On the weekend of June 3-5, the Edison Photo Society planned a weekend photo shoot in Mansfield, Ohio. Mansfield is located approximately 1 hour north of Columbus. Mansfield was founded in 1808 and is a hilly region surrounded by a massive amount of farmland. The county seat of Richland County, Mansfield became a bustling manufacturing town with numerous rail lines traveling in and out of the city. Like other areas in the state and around the nation, manufacturing declined; businesses closed and Mansfield is left with a great deal of urban decay. They've tried to diversify their economy to other areas, but Mansfield is simply a shell of what it used to be. The area has a very high crime rate and some areas look as if time merely forgot them. These factors helped to make Mansfield the perfect place for me to shoot film.
I arrived in Mansfield around 7 a.m. on Friday, June 3. I decided to take the photo tour of the Mansfield Reformatory and my appointment was at 8 a.m. On this tour, I was going to have the reformatory to myself, for four hours without any other tourists. I was able to bring a tripod along with all of my photo gear. So, I was really looking forward to this part of the trip. The Mansfield Reformatory is such an amazing structure, so I will cover that particular shoot (along with pictures) in a separate blog post. After my photo tour of the reformatory, I checked into my hotel in nearby Ontario, relaxed and grabbed a bite to eat before meeting up with one of my fellow EPS members, Chris Mitsch (check out his amazing work), to shoot downtown.
We headed downtown and shot the historic Richland Carrousel Park. This carousel features 52 hand carved figures that were all created in Mansfield. In addition to that, it opened in 1991 as the first new hand carved carousel to be built in the U.S. since the 1930s. After that short stop, we shot some other buildings and a lot of urban decay. It was a warm day, but a great day of shooting made up for it. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel and had a little downtime before grabbing dinner with the other EPS members at the Athens Greek Restaurant.
Saturday was a day where everyone did their own thing. Chris and I headed out to Kingwood Center Gardens. Kingwood Center Gardens is a 47 acre estate that was built in 1926. It opened as a public garden in 1953 and hosts a number of gardens and plants. While plants and flowers aren't my favorite thing to photography, I tried out a host of cameras and took a number of shots. It was a nice change of pace from Friday and I enjoyed it. After a few hours there, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed out towards the small area of Loudonville, OH and Perrysville, OH. The main draw in this area was Mohican State Park. We stopped at a trail and took a few images of the grandiose pine forests. After taking a quick drive to check out the covered bridge and the dam, we headed back to Mansfield. We shot a few more things in downtown and called it a day.
Afterwards, I headed to Columbus to meet up with my wife for gallery hop in the Short North. After a nice dinner and a comfortable stay in a hotel, we headed back to Troy Sunday morning. Overall, the shoot was a success. I know I haven't covered it yet, but the Mansfield Reformatory was worth every penny and was the single draw for me going to Mansfield. Everything else was icing on the cake. So, while Mansfield wasn't necessarily the most ideal spot for a photo shoot weekend, I had a great time and I was able to successfully shoot film the entire weekend without removing my digital camera from the bag once. I took some amazing images and it was just another reason to go out and photograph; something I love to do.
Stay tuned, the next post will feature images!