Sunday, December 28, 2008

News Flash!

CNN is reporting that the Obama's are thinking about getting "a little Westie."

Our Westie, Maggie, supports this move wholeheartedly. She's been suggesting how good a white dog would look in the White House ever since she heard the Obama's were looking for a first pet.

Here's Maggie showing how good a dog she can be (for a full 1/125th of a second) at our annual holiday card photo shoot.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Holidays

Click here for a little audio slideshow I did for work a couple days ago...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Jingle Cross Cyclocross

Here are the rest of the pictures from the Jingle Cross Cyclocross race. I found it hard to narrow the selection down, so there are probably more here than there should be.

First, one from the women's race. Sunglasses weren't helping anyone, especially after they were covered in mud.

The start of the men's race with eventual winner Todd Wells (number 1, GT sleeves) already leading the field.

Wells, who competed in Beijing on the US mountain bike team, handles the first jump with ease.

The big downhill was a muddy mess for everyone. Mountain biking legend Steve Tilford handled it better than most.

Even Wells wasn't always totally smooth on the descent.

But he handled it better than this guy who hit hard near the bottom.

Nothing like having the snow pick up a little bit mid-race to add some interest to the photos...

The winners of the elite men's race on Sunday, from left, Andy Jacques-Maynes, Todd Wells and Steve Tilford.

This has to be one of the coolest events I've photographed. When I worked for newspapers I would have killed for an assignment like this one. What's not to like about shooting some of the best bikers in the country riding in the mud, cold and snow? Throw in a couple of good crashes, and it's a great assignment. That's why I can't understand why none of the local papers sent a photographer to cover the race.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I do intend to put a more complete set of pictures from Sunday's cyclocross race soon, but until I have time to really weed through all the pictures I took, here are two more that show just how rough the conditions were.

Monday, December 1, 2008


I don't have time to put the whole set up from Sunday's cyclocross race, but here's one of my favorites. This is from the elite women's race. Before anyone comments about the women not being able to ride as well as the men, I have to point out that the woman who won this race took this steep, treacherous descent better than any of the men. More pictures to come soon...

Sunday, November 30, 2008


For the second year in a row, I went out to watch the Jingle Cross Rock cyclocross race in Iowa City today. For those who don't know, cyclocross is kind of a cross between road and mountain biking. A cyclocross bike looks like a road bike with fat tires, and the races are run off-road, but not on courses as technical as you'd see at a mountain bike race. It's a fun sport to watch.

Throw in a little snow and a lot of mud, and it's a really fun sport to watch. I can't imagine how hard it would be to ride through the mud like these guys did. They didn't exactly make it look easy which shows just how tough the conditions were.

Here's a picture of Todd Wells, today's winner. I've got a lot of fun pictures that I'll put up soon, but this is all I have time to work on tonight.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I shot this last night at a big family Thanksgiving get together. Too bad there weren't some more clouds to catch that last bit of light...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cool patterns

I was all set to have several more days of fall colors pictures on the blog, but they're going to have to wait a couple of more days.

Any idea what this is?

It's the frost on my car this morning. I was determined to leave the house on time. Henry and I were walking out the door at 7:30. I got him buckled in the back seat. I started scraping the frost off the car. The whole time I'm scraping, I'm thinking, "Wow. This is really cool. I should really take some pictures."

After pestering Henry all morning about leaving on time, I knew I'd be in trouble if I was the one who made us late. I got about half the windows scraped off when I gave in.

I stuck my head in the backseat, and told Henry I'd be right back. I came out with my camera and shot for about five minutes when I heard, "Daddy, you better hurry up."

I probably could have kept shooting these cool frost patterns until they melted, but Henry was right. I got my five minutes in, put my camera away and went to work. With any luck, it'll freeze like this again tonight. I know I'm going to check my car first thing in the morning.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fall colors

Henry and I went out to Lake McBride when the leaves were still on the trees. We did some "hiking," and I shot some photos. I can't resist the chance to shoot blurry photos anymore, so that's what I did. Here's the first of what will probably be several blurry pictures.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy Birthday

Five years ago tomorrow, my favorite photo subject of all time was born.

Happy Birthday Henry!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Endorsement and a prediction

This is obviously not a political blog, but since I took some pictures of the guy I'm voting for about a year ago when he was still campaigning for the Iowa Caucus, I thought the night before the election would be a good time to put them up.

There was never any doubt that I'd end up voting for the Democratic nominee regardless of who it was, but I was never a big Barack Obama supporter. I've seen him in person three times, and he never lived up to the hype for me. He's grown on me a bit lately though, and I think he's clearly the better person for the job than his opponent. You're here to look at my pictures, so I won't go into the reasons as to why I think that is.

I will say that when I shot these, I got really frustrated with his campaign people. They did everything they could to keep the photographers from doing anything interesting or original. There were just a few spots where they'd let us sit or stand. Every time I moved to where I thought I could get a more interesting picture, they came and kicked me out of that spot. I tried waiting in the hall for him to come out afterward, and they kicked me out of there too. I ended up waiting for him outside the building. I waited by the big, black SUV with security guys around it. I figured it had to be his. It was. He eventually came out, and I got some pictures of him shaking hands with a few students who were also hoping to get the chance to meet him. The same campaign people who had kicked me out of a couple of spots inside didn't look too pleased that I was outside either. It was a public sidewalk though, so there was really nothing that they could do. None of my pictures from that day were great, but if things go well tomorrow, they'll be pictures of the next president of the United States.

I'm also a bit of a political junkie. I thought the extended Democratic caucus season was great. I love watching election returns on tv, and with so many primaries that mattered, I got to do a lot of that this year. I'm really looking forward to watching the returns tomorrow night. To make it a little more interesting, I made a map with my predictions. I think it's going to be a little closer than a lot of people are saying right now, and I also think there will be a couple of surprises. Here's my map:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Last of the cave pictures

Here are the last three pictures I'll post from last week's trip. I guess it's time to go find something new to shoot. These are a little more traditional than all the blurry stuff I've been putting up. I'm anxious to go find some more trees to blur. I'm pleasantly surprised at how well those turned out.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More blurry trees

Here are a couple more blurry trees. I'm pretty sure the tripod legs didn't move between these two exposures. The only difference is how much the camera moved during the exposure. Which do you like better?

Just like with the last couple of pictures, there's isn't much Photoshop done to these beyond some basic color correction, sensor dust removal, etc.

I thought yesterday's post was my favorite picture from the trip. Now I'm not so sure. I really like the looks of the bottom picture here.

I'm pretty sure this is the end of the blurry tree pictures from this trip, but I need to go shoot some more of these. I've been pleasantly surprised at how well these turned out.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More blurry trees

I just keep getting blurrier and blurrier. Here's another picture of blurry trees from Maquoketa Caves State Park.

The funny thing about all these blurry pictures is that I found that they all looked better when I used a tripod.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Blurry trees

Another picture from Maquoketa Caves State Park. I just keep getting blurrier and blurrier. I like it though.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Another image from Maquoketa Caves State Park. Again, it was an attempt to get something interesting despite the bad light.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Here's another picture from my trip the other day. This time a panorama of one of the caves at Maquoketa Caves State Park. I had never been there before, and I thought it was a pleasant park. I'll be posting more pictures from this trip for the next couple of days.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A choice

Here's the same picture. One in black and white. The other in color. I'd be curious to know which you like better. Leave a comment and let me know. I shot it thinking color. Then I saw Larry's version in black and white, and I thought that looked pretty cool too. At this point, I'm liking the color one of mine a little bit better, but I'm really curious what anyone else thinks.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fall Colors

I took a day and went shooting with my friend Larry. The weather wasn't the best, so I spent some time trying some new things. I'll be putting more pictures up in the coming days. Here's the first:

Monday, October 20, 2008

I was right

That thing I said a week or two ago about being a pet photographer. I was so right. Here's four pictures from literally a five minute photo shoot in my basement with an uncooperative dog. She did NOT like those horns on her head. But good grief, isn't she cute? Surely somebody out there would pay me to make their obnoxious dog look cute.