Children anxiously await for members of the 180th Fighter Wing Security Forces to return home at the Toledo Express Airport in Swanton, Ohio. The airmen were deployed to the Middle East for six months. ©Toledo Blade
Cynthia Rantala attends a candlelight vigil at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo in Perrysburg, Ohio. The vigil was in response to the Paris terrorism attack. ©Toledo Blade
The why and how of it: Knowing how to shoot in low light situations is paramount. In this situation, I metered for the candlelight reflecting off of the faces. I also took the image at a low angle with a wide angle lens because the mosque temple was important to include. Shooting in low light. Lens (mm): 18 ISO: 5000 Aperture: 2.8
The American flag is rolled up after the Hometown Heroes Salute ceremony at the 180th Fighter Wing in Toledo, Ohio. ©Toledo Blade.
The why and how of it: Sometimes your best photo from an event comes at the very end. In this situation, the event was over but I lingered. Again, staying until the end paid off because when I noticed these Guardsmen rolling back up the flag, I jumped on stage and shot them through the flag.
Jim Tingley walks past his patriotic-painted garage after shoveling his sidewalk on Woodville Road in Toledo, Ohio. The garage was painted by his wife in response to 9/11. ©Toledo Blade
The why and how of it: I had been admiring this garage for years, and hoped someday to capture some activity in front of it. Then one day I drove by and this man was shoveling his sidewalk. He was too far to the left of the flag, so I had to wait for him to move into a sweet spot. He finally started to shovel on the right side, but after a few minutes gave up and walked in front of the flag to go inside. It's not what I initially envisioned, but shoot what you can get.
Airplanes do a flyover for the 46th annual Quicken Loans 400 race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. ©Toledo Blade
Firefighters are silhouetted against a roaring fire at a marsh in Monroe, Michigan. This image won 3rd place for Spot News in the ONPA 2013 still picture contest. ©Lori King
The why and how of it: This photo took a lot of legwork getting to the remote scene. I had to schmooze firefighters and traverse through rough terrain. I also ruined my favorite tan khaki pants because of burnt corn stalk stains.
Settings: ISO: 400/ Aperture: 9/ Shutter: 1/640
(All Toledo Blade photographs are copyright © Toledo Blade. Unauthorized copying, downloading or usage is strictly prohibited.)
Caden Quinn, 4, stands with his father TFD Pvt. Gary Quinn during the procession for Toledo Firefighter Stephen Machcinski as it passes by Station 5 in Downtown Toledo. ©Toledo Blade
Lindsey Bykowski, 10, watches the procession for Toledo Firefighter Stephen Machcinski as it passes by Station 5 in Downtown Toledo. She is wearing the helmet of her grandfather, David Bykowski, a retired firefighter from Station 13. ©Toledo Blade
Mrs. Claus readies Santa's suspenders as he chooses his red suit. The couple prepared to visit children at the Toledo Club in Toledo. ©Toledo Blade
Toledoans from left Terrian Kitchen, 6, Justin McCall, 11, Melvin Johnson, 10, and Malcolm McCall, 11, eat Freeze Pops atop their aunt's shed in Toledo. ©Toledo Blade
The how and why of it: A key to shooting enterprise features is patience. On this shot, I was driving around and noticed a man handing out Freeze Pops to the boys. I sat in my car and watched to see where they were going. They climbed on this shed roof, and I knew I had my shot!
Settings: Lens: 105, ISO 400, Aperture 5.6 @ Shutter 1/2000
Lucas County commissioner Pete Gerken, left, and Sen. Sherrod Brown hop over a highway barrier on their way to a press conference at the Anthony Wayne Bridge in Toledo. ©Toledo Blade
The why and how of it: Usually press conferences involve podiums, which this presser did. But prior to start of it, these two politicians approached the podium by way of a sidewalk that didn't have an easy-off access. I knew this because I had just walked down that same sidewalk.
Lesson: Be aware of everything around you before and after assignments, even it it's a boring press conference. You never know what moments you can capture when you're alert!
