Friday, July 3, 2015

Nice End To The Day

Timing is everything, right?  I walked down to the dock to shoot a few photos when I noticed some large clouds drifting in from the West.  As I was standing there with my camera the neighbor's kids came down to fish.  Since I was standing on their dock I was the middle of a bunch of little kids, but I managed to get a few pretty good ones including this before I was overrun.  :-)

Afternoon clouds, Deep Creek Lake, Maryland

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Walk To The Lake

What a nice walk down to the dock.  We rented a boat later in the date.  This peaceful little scene early on a summer morning at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland was very nice.

Summer Morning, Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, USA

Monday, June 29, 2015

Union 12 Pounder

One of several cannon facing north near the visitor center at Antietam National Battlefield in western Maryland.  We hired a guide via the National Park service and enjoyed the tour and discussion so much that a three hour tour turned into 4 and a half.  Maybe a bit more.  The kids were great, they definitely drifted in and out of the conversation but were clearly listening and asking questions throughout much of it.

I can't accurately describe the feeling of standing in some of these battlefields where tens of thousands of men died fighting.  In the case of Antietam it was over twenty thousand in one day.  Gettysburg was more, over three days.

Union Cannons, Antietam Battlefield, Maryland, USA

Friday, March 27, 2015

Kennedy Space Center

Looks like my once a quarter post trend is still holding up.  I've been shooting a bunch recently just not the sort of things I typically put on this blog.  Maybe I should change my policy of no people and kids and just start sharing all of the my stuff.  I've even done some product photography recently.

I'll think about that.  I also need to figure out how to post here and Facebook and other social sites at the same time.  Guess I should think about that too.  Anyway, here's a photo I shot walking underneath the booster and fuel tank from the Atlantis Space Shuttle Exhibit at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Shuttle Atlantis Fuel Tank and Boosters, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Once a Quarter Blog Post! Woohoo

I used to do this daily, but the zest for frequent posts has waned.  Recently I've been experimenting with Facebook and other social media and that has renewed my interest in posting here too.  I guess most people post on multiple platforms and it's mostly related.  Once every three months seems like a good, low-expectation way to get started with this again.  :-)

South of Peninsula in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a series of trails and cliffs called the Ledges I think.  I know most of these places but don't often have the right names with the correct trail heads.  Anyway, I dropped a couple of kids off at Brandywine to ski for a few hours and beat feet south looking for a good place to shoot the sunset.  I had shot a few senior photos at this location this Fall as well as some family photos and knew the sunset behind the trees would be pretty good as long as the clouds and sky cooperated.  Driving to dinner on New Year's day I noticed a great looking sunset sky and was hoping for something similar.

This is a typical three shot set of exposures, combined, then modified a bit in Adobe Photoshop.  I also used a set of plugins called Fusion Express for some additional touch-up and noise correction.  This spot gets photographed alot, I think.  So I tried to get a perspective that wasn't as common.  When you walk up and see something like this it's instinct to walk up, frame the rocks and sunset and be done with it.  I walked around some, back and forth, trying to incorporate the trees.  They are such an obvious part of the image and, frankly, impossible to shoot around, that I decided to feature one of them.

Overlook, Ledges Trail, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Thursday, September 11, 2014

OSU Band Skull Session

Before home games the Ohio State band performs a Skull Session at St Johns Arena, close to the Ohio State stadium.  The place is packed with people and many of them are regulars, attending each performance before home games.  Apparently many of the people in the nearly full arena don't have game tickets - they come just to hear the band.  It's an awesome environment, the band is amazing.  The crowd goes nuts when they march into the area in something like a extra fast double time.

The Hudson High School Marching band was invited to play last weekend, which is the reason I was there.  The Hudson band did a terrific job and many of the 'regulars' who came to listen to the performance were full of positive compliments as I walked around the area shooting photos.  I had a Hudson shirt on so they were coming up to me asking about the band, our hometown, etc.  

The shot below was taken from well back from the floor, I was after a look and feel of the arena right after the OSU band made their entrance.  The place was electric.

Hudson High School Marching Band, OSU Skull Session, Columbus, Ohio

The football teams makes an appearance as well.  It's a terrific pregame tradition.  I had no idea what I was missing.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Tilting At Windmills

Ever use a phrase and not really know what it means?  That's the way I was with 'tilting at windmills' for the longest time.  Even though I knew it was from Don Quixote and it had something to do with him fighting windmills (he thinks they are monsters, the blades are arms).  Whenever someone used the phrase in a business or social setting I always used to nod and say 'they sure are', not really sure what it meant (fighting imaginary foes or problems or generally doing something for no good reason).

