Jack’s Snaps!

Jack Megaw’s Photo Blog.

New Blog

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I have decided to start a new blog with a new image. For my latest work please go to http://www.jackmegaw.wordpress.com
Many Thanks!


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November 27, 2010 at 6:21 am

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Baseball in Black and White

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A few weeks ago I shot images of basketball in black and white. Admittedly when I started making the black and white basketball images it was because I was annoyed with the light. Then I got hooked on it (partly through darkroom withdrawal) and started making the black and whites for fun. On Saturday I shot a Point Park baseball game. It’s an ongoing project I’m working on – but here is what I have now. Enjoy the results.

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March 22, 2010 at 4:41 pm

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Mon. River floods part of Downtown – Brings chaos!

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On the night of Monday January 25, 2009 the water of the Monongahela River rose to 18 feet – flooding the Mon Wharf Parking Lot as well as a section of I-376.

Here are some of my images of the flood.

For this last image I laid down on a curb right at water level. The curb was about a foot wide and I laid on my side, hooked my leg around a guardrail and with my D3 and my 80-200 I hung over the water and captured this image. Risky? I think so yes. But what’s that saying? “He who dares, wins.”

I was going to do a self portrait – but that would have resulted in a drowned camera and a wet and hypothermic photographer.

Until Next time – take pretty pictures!


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January 27, 2010 at 4:16 am

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Recently I was accepted to the Sports Shooter Academy, a weeklong course in L.A. in April. For the course I needed a headshot which my good friend Tarah was kind enough to shoot for me.

I hadn’t been in the studio since my old art college, the Antonelli Institute (April 2007). I couldn’t resist it – so I had to set a light up and take a quick portrait.

© Jack Megaw

Tarah’s work can be found on her Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/trbrubaker/

Written by jackmegaw

January 22, 2010 at 7:09 am

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G20 Summit

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As soon as I found out the G20 Summit was coming to Pittsburgh this past spring I decided that I had to be there. As I already go to college in Pittsburgh and live near the Downtown area I would not have a problem as far as it came to accommodation.

Prior to the summit I had been contacted by charity Bread for the World (www.bread.org) to cover an event they were holding with religious leaders from around the United States. Here are some highlights from that hot day of shooting.

Here are some tear-sheets from the event. Bread.org released the images from their website.

Below are some pictures from the week of the G20 Summit with the protests and events.

In the beginning of the week the protests stayed mainly peaceful. Riot police were present – but they let the protesters get on with it for the most part and just stood to the side.

A “Free Tibet” Protester chats with a lookalike Abraham Lincoln.

I also bumped into John Olivier who was covering the G20 Summit for the Daily Show.

Next comes what is not only my favorate picture that I have taken of the G20 Summit – but my favorite picture of the entire year. Following the march from Oakland the protest paused in Downtown for an hour. It was one of those amazing experience where you can turn wherever you like – and you’ll see an amazing image. I decided to use my short lens instead of my long one. As this girl was dancing I came right up close to her – getting almost straight in her face and using the riot police as a background I took the picture.

Laying flat on the ground I stopped to take this picture at the side of the road. A demonstrator writes “Genocide Deniers” on a Turkish flag, protesting the genocide on the Arminian people.

For this picture I again laid flat on the ground as some peace protesters were writing in chalk on the pathway of a park. This followed a march from Oakland to Downtown and then onto the North Side.

Turning up in massive numbers were the anarchists, who seemed a constant threat for violence. Here are some images of them from the protests. They were also prepared for riots – with goggles and with bandanas not only to protect against riot agents – but also to conceal their identify.

There was also a large police presence throughout the city – with police being drafted in from across the nation – as far away as San Francisco and Arizona.

On the Thursday of the summit the first riots happened. Anarchists had planned to march from Arsenal Park to downtown – thinking that in London all the targets were banks I decided to take the gamble and stay Downtown – I was wrong and suddenly all the cameras in the media centre changed to local TV – covering riots. Livid I grabbed all my gear – and walked 35 blocks to the scenes of the riots – I caught the tail end.