Toledoans Diego Mosqueda, 7, and his brother Tavio Mosqueda, 4, play soccer in the flooded front yard of DeVeaux Elementary School in Toledo, Ohio. Twenty minutes of a steady downpour created a small pond big enough to attract the young athletes. ©Toledo Blade
Toledoan Robert Gill shields himself from the rain while his daughter Alissa Gill, 7, drinks raindrops from the umbrella during her twin brothers' soccer practice at Schneider Park in Toledo, Ohio. ©Toledo Blade
The why and how of it: I initially stopped to take a feature shot of kids practicing soccer in the rain. As I was shooting the kids playing, I noticed this girl under her dad's umbrella. At first I wasn't in the right spot, so I shot a few quick frames (just to get something) and moved, hoping she'd continue drinking water drops. I was rewarded with this shot. She had no idea she was being photographed because I used a long lens. I drove away with a different shot than I initially set out to get. Keep your mind open!
Settings: ISO: 400/ Aperture: 5.6/ Shutter: 1/200
A tiger sees double vision as Toledo twin sisters Gabrielle, left, and Mickaylla McNeal, 15, visit his exhibit at the Toledo Zoo. The girls went to the zoo to celebrate their birthdays on this day because they said they love animals. ©Toledo Blade
The why and how of it: While at the zoo for a different assignment, I spotted these twins watching the tiger. I told my PR shadow that I had to stop and take this shot! It's a so-called "sleeper," meaning it takes a few minutes to grasp the humor of it. The important aspect is to shoot with a small f/stop so you can see the tiger in clear focus.
Settings: ISO: 500/ Aperture: 14/ Shutter: 1/50
A Canadian goose gathers a plastic egg during the 14th Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Olander Park's Nederhouser Community Hall in Sylvania, Ohio. The goose dropped the egg after realizing it wasn't real. ©Toledo Blade
A deer sprints in front of a slowed truck on Broadway St. near Sidecut Metropark in Maumee, Ohio. It was the last of a small herd to cross, and safely made it to the other side. ©Toledo Blade
Monclova, Ohio resident Max Grabarczk, 4, left, reacts to sights and sounds of the 2011 Holiday Parade in Toledo, Ohio. ©Toledo Blade
The why and how of it: One of the compositional elements we teach in photography is framing. Sometimes framing is obvious, like through a window, and sometimes it's not. Learning to visually anticipate a moment or compositional element comes with training and experience. This is not the best photo in the world, but it's a good example of framing, which is why I included it in my portfolio.
While across the street from this family, I noticed how they were framed by a set of passing horses. I set a small f/stop, knelt down and waited for another set of horses.
Brendan Moloney, of NWO Homeschoolers, cries after missing his word late in the Northwest Ohio Championship Spelling Bee at Owens Community College in Perrysburg Township, Ohio. He is flanked by winner Srivatsav Vuppala, left, and his couson, Jimmy Kleshinski, who took second. ©Toledo Blade
While in the relative safety of his own East Toledo home, Dallas Watts, 78, cries as he recalls being assaulted in an alley by a gang of young boys. ©Toledo Blade
The how and why of it: Invading someone's space is always difficult, particularly when they are grieving or upset. No exception here, which is why I used a long lens to capture the tears and sadness. Other ways I could have shot it: tighter on the eyes; vertical to show the beard; or include his whole head. It's really a matter of personal taste.
Misty Boyer cries as she hugs Holly Brill before the balloon release at the corner of Erie and Chestnut streets in Toledo, marking the second anniversary of the disappearance of Tina Williamson, Boyer's best friend. ©Toledo Blade
A suspect is apprehended by police officers at the Regina Manor Apartments in Toledo. The suspect was forced out when the officers shot several canisters of tear gas into the evacuated apartment complex. ©Toledo Blade
The how and why of it: These types of photos look easy, but it actually takes patience, a long lens, a fast shutter speed and courage (or stupidity) to get as close to the action as possible.
In this situation I had moved several times in an effort to get the best advantage spot; behind a tree, behind a parked car, behind a police van. Then I waited and hoped the retrieval would be visible. My strategy paid off, though I wish I could have been a little more to the right...
An illuminated Fifth Third Field sign of Muddy the Mud Hen appears to be swinging at the moon during a game at the downtown stadium. ©Toledo Blade
Clay High School softball players write messages of inspiration on their arms for the Div. 1 semi final softball game against Springfield at Rolf Park in Maumee, Ohio. Clay advanced to the finals. ©Toledo Blade
The how and why of it: While shooting the traditional coach huddle after the game, I noticed a few players had written on their arms. I pulled them aside and asked to take a shot of an arm, then, to my pleasant surprise, the player called all of her teammates over and this shot happened. Lesson here: Be observant of the little things.
