Enjoying the German Winter on Assignment

Andreas and Michael Raelert stand on a frozen jetty on the Baltic Sea in Rostock, Germany for cover shoot for Ironman’s LAVA magazine on November 29, 2010. (Donald Miralle for LAVA)

I had the unique opportunity to experience winter and the full holiday spirit in Northern Germany a couple weeks ago on a cover shoot for Ironman’s LAVA Magazine. Writer/Editor/Photographer and all-around cool guy Jay Prasuhn and I had a whirlwind trip to Rostock (two hours outside of Berlin) on the frigid Baltic Sea to shoot two of triathlon’s rising stars Andreas and Michael Raelert. The Brothers Raelert have both shown a dominant gene for the sport – with Andreas finishing 2nd and third at the Kona Ironman World Championships the past two years respectively and Michael winning the 70.3 World Champs two years in a row. Other competitors better look out, these boys are the real deal, train with each other, and the sky is the limit especially with Michael bumping up weight class to the full Ironman distance in 2011.

Cover of the next LAVA Magazine, featuring Andreas and Michael Raelert (Donald Miralle for LAVA)

Standing in front of the Brandenburg gates on a cold morning (Photo by Jay Prasuhn)

Jay pimps his ride and represents the Westside at the Mercedes Benz Museum in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Donald Miralle)

Not only were these guys great to work with but true gentleman, insisting to carry my gear for most of the shoot and touring us around all their local spots in Rostock, the town they have called home for most of their lives. Some of my favorite memories of the trip are seeing the Brandenburg gates where the Berlin Wall once stood to separate the East and the West, walking on my first beach with snow instead of sand, watching Jay almost get blown like a kite into the Baltic Sea as he battled 50mph gusts with a profoto softbox, warm mugs of gluwein we imbibed, and the good company of the two brothers.

The opening spread which shows the frigid scene of a German Winter as the brothers Raelert stir up some frozen birds on a snowy beach. (Photo by Donald Miralle for LAVA)

Here’s a gallery of some of my favorite images from the shoot, hope you enjoy and as always your feedback is welcomed and appreciated!

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Santa Claus Spottings in North County SD and North Germany…

Mr. Claus exits the water at Terra Mar Beach in Carlsbad after a session on his longboard…

My sons recently asked me how can Santa Claus drop off so many presents to so many kids and be everywhere at once. “Well I guess he has some fast reindeer, and he plans ahead” I told them…Last week we spotted him not only riding a Vintage Benz at the Mercedes Benz Museum in Berlin, but also surfing waves in Carlsbad, California. Keep it up Santa, everyone’s depending on you for 4 their presents. Ho, Ho, Ho!!!

The epic 500K Roadster. Maybe on Santa’s wishlist? He seems to like it as he takes a spin in Berlin.

Upcoming Exhibition at OCCCA

I’m proud to announce that my work will be exhibited alongside other award-winning photojournalists, multimedia and video at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA). Among the other photographers whose work will be exhibited will be Carolyn Cole, Rick Loomis, Deanne Fitzmaurice, Pierre Kattar, Sandy Huffaker and many more.

“Wide Angle View promises to be a compelling exhibition, blurring the boundaries of photojournalists’ assignments and personal photographs. It is hard not to be consumed by the images and become drawn into each narrative, giving viewers the opportunity to experience a full spectrum of our humanity.” – Grace Kook-Anderson. Curator, Laguna Art Museum.

For more information please go to http://www.occca.org/exhibitions.html#future

Washington Nationals Shoot

(Click on above image to be redirected to Nationals Video Site. Our video is on the 5th page of the playlist on 11/30/10)

A couple weeks ago I wrapped up a great project for the Washington Nationals Baseball Club in D.C.  I shot six of their key players for their branding campaign including 3rd Baseman Ryan Zimmerman, Shortstop Ian Desmond, and Reliever Drew Storen. Since it was the off-season, the Nationals flew in the players for the shoot (with the exception of Zimmerman who lives outside the DC area) and the unveiling of their new jerseys. We had each player for about six hours, which we split with the East Pleasant video crew, whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with in the past.  So we had three exciting hours with each of these professional athletes, and we really covered all the bases for the team and the ad agency 40-40, including various action, portrait, and feature photography we could squeeze in our time. I had great success using the high speed synch and with the new Pocket Wizard Flex-TT5′s, shooting up to 1000th of a second on my profotos, which was amazing for freezing the action on my Canon 5D Mark II. We had full access of the facilities at Nationals Park which was amazing, and the staff there was unbelievable to work with. All in all it was a blast – we saw some old friends and made some new ones while coming away with some memorable imagery for the team. Special thanks to Andy Feffer, Lara Potter, Daniel Kasper, Jacqueline Coleman, John Guagliano, Lisa Grondines, Mark Jackson, and Ben Smith of the Washington Nationals for facilitating a fantastic shoot. Here’s a link to a great behind the scenes video put together by the team videographer that shows some of the favorite shots from the shoot. Enjoy!