The following two nights however would more than make up for my complete flop of that afternoon. On the Thursday there was a standoff between protesters and police – where the police ordered all those gathered to leave – whatever their porpoise – giving them an excuse to go after journalists for even being there to cover the events.

Below a protester on a bicycle taunts riot police on Oakland’s Forbes Avenue.

On the Friday the riots were worse. The police closed in on all four sides of the square and then gave the order to leave – knowing that the protesters (protesting peacefully) were surrounded. They then opened up one corner and forced everyone out through there, before forcing them onto the grounds of the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning. They then surrounded this area also – and shot rubber at the backs of people trying to get away. I saw the police readying their guns and jumped behind a tree. Another photographer running past me didn’t get so lucky and took a rubber bullet right in the back of the neck. I grabbed him and pulled him behind the tree.

Finally once up the hill but still in the grounds I met up with several other photographers who I knew from around the Pittsburgh area (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review snappers Andrew Russell and Justin Merriman, Pittsburgh Post Gazette Photographer Michael Henninger and a friend of mine who goes to the University of Pittsburgh, Chris Neverman) . As we tried to leave we saw Greensburg Tribune-Review photographer, Guy Wathen get maced in the face by a police officer and then be thrown over a four-foot high fence. We collected him and retreated back to a chapel on the grounds where Wathen was treated on the steps by a protest medic. Suddenly riot police came marching around the corner – ordering us to move. As I made my way down the steps I was grabbed and thrown the rest of the way down. As we walked away we were met with a line of riot police. All we could do was hold our credentials and press cards up in the air and say “we’re press.” We must have stood there for at least ten minutes – just staring at each other. Finally a National Guard officer came marching up the line – attending to some other duty – and we managed to convince him to let us through after the police checked our credentials.

I then proceeded on to 5th Avenue to continue my coverage of the events – sticking with my friend Chris Neverman we kept shooting.

At one point a police officer threw a smoke bomb at us. He also stood there – ready to fire rubber bullets if we refused to move. After seeing the effects I snapped a couple of pictures and then moved my arse to get out of the way while shooting on my long lens.

A few minutes later Chris grabbed the smoke canister after the police had moved away. It was till too hot to touch and he had to hold it in his scarf.

This concluded one of the most fruitful shoots of my year. It was a crazy week, involving editing until 4 a.m and then waking up at 6 a.m the next day. Worth it? Absolutely. I captured these images that you see here. I met many great journalists and and people. Including several from my local Great Britain – including journalists from The Guardian, the Press Association and the Daily Telegraph.

This week only reaffirmed my love and passion for photojournalism and all the good that it does. It drives me ever farther with the hope and dream that I can do it for a living.

UP NEXT! The best of 2009.

Written by jackmegaw

January 2, 2010 at 5:52 am

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Happy Holidays (with a time-lapse)

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Look – my blog – it’s snowing!!!

Sorry for the lack of updates recently – it’s been a very busy last few months for me.

This year I tired something that I have always wanted to – a time-lapse. Every year our family does the same thing when it comes to presents – we’ll all sit around the room and my dad will then hand out the presents. And we will take turns opening them.

I decided to mount a camera on a chair using a magic arm (see picture) and set the camera on a timer taking three pictures every fifteen seconds in rapid succession. (sorry for the quality – picture taken on my iPhone)

Watch for me on the left – Here it is:

Music is Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade.

Again sorry for not writing more often – coming up soon my Best of ’09 and some images from my time at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh (will be well worth a read!)

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December 27, 2009 at 9:59 pm

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Classic racing cars inches away from trees – at 150mph!

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After playing 90 minutes in a soccer game the day before, last Sunday I went to shoot the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix in Schenley Park. 

