Whirlwind trip to Chicago

The last time I got together with my 3 best high school friends, Jack, John and John, was back in 2010 when I was passing through the Chicago area at the end of a summer road trip.  Jack and his wife have a condo just a bit northwest of the Chicago Loop, a fantastic location, a great neighborhood, and an equally great place to kick back for a few days.  I flew in on the afternoon of Friday the 3rd and in addition to visiting my high school buddies I had made arrangements with my host to do a photo self-assignment that weekend.  Yes, it’s been done a million times before, but not by me.  I wanted the iconic view of downtown as taken from the North Avenue beach, and I wanted to do it at a few different times of day.  Jack was the perfect host, guide and Uber driver as we did 3 photo shoots that weekend: Saturday morning; Sunday morning; and Sunday at sunset.  Saturday afternoon and evening was dedicated to reliving high school antics and a lot of “do you remember so-and-so?” conversations.  To see those guys once again was a blast and, of course, we promised to get together again sooner than 7 years from now.  And, by the way, my favorite photo from North Avenue beach is shown here.


Track Meet in San Bernardino, California

Every school year for about the past 10 I’ve had the pleasure of photographing sporting events for Richardson Prep Hi Middle School in San Bernardino, California.  Over the years I’ve done everything from soccer and basketball to cross country and volleyball.  On March 16 and 17 it was track and field.  Normally Richardson competes in a large track and field meet against 40 or more other schools in southern California but the venue that is normally used for the meet is undergoing renovations.  But nonetheless the show goes on, even if it’s just a friendly competition among classmates.  The highlight of the two-day event is the hurdle relays, sometimes referred to as the most exciting two minutes in all of sports.

Oceanside Pier, Oceanside, California

About three months ago I started working with a minus-ten (-10) neutral density filter, which reduces the amount of light coming through the lens by 10 f-stops.  This means that the effects achieved when photographing moving water or moving clouds become almost mystic due to the fact that the shutter can remain open for long periods of time, even in bright sunlight.  Among my favorite subjects to photograph are docks and fishing piers.  With the pier being stationary while the water and clouds are moving, the effect can be stunning.




Living Desert, Palm Springs, California

A great place to go in March, but not so great during summer months when the temperatures can easily reach 115 degrees or more.  Camels, birds, tortoises, big horn sheep, giraffes, and botanical gardens highlight the Living Desert.  But my favorites are the cheetahs.






Red Tailed Hawk, Highland, California

An added bonus, and just outside the kitchen window to boot!  A pair of red tailed hawks visited quite often during my stay in California but on my last full day there the hawks were very cooperative and worked with me for quite some time before they went on to other things.

Next Big Adventure: Norway, May 5-17