Mud Hens catcher Bryan Holaday misses the tag on Indianapolis' catcher Tony Sanchez during game at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio. ©Toledo Blade
The how and why of it: A fast shutter speed and a high angle for a clean background. I also like to shoot a little wider than many sports photographers because you can always crop a photo, but you can't add what you cut off with a tight shot.
Baseball fans reach for a foul ball that was thrown to them by a Mud Hens player from the dugout during game against Rochester at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio. ©Toledo Blade
The how and why of it: The key to getting these types of crowd shots is quick reaction. Not every sports photo has to stay on the field or court, or be of the players. These types of photos are fan favorites because they become the actors in the play, so to speak. Fan feature photos breaks up the monotony of a sports photo gallery, and show that the photographer has quick instincts and an eye for the un-obvious (yes, I made that word up).
A referee falls into the fans during the Div. IV district semifinal between Fayette and Edgerton at Napoleon High School in Napoleon, Ohio. ©Toledo Blade
Rogers' school resource officer Mike Habbe holds the game ball while the Rogers girls basketball team celebrate their victory over Start at Rogers High School in Toledo. ©Toledo Blade
Toledo Christian's Joseph Ochoa lands on Holgate's Bailey Hohenberger after a dunk during second half of the the Div. IV boys district basketball semifinal at Napoleon High School in Napoleon, Ohio. ©Toledo Blade
Perrysburg head coach Ryan DeMars is drenched with ice cold water after his team defeated Ashland to win the Div. 1 District Championship at Tiffin University. ©Toledo Blade
Toledo St. Francis' Eric Zmuda celebrates an out against Northview during game at Mercy Field in Toledo, Ohio. ©Toledo Blade
Lake head coach Ryan Bowen jumps up in excitement as his team takes a large lead over Rossford during the basketball game at Lake High School in Millbury, Ohio. ©Toledo Blade
Oak Harbor's Bruce Hrynciw reacts to pinning Genoa's Dustin Morgillo during Div. III wrestling team dual regional semifinals at Oak Harbor High School in Oak Harbor, Ohio. ©Toledo Blade
Perrysburg's Brock Jones earns two points for taking down Anthony Wayne's Ethan Baumbarger during the NLL League Wrestling Tournament at Anthony Wayne High School in Whitehouse, Ohio. Jones won his fourth match in the 145 weight class. ©Toledo Blade
Oregon State's Dwayne Williams prevents Michigan's Ty Isaac from scoring a touchdown during second half at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. ©Toledo Blade
The why and how of it: Corners are a popular spot to be when shooting football. Sports is also about the only time I use auto focus. It's a luxury us old-timers didn't have back in the day. Lens: 100, ISO 800, Aperture 4 @Shutter 1/1600
BGSU's Ronnie Moore appears to be chased by phantom Easter Michigan defenders as he sprints for a touchdown during game at EMU's Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti, Mich. ©Toledo Blade
The why and how of it: Who says you can't be a little artsy when shooting sports? When I saw the mural on the sidelines, I knew I wanted this shot; I just had to be patient and shoot it when it happened. This is a good example of preconceiving.
A runner collapse at the finish line as Gibsonburg's Colleen Reynolds places 4th in the Div. III 400 meter dash at the OHSAA Track and Field State Championships at the OSU Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. ©Toledo Blade
Walsh Jesuits head coach Dino McIntyre picks up team goalie Caitlin Jakubek, who failed to block the winning goal in s sudden death shootout against Toledo's St. Ursula at Frost-Kalnow Stadium in Tiffin, Ohio. ©Toledo Blade
The why and how of it: Capturing anguish is not easy; but it's a necessary evil. Beginning photographers might think they are invading someone's private pain, but part of the job is to capture the action, the glory, and the misery. Yes, it's uncomfortable, but tears are a part of the package.
An oldie but goodie: St. Vincent St. Mary star Lebron James towers over his fellow bench sitters during a game against Canton at Akron University's JAR Arena back in 2003. This was the first high school game he missed due to being sanctioned for selling memorabilia. He is now playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers again. ©2003/Toledo Blade