Thursday, May 28, 2009

Air Force Graduationi - Thunderbirds performance

Every year I make a point of going to watch the Air Force Thunderbirds perform at the Air Force Academy graduation. The show is put on for the crowd in the stadium but can easily be seen for miles in every direction so it's easy to find a spot to break out the big glass and shoot away.

I've seen the show every year I've lived in Colorado and even a few times elsewhere yet I never tire of watching it and I just can't help myself from firing off hundreds of frames, trying to catch something new. Here are a few of this year's images I like best.

For the photographer geeks out there -- I like to shoot manual exposures for this event -- I take a reading off the ground in front of me since I know the jets will be in the same light. That way bright sky, clouds, snow on Pike's Peak, etc. won't throw off my exposures. I shoot with an ISO high enough to get a really fast shutter speed. I think I was ISO 640, 1/3200 @ f/5.6 today. I used my 70-200 and 70-300 lenses, but the shots from the 70-200 are noticeably sharper, especially at full magnification. Anyone have a 600 f/4 they want to lend me for next year? ;)

We had perfect weather and all the spring rain gave us beautiful green in the foreground. Here are the jets crossing in front of Pike's Peak. I have a few that are closer but I love the scene here.


Lens flare!


I think we might have a new brochure cover image for the new Renaissance Hotel! For those not from Colorado Springs, the mountain in the background is Cheyenne Mountain, which contains the underground bunker for NORAD (remember the movie Wargames?)


Catching up:


One of my favorite images of these guys ever -- this is hardly cropped at them full frame and tack sharp focus.


Postcard day:


One of the loops. There are a few loops they do that I wish I'd had a wide angle lens ready for. Maybe next year I'll remember!


In formation:




Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kingdom Dogs

We had a busy weekend with lots of photo shoots but one that was particularly interesting to me was getting to photograph Hank Hough and his Labrador Retrievers. Hank conducts a ministry with his dogs called Kingdom Dogs -- he uses the training and obedience of the dogs as metaphors for Biblical commands and obedience to God. These dogs are so well trained that he can call them away from fetching throw toys in mid stride. They'll sit for extended periods of time and even refrain from eating treats right in front of their noses!

After watching his presentation, we had an opportunity to take the dogs to the park and do a short session. I really wish I could have taken an extended portrait session time with them, things were going so well, but alas, our schedule would not allow it.

Below are some of my favorite images.


Bandero, Monk and Prophet:






The portrait of obedience:



For more information about Hank and his ministry, go to Their awesome promo video is by our friends at Avery Grayson Video!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

(wet) urban engagement

Sunday afternoon brought perfect weather for our photography plans -- our early family portrait session had sunshine and dry ground but our bride Kristin was hoping for some fun engagement portraits in the rain and sure enough she got it! Dave, our associate photographer led the shoot since he'll be photographing the wedding later this year. We can't wait...these guys are lots of fun and really laid back, it's going to be a great day!

Here are some of our favorite images from downtown, shot by Dave and Tim:











not quite but soon enough... we couldn't resist the prop that was left out for us by the ice cream shop!



And of course, the slide show: