This time last year I was taking pictures in the freezing cold of the Oklahoma panhandle near Guymon. I was working on a project for Tri-County Electric Coop in Hooker, Oklahoma. Each morning I got up well before daylight and went on location around their service area and grabbed some photos of the sunrise, then spent the day around their offices grabbing some photos, then back out at sunset to capture some evening photos. Some of the photos included lineman, some didn’t. Here are a few pictures from that assignment. These were all shot with my Nikon D3s using a variety of lenses. Temperatures were typically below freezing so I had to keep my cameras inside my room at night, but then have to be careful with lens fogging when out taking photos. To help with this I would let the camera cool a bit in the back of my FJ Cruiser while on the way to the location, while keeping my battery warm in the front.
My good friend and awesome writer Bill Dragoo talked me into riding the Oklahoma Adventure Trail in late July, 2014 – right in the heat of the summer. We spent 11 days riding dual sport motorcycles along dirt and gravel roads all around the perimeter of Oklahoma. Bill wrote a story for our client Roadrunner Magazine, a national publication that focuses on motorcycle touring stories. They ended up running the story with my pictures across 12 pages of the magazine, including the cover. I always enjoy working with Bill and the crew at Roadrunner.
A couple of summers ago I photographed several state parks for the Oklahoma Department of Tourism. They are still using those images in various advertisements – this one appeared recently in Oklahoma Today. The primary picture I shot at Lake Murray and I also shot the smaller golfing picture. That was a fun assignment with lots of hard work!
I spent fall of 2014 and much of 2015 photographing the Oklahoma high school debate circuit for Oklahoma Today magazine. After completing the assignment I felt it was one of my most challenging assignments to date. I traveled to several venues for the story, including the Oklahoma High School Debate State Championships at the University of Oklahoma. (And missed an annual Eureka Springs dirt bike ride with my wife, family and friends!) The debates were always interesting but challenging to schedule and depict graphically. I was very happy when the story came out and everything looked fantastic, thanks to the great job of my editors, the writer Brian Ted Jones, and the graphic design folks at Oklahoma Today.
Last night I was honored to win several awards for both my photography and writing at the 2015 OKIE awards presented by Oklahoma Living Magazine. It is a pleasure to work with their staff and the other freelancers that make up the publication, not to mention the employees and members of electrical cooperatives from across Oklahoma.
First up, I was very pleased with winning first place for my writing – “A Day in the Life of a Linemen“. I spent a day working with Northfork Electric Cooperative in Sayre, Oklahoma and wrote about the work these hardy linemen do during a typical day. I am used to winning awards for my photography and it is nice to add awards for my writing as well.
Best News Feature – Honorable Mention
I wrote and photographed “Skyscrapers of the Prairie” about grain elevators in Oklahoma.
I really enjoyed shooting this photo inside the Lexington Correctional Facility. Hayley Leatherwood was with me and wrote this wonderful story about how prisoners rehabilitate dogs for people outside of prison, and the dogs help to rehabilitate the prisoners.
Best Photo – Honorable Mention
I shot this photo while working on my “Day in the Life of a Lineman” story in Sayre.