Tagged: personal photos

California Wine Country

Brooke and I are foodies. We love it all – finding a good recipe, picking out produce, cooking, food photographs, the smells and the tastes. This past July, we spent a few days in California with family for a little foodie vacation. We have some great food in the Midwest, but the food in California can just be unreal. Even dive restaurants are amazing.

During out little trip, I simply brought one camera and a box of film. Over a few days, we toured Sonoma and Napa valleys from our base in Santa Rosa. Included below are a few photos from our exciting vacation, with notes where it makes sense.

Personal photos from our vacation to California wine country

We flew into San Francisco and had a brief layover for lunch. We practically picked a place at random and it was excellent. Note – they had clam pie on the menu 😉

Personal photos from our vacation to California wine country

Personal photos from our vacation to California wine country

Above – a little stop in Muir Woods on the way north. Below, Brooke is planning our daily stops the old school way – a map on the hood of a car.

Personal photos from our vacation to California wine country

Personal photos from our vacation to California wine country

I must admit, I really wanted to buy the chicken during some shopping. Alas, it would not fit in our backyard. Below is our favorite winery – Littorai. It is not open to the public, but gave us a personal tour of their bio-dynamically farmed vineyard. I also wanted a duck.

Personal photos from our vacation to California wine country

Personal photos from our vacation to California wine country

Stag’s leap was one of the best “public” tasting we went to. Also, Stag’s Leap Artemis Cab is a favorite of ours.

Personal photos from our vacation to California wine country

If you recognize the building above-left, then two points. If you can name the chef, then 5 marks. If you were lucky enough to eat there, then 10 points. Best.restaurant.experience.EVAR!

Personal photos from our vacation to California wine country

We spent a good 30 minutes waiting to get into Bouchon Bakery one morning. It was totally worth it. We then walked across the street to a Yountville park to eat our bounty.

Personal photos from our vacation to California wine country

Above left – scenes from Yountville. At right is Elyse Winery. We discovered them at the French Laundry. They make the only Zinfandel wine I love. Their Howell Mountain Zin is a peppery heaven.

For those interested in the technical details, the above was all photographed on my Mamiya 645 AFD-II with mostly Fuji Pro 400h film. No digital at all.

A Bird, Boat, Bike, and Bridge

I often find myself location scouting for weddings on odd days here and there. Add to this that I am easily distracted (look, something shiny!), and I typically come home with a grab bag of images. Lately, that grab bag has been filled with scenery shots, because well, I must practice my scenery and details shooting. Portraits come much easier for me.

So, below are a collection of recent scenery shots from around Cleveland and Lakewood. Some of you may even recognize the locations. When I saw the alliteration between the images, I knew I had to post them.


Above is the Cleveland Jazz and Rib fest held each Memorial Day weekend.

I have always wanted to photograph Blackbird’s red door against the green summer ivy.

Most of you will probably recognize the Nautica Queen parked on the Cuyahoga River is downtown Cleveland. I just love how the film was able to handle the bright white while also opening the shadows. It really does amaze me sometimes. So, that’s a bird, a boat, a bike and a bridge. For those that get into the techie stuff, all of the above is Kodak Extra shot on a mix of Mamiya and Hasselblad.

Tattoos & Honey Bees

After discussing it for eons, the time had finally come. Going on forever, my wife had been talking about a tattoo. We bounced around ideas and she never seemed to settle solidly on anything. Then came the honey bee idea just a few months ago. She knew immediately that is was the right concept. Now, just to find a good artist in Cleveland.

Having the right idea is the most important part of a tattoo. A close second is finding the right artist. Neither Brooke nor I are big into tattoos so we thought searching for the right artist would be difficult. Turns out, finding Cole was really easy. Fast even.

Cole was recommended by some friends and he has a great portfolio. Brooke wanted a realistic honey bee…behind her ear! It was clear Cole could really make the tattoo shine. Meeting Cole for the first time was awesome. He truly is a great and very funny guy. Not to mention, he is in Lakewood as well. Cole is also part of the team behind Classic Tattoo Cleveland located on Lorain near Westlake and North Olmsted.

Needless to say, Brooke is very happy with the results. Something tells me this will be the first of a few tattoos for her. Personally, I love the tattoo. It is very fitting for her.

Tattoos and Honey Bees - Brooke at the Tattoo Salon

Tattoos and Honey Bees - Brooke at the Tattoo Salon

Tattoos and Honey Bees - Brooke at the Tattoo Salon

Tattoos and Honey Bees - Brooke at the Tattoo Salon

I really enjoyed coming along to watch and photograph the experience for her. Then again, I had no choice. If someone is sticking your wife with a needle, you need to be there. The pictures may seem like a departure from my normal wedding photography work, but taking portraits of various subject matters helps to keep me engaged.

P.S. – I am next on deck for a tattoo

P.P.S. – It will be a chicken and strangely, it has meaning