The f-stops here…

That was a really bad photography related pun, but I kind of like it anyway.  I’ve decided to start a blog mainly because there are many images I shoot on a daily basis that I like and that most of my friends and family don’t get too see.  This blog is my way of showing all of you more of what I shoot, why I shoot it, why I like something and in the process hopefully I’ll get some feedback from fellow photographers, ideas for more stories and comments from people letting me know whether I suck or what I’m doing is not too shabby.  So here goes…

I’ll start off this first post with a slideshow from the American Birkebeiner ski race that started out in Cable, WI and finished in Hayward, WI.  I’ve always heard about this race, but never been to it.  My coworker Clint Austin has photographed this race the past two  years since I moved to Duluth, but this year he was on vacation because he just had his kid.  That meant I was the one who had to get up at 4am and make the drive two hours to an airstrip in tiny Cable, WI for the start.

It was a snowy day so the drive was slow and my Garmin GPS unit took me through small county roads that definitely slowed down how long it would have taken had I stayed on a main highway, but I made it there in time and was actually the first media car in the lot when I rolled in at 630am.  After that it was nonstop madness trying to get all the shots I needed at the start, get out in time to get to the midpoint and find a parking spot to capture the leaders halfway through the race and then get back in the car and beat traffic into Hayward, find a parking spot and jockey for position among the 30 or so other photographers and videographers at the start.  It all worked out, but I’ll admit I wasn’t stress-free until reporter Jon Nowacki and I sat down for some lunch around 1pm.  Even after that, it was madness due to the Birkie website going down and the event managers not being able to provide me with bib numbers for the skiers I needed to identify in my captions, but after a few hours it all came back online and it was time to get down to work and this is what came of it…

It was a great time and ended up being a 17-hour workday when coupled with all the other stuff I had to complete back at the office.  The day was made even better by the fact that two of the finishes were photo finishes.  You can see just how close the finish of the female freestyle race was by the first two photos in the gallery.  You can also see how close the finish of the classic division was by the third photo in the gallery.  I was pretty happy with the images I got from both of those events.  Hopefully I’ll get the chance to shoot this event again.

I’ll be back here later this week with a slideshow of some of my favorite hockey images form this year.  It’s that time of the year again when I find myself all over various rinks around Duluth shooting sectional hockey games.  This year it looks to be Duluth East and Hermantown as the top two area teams.  Wednesday and Thursday are the slots for both of the sectional finals, which will be held at the DECC in Duluth.

Thanks for visiting and reading my first blog post.  Hopefully all this made sense.  Again, leave any comments or questions or whatever in the comments section below.  I’ll do my best to reply.  Thanks again!