One million cranes

Willowwind School first grader Erika O'Connell-Weir (top) and other students make paper cranes as part of the Million Crane Project to send to Japan in support of tsunami victims on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, in Iowa City.

It's always a little disappointing when a designer doesn't see a photo the same way I did. Still, I was happy with what I came back with last month at one of the frequent 'cute kids doing cute stuff' shoots.

Power up

Someone at Alliant Energy probably has my license plate in their "suspicious vehicles" file. That's bound to happen when you set up camp across the street for more than an hour one night, waiting for the right light.


In season

Are you guys as excited as I am for market season? Ohhh buddy. (Photos at Farmer's Daughter's market/shop in Hiawatha)


Heaven will smell like the airport

Just a few unpublished photos from a recent tour of the soon-to-be-upgraded areas of the Eastern Iowa Airport. After years of the hassle of flying in and out of St Louis and DFW, I've come to love flying out of CID (until it's time to dig the car out of the snow).

Baggage carriers park outside the terminal on Friday, May 20, 2011, in Cedar Rapids. After an $8.2 million project with an addition is complete, the garages pictured will be converted into suite space for the airlines and bags will be delivered to the TSA screening area by a bag belt that runs the length of the terminal check-in area.


Hawkeye Downs

"Shoot what you want." Man, I love hearing that. "We don't really need any action photos."

"Okay, cool, I'll just shoot whatever I find interesting," I say, my shoulders already feeling lighter at the thought of not dragging the 400mm lens up a flight of stairs to the viewing area. Another photographer laughed, "Well, that's a loaded statement," knowing my version of "interesting."

homework helps

I met so many new friends / fledgling photographers while photographing at Pheasant Ridge Neighborhood Center for a story about state budget cuts. Apparently I have a "dinosaur camera."

Children get off the bus at the Pheasant Ridge Neighborhood Center on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, in Iowa City. State funding has been cut this year, so the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County hopes businesses and individuals will sponsor sponsorships to help send low-income children to summer camp.

Volunteer Caroline Wilson, a University of Iowa sophomore from Beaumont, Texas (left), helps Noura Ibrahim, 6, with subtraction during the after-school homework help tutoring program at the Pheasant Ridge Neighborhood Center.

Mozn Elfaki, 5, counts on her fingers while practicing subtraction during the after-school homework help tutoring program.

Ahmed Hamad, 8 (left), Mazen Nour, 8 (back) and Mohamed Ali, 9, play hangman with Colette Saindon (hand pictured), an Americorps Vista volunteer who coordinates the after-school homework help tutoring program.



For a story on the limits of athletic training, I spent an afternoon at a gym in Iowa City.



A group of Girl Scouts watch as the roof of the dome is opened while learning about the 24-inch Boller & Chivens telescope on Friday, March 25, 2011, at the Eastern Iowa Observatory and Learning Center in Mount Vernon. The telescope was donated by the University of Iowa. The Cedar Amateur Astronomers host private events, including this Girl Scouts event, and regular public nights throughout the year.

Aubrey Pisarik, 9, of Iowa City, looks at a friend through a finder scope mounted on a Dobsonian telescope.

A 16-inch telescope, donated by the University of Iowa, is housed in a classic dome building at the Eastern Iowa Observatory.

A star map is projected on the wall at the Eastern Iowa Observatory and Learning Center.

If only deadlines and publication dates would wait for the best photo possibility. It was a cloudy, cold night, and our pool 5d MkII wasn't available, so I made the most of it with my dinosaur 1d MkII. Yikes..


Every time I get a decent defensive shot away from a base, my trigger finger does a little wiggle-dance.

Second chances


Public forum

Panelists Pat Shey of the Cedar Rapids City Council (from left), Maura Pilcher, chair of the Historic Preservation Commission, and Mark Stoffer Hunter, Cedar Rapids historian, listen to questions during a forum on the proposed medical district Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in Cedar Rapids. Not pictured is panelist Monica Vernon of the Cedar Rapids City Council.

Green thumb

I've been slowly adding green to my house lately, with some very low-maintenance plants. Maybe my herbs will last through the summer this year.. The photos above are from a greenhouse in Marion, back in March.

Kids with cameras

Catch up day! I'll try not to overwhelm you. From March, kids photographing small Iowa towns, with photographer Bob Campagna . Gotta love this girl's search for the best vantage point -- on a truck one minute, on the sidewalk the next.