Dancefloor Diva

I like to shoot a few select weddings each year. First off they are fun. Second they keep my editorial eye tuned up and ready to go. Third... I get to make this photo! I heard recently of a wedding where no children were invited... what a shame.


..... Aren't they nice?

The Best Laid Plans

As the official league photographer for the Tulsa Shock this year I have setup more remotes than I typically do during the summertime. I really enjoy the work. It's fun and challenging and makes me flex my brain a little.  It's a skill set that sets the pros apart from the vast sea of amateur sports photographers and one that can really only be learned with lots and lots of practice. And for the most part I usually produce some nice images.

The thing about remote cameras is that they are awesome. The other thing about remote cameras is that they are.... well.... remote. Meaning you cannot access them during the game for the most part. So you have to get everything right the first time. I have a checklist in my head of settings I need to change on the camera and the remote equipment. I have threatened (usually after some type of screwup) many times to write it down and carry it in my remote bag, but it has yet to actually happen.

But like all things technical, there are bound to be new issues. You would think after more than a decade of shooting sports I would have a grasp on all the issues that I face, all the little things that could go wrong. But tonight as I setup to shoot the Sparks vs Shock game at the BOK Center, I came across a completely new issue. As Tim and I set up the overhead remote for some kickin' basket action we hung the 300mm 2.8 from the upper catwalk of the arena. This is where the problem started. The heat and humidity that Tulsa is experiencing seems to be concentrated at the top of the arena! The upper catwalk is placed just a few feet above the air conditioning outlets for the building. Meaning that it's like being in the attic of your house! The minute we crossed the last few steps onto the upper deck the 300mm (6 lbs of aluminum and glass) immediately fogged up. The problem is that a lens like this is not like your eyeglasses, it takes more than just a few minutes to warm up and unfog. With limited time, we guessed at the focusing and headed back downstairs.

After the first half we went back up and made some adjustments, refocused the camera and checked the take from the first half. Unfortunately it was just as I had feared. 

The lens remained fogged for the entire first half of the game. Luckily the Shock were shooting at that end the second half and I made some nice frames, so all was not lost. 


Big thanks to Tim Berry for helping out tonight. It's always a must for me to have a second set of hands when hanging things out over the catwalk for games. Sure, I could do it myself... but with so much else to go wrong... why take the risk!? 

All Images in this post are by Shane Bevel/NBAE/Getty Images and used by permission of the NBA and Tulsa Shock. 

Super Wide

I have been shooting 360 degree panoramas for a long time for Quicktime VR web use. But with a new camera comes new inspiration. So armed with my pano head and 50mm lens instead of a 15mm fisheye, I headed out to shoot some property photos for a client. They wanted to show how large their campus is, so they asked about shooting a pano.

Shooting with the 50 requires a lot of images and with a 21mp sensor results in a magnificent file (the resulting TIFF file is well over a gigabyte. Here is a smaller version of what is a nearly 200 megapixel image. The resulting detail (below is a 100% crop sample) is almost unreal. Now it has me thinking about how to actually print these monstrosities. Any idea? Shoot me an email.

Fly Your Flag

This morning I hung the flag. Memorial day is still a few days out, but the blue sky made me remember and today seemed a good day to put it up. As this weekend approaches and the boats, barbecues and bathing suits make their appearances I bid you remember the real meaning of the weekend.

Unfortunately we are still at war and although I wish that my cousin's death three years ago had been the last, it was not. Cpl. Ray Michael Bevel (above) was killed at the peak of the violence in April 2007. Today, reports that 4400 U.S. men and women have been killed in Iraq and another 1085 in Afghanistan. 

I hope that none of you ever experience the sorrow my family felt and continues to feel. Now is not the time to discuss how or why. Now is simply a time to remember. Below is a repost from 2007.

The small plane stands out in the vastness of the blue West Texas sky. As the scream of the turbines dies, a somber silence blankets the air, only the uncontrollable sobbing cries of a grieving mother can be heard over the constant wind, buffeting through the bunched groups of family and friends.

An eternity passes before the door opens with a crack and six soldiers carried a seventh across the blazing white tarmac. The family touches the flag-draped casket as it glides into the hearse.

Along the open highway roughnecks, ranchers and oil men all stop. Some get out of their trucks, hold their hats against their chest and stand at attention as the procession rolls past. Later, in town, eight thousand people stand along the road in total silence as the war-battered body of a young man passes into the city limits for the last time. School children are bussed to the short route to stand with flags and learn what it means to be a patriot.

As a father grieves quietly, the body of Cpl. Ray Michael Bevel makes it's final sojourn.

A Day at the Derby

While the ponies were running that 1.25 last weekend over at a little track called Churchill Downs, me and a producer were out at Will Rogers Downs making the best of the on again off again rainy weather and shooting one of my favorite subjects. Here are a few of my favorites.

Big Fun in a Little Town

After a couple months of some pretty heavy commercial photography I had started to really miss my roots. Luckily the folks at USA Today always come up with something great. This time they sent me to Barnsdall, Okla to tell their 1.9 million readers about Coach Joe Gilbert. He's been there for 50+ years and has coached 204 varsity seasons! It's nice to shoot photos of folks with such great faces. 

You can see the full audio slideshow here:

New toy

Just a fun random photo from the new camera. The detail this camera can capture is really unbelievable. Look forward to using it on assignment for USA Today in the morning!

I Like To Win Bets

There are certain assignments I really enjoy for one reason or another. This was one of those. When I told my dad (a grocery industry exec) that I was shooting Doug McMillon, CEO of WalMart International, for the USA Today business section he thought that was pretty cool.

But when I told him the idea was to shoot him riding a bike through the store... he said he'd bet me $20 it wouldn't happen. I told him he maybe didn't quite understand the power of "Hi, I'm going to make your photo for the 1.9 million readers of USA Today, you know what would be fun?"

Fast forward a few days. Me, the media relations woman, my assistant and Doug McMillon are in the Bentonville, AR WalMart. I explained the situation and Doug looked me in the eye and deadpanned "So, what are you going to spend your $20 on?"

It turned out not to be my favorite photos, but the editors at USAT liked it enough to use it online. (the print version hits stands in the morning)

It's always the editorial goal to shoot executives in a way that doesn't look "executive" but it's really nice when you have a subject that is so willing to go along. Doug dodged shoppers, talked to the manager about customer complaints and rode the beach cruiser through the aisles of the store all at the same time. He gave us 45 minutes and we shot three setups with multiple lights and a few looks. Here are the three setups. Enjoy!

P.S. Pay up Dad. Shane needs a new pair of shoes.

You can see the online version here: and pickup a print version in Monday's USA Today.

Okie Photogs

Hey guys, check out my interview on Okie Creative. Big thanks to Jeremy Charles for putting this all together and featuring some pretty great photographers. Honored to be there. Click here or the photo above to get there.


Both the lights and the talent were hitting hard on this shoot for an upstart tennis magazine. Shooting in complete darkness under light from a 2400ws pack with two heads. The client was looking for a high impact look to set his publication apart from the rest of the regional mags on the rack. Look for the first issue sometime soon!

My Helicopter Has Arrived!

Just a short little video of some of the sights and sounds of a recent fun-as-heck shoot for an upcoming St. Francis ad. Helicopters, radios and flour.... good recipe for good photos. 

Single Photo Assignment (kinda)

As a newspaper guy for more than a decade, coming back from an assignment with only one photo wasn't looked upon too kindly! But I am finding that more and more my clients are looking for one single stunning image. This week the Tulsa World called on me to do something that not just every photographer does. A 360 degree full panorama both for print and for the web. Above is the print version and here is the web version. 

When the editor there called me and asked me to do it, I knew there was only one moment that would really capture the iconic nature of Opening day at the new stellar Oneok Field in downtown Tulsa.

To over come the massive shade cast by the grandstands and not over expose downtown and the sky, I used a technique called HDR. I won't go into the technical aspect of the photo here, but I will say that the final image is well over 100mb and is the result of combining dozens of separate images taken using a special tripod head.

I thought the result was great and actually plan to have it printed full scale for sale in the Tulsa Mayfest Invitational Gallery.

Play with your food!

Did a fun little shoot a while back for the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. They wanted some fresh fun images to use for marketing and advertising, but weren't happy with the stock selections out there. So we sat down for a day and shot their people (volunteers, staff and clients) in a clean simple style with lots of color and plenty of fun. On a side note... it's all fun and games until the intern drops a watermelon on the seamless! 

Sleeping Beauty (Dish)

I bought a 22" beauty dish with the thought of using it everyday for everything! HA! It really does throw some amazing light, but let's be real, hauling a 22" reflector around is not the easiest thing in the world to do. So I was pretty stoked when I got this little assignment for the Tulsa World. Me and the beauty dish were off... to photograph a real life beauty at the Tulsa Ballet.

Soo Youn Cho tore her ACL, typically a career ending injury, but she is back in the spotlight with the Tulsa Ballet's production of Sleeping Beauty. For more information on Soo Youn's story, watch for the upcoming article in the Tulsa World.

A little taste...

... I did not have the time (only a few hours) to do this story right, but while I was in South Louisiana I was invited to a Cochon de Lait at the home of Barry Jean Ancelet. I can't tell you how excited I was, but Felipe and I were both exhausted, so we called it a night just as the party got started. Here are a few photos from the evening. I can tell you that without a doubt this story is already on the books for next year.

Quick trip to Paducah

Well, after last weekend's woodcock trip to Louisiana, Brownie and I had healed up just enough to drive down to the family place near Paducah, Texas and give it another shot. We met my uncle and cousin and their young pointer Lilly and hunted on Saturday. We put up two coveys, one was a huge group of 40 or 50 birds that is always up at the top of the hill and the other was a small group of 8-10 that we found in a draw up north in pretty wild country. Lots of birds up there, lots of pigs and not a lot of shots to go along with them.

My cousin Matt and Brownie work the south pasture late in the day.

Brownie covered some serious ground in this new area that has just been cleared of mesquite and cedar this summer. A little work and this should be quail heaven. And it's secluded enough and surrounded by heavy cover that it might even keep the poachers away.

Brownie gets real serious about some birds. It's really interesting, you can tell the difference in a false point and the real thing if you can just get a glimpse of his face.

This dog..... good lord.... this dog... I don't even know what to say about this dog. They have given up on an e collar and just decided to go with the Garmin. I have never seen a dog get 300 yards away in 15 secs. Somehow she seems to do it. Great dog, good breeding... just maybe she needs to come equipped with a horse. Sweet as can be though. She's gonna be a great dog when she learns all the tricks.

Absolutely, hands down, the best time of day to be out in Texas. Just beautiful in the late afternoon.

End of the day back at the trucks... Lilly even showed back up eventually ;)

The long road back to town. This is really beautiful country... and despite what folks say, I think I would be willing to drive an hour to get to a steakhouse in order to live there. ;)