Sunday, August 15, 2010


Dedication, originally uploaded by Ryan Wenner.
Saturday I shot photos for the mountain bike race at Two Mile Run county park. A total of 93 entrants rode the very technical, 18 mile race. As if finishing it on two wheels wasn't tough enough, this guy rode the whole course on a unicycle, and finished ahead of about half of the entrants. In hindsight, I should have interviewed him after the race to get details for this blog post....but one thing I'm pretty sure of, is that it takes dedication to your sport to develop that kind of skill.

Friend and fellow photographer, Michael Henderson, has a YouTube video of the unicyclist tackling the same obstacle.

Friday, August 6, 2010

2010 Oil Heritage Festival

As promised, here's a slideshow of some of my random shots from the 2010 Oil Heritage Festival parade and concerts in the park.  There are a few left that I'll be posting to the blog individually in the coming days.  My favorites get a little more attention in photoshop.

Monday, August 2, 2010

2010 Oil Heritage Festival Raft Race

This is a slideshow of the raft race from the 2010 Oil Heritage Festival in Oil City, pa.  As I get time this week, I'll be putting more of my photos from the festival online. When I created this blog, I intended to only post one or two "favorites" of mine at a time....but sometimes the things I shoot need to be experienced as a full set of photos.  Also, one of the side effects of shooting photos in the small community I grew up in, is that when I get out and shoot photos at these festivals where half the town is present, I not only know half of the town, but they tend to end up in my photos. Consequently I get lots of requests to share the photos I've taken.

You can view this gallery directly in the Flickr set too.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

You have died of dysentery...

you have died of dysentery, originally uploaded by Ryan Wenner.
Each year during the annual Oil Heritage Festival, there is a raft race. Participants launch their rafts a couple miles upriver from Oil City and float downriver to the finish line at Justus Park where all the other festivities / music / food is.

These rafters decided that rather than trying to ford the river or even hiring an indian guide, they would build a raft and try to float their wagon across. Even after all that work, all their oxen died.

After they got their raft out of the water, one of these rafters went into the park to check out the food vendors and get some food for the rest of his team. He purchased 7 funnel cakes....but could only carry 2 back to the wagon. :-)

Also last week, I found out there is a much narrower age demographic that understands my Oregon Trail jokes than I originally would have thought....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I wanna be a rock star

I wanna be a rock star, originally uploaded by Ryan Wenner.
Friends of mine, The Old Hats, played at this year's Oil Heritage Festival in Oil City today. If you haven't heard them play, they're worth checking out; They could be described as sounding exactly like Nickelback... if Nickelback sounded nothing at all like they do now. The Old Hats were the first band to go on early in the day, so the park hadn't really collected a crowd yet (most of the people out-and-about were downtown at the craft show). However, there was one fan sporting some bright tye dye who was totally digging the performance and got up to show love for the band.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Get to the point already...

get to the point already, originally uploaded by djryanspin.
In June I took my kayak down to Pittsburgh with some friends where we all participated in "Paddle at the Point." Over 1800 kayaks and canoes came together to break a world record for the largest flotilla.

I wanted to get a unique perspective on the event, so I built myself an aerial camera support which I call the "PoleCam 2010." If you want to make your own, can find details of how I did this on my personal blog.

Also, I have a number of photos taken with the polecam in a Flickr set.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Rock On

rock on, originally uploaded by Ryan Wenner.
In May I had the opportunity to take a bike trip covering about 375 miles…318 of those were between Washington DC and McKeesport Pa on the C&O Canal trail / Allegheny Passage trails. The rest of the mileage came from exploring towns and sights along the way. It was one of the coolest trips I've taken thus far in my life and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get a little exercise and learn some lessons about themselves. This photo was taken along the C&O towpath trail, in Great Falls National Park.

Anyhow, I didn’t start this post to write about biking or vacations, I’m here to write about photography as a process…

Over the course of the past week, I’ve talked to two people who are in to photography as a hobby, both of whom I’ve recently met. Both people, upon finding out I take photos, asked me the same first question: “what camera do you use?” The person I spoke with most recently went on to ask me what lens I was using. When I couldn’t remember the focal length of one of the lenses I used, besides feeling slightly embarrassed, I came to the realization that some time ago I fundamentally shifted the way I approach photography mentally. Photography is an art form and a process. I’ve known this for a long time; some people see a great image and think it’s because ‘that person has a good camera’ when in actuality, taking good photos is a function of much more than equipment alone. There are certainly limitations of all equipment, and having nicer stuff enables you to do more / faster / better. However, learning good technique is more important than having the best gear, and this is a point that beginning photographers need to take to heart.

Don’t get me wrong, I regularly geek out over equipment when I’m looking to add something new to my arsenal of photographic toys, but once I’ve made my purchase, my mind sometimes focuses more on the capabilities of each piece of equipment rather than committing to memory technical specifications. That’s why sometimes I forget if a certain lens I have is 50 or 55mm at the long end, or why, as I write this article I can’t remember how many megapixels three of the cameras I regularly use are. Some technical details just aren’t that important to me when I’m out shooting. More than anything I associate a field of view and a purpose mentally with the lenses I use, and I know all the cameras I use are modern enough that resolution is a non-issue. (The megapixel ‘war’ and things like photosite density and sensor size could be a whole other article)

Some of the photos on this blog were taken with a full frame sensor and “L” lenses. Some with a 1.6 crop sensor and a ‘kit’ lens. However, I think the greater part of the photos displayed at this point have been taken with “point and shoot” cameras (albeit, high-end versions…namely a G10 I used to own, and a S90).

There are plenty of times where I’m out living life and photography isn’t my primary focus. Times like the bike trip I just took, where a nice SLR setup would have been a big burden in terms of bulk and weight (even though it would have improved the quality and type of images I could have taken.) In this case, my pocketable S90 (point-and-shoot) was more than enough to capture some good images. Learning some good basic skills along with learning to work within the limitations of your equipment will help with this. There’s a saying that goes something like “the best camera is the one that’s always with you.”

So, to those who ask “which camera do I use?” Now my answer is: “Whatever one is in my hand at the moment. “

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Light up my life

light up my life, originally uploaded by Ryan Wenner.
Just something from the archives to keep some new content on my photoblog. When I get a chance, I'm going to redesign the layout of this blog and make the photos larger. The layout now really is an injustice considering it's a PHOTOGRAPHY blog.

This photo came from the Eric Foster Memorial Fireworks Exhibition in the summer of '08. I was working on the sound crew, and during downtime I walked around shooting randoms. I have some other cool photos from that event I'll post in the future, it really was a once in a lifetime experience for all those involved.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Now We're Getting Somewhere...

Wow... It has been far too long since I've contributed anything to this blog. Life got busy and less photogenic there for a while (or perhaps I was just uninspired). Either way, I started digging in the archives to find some 'new' material for the blog...and hopefully I'll spend some time shooting soon.

This self-portrait (look in the rearview) was taken a couple years back while driving through downtown Franklin with the camera on a tripod strapped to the back seat and a remote release. There's really no trick to it....this is just how life looks when you own a turbocharged car ;-)