Anyway, I found my own windmills in eastern South Dakota recently.  Under a nearly full moon.  I spent a few minutes laying in the grass out in the dark trying to line up these shot and it's long exposure.  Some of my traveling companions probably thought I was myself doing something for no good reason.  But I think it's an awesome photo.  :-)

Windmill, Oak Tree Lodge, Clark South Dakota

Sunday, August 10, 2014

South Dakota Corn With An Approaching Storm

Choosing one photo is always a struggle.  It's necessary but I don't like it.  When you shoot alot of photos you know you have to choose one that represents a place and point people to that.  At least that's what they tell you in the how-to-photograph articles online and there is benefit from that attitude, it makes you focus.  

After spending a few days in the rain and stormy weather this last week in eastern South Dakota I was wondering if I'd have any interesting photos to share at all, let alone struggle to choose one from many.  I got to hang out with some interesting people and shoot pictures of a bunch of cute kids but nothing I typically put on this blog.  I knew the area near us was cool - wide open skies, lots of corn fields with some wheat here and there.  It's very pretty.  But it was very cloudy.  Not the sort of clouds you can photograph, the grey think kind that just sort of sit there and don't move.

I had mostly given up (except for the cute kids and one of the coolest dogs I've ever met, I can post that guy here, I may do it soon) but the sun came out as we were all packing up to leave.  As some cars were headed down the drive way I was jumping around between a couple of sets of stairs and some balconies of the place we were staying.  The view was terrific, I just needed the sun and clouds to cooperate.  Things mostly lined up for me for about 10 minutes, and that's how I go this shot below.  There's a set of showers or a small storm approaching from the left, the sun had just started breaking through the clouds overhead enough to create some contrast and depth.  And voila, three exposures later and about 17 hours of driving to get back to northern Ohio, here you have the one photo.  

Until tomorrow that is. :-)  I did some night stuff and really want to share that.

Approaching Rain Storm,
Clark, South Dakota

Monday, July 28, 2014

Unmirrored Image

If you saw my last post of this topic, this image will make a little more sense.  Here's a more conventional view of a half dozen school buses lined up taking kids to band camp for the week.  This one is three exposures combined.  The HDR process makes some of the colors go a little crazy sometimes so I actually had to tone down the yellow of the school bus.  It was screaming 'I'm a yellow bus!' a little too loudly at me so I pulled some of that saturation down using lightroom.  I love the effect of a wide angle lens so close to the side of the bus.  I'm literally inches away, I think my shoulder was up against the bus actually.  The H in Hudson is sooo huge.  :-)

Head 'em up, Move 'em out.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Headed Out

The Hudson High School Marching band left for camp today.  It's the traditional start to marching season.  The entire band, staff and chaperone parents travel a few hours east to Allegheny College (I think) and drill, march and get in playing shape.  It also sounds like they have alot of fun doing all the other stuff you'd expect a bunch of high school kids away from home would be doing.  It's safe and totally cool of course, lots of adult supervision.  :-)

I was shooting some posed shots for the band earlier when a parent with a really good eye for a cool photo grabbed me and said I should check out the line of buses on the non-loading side.  No kids or other people, just the repeating pattern of a number of yellow buses on a sunny July morning.  I've got the line of buses in the works now, we'll see how that turns out.  In the mean time, here's a slightly different look on the whole scene.  I'm sure the bus driver wondered what in the world I was doing.  With a wide angle lens I have to get really, really close to the mirror...

Hudson High School Marching Band Camp Departure

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bridle Trail Through The Valley

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is not far from my home.  I drive through it (or over it on a freeway bridge) getting to and from work each day.  It's a really cool place to have right next door and is a terrific distraction to/from work.  For years I've driven past this little trail that I could see from the Ohio Turnpike (a toll road, highspeed freeway) and have wanted to check it out.  Getting there requires hiking a bit on a city park through some woods that clearly don't get much foot traffic then you have to literally hike down a service road that runs parallel to the freeway.  It's marked as a bridle trail, look for hoof prints in the photo below in the mud.  But what's interesting is the trail marker going west says stay on the trail and gives it a name but the sign coming back (opposite side) says No Trespassing.  I figured since I didn't see that until the return trip I was ok.

