Sunday, December 31, 2017

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Indoor Droning

DJI Mavic Pro
My DJI Mavic has a mode called "tripod" which slows down its movements - you would use for slower cinematic shots or flying indoors. I decided to try it out in the studio and capture some images of the drone in flight. I took off and the drone instantly started wandering as warning screens flashed. I promptly freaked out and crashed it into a light stand and the corner breaking two of the propellers. Fortunately I had replacements and no other damage was done. I re-calibrated everything and the drone then hovered perfectly and I captured these photos. Bedsides my pilot error, I'm not sure what went wrong the first time.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Snowy Nephews

My sister had a specific concept in mind for her Christmas Cards this year - but as the mercury started dropping we decided to scrap it until next year and meet down at Szalay's Farm. We used the granary and old red barn as the backdrop and the snow really started to come down - I'd say it was a spur of the moment plan that came together perfectly! I didn't want to share these until after her Christmas Cards had gone out - so now here are a few of my favorites.
In general I don't do a lot of portraits for families - but this holiday season I've done a fair bit of it. The work mostly comes word-of-mouth as I don't really show this kind of thing in my portfolio.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Morning

I wanted to learn how to make video footage from my DSLR look like it was filmed on a old Super 8 - so I shot some footage yesterday morning and watched a few tutorials on Youtube and here it is. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Furnishing Eternity

David Giffels
David Giffels dropped by the studio last summer to get an updated author profile and a couple casual shots as well. He needed them for his new book - 'Furnishing Eternity' - the book ships on January 2nd and can be ordered now. He gave me a proof of the book which I read last Fall. I'm not a book reviewer(or good writer for that matter) but I love to read and the book is fantastic. The book deals with mortality - from the passing of his mom and best friend and the realization that his dad won't be around forever. I'm not a believer in things happening for a reason - but there are coincidences that make life interesting. For example a day after finishing the book David's dad called me and came to the studio to have me scan some old negatives from when he was a kid. I've met David's dad numerous times over the years - but there is still something about having a conversation with a man you just read a book about. There were also a few instances in the book where David was telling a story about his best friend, John, and I thought to myself - oh yeah - I remember that - I was there that night! The descriptions of losing a best friend are poignant no matter what, more so when you know them, and then even more when yours dies a few weeks later - which is what happened to me. Anyways - the book would still be amazing without any of those connections.
You can order it HERE and read an actual review HERE.

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Year in Review

2017 was another great year for my photography - both personal and professional. Professionally I picked up many new clients, did some really cool one-off jobs, and moved farther into the video realm. I also took a lot of short, fun trips that were cool to photograph for myself(this blog). Some of the gear upgrades I made were really beneficial too - getting the drone and GoPro made for some very interesting shots - but the main thing was buying the Canon EOS 5D MKIV. This camera is just a joy to use - it is the realization of what digital should be. The image quality is fantastic but what I really love is that I don't have to think about it - the camera feels like an extension of my hand(and ignore the reviews - it is a fantastic video machine too).
So click HERE to see the REVIEW and lets make 2018 another great year! Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Winter Over the Gorge

The High Level Bridge
This is kind of like my "Fall in the Gorge" drone photo essay - but in the Winter with snow. We all know how much a blanket of snow changes our Ohio landscape - I think the transformation is even more apparent from the sky.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Throwbacks Throwback

Video Devices
My friend Josh's Dad knows that I like old school technology - especially cameras. He was cleaning out his attic and dropped off this video gear that was his Dad's to me at the studio. I found the Mansfield Reporter viewer thing to be particularly interesting - a device for previewing/editing 8mm(I'm sure they were common I've just never seen one). I haven't done the research on exactly what I have here - I'm much more of a still camera expert - but I will.
I was too busy yesterday to get my "Throwback Thursday" post up but in a way this feels like a big throwback. Spending a Friday night photographing and posting about vintage camera gear is giving me deja vous - as that was often something I would be doing on an uneventful weekend night when this blog started. In fact - shooting my vintage cameras is how I began to learn studio-style lighting.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Nephews in the Snow

Yesterday I photographed my nephews for my sister in the heavy, lake effect snow down at Szalay's Farm. I didn't want to "scoop" my sister's Christmas Cards by sharing those photos yet(as cute as they are) but I did capture some video. So here is a short, fun video of the kids in the snow.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Flight of Fancy 2017

