I brought along a set of Alien Bees B800 strobes, a roll of white paper, and several white glossy boards in the back of my Ford Focus hatchback and traveled to Terre Haute, Indiana for Rose-Hulman’s Winter Gala dance. I set up a studio outside the dance hall in the lobby and tried to shoot white seamless for the very first time, relying on the stuff that I had read from Zack Arias. After a bit of a rocky start, I finally was able to get a series of decent shots going. Thankfully, the swing dancers that I shot were more than accommodating to my stumbles. Towards the end of the night, I decided to ask someone to stand behind the camera and take a shot of me. Photo shot on a Nikon D7000 with a Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, with a trio of Alien Bees B800 studio strobes triggered by Pocket Wizards.
I shot this picture at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, where Ford had on display a Ford GT, a Shelby GT350, a Focus RS, a Fiesta ST, and a Raptor, all painted this wonderful shade of blue. I waited in one spot for several minutes, waiting for the turntable to move the car into position and for the screens surrounding the Ford booth to transition to blue, getting me a blue Ford GT awash in a swath of blue light. I need to go back and find the film to verify the details, but I think this image was shot with a Bronica 645 ETR with an 80mm f/2.8 lens on Kodak Portra 400.
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. The final heat of the day took place after 4pm; with the sun setting and the wind picking up, it got really, really cold. On one hand, I was cursing the weather. On the other hand, I was overjoyed that I had the opportunity to shoot cars during what photographers call the golden hour — the golden light that makes everything pretty as the sun sets. And this car, heavily modified and always driven balls-to-the-wall, looked very pretty indeed while kicking up a rooster tail of snow and frozen dirt. Photo shot with a Nikon D7200 and a 70-200mm f/4 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. For the first run group, there was plenty of undisturbed powder, so I made a beeline to a sweeper to shoot photos of cars doing silky snowy rooster tails. I like this shot quite a lot; I’d probably have the same grin if I was doing a sweet high speed drift in a car that could actually stand a chance of putting power to the ground. Photo shot with a Nikon D7200 and a 70-200mm f/4 lens.
My friend Dmirty held a “dirt bike school” for several of us who had no idea how to ride dirt bikes. I brought along a massive dose of humility and two cameras. I particularly like this shot where Lily, Dmitry’s dog, looks on as Dmitry does some teachin’ while the others do some learnin’. Picture shot with a Nikon FA film camera with a 35mm f/2 lens on Kodak Tri-X 400 film.
I went to a New Years Dance party in Chicago back in 2012. Literally just weeks prior, I had taken delivery of a trio of Alien Bees studio strobes and spent an evening putting together a “portable” white seamless setup. I brought the setup to the dance party and set it up out in the hall, if I recall correctly. After some serious stumbling around for an hour, I finally got into the grove enough to shoot pictures that weren’t completely terrible. Being that today is the New Year, I thought it appropriate to share this image, taken moments after we rang in the new year, 2012. Photo shot with a Nikon D7000, a Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens, and a trio of Alien Bees B800 strobes triggered by Pocket Wizards.
Between Christmas and New Years Day, swing dancers from all over the United States and even the world converge on Asheville, North Carolina for Lindy Focus, a nonstop day-and-night celebration of all things Lindy Hop leading up the the final dance party for New Year’s Eve. I only made it out there once, and by a series of unfortunate circumstances, had my digital camera stolen at the airport, forcing me to get by with a film camera and some rental camera equipment overnighted from Lens Rentals. Still, it’s hard to be a grinch when there’s so much excitement and exuberance in the air, perfectly reflected for me in this shot of a friend getting the heave-ho into the air once the clock struck midnight. Picture shot with a Nikon F100 film camera with a rented Nikon 28mm f/1.8 lens on Kodak Portra 400.
Why drag someone on to the dance floor when you can saunter on to it like a boss? I took this picture at Ann Arbor’s Friday Night Swing Holiday Dance, with the Aston Neighborhood Pleasure Club jazz band providing the live music. Picture this: the dance floor is empty, and the band begins playing their next song. These two are the first to step on the dance floor. I spot this confident stroll from across the room, grab my camera, and sprint across the length of the empty dance floor, raising the camera to my eye as I come to a sliding stop in my leather soled dance shoes in front of their path. They start laughing, as I’m sure this all looked ridiculous. Snap. Picture taken on a Nikon D7200 with a Tokina 14-20mm f/2.8 and a Flashpoint R2 speedlight.
I went with a couple of folks to a roller skating rink. Several of us dressed in our finest ugly Christmas threads, perfect for making us old people stand out from all the young, spunky teens that overwhelmingly made up the night’s roller rink population. Image was shot from the wall of the roller rink, panning the camera, and encouraging my friends to ham it up. As it’s Christmas today, I figured I’d post something appropriately festive. Picture shot on a Nikon D700 with a 24mm f/1.4 lens.
I was asked to shoot photos at one of the muddiest rallycrosses I’ve ever been to. It was so muddy, in fact, that I didn’t get to run — it was decided that Stock Front, the class I was driving that was due to run at the end of the day, would be spared the hours of undercarriage cleaning that would inevitably be needed, and that the club would clean things up in an attempt to close down the site at a reasonable hour. The mud, while making the driving agonizingly painful and slow for the competitors, did make for some very nice photos at the end of the day. To get the sensation of speed in my pictures, I was dropping my shutter speed down to 1/80 and even 1/50 of a second. Photo shot with a Nikon D7200 and a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens.