Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
On Saturday I photographed people getting their seasonal flu and H1N1 flu shots. This family of five got everyone vaccinated. What drew me to them was their son sleeping in the cart next to them. He was knocked out till it was his turn to get vaccinated. I was surprised to see that it was a three hour wait to get a shot.
Friday, October 23, 2009
What I love about 360-degree VR photography is that it lets you put people in places they might not otherwise experience. This week I did a panoramic photo of firefighters practicing taking a whole side of a car off with the Jaws of Life. They gave me a set of turnouts and a helmet to keep the shattered glass on the seat from cutting me. I wanted to shoot it from inside of the car because of the interesting point of view it provided. This was a really hard pano to stitch because I had to shoot it using a monopod rather than I tripod. Keeping the camera in one place was hard wit them pulling and moving the car. Also, this was shot while they were doing their drill. They are not posing.
Monday, October 19, 2009
San Diego Coast - Images by Pat Shannahan
I have always wanted to try making some long exposures at the ocean. On a recent trip to La Jolla and Coronado I had time to give it a try. The first frame is a 4 minute exposure made in La Jolla, CA, shortly after the sun went behind the horizon. The long exposure allows the waves to turn to a surreal myst. The second frame was made on Coronado Island. It's is a 2 minute exposure made shortly before the sun came up. All of the black and white photographs were shot using a Mamiya C330 medium format camera. The color image was shot on a Holga.
There is just something about a camera with a plastic lens. These images were made with my plastic Holga camera and some Kodak 160 VC film. I really love the dreamy feeling a Holga can give an image. It makes photos that look like memories, a little fuzzy around the edges. These images were made up in the Arizona White Mountains. My Holga and my Mamiya C330 are becoming my favorite cameras for landscape photography. I really like the medium format negative the produce, and sometimes it just nice to use a fixed lens on a film camera. Having to wait to see the results is added fun.
Friday, September 11, 2009
For a while I have wanted to make a portrait of my wife's grandfather. Over the weekend I was able to the make this portrait of him with my Mamiya C330. I could tell he wasn't too sure about having his picture made. After four frames he was done. He's really in interesting man. Throughout his life he's worked in the boiler room of an aircraft carrier, raised bees, been a truck driver, and organized unions. I always find his stories interesting because each time he tells one, he adds new layers of detail.
Friday, September 4, 2009
AZ Wine Country - Images by Pat Shannahan
These are my favorite pictures I made for a recent story about Arizona's wine country. We went to vineyards in Arizona's Verde Valley as well as vineyards in Sonoita to the south. For me, the most interesting part of working on this story was meeting the wine makers and seeing the work that goes into making wine. In Sonoita, we walked through Todd Bostock's vineyards at sunset sipping Dos Cabezas wine made from the grapes that surrounded us. In the morning we photographed Dick Erath walking though his vineyard outside Wilcox as workers harvested grapes. He started the wine industry in Oregon and is bypassing retirement to experiment with making wine in Arizona. In Jerome we hung out with musician Maynard James Keenan of Tool in his Caduceus Cellar. He is teaming up with Erik Glomski of Page Springs Vineyards to make Arizona Stonghold wine. These photos will be part of a AZ Mag edition dedicated to Arizona's WIne Country. We are also planning on creating a wine page for the travel section of AZCentral.com.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Swimming - Images by Pat Shannahan
In an effort to try something new, I borrowed a coworkers Canon G10 and underwater housing to shoot photos for a story about the Chaparall High School girls swim team. In the past, I have shot underwater photos with a Nikonos underwater film camera where you have to focus using the distance scale. The underwater housing allowed me to compose the picture and follow focus using the screen on the back of the camera. The buttons on the housing allowed me to easily turn the flash on and off when I needed it. The waterproof houseing I used was the Canon WP-DC28. I went into the assignment planning on shooting everything RAW. I figured out after the fact that the camera was set to Large JPG. I was surprised at the quality. Not bad for 400 ISO on a point and shoot.
I made this picture while photographing a class at the Phoenix Metro Islamic School, in Tempe, Ariz. The kids were learning about the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The boy in the picture kept teasing and playing around with the girl sitting behind him. She on the other hand, was not pleased with his silliness. I thought it was a fun, playful moment.\
Doctors at the Sun Health Research institute are finishing up a study looking at longevity and what things people who live long healthy lives have in common. Recently I had the chance to photograph several patients participating in the study. I photographed 92-year-old Doug Morrill as he did his daily weight lifting exercises and 106-year-old Catherine Mehan. The common factors the study found that led to healthy lives are: good diet and exercise, active social networks, ability to overcome hardships, and religious beliefs.
