Old School Film Hack

That Got Your Attention

At the snowy summit of Mauna Kea
The Big Island, Hawaii (April 2009)
Leica D-LUX 4 + 24-60mm

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.

Multi-image presentation in 1987 (Credit: Wikipedia)

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.

An animation stand with...

(Credit: Wikipedia)

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!

Contact me

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296 thoughts on “That Got Your Attention

    1. M_Zeissler Post author

      Yeah, the import didn’t go as cleanly as expected. I did the entire process some three or four times before it worked correctly. I’ll finish the comment clean-up in the next day or so, and the images after that.


  1. mikew66

    I have really enjoyed browsing your Blog, Your Photography is fantastic. I know I can learn something here and I will be back on a regular basis to have a look.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. M_Zeissler Post author

      That is funny!

      My photo career was spent doing multi-image presentations back in the early 1980s — the big fancy ones for Fortune 500 companies, with up to 32 computer-controlled slide projectors and high-end audio soundtracks. We did a combination of studio and location photography, as well as hand-crafted pin-registered cell animations — all prior to computers coming on the scene.

      As with many creative types, I job-hopped — which was the only way to gain salary increases. But it also came at a cost — much shorter deadlines with each new company, because personal computers had arrived and were crowding us out of the market. My last photo job was at an audio-visual sweatshop 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 had to be completed in 60 minutes (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 last job, which spanned four years, completely burned me out. It was almost decade before I picked up a camera again, and I only do it for personal pleasure now.


  2. Rich Green

    Appreciate you liking several recent photo posts of mine. Best to you! Also, I was a staff photographer at a Jersey hospital for 20 years – medical and PR/Marketing work. I survived some of the ordeal you did. I didn’t job hop though, staying put worked for me. in Oct 2011 my dept was downsized so I’ve been self employed since. I’m still a million dollars short of a million dollars (old movie quote, don’t remember which), but I’m surviving.


  3. Christa Thompson @ChristaTravels

    Wow Mitch, you have had quite the journey! Thank you for coming to my blog. I am brand new at this picture taking thing lol. I just received my Canon Powershot on July 1, my birthday. Needless to say I have been going bonkers taking pictures of everything. I too am an explorer of anything and everything. I find that taking photos really gives me that outlet since I can’t just take everything I love to look at and put it away in my pocket, it’s a good runner up.

    Your photos are really pretty. I hope I can be as good as you sooner than later. I am always trying to learn from the best. If you have any good photog tips or blogs to pass on I post them up weekly for my readers.

    Thanks again for coming by. Let’s stay in touch! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. M_Zeissler Post author

      Hmmmm… Shooting in bright light outside, eh? Well, here’s a few quick tips for you:

      – Ignore what the “experts” say about shooting photos out in the noonday sun, as well as any reference to mad dogs and Englishmen. Granted, extra care must be taken for the images in such conditions, but it can still be done. Here’s an example; a flower that I shaded with my hand while taking a photo during my noonday walk: https://zeissler.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/20120813_dsc93655.jpg

      – If you do choose to use a lens filter (after decades of doing so, I no longer do), make sure that the filter element is multi-coated.

      – Always use a lens hood. Always. A deep metal hood is preferred; this will not only help to shade the lens, but it protects the front lens element as well.

      – If a lens hood doesn’t knock out the sunlight, use your hand or a hat for more shading, just so long as they stay out of the image frame.

      – When shooting digital in extreme bright light, always check the photos for light flare across the image plane. If there are any, a slightly different angle of the lens is usually enough to eliminate it.

      – Use the environment around you to provide shade — a building, a tree, a bush, or even a timely cloud will do.

      – Avoid using zoom lenses in bright sunlight and shoot with a prime instead. Primes usually have much better flare control due to fewer lens elements and less moving parts.

      – Keep both the front and rear lens elements religiously clean — and don’t ever use a shirt or other article of clothing; use either a pristine microfiber cloth or special lens cleaning tissue for the job.

      If you follow those pearls of wisdom, you’ll be well on your way to shooting great images in bright light outside!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. M_Zeissler Post author

      Oh, and go to my home page, click on the “SEARCH SITE” panel in the upper right, and type in “watery bloggers”; this should bring up 18 articles that I posted last year to provide a wealth of photography tips to fellow bloggers.


  4. Jane Lurie

    Hi Mitch- Love your work and enjoyed reading about your career. Thanks very much for following my photography blog- I hope you’re inspired. I look forward to following you and seeing more of your terrific photography.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. M_Zeissler Post author

      Thank you for the kind words, Jane. I always enjoy looking at the work of others and you have some gorgeous work on your site. Thanks for stopping by!