Anyway, see if you can imagine walking underneath this really long bridge and coming out to the other side to see this trail, meadow and awesome sunset.  The wind was blowing these fluffy white clouds around pretty fast.  It was beautiful.  And one more time I said to myself "this is Ohio?". 

I had to shoot pretty quick and beat feet to get back through the woods and to my car in failing light.  That sort of freaks me out since I'm generally afraid of the dark and there's stuff in those woods, I could hear critters moving around out there in the dark.  :-)

Valley Bridle Trail, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Peninsula, Ohio

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The nostalgia of 19th century American Fast Food

McDonald's, A&W Root Beer and White Castle are mainstays of American fast food.  I'm not sure of the White Castle story and its history but McDonald's is obviously very well known.  A&W was always a drive in where you could get burgers and stuff like that brought to your car.

Back when the American diet was mostly eat-at-home I bet visiting these places was a real treat.  I think things have changed a bit since these signs were used at real restaurants.  This is a slice of what I think are the 50's or 60's at a replica working diner at The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

I shot this handheld, three exposures but wasn't happy with both the noise and bit of camera shake I introduced on the longest exposure so I worked on a single exposure and tweaked it a bit to get the neon of the sign to pop.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Choo Choo

This is the fourth or fifth post I've done recently from Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan in as many days.  Today's post is from their locomotive repair shop.  The Village has a number of working steam engine locomotives and a staff that maintains and restores them.  We got to the shop late in the day and didn't have much time but I did get a number of really cool photos, including this one.  Nothing fancy about this - moderately wide aperture, find an interesting angle and shoot.  Just a single exposure and some modifications of contrast and clarity in Adobe Lightroom.  Shot it handheld, of course.  When traveling with family and kids I never use a tripod, too much to mess with and carry around.m  Also, I tend to keep a really wide lens on the camera for days like this.  That means for shots like this you can get really, really close to what you're shooting.

Locomotive, Greenfield Village, Michigan

Monday, July 7, 2014

Print Shop

A hundred years ago or so it took quite a bit of work to do so many things that we take for granted now - communicating and printing being just one example.  Here's a closeup of a printed document, old-time style, showing a type set block before it's set in the press and the resulting document.  It took quite a lot of manual and physical work to create a set of documents like this.  This is something of a before and after photo I guess.

Printing, ready for ink,  Greenfield Village, Michigan

And the final document, "Rules For Teachers".  If you can read it, there are some crazy rules in this list.

Print shop, Greenfield Villiage, Michigan

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Glass Works

I haven't shared photos regularly for a number of weeks so to get back in the swing of things and develop that habit again, I'm sharing everything.  Even though some variety is nice, I think I'll end up with clumps of photos from the same location for a bunch of posts all in a row.  I tried to avoid that in past but I need to get back in the swing of things.  :-)

Toward the end of the day we did a fast tour of several working craft or trades displays at Greenfield Village.  These were all working operations from printing (early printing press) to pottery to glass blowing and a number of other things we really didn't have time to see like a working sawmill.  Glass blowing is something I always thought was some combination of art and industry, which is probably accurate but I don't know that I've ever seen it done in person.  The shot below is some work done by the glass works at the Village using one of about a half dozen different furnaces.  It's actually quite a large shop setup for folks to watch and learn.

Glass blowing, Greenfield Village, Michigan

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Edison's Workshop

Apparently there were dozens of earlier designs of the electric light bulb before Thomas Edison got involved, so he wasn't the one who actually invented it.  He was the guy who made it practical - he figured out how to create a filament that would glow but not burn in just a few seconds, had a plan for essentially an electrical system for small towns, etc.  He was obviously brilliant with over a thousand patents in his lifetime but one theme that I picked up on when visiting the modern day versions of his workshop and labs at Greenfield Village was how hard he worked.  Hard work is what he thinks (as the story is told today) made him successful, he never gave up.  The best example of that in my mind is the process of figuring out what made the best filament for the new light bulb - carbonized cotton thread glowing in a vacuum sealed glass bulb.  They tried all sorts of things before settling on what we now know as the basic components of the light bulb.

This photo is his lab shot from the corner during a tour and talk from one of the staff at Greenfield Village.  This sort of stuff is fascinating to me.  The walls are covered with bottles of various compounds and chemicals, the tubes and other things on the desk are in vacuum pumps used to remove air from a bulb.

