Friday, November 30, 2012

Top 12 of 2012 - Number 6:Dundee Falls

When I told all my friends way back when I was living in Detroit that we were moving to Ohio, the comment most said to me was that it was a flat, boring state.  Well they were wrong.  VERY wrong.  You see, the experience of Ohio most people that live in the greater Detroit area have is what they see out the car window when they travel to the amusement park Cedar Point.  Between Detroit and Sandusky, OH, it's flat.  It used to be a marsh way back when.  So I was amazed when we moved over to Northeast Ohio.  Hills and glacier cut valleys and rock outcroppings.  It really is amazing.  And when I moved south to marry Denise I entered northern Appalachia.  Lots of rolling, beautiful hills.  That's why this location I find so amazing.  For a couple years now I kept hearing about this place called Dundee Falls and we finally were able to find it. Dundee Falls is actually a state wildlife area that is open for public use.  In other words, it's public hunting grounds.  What I found so amazing about this area is how much it reminds me of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park area.  In an area surrounded by farmland and hills, this is a unique place.  But also an area that needs to be taken care of.  Lots of trash and graffiti.  But still one of my new favorite places.


Top 12 of 2012 - Number 7:Holland! (Michigan)

Number 7 on the countdown this year again includes friends and also includes the state of my birth, Michigan!  When I was 14, I left Michigan for Ohio and at that point had never been to the west side of the state.  "Up North" was always a destination, but just not the Lake Michigan shoreline.  It wasn't until our friends David and Lee moved to the city of Holland that I had the chance to see for myself just how beautiful and different that side of the state is.  I've been to the Pacific coast before and in my opinion, this is very similar.  The big difference between the two is just how fine the sand is.  Almost like dust it's so fine.  Well, the sand and the saltwater smell.  The sunsets are beautiful in the summer.  Nothing but clear skies all the way to the horizon.  Just love it there.  If we ever were going to move somewhere for a fresh start, that would be the place I think. 

Top 12 of 2012 - Number 8:All Balboa Weekend

Number 8 on the list follows very closely to number 9 because it was another fun event that our pal Craig invited us along to.  The event is called the All Balboa Weekend.  (If you go to the site, Craig did the artwork for it!)  This was a really cool event for a multiple reasons.  First, Denise participated with the Cleveland Dr. Sketchy.  Was great to see her really dive back into drawing and she loved it.  Was also great to watch Craig, Jason and Jen, along with the other artists, quickly sketch the models as they had 15 minutes per model sitting to do so. Also, the clothes.  Everyone was decked out in their best late 30's early 40's ware.  The dancing was intense.  There are people that take swing dancing seriously and it shows.  Was fantastic to witness and photograph.  And finally, the music.  Loved it.
This is something I really hope we have a chance to do again next year.  Really one of my FAVORITE pictures of the entire year, is this first one.  No, not because of the pretty ladies in it. Originally it was in color and was way underexposed.  I did some experimenting and in the end produced this.  For me it looks like this picture could be out of a copy of Life magazine from decades ago.   Just love it.

Top 12 of 2012 - Number 9:Cleveland Ingenuity Fest

Okay, this was a really fun event that we went to this year.  Our close friend and artist extraordinaire, Craig Worrell, told us about this art/music festival that is held yearly up in Cleveland.  I'm not going to try to again put into words about the levels of awesomeness that went on there.  Here's a link back to the post I wrote about the event.

Top 12 of 2012 - Number 10:Dennison Depot

Coming in at number 10 on the countdown is some shots from the day we spent in Dennison at the Soldiers Homecoming Festival from this year.  Now normally they have a nice sized WWII reenactment during the festival.  But for some reason this year they didn't.  Oh well.  The Dennison Depot has great story behind it and has recently been recognized as a national landmark!  So if you are in the area it's really worth a look.  Also while you're down there, across the street from the depot is a GREAT pizza place called Dennison Yard. Tomato Pie with garlic is the stuff of legends!  But that's another story.
But while we were there, I did fire off two images I really liked from this year.  The first was taken in the train yard.  I really like how the lighting looked in this shot.  The rain was on and off all day and the clouds had that late fall darkness about them.  I had to adjust the exposure of the clouds to bring out the details, but I don't think it's cheating that much.
Next was about the closest thing we had to a reenactment. I really like how the lighting and framing of this shot came out.  Don't know why, just stuck with me.

I was interviewed

A few months ago I was approached by the National Trust for Historic Preservation about the photo work I've done in the town of Zoar.  They had found me on Flickr and wanted to know if they could send them a bunch of different shots of the town.  (Original story from an earlier post.) Well that was 100+ GB of uploads to Dropbox ago.  Since that initial communication with them, I was asked to take part in an interview about my work and what I think about the importance of the town.  Last Thursday, Thanksgiving morning, that article went live on their site and was featured on their sister-site for a few days. 
I've been blown away for the past week after seeing that article.  I have to say that this is the proudest I've been about my work ever.  If, by the slightest percent, these pics I do help to save the town, then I in my mind, I have accomplished what I set out to do.

Here's a direct link to the article: [SLIDESHOW] A Fall Walk Through the Village of Zoar

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Top 12 of 2012 - Number 11:Tuscora Park

This past summer I had an idea to try something down at Tuscora Park in New Philadelphia, OH.  There is an old fashion carousel there that just screams of awesome.  It started out as just a simple time exposure of the carousel.

But then it turned into something else.  A statement on Autism.  My son, Alex, has Autism.  The thing with Autism is that it's like a snowflake.  Each person is different in how it affects them.  Sometimes I think because of it, the world just passes him by.
But I'm also reminded that as a family, we stand with him through whatever challenge he comes across.  He's had many a challenge, but in each one he's beaten it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Top 12 of 2012 - Number 12: Shoot for TCCVB

Here we go!  The countdown of the top 12 of 2012!  In this series of posts I will highlight 12 separate images or shoots from over these past 12 months that I felt stood out from the rest.  So let's get started!
Back in September I was approached by the Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau to help them out with an idea for the 2013 county visitors guide.  The idea was "Bring your Chevy to Zoar Levee". What I really liked about this shoot was to have full access to the Zoar site thanks to their support.  So for a couple of hours and with the help of my daughter Molly, we took a classic 1957 Chevy around different places in town and went crazy.  In the end, I learned a lot from the shoot. Especially since I had never done anything like this before.   Plus, the owner of the vehicle was FANTASTIC to work with which made the afternoon so much better.  For this post, I'm only going to share the one image from the shoot since I'm not sure which ones they are going to use for their product. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The halls are being decked, part 2

So I headed back down to Zoar tonight to try and capture some more shots of the holiday spirit.  But, when I got home, I discovered two things.
1.  Overexposures happen.  And there is no getting around it.
2.  My one lens does NOT like to focus in the dark, even though the camera says it is.  
Alas, here are tonight's attempts at photo-awesomeness.  Again, the key word here is attempt.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The halls are being decked

Denise and I went down to Zoar tonight to enjoy a bite to eat at the Firehouse Grill and Pub, (plug for them, good food and service!) and afterwards I wanted to start on my new project.  Many of the houses and site buildings have been adorned with wreaths for the holiday season.  Here's some experimenting I did tonight.  But it is pretty difficult to take 30 second time exposures across a state route at 8 PM at night.  Even more difficult when someone decides to park right in front of you when your all set up with your tripod.