Out of all of the images I've put into my portfolio, here you'll find my favorites and the reasons why I love them. More will be added regularly. Check http://www.slyfocal.com/subscribe for ways to be updated as they are posted. Click the images to see them in their galleries. 


Burner Fire Old QuarterBurner Fire Old Quarter   Burner Fire MoonBurner Fire Moon   Burner Fire FaceBurner Fire Face

It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Balloonists, lining the streets of Page, Arizona with their baskets and burners. Controlled fire was everywhere, synchronized to music. Read the entire story here. 


Angel in the FireworksAngel in the FireworksA few, small adjustments were made, like brightness and contrast, but the subject and content in this image were NOT altered. This was not photoshopped. What you see is what the camera saw as I held the shutter open for 1.6 seconds.

"Angel in the Fireworks" was shot during a July 4th celebration at Lake Santee, Indiana, 2017. 

The image was created by simply aiming the camera and holding the shutter open for 1.6 seconds. The only alterations that were made were slight cropping and a tiny bit of contrast-type adjustment. The subject, what I call the "angel", was not modified in any way.

I'm a very data-driven, scientifically minded human. I'm also very spiritually oriented. I use science to often explain how situations occur. I usually refer to spirituality to explain why. I don't like to push my version of spirituality on others, so for now I'll just explain how I believe this came about... I asked, I received. To me that's the "why" that explains this image.

As the science nut that I am, I also had to search for the "how". So I wrote to several fireworks display companies and asked two questions:

1. How likely is it that a firework was created, with 2017 technology, that would intentionnally draw this pattern within 1.6 seconds? 

2. If you think this was likely NOT due to human craftsmanship, can you think of any atmospheric conditions that could help create this shape?

In return I quickly received answers from all of them. And in complete satisfaction to my inner nerd, they were all intelligently explained in basically the same way:

"The effect you have captured here is likely a “Go-getter” shell or similar scattering effect such as a “Crossette”.  Typically a long exposure in conjunction with those type of effects will create an image such as this.  While the scattering pattern is random you certainly caught it at an interesting moment.  Although Go-getters and Crossettes are slightly more advanced effects, the technology to produce them has been around for decades if not longer." 

The above was sent from Zambelli Fireworks, https://www.zambellifireworks.com.

Other, similar and intelligent answers came from Pyrotechnics Guild International, http://www.pgi.org and others who did not give permission to post their information. 

Thank you to all who participated in the discussion.


Canyon Rainbow BCanyon Rainbow BFound in Cortez Colorado. See the story of how it was shot here.   Canyon Rainbow CCanyon Rainbow CFound in Cortez Colorado. See the story of how it was shot here.  

A gift from God. A rush to get the shot. A woman who had to pee badly. Read the whole story here.