Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Taking the Canon G10 Underwater

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.

Pat Shannahan

Ramadan Class

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.\

Pat Shannahan


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.

Pat Shannahan

Friday, August 7, 2009

Havasupai Waterfalls, a Year After the Flash Flood of 2008.

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.

Pat Shannahan