digital

Back when I had my C5 Z06 Corvette, I took it to a track day at Gingerman Raceway with a bunch of friends and camped at the track. I had a hard time staying asleep when, at around 3:30 in the morning, I had noticed that the moon had set below the horizon, darkening the night sky and allowing all of the stars to come out of hiding. From the several pictures I snapped that evening, this was my favorite: the faint glow of the Milky Way nebula arching itself over the timing tower of Gingerman Raceway. Photo shot with a Nikon D7200 and a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 zoom lens.

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. Here we have a Miata trying its best to do wheelies up the hill. Photo taken with a Nikon D7200 and a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.

I attended the new SCCA Time Trials event at Gingerman Raceway, and brought along my camera to shoot event photos for the Detroit Region SCCA. Here’s a car you don’t see on the track every day: the car is a well known F Modified autocross car in the Midwest autocross circles, and I thought it was awesome that it was taking competitive laps out on Gingerman. Photo shot with a Nikon D7200 and a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.

I attended the new SCCA Time Trials event at Gingerman Raceway, and brought along my camera to shoot event photos for the Detroit Region SCCA. On day 2, the day of the timed sessions, I rushed out to Spectator Hill to shoot cars as the last traces of the golden hour faded away. Group 1 was the lucky group to get track shots immediately after sunrise. Here, Jim takes his Ferrari 458 Italia out for timed laps, with a transponder zip-tied to the prancing horse badge. Photo shot with a Nikon D7200 and a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.

I bought a new Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E zoom lens, and decided to test it out by going to the Detroit Zoo and shooting some pictures of animals. I spent most of my time hanging around the polar bear pen. This female polar bear is a new addition to the Detroit Zoo, and part of a three-way trade between three zoos. She spent most of her time pacing back and forth, occasionally frolicking in what little snow was left. Photo shot with a Nikon D7200 and 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.

I bought a new Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E zoom lens, and decided to test it out by going to the Detroit Zoo and shooting some pictures of animals. I spent most of my time hanging around the polar bear pen, of which the pen for the Arctic foxes were right next door. I like this shot of two of the Arctic foxes interacting after a lazy nap in the sun. Photo shot with a Nikon D7200 and 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.

I went to the Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village with a group of friends. We stopped by a fire ring circled with benches to take a break and warm up, when a jovial old man in a brown coat and black hat approached us. Before we knew it, several other folks had joined us at the fire, and the old man began telling the story A Visit from St. Nicholas, reciting it from memory for all of us to hear. He was one of many storytellers dispersed around the village, and told the story with great gusto and warmth, as one might imagine such stories being told to young ones back in the 19th century. Photo shot with a Nikon D7200 and a 24mm f/1.4 lens.

I was asked to shoot the Ann Arbor Valentines Dance. I split my time between the white seamless photo studio downstairs and the dance floor upstairs. I’m not really all that great a portrait photographer; what I usually do is ask my subjects to do increasingly sillier things until everyone’s concentration breaks and we all laugh at ourselves. That’s one nice thing about shooting dancers — we’re all inherently silly and not serious anyway. After these two did a bunch of silly poses, they had a laugh and an embrace before leaving the set — all I did was keep shooting away. Funnily enough, I liked this picture more than any of the “posed” pictures they did earlier in this sequence. Photo shot with a Nikon D7200 and a 60mm f/2.8 lens, triggering a pair of Flashpoint R2 speedlights and a single Flashpoint Streaklight 360.

I was asked to shoot the Ann Arbor Valentines Dance. I split my time between the white seamless photo studio downstairs and the dance floor upstairs. Composition wise, this photo is a bit of a mess, having accidentally cut off limbs while trying to capture this photo. I certainly wasn’t expecting this dip, and judging by the expression on the follow’s face, neither was she. Not only that, it appears that the lead was surprised by the follow’s surprise, resulting in a cascade of hilarity that makes this one of my favorite social dance images of the night. Photo shot with a Nikon D7200 equipped with a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 and a Nikon SB-900 speedlight.

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.