Who the heck am I and why would you be remotely interested? Well, there’s nothing like being put on-the-spot to get the juices going, is there?
I’m Mitch Zeissler, a transplanted native of Idaho, and I’ve lived most of my adult life up and down the Mid-Atlantic region of the east coast. If I seem to focus a lot on the Chesapeake Bay, it’s because my wife and I presently hail from central Maryland.
My background? Hmmmm… I have a graphic design degree from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU Class of 1983), was a professional photographer and graphic designer for a decade, then switched careers, and broke into the IT field.
Now I’m no longer the starving artist that my wife married and — unlike many other aspiring photographers out there — I’m not interested in being a pro shooter again, thank-you-all-the-same. What — you want more details? Okay…
My photo and graphics career was spent doing internationally recognized, award-winning multi-image presentations back in the 1980s at audio-visual design shops like Reynolds Metals Company, Slidemaker Productions, Pyramid Studios, and Corporate Visions — contributing photo and animation content to big productions we did for Fortune 500 companies, with up to 32 computer-controlled slide projectors, high-end audio soundtracks, and professional voice talent. We did a combination of studio and location photography, as well as hand-crafted pin-registered cell animations — all before personal computers came on the scene.
The colorful graphic to the left is an example of the cell animation I did at the time. The original pin-registered rubylith artwork that I created for this image was converted into 16 pin-registered 8×10 pieces of orthochromatic lithography positives and negatives (otherwise known as lith film). Once the lith film was processed, it was then taken to the pin-registered Forox camera (image below), and the final image was built-up on 35mm slide film using all the lith positives and negatives to expose for different colors, densities, glows, and the like. The image above was in the neighborhood of 15-20 exposures, but the most complex I ever did was well over a hundred.
As with many creative types, I job-hopped — which was the only way to gain salary increases. But it also came at a cost — shorter deadlines with each new company, because the era of desktop computing had arrived with a bang and PowerPoint was beginning to crowd us out of the market. My last photo job was at an audio-visual sweatshop on K Street in Washington, DC; when I started there, most of my photo work deadlines were days or weeks in length. But by the time I left, the bulk of our photo work — over 250,000 images per year — had to be completed in 60 minutes flat (10-minutes of shooting, 40 minutes of E-6 slide processing, and 10 minutes of mounting and labeling — all while the client was waiting). That job, which spanned four years, completely burned me out. It was the better part of a decade before I picked up a camera again, and now I only do it for personal pleasure.
My interests? Easy. Exploring everything — and I mean anything — as it strikes my fancy.
So… did I get your attention? Do you care to join me on my journeys? Well heck, call “shotgun” and we’ll be on our way!
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