Sunday, December 2, 2012


     It was a NFC North Division rivalry game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Sunday as the Green Bay Packers hosted the Minnesota Vikings.
    The Packers were coming into the contest after suffering a 38-10 loss at the hands of the New York Giants the week prior and came out Sunday moving quickly against the Vikings -- with a lot of short, dump off passes to move down the field.
     There was plenty of action on the field with big plays from receivers James Jones, Greg Jennings and Randall Cobb and tight end Jermichael Finley and also on the other side of the ball with running back Adrian Peterson.
     Unfortunately, it was an off day for me. I usually have one of those a season where it seems like everything happens on the opposite side as me or I just didn't happen to get the big play. Don't get me wrong, I got some nice images, but I didn't get that one, key to the whole game, type of photo today.
     My favorite photograph from the game came in the first quarter when WR Jones dove for a touchdown and reached across the goal line hitting the pylon for the score. Bad part was the touchdown was called back on a holding call against the Packers.
    I've gotten quite a few nice images of Jones making big-time catches this year and have two more games to go yet. Should be fun to see what else that talented athlete can do.
    The other favorite photo for me came in the second quarter when a pass intended for Greg Jennings was intercepted by the Vikings. I love Jennings' reaction as the ball is getting intercepted.
     The Packers have just two home games left -- against the Detroit Lions and the Tennessee Titans. Lets home this slump of mine is just for one game.

Packers receiver James Jones reaches for a touchdown in the first quarter. The TD was called back because of a holding call against the Packers.

Packers safety Morgan Burnett celebrates after intercepting a pass against the Vikings.

A pass intended for Green Bay Packers receiver Greg Jennings is intercepted in the second quarter.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


"I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music." -- Billy Joel     
     While my favorite music to listen to is country music -- the modern stuff, not the oldies -- I still enjoy breaking away from that and hearing different forms of music -- pop/rock, jazz, rap and even orchestra music.
     This past weekend I got the chance to take in some great sounds by a very talented Shawano Community High School orchestra band as they hosted the annual Golden Strings concert at the high school on Friday and Saturday evenings.
     The Golden Strings concert is the first concert of the school year for the high school's orchestra and Shawano's orchestra -- in my opinion -- is one of the best I've ever heard. The different sounds each instrument makes is just awesome and the students are very talented at what they do, you can tell that they've been working at it for a number of years. Actually, students can join orchestra in sixth-grade in Shawano.
     The theme for this year was "music from around the world" and began with the different national anthems for each country and then went into some popular music from around the globe. It's amazing how different the sounds are in different parts of the world.
     I also enjoy covering the event because of the different view points I can take while photographing the concert -- from the floor with the audience, from the stage and behind the scenes. The concert also allows me to be a little more creative than other assignments I usually get. You have all the shapes of the instruments, the shadows they cast with the stage lighting, student's reactions as they play and the crowd reactions too.
     This time I wanted to try shooting it and editing in black and white. Here are the results.

Friday, October 26, 2012


     There are some weeks where you have awesome events or subjects to write about and to photograph. This week has been one of those and it all began on Monday.
     The week started off with me heading to Doc's Harley-Davidson, located along Highway 29 just outside of Bonduel, to do a story on Steve "Doc" Hopkins bringing his motorcycle to Germany for an auto show.
     Now, this isn't any normal motorcycle. This is one he built in 2009 in seven months. The motorcycle in 24-1/2 feet long, has 10 seats and seven different engines, dating back all the way to 1909.
     Hopkins built the bike as a way to show the rolling history of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle. From front to back it has historical images of Harley-Davidson founders and motorcycles they have used.
     Hopkins explained to me how he made the bike, finding the materials for the frame, finding the aircraft tires that help him get the bike going, starting all engines at once and hearing them all going. How the far the motorcycle has gone for shows — to Boston, Indianapolis, Ohio, Iowa and several trips to the Harley-Davidson museum in Milwaukee.
     Hopkins is a great individual to talk to, he knows everything Harley. Following the interview about his upcoming trip to Germany, Hopkins was kind enough to show me around in his store — showing me his new 1908 Indian Twin he just purchased, showing me the racing bike he is working on, showing everything in his "Timeline Saloon" that is made to look like an old-time motorcycle shop.
     After the tour, Hopkins and I made our way to the Timeline Saloon & BBQ restaurant, which is located right next to his motorcycle shop. This is where the 10-seat, 7-engine Timeline motorcycle sits.
    He got a group of his employees together and as they loaded the motorcycle into its trailer for the start of its voyage, I snapped photos.
    It's a pretty neat bike to see, I would encourage anyone — motorcycle lover or not — to check out Doc's motorcycle shop, restaurant and his car museum that is located on the grounds as well.
    Later this week it's a trip to Wisconsin Rapids for the state cross-country meet and then some trick-or-treat photos to wrap up the fun week.
    To read more about the bike and it's upcoming voyage, go to the story by clicking HERE.

