Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Wine and Hot Cars

Old cars are the best, and an old car show at a beautiful winery? Who could resist? Gervasi Vineyard has a cruise-in on Wednesday nights all summer long. The love lavished on these classic vintage automobiles is visible in every glossy painted curve and chrome highlight.

'50 Mercury, glowing in the evening sun.

Ultra-modern hood ornament:

Someday I will remember to shoot the nameplate on every car, so I know what the detail shots belong to. Not today. Nice duck/quail, though. Maybe a Ford?

Austin-Healey, darned happy to see us. This one is kind of cute, although some car faces are more on the creepy side.

Sweet paint, polished with love.

I'd love to show you a shot of this Auburn - it's a gorgeous car - but some guy with a tiny camera was apparently photographing every single dust spot on it and I couldn't get a shot around him.

100.1 miles and hour. Not with me in it.

Gervasi has some pretty little cottages on the grounds, surrounding a big pond.

Doublemint swans (sorry, couldn't resist), preening madly. From the looks of all the feathers on the ground, seems like they've already preened out an entire swan's worth.

Gervasi has three restaurants on their grounds. If you go, you might want to make a reservation - everything was packed when we arrived. Here's the website: http://www.gervasivineyard.com. Definitely worth a visit if you're near North Canton.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Got 'Em!

Went back to Beaver Marsh in CVNP looking for kingfishers and found the whole family. Both shots below are at the limits of my longest lens, and cropped to boot, but I'm happy to have caught these guys. They move pretty fast, and rarely stay on the same perch for more than a minute.

Found a few more interesting critters. Here's a red squirrel overhead, chattering away.

Eastern Phoebe - like the bird's pose, entirely too many sticks in the background.

Better. Apparently the phoebes nest under the boardwalk and hunt from the shrubs on either side.

One of many bullfrogs in the marsh - which explains the presence of so many Great Blue and Green Herons.

Still no otters, so the search goes on.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Early Worm Gets the Bird, but not the Otter

Took a quick hike at Beaver Marsh in CVNP early yesterday morning. Lots of runners, hikers, dogs and other birders and photographers out.

This intrepid hunter was about 25 feet off the Ira Road Trailhead path. They're usually pretty spooky, but this guy just didn't seem to have a care in the world, even when some guy on a cell phone stood next to me, chatting away.

This is the best I could do with this green heron. He resolutely refused to move from behind that branch.

Young wood duck, already showing spectacles. Look at the intricate patterning of the feathers on his chest.

Great Blue Heron stink eye. Something in the marsh wasn't meeting with his approval.

The waterlilies were closed tight when I arrived and just started to open when I left.

Still hoping for otters and the rumored kingfisher. And maybe a nicer shot of the green heron. Maybe if I roll out of bed a little bit earlier...

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Lovely, Shaded Waterfall in South Chagrin

Spent a very pleasant morning last week shooting the little waterfall at Sulphur Springs picnic area in South Chagrin Reservation. A bit of a scramble to get a good vantage point, but not too bad. The slate bed is slippery, so be careful if you get into the stream. After all the heat of the last week, I was quite happy to shoot from the cool water of the stream.

By about 8:30 am, hotspots started showing up in the woods. I think I stated shooting about 7:30 or so. You can see a couple of the in the upper center and right.

From the parking lot, this is maybe twenty steps, a short wade and a scramble down the side of the falls.

Lately, stacked stones are showing up at a number of the streams and little falls I've shot. Is that a thing now? Some are attractive, some, like these, seem a bit awkward. Which is why I choose to shoot around them.

An abstract of the stream bed, looking like mountains running down into the sea.

Here's the link for the picnic area: http://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/Main/Sulphur-Springs-Picnic-Area.aspx.

If you decide to photograph the falls, earlier is better. The sun starts blowing out the background around 8:30 am. Technical details, 18 - 105MM, 100 ISO, circular polarizer, cable release and tripod. I let the camera choose the shutter speed after making sure it was slow enough to smooth the water. You might want to bring kneepads - there's a bit of gravel in the stream bed.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


It's Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic Time! Gorgeous, immaculately groomed hunters, fierce jumpers, and, of course, mud. Because it's Ohio and a horse show. Today was nice and cool, though, good for the horses and for the hunter riders in their nice wool hunt coats.

Looking for her next fence.

Sometimes, the rider's expressions are just priceless. He had a decent round, despite the "I'm going to die" look.

This pair knows their business.

Sometimes, the horses' expressions are priceless, too. No way, Jack!

Elegant turn out.

Cute fence.

Pure power.

Just happy to be here.

A little bit of mud after the warm-up.

Texting the critique.

The horse show mantra: hurry up and wait.

Admission is free through July 9 (tomorrow). You can find more information on their website:http://clevelandhorseshow.com.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Fiery Solstice Sunset, Cleveland Flats

Spent a fun evening with what seemed like a couple hundred other photographers at the Solstice Shoot in the Flats on Friday. Many thanks to Dale Kincaid for organizing the shoot and to Cool Photo Ops (Cool Photo Ops and Creative Challenges) for promoting it.

The skies were pretty glum when I arrived at 7 - gruesome Northcoast grey - and as sunset approached, the sun plopped behind a thick bank of clouds, crushing any hopes for lovely color. However, it's Cleveland and you know what they say about the weather - start packing up your tripod, and - BAM! - magic:

The clouds shredded, and the sky took fire. If you look close, you can see a bit of blur as the distant railroad bridge lowers for a train.

Tiniest sliver of a moon above the Shoreway Bridge.

The Detroit-Superior Bridge, also know as the Veterans Memorial Bridge, looking like wedding cake.

This fountain is lit with a couple of different colors in the evening. Faintly lit in the background is an old railroad lift bridge. If you want to see moving bridges, the Flat is the place to go. There's even a bright red swing bridge.

Fabulous cloud formations and reflections.

Terminal Tower illuminated in blue. I think the old warm lights looked better, but they were having fun with the light show.

I fled before the Indians game ended (If you've been in an Indians traffic jam, you know why). They must have done something fabulous, because there were fireworks over the stadium. There is nothing like driving down Huron, desperately searching the construction madness for the 77 South ramp as the sky explodes over your head. And knowing your camera is safely stowed in the back of the car, well out of reach...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Kentucky Horse Farms: Mamas and Babies, Part 2

Lots fewer photos from our second farm - mid-afternoon light is pretty bad for photography. This was a much bigger farm. The horses all looked fat and sassy, but weren't as glowingly groomed as the first farm. Looked like a mixed group of breeds - Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, paints. Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses don't come in paint, so at least three breeds and maybe more. The farm has over three hundred horses and is a pretty busy place. Maintenance guys were everywhere, mowing and trimming and fixing things, plus a bunch of folks working in the barns.

The mares and foals were turned out in larger groups and there was a little more interaction, but the mare still kept the foals apart from one another. It's interesting to watch the hierarchy in herds.

Wish we could have stayed another couple of days and shot early and late with better light (and cooler temperatures). The nice thing about photo tours is that we get to shoot at interesting places that normally aren't accessible. The not-as-good-thing is that you take what you get in shooting conditions because of the limited time at the location.