Thrills In The Sky

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle performs during the Gary South Shore Air Show held at Marquette Beach in Gary, Ind., Friday, July 15, 2011. The show featured a variety of solo and group aviation acts.

As I sat strapped into the rear seat of the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team’s Fokker C31 aircraft on the ramp at the Gary Chicago Airport last weekend, I tried to count back in my mind on all the times I’ve flown with the group in the past five years. It had to have been my twenty-something-th flight, but I’ve lost track. Though the number of flights may have escaped me, having a front-row seat to document some of the most skilled men and women in our armed forces, up close and personal, is a privilege I’m not lost on. Having the soldiers greet me by my first name as I entered the plane was another reminder of just how many times I’ve taken to the skies with them on their airborne adventures.

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Posted in Aviation, Photography, Photojournalism on July 21st, 2011. 5 Comments.

A Different Look

NHRA top fuel dragster driver T.J. Zizzo during qualifying for the Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.

I decided to have some fun with my latest set of images from the NHRA Route 66 Nationals drag race, shot last weekend at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois. In addition to experimenting with lighting night racing sessions with several photographic strobe units (helping to accentuate the contrast between the white smoke from the race cars and dark night sky), I also converted the color images to black and white for display here on the blog.

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Posted in Photography, Photojournalism, Sports on July 15th, 2011. 2 Comments.

Fireworks Photography Rediscovered

Twelve-year-old Dakota Betancourt of Griffith, Ind., gets a birds-eye-view of the Griffith Independence Day Parade from atop the Army tank in Central Park along Broad St., Monday, July 4, 2011.

If there’s one thing more exciting than watching a professional fireworks show on Independence Day, at least for me, it would have to be photographing one! I spent a lot of time growing up shooting (and only marginally succeeding at) fireworks shows on 35mm film. After all, fireworks photography is a very technically demanding art. It requires that you know your camera’s controls intimately in the full manual realm, and that you’re able to make changes on the fly to compensate for the fireworks’ unpredictable locations in the frame along varying brightnesses and colors.

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Posted in Photography, Photojournalism on July 5th, 2011. 2 Comments.