    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Thanks for stopping by! I love the American West, especially those two parks, which we visited in late April and early May of this year.

      I should note that very few of my Yellowstone and Grand Teton photos were taken with an iPhone; a few were, but the vast majority were taken with a Sony NEX-5R and three different lenses — a super wide-angle zoom (10-18mm), a fast wide-angle (21mm f/1.8), and a telephoto zoom (55-210mm). And all of my images from that trip were post-processed within Lightroom, including those from the iPhone.


  5. Ben

    Wow you have so many beautiful photographs here, and your site is so nicely presented! The design really compliments the shots well. I like your photo tips section, really useful! Thanks for following my blog, it’s much appreciated. How can I not follow after seeing your photos?!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Maxine Hyndman

    Mitch, I love the way you write. Bet you thought it would be your images that grabbed me, right? You have a very easy, engaging style and of course I’ve started following because, surprise, surprise, I find your images downright beautiful and different. Thank you both for inspiring me today and for the like on my site.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Well… Golly! How do I respond to something as nice as THAT! And an aspiring perfumer to boot! Thank you very much for the kind words, Maxine — I appreciate each and every one of them.

      I’d like to think that what my creations can do for your vision, would somehow approximate what your creations can do for my sense of aromas… though I suspect certain scents would be far longer lasting as mental triggers than any images I could create.



  7. forgottenmeadows

    Hi There!
    Thank you so much for stopping by and following my blog 🙂 You have an amazing blog filled with beautiful pictures, have just started on your blog exploration today…Read your about page and I am definitely impressed by your career and talent 🙂 Will definitely check out more of your posts soon…Keep up the explorations and take care 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  8. V-Light

    Hello 🙂 Thank you so much for the honor of following my blog Mitch! Your site is really amazing and i couldn’t help but to follow you back! Looking forward to see more of your great work! Have a lovely day! 😀


    Liked by 1 person

  9. vannillarock

    your blog is simply stunning, and as i have visited many of the places you feature, i have been enthralled. i am amazed you liked my post today- thank you! if i could take and edit shots even half as good as those here i would be chuffed 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Candia

    Forgive me if I mentioned it before, but a relation of mine- a quartermaster- was supposedly at the wheel of The Shannon when it took The Chesapeake.
    Just out of interest…since you are in the Chesapeake area.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Maggie Beck

    I am delighted and flattered that you have begun to follow my site, Tide Line Still Life. Thanks so very much. I hope my photos continue to delight you, and I look forward to perusing your site and your stunning work. Best, Magggie

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Harold Green

    Good morning Mitch,

    I really like your blog. I’m really looking forward to exploring more.

    Can I ever relate to your background and all the pressure deadlines. I was in the advertising agency profession for 25 years as a Creative Director. That was enough!!! Now I am retired, just having fun exploring our world, shooting photography for fun(no business) and writing.

    Anyway, thank you for discovering my photography/short story blog http://www.throughharoldslens.com.

    You gave me the opportunity to discover, explore and follow your blog. I hope we both enjoy our journeys.

    To launch you on your journey, I thought you might enjoy a couple of “Quick Links” to some of the favorites, from over 200 posts, on Through Harold’s Lens:

    Popular: “Five Senses.” European Tour. 
    Favorite: “Maiden Mild.” European Tour.

    On behalf of the Through Harold’s Lens Creative Team, my trusty sidekick Mr. SLR Nikon, his brother Mr. Pen Pal and myself, we wish you the best.


    P.S. If you would like to receive an email alert, when I post a new photography/short story, usually twice a week, you may do so on the front page of my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Alison and Don

    Hi Mitch, nice to meet you. I am in awe of your photography. I hope to be as good one day, especially when I get my new Fuji mirrorless camera soon. I’m told it’s quite good in low light which is what I struggle with most with the bridge camera I currently have.
    Anyway I just came over to say thank you for following our blog. I hope you enjoy the stories of our journey, both inner and outer. Cheers, Alison

    Liked by 1 person

  14. meticulousmick

    Mitch, I love your work here, especially the first two B/W ones with the snow and streetlight – very atmospheric. Loved your tips above too. It’s not often that I come across a blog and think ‘Wow, I simply have to follow this blog’ and the more I trawled the more this point got underlined. Of course I came over here initially to say many thanks for the follow on my own humble wee blog – it is great to have you aboard. No, really, it is. Can’t help but nod my head at your statements on shortening timescales of demands for work and the problem of burn out in this digital age. Keep well, keep happy my new friend, MM 🍀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      You’re very welcome. I expand on the photo tips category as the opportunity arises, like just a few minutes ago. So you may want to check back for updates occasionally.


