Monday, December 28, 2020

Let it Snow - with Snow

The Langes
Yesterday I shot my second roll of Film Photography Project's 'Let it Snow' in much more of the conditions it was intended for. Erin and I went for a hike at one of my favorite trails in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park - Tha Langes. I've photographed a bunch here over the years and yesterday was pretty perfect - snow covered but with some sun and a bit of blue sky. I used my new Minolta XD11 with a 50mm f/1.4 lens and a red 25 filter(for most of the images). The film is very fine grained and has a very clean look. It isn't my favorite emulsion ever but I'm glad I tried it a few times as it does have a unique appearance.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Let it Snow - Without Snow

I just broke all of my own rules - I shot a new camera with a new film and developed it in a new developer....but it worked! These came out pretty nice for a mostly overcast day. I rode south down the Towpath and just took some snaps before hitting some industrial gravel and finishing the roll. The camera is my new(to me) Minolta XD11 and the film is Film Photography Project's 'Let it Snow' which is based on Svema Foto 100. The film is extremely fine grained and with a red 25 filter on my lens has that infrared look. It is also the flattest drying film I've ever shot which is great for scanning. I developed it in Adox Rodinal at a 1:50 dilution for 13 minutes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Akron From Above

Akron From Above
I needed to take some drone video for jobs I'm working on but I also snapped a few still photographs while I was flying. The upgrade from the original Mavic to the Mavic Pro 2 is huge. I can edit these photos more like they came from a professional camera. The 20MP RAW files are very nice and give good leeway - which is important as there is often a lot of differing light in drone images. The other awesome thing about the Mavic series of DJI drones is how small and convenient they are to carry - I had it in my backpack along with my Canon EOS R5 while I rode my bike to these three locations. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Bergger around Akron

Akron Rides
I shot my second roll of Bergger Pancro 400 last week. I was riding my bike around Akron with my Minolta X-700 mostly looking for hand painted signs and old run down buildings. I guess this vibe kind of fits the sensation of isolation lately. Alone together. Anyways I really like this film - I made a video about my first roll explaining all the reasons(linked at the bottom) but in a nutshell it has tremendous exposure latitude and a grainy but nice look. It is the newest black and white film on the market and this French company has created something truly unique. It isn't cheap but I definitely will buy more.

Monday, December 7, 2020


Holidays Downtown
I've been riding and photographing downtown Akron a lot this Fall. I really like these first three "corner" images that I took during magic hour. After that I headed down to Kenmore Boulevard to photograph their light displays and stopped to get a great sunset photo.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Thanksgiving Weekend 2020 Style

Like everything else this year Thanksgiving weekend was quite different. Different isn't always bad  -though I did miss some of our modern traditions. My Dad's text to everyone on Thanksgiving morning definitely teared me up on my way out the door to play a quick game of catch with a couple friends(instead of our usual tackle football game with a bunch of friends/family). Erin fried the two of us some turkey tenders that we ate at a normal dinner time. Our family brewery crawl(all day long!) on Black Friday was reduced to just me meeting mom & dad for a couple of beers outside at Lock 3 and the bars and bands and old friends the rest of the weekend were replaced by solo bike rides and some chill nights around a fire and YouTube vids. Again - not horrible - just different....

Sunday, November 22, 2020

More Downtown


I was downtown documenting the completion of the mural at Lock 4 and the magic hour light was so fantistic that I had to snap more images before it was gone. Dig it.   

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Barberton on Tri-X

On Saturday I rode my bike to Barberton with my Minolta X-700 and a roll of Kodak Tri-X 400. I spent some time just cruising around shooting some images. I had a 45mm f/2 lens on the camera mostly because it fit in my handlebar bag. I believe the lens was the kit lens for the cheaper XG line of cameras - but it is basically a pancake lens at that size. It didn't give the special look of my vintage Rokkor lenses but it still did fine for the kind of photos I was taking. I did video the process too and that link is below after the photos.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

U of A

UA in Autumn
I'm working on the next iteration of the Zippy Calendar for the alumni association at the University of Akron - we shoot a few different locations all year long to get some seasonality. Last week we were shooting at the Buchtel statue and were waiting for a ladder. My friend Brad was in town from Columbus and tagged along. While waiting aI captured a few images just for fun.

