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.
Two dancers in close embrace during a Friday Night Swing social dance in downtown Ann Arbor. I love the grainy grittiness that this photo exhibits, thanks to the fact that it was shot on classic Tri-X film. I’m pretty sure that the film was developed at the box speed of 400; the dancers are well-exposed because as the resident local swing dance photog, I had the privilege of being able to bounce my flash at nearly full power off the low white ceiling. Photo was shot with a Nikon F100, a 24mm f/1.4 lens, and a SB-600 speedlight on Kodak Tri-X film.
I took a picture of this little European Ford and its owner at the Cars at Corktown car meet. As you can probably tell from the license plate, it’s a ’59 model. Photo shot on my Mamiya C220 TLR with an 80mm f/2.8 lens on Kodak Portra 400.
This Hudson’s crowning jewel is the supercharger, mounted in front of the grill for all to see. I just had to get a shot showcasing its proud presence on the outside of the car. Car was photographed when I went to the Gilmore Car Museum for the first time. Photo shot on a Mamiya C220 TLR with an 80mm f/2.8 lens on Kodak Tri-X 400.
I had to stop and take a picture of this Porsche 911 for having the most awesome (and super ’80s!) decals. Car was shot at the Cars at Corktown car meet. Picture shot on a Mamiya C220 with an 80mm f/2.8 lens on Kodak Portra 400.
I managed to snap this picture of the owner and his two kids piling into this beautiful little Porsche 356, preparing to leave the Cars at Corktown event. Photo shot on a Mamiya C220 with an 80mm f/2.8 lens on Kodak Portra 400.