Category : Uncategorized

6 years, 2 months ago 0

It’s hard to put into words my
feelings as I prepare to go to the
airport to fly home. I sure
appreciate my family and friends
more, and I feel deep sympathy
for the victims of the horrific crash
on Friday.

I feel so bad for the great people
that work so hard to make Reno
a success, and are victims of
this tragedy. I feel the pain for
the crew members and pilots
that knew our lost friend in
this crash. Every pilot knows
when he or she goes into the air
that things can go wrong, and
that this could be the result.

I feel many of the television
media stumbled all over the
story, asking the wrong, or
inane questions. I feel sorry for
all the people that rushed out
to Reno to get face time during
this tragic event, when they had
little or nothing to do with the
event or the crash, and could
offer nothing that helped the situation. I feel anger at those that made all the wrong assumptions about the accident. The questions of the pilots age, his skill, or his ability, all made me sick. Jimmy Leeward was an exceptional pilot with the skills and sharpness of top gun pilot in his forties. The cause of the accident was a mechanical failure, pure and simple. Sadly, I burned the images and video of the crash from several photographers for the Reno Air Racing Association and the NTSB. I wish I could forget them. I saw clearly the broken trim tab that caused the plane to climb out of control. No pilot of any age or skill level could have done any more than Jimmy did. His immediate attempt to recover is probably why the plane did not fall straight into the grandstands holding thousands of race fans, making the tragedy even worse.

The suggestions being made to make the sport safer, are for the most part, non-sensical. Like moving the grandstand further back. When and airplane goes out of control at almost 500 mph, a few hundred feet or yards would be meaningless. The other ideas thrown out by people that know little or nothing about flying or racing, were equally silly.

Air Racing is a dangerous sport. Those that watch it and participate in it know that. The pilots, crews, and officials that run the race take every possible precaution to avoid this kind of tragedy.
The Reno Air Races were first run in 1964 and this is the first time anything of this magnitude has ever happened. Through the years their have been pilots and planes lost, but not anything like what occurred this year. I’m an aviator and a race fan, and I hope that this is not the end of
the Reno Air Races, however that is a decision that will be made by the media, the insurance companies, and the lawyers.

I can say one thing for certain, the Reno Air Races are run by some of the finest people I know and know one is more grieved about this tragedy than they are. Of they could have prevented this
crash, it would have never happened.

Please pray for the victims families and my family at the Reno Air Racing Association.

the pilgrim

6 years, 3 months ago 0

First, Big News – FLASH – my new Close-Up class Part I is posted @
Check it out.

Second we had
the pleasure of
having Richard
Small and his
wife Yuriko, join
Mike Anskat, and
myself for a
burger last
night. Great
folks and a great
burger, though
Milt’s or Fava’s
have nothing to
worry about.

Bill Pekala, Mike Anskat and I were back on the ramp for sunrise this morning and were blessed with clouds to pick up the sunrise light. Below are some of the better things I got this morning. The shots of hellcat are for Scott Diussa, who couldn’t make it because of his upcoming trip to New Zealand for a The Rugby World Finals.

The top three in this sequence are the Commemorative Air Force’s Hellcat. Top shot HDR Painterly
setting the other to photo realistic HDR processing. The last two are some of the F15’s on the ramp.

But the winner of the morning goes to Bill Pekala for his gorgeous shot of the Spartan Executive,
a 1937 vintage private aircraft, only 34 were made. This shot is simply stunning and I’ve already forgiven him for not yelling for me to come and get the shot too! I’m treating you to three versions.

On the heels of looking at these great images of Bill’s I’m reminded just how fortunate I am to
get to do what I do, with the people I get to do it with. You notice, I didn’t say how lucky I am.
Luck is not a factor. I’ve been blessed. Blessed with a great family, friends, and wonderful experiences. Most of all I’m blessed with a friend that has been so faithful, He has never let me down, He has always been there for me, and He went so far as to give His very life so that I might be forgiven for my countless sins, his name is Jesus. Thank You Lord for your infinite grace and
compassion on me……..


the pilgrim


Seems Mike Anskat also had a great round at bat, check out his incredible shots! Do I run with a fast crowd or what!!!!!

*Photo Note: D7000, 24-120, group shot with the P7100. Pekala’s shots D700 and the
28-300 AF-S VR lens. Mike Anskat – D3s 28-300 AFS VR

6 years, 3 months ago 0

What a great morning! First of all I didn’t have my mail delivered by a gopher, couldn’t resist. The light was great, the company was too, and we visited the Heritage Aircraft area on the field and the subject matter was truly wonderful. Lots of classic airplanes with shiny aluminum skin. I tried to spend more time this morning exploring the shapes and curves of the planes and using the light to draw attention to the textures, I hope you enjoy them. This is what a fun outing is suppose to be.

Yes, the flare was intentional. Below, HDR and Topaz Spicey.

Yes, Glamour glow, of course…. Above and below.

These subjects also really yield themselves well for Black and White, all the images below are conversions made in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0.

And finally, my boss and friend, Bill Pekala below having a great time with the pilgrim…..

Father, thanks for making, making a living so much fun! Amen


the pilgrim

*Photo Note: D7000, 24-120 and 70-300. Photo of Bill and I, Mike Anskat, out terrific
repair tech and shooting buddy.

6 years, 3 months ago 0

What a difference a day makes, or rather,18 hours. Yesterday, as you recall, we went out to shoot in high noon light. This morning I drug my old carcass out of bed at 4:30 to be on the field when the sun was rising at 6:00 a.m. One of the racer/owners pulled out his Super Corsair, only one of two still flying, so we could shoot it in first light. When you consider that this is a million dollar +, airplane and the crew themselves pulled out the plane for us. Below are several shots of the Corsair.

The light did not last very long, but sure was sweet for the short time. One thing about being a photographer is that you will be up and at em’ a lot.

I wish my friend Scott Diussa could have been here, he loves Corsairs and this would have been a big thrill for him.

Speaking of thrills, my boss and friend Bill Pekala and I have had the rare opportunity to work together, and visit. Bill has been a life long friend and, for the last nine years, the head of the department I work for at Nikon. God blesses us in many ways, but one of the best is the great people you get to know, work with, and if you’re fortunate are honored to finally call friends, Bill definitely is high on that list for me. Don’t ever underestimate the value of friends. when all else looses it’s value they are God’s Gold Standard.


the pilgrim

*Photo Note: D7000, 24-120, polarizer, HDR.

Friends having fun……..

O.K. can’t stop, they pulled an antique fire truck out in front of the Media Center and I just couldn’t resist. All HDR 3 shots, D7000, 24-120 AF-S VR and polarizer.