Monday, November 2, 2020

DORA in Lock 4-ah

Downtown on Halloween
On Halloween evening I was shooting family portraits at Lock 3 for Downtown Akron Partnership. There was great light so I managed to sneak in a few Main Street photos as well. After the gig I walked over to Lockview and grabbed a beer to go - Akron now has an outdoor drinking area - and then wandered and snapped some night photos. The ones of Lock 4 came out really cool. The image stabilization in the Canon R5 is pretty incredible - I was shooting at slow shutter speeds I never would have used before.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Riding and Photographing Downtown

Eighty Three Brewery
I've been documenting the progress downtown as Main Street opens and I have ridden my bike there a few times this week. Erin and Greg met me yesterday and after getting some shots we headed over to 83 Brewery to have a beer. I had also stopped at Dirty River Bicycle works to check on their progress in the new building which will be open on election day!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Wooly Pig Farm Brewing

Wooly Pig Farm & Brewery
Erin and I decided to take a day trip to the Amish Country area. We started off at one of our favorite breweries JAFB Wooster. After that we tried to go to a number of places - farms, markets, stores, but the crowds of people not wearing masks kept us away so we drove over to Wooly Pig Farm Brewing. Wooly Pig has great outdoor spaces and they had a fire going. You weren't even able to go into the building and they had a really great outdoor system going for ordering beers. We also got some awesome BBQ from the food truck.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Golden Gorge

Gorge in Fall
I took a quick evening break to walk across the High Level Bridge and down into the Gorge to snap a few Fall photos. I'm definitely starting to get the hang of how to set-up my Canon EOS R5 for photos like this. I'm still being stunned by the incredible detail and dynamic range from this camera. I can't wait to get my adapter and try some of my prime f/1.4 lenses on it!

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Bath Nature Preserve in Autumn

Fall in Bath
Last evening Erin and I decided to go for a golden hour hike at Bath Nature Preserve. We were hoping to see the trees changing color in the Tamarack Bog but really there were only a couple of the trees visible ...and they were just starting to change(they are the only conifer that changes color). Regardless it was still an absolutely beautiful Fall hike and my first time using my new Canon EOS R5 for this kind of photography. There has been a learning curve getting the camera to operate the way I want for different situations - but the image quality is amazing.

Friday, October 9, 2020

2020 in B&W

Old Trail
Last Spring I was on a huge film kick,. At first I was shooting a lot of color but then I switched to black and white during the 'stay at home order' because I develop that myself. When I injured my back in early June that put an end to all my planned analog photography projects. So this roll starts with some late-spring snow and finishes just a few weeks ago. It is Kodak Tri-X 400 shot in my Minolta X-700 and developed in HC-110(b). I actually live-streamed myself developing it - you can see that HERE.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Springfield Bog

Springfield Bog
Everytime I take some nature/hiking photos I say that I don't take a lot of nature/hiking photos anymore. I guess I kinda feel like I'm treading the same ground when I do - I covered the hiking in Northeast Ohio pretty well over the last decade. It was part of the reason I got back into black & white film photography - to shoot the same things with a different vibe. Anyways - when I do go hiking and there is good light I'm still gonna snap a few. I always enjoy the Springfield Bog since its prairie is so different than most of the other metro parks that are more of a hike through the woods....

Friday, September 18, 2020

Main Street

Main Street
The other day I had some photos to take downtown documenting certain construction and I decided to get some of Main Street and The Bowery project too. The construction worker pictured in a few of these photos told me with plenty of attitude, "Do me a favor and try not to get me in any of your photos." I ignored him at first and kept doing what I was doing. In general when someone asks me not to take their photo I honor that. In this case I wasn't really photographing this guy or what he was doing but documenting the progress - or lack thereof - on Main Street. Also - you have no legal right not to be photographed in public - the courts have ruled on your lack of privacy in public places multiple times. Anyways - let's not forget this guy is working on the public dime and Kenmore Construction has been horrible missing deadline after deadline and refusing to comment to the press. Anywho, after snapping a few more shots I replied, "Do me a favor and finish the effing street."

