I had heard that there were going to be swing dancers dancing to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at the Detroit Jazz Festival, but upon arrival, I could only find a single friend sitting in the stands. After listening to a song or two, I decided that sitting around and listening to this awesome music wasn’t enough, dragging said friend down to the space directly in front of the front seats and before the stage and dancing some ballroomin’ blues in front of a crowd of a few hundred people. At the end of our dance, not only had we drawn out the swing dancers that had been dancing in a hidden, secluded spot of the auditorium, but we also inspired many others in the crowd to come on down and join us for the dance party. Here we have two swing dancers dancing to the band, with the Renaissance Center in the background. I think the picture was shot with my Nikon F100 and a 24mm f/1.4 on Kodak Tri-X 400 film.
Here’s another portrait from Rantoul, a picture of a friend who has since moved out of the Midwest to the western United States, making me jealous of all the cool off road stuff he constantly posts on Facebook. I had rented a Canon DSLR and a couple of lenses for shooting autocrosses and dances. I nabbed this shot from in front of grid. This was the last picture in a series of pictures; I just kept shooting until the normal serious face gave way to something a bit more whimsical. Photo shot with a Canon 5D MkIII and a 75-300mm f/4-5.6 lens.
I shot this picture of the just-introduced BMW M2 at the Detroit Auto Show. I waited patiently for a cool contrasting graphic to appear on the large screens behind the car before snapping my frame. Camera is my Mamiya C220 TLR with an 80mm f/2.8 lens, exposure shot on Fujifilm Velvia 100 slide film.
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.
I have two new additions to the camera collection: a Nikon FM3a and a Bronica ETR-Si. I bought both of these cameras off eBay, which just goes to show that it’s possible to find decent deals online if you know what to look for — and are willing to shell out cash during a period of time when few others are able to do so, e.g. during the Christmas season. (more…)
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.