Sunday, June 26, 2011

2011 Country Stampede

     Tuttle Creek State Park was packed with country music fans this past weekend for the 2011 Country Stampede. Below are a few photos I made while I was there.

Country Stampede romance.
Country music trio, Lady Antebellum.
Country music singer, Joe Nichols.
Cowboy hat shopping.
Couldn't resist.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lightning in Wichita

     I went home to Wichita this past weekend, and on Saturday night the sky was glowing with lightning bolts. I grabbed my camera and tripod and went down to the Keeper of the Plains. At 9 p.m. the giant work of art is surrounded by flames for about 15 minutes. I thought the flames and lightning would produce a fun photograph. Afterward, I went to Old Town and climbed onto a parking garage to get a view of an area filled with restaurants, bars, live music, and a movie theatre. Below are the results.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Joplin Tornado 2011

     Last week I spent two days (Tuesday and Friday) in Joplin, Missouri, photographing the destruction that was caused by an EF-5 tornado on Sunday, May 22. As I write this, 134 lives have been confirmed as deceased from the tornado. This tornado is the deadliest in the U.S. in more than 60 years. When people ask me what it was like to witness the aftermath, I typically shake my head and remain speechless. For me, it resembles, what I imagine, a violent war zone would look like.
     I was surprised to find how many of the survivors were willing to speak to me and other press about their experience. For me, as I am sure it is for the majority of journalist, the goal is to never exploit the people that have been put in these situations, but to tell and show the honest story and emotion that exist.
     In 2007, I traveled to Greensburg, KS to photograph the devastation of a tornado that destroyed that town. I have since been back to Greensburg to see the rebuilding process, and how the community is proving that life can continue after such a disastrous event.
     I hope that everyone in Joplin, Tuscaloosa, AL, and every other place that has been affected throughout this horrible tornado season will prevail as Greensburg has.

Joplin citizens and volunteers begin to sort through the rubble.
Danny Gideon sits on his porch with his dogs two days after an EF-5 tornado ravaged the city of Joplin, MO. Gideon rushed to find his 77-year-old mother 45 minutes after the tornado hit. After finding his mother in the rumble of the retirement home she was living in, she passed away eight hours later in triage. During all of the chaos, Gideon said, "She wasn't scared." 
Rebuilding is well underway only a few days after the tornado.
St. John's medical center.

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Wichita, KS, United States
The Trial of Miles; Miles of Trials