it would be an understatement to say that I've gotten to do some things that I never thought I'd be able to do thanks to my job. Superbowl. World Series. Indy 500. Triple Crown. Summer Olympics. Great Wall of China. US Open Tennis. PGA Golf. I've had a chance to shoot them all because of my job. This past week I was able to take part in a special workshop on Ellis Island in conjunction with Nikon School and Save Ellis Island. That would be pretty cool to begin with but that was just a small part of what was cool for me. I got to do it with my photographic hero - Joe McNally.
I didn't go to school for this. I wasn't schooled in fine art or in the "famous" photographers that paved the way. I'm self-admittedly a guy that got better when digital gave me the freedom to take chances that I never could with film. I figured out a lot on my own. I listened. I looked. I tried. Failed. Tried. Failed. Failed. Tried some more. But if there was one person that I saw that made me say "Holy Cow!" (i probably used different language than that) and opened my eyes up to the possibilities of what I could do with small flash it was Joe. I toured with him for a week at my old job with B&H Marketing while he was working with Kelby Training. I ran into him other times. He was the only photographer I've ever paid to go see. I never walked away not learning something. Finding out I was going to help out on the Ellis Island workshop and that it was Joe... lets just say in a multi month down time it was a high point.
Melissa D and Carrissa M did an amazing job with the logistics of the event including the decision to bring me along and for doing all the hard work. For me I basically had to pick things up and put them down and do what I love - chat with photographers...give a few pointers and answer a few questions and I even got to shoot a few images that I am going to share now.
All images here were shot with the Nikon D500 and the 16-80 2.8-4 lens. I shot handheld the entire day. I chose this combination because I was teaching/helping/assisting and not really on a shoot and because I wanted to share images via the snapbridge app that moves the images from my camera to my phone so that i can share them immediately. Shooting with a large raw plus a small jpg the files moved easily from the SLR to Iphone giving me the kinds of images to share on my instagram (for those that want to stalk me a bit) that i could not get with any phone. The students were amazing and the staff at the Island were patient, knowledgable, and did I mention patient.