Click here to read the story in The Arizona Republic.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Havasupai Falls - Images by Pat Shannahan
They almost don't look real. The shades of aqua blue and green look like they belong more in a swanky resort pool than in the Grand Canyon. One resident of the Supai village told the reporter I was with, that tourists have asked about what time of day they turn off the waterfalls. You can hardly blame them, but this is all Mother Nature. Disney couldn't do a better job.
I backpacked into Havasupai with Arizona Republic reporter Dennis Wagner to work on a story about the condition of the area a year after a major flash flood in August 2008 forced more than 400 people to evacuate. The tribe closed the area until June 2009 to repair the damage to the trails, bridges, cemetery and campground. The flood rerouted Havasu Creek away from Navajo Falls, leaving it dry. It made Fifty-Foot Falls bigger and created a new waterfall that is temporarily called Rock Falls. Water now only flows from one of the channels in Havasu Falls. Mooney Falls, which is taller than Niagra Falls, now has a larger swimming area.
In addition to still images, I also shot some 360-degree interactive panoramic images that you can see on AZCentral.com.
So you can get an idea of the power of one of these flash floods, I included a video I found on YouTube of Havasu Fall shot during the flash flood by AOA Adventure Tour Company guide Jon Opem.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Earp and Holliday Mustache and Beard Contest - Images by Pat Shannahan
It was a proud day for facial hair. Men young and old came from all over The Valley to show off their chops, soup strainers, and Wyatt Earps in the Earp-Holliday Mustache Contest at the Goldfield Ghost Town in Apache Junction. The contest was part of AJ's celebration for National Day of the Cowboy. What a collection of characters. I set up a white background and lights and tried to make portraits of all the contestants. Everyone had their own style. Some were dressed in costumes, others came as themselves. This was so much fun to shoot. I tried to capture a bit of their personality, as well as the detail and texture in their faces and mustaches. Who would you have picked as the winner?
Troop Deployment - Images by Pat Shannahan
On Thursday I photographed the Phoenix-based 3666th Support Maintenance Company as they deployed to Iraq. I grew up an Army kid. While my dad never had to deploy to war, I do remember what it was like for him to leave for weeks at a time to go on maneuvers. On this assignment I tried to concentrate on capturing moments of families saying goodbye.
CLICK HERE TO SEE A SET OF 360 DEGREE INTERACTIVE PHOTOS FROM GLEN CANYON
The Colorado Rive is well known for it's white water rapids and rafting trips that can take several weeks to finish. Most people don't know that there is a place near the Grand Canyon where the Colorado River runs smooth and calm through towering canyons, and you don't need a permit to enjoy it. Just north of Lees Ferry, where the Colorado River rafting trips through the Grand Canyon start, is Glen Canyon. For $40, Colorado River Discoveries will take you and your kayak up-river from Lees Ferry to the Glen Canyon Dam. From the dam it's a 14-mile trip back to Lees Ferry. The trip can be done as a day trip or as an over night camping trip. My friend Chris and I decided to take our time and camp at one of the six camping spots. Each campsite has a bathroom and fire ring. We stayed at a spot that was on the south side of Horseshoe Bend, which we had seen the previous day from the top of the cliffs. In the morning, the calm water reflected the cliff walls making it feel as if I was gliding on top of a mirror. It was several hours before we encountered any other people. One of the thing I like about this trip was that we had the place pretty much to ourselves. Other than the occasional tour or fishing boat we didn't run across many other people. The roughest water we experienced was the wake from passing boats.
For more information about activities at Glen Canyon click here.
Friday, July 10, 2009
On Wednesday I had the pleasure of photographing and exploring one of Phoenix's most interesting and mysterious buildings, the Tovrea Castle. Most people from The Valley know it as the house shaped like a wedding cake near the 202. The castle has recently be renovated by the City of Phoenix, part of their plan to open it up to the public. Over the past several months I have been playing with taking 360 degree photos. I decided that this would be a great opportunity to take people inside, before it is open to the public, and allow them to look around. The link below will take you to 5 interactive panoramic images. The tour starts outside the house and then take you from the basement up. The highlights are the basement and the top floor. The basement features tunnels that lead off to the surrounding garden, a textured ceiling, and a walk-in vault. The top floor is surrounded by windows and has a great view of the Phoenix Valley.
We will have a story soon in the paper about when it will be open to the public. When the story is online, I'll update this post with a link.
