It is a benchmark to announce Vortex InterActive’s membership with the Somerset Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce. We do not have a physical storefront as of yet, but owning a gallery somewhere along Highway 27 is the future goal. It is my hope to create memorable images people will want to take with them to enjoy viewing or to recreate their moments here when they get back to the comfort of their homes, offices, or wherever they choose. Somerset and Pulaski county have a multitude to offer in terms of scenic views and family entertainment which makes for photographs you wouldn’t want to miss! Vortex InterActive will make the best of area opportunities to provide digital media and photographic services for the good people of Somerset KY and the surrounding Lake Cumberland Area.
Vortex InterActive holds a variety of unique skills due to my background with living in diverse areas. As such, it can meet a wide range needs when it comes to imaging. It has done everything from virtual reality and computer animations for Architects to audio engineering for promotional video productions. Vortex InterActive has a heavy list of photography behind it that includes wedding, product, commercial, fashion, model, senior, macro and pet to specialized long exposure shots both during the day and at night.
It’s exciting to see the company moving into its 19th year and experience has proven there is no project too large or too small. Vortex InterActive works hard to continually provide top quality services at fair prices. We hope visitors will enjoy our website, and utilize our services. Special thanks goes out to Chris Girdler, Bobby Clue and Jessica Carlton (we are her new neighbor) of the Somerset Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce and thank you for taking time to read our blog!
Today, we turned Ingredient Masters Inc.’s business portfolio over to Scott Culshaw, owner, located in Cincinnati. The city is fortunate to have him; he could have moved the company anywhere in the world as he deals with multi-national corporations on a daily basis. He is a unique man with real faith and real family values and it shows in his endeavors; right down to the cups of coffee he personally makes at meetings! It’s rare to find, yet alone work with someone of that caliber. A few cross my mind, Barbara Lyons, Carol Law, Kathleen Garmany, Katie Spears, Mark Stucker, Russ Romme, Steve Barnett, Vicki Shelton – and the list goes on.
We are fortunate for these great role models from which we can base our own business. I’ve seen everyone of them put forth time, money and effort into helping others around them both through their business and by personal means where feasible. We wish Scott well in recovering from his recent knee surgery; rest and well-being are truly deserved!
Here are a couple screen shots of our work:
When it comes to water, Russ Romme knows his stuff; ”Pure” and simple! Whether for an aquarium, residence, commercial, or hydroponics, he can advise and provide you with the full filtration system and the necessary materials to keep you running. Check out his fresh, re-designed website, Buckeye Hydro (formerly Buckeye Field Supply), and gain helpful insights from his FAQ’s answering questions like, “When should I replace my filters” and “ How much water pressure is needed to run an RO or RODI system?” ”Hmmmm”, you maybe wondering, “What is a RODI system anyway?” Be sure to visit his website to find out!
Vortex InterActive congratulates Russ on his successful website re-launch that has been a couple of years in the making. We are pleased to have created some animated GIF banners as well as product photography for Buckeye Hydro, and with your help in spreading the word of his services, you can ensure a deserving local Cincinnati-based company a bigger success while getting the clean water you need!
As an update, here is the premiere photo from our shoot:
Compare the post-production to the original: the post production took 8 hours to complete and involved adding a person for scale, adding the company’s logo, adjusting the exposure of the background, taking the machinery itself to “ground level” by removing the steel posts - a lot of getting it to look right had to do with adding shadows underneath each beam – and parts removal from the perimeter.
Truly, no job is too big or too small! Vortex InterActive has plenty of experience documenting larger commercial machinery such as the one shown in this test photo below:
Upon completion, this production line machinery will take 14 to 15 semi-tractor trailers to relocate it to it’s permanent facility. The overall cost is in the millions. Size; approximately 25 feet high, 40 feet wide by 150 feet in length (-180 with conveyors in place).
We are proud to have the resources to document larger machinery accurately and with proper lighting. In the past, Vortex InterActive has done similar work in animation for Procter & Gamble, Mitsubishi Motors, & General Electric. Kudos goes out to Steve Barnett, Melissa Mendez, and Jennifer Brogan who assisted on this exciting, and somewhat massive project!
Throughout its 16 years of business, Vortex InterActive has had a variety of outstanding multi-media projects. Though photography and image effects (graphic design, touchup, and enhancement) are the company’s mainstay, we offer much more. This is one of the main reasons for our name rather than “_____name Studio” Vortex InterActive is where various imaging services come together in “Helping People Visually Communicate Incredible Ideas”. Over these years we have shot and produced dozens of videos, and for the first time we are making a Vortex InterActive exclusive so our customers can gain an accelerated understanding of the services we offer.
Vortex InterActive projects have included direct production in: 3D animation, virtual reality, interactive CD-authoring, musical score composition, audio work, music videos, television commercials, infommercials, logo design, web-design, web-sites, green screen, photos to playable DVD, photography of all kinds; weddings, couples, products, models, architectural, food, pets, and the list goes on.