Thomas Edison's Workshop, Greenfield Village

Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day

July 4th is the celebration of Independence Day in the States.  Cookouts, parties, parades and other celebrations are commonplace.  We spent the day at a place called Greenfield Village in southern Michigan, not far from Detroit in a town called Dearborn.  It's a terrific place full of all sorts of period specific displays showing things like Thomas Edison's lab and workspaces, Noah Webster's home (known for his english dictionary), etc.

Ironically my most patriotic feeling image from the day was this nice little shot from just outside a wonderful little...frozen custard stand.  :-)

Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan

Friday, June 27, 2014

Down River

This is how it looks sitting in the front of a river boat on a fly fishing trip on the Lehigh River in eastern Pennsylvania.  Even though there wasn't a really active hatch on this day we caught a number of different fish including rainbows, browns, and smallmouth bass.  This was a two day trip - the first is learning the basics of fly fishing with an emphasis on casting and the second is actually being out on the water and fishing.  If you're new to fishing with a fly rod you need the first day's intro, there's definitely a skill and art when it comes to making consistent and reliable casts and if you just jump right on to the water you'll struggle.

We got lots of help from a fellow named Joe DeMarkis based in New Ringgold, PA.  He had to teach three guys in our group, each of us with our own different learning styles (including our own individual ability to actually listen to instructions).  He did a great job.  Even though we all caught fish, I got to the point that just making a good cast was satisfying enough.  The last trout I caught was a average size rainbow which came up and took a dry white fly as the light was failing, it was literally dark and I was lucky enough to see the swirl and set the hook.  Pretty cool way to finish.

Joe's contact information is here:, 570-691-5476.

Lehigh River Fly Fishing Float Trip

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Spring!

Three minutes to go before the end of the First Day of Spring.  At least for me in eastern standard time (EST).  I decided to celebrate the arrival of Spring by shooting some flower photos.  I don't share much of these sorts of images, I usually shoot landscapes and other larger scenes but I really like flower photographs.
It's been a long, cold winter.  (Not that I'm complaining, I sort of like wintry weather).  But it's springtime or nearly so and that means it's time for some pretty flowers.  I had no idea daffodils could smell so nice.  They just opened in the last day or so and smell terrific.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The End Of High School Basketball

The high school basketball season ended several weeks ago.  As usual our local high school team had a great season.  They didn't make it as far into the playoffs as in past years but that's ok.  My wife and I have made a habit of attending as many of the games as we can, even though we don't have a kid on the team.  It's a great way to spend an hour or two on a winter night.  For me, at least, the energy and rah-rah feel of the gymnasium while the game is going on just makes me feel good.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago a two moms with kids on the team asked me to shoot a photo of the gym that they could give the graduating senior players.  Of course I agreed.  Even if I wasn't shooting the photo I think it was a thoughtful thing for a couple of parents to do for these kids. 

This isn't the photo the kids got.  That photo is just for them.  But here's a slightly different version, from a different angle.  

Hudson High School Gymnasium, Hudson, Ohio

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Outside Sports, Finally

Indoor sports like basketball is ok but I personally like being outside so much better.  So it's nice to be outside again, in this case watching soccer in southern Ohio.  The game started at 8 and was a little chilly but by mid morning it was sunny and in the low 50s F.

I probably could have shot this is bit earlier.   I was walking around the stadium for a while without a camera and realized that was a mistake.   I went back to the car, grabbed the 10-22 lens and shot this from near the top row of the bleachers.

Just to be really critical for a moment...I usually like lens flare but not so much this time.  I might fix it later when we get back home.  I only have lightroom on my laptop.  :-)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Like a Frozen Rose

If you look closely at this you'll realize this 'rose' is actually a couple of frozen leaves wrapped around a branch and covered with ice.  It looks to me like the bloom of a flower frozen in time.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Bend In The River

A good friend of mine told me about the mist rising from the river and how cool it looks in the early morning sunshine particularly during this most recent cold stretch.  So I got up before sunrise, found a spot near the Cuyahoga River and got in place.  Except I was dressed for work and not prepared to spend two hours in 5 degree weather.  This is probably the coldest I've been in years.  I realized on the hike back to the car that my feet were so cold they hurt, something between and ache and a burn.  Once I got to work I wore my hat and an extra fleece for a couple of hours and drank tea just to warm up.  It took a while.  I'm getting weak and this really sort of bothers me.