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Hazy Sunrise

Fogged Gorge
Driving home from an early morning shoot today I decided I had to pull over after to crossing the High Level Bridge to get this shot. Its beautiful and tragic at the sametime - the sunrise is that pretty because of the smoke from the Western wildfires in the upper atmosphere. Usually the sun would be to bright to capture the misty morning from this side of the bridge.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Bikepacking to Garrettsville

Garrettsville Ride
A few of us decided to do a quick overnight bikepacking trip to Ben's parent's farm. We stopped for coffee in Kent, a trailside beer break and then went and set up camp. After getting settled in we went out in Garrettsville for a late lunch and supplies. After a beautiful first day we woke up and made our coffee - just as we finished a massive storm front rolled in and never left. We hunkered down in our tents for a couple hours before deciding we just needed to make a run for it. I made a video of how I packed my bike and another showing both days. I only have still photos of the first day as my dslr had to be wrapped up to keep it dry.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Great Night, Great Light

Magic City Run
As the sun starts to set earlier in the waning days of summer it also makes for an extended chance to capture that fantastic late day light. This was one of our typical ride out to Magic City Brewing for a beer.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Erie Canalway Trail - Buffalo to Rochester

Erie Canalway Trip
For Erin's bday weekend we decided to head out of town and ride somewhere new. We drove to Buffalo on Friday afternoon and spent the night in an AirBnB. The next morning we grabbed some coffee downtown then headed out along the Riverwalk Trail(in crazy wind!) meeting up with the Erie Canalway Trail. We rode the trail all the way to Rochester with some craft beer stops along the way - over 100 miles. We had Erin's bday dinner than were fast asleep in out AirBnB. The next morning we explored Rochester a bit before working our way back to Buffalo - 108 mile day! We explored Buffalo a bit the next morning before taking a scenic route on our drive back to Akron. I definitely want to return to ride more of this trail that goes all the way to Albany.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Its Gonna Rain

Its Gonna Rain
On Friday I drove up to Cleveland's Kink Gallery to see my friend Micah's opening. A few of my friends rode the whole way and I wanted to do the same but I had a shoot back in Akron after. So I brought my bike and met them for dinner before the show. Micah's work is really cool and I helped him out with a couple of the video projects for it. Check out more info on the Kink Contemporary page.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Asterisk Coffee Bar

It has been a bummer not be be able to celebrate and enjoy the events that Askersik Coffee Bar/Akron Coffee Roasters usually would have - birthdays, tastings, shop rides etc - but I have still benn helping them promote what they do have going on with photography. Asterisk now has an open patio and has still made special cocktails and drinks for certain occasions. They share these on their social media pages - but I wanted to share a few of my favorites on the blog.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Summer Rides

Towpath Riding
Evening rides in perfect light are just about everything. We rode out to Magic City for some drinks and dinner then headed across the street to watch the sunset at the lake. Perfect summer evening.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Lakefront Nature Preserve

Lakefront Nature Preserve
On Thursday I had a shoot up near Cleveland and decided to take a walk at the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve after. It is an interesting place - in the 60's two old freighters were sunk to protect a park beach and then the US Army Corps of Engineers started dumping the sediment dredged for the Cuyahoga River shipping channel here. After it was filled in and they stopped using it for this purpose nature took hold and now the spot is known for a variety of bird species and butterflies. It opened to the public in 2012. I was there at about noon so the light wasn't great for a lot of photographs but I still managed a few that I liked. I shot all of these with my Canon 5DIV and Sigma 105mm f/1.4

