Coming to a museum near you...

A barista at my favorite coffee shop (or, home away from home) reminded me tonight of something I had forgotten to post here... The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art will be displaying 83 photos from the Gazette's coverage of the flood, opening this Saturday to coincide with the reopening of the museum, and continuing into next year. It's free until November 1, so get there soon! The photo below is by fellow photog Cliff Jette and one of the truly iconic images to come out of our incredibly talented photo staff. (Out of towners, I will gladly give you a guided tour if you come visit our sleepy little flood damaged town.)

The Year of the River: Flood Photography from The Gazette

August 30, 2008 - February 22, 2009

In May 2007, the city of Cedar Rapids and Linn County designated 2008 the "Year of the River" to draw attention to the Cedar River, a vital aspect of downtown Cedar Rapids. No one could anticipate the devastating floods of 2008 that ultimately affected so many communities in Eastern Iowa. The power and force of area rivers made themselves known in a manner that had never been witnessed before. It truly was the year of the river.

Throughout all of the events that transpired during the month of June 2008, photographers from The Gazette captured the many moments that made up this monumental event. From Marengo to Vinton, from Palo to Cedar Rapids, and from Coralville to Iowa City, their photographers logged countless hours capturing images of the people and places impacted by the extraordinary flooding that occurred. While some images they shot documented the magnitude of the rising waters, many other photographs sought out the human side of the catastrophe.

This exhibition has been made possible by the generous support of The Gazette, TrueNorth, Hawkeye Ready Mix, Inc., King's Material Inc., PRIMUS Construction, Inc., Ryan Companies US, Inc., and U.S. Bank.

75 and sunny

I took a little trip to Chicago this week to visit a friend from high school, do a little shopping, and, especially, relax. After a delicious breakfast on Tuesday, I walked thru Grant Park to the lake and just enjoyed the absolutely perfect day.. it was the kind of day that's made for taking your time and soaking up the sun and listening to the ropes on the sailboats clinking in the wind.

The Detektivbyran EP (new cd coming to my door any day now!) provided the perfect soundtrack for my train ride back to Jaclyn's house, the golden evening light streaming across a big, lush green backyard where a mother pushed her daughter on a swing set. It was absurd how perfectly suburban -- and perfectly gorgeous -- it was. No pictures from that.. I just smiled as we flew past.



I shot a 'zero game' in Central City last weekend, my first football game of the season. I'm not sure if the photo below was my fault or my camera's, but after this frame, it came into focus. The first couple games are sort of 'practice' for me anyway, after a summer of not shooting sports and trying to get back into the mindset. And then, there's my tendency to keep shooting when I know it's too tight.. but you never know, I've had a few plays where I pulled it off, if my framing was right.


the one that got away

As I was wandering Rompot last week, I saw the legs, and quickly snapped a couple frames. I was working my way closer to the truck, hoping that the man inside was asleep and wouldn't wake up until I got the shot I really wanted. No luck. He sat up as I approached and looked at me quizzically, so we introduced ourselves and Stephen asked him some questions for the story. A missed opportunity. I'll be sneakier next time.

Some of you that have been reading this blog for awhile know that I don't crop the photos I put here if they're outtakes, or taken on personal time -- thus, 'full frame madness,' a term used by one of my photo professors. It's a challenge to myself to use every bit of the frame. The only cropped images are photos I took for work -- they're presented here as I turned them in for publication. With that in mind, the photo in this post doesn't use the frame how I wanted -- so here's a crop of that photo, as I wish it could have been taken.



Yesterday reporting intern 3.0 Stephen Schmidt and I explored the Rompot / Cedar Valley area for a story on how the neighborhood is recovering.. these are just a few photos I took for myself. What used to feel like a flood zone now feels like a ghost town, even though families were hard at work rebuilding at a few of the houses in the neighborhood.



I covered the Country Cruisers car show today in Manchester, and found myself drawn to the chrome and candy colors of the classic cars. A photo of a four year-old car owner will run in the paper tomorrow, and I'll post it then. For now, a handful of details...


The assignment was simple: photograph herbs in the studio for a story on drying your own herbs. We used fresh herbs for the photo. We had an idea to create a wreath of the herbs...

but this approach could create problems for the designer, of possibly having the wrong proportions. So I photographed each herb individually on a white sheet. Still, it wasn't quite right.. there was no texture to the herbs, and I wanted to create a sort of translucence. I remembered a photog at the Deseret News photographing autumn leaves on a light table, so I relocated, spread the herbs out and hit the light. (Mostly untouched) studio photos on the left/top, light table photos on the right/bottom. I think a few of these are destined to hang on my kitchen walls..

The light shone through the cut edge of the chives, giving more texture and translucence, where the studio photo is a little flat.

Basil looks like just another leaf in the studio, but the light table brought out the layers.

Placing the dill on the light table made the difference in color between the two more obvious, and the lack of shadow beneath the leaves made it seem more like an illustration than a photograph.

A few more of my favorites...