Controlled Burn

Every now and then I’ll get a phone call with a random question like, “Can we put you in a fire suit tomorrow and have you photograph a controlled prairie burn?” Prairie Burn
Well, the fire suit didn’t end up working out. But I did get some great shots of the burn, and even got to stand on top of a vehicle or two. Prairie Burn Prairie_Fire3

Easter Surfing Festival

Usually I help out with a very large annual Easter Egg Hunt that takes place in Naperville. But this year I simply had to head back to my hometown of Cocoa Beach, Florida to photograph the Easter Surfing Festival. It was the 50th Annual Event and I felt that I just couldn’t miss it. 50th Annual Easter Surfing Festival50th Annual Easter Surfing Festival During the years that I was photographing the Space Shuttle project I had lots of down-time because of launch delays and other issues. When that happened I often found myself at the Cocoa Beach Pier. It was a perfect spot to meet with the other Shuttle photographers, drink some cheap margaritas, and take pictures of the surfers. I really enjoy catching the twists and turns of the surfboards, and the thought of sitting on the beach for a couple of days enjoying the festivities sounded irresistible after this awful winter. 50th Annual Easter Surfing Festival 50th Annual Easter Surfing Festival I had to leave a few times to get some food and visit with family, so I didn’t see every single event. I missed the men’s final on Sunday. But the rest of it was fun to watch. The waves were great, and even some cloudy, windy weather on one of the days couldn’t keep the crowd away. There was a tandem exhibition, and even a few surfin’ dogs showed up. I might have to make this an annual trip. 50th Annual Easter Surfing Festival 50th Annual Easter Surfing Festival 50th Annual Easter Surfing Festival The Cocoa Beach Pier is a perfect location for surf photography. Not only can you get great shots from the beach, but the pier provides an alternate angle looking down on the surfers. My favorite setup for this type of thing is the old telescoping Canon 100-400 lens, on a Canon 7D. The 7D shoots fast enough to catch the action, and the way the old 100-400 telescopes makes it easier to track the surfers as they move towards the camera. I saw 5 or 6 other people using the 100-400 as well, so apparently I’m not the only one that feels that way.
This is just a small sample of the hundreds of photos I took over the weekend. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them all. But I’ll let you know if I figure something out.

One Camera Saved, One Destroyed

My do-it-yourself lo-tech camera protection for this year’s Holi Festival was a big improvement over what I did last year. Instead of a grocery bag, I used a large, clear Ziploc bag. I cut out a hole for the lens, put a lens filter on the end, and used thin strips of gaffers tape to seal the whole thing up. Canon camera in a protective bagNow I could actually see what I was shooting! I could also review photos, and adjust my settings. What a novel idea, right? I also carried around two compressed air canisters to blast the colored powder off the filter every so often.

The plastic bag did pull on the front of the lens a bit, and it affected my focus from time to time. But overall it worked great. And the weather warmed up just enough to make it a pretty enjoyable day. Naperville Holi Festival
Naperville Holi Festival
Naperville Holi Festival
Naperville Holi FestivalAnd in case you were wondering what a camera would look like if it wasn’t safely wrapped up, I’ll give you this-Destroyed Canon Camera at Naperville Holi FestivalI don’t know what the Canon repair team would say about this rig if it showed up at their facility. But I suppose if you’re going to destroy your camera, this is certainly a colorful way to do it.

Surfin’ The Web

It’s always nice to be bouncing around the internet and run across a photo I took for one of my clients. In this case it was CityGate Grille CityGate_Grille