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Cleveland Birthday Ride

Cleveland Bday
Friday was my birthday and Erin and I continued our tradition of having lunch in Cleveland at the French Cafe Le Petit Triangle. Since the weather was perfect we also brought our bicycles and rode around to a few other of our favorite spots. I snapped some photos with my Canon 5DIV and also made another video. Check it all out below.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Skate or Die

Some of my friends have been creating a DIY skate spot and on Thursday evening I decided to ride my bike over and check it out. I brought my Canon 5DIV with my Sigma 105mm f/1.4 and my ultra wide 16-35mm. I got a bunch of really great photos and it was good to see some people in an outdoor setting - it had been a while. Don't ask me where it is - if ya know ya know.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Ohio to Erie and More 2020

Ohio to Erie Trail
For the second year in a row a few of us decided to tackle the Ohio to Erie Trail. This year we added an extra day and switched up our route a bit adding a camping spot and trip down the Little Miami Scenic Trail. It was a nice change as it cut out a fairly tedious part of the trail and replaced it with a more scenic route and some cool towns. I had to debate what photo gear I wanted to bring since space and weight on a bike-packing trip are a big deal. I ended up going with my GoPro Hero 8 Black and my Canon 6D with a 40mm pancake lens. I tried to leave the dSLR at home but in the end I knew I would want at least a few high-quality photos and the low light capability that the GoPro lacks. Photo-wise I shot them both about equally as grabbing the GoPro while riding is so much easier.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Mr. Fred

My friend Greg has an exhibit at the Summit ArtSpace, MR. FRED AND MR. GREG-LOVE BEYOND BOUNDARIES, and I wanted to document it - and he wanted it documented. Here is a link to the official show description and artist statement - LINK - nut in a nutshell Greg is telling the story of his relationship with his father who was in prison while he grew up through their letters and drawings. It is pretty touching and interesting and a bit personal for me since we grew up on the same street.

Monday, June 8, 2020

TMax on the Farm

Yellow House Cheese Camping
After I finished the role of CineStill 50D I popped a roll of expired TMax 400 in my Canonet QL17GIII. I shot the whole roll at Yellow House Cheese - the farm in Seville we had ridden our bikes to camp at. We had some beautiful light in the evening. The roll was developed in my typical style in Kodak HC-110(b).

Saturday, May 30, 2020

CineStill 50D

Market Morning
I was going through my film inventory and I found this roll of CineStill 50D that I forgot I had bought(I actually don't even remember when I did). So as I usually do I turned to the 'net to do a bit of research before shooting it. It turns out that this is actually a Kodak motion picture film that CineStill cuts down and removes the remjet layer from - a remjet layer is for is necessary for movie cameras but makes the film not able to be developed by traditional still film process(c41). So it is kind of a neat, novel film to try. It is supposed to be the least grainy film on the market and I don't think I could argue with that. My scanner seamed to treat the color balance a little strange on some of the images but a quick correction in Photoshop had it looking quite good. The other thing of note is that this film is fairly low contrast.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Abandoned on Bikes

Factory Team
As I've been mentioning in these blogs and the videos I've been avoiding the bike paths on most days as they are just too busy for the way I like to ride. That has led to a lot of exploration and some cool finds - like this abandoned factory. This was an evening where I kind of wish I had every piece of photo gear I own with me - but my Canon Canonet QL17Giii, one roll of Tmax 400 and GoPro were going to have to do. Pretty fun stuff to photograph.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Bikes on Film

When heading out on my bike rides I've been carrying my Canonet QL17GIII on almost every ride. Lately I've been shooting it with Kodak TMax 400 since I have a whole box of expired rolls that a friend gave me. Originally I had been using expired Fuji Color Press 400 but with the stay-at-home order I decided to switch to b&w since I develop that myself. All of these images were shot on various bike outings.

