Jennifer Engleman from Norman, dressed as Firefly, poses as her friend takes a photo during International Superhero Day in Pauls Valley, Okla., Saturday, August 4, 2012.
It felt a little like Halloween in Pauls Valley on Saturday, minus the candy and cool weather, as a crowd of 124 original superheroes in costume gathered for International Superhero Day.
“I just wanted to see my town full of superheroes,” said Kevin Stark, curator of The Toy & Action Figure Museum.
Tom Kenworthy from Tulsa, dressed as Cerulian Bolt, walks the streets of downtown Pauls Valley during International Superhero Day, Saturday, August 4, 2012.
Dressed as Heroman, The Noble Superhero, Keith Thomas of Noble, poses for a photo during International Superhero Day in Pauls Valley, Okla., Saturday, August 4, 2012.
The event, hosted by The Toy & Action Figure Museum, was an attempt to set a record for the most original superheroes gathered in costume in one place.
Dressed as Super Mom and Super Dad, Lindsay and Michael Vidrine from Norman cross the street with their son Grayson, 3, as Super Robot, during International Superhero Day in Pauls Valley, Okla., Saturday, August 4, 2012.
I recorded an interview with Kevin Stark, the organizer of the event, and some of the superheroes. Click here to watch a slideshow with the interviews.
A group of superheroes walk the streets of Pauls Valley during International Superhero Day, Saturday, August 4, 2012.
To view a photo gallery from the day click here.…
Ernest Borgnine, left, speaks with honoree Bruce Boxleitner before the Western Heritage Awards at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 21, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Like most newspaper photographers, I don’t start my shift and hope I’m assigned to take pictures at an awards banquet or society gala. While they are fun for the participants (or at least look that way) and they need to be photographed for the paper, those events just don’t make a lot of award-winning pictures.
But there is a positive side to these assignments. Frequently, I get to meet some fascinating people. And one of my favorite people I’ve met on any assignment was Ernest Borgnine at this year’s Western Heritage Awards.
Borgnine was a previous honoree and a frequent presenter at the awards, serving as an emcee at the event this year. During the media availability and cocktail hour before the banquet, Borgnine, although a little hard of hearing, talked with anybody who wanted to speak with him and gladly posed for pictures.
In the early 1990s, staff photographer Steve Gooch drew the same assignment at the Western Heritage Awards that I had this year. Gooch met Borgnine then, and they talked about each other’s careers in the Navy. Gooch signed up for the Navy wanting to take pictures on aircraft carriers but was assigned to build underwater mines instead. He was still in the Navy reserves when he took Borgnine’s photo at the awards banquet.
Gooch also took a picture of himself with the Oscar winner. A print of that photo has been hanging on the wall of our office since before I started at the paper in 2000. I’ve never been one to get my photo taken with the celebrities I’ve met on assignment, but this time I couldn’t resist. Mr. Borgnine was happy to take the picture with me, and I was lucky to get to meet him.
Below are the two photos of Oklahoman photographers with the same film icon separated by almost 20 years.
We also have a photo gallery of staff and AP pictures of Borgnine, if you’d like to see more.
Academy Award winner Ernest Borgnine and Oklahoman photographer Steve Gooch in the early 1990s.
Oklahoman photographer Nate Billings and film legend Ernest Borgnine in 2012.
Sergeant Darron Turner hugs Kevin Summerlin after Summerlin was awarded the Purple Heart during the welcome home ceremony. About 250 members of the The Oklahoma National Guard, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) returned from Afghanistan and Kuwait on Wednesday, March 28, 2012. Photo By David McDaniel/The Oklahoman
Here are some of the photos I liked from the past week or so when looking through our archive. Take a look.
Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant (35) celebrates a three-point shot during the NBA basketball game between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, March 25, 2012. Photo by Sarah Phipps The Oklahoman
People leave bars in the Bricktown area in Oklahoma City, Saturday, March 24, 2012. There have been several assaults near bars in Bricktown the last eight months. Photo by Garett Fisbeck, For The Oklahoman
Hockey players and members of the military hold a giant American flag as part of military appreciation night at before an AHL hockey game between the Oklahoma City Barons and the Grand Rapids Griffins at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, Saturday, March 24, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Sonia Abarzak practices in front of a temporary goal during soccer practice at an abandoned lot near Dove Science Academy in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Photo by Sarah Phipps The Oklahoman
The crowd reacts as Oklahoma State's Liz Donohoe (4) reaches for the ball during the women's NIT semifinal college basketball game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and San Diego at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, March 28, 2012. Oklahoma State won 73-57. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden (3) celebrates with fans following the Fiesta Bowl between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Stanford Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
I was looking back through the photos taken at OSU’s victory over Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl a few days ago, and these are some of my favorites.
