Rural Living – Heritage Day

Heritage Day took place at the Henderson (Neb.) Mennonite Heritage Park recently. The park is a museum of replica buildings from the region which were the habitats of 35 Russian families seeking religious freedom in the United States.

Kelvin Smith of St. Paul, Neb. left, and Ron Goertzen of Henderson, Neb. work together to make apple cider with the use of an apple press during Heritage Day at Henderson Mennonite Heritage Park on 720 Road B Saturday, September 8, 2018 in Henderson, Neb. On average about two and a half gallons of apple cider can be pressed out of one bushel of apples.


Grand Slam

As soon as it started to rain Grand Island senior Mickayla Sheets stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. Sheets hit a grand slam home run off Kearney pitcher Meagan Reyes at the Veterans Softball Complex. Grand Island won in four innings 12-2.

Teammates of Grand Island Senior High School senior Mickayla Sheets pat her on top of her batting helmet after hitting a Grand Slam home run off Kearney pitcher senior Meagan Reyes at Veterans Softball Complex.


Friday Night Lights: Aurora vs. Northwest Football on Friday, September 14, 2018

Grand Island Northwest played host to number one ranked Aurora Friday night at Viking Field. The Vikings student body section tossed flour in the air upon the Vikings first touchdown score during homecoming week. Aurora won 42-27.

Grand Island Northwest students throw flour into the air to celebrate the Vikings first touchdown against Aurora on homecoming night at Viking Field.


An Ecumenical Confirmation Celebration

Messiah Lutheran Church and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Grand Island, Neb. held confirmation together in a rare occurrence in which two bishops were present. Twelve Grand Island youth in a progressive service were confirmed by Bishop Brian Mass of the Nebraska Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Bishop J. Scott Barker of the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska during an Ecumenical Confirmation Celebration.

The Rev. Robert M. Lewis lights candles in preparation of an Ecumenical Confirmation Celebration at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.


Game Day: Colorado vs. Nebraska Football Saturday, September 8, 2018

Going back in time 29 years ago was the last time I photographed these two rivals, in which No. 1 Nebraska was upset by No. 15 Colorado 27-21 at Folsom Field in Boulder, Colo. The Buffaloes had dedicated their season to starting quarterback Sal Aunese who passed away from cancer in September 1989. Fans rushed the playing field tearing down both goalposts. Colorado gained a bid for the Orange Bowl and was beat by Notre Dame in the National Championship. At the end of this post is a photo I took before kickoff of head coaches Tom Osborne of Nebraska and Bill McCartney of Colorado shaking hands.

This day in Lincoln, Neb. Colorado would be the spoiler again beating Nebraska 33-28.

Colorado safety Kyle Trego salutes fans while celebrating the Buffaloes 33-28 victory over Nebraska at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.


Friday Night Lights: Aurora vs. Wahoo Football Friday, September 7, 2018

The number one ranked Aurora Huskies football team defeated the third place Wahoo Warriors 55-21 in Aurora, Neb.

Aurora senior wide receiver Cy Bullerman catches a touchdown pass from quarterback Baylor Scheierman against Wahoo Friday night in Aurora, Neb.


Game Night: Hastings College vs. Doane Volleyball Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Hastings College Broncos volleyball team beat Doane University in three straight sets 25-21, 25-20, 25-21 to win their home opener at Lynn Farrell Arena.

Clare Hamburger (2) bumps the ball as her teammate Lucy Skoch (18) gets into place during the third set against Doane Wednesday night at Lynn Farrell Arena. Skoch had seven kills and two blocks in the Broncos home opener.


Cowboy Mounted Shooting Competition

One of my assignments during the 2018 Nebraska State Fair was to cover the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Competition for the Omaha World-Herald. I had never even heard of this event let alone cover it. Cowboys and cowgirls competed in this timed event shooting at balloon targets set up in a pattern with single action .45 caliber pistols while on horseback.

Smoke billows out of Will Kennedy’s single action .45 pistol as he shoots through his last balloon target in a pattern during the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Competition at the Nebraska State Fair Friday.


Feats of Strength

Mamma Lou, America’s Strong Woman, AKA Linsey Lindberg of San Antonio, Texas performs several feats of strength on the CHI Health Pavilion stage during the 2018 Nebraska State Fair.

One of her favorite feats of strength, Mamma Lou America’s Strong Woman, rips a phone directory in half as Christian Casper of Ann Arbor, Mich. attempted and failed while becoming part of Mamma Lou’s act at the Nebraska State Fair.


An American Hero

In lieu of Sen. John McCain passing away I was reminded of what a courageous and patriotic individual he was with an undying love for his country and family. In 2008 I had an opportunity to photograph Sen. McCain at a campaign rally in Denver, Colo. as he ran against Barack Obama for president of the United States.

Sen. John McCain gives a double thumbs up with his wife Cindy and daughter Meghan standing behind him at a 2008 campaign rally in Denver, Colo.


Over the Edge

Participants repel down the side of a downtown Grand Island, Neb. high rise as a fundraiser for the local YWCA, called Over the edge.

Katie Folkerts smiles as she repels down the side of Tower 217 during Over the Edge in downtown Grand Island Saturday. The event is a fundraiser for the YWCA.


Muddy Moments

Once again the Prairie Sludge Trudge at the Stuhr Museum made for many classic muddy moments.

Ray Nierman doesn’t hold back as he slides head first down a mud hill during the Prairie Sludge Trudge Saturday at Stuhr Museum.


