnati to document a Torchbearers' trip. Cincy is the only city of any size in Ohio that I had never been to and it had never really been on my list of priorities. I think my view may have been colored from hearing friends who were going to college there in the late 90's being told not to step off of campus. Whether that was ever true or not it certainly isn't today. I was super impressed by the city and by the people working to make it even better(I will post more about those "people" and the TB activities later - this is my "pretty pictures post").

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Cicadas

There hasn't really been any sign of the cicadas where I live so I set out to do my once every 17 year photo shoot tonight at Hampton Hills. I rode my bike down to the Valley and then hiked the Adam Run Trail. I remembered last time 'round these guys were swarming the place. They didn't disappoint. There were tons - and the noise was intense. So I got my cicada fix today - see you in 17 years little guys!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Inside|Out Instameet

Inside Out Walking Tour
Last night the Akron Art Museum led a walking tour of one of their neighborhood Inside|Out exhibits - this one in Wallhaven. Inside|Out exhibits take full scale, high quality replicas of pieces in the Museum and bring them to various neighborhoods around the city. This tour was also a "Instameet" held simultaneously with the Detroit Institute of Arts, Pérez Art Museum Miami, and Philadelphia Museum of Art - who all have Inside|Out displays in their respective cities. Instagrammers were encouraged to photograph the walks and works and there is a week long contest for the best photo.
We had a fun group of people on a beautiful evening and wrapped up the tour with some drinks, snacks, and conversation at Larry's.

Friday, June 3, 2016

HHWRC Opening

ReWork's opened up their Household Hazardous Waste Recycling Center for the season on Thursday - and I was there to cover it. The center is open every Thursday from 2-7 for Summit County residents. The center is for all your chemicals that should not be thrown away - just leave the latex paint at home - let it dry and throw it away. ...but for everything else be environmentally responsible and bring them here!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Alley Garden

The Alley Garden
I always like to photograph my garden as a way to measure the progress and keep track of what I've done from year to year. This is the second year that I have planted the alley behind my studio and I have doubled the size. I put most of the plants in the ground in mid-May(I usual like to gamble a bit) and survived both "frosts". I also have a container garden with more herbs and veggies - I'm sure I'll post some photos of that soon.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

ReWorks: Food Scrap Compost

I've said it before - I like photographing just about anything - but last week I had a job that was about perfect. ReWorks had a competition for community gardens to win a truckload of high-quality, food scrap compost. My job was to photograph the five winners getting their deliveries. With the beautiful weather we had I was able to ride my bike to the sites, talk to fellow gardeners and make the photos. I went to Bath, Kenmore, Highland Square, and South Akron. I can't wait to go back later this Summer and see these gardens in full bloom.
Also - never underestimate the power of some fill-flash on a bright sunny day.