Washington DC

Once a year I accompany a group of local business and civic leaders on a three day legislative trip to Washington DC.  I document all their activities and meetings, and I usually get some free time to roam around and see the sights.  I am going to share a few images with you here, but please check out the link at the end of this blog entry to see everything from the whole trip… including enough photos of Joe Scarborough to keep you satisfied for weeks!

Over the course of three days we roamed through most of the congressional buildings.  And it seems like every 15 feet there was another metal detector that I had to run all my gear through.  Luckily I’ve done this enough times that I have the routine down, and we weren’t late for any appointments.  Every politician has his or her work space decorated in their own unique way.  But I’m always amazed by this guy’s deeep blue office.

One of my favorite behind-the-scenes things to do is travel through the underground tunnels that connect the different buildings with the Capitol.  And my rock star moment on this trip was that I got to eat lunch in the members dining room.  One congresswoman took us out to lunch there on our second day.  Unfortunately photographs are not allowed in the dining room (as I was reminded by the staff 4 or 5 times)  but I did get some good shots of us cruising through the underground.

Of course if there’s one thing I’ve learned about politicians and politics it’s that they play as hard as they work.  So we checked out the nightlife whenever possible.  The W Hotel has a rooftop bar with an amazing nighttime view of the US Treasury with the White House in the background.

 And my absolute favorite shot from this trip was taken in the Library of Congress with my 15mm fisheye lens.  Yeah, I could spend an entire day taking photos in there. 

To see the rest of the photographs, click here:
Washington DC Photos

Evan Lysacek Day

Olympic gold medal figure skater and Dancing With The Stars contestant  Evan Lysacek is from Naperville.  Deciding that his accomplishment deserved some recognition, the city declared that we were going to have an Evan Lysacek Day!  We look for any reason for a party, and a gold medal is a pretty good one.  It was a busy day; about 12 solid hours of ceremonies, speeches, interviews, luncheons, and autographs.  People have been asking to see these photos, and I’ve finally had some time to organize them.

Evan started off the day at 7am with TV, radio, and magazine interviews in the lobby of Hotel Arista.  On the bus from one event to the next he sat down for a chat with an ESPN reporter.

There was a great ceremony at Nequea Valley High School where Evan graduated in 2003.  The kids were genuinely thrilled to see him and he seemed to really be enjoying all the excitement.  WGN’s Ana Belaval did a segment with some of the students for the midday news. 

Evan’s Dancing With The Stars partner Anna Trebunskaya was with him at all the key stops.  Sure, she is talented and beautiful… but this girl still thought she had a shot-

Yes, it was a long day, but Evan was a trooper through it all.  He was gracious to everyone and went out of his way to sign every autograph he could.

If you’d like to see more photos from this day you can find them here:
More Evan Lysacek Day photographs

Red Rocks – part 2

 The REAL reason I wanted to see Red Rocks is that it was the location of one of my favorite live recorded concerts.  U2 played here on a rainy and cold June 5th, 1983.  And while I wasn’t at the show I have watched the live movie and listened to the concert hundreds of times.  For some reason I felt like I already knew the place, but it was still great to be there and imagine what the show must have been like.

We parked at the top.  I was amazed to find that every part of the amphitheatre is open to the public.  People were having picnics, and some were jogging back and forth across the steps.  The view was spectacular.  I saw an amazing outdoor show at The Gorge in Washington state, but I bet this is just as wonderful.

A few of us were adventurous enough to go down to the bottom.  I just HAD to get my photo taken on the stage.

Then, someone had the bright idea that we should race back up the steps to the top.  Yes, we’ve had better ideas.

Here I am after I made it to the top.  My Florida/Illinois body wasn’t quite used to the Denver elevation.  Luckily we found a margarita place nearby that helped me forget that problem.

I thought I’d leave you with one of my favorite songs from that U2 show.  It’s a song of theirs that’s not well known but I love it-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae1ZO1VhV1k

Red Rocks – part 1

I continued on to Denver last week, enjoying the second part of the project that just took me to Florida.  I never even got to see downtown Denver, instead bouncing around the outskirts and rolling hills that are west of the city.  There were two important outdoor shots we had to get, so location scouting took all day on Monday.  We covered a lot of ground and saw about 7 different parks and recreation areas.

Here’s the crew and clients at Green Mountain, which was chosen for the biking shots.  When we scouted here it looked like the perfect place.  What we didn’t know is that during our actual shoot we would have to deal with wind gusts so strong that it actually blew over one of our bikers at one point.  When they stopped moving we had to help them hold their bikes up.  The wind was just ridiculous.  I felt like I participated in a new sport called “Extreme Standing”. 

We later moved on to Red Rocks for some hiking photos.  I’d always wanted to see Red Rocks for wholly personal reasons, and I was not disappointed by it’s beauty. 

And lastly, this image just amused me.  It’s one of the clients.  He’s a nice guy, but he does look a little, um, out-of-place.

Tomorrow I’ll share some photos of the real reason I wanted to see Red Rocks