But the shooting was awesome, the later cold walk and slow warm-up aside.  As I moved around along the river bank watching the sun rise and just enjoying being outside I saw all sorts of interesting things.  A large owl flew right overhead and landed in the trees across the river - it had to be an owl, it was huge, body was large, not shaped like a raptor like an eagle or a hawk.  Then as I was looking upstream two river otters swam right up near me, stopped to check me out then turned around and went back downstream. I have some video of that.  I read online there are now otters in this stretch of the river, a good sign because they're not tolerant of pollution.  Deer are everywhere around this area and this morning's shoot was no exception but this time I found where the deer were either crossing the river, had bedded down or were coming to drink.  

Oh, and the photographs.  This is one of a bunch from this series.  There will be more.  :-)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


About a week ago I shot a bunch of hockey games for a local youth team.  It was alot of fun - hockey is such a cool sport and the kids did a great job.  Over the course of five games I shot about 2800 photos, of which around 800 were worth sharing with the kids and parents on the team.  For just $20 they got some killer photos of their kids in action all on one DVD.  :-)

As it turns one of the pre-game rituals of the guys helping this team, I guess these were the team managers, who prepped the equipment and otherwise took care of sticks, pads, etc. before, during and after the game, was to stack up practice pucks in various ways.  The first time I saw this I realized I needed to get a shot of it so I quickly switched lenses from my sports and action lens (Canon 70-200 f2.8) to my favorite wide angle (Canon 10-22) and shot this.  It's still amazing to me how close you can get to something with really wide angle lenses and still get all sorts of background and surrounding stuff in the image.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Snow Storm Sentinels

I was out in the woods during a recent snow storm (ongoing as I write this actually) and found this group of trees more or less clumped together in a semi circle, open on one end and closed on the other.  In the middle of a seemingly random bunch of trees it was an interesting pattern to discover.  I spent a couple of hours hiking around and shooting photos out in the cold but was able to stay in the trees and sheltered from the wind so it was rather comfortable and with the exception of a quick glimpse of someone in the distance I felt all alone.  For a couple of hours at least, it was great.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

After The Zamboni is Done

I got to watch and shoot some youth hockey yesterday.  A friend's son plays so I shot some images of the game and was able to walk around the rink after the game and shoot some of the ice and boards and stuff.  I don't know much about hockey but I can tell it's as active and has as strong a following as just about any other sport I've been around lately.  This facility was impressive.  It's in Strongsville which is in the Cleveland metro area and is called the OBM Arena, website is

I shot this image after the game was over (friend's team won, 2-1) and the Zamboni had just finished resurfacing the ice.  The boards open where the Zamboni enters and exits so I put the camera on the ledge of one of the boards and shot the standard three exposures quickly before the guys came back to close up.  You may notice the nets are set off to the sides, making room for the Zamboni to drive around the ice.

I was hoping for some nice color and contrast and the reflections of the lights on the still wet ice.  That's more or less what I have here and I'm pretty happy with it.  Classic photo of opportunity.  Just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Iceland USA, OBM Area, West Rink, Strongsville, Ohio

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Still Have a Lead

My son's middle school basketball team was invited to play a few minutes of half court basketball at the Kent State vs Ohio University college game recently.  During the second half I wandered around and shot some pictures of the gymnasium.  Usually indoor sports facilities have all sorts of wide ranges of light and interesting stuff like girders in the ceiling which make geometric patterns.  The problem I usually have is shooting with people around - they don't look good in longer exposures as ghosted blurs or it's painful and time consuming to layer them back in from shorter exposures.

I think I got this one done pretty well though - the lights and structures in the ceiling look pretty cool and the folks on the floor aren't blurred too badly, it still looks like a basketball game.  And although it wasn't on purpose, the home team still has the lead at this point.  They eventually lost.

Kent State Basketball Home Game, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hobbits Walked Here (In My Mind At Least)

I was looking for something green with running water to post during this post winter-storm of super cold air here in the midwest.  I could have gone straight for a beach photo but that was too obvious and probably too much too fast, right?  So, here you go, lots of green with water that actually moves instead of the not-moving stuff we have all over the ground right now.