Vortex InterActive past and/or present clients include: The U.S. Navy, Mitsubishi Motors, General Electric, Procter & Gamble, University of Cincinnati, Kroger’s, Gallerie USA, Christian Dior, Great Oaks, Kathleen Garmany & Platinum IV Salon, Blonde Dog Brewing, Cole & Russell, Grant County, The Graeter Family, Deb Knoske (Miss America, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA Pageant Photographer), John Kinsella CMC, FWMCS (World Master Chef), Kathryn Spear (Wellness Coordinator Spear Inc.), The Coy Taylor Band, and Buckeye Field Supply to mention a few that have entrusted us with their projects.
We service many outstanding inviduals throughout the year that make it nearly impossible to mention them all, and we are grateful for every one. It is our hopes this list will include “you” for choosing our services whether it be for a simple photograph or full video production. We enjoy what we do and we enjoy the people we work for: stay tuned to see some highlights of what we’ve done and what we can do for you!
It was a real hot day down on the Ohio River early on, but enjoyable with the Global Water Dances Cincinnati. The music was awe inspiring with the words “Let’s Clean It Up” reverbrating in everyone’s ears. My sensor, however was saying “Let’s Heat It Up” and the camera had to be shut down periodically in order to continue video work. I found very little difference between the Canon 7D and the Nikon D3100 in that respect. The Canon did last longer I believe.
There were some good shots taken, and I hope things work out for Mark Stucker who is the real genius behind the footage. I can’t wait to see what he’s put together. He is a really good man to work with laying out his vision of the work beforehand. A lot of people can’t convey those types of thoughts so well. Mark was right on. I only hope the focus didn’t throw some material out due the lens being non-responsive, and it was HOT (in case someone missed this point) so holding a tighter shot steady with a stronger heartbeat was a challenge. This is where experience should prevail, but we shall see; there was a lot in the mix including me on the ground arching my back around equipment with beads of sweat soaking in my shirt, hmmm.
When the video gets posted, we’ll place a link to the outstanding performances given by talented dancers, singers, musicians, and artists. Special thanks to Shari Lauter, Music Composer/Director and Fanchon Shur, Artistic Director and Lead Choreographer for the last minute inclusion to something I was greatly looking forward to doing!
It was exciting to have worked with Katy Spear of Spear Inc. located in Mason Ohio. I am very happy to have done the video work along with the photography and some minor background work for her new website which can be found at:
Katy is the Wellness Coordinator for Spear and has developed and run a weight loss program affecting over 100 workers at their headquarters in Mason. Collectively, the employees have lost over 1,800 lbs. in the course of just 3 months! The program has been definitely both successful and well recieved. The program is currently being replicated at their Tennessee location where the “Challenge” will gain evem more momentum.
Katy has magnificent drive and enthusiasm. It’s clear she is well respected, even loved by the employees, and deserves to be. I have no doubt that besides the work productivity increase, she has been a major influence and has impacted lifestyle changes that has improved the quality of life for many if not saved some lives entirely due to diabetes, heart conditions, high cholestorol and the like. Congrats and good luck to Katy Spear!
Simple, yet fun and effective – polarizing your rectangular panoramic in Adobe Photoshop to create your own “World”. In this case, it’s a promo for our day jobs at “Cord World”! Do drop in and see us sometime or call 513-232-7383 to reach us at the store. Okay, so I want to touch up the sky, clean up the sign and I also have some haze where I’m posing as a customer (during my off day of course) on the right side. I’ll post it when it’s done.
This was popular around 4 years ago and I’m happy to do crazy little things like this every now and then: it’s kind of like pulling a rabbit out of your hat; a bit of “pixel magic”… also included below, drum roll please, the animated .gif (gasp) only modernized by the amount of pixels along with a smooth background I took at the Newport Aquarium. Rather fitting since Russ Romme, the owner of Buckeye Field Supply, used to dive for them to check the chemistry and whatnot.
The Ricoh GR Digital IV “Professional Compact Digital Street” camera is phenomenal in the amount of control it gives you in a compact size with superb macro abilities and sharpness that will blow your mind! Compact cameras like these are on the rise and are needed on the market. Why? Quality in low level light that even an i-phone can’t give you; I know, I own one! Special thanks to Cord Camera, Tim Hughes – Merchandising Manager, Bill Schwinn – Vice President, Stephanie Cordle et.al., Pentax, Ricoh, and Mark Sherengo – Director of Sales – PENTAX for the opportunity to share the images of this camera with you and for allowing us to add it to our digital imaging arsenal for years to come.
