I photographed this cover and feature story about recovery after the 2013 Moore tornado for Oklahoma Living in 2014. It was a fairly simple setup and the background was going to be “busy” for a cover photo. One trick to isolate your subject when you have a busy background is to use depth of field to pop the subject from the background. In this case I used one of my favorite lenses to do this – my Nikon 85 1.4 AFS is an awesome piece of glass that does a fantastic job of isolating my subject from this busy construction background. I had to really watch my focus points and make sure my subjects were on the same plane of focus. If one person had been standing even a few inches forward or behind the others this would not have worked. A bit of wind and a bit of light from an off-camera strobe helps give the scene a bit of pop. I brought my own props for the shoot, including the hard hat, saw, shovel, and drill.
Motorcycle Industry Can Help
For the past two days I have been on assignment with an electrical utility client, photographing the extensive damage as well as the recovery efforts and the race to restore electrical power after the devastating tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. As an avid motorcyclist, I couldn’t help but notice the damaged and destroyed bikes under the mountains of rubble. I ran across Gerald Mobley, a US Navy veteran, who was dragging the remains of his bike from beneath the rubble of his home. I struck up a conversation and discovered Gerald had been building his “dream bike” one piece at a time as he could afford the parts. He had always wanted a highly customized Harley of his own, and set about building it in his spare time and with spare cash in his garage. The devastating EF5 tornado put an abrupt end to his plans. And since the bike was not complete, Gerald’s insurance most likely won’t pick up the tab to repair the bike.
While chatting with Gerald, the gears in the back of my mind were turning like the valve train on a Honda RC166 six cylinder race bike. I knew about my friend and customer Dar Holdsworth, owner of Darwin Motorcycles. He runs a program called “Recycle for the Troops” where his company takes an old donated worn out motorcycle and rebuilds it to better than new condition, then donates the bike to a needy veteran. He has also done a program with Pros For Vets and Toby Keith, where they build a highly customized V-Twin motorcycle and donate it for veteran charities. Dar’s company also builds commercially available bikes, but one of his passions is helping military veterans in need.
So I contacted Dar and spoke with him about the project. He and his company had been eager to help, but like many people, didn’t know how they could help. Dar jumped at the opportunity.
Of course, bike parts and services such as custom painting, wheels, tires and other items are not free, and after the down economy, Dar wasn’t able to afford the entire cost of the build. I suggested to him that the motorcycle community and industry would jump at the chance to help out and make a difference and put a smile on at least one person’s face after a devastating loss.
How about it? Anyone in the motorcycle industry willing to help out withe services, parts, equipment, expertise, or cash? If so, drop an email to Dar Holdsworth at firstname.lastname@example.org 405-270-0995