Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hot Air Balloon Photo Tips

Lot's of Hot Air Balloon Events take place all over Ohio, here's a few of my photography Hot Air Balloon Tips:

Lenses:  Most lenses in your bag will come in handy at a Balloon Fest, wide angles for an overall view of the balloons and for cool effects if you can move close to the balloons, fisheyes also come in handy. Telephotos are great for getting close ups of the balloons and isolating balloon patterns.

Balloon Photo Tips:

1. See which way the wind is blowing then position yourself so the balloons will fly toward you.

2. Look for colors, shapes and patterns

3. Use people as scale to show how large the Balloons are

4. Show the crew at work

5. And of course show them in the air!!!

More balloon photos here: Hot Air Balloons

Hope to see a lot of my Photographer friends at one of the upcoming Balloon Fests this summer.

Also if you liked to find out about Cool Photo Ops in Ohio and beyond be sure and check out the Cool Photo Ops group on Facebook.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lake View Cemetery April 21st 2013

Every year in the spring hundreds of Daffodils bloom on Daffodil Hill in Lake View Cemetery, not sure how good the conditions are this year but I'm going to check it out on Sunday April 21st  I plan on getting there between 7:30 and 8:00am to catch the good early morning light and the dew on the plants.

There are lots of famous people buried in Lake View and lots of interesting buildings and Crypts to photograph. Buildings you want to check out are the Garfield Memorial where President Garfield and his family are entombed.  Also check out Wade Hall.

Everyone is welcome to join me if you want to....

Daffodil Hill at Lake View Cemetery

Daffodil Hill (Click on the photo to go to the gallery)

Here's a Map with the locations of the Garfield Memorial, Wade Chapel, and Daffodil Hill and also the Euclid Ave entrance to Lake View. Click on the blue icon to get directions from your location.

View Lake View Cemetery in a larger map

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Cool Photo Op: Smokies May 19th - May 23rd 2013

The Cool Photo Op Group is headed to the Smokies from May 19th to May 23rd for a photo shoot, everyone is welcome!!!!

When: May 19th to May 23rd

We'll be staying in Townsend, Tenn on the quiet side of the Smokies and only 2 miles from the entrance to Smoky Mountain National Park. This is also the closest entrance to Cades Cove

If you'd like to go please click here... Cool Photo Ops Facebook Group Event Page and click the I'm Going button, so I know how many people want to go

Cool Photo Op: Smoky Mountain Hotel Information

  • Hotel: Highland Manor Inn in Townsend Tenn. 7766 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, P.O. Box 242 Townsend, TN, 37882, USA

  • So far I have blocked 10 rooms, I can get more if more people are interested.

  • Room Rates 79.50 plus tax This rate is guaranteed until April 19th so book before then. Continental Breakfast included (they'll make arrangement for photographers who get up at the crack of dawn)

  • We will be staying 4 nights, checking in Sunday May 19th (3pm) and checking out Thursday May 23rd (11am) 

  • To make reservations and get the special rate call this number:

  • 800.213.9462 tell them you're with the Ron Skinner photography group.

  • If you are planning on going for sure please sign up early by clicking on the "Going" button so I can get more rooms if I have too.
Note: Feel free to make your reservations at another nearby hotel if you prefer

Map and directions to the Highland Manor Inn:  Click on the bed icon for directions from your location

View Highland Manor Inn - Townsend Tenn in a larger map

I'll be posting a schedule when we get closer to the shoot, but here's some of the places we'll be going:
Click on the headings below to read more about it...

Cades Cove

Horse and Tree - Cades Cove - Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Lots of streams and waterfalls here
Tremont - Waterfall - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Morton Overlook and Clingmans Dome

Morton Overlook Sunset - Great Smoky Mountains National ParkView from Clingmans Dome - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Mountain Farm Muesum and Mingus Mill

Mingus Mill - Smoky Mountains

We'll also be seeing the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, the Foothills Parkway and more!!!

Hope to see a lot of you there!!!

Click here for More Smoky Photo Galleries


Prerequisites for going: Take lots of photos and HAVE FUN!!!

Feel free to ask lots of photography questions if you want too!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cool Photo Op: Hocking Hills May 16th to May 19th 2013

Hi everyone the Cool Photo Ops Group on Facebook is having a photo shoot at Hocking Hills State Park from Thursday May 16 to Sunday May 19th, everyone is welcome!!!!

