Peace Officer Memorial Procession

One part of today’s Peace Officer Memorial commemoration was a parade from the cathedral to the capitol for the conclusion of the day’s ceremonies. It was a special component of today’s event in order to honor former attorney general Wayne Stenehjem, who passed away earlier this year.

I was there with my cameras and caught the procession as it came by. I wasn’t able to stay around for the rest of the ceremony, but this was a special occasion and I wasn’t about to miss it. I’m glad I could share it with you.

My “Brush with Rush”

I really miss Rush Limbaugh…the consummate broadcast professional. Thankfully, when I did get to speak with him, he did pay me a sort of compliment. The rest of my call was unremarkable, actually…but I’ll never forget how it began.

Regardless of how one feels about politics, it’s irrefutable what an amazing broadcaster Rush was or his impact on broadcasting in general. I didn’t listen every day, even though I was a subscriber, but I’ll miss him forever.

In honor of Wayne Stenehjem

It was with a heavy heart that I went out for these photos tonight. The state has suffered a tragic loss with the death of Wayne Stenehjem. The capitol windows were adorned with a blue line and the number 5, in accordance with his license plate number (the governor has 1, lieutenant governor 2, and so on).

I’m certain there are thousands of people like me who have considered Wayne a friend…not a close one, but a friend who I’d greet with a smile every time I saw him, who invited me to take sunset photos from his back yard, who actually inspired me with some of his photos of the capitol. It still doesn’t seem real that he has passed so unexpectedly. When I got to this point I remembered that the last time I took a photo from this angle it was to try to replicate a photo Wayne had posted on his Facebook feed.

It’s fitting that the capitol windows would commemorate such a respected public servant, a guy who loved North Dakota and its citizens. It was Attorney General Stenehjem who asked lawmakers to support the idea in 2017, when it was proposed in Senate Concurrent Resolution 4015.

Since 2006 I’ve been eagerly dashing to the capitol at various times of the year to capture displays in the windows of the tower. I wasn’t so eager tonight. It’s heartbreaking for North Dakota, and Wayne’s family in particular, to lose such a truly great guy. I couldn’t miss it, though..he’s a historic figure and leaves a legacy of integrity and kindness we all should hope to possess. I’ll miss you, Wayne.

Global War On Terror Remembrance Wall

gwot_wall_46136-8The Global War On Terror Wall of Remembrance made its way to Bismarck last weekend, and I was able to take my kids there and give it some context.  One side features terrorist attacks on our country going back over thirty years as well as important points in history along the way.  The other side features names of those who lost their lives due to terrorism or the war against terrorism.

 

gwot_wall_46150-2I thought ND National Guard Adjutant General Al Dohrmann put it best when he said tht every name on this wall was the most important person in the world to someone.  I sat in front of this wall with my kids and did my best to impress that upon them.

 

gwot_wall_pano_0087Click on the image for a MUCH larger version

After a long day at the Touch the Trucks event, and hungry as heck, my kids did a great job of patiently listening to me trying to give context to this traveling monument.  On the way to get our Pizza Burgers Flyin’ Style at Big Boy they asked me about how I remember the attacks of September 11th, 2001, and it was good to share my memories of the day.  I hope they don’t have a similar experience in their lifetimes, although I’m not too sure what the odds are on that.

Find out more about this traveling monument here.

2017 North Dakota Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony

leo_memorial_45669I didn’t actually spend much time photographing the ceremony, but I did attend it this year.  Due to wind and threat of rain, the event was moved to the capitol’s Memorial Hall instead of outside at the monument on the east side of the J-Wing.

I did shoot some video of the rifle volley:

 
The video is in HD if you click through to watch it on YouTube.

This is a somber event, and one that I hope will get a lot more attention now that the community has gone through a major event with law enforcement and pro-LE sentiment seem to be at an all time high. Our community honors our heroes.

One of the rare times when I like that “Painterly” effect

honor_guard_45698-700_painted-(crop)(Click on the image for a larger version)

This weekend I’ll post a couple things from the peace officers’ memorial ceremony on Wednesday, but there’s no time to do so today.  I did want to share this photo, though, because it is one of the few photos I’ve taken that lends itself to a particular effect.

