Exploratorius Redux

Atelier Aquarell & Fotografie


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 creative juices going, is there?

Your host on the summit of Mauna Kea
Big Island, Hawaii
April 2009
Leica D-LUX 4 + 24-60mm

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.

Multi-image slide
Richmond, Virginia
May 1980
Forox Animation Stand + Nikon 50/2

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.

Forox animation stand

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.  Wandering about and 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!

By the way, if you want to drop me a private email (which is NOT posted in the comments below), please use the following form .

11 thoughts on “About

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Hi Ivan — Correct; I nuked the old site. It had issues: 1) Too many problems with the import of my first site that was with Google’s Blogger service; 2) I was running out of drive space, even though I was a paid WordPress subscriber (13GB doesn’t last very long when you post big images like I was doing); and 3) I was paying for both WordPress and for separate DNS hosting, so I got rid of both to reduce my costs.

      Now I’m posting with much smaller images and significantly reduced expenses — a total win from my standpoint.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ivan Jose

        Ah, really. i was searching for your old site because I really loved your photos. You can save on disk space if you host your images on Flickr. you just need to copy and paste the codes from Flickr to WP.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mitch Zeissler Post author

        That’s a good idea, though I prefer not to post twice (I cringe from doing double-entry anything). There was a time when I posted in many places — including Flickr, 500px, Google+, and others — but in time I grew weary from the effort. These days, it’s just WordPress.

        I’m glad you like my images; they’ll all be here eventually… just be patient.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Brad Nixon

    Delighted to meet someone who has that “multi-image” credit in the resume. I spent many an unhappy hour programming multiprojector shows, but it was the only way I could justify being on the crew for the department’s production of the big annual sales conference in very nifty locations … all my writing had been done long before the event, and we weren’t yet projecting video, so I was a slideshow producer. I only miss the sound of the carousels clicking when you hit “HOME.” Go forth.


    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Ha — you’re the only “multi-image” visitor I’ve ever had on any of my web sites! Thank you for stopping by and sharing that bit of info. I apologize for not responding earlier, but I had shoulder surgery back in mid-December and am just now finally feeling recovered enough to resume posting images and responding to readers.

      About the only thing I didn’t do in the AV field was collect the money from the clients… I did pretty much everything else at one point or another. Studio photography, portrait shots, special effects photography, landscapes, architectural interiors and exteriors, product shots, computer programming the projectors, working with and recording the voice talents, graphic art, darkroom photography, E-6 and black and white processing, etc. With the exception of the last one, all of the AV places I worked at were real small — between 5 to 7 people — so there was plenty for everyone to on.

      Liked by 1 person

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