Join the Cool Photo Ops group for updates on the trip

When: May 16th to May 19th 2013.  Come for all the days or the days convenient for you

Where: Hocking Hills State Park

Where to stay:  A lot of us are going to be staying in the State Park Cottages, they sleep up to six people, they are a little expensive but close to the action.  You can also stay at a hotel in Logan or at any of the nearby private cabins and cottages in the area, or even in the State Park Campground.  For those who make their own lodging arrangements, we will probably use the State Park Dining Lodge as a central meeting place.

For those of you that have never been to Hocking Hills you can hang out and go on  group shoots with everyone, for those that have been there before you can venture out on your own if you want and then meet up later for lunch and dinner and shoot the breeze and ask questions about Hocking Hills and photography stuff.

Here's a link to the Hocking Hills Trail Maps

Hocking Hills is a large park with lots of waterfalls and some of the best hiking trails in Ohio, here's some of what you'll see:

A group of us went last June and had a great time....
Photographers at Upper Falls at the Old Man's Cave Gorge - Hocking Hills

Ash Cave in Spring and Winter
Ash Cave - Hocking HillsAsh Cave Waterfall

Cedar Falls
Hocking Hills Spring 07 - Cedar Falls

Lower Falls and Upper Falls at Old Man's Cave
Lower Falls - Old Man's Cave - Hocking Hills State ParkHocking Hills

Other things to see and explore are Conkle's Hollow, Rockhouse, Cantwell Cliff's

Here's what the State Park Cottage's look like, they have all the comforts of home, full kitchen, cable TV, air  conditioning, sorry no internet.
Hocking Hills

More Hocking Hills photos can be seen here:  Hocking Hills Galleries

GPS Coordinates in Decimal Degree format:
Lat: N 39.4376
Long W 82.5379

To get directions to Hocking Hills from your location click on the Green State Park HQ icon:

View Hocking Hills in a larger map

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Punderson Sled Dog Classic 2013

Photographers, Get your cameras ready!!!!

NOTE: The race has been CANCELED for Jan 12 & 13th, make up dates are Feb 23 and 24th.

Now for something different the 2013 Punderson Sled Dog Classic taking place on Saturday Feb 23th and Sunday Feb 24th 2013!

A lot of photographer's in the Google + Northeast Ohio Photographers Community will be going on Saturday February 23rd, if you can't make it then you can always go on Sunday Feb 24th. Join us if you want, everyone is welcome! If you use Google + feel free to join the community, the more the merrier!

Note: The conditions have to be just right for the dogs to race, even if there is snow they sometimes cancel the race if it's not safe for the dogs or racers. 

Punderson Sled Dog ClassicSled Dog at the Punderson Sled Dog Classic
Click the photo to go to Sled Dog Gallery

Hi Everyone a cool place to shoot this winter is the Sled Dog Classic at Punderson State Park on 2/23/2013 and 2/24/2013. The event is free for spectators. This should be a fun Photo Shoot,  a lot of us went in 2010 and had a great time.  You can see my photos at this link Sled Dog Classic Photos

More information can be found here: Sled Dog Classic Race Info

Time : 9:00 am    Races start at 10am on Saturday and 9:30am on Sunday
Place: Punderson State Park
Park Map: Punderson State Park Map
Directions: Click on the camera icon to get directions from your location. To view a larger map Click on "View Larger Map" below.

GPS Coordinates
latitude: 41.46118938889867
longitude: -81.21947765350342

View Larger Map

Sled Dog Photo Tips

This will be the second time at the Sled Dog Classic for me, here are some photo tips I learned from 2010

1. The best shots are taken with the Sled Dogs running toward you.  Shots from the side are not as dramatic

2. Get down low at the dogs eye level.

3. Try and take some human interest shots of the dogs and their owners

4. Sled Dogs are cool, try and get some good portrait shots of them.

5. Try to capture the peak action.

6. Try to show how strong these animals are as they pull the sleds.

Well those are some of my tips, if anyone else has any tips to share, just click on "comments" below and leave your tips, comments and suggestions.

If you are going on the Sled Dog Classic Shoot or any cold weather shoot you want to keep your hands warm but still be able to use the controls on your camera so what do you do?