As I am very keen to get into the field of motorsports photography I am always on the lookout for interesting motorsport events. I had been looking forward to shooting this race for over six months after I saw a poster for it up in a professor’s office at Point Park, where I am at university. 

I arrived at the track while the morning warm-up sessions were still going on. The track is the only street circuit on the Vintage GP calender, and the course runs through the woods, with corners coming at intersections with other streets going through the park. 

In the beginning I went into a section with a nice hairpin bend, and stayed and shot for a session.

I shot from a slightly elevated position so I could clean up my backgrounds. I also noticed branches from a tree slightly covering my shot so I exposed for the background and threw the leaves into a silhouette. 

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I didn’t get really any other decent shots, but I hung around until the end of the 15 minute session.

Once the session ended one of the marshals came up to me and barked at me for not having a press credential, and booted me from the corner. 

Instead of wasting an hour hiking to the other side of the track and missing two sessions I hiked up a narrow dirt path and then cut down through the woods and shot the final warm-up session with older BMWs from inside the trees. 

By panning through the trees and following the car on a slow shutter speed you can blur out the trees between you and the moving car, still keeping the car in focus. This gives a great sense of motion and speed.

_DSC0052After the end of the session there was a break for lunch, so I headed over to the start finish line where I was told the credentialing was not being handled there, but at the clubhouse of the golf course. I made my way up there and managed to pick up the ‘hot’ wristband to get into the corner areas. 

I proceeded down to the ‘Micky Mouse turns’ – double hairpins 18/19 when from an overhead view look like mouse ears. 

I started shooting from the inside of turn 19 for the 1960s Formula Cars. These cars are not dissimilar from the Formula One cars from the same era. 

I slowed down the shutter speed, and by follow focusing and panning I was able to keep one part of the picture relatively in focus, whilst the speed of the car changing direction helped blur the rest of the image.

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Between the sessions the BMW M5 ‘Ring-Taxi’ from the 12.9 mile – 73 corner Nurburgring in Germany took guests on hot laps of the track. As it exited turn 18 it would power-slide out of the bend. I tried several times to get a good shot of it power-sliding, and knowing that it would come by several times it gave me time to experiment. 

In the below picture I went to a slow shutter speed and using my 18-70mm lens I zoomed the camera, following the BMW to give a nice motion blur. I also underexposed the image by a stop so the shadows in the trees on the left would go black to contrast the white car. 

_DSC0187 copyAs the start of the next race loomed I positioned myself on the exit to the corner, so I could get the mass of the cars coming together in a concertina type fashion as they rounded the slow bend. Again I slowed down the shutter speed, and I followed the lead car accelerating away, panning and throwing the rest of the pack out of focus.

_DSC0196 copyOne of the cars towards the back of the pack broke down and coasted to a stop between turns 18 and 19. The corner workers displayed yellow flags, so I managed to incorporate this into the picture. 

_DSC2076 copyI figured that all of the driver would be driving around extremely conservatively, trying to save their cars and not damage them – but I couldn’t have been more wrong. They weren’t ‘beating and banging’ but they were not afraid to push the limits of the cars either. 

Another interesting feature of turn 18 was a small drop off in the middle of the corner where some of the more stiffly spring cars would lift the inside wheel as they went over the crest. 

_DSC2322 copyFor the final two races I crossed the track, and went onto the inside of turn 18. From here I was able to shoot the cars up close in the braking zone. Below is an image of a Lotus 7 outbreaking another car down the inside.

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Almost as a parting gift during the last race I noticed a Flying Fortress, a bomber from World War Two flying around the area. I timed taking the picture with the plane crossing into a cloudy spot of the sky. 

_DSC1988 copyThis concluded my day of shooting the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. I’m hoping to find more motor racing events throughout the rest of the summer.

Thanks for reading!


Please feel free to friend me on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jackmegaw and also to follow me on Twitter @jackmegawphoto

Written by jackmegaw

July 30, 2009 at 12:23 am

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