  15. Wandering Iris

    Thank you for following my blog. I know how many interesting blogs are out there and feel honored that you picked mine to follow. I hope my stories entertain and inform and my photos bring you joy and wonderment.
    I travel mostly local but try to always find interesting places. I have lived in several different places and dig through my archives of photos to bring glimpses into places I have been. Sometimes I post a recipe because food tells a lot about culture.
    I am not a professional photographer, so my photos are sometimes a little fuzzy and there are telephone poles and wires and other things along with what I was photographing. The older photos are 35mm, the newer are point and shoot digital and a few are Samsung Smartphone.
    I am new to blogging so if you have any advice or critique please drop me a comment.
    Thank you again for following and to quote Mark Twain: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain
    Iris the Wanderer


    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Welcome, Iris. I really like your quote from Mark Twain, as he has always been a favorite author of mine. Don’t worry about telephone poles and wires in your photos; instead, work them into the composition. And fuzziness? A lot of mine are intentionally out of focus. Photography is all about enjoying it and having fun!


  16. Tucson Blonde

    Such an honor that you are following my photo blog! Looks like I can learn a lot from following yours, and I greatly appreciate it. I’m always looking for new ways to use my shoddy equipment till I upgrade one day. 🙂


  17. Robin S. Kent

    Thanks for dropping by and checking my blog. I’ve only been posting for a couple months and am still working out the kinks. But your site is great. You have the best “About Me” statement I’ve seen (and I’ve seen many as I handle a website for a group of about 100 artists). I’ll be adding your blog to my short list to follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Nguyên-Kan

    Hi M_Zeissler,

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and like my post. That helped me to discover your blog which is amazing. You are so talented at photography! You have my hat off!

    Hope to keep in touch with you.



    Liked by 1 person

  19. midihideaways

    Hi Mitch,
    thanks for stopping by my page – like you I am an explorer, but mostly of things close to home :). I loved seeing the picture of the banks of slide projectors, I remember seeing some multi-image presentations in my younger days, mostly at museums, and hearing (but not seeing) the projectors clicking away… I was always fascinated!


  20. Tim Butler

    It’s nice to put a face to the photos and your personalisation is what has drawn me to your photos.
    Thanks for liking my blog. I am brand new to all this blogging thing but enjoying it (so far). I just hope I get the time to continue as I have begun and learn more as I grow older!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      I’m always glad to hear that someone enjoys my photo attempts. I consider my efforts uneven; sometimes they’ll work well as a composition and other times not so much. But I have fun with it and it keeps me happy — which is what really matters.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. jfpacigado

    Hi! Thank God you visited my blog . I’m just a photography enthusiast eager to learn and finding your site is like seeing a thick book waiting to be read. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experiences. I’ll look forward more to your posts.

    (Sorry, I thought the text box was the comment box.Please disregard my message that was sent. Noob mistake)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      You’re very welcome. But you’re wrong to think we’re not in league together… after all, it’s just about taking photos of things that we love.


  22. Wooly and Raeski

    Wow! Great blog. I’m glad you ‘liked’ one of my postings because it allowed me to find you. I’m very selective about the blogs I follow and I’m adding yours to the list. I look forward to more of your posts.

    Like you I ‘burned out’ of my profession. Only mine was high tech. Now while I figure out what to do next I’m teaching English in Chile. Maybe I’ll try my hand at travel writing since travel is one of the things I enjoy most.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! For what it’s worth, I did get burned out by high tech for a period of two years. During that two year period I took a much needed hiatus, started my own business, and got my mental game back in order — before returning to the IT field yet again, where I have been for the past 8 years.


  23. forgottenmeadows

    Hi There, I have featured you on my weekly recs -http://wp.me/p4gNzR-sp , as I truly enjoy your photography. If you wish for me to remove you from the list for any reason please let me know and I will do so. Have a nice weekend! 🙂


  24. SPFischer

    Mitch, your photos are absolutely jaw-droppingly stunning. I don’t know if jaw-droppingly is even a word, but it’s incredibly appropriate – I have spent the most delightful 20 minutes going from one post to the next, oftentimes exclaiming out loud when a new page loads. What wonderful lessons I will learn by studying your photos and delving even deeper into your blog. That you have liked some of my photos and have chosen to follow my blog is truly an honor – thank you. I am delighted to be a new follower – I’m just sorry it has taken me so long to get here!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Thanks for noticing.

      Yes, I finally found a theme that allows me to have huge photos on the post page, and decently sized photos on the front page — along with a wide side-bar so I can have all my links and such.

      There are many like this one, but I haven’t been happy with them because of one failing or another. But this one seems to nail everything I want and have the flexibility I like.