Nebraska’s Biggest Rodeo

Spent an evening photographing Nebraska’s Biggest Rodeo an hour and 35 minute drive away from Grand Island in Burwell, Neb. Here are some of my favorites.

Zach Hibler of Wheeler, Texas catches air while riding a horse named Locust during bareback riding at the Nebraska’s Big Rodeo Thursday night in Burwell.


2018 State 4-H Horse Exhibition

I covered two morning sessions at the 2018 State 4-H Horse Exhibition held at the Thompson Foods Open Air Arena on the Fonner Park Fairgrounds. Most of the events I used a Canon 200-400 f4 zoom lens.

Mackinze Gordon from Johnson County, middle, on her horse Patty awaits with other riders to compete in Western Pleasure Ponies during the State 4-H Horse Exposition Tuesday.


The Dog Days of Summer

Captured a moment recently at the Hall County Fair in which a young girl sat on the head of a Border Collie named Tucker while getting his back scratched before a 4-H Dog Show. It’s been my experience when photographing dogs and kids together you just can’t go wrong.

Kaitlyn Klein’s dog Tucker doesn’t mind a young girl sitting on his head as long as he gets his back scratched during the Hall County Fair 4-H Dog Show Thursday at Five Points Bank Arena.

Grover Cleveland Alexander Days Saturday, July 7, 2018

A recent assignment of mine was to photograph the Grover Cleveland Alexander Days parade on a Saturday morning in St. Paul, Neb. The parade route which went through downtown St. Paul on Howard Avenue was lined with people.

Ashton Kult puts on LaDonna Koperski’s firefighting gear to wear during the Grover Cleveland Alexander Days Parade Saturday in St. Paul, Neb.


2018 Fireworks

My favorite pic from a community fireworks display is below. I don’t think I’ve ever photographed a fireworks show in complete darkness as it was pitch black. No street lights, no nothing.

Canon 1D X Mark II camera, 16-35mm f2.8 series III lens, 8 seconds shutter speed, f18 at 200 ISO.

Families enjoy the 5th annual Doniphan Fireworks Show at the Doniphan Gun Club Tuesday night.


Early Summertime Favorites

It’s been a hot and humid summer so far with a lot of events taking place in many places in and around Grand Island (it seemed like we skipped spring and went straight into summer). I was sent to Albion, Neb. (an hour and 15 minutes away) to photograph our Athlete of the Year. Also, another standout athlete, Sam Schukel, who won the Paul Beranek Courage Award with a portrait in Kenesaw, Neb. The Hear Grand Island summer concert series kicked off and a new water park the Wood River Aquatics Center opened. And the YMCA had it’s first ever outdoor yoga class at Railside in downtown Grand Island.

Stef Brown smiles while participating in a yoga class for the first time held outside at Railside in downtown Grand Island Thursday evening.


The Daddy of ‘Em All

Progressive Horse Journal Magazine recently ran a photo spread of images I took in their June-July issue to preview the upcoming 2018 Cheyenne Frontier Days. It never gets old seeing your photography displayed so well. Great job Tara Matsler, managing editor, Performance Horse Journal!




Severe Thunderstorm

Hall County Nebraska as well as surrounding counties were hit with a long line of severe thunderstorms on a late Friday night well into Saturday morning. This image was taken from a parking garage across the street from the Hall County Courthouse as the storm came through. Because of the trees (which added to the composition of the image), I braced the camera against my left knee pointing it slightly upward trying not to obscure the top of the steeple, tripping the shutter when I saw a glow of light. After using this wide angle zoom lens for close to a year now my opinion is that it’s flawless. It’s tack sharp from corner to corner at all focal lengths and it renders colors beautifully.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II camera, 16-35mm f2.8 series III lens, 1/25th of a second, f4 at 3200 ISO.

Sheeting rain comes down as the skies open up with a bright flash of lightning above the Hall County Courthouse early Saturday morning in Grand Island, Neb.

2018 Hero Flight Welcome Home Ceremony

My colleague Garrett Griess and I worked together to create this video of a Hero Flight Welcome Home Ceremony for Vietnam Veterans at Central Nebraska Regional Airport. I shot several video clips and Garrett did a great job editing my video for The Grand Island Independent.

2018 Nebraska State Track & Field Championships

I photographed my third straight Nebraska State Track & Field Championships with sports reporter Marc Zavala in Omaha, Neb. Here are my top 20 favorite images.

Alixzandra Bloom clenches her fists in the air after winning the Class D girls 100-meter dash during the Nebraska State Track & Field Championships at Omaha Burke Stadium.


Heartland Living, April 2018

Our newspaper did a condensed version of the spring edition of Heartland Living magazine. Once again our staff did a stellar job with producing and selling a premium product for our readers that’s an insert into an April Saturday newspaper. The two stories I took photos for were about a the Grand Island Modeler’s Club, in which, they fly drones at an airfield in Alda, Neb. And a lady who raises chickens on a farm in rural Hall County.

Dave Gee Invitation Track and Field Meet

Our newspaper covers several track and field meets leading up to the three-day championships in Omaha, Neb. in the month of May. Here are some of my favorite images from the annual Dave Gee Invitation Track and Field Meet held at Grand Island Northwest High School.

Fletcher Bydalek of Grand Island Northwest throws in the third flight of the boy’s shot put during the Dave Gee Invitation Track and Field Meet.