CLICK HERE TO SEE PANORAMIC IMAGES
Sunday, June 28, 2009
400-lb Heart - Images by Pat Shannahan
These images are from a photo story I am working on about Charles Okeke. In the fall, doctors removed his ailing heart and replaced it with a Total Artificial Heart. The new heart is powerd by a 400-lb driver that must go everywhere with him. For the past 340+ days he has been trapped in the hospital waiting for a heart transplant or for modern medicine to find an answer. There is hope that the company that makes the heart he currently has will get permission from the FDA to try out a new artificial heart system that weighs 12 lbs. If he is able to get that he will be able to leave the hospital and live at home with his wife and three children.
To read our story in The Arizona Republic click here.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Yesterday I photographed the the sentencing of Salvador Vivas-Diaz for the manslaughter death of Phoenix Police officer Shane Figueroa. Vivas-Diaz crossed the middle line and crashed into Figueroa as the officer was responding to a call. his blood-alcohol level was 0.24, three times the legal limit in Arizona. The judge sentenced him to 16 year which was the max for this case. Over 40 uniformed police officers filled the courtroom. I made this image of officers reacting as the prosecution showed imags from the crash and from officer Figueroa's life on large monitor in the courtroom.
Shooting in court is always a challenge. Normally you are positioned in the back of the courtroom. Everyone talking is facing away from you. Photographers are also required to put their cameras inside a cloth blimp to dampen the sound of the shutter and to put there camera on a tripod which make it physically awkward to shoot. Courtrooms are always dark which makes it a challenge to make pictures without movement. I like this picture because I think it shows the emotion that the officers had in the courtroom that day.
To read the story on AZCentral click here.
I love it when I stumble upon an unexpected photo. Sometimes photography is like that, you're walking down the street and then you see something that makes you slam your heels into the ground and stop. I was in Tempe on a hot afternoon working on a story about parking. Due to the paper's time scheduling/deadlines they needed me to find something during the brightest, nastiest-light time of day. When I saw this it immediately made me smile.
I was flattered to see that some of the Reynolds Institute teachers wrote about me in their blog. You can see it here. Thanks Reynolds Institute.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
A Woman's Work - Images by Pat Shannahan
I recently had the opportunity to photograph Arizona rancher Maryann Pratt working on her ranch in a rural valley near Payson. Maryann ranches her piece of land all by herself. There is no calling in sick, no procrastination, and no one around to pass the buck. If something breaks, she has to fix it. If cattle need to be moved, she has to move them. Like a modern Zane Grey character, she lives off the grid. Solar panels power her home. A generator supplies water from her well. Satellite internet keeps her in touch with the rest of the world. She also grows much of her own food. It's refreshing to know there are still people like Maryann providing for themselves off the land and living the old west lifestyle in the new west.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Polaroids - Images by Pat Shannahan
I was inspired by several recent news stories to put together a collection of my favorite images made with my Polaroid SX-70. The great thing about the SX-70 is that is shoots TIme Zero film. The film's emulsion remains soft for a few minutes after the images is made. You can use a dull tipped object, such as a burnishing tool, to move the emulsion around under the plastic cover. The results can look like an painting. All of these images are just scans of the polaroid. No Photoshop filters. Sadly, Polaroid does not make this film anymore and the art of the SX-70 is slipping away. The NY Times has a gallery of reader images shot with polaroid cameras on their Lens photo blog. It's well worth checking out.
NPR has a nice story, with photos, about an exhibit of polaroids at the New York Photo Festival. It shows the work of 14 European photographers who used polaroid instant films.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
From Grunt to Graduate - Images by Pat Shannahan
I spent the week photographing Arizona Project Challenge cadet Michael Jensen during his final days in a 22-week long program from high school drop outs run by the Arizona National Guard. On Friday he became the first Arizona Project Challenge cadet to graduate high school through a new online program through Sequoia Choice Arizona Distance Learning. Only arounf 60 percent of the cadets finish the program.
Click here to see the story in The Arizona Republic.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Catalina Holga - Images by Pat Shannahan
I spent last weekend camping with friends at the Little Harbor campground on Catalina Island. It was a perfect weekend in every way. I took my point and shoot to make the necessary happy snaps and my Holga to try something different. The above images were all made with my Holga. My favorite is the first image of the wave breaking against the rock. When I see it, my shoulders relax and I can smell the sea air.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Please take some time to check out my new web site at www.patshannahan.com. My friend Dan Kempton recently built it for me. We're still fine tuning it, so any feedback would be great. If you want to go right to the panoramic VR photography you can go to www.stepintoaz.com. The website hosts my photojournalism portfolio, documentary work along the U.S. /Mexico Border, a galley of interactive panoramic images, videos, and portraits.