I like to pretend that Hobbits could have been walking around this place - cool and wet and a happy feeling, at least when I was standing there.  This is one of many bridges we crossed on a number of hikes in the Smokey Mountains last spring.  I have so many decent photos just waiting to be processed and shared, I've decided to try to mine the archives at least a few times each week this winter.  And if I stick with the mining metaphor that means I need to dig up some dwarf-like environment from Tolkien's books next.  Hmm, that may be tricky.  :-)

Happy Hobbit Bridge, Great Smokey Mountains, Tennessee

Saturday, January 4, 2014

On Belay

On the eastern side of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a climbing gym called Kendall Cliffs.  We've known about it for a while but have only recently been actively visiting and climbing, mostly spurred on by my ten year old.  It's a great place to spend a winter afternoon or evening.  The people running the place are fantastic - cool, helpful, and nice with our kids.  There are a number of really good climbers there most days but lots of families and beginners too.

Anyway, most of this I can't climb, I stick to the simpler stuff.  I'm not that good.  The kids are all over the place though, with the exception of the overhang and some of the routes that don't already have lead ropes.  The floor is covered with shredded rubber to cushion falls but I found it also makes for a decent impromptu tripod - I mounded it up a bit to hold the camera still for three bracketed exposures.  This low angle makes the walls looks really high.  For me, while hanging near the top, they are.

Kendall Cliffs Climbing Gym, Peninsula, Ohio

Friday, January 3, 2014

My Fingers Are Still Cold

It's the day after a snow storm and the sun is out so I couldn't help visiting a local park at lunch and shooting a few photos.  It's quite cold so I didn't venture too far into the woods for this shot and was only outside for 30-40 minutes.  It took some time to warm up.  It's in the mid teens (about -10C) today with a slight breeze.  Apparently some very cold weather is just around the corner.  Should be an interesting weekend.
Brecksville Reservation On Sunny Winter Day

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Wintry (or is it Wintery?) Weather Coming

As I write this the weather folks are predicting anywhere between six and ten inches of new snow across the area (northern Ohio) in the next day and a half.  I think it's great, I love fresh snowfall.  It cleans everything up a bit and makes for some cool photo opportunities in an otherwise bleak looking landscape.

For tonight, as we wait on the snow, we have the fire burning and Netflix streaming.  Not a bad evening ahead at all.   

Happy And Warm Fireplace On A Wintry Evening

Oh, and it appears that the term 'wintry' is the right one.  I checked online and that seems the consensus.  I know someone good at these sorts of questions, I'll confirm with them but the Internet never lies (ha!) so I'm going with it.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Downtown Christmas

At one time this blog was a so-called daily photo blog.  Now it's mostly a monthly blog.  I've been shooting a bunch of Christmas photos and portraits recently and tend not so publish those online here.  I may change that in 2014.  Not sure yet.  Some of that work has been pretty good (at least I think so) so I should probably share it with everyone.

Anyway, we had some awesome early snow in Hudson recently and I was able to get back out downtown and shoot some familiar angles of the clock tower decorated with lights - Christmas lights and traffic lights.  If you've spent much time on this blog you'll recognize a similar angle from the summer time.

Merry Christmas!

Downtown Hudson Christmas 2013

Saturday, November 2, 2013


I shot this waiting to take photos of senior players, cheerleaders and band members before the last regular season Hudson football game last night.  The helmet belongs to a team captain and couldn't have been placed more perfectly.  It was entirely a coincidence.  I'm lucky I noticed it.  Might be my favorite shot of the set of a thousand or so photos from the night.

Pregame, Hudson Memorial Stadium, Hudson, Ohio

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Felt Like Hogwarts In Pittsburgh

The Cathedral of Learning is on Pitt's campus.  I've seen it plenty of times but never been inside.  I had no idea how cool it was in there.  It's older, having been built in the first half of the last century.  The first floor feels like the inside of a castle like Hogwarts from the Harry Potter movies.  There are benches and tables everywhere full of students studying.  Give them some robes and have a few ghosts floating around it and it could have been a scene from the book.  I can't imagine I'm the first one to try to make this connection.

The image below was shot hand held, relatively high ISO, three exposures combined as usual.  What's interesting to me is the lens flare which occurred naturally.  I've only seen that in direct sunlight before.

Cathedral of Learning, University Of Pittsburgh

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Walk In The Woods

This image was setup, framed and shot by my 12 year old Nathan.  I did the post processing but Nate has a good eye, understands light levels and knows that I have a preset on my camera to auto-bracket images.  He may not use the term auto-bracket but knows that we take a light one, middle one and a dark one and use software to combine them.

