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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This post pertains to some of my favorite photos I’ve taken this fall season. These particular images are not part of previous posts.
Ranked in the top 10 in national polls Nebraska beat Purdue 27-14 at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. Subsequently, moving up in the national rankings to No. 6 in the Coaches Poll and No. 7 in the AP Poll with a 7-0 record. It wasn’t a considered a pretty win, but a win nonetheless.
Up to 10,000 people converge on the town of Grand Island, Neb. for the 75th annual Harvest of Harmony Parade. There were 107 marching bands from across the state of Nebraska competing in various divisions in a three-hour parade on a perfect sunny and 75 degree fall day.
Over 90,000 fans watched Nebraska defeat No. 22 ranked Oregon 35-32 in a come from behind upset at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. This game was Nebraska’s 350th consecutive football game sellout which is a record in NCAA history.
I photographed Wyoming Cowboys athletics in the Mountain West Conference for five years while working at The Laramie Boomerang in Laramie, Wyo. In seeing the Cornhuskers 2016 schedule I was excited to see the Cowboys would make an appearance at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. It was a perfect sunny and 75 degrees day and I ran into old friends making the trip due east on I-80 to cover the game.
It’s called Nebraska’s largest classroom, but it’s so much more than that. Grand Island hosted the seventh annual Nebraska State Fair. And for everything going on at once it can be overwhelming, yet a fun challenge. I spent nine of the eleven days at the fair taking in everything it has to offer. A special thank you to my colleague Zach Mayhew for helping with coverage of the fair, but as well as some unrelated assignments. A thank you to R.J. Post (The Grand Island Independent) assistant editor with keeping assignments organized. And a thank you to a couple of our freelancers Jimmy Rash and Lauri Shultz. And copy editors for designing a photo page every day of the fair who were also part of this team effort. Here are some of my fair favorites.
Grand Island, Neb. native and Marine Pvt. Dale R. Geddes was given a proper burial at the Grand Island City Cemetery after his remains were discovered and identified 72 years after being killed during World War II Battle of Tarawa in Tarawa, Betio, Kiribati. Geddes casket was taken from Apfel Funeral Home to the cemetery by an original 1872 horse-drawn hearse with full military honors by Detachment I Maintenance Co. Combat Logistics Battalion 451 USMC of Omaha, Neb.
Four purebred Golden Retrievers are being trained to become comfort dogs as part of Peace Lutheran Church’s ministry. A training class is held every Thursday as dog handlers take their puppies to church for various training exercises. At the end of class the dogs are rewarded to play.
Human foosball would most likely fall into a category of a weird sport. Weird but, a lot of fun to photograph and fun to play by looking at the faces of those participating. And for a good cause, a fundraiser for a local hospital. Orie Friesen got the idea by seeing it online and built the plywood box which is the playing field. Human foosball was played after a town barbecue in conjunction with Henderson (Neb.) Community Days.
Here is an update from events I’ve covered lately that’s conducive with summertime.
Hannah Huston became a household name as a finalist on The Voice in the show’s 10th season. Being a Grand Island, Neb. native she attended a homecoming at her former high school, Grand Island Senior High in which a live broadcast was conducted. While on the popular show Hannah became a hit sensation and made a lot of Nebraskans proud. I tweeted a photo of Hannah that included her Twitter account. She re-tweeted it and it went viral.
A screenshot of the Tweet activity is below the main photo which currently has 18,062 impressions (times people saw this Tweet on Twitter) and 1,137 total engagements (times people interacted with this Tweet).
Grand Island is host to the Nebraska Truck Driving Championships which is held at Fonner Park. Ninety-eight truckers competed in six stations to show to officials their driving expertise. The stations were simulated as every day circumstances professional drivers face.
A recent assignment was to cover a fifth generation wedding in which five brides were all married in the same church, Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran. Once a country church located outside of the town of Hampton, Neb., relocated at the Stuhr Museum in 1966. It was a beautiful ceremony with a young couple.
Here is a variety of single images taken throughout this spring in central Nebraska.
I had an enjoyable and demanding opportunity to photograph a two-day state track & field championship at Omaha Burke High School. It was neat to see the sportsmanship held with rural athletes from opposing schools as I saw just as many teammates embracing as I did certain rivals schools.