Monday, June 21, 2021

Something Different

Well, prime rib isn't really different, but its definitely not something I've blogged about in the past. I do a fair amount of cooking. Some say I do it well. Still others suggest I should start a catering business. I don't know about that, but I do enjoy cooking things over fire. This time, it was a whole prime rib. 

An old friend had seen photos of my grilling and smoking exploits on Facebook and asked if I would cook a prime rib for his son's high school graduation party. All I need is a reason to fire up some charcoal. 

For this cook, I initially seasoned with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper then slathered herb-infused butter that included garlic, rosemary and thyme over the entire 15-pound hunk of beef. I needed to keep the temperature down around 250 degrees, so I used half a chimney of charcoal. I split that up on either side of the Weber 26-inch kettle and kept a cool zone in the middle where the roast would sit. The low and slow part of this cook took a shade over three hours. After 30 minutes searing, we were up to 130 degrees. I basted it with the drippings then covered with foil and delivered to the party. During transport, the roast came up to the magic 135 degrees. Crisp bark on the outside. Perfectly pink on the inside. I should've made pictures of the finished product. The line was already 30 people deep by the time they started slicing, and I didn't want to hold up the process. 

Monday, June 14, 2021

Funeral for Homeless Vet

James Beavers Funeral from The Journal Gazette on Vimeo.

I've looked through a bunch of old videos I made during my days working The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind., and just ran across this one. Just about every time I look at old work, I wish I would've changed an edit point, added something here, left something out there or even just chose a slightly different camera angle to improve the piece as a whole. I guess that's how you learn. I made this video back in December of 2015. Hundreds of veterans, active military members, and citizens attended the funeral services for James Beavers, a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran who died on November 23, 2015. Beavers had no known family or friends to direct the handling of his remains. The funeral with full military honors was held at D.O. McComb and Sons funeral home on Lake Avenue in Fort Wayne. Numerous visitors continued on to the interment at Riverview Cemetery on Carroll Road to pay their respects to the man for his service to the country. I had to shoot and edit this video on deadline, so I just didn't have as much time a I would've like to really polish it up. I was proud of this vido when I published it, and it won a few awards. Looking at it now, however, I really wish I could do a re-edit, but I am no longer with the newspaper and don't have access to the original files. I'd change a few things up in the shooting of the video as well. I never knew James Beavers. I'd bet almost no one who attended his services knew him either. That's the real unfortunate part of this portion of the story. But it certainly was nice to see a community of people rally for one of their own.

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

YouTube Channel

Admittedly, I haven't made many videos recently that weren't just home videos of my sons and me fishing or riding ATVs and such. But that's about to change. I'm starting to populate my YouTube channel with some videos I made back in my days working for local media. Soon, however, new content will appear. So, head on over to My Channel. I won't ask you to like anything, comment on a video or subscribe to the channel. You already know that drill. But, ya know, if you want to ...

About this time last year

When I heard about the protests in Fort Wayne in the wake of the death of George Floyd, I looked at my wife, and she knew what I was thinking. So, she said, "Do what you have to do. Just be safe." So I grabbed cameras, goggles, bandanas and off I went. These are some of the pictures I made last year.

Chad Ryan, Photojournalist 3.0

To quote Michael Corleone, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!" Well, that's not completely the truth. While I did make a career change about four years ago, going back to my roots as an electrician, I never lost the desire to be a photojournalist running around, documenting sports and news events with cameras. So, I guess I was never really out. But now, I'm going all the way back in. Due to a couple of injuries, I've had both shoulders surgically repaired in the last four years. I'm still recovering from the second surgery, but one thing has become clear: at the tender age of 49, full-time electrical work, and all the overhead tasks associated with it, doesn't seem sustainable going forward for me. As far as the story about how I'm both a photojournalist and a journeyman electician, well, I'll save that for another day. It's long. It involved having a Plan and a Plan B. Suffice it to say, I'm kicking off Plan C now. So, I'll start populating this site once again with photos and videos I've made. I'll even throw in some commentary occasionally. But either way, after a long absence from this site, I'm back.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gearing up

Now that the teams are known, it's time to gear up to photograph Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium. Coverage plans for the game will come together, but the real planning goes in to figuring out what stories and multimedia content I will plan to produce from Super Week. There will be concerts, celebrity and player appearances , cooperate events and Media Day to plan. I've got some video interviews with players planned for Media Day, but the pieces for the rest of the week should fall into place soon.

As far as Game day goes, when you get down to it, it's really just another game. The biggest difference is the limited shooting positions due to the number of photographers, assistants, card runners, camera operators, cord pullers, audio people and others who will be on the sidelines. Dealing with all that can be tricky for the one or two-man outfit, but not impossible. This will be my third Super Bowl and fourth Super Week, so I feel I've got a decent handle on how to prepare for the game. Now, it's just getting down to it.

While I am shooting on assignment, I am also open to accept assignments during the week. So, if your company, publication or organization needs an Indiana based photographer to handle your assignments, please contact my through my website,

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tired of dead batteries

You've seen the numerous hunting TV shows and decided to jump into filming your own hunts. Maybe because your intent wasn't to go as far as producing TV shows, you didn't want to get soaked buying the multiple thousands of dollars worth of gear it takes to do it. Sure, you may have spent a little cash getting a decent HD video camera, or even two for a POV angle or other second angle, but there are considerations that have to be accounted for when it comes to making hunting videos.

One such consideration is camera batteries. They are expensive little dudes. Despite their considerable cost, they do not last nearly as long as you'd like. So, here's the deal, unless you're using high dollar cameras (>$3,000) there just aren't many battery options for your video cameras to keep you rolling when trying to film in the outdoors. You could search high and low for a higher capacity, brand-specific battery to fit the bill. Or, you could buy extra standard batteries and switch them out as needed.

