Ishi Tsurukusa

"Stone Vine"

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“Stone Vine”

I got to pay a brief visit to a friend’s house while on a trip to Pennsylvania. It was unplanned and I arrived shortly before they got home.

So. I meandered through the backyard snapping photos and caught this little guy crawling its way across one of the stones making up a sidewalk.

It just reminding me how nature will grab on and take back an area.

Ivy Fence

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Another shot taken at Wingfoot Lake State Park near Suffield, Ohio – home of the Goodyear Blimp!

This guy was seemingly growing out of a tiny corner above a steep bank between the water and a pavilion. This white picket fence had a lot of character and I loved how this more basic shot came out. I played for a long time with other shots and lighting to try to go for something more unique and “awe-inspiring”, but in the end I think I was just trying to hard. This simpler shot is the right shot – I think.

I’ve been trying to stay aware of when I might be trying too hard as I grow in my photography. It’s still such a personal thing for me, but I also realize the more I do it, the more I go out with other people, deal with time-frames and other limitations. I want to keep everything in balance.

Selling Prints To Help Photoshoot Event Organization

I list all my advice and recommendations for print sizes and styles based on my photos below.

Until it’s no longer needed, 100% of profits on the sale of my prints at SmugMug(Click Here) will go to help the DuBois Area Fantasy Photoshoot(Click Here) organization pay-off a one-time expense.

They are an awesome group and the organizer(1 person) created this now flourishing group of awesome models and photographers out of thin air in the middle of Central Pa.

My Recommended Sizes

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You probably don’t want to go any larger than 8×12. That’s my cameras technically peek size while still maintaining 100% quality. You likely could go larger, but at your own risk – they might still look quite good, but depending on the colors and composition, a drop in quality might be noticeable by the naked eye.

Personally, I’m going to experiment with prints as large as 24×36, but that’s for another Blog post.

To crop or not crop my photos(or picture frame or no frame)

I haven’t yet started better developing my shots to fit more standard frame sizes. That means my photos(at peek quality) are automatically suited for 8×12 prints.

However, 8×10 is a much more common frame size. Even if you use a mat with a larger frame size, 11×14 frames with a mat are usually sized for 8×10 prints.

With that in mind, I recommend(for framing):

  • 5×7(smaller crop) – fits an 8×10 frame with 4.5″ x 6.5″ mat opening
  • 5×7(smaller crop) – common frame size found everywhere.
  • 8×10(cropped) – for common size frame(no mat) – found in most stores.
  • 8×10 (cropped)- fits an 11×14 frame with 7.5″ x 9.5″ mat opening

Largest Unframed size

  • 8×12(Uncropped)

8×10(cropped) is the sweet spot. 8×10 frames are everywhere from a few bucks to much more. You can easily find them in Walmart, drugstores and more. Yes, you have to cut-up my photos, but they still look really good even cropped.

Paper Quality

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I recommend Matte. Matte is actually what a professional printing studio recommended to me for showing proofs of my photos to galleries – and they commonly print for artists in the Philadelphia Pa. area. I trust their word.

Metal is a cool, fun, snazzy new option though! It costs barely any more than Matte. So. If you want to try that out, I recommend it as well.

[08/15/2015 Update] I wanted to go back and explain this in greater detail – most of my model prints are recommended in Matte over anything else. Glossy paper CAN produce more vivid color, which might be preferable for some fantastically colored shots – it also tends to always look wet.

In the end, I personally don’t print much at all, but I think I would likely not stick to only 1 kind of paper – I would likely take into consideration the shot, with maybe giving preference to Matte for modeling and glossy for highly colorful, outdoors and landscape shots, but nothing is ever written in stone.


SmugMug let’s you crop images to your liking and that’s fine with me. It’s easy and you can immediately see what the photo would look like and even adjust where the cropping takes place.

These are only my recommendations and SmugMug offers a slew more to choose from.

Hidden Beauty

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I was staying at one of my closest friends’ house in Central PA. He has an office in the downtown area where I had dropped him off to take care of some business, while I was driving around the outskirts of town looking for photo-ops.

We set up a time for me to pick him up and I parked behind his establishment to find this mini wonderland of colors. It was amazing and surprising. In this tiny, alcove that’s almost always obscured by shade from walls on two sides and tall trees on the third side, was this beautiful scene with light rays beaming down onto vines and colored leaves slowly crawling up the brick walls.