I'm going to try out my new Freehands Gloves, the index finger and thumb fold back so you can control the camera:

See a Sled Dog Classic Slideshow 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Balloon Classic Invitational 2012 7/20-7/22

If you like photographing Hot Air Balloons then you might want to check out the Balloon Classic Invitational taking place in North Canton Ohio from 7-20 - 7-22. This is one of the largest balloon fests in the area, I think there's going to be about  75 Balloons

I plan on going Friday evening and to all the Balloon events on Saturday, during the day I may also check out the Football Hall of Fame.  If you see me, come up and say hello! I look just like the guy on the right of this blog ------------------> LOL

You can see a slideshow of the photos I took in 2010 and 2011 in the slideshow link below

Balloon Classic Invitational Slideshow

NOTE: Access on the field is not allowed except for pilots and crews, but you should still be able to get some good photos.

Balloon Classic Invitational
Click the photo to see more photos!

BALLOON CLASSIC ACTIVITIES:  Hot air balloons fly best in less than 8 mph winds, and the weather must be almost perfect for these beautiful balloons to take to the skies. Pilots are briefed on weather before each and every flight; flights may be delayed or cancelled due to weather conditions.
Helpful hints:  If you’re an early bird, come check out the morning flights!  For evening flights, traffic is especially heavy, so plan ahead.

5:00 AM: Dawn Patrol
6:30 AM: Media Flight
5:30 PM: Activities begin at the Balloon Classic
6:30 PM: Balloon Launch
9:30 PM: Night Glow
6:30 AM: Balloon Launch
5:30 PM: Activities begin at the Balloon Classic
6:30 PM: Balloon Launch
6:30 AM: Balloon Launch

4:00 PM:  Activities begin at the Food Fest
4:00 - 5:45 PM: Brighter Side Band
6:00 - 8:45 PM: Wild West Band
9:00 - 11:30 PM: Buckle Down Band
4:00 PM:  Activities begin at the Food Fest
5:00 - 6:45 PM: Messy Face Band
7:00 - 8:45 PM: OFHUMAN Band
9:00 - 10:00 PM: Downplay Band
10:00 - 10:30 PM: Fireworks
10:30 - 11:30 PM: Downplay Band
At both venuesthere are also awide variety of food and beverage vendors, as well as family activities such as a playground of inflatables and balloon education area.

Here are some of my Balloon Photography Tips

Balloon Photo Tips:

1. See which way the wind is blowing then position yourself so the balloons will fly toward you.

2. Look for colors, shapes and patterns

3. Use people as scale to show how large the Balloons are

4. Show the crew at work

5. And of course show them in the air!!!

More balloon photos here: Hot Air Balloons

Here's the address and a Google Map

Kent State University Stark Campus &
Stark State College of Technology
6000 - 6200 Frank Road NW
North Canton, Ohio 44720

Convenient parking available
Enter public parking lots off Frank Road,
and pay only $5.00 per vehicle after 3:00 PM

For those with a GPS here are the Coordinates in the Decimal Degree format

LAT N 40.867810
Long W 81.441656

Click on the Camera Icon to get directions from your location.

View Balloon Classic Invitational - Canton in a larger map

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Veterans Memorial Bridge Tour 7/7/2012

Here's another great Photo Op over the Memorial Day weekend - a self guided tour of the Veterans Memorial Bridge (aka Detroit Superior Bridge) The bottom part of this bridge was used for Trolley traffic over the Cuyahoga River in the Flats. I've done the tour about 3 or 4 times and its a great place to photograph Cleveland history. They'll have displays of old trolley cars and you can even see the old tracks in the ground. You can also get some great views of the Flats from the bridge. So if your looking for something different to shoot on Saturday July 7th check out the Veterans Memorial Bridge.

When: Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Times: Open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location: Northeast Corner of W. 25th Street &
Detroit Avenue, at the west end of the bridge.

FREE parking is available at the County Engineer’s
Bridge Garage, which is located at the tour’s entrance.

Cost: FREE

 No reservations
 Self guided tour with volunteers on hand
to answer questions

 Wheelchair & stroller accessible

 Cameras are welcome

 Attractions include films, trolley displays,
streetcar, and a unique view of the area

Click on the Camera Icon below to get directions from your location to the Bridge

View Veterans Memorial Bridge Tour in a larger map

GPS Coordinates of the Parking Lot:
Latitude: 41.4923313

Longitude: -81.7061913

More Photos here: Veterans Memorial Bridge Photos