The problem with option 1 is there's no guarantee you will find a higher capacity battery for your rig. If you do it will be expensive. The problem with scenario 2 is if you're like me, you WILL need to change batteries at the absolute worst time to have to change a battery. It happens every time. For many cameras, to change the battery requires pulling it off the tripod and removing the tripod mounting plate. Sure, you could think to put in a fresh battery before "go-time," but when you're in the field, anytime could be "go-time." This is a serious pain, especially when you've got deer moving within range. In the past, I've just let the camera go in favor of completing my hunt. I've lost more than one filmed hunt due to this problem.

Well no more. Not wanting to drop a ton of more cash on batteries, I looked into other, outside-the-box options. My search turned up a rig that will last me eight hours with the Canon HV20/30/40 series HD video cameras.

I employed the use of a high power RC car battery for my power needs. I learned the 120 volt power cord for the camera is actually sending 9.4 volts from the transformer in the power cord to the camera. As luck would have it, some NiMH RC car batteries are made to output 9.4 volts - an exact match. Next was the matter of figuring out how much power I wanted the battery to have. I went with a 5,000 mAh battery. Some go up to 9,600 mAh and higher. This decision really comes down to how much you want to spend. My battery and charger cost me roughly $80 for both. The "high-capacity" Canon battery was well over $100 not including the charger, and I'd be lucky to get four hours out of a charge.

Next I took a 120v power cord and cut the camera end off, leaving about a foot of wire still attached to the transformer. I installed a quick-release female connector on the camera cord that fit the male connector on the battery. I then installed the same male adapter on the power cord still attached to the transformer so I could switch back and forth between 120v and battery power.

I tested everything while hunting yesterday, and it worked like a charm. I left the camera powered during the entire hunt and never ran out of battery. Now, all I need to do is make a camo sock and rig a better way to mount the external battery to the tree arm or tripod. To do this with the Canon batteries I would be looking at well over $200 and the frustration of having to change the battery when I don't want to change a battery. The other good thing here is, you can leave a regular battery in the camera so you can shoot while on the move. Then when you get set up in the tree or blind you can just plug in the external. It will work just as it would with the cord plugged in to the wall.

The only thing that didn't work like a charm was getting the deer to cooperate with me. I managed to get plenty of b-roll, however.

This is actually a pretty easy DIY solution. Most importantly, it will keep you rolling when that big buck decides he wants to make his wide-screen debut.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Free Agency

No, this post isn't about the NFL and the problems my Steelers face with their "O" line. This post is to announce my own free agency.

I've decided it's time for me to leave my current job as a photographer/writer/videographer/editor/web person/utility player at The News-Sentinel. I plan to continue working for The News-Sentinel through October and the production of our annual basketball preview section. My last day will be Nov. 6.

The newspaper afforded me some great experiences, and I've done things I most certainly wouldn't have done otherwise. But as uncertainty continues to swirl around the organization and the industry as a whole, I figure it's time to determine my own fate.

I know it will be tough in this market. Well, it's tough in any market. The key will be convincing my potential clients that I belong on their go-to list. I've got some decent clients already lined up, and I'm excited to get started working on outdoors video productions.

***Shameless plug - If you need a shooter for your editorial or commercial photo assignment Stop by for a look at my work.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Indiana All-Stars at Parkview Field

July 9, 2011 - Fort Wayne, Ind. - Andrean graduate and Indiana North team all star Tyler Oichi hits a ground ball in the first inning of Game 2 of the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association North-South All-Star Series on Saturday at Parkview Field in Fort Wayne, Ind. Photo by Chad Ryan

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Unbelievable tragedy for Austin Hatch

Everybody knows someone who's dealt with tragedy in their lives. But this one is about as unbelievable a situation as they come.

I met and photographed Canterbury High School basketball player Austin Hatch earlier this year. I knew of the plane crash that claimed the lives of his mother and two siblings in 2003. He and his father survived the crash, but to me it was unimaginable to lose your family in such a manner. Now Austin will have to endure the nightmare all over again, as he and his father were involved in another plane crash, which happened this weekend near Charlevoix, Mich. This crash, however, claimed his father's and stepmother's lives and left him in a medically-induced coma, fighting for his own life.

When I met Austin I was struck by the level of humility, composure and drive exhibited by such a young man. In this age of entitled, self-important athletes, it was refreshing to meet someone with his personality. He seemed determined to point himself toward greatness.

The last time I spoke to Austin was at an AAU tourney in May. He was with his team, but not playing due to a foot injury. To me it spoke to his character that he came to an AAU tourney and sat on the bench with his team when many in his situation would spend the weekend doing, well, something other than sitting the bench. Just last week, he committed to playing for the University of Michigan basketball team under scholarship. I knew it was his desire to go to Michigan because he spoke of his ultimate goal, which was to go to medical school whether he played college ball or not. Austin said if he could go anywhere it would be Michigan. He had several major D1 schools interested, but when Michigan offered, it probably didn't take him five seconds to make the decision.

I am pulling for Austin to make it out of this, just as anyone who knows him is. For as good a basketball player as he is, he's a better kid. Many who don't know Austin are pulling for him as well. Just do a search for Austin Hatch on Twitter, and you'll see the number of people thinking of him today. He's got a tough road ahead of him, not just physically, but also emotionally. Based on my limited interactions with Austin, I'm confident if anyone can cope with such an unimaginable tragedy, it is him.

Get well soon, Austin.