Skatepark Party

With the great weather we have been having, I got out the skatepark the other day with my friend Jeff Owen and his wife and son. I met Jeff when I started shooting weddings with Modern Image Studios. After awhile we got to talking and realized we both skated and have been out a time or two since then.
This was Eli as he was trying to climb up a ramp under the watchful eye of mother Rachael.


Bean town

It has been awhile since I got the chance to just wander the streets of Chicago. After dropping Jordan off at work last Sunday, I wandered for a bit before an afternoon assignment. My first stop, Cloud gate, better known as "The Bean." As cliche as it may be, it is a good spot to warm up the eyeballs. If you are unfamiliar check it HERE.
Here are a few.
More to come.

A continuation of my photographers project.

The dude on the left here is the same guys as in the first photo. He said he was shooting something for Warner Brothers but I'm not so sure about that, or anyone who puts their 5D on the ground, pointed up, and flashes peace signs while standing under the bean for that matter.



Over the past two weeks or so local high school sports stars filtered into the studio at the Beacon because of their talents on their respective fields of play.
I racked my brain trying to think of a theme for this year and settled upon this lighting setup that would be consistent throughout all of them. Not being much of a studio photographer, I wanted to push my limits of what I had done in the past. So here is how it went down:

It started as a simple three light set up, 2 lights behind the subject about a stop over providing the highlights and a 60 inch octabox overhead and slightly in front for fill and some definition on the face.

Two lights were added on the background and gelled with their school's main color.

Two more lights in umbrellas are behind my shooting position (about 5-7 feet) at eye level. They are about a stop and a half to two stops under, mainly for added catch lights in the eyes.

I tweaked it from shoot to shoot but thats the general idea.

I didn't just want to do a straight shot though, and with no budget for a tilt shift lens, I borrowed a lensbaby from a friend and used that.
My first issue was dealing with the focus on the lensbaby. It was the original version that didn't lock so I had to shoot a lot and hope for the best. I was also limited to an aperture of f4.0 because that was the only disc we could find for it. Some finessing was needed to get the lights to power down far enough and not get any spill in the small studio space we have. Lastly two schools had the same color which is why the first girl has a black background and blue highlights.
Overall I am really happy with how they came out. It is the most lights I have ever used at one time and I can't say I will be running back to the studio to try and up that number.

Any thoughts?



I say this with my fingers crossed, but it seems the weather is finally turning for the better. It gave us a chance to actually walk and enjoy the beach yesterday instead of the 60 second pit stop for the dog.

Back inside, I got glared at for this, but how could I resist with those penguins on the shower curtain? "Must you always be a photographer?" Jordan asked following two quick clicks of the shutter. To that I answer..."yes."



A few from the walk this morning.


Lonliest chair

Thoughts, Comments, harsh criticism? I can't decide how I feel about this one.



I went out to a local forest preserve/lake that was supposed to be a temporary stop for some migrating Pelican's. Cool, yes.... but of course when I got there the birds had fled the scene. I waited around for an hour or so and the following photos are from this time of waiting.

When I got home my mom got a hold of the 400 that I was using with while shooting the birds and decided to take a look out our kitchen window.


Laundry Day

Family Laundry Center in Oswego offered up their washers and dryers for free till Noon today to area families without them. On what is traditionally a slow day, according to owner Mary Beth Kingsley, the center's 80 coin operated machines were almost all full.

When I get to an assignment I will usually take a few minutes to walk around and see what's happening, where the light is, who shouts out "You better not take MY picture..." ... that sort of thing.
I met the Campos family right away and knew they were it. I saw these kids playing and shot a few as it was happening then introduced myself to their mom. She was really cool and didn't mind my camera as she was doing laundry. I'm not talking a load or two here, she had six dryers going at one point.

I felt pretty good about what I had from the event but I still had some time to kill before my next assignment so I perused the place for some fun images.


Night on the town

Finally with an excuse to go out, Jordan gets ready for our big night out.
Her b-day present this year was tickets to see the musical Billy Elliot in the loop, so we dressed up like we knew what we were doing and impersonated rich folk for the evening.


Just a splash

Of color that is.

This is under the Halsted street bridge on the Kennedy (I-90/94) headed up to Roscoe Village.


Shoe, anyone?


Tis the season

I didn't really need to gas up the truck, but when I saw this sign at a station I had to stop.

I had some time between two assignments and drove around this neighborhood in Oswego. There were lots of birds....
... and lots of the exact same houses. American Dream anyone?


High Five

Redbird arena had this great birds head painted in the middle of the court. I tried all weekend to make something work with it, but was never really happy with the results. Oh well, can't win'em all.
This is my consolation prize...

The Congress

I spent St. Paddy's day watching The Tossers, a local Irish band, with Jordan in the city. I had to be sans camera at the show, but this is on the way to Lake Shore Drive.


Tossin' Cookies

Had quite the day today.

I got an assignment to shoot an instrument panel on a plane. I went to the local airport to check it out and when I got there they said seeing it on the ground wouldn't do it justice...I had to go up in the air.
and so begins my love affair with flying....
I love it..... it hates me....
10 minutes in and I'm solid..... I start shooting and that's when it got ugly.

Let's just say that there was a very unfortunate cow in a field somewhere in Sugar Grove.
Oh yeah... I then proceeded to loose my glasses along with my cookies somewhere between 5 and 10,000 feet.


Weekend fun

A few from this weekend spent down at the lake.

Not the lake... This was on my way into Chi-town to pick up Jordan.
Dad doesn't make it onto this blog enough, so here is the grill master himself...
And the lady herself. You'd think that by now she would just give up hiding from photos....


Say Cheese!

About a year ago I noticed some people had just as much fun trying to take a photo of the photographer as I did of them and so began this little project....

"You can take my picture if I can take yours."

Okok, so it's not technically pointing at me, but I liked it anyway...


She Shoots, she .....


Bus Window

...in India, I guess I should add. Aurora looks nothing like that.


Hangin' out



Not that anyone reading this cares that much, but local powerhouse Bolingbrook won their state semi-final match 56-30 and will be defending their 4A championship title tomorrow night.
Here's some favorites from today. Check out the website for a gallery. CLICK ME!

Bonus features! Dude............. Bonus!


Quick update from Redbird Arena in Normal, Ill.

Oswego lost their 3A semi final game to Hillcrest 43-54.Montini won their 3A semi-final game over Springfield 57-40.

Off to shoot Bolingbrook in their 4A semi-final game.

Hittin' the.....


Look into the light