John

Step 1: Leave home at 6:30pm, arrive in Grand Rapids at 9pm to pick up a friend.
Step 2: Head north to Traverse City, continue north until you reach the Mission Point Lighthouse on the lake shore at 11:30pm.
Step 3: Take pictures and stargaze in the cold for 1.5 hours.
Step 4: Depart for Grand Rapids at 1am in the morning. Drop off friend at 4:30am.
Step 5: Turn east towards home, arrive at home at 6:30am.

650 miles in 12 hours to go see stars. The trip wasn’t an absolute success; I had never been to Mission Point Lighthouse before, and didn’t know if it was too close to Traverse City — it was, and the light pollution, while low, was still noticeable — and if the lighthouse was dark — it wasn’t, as there was a street light right outside the lighthouse on the street that I wish was turned off — so I rolled the dice on shooting at a location that I hadn’t scouted out before and hoped for the best. Still, the clouds eventually cleared up and I spent about an hour looking for shots. Another pair of photographers showed up, and we bumbled around for a while talking gear, stars, and the fact that we both decided to arrive at this lighthouse at the exact same time to shoot stars. This was the nicest shot I took of the lighthouse under the night sky. Photo taken with a Nikon D7200 and a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens, lighthouse was light painted with a video light.

I was tasked with shooting the pictures for the trophies at a rallycross at Bundy Hill. On this day, the weather was warm and there was no snow cover, and as the day dragged on, the course became half big bumps and half deep ruts, wreaking havoc on the cars. I like this photo a lot because you can clearly see that the inside front wheel, after this car hit a big bump while turning into a sweeper, has no weight on it and consequently locked up while all the other wheels are still spinning. Photo taken with a Nikon D7200 and a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.

I’m slowly working through the pictures I took at last Sunday’s rallycross at Bundy Hill. The course degenerated quickly until it was half bumps and half ruts, and absolutely pounded the cars. In the initial cull, this image stood out as one of the most awesome (in a literal sense) photos. That’s got to be almost 5 inches of air underneath the inside rear wheel; I’ve seen Evos tripod on concrete, but not on dirt, never mind to this degree on dirt. Given how bumpy the course was, and who was driving the car, perhaps it wouldn’t be a surprise that a picture like this could only come at the hands of this particular driver. Photo shot with a Nikon D7200 and a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.

While the majority of the Midwest decided that the best course of action for a day that never even got close to cresting double digits was to stay inside, I did the stupid thing and joined a bunch of other foolish people to go rallycrossing in a snowy field in the middle of Michigan. I got pulled in to work as the trophy photographer, and spent much of my time on my feet out in the freezing cold trying to keep my camera battery and my digits from turning into icicles. How frequently do the words “Lexus RX300” and “motorsports” go together? Not often, probably. But here we are, with this shot of a Lexus RX300 killing a cone on the back section of the rallycross course. Photo shot with a Nikon D7200 and a 70-200mm f/4 lens.

My friend Mike hosts some really fancy parties where people dress fancy and drink fancy drinks. I’m simply not fancy enough for these parties, but I enjoy going to them anyway. At the fancy party, in the fancy dining room, were a bunch of fancy foods. One guest decided to add to the fancy cuisines a box of the fanciest cheese cracker of them all, Cheez-Its. Photo shot with a Bronica 645 ETR equipped with a 50mm f/2.8 lens and a Lumopro LP160 flash on Kodak Portra 400.

My friend Mike hosts some really fancy parties where people dress fancy and drink fancy drinks. I’m simply not fancy enough for these parties, but I enjoy going to them anyway. Indicative of my lack of fanciness, I brought along one of my least fancy cameras, but what it lacks in fanciness it gains in image quality and usability with flash. Here, the host is flanked by two gentlemen, and all three of them are looking classy as hell. Photo shot with a Bronica 645 ETR equipped with a 50mm f/2.8 lens and a Lumopro LP160 flash on Kodak Portra 400.

I bought a Chinese TLR, a Huazhong that has the same basic body and build of the dime-a-dozen Seagull TLRs, but has a shutter that can fire up to 1/500 of a second. I shot a test roll in the camera at bitterly cold rallycross at Crystal Motor Speedway. I took this picture during my course walk, leaving the start line and up the hill into the bowl of the dirt track. The aperture is closed down, but the lens is focused close, producing this odd dreamy background effect that I’m not sure is due solely to physics or in part by the lens’ cheap terribleness. Picture shot on a Huazhong TLR camera with a 75mm/f3.5 lens on Kodak Portra 400.

I and three other friends went down to Road Atlanta in December to race in the 24 Hours of LeMons. Driving south would surely get us away from the wintry conditions in Michigan, right? Wrong. It started snowing outside Atlanta during our tow to the track, and in an effort to avoid massive traffic back ups on the freeways, we diverted off into the country side roads. It was slow going, but at least it was very pretty. Photo taken with a Nikon FM2n and a 35mmm f/2 lens on Kodak Portra 400.

I got free tickets to the Detroit Auto Show Industry Preview courtesy of a friend, and brought along some buddies to explore and photograph the auto show in relative calm. I liked the wheels on this BMW M3, and liked the muted colors in the frame, with the red display in the background and blue car and blue floor in the foreground. Picture shot with a Mamiya C220 TLR camera and an 80mm f/2.8 lens on Fujifilm Provia 100.