Erin and I headed downtown last night to Akron Coffee Roasters to take part in the coffee tasting game "Flight of Fancy". There are four different coffees that need to be identified. The experts amongst us did that by visual inspection, aroma, cupping(a standardized method coffee buyers use taste coffee) and with a pour over of each. I'm definitely not a coffee expert but I do have much more of a palate for the flavors than I did when I participated last year...I just listen when the origins are being debated though.
The ACR crew also put out a nice spread of food and drink for after the tasting.(I would have been better at blind identifying the beers).

Monday, December 11, 2017

Black and White Fail

Earthquaker Day Film Fail
So I pretty much got none of this analogue equation right. I'm not even sure which part of it I did the worst. Let me back up:
On Earthquaker Day last Summer I shot two rolls of film - one roll of color in my Pentax K1000 and one roll of the new Film Ferrania P30 black and white. The color film - expired Fuji Press 400 film - came out well and with an interesting and different look like you would expect some from some old film(view that here) - but the black and white was a bomb. I bought 5 rolls of P30 from a kickstarter where a group was trying to resurrect the famed Film Ferrania(they bought their old factory). I had seen some images online and was excited to try it out.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Yeti Squad Ride #2

Dirty River Bicycle Works held their second, weekly, intro to exploring, group ride. We rode a little on the road and a little off. I captured some footage with my GoPro and added some Winter-style color-grading in Premiere Pro. 
Come out next week - just wear a few layers!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Snow Angels

Last Saturday I went on a Snow Angles mission to take some photos for Akron Life Magazine. I've volunteered and photographed with the Snow Angels a number of times and I always enjoy the experience - the personal interactions being the best thing about it. We started off at the warehouse organizing, then went down to the Market Street Bridge, over to the Second Chance Village, and then to Grace Park - where there was a huge turnout.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Throw Back Thursday #1

I had been shooting with a digital camera for a few years - mostly the bands I went to see, hikes, and my family stuff - when I came across a mutual friend's photo-stream on flickr. I couldn't understand how he was making his portraits and pictures of his friends so fantastic - so I asked. He sent me a link to Lighting 101 on Strobist. I was instantly obsessed with learning off-camera lighting. Above was my first ever attempt - I didn't even have a way to trigger the flash yet - I simply made a long exposure and triggered it by hand(below photo). Meet the Beatles. I was on my way.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christmas in the Studio

Christmas Lights & Cameras
Every year I decorate my camera collection with Christmas lights and drink a Corsendonk Christmas Ale while listening to 'Once Upon A Christmas' by Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers(don't ask).
The above shot is a 10 second exposure at f/16(the smallest my Sigma 35mm Art will go).

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Ring Light

My studio is filled with decades worth of lighting equipment and modifiers and from time to time I set up one I haven't used before and try it out. There has been an Alien Bees 'ABR800' ring light on the shelf since I've been here and I finally decided to try it out the other day. Ring lights are used for even lighting, macro photography, and the distinct catchlight they leave in a portrait subject's eyes. I tested it with some selfies(or what we used to call "self-portraits").

Monday, December 4, 2017

HeadTrip Brewery

Head Trip Brewery
Erin and I checked out the soft opening of a new brewery in Stow on Saturday evening. The brewery is HeadTrip and they officially open on the 21rst. They had seven beers on tap and we ordered a couple of flights to try them all. Everything we had was solid - some a little better than others - but nothing "off" at all. It is a small cozy spot in a strip mall and a promising nano-brewery.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Drone Modes

On Friday evening I hit up my friend Ben to head out towards Summit Lake and test our some of the "active track" modes with the drone. Basically, you draw a box around what you want the drone to track(on your phone) and then select the mode. It can follow forward, backward, in profile, make circles or in a spot light mode where the drone stays put and just tracks the subject from that fixed point. We didn't have the room or time to test some of the modes - but in the video you can see we did the 'follow' and the 'profile' modes. I think the profile is a super cool look. The light was so awesome that I ended up shooting some footage of the old Firestone HQ and cutting that in - as well as a passing train. The goal is to do a multi-camera bicycle shoot in this style.