September 28, 2009


This past weekend I boarded a helicopter with the ROTC to and flew north to Camp Grayling. It was their annual field training exercise and CM-Life usually sends a reporter and a photographer to capture the action. I first got interested in photojournalism by looking at images from war photographers like Capa and Leeson. This is as close as I'll get to being embedded for now. It was a good time, and the ROTC really laid out the red carpet for us. We even got to choose what MRE we got to eat!

September 21, 2009

At Home

Saturday was CMU's first home football game. Fire Up Chips.


Cutline: Emily Bartlett, 7, of Midland, tosses a ball inside a retired hot air balloon envelope at the REMAX Balloon Festival. Emily's parents, Tony and Heather Bartlett, crew for Steve King, a hot air balloon pilot who has a chance to complete internationally. The balloon pictured was the only balloon filled Friday evening due to high winds.

September 20, 2009


A few years ago I was one of the thousands that went to the Gulf Coast to help clean up and rebuild after Hurricane Katrina went through. This is from an eerily quiet street in a coastal suburb. "Welcome to my nightmare," was spray painted on a house on the same block.


After the balloon festival Friday night in Midland I hung around the vendors for a bit trying to get this photo. It didn't come out quite the way I envisioned it, but it was close. It's a tweener for me, but I'll know what to look for next time I'm at the fairgrounds.

September 16, 2009

Country Singin'

It's just not country music without a few beers and some John Deere shirts scattered through the crowd. These are from a 4H benefit concert over the weekend.

September 14, 2009

Gym Nasty

I feared that I would be shooting in a hot dimly lit gym when I saw the assignment to photograph the Midland Gymnastics Training Center for their 10th anniversary. I was partly right, the gym was suffocatingly hot, but thankfully there was a huge garage door at the far end of the building with the setting sun streaming in. I staked out the area and caught Lori, the instructor, and one of her new students practicing flips in the reflected light. You just never know what you're going to get...

September 9, 2009

Something is up...

...with my family and reptiles. The only pets my siblings and I ever had growing up were three painted turtles that my dad rescued from the highway on his way home from work. Some nights he'd simply come in to dinner with a mischievous smile on his face and say, "There's something in the car for you guys." And the three of us boys (with Lauren not too far behind) would race to the car to find it. We made up a makeshift pen with a wading pool in the backyard and fed them crickets for a few months and then released them. That was about ten years ago.

This year, the tradition was revived when my sister caught a small turtle in a nearby stream. She kept him all spring and summer and just released him a few days ago. His name is Brotus, after a character in Lauren's favorite movie. Here is the photo.

This second image was taken of my dad with a hognose snake on our backpacking trip last weekend. So maybe it's not my family that are into reptiles. Maybe it's just my dad... hmmm. It's amphibians too. Here is a photo of 11-year-old Harley and a bullfrog at his childhood home in Stanton. Whatever it is, dad is the one who first exposed me to the natural world and is the reason that I minored in Outdoor Rec.

The Lossings

On Labor Day I found myself at the Lossing's house. They live right in the middle of Big Rapids, and they're house is a common gathering place for... well... everyone. On Labor Day they opened up their house to friends and had sloppy joes made my Michi (delicious) as well as hotdogs on the grill. The photo below though is of Rachel Lossing sneaking away from the action to get a bite to eat. Thanks for opening up your house guys! You always make me feel at home.

September 6, 2009

Together Again

The last time our family backpacked together out to Lake Michigan was 1998. We've been on many trips together since, but not out to the lake. Starting with the log sitters, it's Justin, Mom (Dawn), and Travis while my Dad (Harley) serves Lauren some dinner. Dad insists that "billy cans" are the best backpacking cookware. I agree. And look, you can feed a family of six out of 'em.

It was great to relax with the family again. We all went our separate ways this summer and with school already started for Justin and I we hardly had a chance to catch up. This trip allowed us to do that and just "be there" without the distractions of cellphones and computers.