Rummage in the Ramp

A shopper unrolls a rug during Rummage in the Ramp on the lower level of the  Chauncey Swan parking ramp on Friday, July 26, 2013, in Iowa City. The event continues through next Saturday, August 3, and gives students and other community members a way to donate and buy used household items during a week with a large amount of leased housing turnover, rather than those items being thrown away. Profits from the sale are donated to community groups.


How to keep your sundae from melting

Have you ever seen a photo of an almost-too-perfect scoop of ice cream, advertising a waffle cones, perhaps? My recent shoot for the food page taught me that ice cream is probably not real. Continue reading on reFocus to find out how I faked this sundae for a food shoot last week, and check out Meredith's story on National Hot Fudge Sundae Day.

His grandpa's Cadillac

For every elaborate parade float, there's almost always a sweet vintage car or two. I was rushing back to my car when Alec caught my eye, and I walked along with him for a bit before dashing off to my next shoot. Alec Hancock, 10, of Mount Vernon leans out the window of his grandfather Curt Hancock's 1968 Cadillac Sedan de Ville as they drive in the Mount Vernon Heritage Days Parade on Saturday, July 13, 2013.


Catching up with the Lawrence family

Five years ago, I photographed Hayley with her mom, Lindsay, on the day they returned to their flooded Time Czech home. This family in particular has been stuck in my mind over the years, so in our  coverage of the five-year anniversary of the flood, I knew I wanted to catch up with them. They moved to Alburnett a month after the flood, and Hayley, now 8, and Dani, 5, are in school and Jonathan serves on the city council. You can read their story over on thegazette.com.

Lindsay Lawrence bends down to hug her daughter Hayley, 3, as they see their home for the first time since evacuating 10 days earlier to escape the rising Cedar River. Their home was marked with a purple tag indicating that it was unsafe to enter; Lawrence and her husband Jonathan Lawrence expect that it will be demolished. "Seeing the TV, you can stay calm until you get here and see face to face what it is," Lindsay Lawrence said. They were able to remove clothes, photos and major appliances before evacuating. "It's unreal to think... our whole lives were in there," Lindsay said. It was the first home the family had owned.

Susan Martinek for McClatchy-Tribune

Susan Martinek, right, and Mary Cherion pray at the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Planned Parenthood, on Wednesday, May 29, 2013. Martinek is the president and Cherion serves on the board of Coalition for Life of Iowa, which faced scrutiny from the IRS before being granted 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in 2009. In the process of applying for tax-exempt status, the organization was asked to sign a letter promising not to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood.


On the Wapsi

I spent a couple of hours sitting along the banks of the Wapsipinicon River on Saturday, waiting for a photo to come together for a story to run later this week. Couldn't resist sharing this outtake in the meantime. And now, desperately wanting to spend next weekend floating down a river. ETA: Check out Orlan Love's story on rude river behavior here.

The Lincoln Highway (and when waiting doesn’t pay off)

The Lincoln Highway historic route of Mount Vernon Road, just west of Mount Vernon, on Wednesday, July 10, 2013. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)
The 2013 Lincoln Highway Centennial tour, by a group of mostly Norwegian owners of classic American cars, passed through Cedar Rapids today. I know the route through Lisbon, Mount Vernon and into Cedar Rapids very well, as it’s one of my favorite roads in the area for boh driving and biking. After a few passes back and forth, I decided on the scene above as the perfect place. I just had to wait for one of the 77 classic cars to drive through the scene.
And talk with some friendly county sheriff’s deputies who stopped make sure I was alright.
And wait.
And work on the next day’s photo staff schedule.
And wait.
And then I found out there had been an accident the day prior, so many of the cars were delayed, and likely staying on Highway 30 rather than following this particular part of the historic highway. Sometimes, all the planning and waiting just doesn’t pay off.


Chalk the Walk

Mount Vernon | 5.2013

Army of the Southwest

David Thompson of Ankeny (right) fires a field gun while Pete Hepworth of Des Moines covers his ears at Summit Pointe Senior Living Community on Saturday, June 29, 2013, in Marion. The two are members of the the Army of the Southwest Re-Enactment Group, which set up a camp and had a skirmish at the event. The field gun is a reproduction based on blueprints from Civil War weapons.



With so much development in Cedar Rapids lately, building tours are a frequent part of the job. I toured Intermec in May while employees were getting their own first look. A gallery with more images is over on thegazette.com.


Balloon Glow at the Brucemore estate is always a good time, especially when the evening light is just right. If only the sun set a little earlier, I could have explored for a little bit longer before heading in to file, but such is photographic life under deadline. For a gallery, head over here.


Flooded fields

Spotted while working on aerial photography of the Cedar and Iowa Rivers last month...