Steve "Doc" Hopkins, right, and some of his employees push the Timeline motorcycle into the waiting trailer.

The front of the Timeline Motorcycle starting the the early history of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles.

The F-Head IOE engine is the first on Doc's Timeline Motorcycle. The engine was used from 1909 to 1929 on Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Steve "Doc" Hopkins dusts off the headlines to the Timeline Motorcycle before moving it into a trailer.

Several employees of Doc's Harley-Davidson load up the 10-seat, 7-engine Timeline Motorcycle into a trailer for its voyage to Essen, Germany.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


     It's Sunday night and I'm just unwinding from today's 28-27 Green Bay Packers win over the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field. It was a close game, but the Packers defense held off Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
     It's my second Packers game of the season, but you know what? Second year pro Randall Cobb is fun to take photos of. He's a high-energy, high-emotion player. I have several photos of this young man flying through the air for extra yards, getting his head pulled back around with a face-mask call and more.
     Cobb, who also serves as the team's kickoff and punt returner, always gets the crowd loud when the Packers give him the ball. It seems like the young receiver is also becoming one of Aaron Rodgers' favorite go-to guys.
     It was a much-needed win for the Packers on Sunday, giving them a 2-2 record heading into a 3-game road trip, starting with Indianapolis next week, followed by the Houston Texans. The Saints, however, continue to struggle, falling to 0-4 on the season.
     The Packers had their ups and down, but it looks as though the running game with Cedric Benson is really starting to gain steam.
     Enjoy some photos from the action

Saturday, September 29, 2012


     It's homecoming time in Shawano! Time for the teenagers to pull out the toilet paper, break out those red and black colored clothing and cheer for your team.
     The entire week was filled with student activities -- car smashing, crazy dress-up days, a pep rally, powder puff football game, parade and the big football game.
     The events I covered were the parade, football game and the powder puff football game — all favorites of mine because of the action in each of them.
     Shawano won it's homecoming game, 48-0, defeating Oconto Falls -- the school I graduated from way back in 1999. It was a fun game to be at with the crowd loud in support of its team and with all the vibrant colors around with the red and orange and black, made for some nice images.
     Football game action was pretty good -- Shawano likes to pass a little more than other high school teams, so it's exciting to see that.
     Here are some images from the past few days.
     Tomorrow it's the Packers vs Saints with the UW Marching Band on hand for pregame and halftime.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


     It's that time of the year again -- fall sports have kicked off, the Shawano County Fair is in full swing and school is just a few days away.
     Due to some unfortunate circumstances, I had to shake off some rust and step back into the world of sports this week to cover for a co-worker. Covering high school football, volleyball, soccer, swimming and more -- it's a rush.
     Eleven years ago when I started at The Shawano Leader, sports was my primary duty -- writing and photographing. It was something I truly enjoyed and have, to be honest, missed it a little recently. Last week, my first assignments back in sports included two local football games. The first game, pitted two rivals against each other. It was a good, close game between the Menominee Indian Eagles and the Bowler-Gresham Cats.
     Right after that game, it was the Bonduel Bears hosting the Peshtigo Bulldogs.
     While I love capturing the action and raw emotion of the game at the high school level, it also reminded me of some of the challenges covering the sport -- mainly the lack of good lighting. You see, I try to use as much natural lighting as I can, I've never liked the look of flash on football games. During the night game, I was shooting with 2500 ISO with a shutter speed of about 250, which is fast enough for high school sports. Thankfully Bonduel is one of our better fields for lighting.
     On Tuesday of this week I found myself covering Shawano tennis and Bonduel volleyball. Tennis was perfect because of the great lighting and volleyball wasn't bad either -- nice action. Volleyball was the sport I was the most worried about, having not covered volleyball in over a year.
     This week also marks a busy week news-wise in our area as the county fair kicked off. On Tuesday, I ventured down to the fairgrounds and made a few images of Rainbow Valley Ride employees putting together the rides. Those are some nice images because of the amount of vibrant colors each of the rides have.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