  25. Rusha Sams

    Thanks so much for following Oh, the Places We See! It means a lot that a photographer of your caliber would even stop by. I love taking pictures, but I’m no photographer — just someone who sees life and snaps. But I’m having fun with it, and for me, that’s enough. I’ve traveled a lot in Idaho this past year, mostly on business, but always tagging a couple of days on to see the scenery. You may like my Page entitled Inland Northwest that aggregates all these posts. Your current location is also one of my faves, and I’d love to share a platter of crabs one more time with my hubby in any of the little towns in the Chesapeake area! Best wishes for continued success. http://ohtheplaceswesee.com

    Liked by 1 person

  26. moorezart

    Hello Mitch!

    I’m just dropping you a note to let you know I nominated you for a “Very Inspiring Blogger” award.

    Now you don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to accept it. Its only my way of recognizing what a great job you do on your blog.

    If you do want to follow up and accept this “award” then you can find my post about it with all of the steps to follow. The post is on my own blog and you can find it here: http://wp.me/p47ccR-1KQ

    All the best to you and hoping for continued success on your blogging path.

    Douglas ( http://moorezart.wordpress.com )


    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Thank you very much, Douglas — I appreciate the thought. I no longer participate in the peer-to-peer nominations and awards that are here on WordPress, but I’m flattered anyway.


  27. Anita

    Burnout’s bad, and I’m glad to see that you’re enjoying photography again, because your photographs are wonderful. I’m so looking forward to seeing more! (And I appreciate your follow very much.)

    Liked by 1 person

  28. rwanderman

    Your photography is wonderful Mitch, sorry I’m joining the “conversation” late but hey, better…

    I read this when I first found your weblog (it’s something I pretty much always do). I agree, we have quite a bit in common although I was always on the periphery of the various “industries” I worked in. By the way, I was an early participants in the University of Oregon’s Computer Graphics Conference, knew and still know some of the founders of that and helped test some of the first Mandelboit/Fractal computer graphics software. Only UI stuff, no math (thank god). I remember an early animation called “Chips in Space.” Wow, that’s a long time ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Thank you, Lynda — I appreciate your comments.

      The theme is a recent change; I still need to go back and correct the majority of posts, but I like the large images it allows me to post.


  29. elisa ruland

    Hello fellow Marylander. I grew up on the Eastern Shore, between Easton and St. Michaels, and am very familiar with the Chesapeake Bay! I knew there was a reason I felt right at home on your blog. Your photography is a pleasure, something to aspire to. Take care, and thanks for the follow.



  30. alex

    I’ve been following you for some time now and I apologize that I often do not have the time to comment on blogs, let alone taking care of my own. However, you snapped my attention because of your excellent work in photography. Your site really stands out! Thanks for following me as well! Greetings from Munich, Germany! Alex.


    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      I’m much the same way, Alex. I don’t comment much on other sites due to all the responses I feel compelled to answer here on my own site, where I also post new images at least once-per-day. That’s in addition to work, house chores, errands, and the rest of life. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Fbosoni

    I came here while I was looking for a beautiful blog about photography and I think I find it!
    Your pics are so beautiful!!!

    If you want come to see my photos on my blog and I hope you like them


    1. Fbosoni

      It’s only an esthetic choice because in my opinion it had right colors for the pics!
      I haven’t confederate ideas… It’s really a color choice 😉


    2. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      What is a color choice for you is a symbol of racism, hate, and armed insurrection against the lawful government here — one that we are still in turmoil about.

      It would be as if I was using a flag in one of my images from the time of fascism in your country. I imagine you would not be too keen to see that yourself.


    3. Fbosoni

      I understand your point of view but i want to say that’s absolutely not a promotion of the flag and the words behind it.
      I didn’t want hurt any feeling… I hope you can enjoy the others images even if you don’t follow my blog 🙂


  32. urbanshutterbuguk

    Hi Mitch, I’d like to thank you for liking my ‘Lost in London’ blog post. Love your site, you’ve got a great eye for a photo & create a great mood.

    Thanks again, Urban Shutterbug.


  33. jamoroki

    Hi Mitch. I see you liked one of the pictures I created. That’s a compliment indeed from a pro to an amateur. I am going to have a nose round your blog now. Don’t be surprised to hear from me again if I like what I see!!!! Keep well; James


  34. hannahkenway

    I found you after a like on my blog – which is a pretty humble affair – I’m dabbling in photography and whilst I know what I like, I don’t have very much technical knowhow right now so the results are fairly haphazard.
    I genuinely love your images – there’s something very real about these, that stand out in a sea of photography much of which is pretty easy on the eye. Thanks – a great connection made and looking forward to learning from you.


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