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.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Akrun & Crawl: After Dark

Last weekend I shot the 10th annual Akrun and Crawl sponsored by TorchBearers - this year they changed it up a bit - they started the race at 9PM and it was a glow run. There were LED markers, flashing balloons, and glow sticks on everyone and everywhere. Taking photos had some unique challenges and I tried various techniques and flash combinations - but with my Canon 6D I still favored shooting natural light(street light when possible) with high ISO and the large f/1.4 aperture of my Sigma 35mm. I had my mono-pod with me and I used it with the self-timer to get some "from above" shots - such as the shot above. I also used it to stabilize the camera for some video clips(below). The 5K race was followed by a pub crawl at the Liberty Commons bars.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Akron Bike Party - Ride in Purple

Akron Bike Party
The theme of May's Bike Party was "Ride in Purple" and a good bit of Prince was played. We rode through a lot of streets in North Hill that I had never been on before - it was a great route - we even stopped by the Mayor's house for a chat.
I shot a video of us riding across the Y-Bridge with my Rebel T5 attached to my handle bars. I then did the best I could to capture a few photos in the low light with the Rebel. I should always bring my Canon 6D with me - the difference in image quality is incredible.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Food Truck Frenzy

Every Friday this summer(through August 28) from 11am-1:30pm trucks will be serving lunch at Child Guidance & Family Solutions on East Market Street. A portion of the food truck sales are donated to CG&FS. I like to make it out and peruse the selections when it fits with my schedule. Last Friday they held a kick-off event in the evening. Live music, a bunch of trucks and great weather drew quite the crowd - I rode my bike out and enjoyed some pulled pork sitting in the grass.
So head out this summer - enjoy great food, support small/local businesses, and a great organization!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Rat Bowl

Rubber Bowl
What happens when you sell a stadium for 38,000 bucks and the plans for use fall through? Nothing happens. Nothing at all. ....because it would cost more to hire a security guard and maintain fences than your whole initial investment.
We decided to take the weekly Rubber City Ratz ride to Hoppin' Frog Brewery last night. When we rode passed the Rubber Bowl we saw that the plywood to one of the top gates had been knocked down - so we wandered inside. It is absolutely trashed, as you can see from the photos. It is amazing that this place has only been empty for a few years - it feels like you're standing in an Ancient Greek, hillside theater...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Two New Spots

Birchwood Supply Co.
Over the weekend Sara and I had the chance to check out two great new places in Akron. First we stopped at Akron Coffee Roaster downtown on High Street. We've been drinking Albert and Tim's coffee at home and at the Howe Meadow Farmer's Market for a while now but it was cool to be able to go into their actual location. They were doing a week long soft opening but are now open "for real". The place has a clean, modern vibe and is very comfortable(and smells wonderful.)
The other spot is Jason Horinger's Birchwood Supply Co. in Highland Square(the old Richard's Florist building by Rockne's). Its not a straight antique shop or second-hand junk store(ala Abbey Ann's) but more of a curated vintage shop. There wasn't much in the store that I wouldn't be interested in buying. Jason has fantastic taste. This weekend was just a pop-up shop - the store will officially open in July.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Industrial & Commercial History of Akron

The Industrial & Commercial History of Akron
Last evening I went on the latest Akron2Akron walking tour. This one started at the Mustill Store and we walked along the Towpath through Cascade Locks. I always find it interesting that one of my favorite, most peaceful parts of Akron used to be its most bustling and one of the biggest reasons Akron grew into the city it did. It could take around a day to get a canal boat through Locks 10-16 so the crews would get off the boats and spend their day(and money) in the city. The elevation gain also made it the perfect spot for a mill race and industry sprouted up to take advantage of the water power. There are so many great stories and so much history in the area it is definitely worth spending some time reading the interpretive signs and stopping in the Mustill Store which is now a museum.
Though I've hiked and biked the locks for years it was really cool to have a guide give some more perspective on this place.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Jane's Walk: Akron Waterways Renewed

Jane's Walk
This afternoon I went on a lunchtime walking tour led by Michelle from the Akron Engineering Department. As we walked along the Towpath through downtown we were updated on the CSO project - the goal is to reduce combined sewer overflows. Michelle also gave a great history of the area and how we got to where we are now - from the canal, to the trains and later cars and the sewer system itself. From covering the canal and burying the tributaries to urban renewal and combined sewers she stressed that each generation thought they were doing what was best for the city at the time.
I always learn something new on these walks but my favorite thing is meeting other people who care about our city - its past, present and future.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Scrap Tires

This was my third year shooting the scrap tire event at the HHWRC sponsored by ReWorks. It is one of my favorite jobs. I don't know what it is but there is always something so visually compelling to me about this event. It can't just be that I'm from Akron and have a soft spot for tires? No - every year I love these photos. They should be in a magazine spread. 
Anyways - it costs Summit County residents one buck a tire to drop them off here - which is a way better solution then throwing them in a ravine(which apparently is a very popular solution I've discovered over the years from my many off-trail hikes). 
Feel free to let me know if you find these photos as stimulating as I do.