He also understands what it means for a photo to be 'interesting'.  Here you go.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Janet Rhodes Fair Trade Store In Hudson

HeART Of Hudson Art Walk Tonight

Tonight, 5pm - 9pm in Hudson is the second annual (I think it's the second one) Art Walk.  Lots and lots going on.  Schedule of events, a list of artists and other details are right here:

I'm displaying a few prints myself at Janet Rhode's Fair Trade, a retail shop right on Main Street.  I'll be hanging out there most of the evening but hope to get out and see some of the performances and other art work some time in the course of the evening.

Fair Trade Store At Night

After we hung the prints and tidied up a bit I shot a few pictures of the newly installed window display featuring a number of goods that Janet has for sale arranged by of the the store's staff, a really nice college student who had to put up with me hanging and rehanging my prints while she was trying to get real work done setting up the window display.  I think I was in her way all night.  :-) The light up pink ribbon is obviously in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Anyway, this is the view from the sidewalk after we locked up and were headed off to Starbucks.  If you are curious my stuff is hanging on the inside wall to the right.  If you want to see which prints, you need to come tonight.  :-)

Janet Rhodes Fair Trade, Hudson Ohio

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Walking To The Sun

Art Show Reminder

All of downtown Hudson and First and Main is being turned into a huge Art Walk Thursday night.  There will be live entertainment including musicians and performance artists as well as a variety of other art on display and being showcased all around town.  Here's their website:  HeART Of Hudson Art Walk

As I've mentioned before I'm one of the artists and am so happy with the location I was given.  I'm displaying some of my prints in Janet Rhodes' Fair Trade store right on Main Street.  The store specializes in Fair Trade goods sources from artists from all over the world.  Fair Trade means the products you are buying were created or produced by individuals working in safe workplaces, with age-appropriate work rules, in an environmentally friendly way and that these artists were paid a fair wage.  The store is run by Janet Rhodes and is right in the middle of Main Street.  Their website has location information, a description of the types of products they carry as well as location and hours:  Janet Rhodes Free Trade Web Site

Walking To The Sun

Every so often I don't get out early enough to catch the sunrise when it's low on the horizon.  On these days I have to improvise a bit and sometimes work a little harder to get a shot I like.  Here's a great example, it late morning on a recent Saturday or Sunday nothing was working for me.  This was the only shot I made that day (I shoot three exposures and combine them, so a 'shot' is actually three shots).  The trick here was moving around just enough to get the path to lead away in the distance into the sun.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Art Walk in Hudson

HeART of Hudson Art Walk - October 10th in Hudson

My home town of Hudson is hosting an Art Walk in a couple of weeks.  It's a showcase of a number of different artists in a variety of mediums done in cooperation with local merchants who are graciously offering the artists space in their shops to display their work.  The folks organizing the Art Walk have even arrange for live musical entertainment in addition to displays of some fantastic artwork.  You can learn more about it on their website here:  HeART of Hudson

There are couple of reasons I'm mentioning this.  The first is it's a great event and I want to help promote it.  The other reason is I'm one of the artists.  But you probably saw that coming already.  I will displaying my work at Janet Rhodes Fair Trade on Main Street in Hudson.  I couldn't be happier with the location, Janet is such an awesome person and the story of Fair Trade and how the store works is just terrific.  I'll share more details on all of this over the next few days.

Morning In Hudson

Here's one of the prints I will be displaying at the Art Walk.  Sunrise at Hudson Springs Park

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Misty Morning Sunrise

Sometimes you get lucky and stuff like this happens.  Five minutes before I shot this it was a pretty morning but a relatively common morning.  Then this scene sort of exploded right in front of me.  Ten minutes later and the sun was shining down through the mist and the effect wasn't quite as cool.  I was hopping around knowing it was only going to last a few minutes trying to find some composition I liked.

A nice sunrise by itself is cool and all but to make it a really interesting photograph you need something to go with it.  In this case I tried to balance the rising sun with the reflected light on trees on the right.  I'm pretty happy with what I have here.

Hudson Springs Park, Hudson, Ohio

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

One Last Picnic

Even though the weather this time of year in northern Ohio is awesome, we all know what is coming in about a month.  I don't mind so much but it does get more grey and wet and colder by mid to late October. Better take advantage of these sunny days for the odd picnic here and there while you can.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Falling For Fall

I stumbled a little and almost fell in the water a few minutes prior to shooting this.  I'm glad there weren't many people around this early to see it.  I was all curled up underneath the camera really close to the ground and stood up too fast.  So, the title for this post sort of wrote itself.

