One Decade In….

First Professional Image

First professionally published image.
Steubenville Herald-Star
May 17, 2000

Today marks my tenth anniversary as a professional photographer. When I look back on the past decade of work, I am humbled by the opportunities I’ve had. I am truly grateful that photography and photojournalism has granted me access to people and places I never would have had access to otherwise. The past ten years have given me the opportunity to learn from and teach others.

What opportunities has your photographic career granted you?

Our State Parks Virtual Gallery

The opening for the Our State Parks: Western Pennsylvania exhibition is tomorrow, Firday, Jan. 29, 2010 6:30pm-8:00pm at the Father Ryan Arts Center 420 Chartiers Ave. McKees Rocks, Pa. If you want a preview of the exhibit or you can’t make it check out the virtual gallery GigaPan here.

In addition to the opening I will give a short talk about the exhibit, take an opportunity to thank a few people who were integral in making the book possible and sign a few books.

The exhibit will be in McKees Rocks until February 27 and will move on to Mercer, Pa. in April. Location to be announced.

The exhibit is free and available for display in public places. Please contact me for more information.

The book Our State Parks is available for purchase here.

Willy Wonka

Willy Wonka plays George Steck

These portraits are from a recent promo shoot for the performance Willy Wonka starring Rob Fankenberry. Fankenberry, also a professional pianist, tries out the new George Steck piano recently acquired by the arts center.

The Actors Civic Theater is presenting the show for three weekends in February. For more information visit the Father Ryan Arts center here

Willy Wonka

"Dance Studio"

Michael Bagne

Michael Bagne, Rochester, New York.

Michael is a dance major at Point Park University. He volunteered to model for the Advanced Black and White photography course. During this session the class used three different lighting set-ups to explore moods created by lighting.

The students used cross-lighting for the portrait.

Michael Bagne

Multiple strobes were set-up to bathe the subject in light.

Michael Bagne

Finally one light was used create a dramatic mood.

Veterans Day Parade

Veterans Day Parade

© 2009 StartPoint Media, Inc

Dror Yaron, outreach coordinator for Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE lab and GigaPan, watches the annual Pittsburgh Veterans Day Parade pass below along the Blvd. of the Allies from a vantage point at Point Park University Wednesday, November 11, 2009. For more images from the Veterans Day Parade go here.

Yaron was on hand to review and critique student GigaPans for an upcoming edition of GigaPan magazine. The theme for this edition is the environmental portrait. The magazine will be available online in January. You can get a sneak peak of their GigaPans here.

Hug A Vet

PFC Rolinson with M-60

PFC Rolinson (USA) with M-60
HHC 2/229 Aviation
18th Airborne Corps
Ft. Rucker, Alabama

I love old pictures.

I found this gem over the weekend with a few others here. Looking back at these it is clear that the Army regiment keeps you fit. Though I am no longer in aviation, I still find valuable many skills and disciplines that I learned in the military.

Wednesday, November 11 is a day to thank vets. I’d like to name a few. You can find some of these folks on Facebook.

Thank them today.

Gary Rolinson, USN
Ted Colaizzi, USMC
Mike Colaizzi, USMC
Jeremy Albert*, USA
John Riesmeyer, USA
Michael Riesmeyer, USA
Dan Riesmeyer, USN
Richard Riesmeyer, USN
Charles Riesmeyer, USA
Jeffery C. Huttle*, USA
Ferdinand Thomas*, USA
Kirk Smith*, USAF
Cory Brown*, USAF
Leo Liller, USMC
Clayton Wukich*, USN
W. Kieth McManus, USN
Matthew Pavelek, USA
Russell DiNardo, USAF
Bob O’Gara, USAF
Sarah Elizabeth, USAF
Shannon Mason Maizan, USA
Timothy Anglin, USA
Tommy Humphries, USAF

*currently serving

Read This Book

Frankfort Mineral Spings Tilt Shift

In addition to adding social media coordination to our repertoire, StartPoint Media is now publishing books.

Just in time for the holiday season, we are pleased to announce our first offering, Our State Parks: Western Pennsylvania which showcases the photography, text and design skills of me, Christopher Rolinson!

The 7 by 7 inch photographic coffee table book highlights western Pennsylvania’s state parks, forests and federal lands through vibrant photography and rich text.

