Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Finishing Sprint - Take 2

On the Fly

This photo was actually taken a fraction of a second BEFORE the one you see below.  Having a camera that will shoot nearly 10 frames per second is a lifesaver when shooting action like this.  The advanced digital SLRs that are available today are simply amazing.  The weak link in my ability to take decent photos in NOT my's between my ears.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Finishing Sprint

Blur copy

One of my loyal blog visitors, Jay, has been giving me grief :-). She often leaves comments asking me to tell her the story behind the photo. Since Jay likely represents 33.3% of my entire readership, I figured I better take action.

So here's the scoop, Jay (and the other two of you out there). This photo was captured when I attended a women's bicycle race in Grand Haven, Michigan. Grand Haven is a beautiful little town on the shores of Lake Michigan. I was lucky to find a portion of the course that had magical know, that light that happens when the sun is just beginning to set or has just begun to rise…the shadows are very long and depending on your location you see "shafts" of light. One of my favorite photographers refers to them as "God beams". I dialed in a slow shutter speed (probably about 1/30th) and panned my camera with the action, trying to create the appearance of speed.  These ladies were flying!  In a finishing sprint, they're probably approaching 40 mph.  And if you've even done 30 mph on a bike, you're smokin'.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Man and Machine


Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Life Lesson in Happiness


Isn't this a great smile?  It seems very genuine to me.

I was blessed to cross paths with this fellow today.  I am not going say a lot about him so I can protect his anonymity.  He is a man of simple means.  He has some health issues.....and he has more than a few reasons to be cranky.  Yet he is not.  He has chosen to be happy.

He is a man of Faith.

I don't know him and he doesn't know me.  And he probably doesn't realize how much he taught me about life today.  He taught me a lot.....without saying a word.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kid Stuff

Being a Kid copy 

I heard a news item around Christmas time that mentioned a toy being inducted into the "Toy Hall of Fame". Who knew?  The toy that was inducted?  The stick.

From The Associated Press:

"Curators at the Rochester museum say the stick is a special addition. They praised its all-purpose, all-natural, no-cost qualities and its ability to serve either as raw material or an appendage transformed by imaginations into something else."

I love that!  Especially the "transformed by imaginations" part. What kid hasn't imagined that a stick was a light saber?  Or in my day, a sword.

When I think back on my childhood, the things I remember most fondly are the things that tended to be simple and low tech.  Playing a card game, checkers, a board game, hop scotch, jacks, marbles.  Do kids still do that stuff?  I hope so.  I think those things are good for the soul.  Maybe it's because most of the things I mentioned involve another person.

Don't get me wrong. I love newfangled toys, too -- computers, Wii, PSP, iPod, etc.  They just seem to be missing something and I cannot put my finger on it.  If YOU know, leave me a comment and help me figure it out.

Maybe I've reached that time in my life when conversations with my son will start with, "When I was your age....."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Valentine


Buried under this mound of school girls is the most compassionate person I know - my wife.  In this photo, she is reading a book to the girls. These girls can read well, but they love it when someone reads to them...especially "Miss Kay".

When we visited the orphanage this past summer, one day of our visit happened to be Kay's birthday. The kids sang the following songs to her:  "Happy Birthday",  "How Old are You, and "For She's a Jolly Good Fellow" (LOL). Isn't that a hoot?  I'm not sure "Fellow" translates into their native dialect - Patois (pronounced pah-twah). In any case, it was hilarious...and of course, they meant no disrespect.

Sierra Exif JPEG

Happy Valentines Day, Kay. Thanks for being my wife, my best friend, and the most compassionate person I know. You're one in a million.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

From the Rafters

Copy of _DSC9206

I love an adventure. Getting this shot was an adventure. I was probably forty feet above ice level. Getting into the rafters of this ice arena is not easy...and it's not for the faint of heart. In any case, I loved every minute of it. When you are a professional photographer, you need to do things that distinguish you from the rest of the crowd. There were several other photographers shooting this game and they all had pretty much the same perspective. Creating photography with an impact sometimes requires a unique perspective. And sometimes it helps to have a screw loose.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Digger the Hamster...Rest in Peace

Glass of Hamster 

Knowing that our family pets are not here for long, I try to make a point of getting a nice photograph of them. When you have a pet hamster, it won't be for long. Their life span is about two years. When Digger died, we said a little prayer and buried him at the base of the flag pole in our yard. Losing pets can be especially difficult for children. As a parent, I've learned that losses like this can be a learning that helps us deal with more difficult things down the road.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Friday, February 6, 2009

Lunch Bucket

Thursday, February 5, 2009

For Jay

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


DSC_0260 copy

I love photos that are not what they would seem to be. In this case, I could probably make up a story of desperation, but nothing could be further from the truth.

This little one is frustrated with ME. She was with a group of kids that I was photographing. I was click, click, clicking and I simply had not gotten to her yet. Her words shouts went something like this:

Uncle Dan, take my picture!

Uncle Dan, take my picture!!!

UNCLE DAN, TAKE MY PICTURE!!!!!  (queue the sad face)


To some, knowing the truth will render the photo less compelling. So be it. When the subject is kids, I'm gonna give it to you straight.  No smoke, mirrors, tragedy or desperation. Just the truth.

Sunday, February 1, 2009