     One of my favorite events to cover all year was today. The Stockbridge-Munsee Pow Wow held near Bowler, Wis. The three-day event usually brings out hundreds of dancers and others to watch the grand entries.
     I've covered this pow wow every year of my 11 years at The Shawano Leader. The only difference for me this year is I brought my wife and my two daughters along with ... it was their first time seeing a pow wow as I thought it would be educational for my daughters. It's a culture they'll learn about in school and I believe seeing it in person is a great experience.
     My daughters were amazed at the wide-array of bright colors present at the pow wow -- neon bright oranges, yellows, reds, pinks, greens filled the arena located on the Stockbridge-Munsee reservation.
     Those bright colors are one of the many reasons I enjoy shooting photos at the event. No where else will you get such vibrant colors and real emotion as the dancers move around the arena and the drum groups bring to life the event.
     It helps when the weather is perfect for photography as well -- no bright sunlight, just enough cloud cover to get rid of nasty shadows.
     Now, when you are covering a pow wow, there a few things you need to know. There are some times during the pow wow where you cannot take photos -- like the Eagle Feather presentation. It's a great honor for a Native American to receive the Eagle Feather and the ceremony itself is something that you have to watch at some point in your life.
     This week it's back to work for me after a week off. Just a few weeks left of summer left and plenty of busy weekends ahead.

A traditional male dancer makes his way around the arena at the Stockbridge-Munsee Pow Wow on Sunday, August 12, 2012. (Photo by Cory Dellenbach)

A traditional female dancer makes her way around the arena. (Photo by Cory Dellenbach)

A young girl dances her way around the arena. (Photo by Cory Dellenbach)

Even though color photos are my favorite, black and white photos, like the one above, are also sharp from pow wows because of the contrast with all the colors. (Photo by Cory Dellenbach)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


     There's never a lack of sports to cover in the Shawano area, no matter what season it is.
     While summer baseball is starting to wind down, Wisconsin's favorite fall sport -- football -- is just kicking up and dirt racing is reaching its climax with the end of that season in sights.
     My first assignment on Wednesday morning as a morning one -- I had to be on the road by 7 a.m. to get to Lambeau Field by 7:30 a.m. to capture images of Green Bay Packers players riding kids' bikes down to training camp practice. This was my first time shooting training camp this year and I'll tell you, it felt good being back.
     Football gets my blood going, it's my favorite sport to take photos of because of the action and the emotion involved in the sport. It can be tricky sometimes too, though. While Lambeau Field is lit very well during Packers' night game, high school stadiums aren't. It's the one time that I'll break out my flash — usually I try to avoid using flash as I like the natural light look much better.
     Training camp on Wednesday brought a few treats along with it, former NFL coach and announcer John Madden, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former Packers general manager Ron Wolf were all in attendance.
    After about two hours at training camp, I was on my way back to Shawano to get started on my pages for Thursday's paper.
    Wednesday night brought along another sports assignment for me ... races at our local race track. It was a special night of racing with dirt track professionals in attendance. These guys run at a much higher speed than the local racers.
     It rained just before the start of the race, but they decided to go ahead with the races, so I decided to have a little fun and try to show the weather and the race in one image. I knelt down in the pits area and got a nice image of a puddle with a race car near it and the reflection of the car in the puddle.
    Overall, it was nice day to be shooting sports. Can't wait for high school football next week!

Green Bay Packers quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers (12) and Graham Harrell (6) at training camp Wednesday.

Green Bay Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop holds out his hand to catch a football during ball handling drills Wednesday.

Former NFL coach and announcer John Madden, left, visits with Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy.

The No. 1 car of Chub Frank sits at its hauler Wednesday at Shawano Speedway just after a storm went through the area.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


     This past weekend was a chance for me to do a little bit more creative photography while I was covering the annual Shawano Fly Out, along with a car show.
     Older cars are fun to take photos of because of the curves and shapes to them ... unlike cars these days that don't look "cool" in photographs.
     You can ask my wife, I've been in the mood to shoot some old car photos all summer and unfortunately this has been the first chance I've been able to do that.
     My favorite image is of a cherry red Chevrolet I took a photo of from the back driver side, looking down the side. The other favorite car image of mine was of a hood ornament in the shape of a swan, I've never seen one like that before.
    There were some fun photos that I was able to capture at the fly out as well, including a dad and his daughter holding hands as they checked out the planes and a group of men pushing an airplane out of its parking spot where two of my favorite images.
    We've just entered the month of August and it is usually our most hectic month when it comes to covering events on the weekends — this weekend we have the Bonduel corn roast on Friday night, followed by the Menominee Nation Contest Pow Wow the rest of the weekend.
    Also this month we have the Stockbridge-Munsee Pow Wow, Work day at the county fairgrounds to get ready for the fair at the end of the month, a Pro/Am motorcycle race in town and you can't forget ... the fall sports season kicks off next week!
     Lots of photos coming up this week.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