And, in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a gallery with even more pictures from the game.
Oklahoma State's Markelle Martin (10) tackles Stanford's Ty Montgomery (88)during the Fiesta Bowl between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Stanford Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., Monday, Jan. 2, 2012. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon and coach Mike Gundy celebrate after winning the Fiesta Bowl between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Stanford Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden (3) scores a touchdown during the Fiesta Bowl between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Stanford Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., Monday, Jan. 2, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Clarence "Bud" Stark, of Norman, wipes tears from his face as he walks away from the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011. Stark, a Marine during WWII, was on Iwo Jima when the flag was raised. Stark and other veterans from WWII visited memorials in Washington D.C. and Virginia during an Oklahoma Honor Flight on Wednesday. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
When we were kids, my brother and I looked forward to hearing war stories. They didn’t happen all that often, but when my grandfather would tell us something that happened in the South Pacific or my father would tell us a story about Vietnam, we both listened carefully. Most of the stories we heard weren’t really war-related. By that I mean that nobody talked about people killed or battles won and lost. My grandfather, Fred Cox, who operated cranes for most of his life, was a Sea Bee in the Navy. He told us about poker games on long nights at sea, or the time he got stranded for a few days on an island in the South Pacific. There were stories about friends he met, equipment he operated and he’d tell us the names of islands where he’d help build a base or a runway. Mostly, they were interesting stories that just happened to take place during a war.
One of the greatest stories we grew up hearing about, of course, is how Fred Cox married his war-time pen pal, Dorothy Curtis. They were married for 59 years, until she died in 2005.
Fred Cox looks around in the National WWII Memorial during an Honor Flight in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
My grandfather is one of the younger veterans of WWII. At 17, he got his father to sign a consent form, drove to California and joined the Navy in 1943. Last week, I joined him on an Honor flight that he’d been looking forward to since his daughter signed him up for it last year.
The Honor Flight staff called the trip ‘One last mission.’ Even though my grandfather and the other veterans on the Honor flight returned from their service more than 65 years ago, I looked at this trip as one last war story that we can share.
Seen from a tour bus window, Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington Virginia, was one of the sites during a tour of some of the memorials in the Washington D.C. area on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011. Veterans from Oklahoma visited the National WWII Memorial and other memorials during an Oklahoma Honor Flight to Virginia and Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
I was assigned to be a Guardian on the trip, which meant I was responsible for helping out my grandfather and a man named Charles Austin, an Army veteran who lives in Norman. I knew just a few minutes into the required Guardian Training class, that I was going to be busy helping the veterans get around during the hectic travel schedule.
As a photographer, I adjusted my approach to the Honor Flight as an assignment. I didn’t want special access that members of the media are sometimes granted. I didn’t take much equipment either, just two cameras, a 35mm lens and a 50 mm lens. I rode the bus with the veterans and walked through the memorials with them. It rained in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, so much of the trip was what they called a ‘windshield tour.’ I concentrated on photographing the experience of being there.…
Robert Peraza, who lost his son Robert David Peraza in the attacks at the World Trade Center, pauses at his son's name at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial before the 10th anniversary ceremony at the site, Sunday Sept. 11, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Justin Lane, Pool)
Ten years after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, people around the world marked the anniversary with memorials and ceremonies. In Washington D.C., New York and Pennsylvania, people attended ceremonies dedicated to those who died in the attacks. Here are a few images from the tenth anniversary. You can see more images by clicking on the photo gallery or take a look at pictures in Oklahoma City by clicking here.