Sunrise to the left, mist across the top of the lake and some type-A personality, get-a-jump-on-fall-color trees made for a pretty morning.

Early Fall Morning, Hudson, Ohio

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Defend This

The home team is on offense in this particular image at Hudson's Memorial Stadium last Friday night against a nearby high school but this is the end zone they were defending.  Stormy weather rolling in, a bit of rain coming down and high school football in full swing.  It was a great night.  And the home team won in double overtime, making it extra sweet.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Morning On Lake Pontchartrain

I usually prefer photos with a large range of light and contrast and lots of color.  But this just feels right in black and white.  The original image is actually rather flat since it was a misty morning without much natural contrast.  It lends itself very nicely to black and white, I think.  This is Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana, just north of New Orleans.

Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Weeds Need Love Too

This time of year in northern Ohio is so nice.  The days are warm, the nights are starting to become cool and clear and Fall is definitely on its way.  There's usually something good to say about every month of the year around here but we are coming into some of the most pleasant weeks of the entire calendar year and I'm really looking forward to it.  And there are so many things to photograph - late blooming flowers and plants, early changing leaf colors, bright sun and blue skies, etc.

So, in this photo rich environment it's easier to find something interesting to shoot.  In this case it's a simple weed that has gone to seed back-lit by the rising sun.  The hard part was getting this guy to stand still in the gentle breeze.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Misty Morning at Chippewa Creek

I posted a sunny, happy bunch of flowers a day or two ago, scroll down a bit and you'll see them.  This is the photograph I made about 15 minutes prior to shooting those flowers.  This photo is obviously set in a creek bed quite a ways from the sun - it hadn't made it high enough in the sky to shine through the trees and burn off the fog.

The flowers are a feel-good photograph which I like alot.  I like this one too, it's definitely moodier though.  I considered converting it to black and white to play on the mood of the mist in the distance but those rocks just look too good to me in color, so I left it as is.

Chippewa Creek, Brecksville Reservation, Brecksville, Ohio

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Through The Trees

It's tricky trying to find new perspectives on a familiar location.  Here's a relatively new perspective on a scene I've photographed a dozen times.  Instead of standing at the water's edge, I walked backward quite a ways and deliberated framed the sunset with a couple of trees and some nice blooming wildflower and flowering weeds (I think they are weeds).

Anyway, I like this new view on something we've seen before.

Monday, September 9, 2013

My Favorite Meadow

Near my work is a metro park called the Brecksville Reservation.  As close as it is to the suburbs it's a great place to get lost for a while.  Toward the center of the park is an open meadow full of all sorts of wild grasses and flowers.  With so much available sun there's usually stuff blooming in there throughout the spring and summer.  

The other morning I stopped on the way to work and found this clump of flowers literally bathed in sunlight. The entire field was just beautiful.  Morning dew lit by the rising sun.  I had (still have) trouble choosing a single image from the 30 minutes or so I spent shooting.

Morning Sun, Brecksville Reservation, Brecksville, Ohio

Thursday, August 1, 2013

B26...A Real Dream Girl

The National Air Force Museum is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio.  I was in the area the last couple of weekends for some soccer tournaments and had some time to check it out, twice.  It's a big place, you may need two visits.  The museum is a record of early flight in the US all the way through current aircraft, particularly military aircraft illustrated by the planes themselves.  It's essentially a number of large hangers full of planes either on the ground or suspended.  Throughout the displays are videos that recap events, battles, wars, inside-looks at living conditions, etc.  The aircraft are amazing; the stories and history surrounding them and the men and women who flew and took care of these things is humbling.

This is a B26.  B for bomber.  The environment is relatively dark with lights on the planes.  I saw folks with tripods but elected to leave mine in the car so this was shot hand held, high ISO, three exposures.

B26, Air Force Museum, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Now This Is A Camp Site

I recently spent about a week in the New River Gorge area of West Virginia.  We did all sorts of stuff including staying in a cabin back in the woods with a view like this from the camp fire.  I'd like to say the yellow light on the trees is from our roaring campfire but it's actually a yellow/orange tinted light bulb that seemed to project just enough light to see but was the wrong color to attract bugs.

Camp Site, New River Gorge, West Virginia