Our State Parks Now Available

The book is a culmination of over four years of work spanning the western third of Pennsylvania from Lake Erie to Greene County to Blue Knob and beyond.

In it you will find stunning photography,information and stories about natural and wild areas within western Pennsylvania. This book should change your impressions of Pennsylvania and inspire you to get outside and take a few pictures.

The book is now available for purchase at

Parish Kohanim

Parish Kohanim

Thanks to ASMP Pittsburgh, Parish Kohanim and sponsor Canon USA for presenting great photography and inspiration at Pittsburgh Filmmakers Melwood Screening Room Tuesday.

Parish presented over 400 images and many stories to go along with them. About 80 amateurs, professional and student photographers were on hand to network together and with Parish before the event.

Info for New Photo Students

HS Media Workshop 2009

Welcome to school.
I am always asked what gear and software students will need in the Point Park University Photojournalism B.A and Photography B.F.A. program. I’m also often asked about what a student can expect in the program.

I’ll break down your anticipated needs and expectations by class level.

35mm film SLR cammera
Yes, that is correct, film. Your first two semesters, and possibly more if you choose, will be film based. We use the traditional wet process to give you a solid foundation in the basics and historical relevance of traditional photography. Understanding the darkroom process will give you the vocabulary and skills you need to be a better digital photographer.

The university does have a few to loan out on a first come first serve basis. This is handy if you aren’t sure you want to stay in photography as a major.

I’d also stick to using the schools computers until you are sure of your preferences (MAC or PC)

By now you should be committed to one of the photography majors. Your education will begin to shift into the digital world quite rapidly. It would be my advice to spend your money on an lower end camera body kit and use the schools loaner lenses. We have Nikon glass. You will have the opportunity to try out a few thing before making a big commitment to quality lenses for yourself. You may also want to consider a computer that has the ability to be upgraded over the next year or two to keep pace. Bear this in mind that no matter the computer you buy now it will be obsolete before you know it. Consider a student version of the latest Photoshop Suite. You should be shooting for the student media and be looking for opportunities to lead and move up.

You are a serious student now. Your function now shifts from ‘learning’ photography basics to experimenting on your own with new techniques and bouncing the results off of your classmates and teachers. refining your skills and learing all that you can from others. You should be building your professional network and begin looking for an internship. You should be an active member or a leader in the student media and belong to an outside professional organization like NPPA or ASMP.
You should be investing in good glass for your camera, f2.8 or faster. Your first lens should cover a good range like 28-105mm. A second lens should be an 80-200. If you can swing a third, consider a super-wide lens for tight situations.
You will need the ability to process images on your own computer to meet class deadlines. It is also quite likely that you could land your first freelance assignment, you’ll need the flexibility of your own gear to complete the assignment. You’ll be learning multimedia and will need video editing software like Final Cut Express or Adobe Premiere.

Within a year you will graduate. You must enter into the business 100% and support yourself soon. Networking and portfolio building will be your mantra for the year. Knowing the right people will get you places, also you should be ritualistically checking the NPPA job data bank and others for opportunities. Shooting for the student media and the Point Park News Service should be a big part of your routine. Generating multimedia and shooting video should be things you are willing and able to do. Resistance is futile, this is the future. Position yourself to take advantage of it. Creating your own opportunities will be imperative to your success in the future. Ask members of the local chapters of NPPA and ASMP how they got their start and adapt that information to your own unique set of skills. Upgrading to to a more powerful camera allows you more freedom to create. You must have your own gear to completely take advantage of opportunities that come your way. You should also take the Business of Photography course and become interested in the ins and outs of conducting business properly if you choose to freelance. Being skilled, creative and meeting a deadline is mandatory.

Good luck to you. I look forward to helping your reach your goals.

Tilt Shift

Tilt Shift

For several years I have been playing around in Photoshop making fake tilt-shift photographs, with decent results, using the quick mask and gradient tools.

These images represent an experiment with the Nikon PC-E 45mm f2.8 perspective control lens. The lens offers a full range of tilts and shifts allowing the user to control the angle of the focal plane.

The applications for the lens could range from architecture and food. I will be incorporating it periodically when shooting news and people. I think using it sparingly will slowly introduce another authentic technique to my photography and teaching bag of tricks.

See more tilt shift images here.

Tilt Shift