Many churches in Akron are experiencing the same trend: dwindling attendance and too much unused building space. Some denominations are leaning toward consolidation.
When I spoke with Rev. Ron Shultz of Family of Faith last summer, he mentioned the selling of The Church of the Good Shepherd building on Main Street. He told me that McDonald's had purchased the land and the sale poured loads of cash into his coffers. He wanted to use that new wealth to reach out into the community from the Family of Faith church on E. Market.
Fast forward ahead a few months, and I found myself inside the discarded church on Main. Within was a maze of dilapidated dreariness. From behind the alter where the organ pipes once stood, to the enormous basement area, to the balcony and the five scattered and forgotten pianos, this exploration was surreal.
My friend Gabe(who has appeared here many times) had a record release party at Square Records on Friday night. Square records is a pretty lousy place to shoot photos(florescent lighting, beige ceiling, wall blocking half the view) so I decided to mess around in Photoshop to give the pictures something interesting. The above shot is what I consider a happy accident!
I snapped this while crossing West Market Street on my way back from the RedBox on Thursday night - the beginning of the storm. I've been working on digital black and whites a lot lately and I really liked how this conversion came out. The most important thing(I find) is to shoot something that is conducive to a monochromatic shot in the first place....sound obvious but....
Behold the Ring Flash Adapter. It is an adapter that clips over a flash unit on camera. The flash shoots light into the top and it bounces down into the ring creating the round light. The photo above was my first shot out of the box. At only $40, this knock off is a much less expensive alternative to the name brand Ray Flash, which will set you back $200.
Catch light or catchlight is a photography term used to describe either the specular highlight in a subject's eye from a light source, or the light source itself. The shape of the catchlight in the subject's eye is naturally the shape of the light source.
Tim and I spend about two hours tinkering with various light setups. This photo of Tim was lit only with the ring flash and is unedited in photoshop. As long as you get very close to your subject, the light is really remarkable. It is some of the smoothest light for skin I've ever shot with. There are a couple drawbacks. First, it is cumbersome and really only practical for studio or location shooting. Second, your flash loses a lot of power as the light bounces down into the ring. This unit is really only good for portraits taken up close. Finally, the closeness to the subject will definitely make them shy and uncomfortable. But, whatever... our friends are going to have to get over it because the light is too good. We are excited to get the ring flash out of my basement and will be posting results soon.
Last night Kyle and I got together to mess around with a couple of new 'toys' we bought. I got a new lens(Canon 17-55mm f/2.8) and he had got a Photojojo Ring Flash Adapter. We placed the ring flash on my Canon 580exII and then set up two 430ex flashes 45 degrees back on each side for some highlights. We shot at 17mm and got in real close to achieve the "ring" catch-lights in the eyes. We were quite proud of our set-up.
I used a high-pass filter in Photoshop for sharpening and effect and really thought it complimented the lighting.
I think I need to get myself one of these Photojojo contraptions...
On the way back from an estate sale in Aurora we stopped for a hike at Liberty Park - neither Laura nor I had ever been there before. We hiked the 1.6 mile Button Brush Trail which follows an old oil well access road. Most of the trail was wet and muddy which made the small bridges(above) kinda humorous. While it was a peaceful and secluded-feeling trail I assume it would be a much prettier hike in the Summer or Fall....
I've posted pictures of the Everett Road Covered Bridge multiple times - but I really like the impressionist painting look of the bridge reflected in Furnace Run. The photo was really flat straight off my camera so I added a lot of contrast and saturation in Camera Raw. I also flipped the photo upside down. Dig.
Do photographs of old tractors rusting away in weeds ever go out-of-style? I don't think so. This is one of the Szalay's old tractors, an Oliver 770 Row Crop, now rotting on private property(an estranged family member's land). Oliver's were the tractors of choice for many farmers before being bought up by White Motor of Cleveland, eventually cheapened, and then discontinued(White itself filed for bankruptcy in the 80's). They were known for being simple and extremely reliable. I hadn't been back to look at this one for seven years and expected it to be just a 'pile of tractor' by now. It has sat in this spot for over 20 years after being "in service" for the previous 20. What a shame....