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.