Friday, May 8, 2020

In the Light

Here are few images I've shot in the course of other projects over the last week.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Bergger Pancro 400

I tried out Bergger Pancro 400 for the first time and just developed it in HC-110 dilution b. I was surprised that the development time was 9 minutes - that seems crazy for dilution b - I double checked multiple sources before doing it. Bergger says the film has two emulsions which make for a wide exposure latitude that works well in any developer. I would have to say they are correct - this film had more latitude and information on the negative than anything I had ever shot. They also claim decent grain size but I found it to be pretty grainy - not necessarily a bad thing but this is not TMax. Overall I was really happy with this film - the exposure latitude makes it great for scanning and post-processing.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Update #5

This is a quick update video about what has been happening around Fitzwater Photography the last few weeks. I also give some shout-outs to some local businesses that we've been trying to support. My plan is to do one of these every Friday.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Ferrania Success

Bike Mural
I finally had some success shooting FILM Ferrania P30 Alpha film. To get decent results I ended up over-exposing the images between 1/2 a stop and 2 stops. About one stop of over-exposure yielded the best results. I developed it the same way I had developed the other three rolls I had already shot - 6 minutes in HC-110 dilution b(or twice the time in E). I still plan to develop my last roll of Alpha in FPP 76 which is the Film Photography Project's version of Kodak's D76. I am really thrilled that I finally got a roll of this film that worked out though. 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

TMax 400 on Bikes

Bikes on Film
My friend Taylor gave me a big box of film that he had found at an estate sale a little while back. I've posted a few blogs with the color film but with the 'Stay at Home' order I've jumped into some of the black & white film since I can develop it at home. Being a big fan of Tri-X I never had a reason to try out TMax 400 - until I had a free box of it! I shot the roll over three bicycle rides and then developed it in HC-110 dilution b for 6 minutes. This isn't a recommended way to develop TMax but it is what I have and these were mostly snapshots anyways. I was really happy with the results - the age of the film and developer probably led to extra graininess and increased contrast but that is something I don't mind at all for images like this.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Roger Riviere Vids

With the Stay at Home order I've had the time to work on a number of projects. Below is one of those - a new series of videos about my bicycles. I go through the broader history of the bike as well as the personal history of my specific model. 
Below is a video from Easter Sunday in the music video style I've been doing for a number of years.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Bonfire & Distance

On Saturday Erin and I had a bonfire at her house. It felt like I was going to back of the beginning of my career - photos of friends, long exposures of the fire, and some light painting - basically playing around with my camera and just trying things for fun. I know a few people are going to have a problem with this gathering... we kept our distance, no one went in the house, and everything was wiped down. I personally haven't gone in a store, seen my family or gathered with more than a couple people since March 10th. The point to me that is if everyone does their best we flatten the curve. As I ride my bike around I see lots of gathering of teens and people being way to close(and total idiots) in the park. It is frustrating. But I'm not taking it upon myself to lecture people where their line should be. I'm doing a lot and have lost almost all my business but I'm not going to claim to be perfect. I have seen some businesses and individuals just paying lip service to all of this...they will have to answer for themselves when things go wrong and their customers, friends and families end up sick.
Back to the photos...

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Third Time Isn't the Charm

I took the opportunity offered to Ferrania Kickstarter supporters to buy five rolls of P30 Alpha at 5 bucks a piece. I have now shot three of the rolls but I've spaced them out and shot them in such unique situation that I didn't realize that I was messing up the development. I did try a different method this time but I would simply say that using Kodak HC-110 is not a good idea with this film. Again, the contrast was through the roof. I used dilution H this time at twelve minutes. As you'll see the few images I posted are way to contrasty. I made a video about it which is at the bottom of the blog. You can also see my other two rolls here and here - though it worth noting that I now know it was my development that was off - not the setting or situations.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

New Angles

I was looking for a close spot to film an ending to a video I had been working on and I found it right across the street from The Studio. This is one of those three walled enclosures for dumpsters - but the Ponderosa has been abandoned as long as I can remember so it is clean in there...and it had the shade I needed to film some close-ups of my GoPro. The light was really cool and I decided to take a few photos too. I also got a new perspective on my building.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Big Sky Akron