     Here I am in the middle of my vacation week and I'm at home relaxing and going through some recent photos.
     Yep, pretty exciting vacation, eh?
     Just before going on vacation, it was pretty crazy with 100-plus degree days, an accident on the Wolf River claimed a rafter's life, parades, water fights and more.
     In the few days where the temperature soared above 100 with high humidity, we knew we needed some photos showing folks cooling off or beating the heat. I learned that one of the youth soccer teams would be having some fun with water balloons after their final game of the season, so I showed up a few minutes before the end of the game and got some nice images of the kids attacking each other.
     We also got kids swimming in the city's wading pool, jumping through sprinklers, resting in the shade under trees and eating ice cream.
     On the Friday before vacation, I decided to venture off to northern Menominee County to see if anyone was rafting down the wild Wolf River. Luckily for me, there was a group there going down the rapids just as I showed up.
     In the weekend before my vacation kicked off, I was assigned to cover Navarino Days. Navarino is a tiny town just outside of Shawano, but the celebration was pretty big. Starting with a parade that lasted about an hour, followed by water fights between kids, Theda Star helicopter landing, bike raffles, face painting and bands playing.
     It turned out to be a pretty good Saturday afternoon taking photos.
     Unfortunately, the day didn't close on a good note. At about 6 p.m. on Saturday, the county's dive team was called out to the Wolf River -- right where I was Friday getting feature photos -- for a report of a woman who went under and never came back up. The dive team found the young woman the next morning.
     Now, it's time for some rest and relaxation.

Friday, June 22, 2012


     Back when I was a kid -- about two decades ago -- summer school wasn't considered to be fun. If you had to go to summer school is was because you had failed a class or needed some extra help in it. Back then the only subjects for summer school were math, science, English pretty much.
     Flash forward to now. After dropping off my own kids at summer school on Friday I decided to stick around for a bit to head into a few classrooms for some photos for The Shawano Leader's weekend edition. I stepped into the office and asked what classes would be good for images.
     Here are the four they gave me — Hogwarts, Messin' with Clay, Tool Time and High C's. First of all, Hogwarts? Really? A class about Harry Potter? Messin' with Clay is just what you imagine it being, a class where you work with clay. Tool time is where you learn how to build bird houses, gumball machines and more and High C's is wall climbing.
     Some other classes offered at summer school this year are football, Go Fish (where you learn about fishing), several cooking classes, card games, how to build robots and several drama and dance classes.
     Why couldn't summer school be like this when I was kid. Now days kids want to go to school in the summer months!
     Overall, I think my best images of the day came from the Messin' with Clay class. It was fun seeing the kids working with the wheels for the first time or seeing them concentrating on the details of their projects.
     My favorite shot was of a young girl putting some details on her hut that she was making. You can tell she's really into it, so I decided to break out the big lens and zoom right in tight on her face and the project she was working on. Turned out pretty nice.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


     If you're in the newspaper business, you know what "wild art" is. It's pretty much when you realize you need a photo for the paper and you have to go out searching for that art for the paper.
     I ran into this on Thursday. An assignment fell through and I had to find art for both page 1 and page 3 of the paper. I took a drive around town at about 2 p.m., but came up with nothing. Frustrated, I drove back to the paper and began putting together some of the news pages.
     At about 4 p.m. I decided I would give it another try. A quick tour around town and my usual "hot spots" for photos didn't turn up much ... nothing really worthy of the paper. Finally, I decided to take a ride around a usual quiet neighborhood in Shawano -- around Kuckuk Park.
      I hit gold on Thursday night by going to Kuckuk Park. First, I ran into some kids who were running through a sprinkler at their grandma's house. It was a pretty warm day out Thursday. I snapped a few frames -- including one of a girl in mid-air going through the sprinkler. Bingo...there was page one.
    Now, it was on to find some page 3 art. I jumped back into my car and make a quick turn around the block and began to drive my the park when I noticed three young men hitting each other — with boxing gloves on — in the middle of the park.
   I pulled in and found out they were training for a kickboxing event coming up in a month. After talking with them a few minutes I made some quick photos of them kicking each other, punching each other and there was my page 3 art.
   Just proves that you shouldn't give up in trying to find a photo. There is always something out there. It's my first time in my 11 years at the paper I've seen kickboxing in a city park!

