Thursday, August 22, 2013


Reenactors salute veterans while coming off the line

The most important aspect of the D-Day Conneaut event is not the battles.  It's the important people that attend the event.  Those that served and those that were there 69 years ago.  And to never forget their sacrifices or anyone else that has worn a uniform in service and defense of this country.  For me, one of the best moments was when reenactors were coming off the line after the bridge battle near the Axis camp on Saturday morning.  Many of them stopped, saluted and shook the hands of what appeared to be grateful vets.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The tale of when I took a ride on a 1989

This past weekend, I had the rare opportunity to take a ride on an actual Higgins Boat.  A landing craft vessel used during WWII to land troops from offshore naval vessels.
It was a blast and I feel very fortunate to have been able to done it.  But it reminded me of a time long ago when I was just 20 years old, still in school and living at home with the folks.  I was out back cutting the yard one day when I heard a very loud noise.  Thinking the mower was going to explode, I turned it off, but the noise was louder and overhead.  I looked up and saw it.  A B-25.  When I was a kid, I would always build those models...okay, they were the snap together models, but, those planes were my first love.  I mentioned something to my mom about it and she told me she saw an article in the paper that the plane was flying out of Akron-Fulton airport and giving rides.  Being in school, and broke, I begged and pleaded with Mom to borrow the $75 to take the ride.  She did.  I think I still owe here.  Anyways, the next day I sat all day waiting for my ride.  Finally, it came.  Wow.  I was actually up in this marvelous warbird.  I didn't have enough to ride up from so I sat to the rear of the plane behind with others.  All of us had the chance to crawl back into the tail-gun position and sit there for a few minutes.  I didn't have the camera I have today, but I took lots of pictures from the air.  I wish I had taken more of the interior.  Regardless, it was a day I won't ever forget.  Here's a few negatives I found of the ride.  They look terrible but still capture the awesomeness.
(And yes, I'm still working on the Conneaut pictures from this weekend.  They are just taking a while to save out to my hard drive.  Thank goodness for two computers.)
Click on the image to enlarge.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Argus Project - D-Day Conneaut 16 August 2013

This years D-Day Conneaut event to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the Normandy invasion is in the books.  I was fortunate enough to spend two days there this year and even more fortunate to have a media pass to get better access to capture some images of the event.  But VERY fortunate that I have a wife that enjoys going with me to these events and fully supports me capturing these moments. 
One thing I wanted to do this year was to utilize a camera from that era to capture some images.  If you are unfamiliar with an Argus camera, this is what they look like.
It's a pretty bare-bones rangefinder camera.  There is no light meter.  No zoom.  Just a simple focus and shoot camera.  I will admit when it came to light metering, I used my modern day Canon T3i to tell me the exposure, so I may have cheated a little.  But everything else was up to this vintage workhorse.  I had to be mindful when shooting with this camera that I only had 24 exposures on the roll of film.  I had to slow down and take my time to focus because the focusing window inside the camera is very filthy and hard to see through.  It's easy for me to take 24 pictures within seconds on the digital camera.  But with this one, you have to make sure you don't double-expose a picture. That you have your aperture and shutter set properly.  All of those technical things.  Even winding the film the right way.  The second roll I had with me, I accidentally rolled back into the camera canister after two shots.  So over the course of Friday, I took some pictures with it and the results are shown below.  For those wondering, I used Kodak BW400CN film that is a C-41 process.  The images had an orange/brown hue to them, so I did run them through Lightroom to adjust the color and make then more B&W with the exception of one of them.  Here are the results. (Click on the images to bring up the full size).  More thoughts on D-Day Conneaut to come, along with many more images.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Touring the legend.

For years the Zoar Hotel has played a large part in my photography.  This picture above was chosen by me to be on my business cards.  Built in the 1800's and used to house outside visitors to the community, the hotel is a highly recognizable landmark in town.  For years I've stood outside it, peered into her windows and tried to imagine what it looked like in there.  Today, I got my wish. For about an hour, myself and my wife had full access to the building thanks to the Zoar Community Association.  What's also amazing is that President William McKinley often would stay in this hotel as his favorite retreat.  This building is yet another symbol of the rich history of Zoar and another reason why this village must be saved for future generations.  Hopefully one day they will be able to renovate the interior of this beautiful structure.  But for now, I at least got to see what it looks like today and imagine how it looked for the former President and the multitude of it's guests.

Click here to view all of the images from inside the hotel today.