When I first saw the Pentax-Ricoh GR Digital IV camera, I didn’t know how it would fit into our arsenal of image capture devices. We have seen and used hundreds of compact digital cameras from nearly every manufacturer and we’ve had our share of Androids, I-phones (I-pad included here) so let’s be clear on the first separation – the phrase “Made by photographers… for photographers” is a highlight on the Pentaximaging website. It takes direct aim at the serious and professional photographer, so at once I knew we had to put this to the test. For those wondering who “we” are in this article, my wife and I have been in digital imaging for 18 years: together we work for an Ohio-Indiana regional camera company, Cord Camera. Currently, Melissa is in her 6th year as store manager at the Anderson location in Cincinnati. This is my 9th year as a professional photographer, 5 and-a-half years of which I worked as an Ohio certified adult teacher (digital photography). We have shot and continue to shoot nearly every opportunity that comes our way. We love imaging and enjoy working with people!
We found the Pentax-Ricoh GR Digital IV is a brilliant mix of quality, creativity, artistry, discretion (perfect for the photojournalist) and flexibility through customizable settings. It’s near perfect. The 28mm lens provides a great field of view with low distortion. (The workhorse lens on my D-SLR was a 28-75mm f/2.8) The f/1.9 aperture achieves success in low level lighting situations. The CCD sensor keeps the image crisp and sharp; an advantage over most CMOS sensors. The 10 Megapixel resolution makes for great large format reproductions with medium sized files that aren’t so big they inundate your hard drive; again, great for photojournalists working via laptop. Then there’s the 3” screen: brilliant, stunning, incredibly detailed, rich in color, very real due to Sony’s White Magic technology. It’s as simple as this; most LCD screens have red, green and blue cells that vary intensities to make up the other colors. Sony’s White Magic adds a white cell for added intensity to overcome bright sunlight, better power consumption, vivid colors and better color control in general. The Pentax-Ricoh GR Digital IV LCD screen features 1.23 Million dots for a resolution that is clearly above all others.
The fact the camera has a hot-shoe for a larger flash is a huge plus. The fact you can compensate the onboard flash is impressive. You can adjust a lot within this camera; from sharpness to hue, saturation, brightness and contrast. In some artistic modes you even have control over certain things such as vignette and depth of process.
The Pentax-Ricoh GR Digital IV is a beautiful camera that continues to amaze everyone we show. I ran a test print at 20×30 to which Dick Swaim, a former Cincinnati Enquirer Photographer, said, “If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it! That camera is amazing, this is an incredible shot!”
One outstanding feature of this camera is the interval shooting and its ability to use that mode for star trails. It’s absolutely mind-numbing how clean the night images are! A little advice here: do read the manual on how to set this properly and do the firmware upgrade, otherwise you’ll have wasted some time thinking you’ve captured something when indeed you may or may not have. There are some particulars to end the process correctly. The results are well worth it!
There are also some subtle, often overlooked conveniences this camera includes such as the ability to review the images without having the lens extend; just press the playback button and viola! I find this feature lacking in most cameras. The other convenience, maybe esoteric, is it can effectively trigger an external flash that uses an optical slave. Durability is a must for a camera on the go: this camera has a magnesium alloy shell – very unexpected and greatly appreciated. Last and certainly not least, it can shoot in a .DNG raw file format for greater flexibility and control in the development process.
In summary, the Pentax-Ricoh GR Digital IV is a professional photographer’s dream. I find myself using it more than my D-SLR when out and about. What we enjoyed most was the Bleach Bypass and High Contrast Black & White artistic modes. I also personally enjoyed the Cross Process and Star Trail mode. So is there room for this camera to grow? Better frame rate, higher quality video, and a slightly higher ISO range. For a camera that is near-perfect that would be even more icing on an already terrific cake!
I will take this time to let you know we are proud to be at Cord
Camera in an industry which is becoming increasingly specialized as we watch other camera stores close their doors and fold due to the advent of phonography and internet purchasing. This includes larger national based chains. So what keeps us in business? You – and your thirst for real answers from real people with professional experience; that’s the separation we have from larger retail-box stores and from the internet. It’s the personal experience in working with non-automated services and replies. In short, “Thank you” for taking time to read this article and for those stopping in to purchase your camera and allowing us to process your images thereafter.
What are camera manufacturers doing to overcome the obstacles? They are building cameras capable of capturing higher quality images and they are doing it in lower level light. Phones can be great for the mobility and for spontaneous activities in bright daylight. They can even capture them with stunning results, but bring them indoors and they suffer. Try to record sports action shots and you get blur. Print them out as an 8×10 and they fall apart with pixelization. For most people, just transferring them to computer can be an issue – at Cord Camera we have an app for that! Camera manufacturers are also getting test cameras into the hands of professionals who share their findings and we greatly appreciate that because ultimately it gets back to you, the Smart Consumer!
Zivan Mendez - Pro Camera Sales, Cord University One-on-One Class Instructor, Cord Camera, 7731 Beechmont Avenue, Cincinnati,OH45255
Owner/Director, Vortex InterActive, 821 York Street, Newport, KY 41071
Melissa Mendez - Store Manager, Cord Camera, Creative Director, Vortex InterActive