Las Vegas firefighter Capt. Eric Littmann walks in a parade commemorating the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, in Las Vegas. ( AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
The Tribute in Light rises over the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 in New York. Sunday will be the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the United States. (AP Photo/Peter Lennihan)
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama and former President George W. Bush visit North Memorial Pond at the National Sept. 11th Memorial Sunday, Sept., 11, 2011 in New York. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Daniel Jones, who lost his brother, Christopher Carstenjen, holds Rebecca Moss at the place where his brother's name is inscribed on the Sept. 11 memorial at the World Trade Center site in New York during a ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Carolyn Cole, Pool)
Pfc. Michael Tompkins, 20, of Wadsworth, Ohio, with the U.S. Army's Bravo Company of the 25th Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Battalion 27th Infantry Regiment based in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, pokes his head up to a watchtower at dawn Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011 at Observation Post Coleman in Kunar province, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A grasshopper sits in tall grass in northwest Oklahoma City Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
Until last week, my experiments with macro photography were just for fun. An interesting challenge that made popular blog posts on Alternate Crop, but that were rarely used in the newspaper. When I saw that the City Desk made an assignment to get pictures of grasshoppers for this story, I knew my chances of getting a picture of an insect in the paper had increased dramatically.
To get these pictures, I used a reversed 50mm macro lens and walked through a field in northwest Oklahoma City. I didn’t have to walk very far for the grasshoppers to fly away from me so I could follow them to their next hiding place. I didn’t know that grasshoppers came in such a variety of colors, or that if you sneak up slowly enough, some of them will hold still for as long as it takes to get good pictures.
As always, you can see more photo galleries by The Oklahoman photo staff by clicking here.
A grasshopper sits camouflaged in tall grass in northwest Oklahoma City. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
Grasshoppers like this one are being driven into cities from rural areas during the drought to look for food. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
A Blue Hawaiian sno-cone melts in he sun in Edmond on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
As you’ve read before on Alternate Crop, I’ve been using our “pool” 50mm macro lens, which can focus closer than my 50mm @ 1.8. For the really close pictures like these (except for the fish picture), I take the lens off and hold it up to the lens mount backwards. Focusing is a little more difficult with a reversed lens because you have to physically get the camera closer or farther away from the object to change the focus.
Here’s a few images I’ve collected over the last couple of days. You can see more macro photography posts by clicking here, or you can click here to see some of the hot weather images we gathered in the record-setting month of July.
An insect chewed holes through this sunflower leaf at the Dorothy Day Center at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Oklahoma City on Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
A fish lies dead in the sun after water receeded from Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City on Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
A dried out plant lies near a crack in the ground on a beach at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City on Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
Marjorie Maupin (foreground) takes pictures as she and other guests watch models walk down the runway during a fashion show called Insight, a celebration of Culture and Style at National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
I had fun photographing a fashion show a few weeks ago. I’ve had fashion show assignments before, but never one that was this organized. As usual, I left my strobes in the trunk of the car and tried to take advantage of the interesting, and sometimes difficult, available light in the room. There’s not going to be room for these pictures in the newspaper, so I’ll show a few here.
The show, which was held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, featured modern styles inspired by traditional Afghan and Rwandan attire. Students from Oklahoma State University designed and created some of the clothing featured in the show. All proceeds from the event benefit The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women and their program called Peace Through Business.
You can see more pictures by Staff Photographers at The Oklahoman by following this link, or take a look at what’s in the Mood section of NewsOK.com.
A guest gets a close look at clothing desgned by and OSU student during a fashion show called Insight, a celebration of Culture and Style at National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
A model walks down the runway during a fashion show called Insight, a celebration of Culture and Style at National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. The show featured modern styles inspired by traditional Afghan and Rwandan attire. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
A model walks down the runway during a fashion show called Insight, a celebration of Culture and Style at National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
Kimberly McCullough carries a dress designed by an OSU student to a potential customer during a fashion show called Insight, a celebration of Culture and Style at National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman
Firefighters battle hot spots after a grass fire burned on the OPUBCO campus, Saturday, July 2, 2011. Photo by Garett Fisbeck, The Oklahoman
Spot news can be a tricky thing. Sometimes it can be 50 miles away, and you try your hardest to get there in time to make a good picture.
It’s always nice when the news happens within walking distance.
When I pulled into work today, I noticed some smoke south of the OPUBCO building.
I grabbed my equipment and ran that way, which was actually a pleasant experience. If you haven’t seen the OPUBCO campus, it’s really quite lovely.
I called the Oklahoma City fire department, and waited around for about 15 minutes for them to arrive. All the while I was taking photos, of course.
I couldn’t help but take some humorous photos of the firefighters battling the blaze with the glorious OPUBCO building in the background.