Akron Sky
On Sunday afternoon there was a fantastic, dramatic sky that I figured would be perfect for some contrasty black and white photography. I grabbed my Minolta X-700 with a couple of lenses with red filters then went to get a roll of Tri-X from the fridge - except I was all out of Tri-X. So looking through my black and white film I decided on a roll of Holga 400 I picked up somewhere - after a bit of research I found out it is actually Fomapan 400. I rode my bike to downtown Akron in an absolute wind storm. It was nuts. I was also trying a 28mm f/2.8 Rokkor lens that I was given - I had wanted a wide angle for my Minoltas's for a while so I was really glad to have this.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Quarantine Mustache

Monte Zoncolan
There are a lot of "challenges" and social media activities going around right now since many people have extra time on their hands - also as a distraction I believe. Ben tagged me in a #QuarantineMustache challenge and what the heck - it was time for the winter beard to go. Also - I'm not seeing that many people anyways, or so I thought - about ten minutes after shaving I received a text about shooting at the FoodBank today. Oh well! 
I used it as an excuse to set up some lights and try out a lighting technique in the studio.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Two More Color Rolls

Rocky River
So I ran a couple of more rolls of that expired FujiColor Press 400 through my Canon Canonet QL17GIII. I have been carrying the small camera with me on my bike adventures as the situation around us has rapidly changed. I dropped the roles in the film box at Akron Commercial Color Lab on Sunday evening and used my last non-essential trip yesterday to pick them up. I probably won't shoot much C41 color film for a while as I will be following the rules of the "Stay at Home" order we have in Ohio even though the lab is staying open since the do work for the government. I think I will still do analog but just switch back to B&W since I have all the materials I need to develop it here at the studio....

Friday, March 20, 2020

Moon Tower - Vlog and Photos

Moon Tower in Kent
I grabbed three of my cameras(five including my phone) and rode my bicycle out to the Moon Tower in Kent for a mid-afternoon break from editing and reading cancelation emails. I stopped at Bottles 101 to grab a beer on the way. I ended up making a vlog à la Peter McKinnon or Casey Neistat. I also made some images with my Canonet QL17GIII which I will get developed and posted next week.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Minimal Human Contact

Minimal Human Contact
Yes, times are tough - but they are tough for everybody in a variety of different ways. Below is a video I made about it last week - I will be making an updated version later today. Hang in there and stay healthy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

St. Paddy's Meet Corona

St. Paddy's was definitely different this year - this was our social distancing, breakfast picnic. Below is a ride I took last Sunday - the last day the bars were open.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Fujicolor Super G 100

Rising Star
Mixed in with the 60(!) rolls of FujiColor Press 400 I was given by a friend was one roll of Fuji Super G 200. This film was discontinued and replaced by the Superia line in 1998 so this roll is at least that expired. I shot it at ISO 100 to give it an extra stop. I was impressed with how well it turned out. I expected way more grain and color shifts. The only problem was user error - I accidentally popped the film door open at some point and lost a few images.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Bikes, Art & Music (all in a day)

Book Signing
Saturday was a busy one. I woke up early and picked up Ben to head out to Garretsville to ride in a gravel race called the Road Apple Roubaix. The conditions were a bit sloppy as you'll see in the photos and video below. After I got home and showered up I went out to Trust books to get my booked inscribed at Greg's book signing and to check out the opening of the Boiler Room Gallery. I walked from there over to the Akron Music Awards to cover that event. Every activity was a great time but needless to say I had no trouble sleeping that night.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Latte Art Throwdown

Last night Asterisk Coffee Bar hosted a Latte Art Throwdown. Baristas show up to compete in a bracket-style tournament to see who can make the prettiest lattes and win prizes. The spectators sipped on cocktails, beers and coffee drinks while answering trivia questions for prizes.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Studio Fun

2020 Cycling Promo
I took a couple different studio portraits recently to experiment with a few ideas I had. Above is a cycling photo I had in mind using gels and grid spots and below is a "fake summer" idea I had using a single light and beauty dish. I took a few set-up shots with my Canon 6D to show how I arrived at these looks.