Monday, December 31, 2007


between assignments now, noticing a little color through my rearview mirror.

looking forward to the new year


Friday, December 28, 2007

the knot

Hello. Hello. It has been far too long. But alas, I come bearing good news. On Dec. 22, 2007, I gave witness to a spectacular event.

My dearest friend, Skyler Atkinson, was married.

He and his wife, Amber, allowed me the pleasure of photographing them before and after the ceremony. As best man, neither was too keen on me taking pictures of the two of them during the ceremony. I totally regret not convincing them to let me shoot a few pictures though. I don't think it would have made much of a scene. They were standing directly under a fairly strong light and would have made a sharp picture of their first kiss as a married couple. During the whole ceremony though, ahhh I couldn't stop smiling.

After the ceremony and the family pictures, I kept the couple behind for a few more minutes to make pictures, before rushing off to the reception. The first photo in this post is under that light, with the rest of the church's lights turned off.

The obligatory best man toast was a near disaster. A few days before the wedding I give Skyler a call. I ask if they're expecting a speech from me. He says he doesn't think so. I don't really believe him, his involvement in the wedding preparation was minimal. So I plan out some stuff, getting a fairly good idea.. a nice, short speech.

But when his dad called out my name to get up there in front of everyone and say something prophetic, I lost it. Nothing. I manage to build up something of a story before the nerves kick in, but right as I get going I realize I'm standing in front of a big crowd (by my public speaking standards), and my voice goes shaky. I was choking up! Luckily Skyler could smell my fear, or see it smeared across my shaking face, and stepped in and just gave me a toast. Thank God.. back to lurking in the shadows.

So that disaster somewhat averted, Skyler and Amber asked if I could come with them to their honeymoon bed and breakfast suite and make some more elegant pictures.

Monday, December 17, 2007

the ice

Julie Smith was surveying damage Wednesday morning when the tree behind her started to crack. "Something told me to run so I did," Julie Smith said. Seconds later half of the tree came crashing down where she had stood.

Last week, as you've probably heard by now, meant ice for a large part of the Midwest. Lawrence was spared. Just 20 miles north was not. It was a different world, one covered with nearly an inch of ice. Boots crunching through the layer on the ground, shattering individual pieces of grass like little glass figures.

The weight of it all crushed trees and power lines, leaving entire towns without power for days. I made the drive Wednesday afternoon, the day after the freeze set in.

Residents told me about their night. Sitting in their living room by candle light. Listening to what they described as fireworks. First, a loud pop. That was a tree breaking in half. Followed by a showering sound. That was the ice and branches plummeting to the ground.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Full day of shooting yesterday, coupled with a two inches of fresh snow. Avoided any major accidents while sliding around. Any day when I wake up, brush the snow off my Jeep, crank the heater and leave it in four wheel drive all day, is a good, good day. It's so very rewarding not accelerating above 40 miles per hour. Driving from assignment to assignment is such a busy rush most of the time, I really enjoy the way snow makes me slow down. Each activity is a small chore because of it.

Last year at this time in Criag we had had snow on the ground since mid September. I remember waking up that morning and going to my car thinking, no way in hell can I work today. Everything was covered with five inches of powder. That would have shut the world down back in Illinois. But my fire station pager was exploding with accident calls so I learned how to drive in the snow that day.

Yesterday though I caught up with a group of high school students getting crazy on the hills on the KU campus. Wishing I would have worked this particular scene a little longer.

Pageantry. Covered the Miss Kansas USA and Miss Kansas Teen USA contest. Here are a few frames while hanging out backstage prior to the event.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

in the locker room

covered lawrence high school today during a early-season tournament.. one hour drive through deathly snow-packed highways and traffic over to kansas city

the coach decided to let me stay in the locker room after a long pause... hopefully he'll continue letting me hang out

in this frame the team visualizes different scenarios before hitting the court

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Pocket Art

Fresh Produce had a pocket art party Saturday. The idea: bring somewhat small (open to interpretation), tradeable art. Swap, give, take, enjoy, play music, be merry, play LightBright.

Monday, December 3, 2007


Trip to the library:

1. "Stay this Moment" Sam Abell
2. "Shooting Blind: Photographs by the Visually Impaired"
3. "The Old Man and the Sea" Ernest Hemmingway

Thumbing through a Robert Capa book, which happened to be past due at said library, prior to the trip. Seems like Capa went everywhere and knew everyone in his day. Two pages in the book contained two pictures of Hemmingway. One, holding a pheasant and gun in a field. Two, the author editing his work at a desk.

In the library I had already secured the two photography books under my arm and was making my way back through the rows of books. Nothing particular in my mind other than I knew I wanted to pick up something, as I'm closing in the finish of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I chose an aisle and entered, thinking to myself this next book, as books often do, could change my life... totally at random... I'm going down this aisle.

I read the Old Man and the Sea when I was 10 or 11 maybe. Having déjá vu about this moment and the library and where I'm about to go study.

4. "Amadeus" on DVD.

Spent the greater part of the day meandering through the house, changing beat, 99 cent records on my, new to me, record player. Sinatra, Willie, Moody Blues. I have a roll of 120 I'm anxious to develop containing frames of Whitney as a hobo and snaps from the Fresh Produce Pocket Art party from Saturday.