Thanks for the feedback.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Cabeza Prieta - Images by Pat Shannahan
I have been meaning to post this for a while. I made these images while backpacking on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge for a travel story. What struck me most about the area is how rugged and dry it is. The conditions pose a challenge even to the most prepared. Evidence of the challenge can be seen among the fallen Saguaro cactus, laying on the ground with outstretched arms like chalkings at a crime scene. This part of the desert really is unforgiving. For an overnight backpacking trip we had to take 2 gallons of water each. During the day the sun washed out all the color but as the sun set, the colors really came alive.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
CLICK HERE TO SEE 360-DEGREE INTERACTIVE PHOTO
The world may be ever changing, but the fair stays the same. The animals, rides and fried food bring on a sense of nostalgia. I get sent by The Republic to shoot the county fair each year. This year, I decided to try something different. I prefer to shoot it at night. If you drop the shutter speed down in your camera, you can pick up the twirling and swirling of the rides, and the fair takes on a surreal, dreamy quality. The link above will take you to AZCentral.com - The Arizona Republic's website - where you will see the full interactive photo. The image is made up of 6 photos stitched together. Each photo is taken during a 10 second exposure, which is how I picked up the movement of the rides.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Today I photographed the opening of Phoenix's new Downtown Civic Space Park. The main feature of the park is a big sculpture of hanging nets titled "Her Secret is Patience". You are welcome to make your own decisions about the art. This was our first chance to make images of the new artwork with people around it. The first photo shows the sculpture with the Valley Ho in the background. The Ho is a well known old feature in downtown Phoenix that at one time was a hotel that presidents stayed while visiting AZ. The other shows the park with people.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
CLICK HERE TO VIEW INTERACTIVE 360-PHOTO
I did a pano last night as the Dbacks lost to the Dodgers. I wanted to do a photog's view from the field. I plan on doing more at Chase FIeld. Maybe I'll do one this summer from the pool out in right field.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I spent the morning with two biologists with the Arizona Game and Fish Department as they tagged, weighed and measured two baby bald eagles near the Rio Verde River. It was amazing to see the size of the nest.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
CLICK HERE TO SEE INTERACTIVE PANO
Last night I tried doing panos from the pit at the Tempe Music Festival. The two main acts were Kid Rock and Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. It ended up being harder than I thought. Concerts have a lot of changing variables such as lighting and tons of movement. I wasn't abel to get a full 360 degree pano, but I was able to put together about 280 degrees of viewing. These were all shot on a monopod with a 8mm lens.
Friday, April 3, 2009
On Tuesday, I was able to hike the new Tom's Thumb Trail in the McDowell Mountains. The trail is part of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. A team of trail builders spent 6 months working on this trail, camping out at the base of the mountain. It's a good hike. It will get your heart pumping. The first pano is taken from about half way up. The second pano shows the view from next to Tom's Thumb.
Click Here to View 360-degree Interactive Photo
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
UPDATE----- I just added a new view to the border fence pano project. This one is from Nogales, Sonora.
CLICK HERE to take you to a 360-degree interactive view of several parts of the fence along the Arizona/ Mexico border. I just updated it with full-screen buttons to make it more interesting. These were taken from several spots in the desert around Naco and Douglas, Arizona. There is a lot of talk about the border fence but many people don't know what it actually looks like. Here it is.
I've really been getting into panorama photography. It's an excellent way of communicating a sense of place. For those interested in learning more about pano vr photography, I have complied a list of my favorite pano links.
VRMag is a collection of free online issues full of wonderful panoramas. This is a great place to get info and inspiration.
The Panoramist is a blog by photojournalist Gary O'Brien of The Charlotte Observer. He has a lot of great links and useful information on equipment and software. Gary was nice enough to spend an evening with a co-worker and I pointing us in the right direction on how to use the software and shooting techniques.
I'm really inspired by the panorama work of Bernd Dohrmann. His Starry Night pano is simply beautiful. It's shot at dawn and he has drawn in all of the constelations. has connected all of the constellations together. His site has a great collection of panos that really put you in the middle of the action. Worth viewing.
Panoguide is a great how-to site. The regulars in their forums are helpful and quick to answer questions.
Photojournalist Zach Wise has an interesting pano shot of the neon boneyard in Las Vegas. He also has a good intro to panoramas and list of links.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Last night I was assigned to cover a war protest in Tempe. The protest was held on top of a bridge on ASU's Tempe campus that stretches over University Drive. I haven't done a pano in a while so I figured it might be a good chance to do one with people in it. Click here to check it out.