I love HDR (High Dynamic Range” photography, especially with drone footage.  I’m no master, but I hope to improve.  I love the way I can grab details from the lightest and darkest parts of the photo and blend them all together into a “hyper-realistic” final product, and if done with the proper restraint it can be breathtaking while still not entirely artificial looking. Sadly, so many examples of HDR imagery (especially when it first took off) are overblown, oversaturated, pasty conglomerations that reduce the technique to an eyesore.

Not this one.  I wanted a “painted” effect for the Peace Officers’ Association honor guard, and it worked.  I had the right lighting, I had the right subjects (they stood STILL), and it all came together.  I’d love your feedback on this effect.  I’ll post a couple of photos and a video sometime in the near future.

Working all the angles

ww_memorial_37376-8_hdrI recently took my boys to the memorial monument on the east side of the Liberty Memorial bridge.  They read the plaques an wandered around, appreciating both the monument and the nice weather (finally) after so many rainy and/or windy days. I, of course, wanted to do some photo work as I’ve been bouncing off the walls lately.

 

ww_memorial_37383Here’s the view upward as my camera looks straight up the middle with a wide-angle lens.  A little fill, a little circular polarizer, and I have a satisfying bit if white geometry on a vivid blue backdrop, with a trio of flags thrown in for good measure.

 

ww_memorial_dji_0085My favorite angle.  Not only does this show the center “aurora” looking spires, but it also looks like something out of a Picasso painting of an eyeball.

I’ve been trying to revisit some familiar photo sites lately, as well as branch out for some new ones…but this is a b usy time of year for me.  Thankfully I still have a few places in mind that aren’t far out of town.  Then I get to post them here and share!

EOW 2-11-2016

peace_officer_memorial_36388-90_HDRFargo police officer Jason Moszer has passed away due to injuries inflicted by one of the citizens he’s sworn to protect.  Domestic violence calls can be the most unpredictable and volatile situations, and this proved true on the night he was shot. This cowardly act on the part of the shooter was senseless and deprived a community and a family of their hero.  I drove to the capitol yesterday and stopped at the Peace Officer Memorial to ponder for a second.  The thought of another name being added to that wall is infuriating.

There’s a donation campaign underway.  If you want to help out Officer Moszer’s family, please consider going here and donating.  I’ve been on the receiving end of financial help from others when we were going through our family’s avalanche of medical and other issues, and it’s an enormous blessing.  Here’s the link:

https://www.crowdrise.com/fargopoliceofficermoszersfamilybenefit/fundraiser/aaranjoneson

Pray for the family and comrades of Officer Jason Moszer.

In memoriam

gwot_memorial_32255I teach my kids that there are three real superheroes: the preacher, the soldier, and the first responder.  I took a moment to visit the GWOT Memorial last weekend and thought I’d share this image from that visit.  Would have loved to visit the Veteran’s Memorial this weekend as we remember the Pearl Harbor attack, but I’ve been down with a sinus infection thing all weekend.  That’s okay…one can still be thankful from a bed or couch, all dosed up on TheraFlu.

ND Peace Officer Memorial Service

fallen_officers_memorial_24941It’s been long overdue, so I’m posting  few photos I took at the North Dakota Peace Officer Memorial Service back on May 15th.  The memorial is located east of the Judicial Wing of the capitol, and the area is marked off and reserved for this service once a year.

fallen_officers_memorial_25064The honor guard stands by.  Representatives from various law enforcement agencies around the state make up this team.

fallen_officers_memorial_24993As Attorney General, Wayne Stenehjem is the state’s senior law enforcement official.  Here he gives his remarks.  Also speaking were Governor Dalrymple, Chief Justice Vandewalle, Chaplain Dan Sweeney, and Sheriff Pat Heinert.

fallen_officers_memorial_24961
The flags returned to full-staff.

fallen_officers_memorial_25038
Salute by the honor guard.  Very loud, very striking…and very challenging for a photographer, as the smoke of the first shot or two limits available chances for a photo.

fallen_officers_memorial_25063A hard hymn to listen to; the bagpipes have a certain connotation all their own that remind us why we’re present on this day.

fallen_officers_memorial_25019The wreath placed at the memorial at the conclusion of the service.  Thankfully this year there were no additional names to add to the wall; however, as a shameless cheerleader for local law enforcement, I know it’s still important to pause and reflect upon the risks our state’s officers take in the service of protecting their fellow North Dakotans.