Rio 2016: The Full Meal

01_rio_081816Aug 17, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Colombia’s Mariana Pajon during individual seeding in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Olympic BMX Centre.

“Okay riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate…” and then silence. Eight BMX riders sit frozen atop their ferrous frames, awaiting the gate holding them back that rests against their front wheels to drop – without warning – flat against the ground. Silence. The crowd, obeying the wishes for “silencio, por favor” from the mighty LED screen, can barely keep themselves together. Silence. Vultures circling over the neighboring favela dot the sky as a torrent of dust rolls across the course, caught in the dry, hot afternoon wind. Silence. The sunlight gleams against the colorful helmets of the riders, still unsullied by the scuffs and scrapes that will undoubtedly come from the painful wipe-outs in the days ahead. Silence. With a startling CRACK, the gate falls and the riders finally rocket down the first drop of the course, with screams and applause of the fans there to cheer them on flooding the arena. The battle is on!

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A Summer Goal

01_lightning_070214Lightning strikes the Willis Tower following a severe thunderstorm as seen from Solidarity Drive, Monday, June 30, 2014.

When I first captured lightning striking the antennae of Chicago’s Willis (Sears) Tower late in the season last September, I immediately made it a goal to capture that image again, but from a cleaner angle and with a cleaner lens!

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Posted in Photography, Photojournalism, Tips And Tricks on July 2nd, 2014. No Comments.

Collodion Decanting Rig


A collodion decanting rig facilitates removing collodion from a bottle without removing the sediment which settles to the bottom as the collodion clears.

In my seven months practicing wet plate collodion photography, I’ve continually struggled with a way to remove the collodion from the bottle I prepare it in without including any of the sediment which settles to the bottom as it clears. Of course, it’s critical that none of this sediment ends up in the collodion you plan on using on your plates, because it causes all sorts of contamination issues with your images and chemistry.

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Hungry Jack Frost


Dick Reillo and Stella Jimenez during an outdoor winter portrait shoot, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Special effects were used to create the snow for the shoot, which was done on a clear night.

My good friends Dick Reillo and Stella Jimenez have been asking me to do a portrait of them in the snow for months. While there’s been no shortage of the real thing here in the Chicago area as of late, brutal cold and winds have accompanied almost all of our snow storms this season. With a successful portrait under the real thing looking doubtful, I assured the couple that I’d give them a snow picture one way or another.

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