Monday, June 11, 2012


     It was one of those weekends where it just seemed like everything was going on.
     Saturday kicked off with heading to Wittenberg to shoot some of the Tuff Truck competition at Wittenberg Community Days. Usually this is a pretty good event, trucks flying high, smashing into the ground and vehicle pieces flying off. This year, however, there was a low turnout of drivers -- just four. While it made for a quick assignment, I didn't get what I wanted out of it, but still walked away with a decent photo.
     On my way back to Shawano from Wittenberg -- about 20 minutes -- I decided to turn the scanner on in my car as there was nothing on the radio to listen to. After turning it on, I realized there was something going on near Pulaski, on the other side of the county from where I was. After listening for about five minutes it finally became clear there was a barn fire in that area.
     While driving down the highway I took out the GPS in my glove compartment and got it all set up for the address of where the barn fire was -- not advisable while you are driving to be doing this by the way!
     It took me about 30 minutes to get to the fire where fire engines were running up and down the small country road and first responders were directing the traffic along the highway. Luckily I have a pretty good relationship with the area's emergency responders and they allowed me to drive right up to the scene.
     The barn was a total loss and several animals were killed in the fire.
     After about an hour there capturing photos and getting information for a story, I jumped back in my car and cruised back home to get ready for a ride along with the local police department.
     From about 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. I spent doing a ride along with the police department's K-9 unit for a project I am working on.
     Here are some photos from the weekend. Enjoy!

Friday, June 1, 2012


     Clowns were smiling, tigers roaring and elephants parading around the arena at the Crawford Center in Shawano on Monday, May 28 as the Beja Shrine Circus put on two shows for the community of Shawano.
     The Beja Shrine Circus, produced by the George Carden Circus, drew large crowds for both of the shows Monday with the fan favorite of the show being Bo -- the world's largest circus performing elephant at 12,000 pounds.
     The circus poses some issues when you are covering it for photographs. The lighting is horrible with the house lights turn off and only colored spotlights roaming around the arena. While the lighting isn't perfect for photos, it can also create some neat effects.
     The key to covering the circus was showing up early -- about an hour -- and talking to Nina Carden, a showgirl and manager for the circus. She gave me a great interview and also allowed by all the access I wanted ... which is rare these days at events you are covering.
     The highlight to my day covering the circus was getting outside during the show as the elephant trainers were prepping the four elephants for the show -- spraying them down, getting them costumed up for the rides and the show and just seeing how the circus folks care for the animals. They were treating them very well.
     Elephants are remarkable creatures. They big, but still very gentle on their feet.
     Along with this blog, I've included some of my favorite photos and an audio slideshow I put together following the circus. Enjoy!

Here is a link to my circus slideshow.

Friday, May 25, 2012


      Many of our high school sports went into the postseason this past week and because of so much going on, I was able to get out and shoot a few of those assignments.
      My week kicked off covering a WIAA Division 2 track regional in Oconto where I saw probably some of the best athletes in our area. Several of those athletes went on to do well in sectionals to qualify for state later in the week.
     As I covered the track regional, I decided I would try a motion-blur shot and it turned out pretty good. It's of a Bonduel relay runner taking part in the 3200-meter relay.
     Normally my favorite photos to experiment with at a track meet are the long jump and hurdle events, but the motion-blur photo is probably one of my favorites this season.
     A few days later on Thursday I covered the Shawano softball team as they hosted Marinette in the first game of Division 2 regionals at Martzke Sports Complex in Shawano. The Hawks won the game 10-0 with the middle innings being the best.
     Shawano scored three runs in the third inning and four runs in the fourth. Shawano pitcher Roberta Ponfil wrapped up the game by hitting a 2-run homer in the sixth to win by a 10-run rule.
     There's still plenty of weeks left to the spring sports season as the postseason continues, so here's hoping to more of those assignments.
      Enjoy the weekend!

A Shawano runner steals home plate in the fourth inning of their game May 24 at Martzke Sports Complex in Shawano. Shawano won the game 10-0 and the Shawano runner was safe at home with the Marinette catcher dropping the softball.

A Bonduel track athlete runs the first leg of the girls 3200-meter relay at the WIAA Division 2 track regionals in Oconto on May 21.