Tilt Shift in on Chicago’s Architectural Boat Tour

After several years of being in and around Chicago, I finally decided to take the renowned Architectural Boat Tour around Chicago.  What better way to kick back and enjoy the city this summer after completing the amazing 138-Way World Record.  Of course at the same time I figured I’d try out one of Canon’s top of the line Tilt Shift Lenses.  This was the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Tilt-Shift Lens.

As you can see, the TS lens literally tilts and shifts away from the straight line of site.  For an Architectural Photographer, it’s a must have.

Have you ever taken a picture of a big building while standing relatively near it?  The photo you end up with is a building that has a very wide base, but the top is narrow and it just gets skinnier the higher it goes.  Well, a Tilt-Shift lens will take care of that.  Here is a shot of the Chicago Skyline maxing out the Lens in both directions.  It’s a good example of what extremes a lens like this can accomplish.

While this example shows you the difference, it also opens your mind to something you might have never even thought was available.  Take a look at the following pictures and really note how different they might be with a standard camera lens.  

While I’m not going to rush out and purchase one of these lenses, if I’m ever hired for any type of architectural shoot, renting one of these lenses would be well worth while.

The Holidays 2012

It’s that time of year again!  The Holidays are just around the corner and it’s time to get orders placed for custom art.  Order any size Gallery Wrapped Canvas or Gallery Float Mount by December 5th for delivery by Christmas and save 20% on all custom art ordered between now and December 24th at midnight.  Use Coupon Code holiday12″ at checkout.

If you’re overseas and would like art shipped to you, not a problem.  I use DHL Worldwide Express service for international shipments and have sent art all around the globe.  Your art will be crated up, professionally packed and guaranteed to arrive in ready to hang, perfect condition.  For domestic shipments I use FedEx Ground service.

INTERNATIONAL ORDERS: Please contact me via my contact page for shipping quote and timing.

Also, don’t forget to take a look at my In Stock Art Page for Gallery Floats, Canvas & Framed Art that is In Stock and can ship right away.  It’s already discounted 10% – 20%.  Now you can take an additional 10% off at checkout with code: “instock2012”.  Order by December 18th for delivery by Christmas.

Tent Rocks, Slot Canyons and Aspen Trees

Cat and I headed south for a weekend in and around Santa Fe, NM.  While exploring the city we were looking for some areas around Santa Fe to explore and run around in.  We heard about Tent Rocks National Monument.  Not only were there slot canyons there, but unique rock formations where a solid rock sat above softer soil while all the soil around it eroded over time.  The softer soil underneath the rock was protected from the elements allowing the rock to stand it’s ground, thus protecting the soil underneath.  If you are near Santa Fe, it’s worth the side trip to explore and take a little hike.

The weekend after we went to Santa Fe, we headed into the Rockies in search of Aspens changing with the season.  We ended up finding ourselves heading over Guanella Pass towards Georgetown, CO.  In the process, we stumbled on some of those gorgeous golden leave that have become tied into the thought you have of Aspens in the Rockies.  Once you’ve seen them covered in that blanket of color, you can never get the image out of your mind.

To check out more shots from our little get away, please visit my gallery here.


If you’ve been skydiving for any amount of time, chances are you’ve stumbled onto the website dropzone.com.  It’s been around since the early 2000’s and has been an invaluable resource for jumpers all around the globe.  Whether it’s going into the forums to read about the latest incidents or simply to ask questions of the community about different gear or skydiving centers, it’s been a resource that brought the online social aspect to the skydiving community long before the current social media did.  Anyone selling gear that can’t make it out to their local dropzone posts items there, reviews of different items and of course plenty of references.

One of the area’s that dropzone.com has is their Featured Photographer’s area.  I have been fortunate enough to take pictures over time that have earned me a spot in this area for all to enjoy some of my work.

Please take a moment and browse some of my pictures and share with your friends.

Thank you CanPara

I spent a little time up in Montreal, Canada this summer and was able to jump at a few different dropzones.  The second place I visited was Parachute Montreal for the Canadian Headdown Record Attempts.  Andrew and Alain had a lot to deal with and lots of pressure as they hosted the record for the first time.  All in all, not only did they get a new Headdown Record for Canada of a 30-Way, but once that was completed they went back up and built Canada’s largest Head Up Record of an 18-Way!

Congrats to everyone involved and looking forward to getting back up there for future events! In the mean time, enjoy the cover of this months CanPara Magazine:

ParaMag Spread

The French Skydiving Magazine is ParaMag.  It is easily one of the nicest in the industry with it’s heavy weight, high gloss pages that make the photos pop off the page.  In their most recent issue I was lucky enough to have the centerfold shot from the most recent Vertical World Record. It shows the built 142-Way that is the current Unofficial World Record.

The cover is a shot of the record from above taken by Rolf Kuratle.  Once I got a closer look at his shot, I appreciated it so much more.  The bonus for me here is that I’m actually in the shot!

UPDATE!!!  The above shots are what ParaMag had posted online a few weeks ago.  Since then things have radically changed.  Kuri’s cover shot is not the cover and my shot is not the centerfold.  I just got the actual issue in the mail and instead they swapped it out and took BOTH shots and printed them on a pull out, double fold poster with each of our shots on a side!!!!  I thought I was taking it to the next level getting a pull out poster in Parachutist, now I’ve got double pull out posters in both Parachutist AND ParaMag.  What an amazing experience…..thank you so much!  Now, how do I follow this one up?!?!?

Taking it to the next level with Parachutist

Parachutist Magazine has been doing a great job of keeping up to date with not just the sport, but magazine publishing in general.  Not only do they have a new look and feel with a bound magazine, but the type of paper adds to the entire experience.  So when they approached me about doing a special project with my sponsors, I jumped on the opportunity.  Their proposal was to put a removable poster into every magazine for their October issue.  This double sided, double folded poster would open up to about 2 feet wide and would truly give the person looking at it great appreciation of the most recent 138-Way Vertical World Record.  I just got my October issue in the mail and I have to say it was worth all of the work to make it happen!

Thank you everyone at USPA / Parachutist for thinking outside of the box and allowing us to deliver a high quality shot of the new World Record to everyone’s door.  And Kudos to Norman Kent for a phenomenal cover shot!


90 Percent Cover & Centerfold

Being able to film the 138-Way and the 142-Way during Summerfest at Skydive Chicago was an amazing experience.  I honestly had the best seat in the house.  Lots of people have asked how I decided where I should be when I’m capturing something like this world record.  To be honest, it varies from jump to jump, but on both the 138 and the 142, it was late in the day and closing in on that magic hour for photographers.  It wasn’t perfect light, but as close as we can get up there.  I start by framing the shot, looking at the light and getting the sun near my back.  Then I take a look at the back drop.  Clouds?  Try and get them in there so we have some contrast.  Is the sun low in the sky and illuminating the formation in that warm light?  I pop up a bit and get everyone from the side.  Sure there is the risk of having a head eclipse a grip, but it’s worth it when you see the formation at that angle in that light.

On both formations, the angle, back drop and light worked out great.  So great in fact that 90 Percent decided that it was not only their cover shot, but also their centerfold.  Please enjoy the snap shots below and click this link to download the entire magazine!