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Heartland Living

Our publication inserts a quarterly magazine into the newspaper called Heartland Living. For my assignments in the spring edition are stories featuring community yoga classes and a school about mixed martial arts. Illustrating these stories visually is a fun challenge. The lead photo is of yoga instructor Bonnie Bellamy. The photo is taken with a Canon 1DX Mark II camera with a 24-70 f2.8 zoom lens. And lit with three remote Canon speedlites.

Bonnie Bellamy teaches Monday and Thursday beginner yoga classes inside the Jubilee Center at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.

Bonnie Bellamy teaches Monday and Thursday beginner yoga classes inside the Jubilee Center at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.

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Springtime Favorites

This update is of recent pics I am fond of…

Peace Lutheran Church member Dan Thayer, left, gives a high five to Jaron Harwell as he slides out of a bounce house during an Easter egg hunt and activities Saturday at the Grand Island Parks & Recreation Community Fieldhouse.

Peace Lutheran Church member Dan Thayer, left, gives a high five to Jaron Harwell as he slides out of a bounce house during an Easter egg hunt and activities Saturday at the Grand Island Parks & Recreation Community Fieldhouse.

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Seeing the Light

I’ve been using the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash units to light environmental portraits and certain events. Since they’re wireless there are no cords to run and possibly trip over. The radio frequency enables the units to be placed behind objects throughout a scene. The lead image below was an assignment to feature the 50th anniversary of a local skate rink for a special section. As a key light, a 600EX II-RT is mounted on it’s mini stand placed on top of a video game machine pointed to an opening where skaters hop on or off the rink. Another unit is placed to the right of the skaters to act as fill light.

Malachi Halte and Angelica Stienike use skate walkers to brace themselves while refining their skating skills at Skate Island.

Malachi Halte and Angelica Stienike use skate walkers to brace themselves while refining their skating skills at Skate Island.

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Nebraska State High School Basketball Tournament

Three boys and three girls teams our newspaper covers in central Nebraska made it to the semifinal round during the state basketball tournament in Lincoln. Unfortunately all six of those team didn’t make it to the final championship game. Basketball is one of my favorite sports to photograph. I enjoy watching these boys and girls excel on and off the court and there is a lot of support from their communities. It’s not uncommon to see players form a circle hand-in-hand with opposing players and pray after a game. These kids get it and know what sportsmanship is all about.

Scottsbluff’s Gabriel Patton, left, battles for possession of the ball with Aurora’s Thomas Leininger during the Nebraska State Boys Basketball Championships at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Friday. Scottsbluff won 76-67.

Scottsbluff’s Gabriel Patton, left, battles for possession of the ball with Aurora’s Thomas Leininger during the Nebraska State Boys Basketball Championships at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Friday. Scottsbluff won 76-67.

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End of Year 2016 Images

Here are some of my favorite images taken in the latter part of 2016. It’s been a long year and I am looking forward to 2017.

Mark Wickard of Scottsbluff, Neb. talks on his cell phone while standing next to his Cessna, in which, he made an emergency landing on Bluff Center Rd. northwest of Cairo, Neb. Wednesday. The plane rolled back down a hill on a dirt road stopping several feet from railroad tracks.

Mark Wickard of Scottsbluff, Neb. talks on his cell phone while standing next to his Cessna, in which, he made an emergency landing on Bluff Center Rd. northwest of Cairo, Neb. The plane rolled back down a hill on a dirt road stopping several feet from railroad tracks.

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Game Day: Nebraska State Volleyball Tournament Nov. 10-12, 2016

Out of the six states I’ve worked at newspaper publications in I’d have to say Nebraska takes the cake as far as volleyball popularity. These girls play their hearts out and the coaches, student body fans and parents are all part of a collective support system. The level of intensity and talent that I saw this season was unlike any other I can remember.

Hampton celebrates their three straight set victory over WYNOT to capture the Class D2 2016 NSAA State Volleyball Championship at the Devaney Sports Center.

Hampton celebrates their three straight set victory over WYNOT to capture the Class D2 2016 NSAA State Volleyball Championship at the Devaney Sports Center.

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Our Veterans

This is the second post of a Veterans Parade. This one at the Grand Island Veterans Home, in which, Vets were brought out of their residences to watch as the parade. Veterans here in central Nebraska get a lot of recognition for their sacrifices as well as they should.

Alex Xiloj Lopez, a seventh-grader at Walnut Middle School, waves flags in the air while walking in the Veterans Parade along Old Glory Road at the Grand Island Veterans Home.

Alex Xiloj Lopez, a seventh-grader at Walnut Middle School, waves flags in the air while walking in the Veterans Parade along Old Glory Road at the Grand Island Veterans Home.

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Veterans Recognition Parade

So often when photographing a parade a lot of good images can be found at an assemble point before the parade route begins. I still photograph the actual parade, but more often than not I try to get there an hour early. This Veterans Recognition Parade in Hastings, Neb. was one of two Veterans parades I photographed in the area in lieu of Veterans Day. All of us who have our freedoms owe a great deal of gratitude for these servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Brandon Woods with Cub Scouts pack 200 carries an American flag over his shoulder in route to the Veterans Recognition Parade in Hastings, Neb.

Brandon Woods with Cub Scouts pack 200 carries an American flag over his shoulder in route to the Veterans Recognition Parade in Hastings, Neb.

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Small Town – Big Time Football

Sometimes the biggest event taking place in a rural town this time of year is a hometown football team hosting a big game hoping to make it to the Nebraska State Football Championships in Lincoln, Neb. Thanksgiving week. Heartland is a consolidated public school in the town of Henderson with a population of under 1,000. The hometown Huskies senior running back Austin Stuhr is the first player in Nebraska history to gain more than 1,000 yards in the first three games of the season. Stuhr also leads the nation in eight-man rushing yards. No small feat.

Signs with Heartland football players names are lined up in front of the school on an unseasonably warm November evening.

Signs with Heartland football players names are lined up in front of the school on an unseasonably warm November evening.

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Fall Favorites

This post pertains to some of my favorite photos I’ve taken this fall season. These particular images are not part of previous posts.

Stylists from Jeffery’s Salon and Spa Kari Chavez, Dawn Westpfahl, Stephanie Roberts, Rebecca Kothe-Eckhardt, Nicole Yarns and Karina Johnston give haircuts inside the Grand Island Evangelical Free Church chapel during Project Homeless Connect.

Stylists from Jeffery’s Salon and Spa Kari Chavez, Dawn Westpfahl, Stephanie Roberts, Rebecca Kothe-Eckhardt, Nicole Yarns and Karina Johnston give haircuts inside the Grand Island Evangelical Free Church chapel during Project Homeless Connect.

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