Sunday Skies

I had meant to spend the better part of the day just landscaping, but the weather did not want to cooperate. The intermittent rain made mowing difficult, but the clouds were breathtaking. I found myself pulling over to take photos as I was driving around for my errands. As always, the best place to get good sky panoramas is the Kent State airport.

The College Fest That Never Was

DSC_0070

Both the city and the university police were out in force to keep the partying under control, but were left with little to do.

I do believe that I have some sort of curse when it comes to Kent State’s annual College Fest. My freshman year, I skipped the drunken festivities for a more laid back gathering with some friends. I only found out later that I had missed photographing a full-on riot complete with couch burning in the streets. So, sophomore and junior year, I spent all night wandering the roads of Kent for fear of missing another such event, only to be disappointed by routine college debauchery. Senior year came around, and I was bedridden with a particularly nasty flu virus. When I checked my Facebook, it was populated almost entirely with posts and photos about a student body being tear-gassed by local police. My friend, Phil, took a photo of the event that was nationally syndicated.

This year, I wandered the more party-centric areas of Kent for hours, only to see a Kent that was almost barren. Nothing. Not even a game of beer pong. Imagine my shame at the university that seems to prioritize academia over destroying the town.

Now, for the sake of link-bait, I give you a bonus flower gallery:

‘Lost in Oscar Hotel’ Book Signing

As I stated in a previous post, Lost in Oscar Hotel has officially been released! For those of you who don’t know, Lost in Oscar Hotel is a book on Ohio aviation I collaborated with some classmates and professors with over the past two years.
I and all of the rest of the collaborators got together for a book signing at the university bookstore. It was fantastic to see everyone together again, talk shop, sign each other’s books, and talk everyone who came out to support us.  Joe, Gary, Phil, and Laura are some of the most talented people I know, so go follow those links to see the rest of their work.

If you’re interested in Lost in Oscar Hotel, you can find it over on Amazon. We only have two reviews so far, but I would love to see more. I normally write book reviews, but I think reviewing this one would create a slight conflict of interests. So, if any of you think you have a solid, well written review, send it off to me, I’d love to see it.

Working on this book has been nothing but fantastic from start to finish, and I can’t express how fortunate I am to have had the opportunity. Now, I just want to start work on the next one.

Lost in Oscar Hotel is Out!

Hey­­ everyone. If you follow the site, you’ve probably seen me post work I’ve done for the book Lost in Oscar Hotel. I’m excited to announce that the book is now out in both hardback and digital formats on Amazon.com.  We’re also running a giveaway to win a copy over on the Lost in Oscar Hotel Goodreads page.

index

For those of you who may not know Lost in Oscar Hotel is a book on aviation in Ohio, and is a collaborative effort of a group of students and professors, spear-headed Kent State Professor Gordon Murray (check out the project’s main site here http://www.lostinoscarhotel.com/ ). The book primarily follows Murray and his fellow Cub Cadet pilot, Ron Siwik, as the two attempt, “The first, longest, slowest and most peculiar flight to Wright Brothers Airport ever made,” landing at an airport in every county in Ohio, culminating at the historic Wright Brothers Field. Murray writes,  “For nine days, from sunrise to sunset, we flew. We spent 36 hours and six minutes in the air, tracing a 1,809 nautical mile route over Ohio’s countryside at a thousand feet above the treetops. Sometimes, we would fly low and slow enough to shout a greeting to farmers waving at us from the fields below. For a short while Ron and I, along with photographer Gary Harwood, brother Mike, old Tom and a handful of family, friends and students, all unwittingly became Ohio’s good will ambassadors of flight—honoring the legacy of the Wrights in the Birthplace of Aviation. We were good enough.”

While Murray and Siwik were in the air, the rest of us were covering the state, exploring Ohio’s living legacy of flight through the men and women who have devoted much of their lives to the ideals of freedom and adventure that inspire flight. I saw planes passed down through generations, teams of people who gave literal hundreds of hours to restore classic aircraft, and the fraternities of pilots united through the singular experience of flight.

If you live anywhere near Kent, Ohio, come out to the Kent State University book store to meet me and all of my fellow collaborators for a signing Wednesday, April 9th  from 12pm-2pm. They’re all fantastic photographers and writers, and I was so lucky to get a chance to work with them. We all put a ton of work into this labor of love, and I can’t wait to see where Lost in Oscar Hotel takes me now that it’s been published.

 

 

An Open Apology to Westboro Baptist

Last week I wrote a piece about the Westboro Baptist Church’s “picket” at Kent State. If you missed it, Kent State University suspended a wrestler Sam Wheeler after he made some highly derogatory, anti-gay tweets, WBC threatened to protest, never showed, but Photoshopped themselves into a photo at Kent State, and claimed they were there. A few hours after I posted my piece covering the whole thing, I received this message from Westboro Baptist’s Timothy Phelps in response to said piece.

Screenshot 2014-02-22 16

At first, I dismissed the comment as the WBC blowing hot air. That is until I followed Phelps’ link to his site, GodHatesTheWorld.com. I browsed a bit, and was blown away when I saw these photos from his site.

 

And so, I would like to formally apologize to the Westboro Baptist Church. Given the amount of time all this globe-trotting must take, it’s completely reasonable that the WBC wouldn’t have the time to come to the Kent Campus in person. After all, traveling to countries as diverse as Madagascar, Bangladesh, and Tanzania, and posing for stock-quality photos, must leave them so spread out and funds too low to travel to a lowly campus, no matter how much of a “bully” that school may be.

That being said, I do need to offer a small correction to this image, which was Tweeted at me.  

BhIekQ8CAAAC6Ek

See, this monster here in this image is, in fact, Godzilla. Fagzilla was a creature from Nigel Crumpington’s series of anti-smoking films released in the United Kingdom back in the 80s (see below). It’s an easy mistake given that both have purple spiky bits.big-ben fagzilla

As far as the rest of the image is concerned, we can’t let that setup go without some sort of resolution. So, I present to you, Godzilla and Sign Face…

Politely discussing their differences over tea and scones.

Tea and Scones

Kent Air Show

I took a few hours to go shoot Kent’s annual air show for Lost in Oscar Hotel this weekend. Don’t forget to scroll over the photos; some have captions. Fun fact; I listened to Kenny Loggin’s Danger Zone on repeat while editing this shoot.

Fashion Week-Friday

Here we go, Fashion Week, round two! If you haven’t seen part one, go get caught up.Seriously, if you haven’t seen that one, the plot’s not going to make any sense, and the big reveal just won’t have the same impact.

As much fun as these are, they’re going to be the death of me. It’s five hours of shooting, then another few hours of solid editing through hundreds of photos. Still, I think the results are worth it. What do you think?