How a photojournalist got this skyline lightning shot

Published: Thursday, July 16, 2015 @ 3:48 PM
Updated: Saturday, July 18, 2015 @ 8:15 AM


            July 14, 2015 Atlanta: Lightning lights up the Midtown sky Tuesday evening July 14, 2015. Ben Gray / bgray@ajc.com
            Ben Gray
July 14, 2015 Atlanta: Lightning lights up the Midtown sky Tuesday evening July 14, 2015. Ben Gray / bgray@ajc.com(Ben Gray)

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Behind the Lens, A Photographer's Story-- AJC Photojournalist Ben Gray talks about his shot of lightning over Midtown Atlanta.

As storms rolled into Atlanta on Tuesday evening, I headed up the Downtown Connector (highway network system) on my way to cover a lightning-strike fire in Acworth, about 40 minutes north of Atlanta. Rain started pouring down, lightning lit the sky and traffic slowed to a crawl. I immediately realized there was no sense in trying to make my way to Acworth when I was in the middle of the storm already. 

Equipment: Canon 1Dx camera, 16-35mm f2.8 lens zoomed to 35mm, 13 sec, f/7.1, ISO 125

I pulled off at 17th Street and made my way to a parking deck, where I knew I would have protection from rain and lightning while also having a good view of the Midtown skyline. I jumped out, with my camera in hand and quickly adjusted the ISO and aperture settings for a long exposure while leaving the camera on the aperture priority setting. 

I didn’t have a tripod with me, so I balanced the camera on the wall of the parking deck, put my left hand under the lens to raise it up a little and hit the shutter button. To my amazement, the sky lit up with a tremendous bolt of lightning during the very first 13-second exposure. After sending the photo for use on this AJC story, I went back to shooting, but none of the photos even came close to that first frame. 

5 local things to know for Friday

Published: Friday, September 16, 2016 @ 5:00 AM
Updated: Friday, September 16, 2016 @ 5:00 AM


            Runners medals stand ready at the finish line of the 20th anniversary of the Air Force Marathon. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF
Runners medals stand ready at the finish line of the 20th anniversary of the Air Force Marathon. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF

1. What you need to know: Air Force Marathon marks 20 years this weekend 

On Saturday, this race will draw runners from all 50 states and over 15 foreign countries. 

2. DPS teacher accused of child rape released from jail 

A child rape allegation has been made against Adrian Dakota Hill.

3. School grades extremely low in certain categories 

Jefferson Twp. showed great improvement in the state’s K-3 Literacy scores by turning its PreK-6 Blairwood Elementary into a literacy school, with everything focused on reading, according to superintendent Richard Gates.

In one area, out of the 49 local area school districts, 39 received an “F” on their state report cards.

4. Huber Heights body found in the woods that of sex offender 

Brian Wallace Moore was released from prison Aug. 31.

5. Sneak peek: the region’s newest high school sports facility 

Get a look at the new stadium that is replacing Miamisburg’s Harmon Field before the game tonight. 

TY GREENLEES/STAFF

5 local things to know for Saturday

Published: Saturday, August 20, 2016 @ 6:45 AM
Updated: Saturday, August 20, 2016 @ 6:45 AM


            The Bengals practiced at Welcome Stadium on Aug. 22, 2010.
            Teesha McClam
The Bengals practiced at Welcome Stadium on Aug. 22, 2010.(Teesha McClam)

1. When the Bengals visit the Miami Valley 

The Cincinnati Bengals are no stranger to the Miami Valley, having practiced at a number of schools and stadiums in the area. Find out what happens when they are in town.

2. Fifth and Main, similar nearly a century later 

Main Street has been a hub of activity in Dayton since the roaring ‘20s. Use our interactive tool to see how much it has changed. 

3. The week in cartoons: 12 weeks until election   

The week's hot topics as seen through the eyes of the nation's editorial cartoonists. 

4. Former marketing executive Walter Ohlmann dies 

He was known throughout Dayton from his marketing agency, The Ohlmann Group, which he helmed for many years. 

5. Court documents released in Fairborn girl’s assault 

There are four suspects in an alleged rape case of an underage Fairborn girl, according to a police report. Three people, one a juvenile, have been arrested in connection to the crime. 

TAHRYN BAILEY / GREENE COUNTY JAIL

Photographer creates family photo for widow whose son never met his father

Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 @ 1:31 PM
Updated: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 @ 1:31 PM

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Stephanie Summers was five months pregnant when her husband died in a plane crash last year. 

She gave birth to a baby boy a few months later and named him after his father, Taurean.

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A year after the death of her husband, Summers reached out to Laura Gordillo, the photographer who took pictures of the couple for their last wedding anniversary together.

According to Gordillo’s Facebook, Summers wanted to take pictures with her son in the same places she had taken photos with her late husband months before. She even planned to match the color schemes in the two shoots.

From there, Gordillo created a custom image of Summers and her son with her late husband, who was edited into the photo.

Gordillo said Summers loved the finished product and couldn’t stop crying.

Taurean, who was a paramedic, was on a plane that was transferring a patient to a caner center in Phoenix. It crashed in Las Creces, killing everyone on board.

“My heart broke to see what could have been, but at the same time, I was so happy to execute such a beautiful image for Stephanie and her son,” Gordillow wrote.

Gordillo has since received numerous requests to create similar photos with families and their deceased loved ones.

Sometimes as photographers we tend to get intertwined with the business aspect of our photography. That it is easy to...

Posted by Laura Gordillo Photography on Monday, September 7, 2015

Michigan cold case linked to Dayton area

Published: Thursday, March 10, 2016 @ 11:58 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 10, 2016 @ 11:58 AM

Have you seen this woman? Police in Grand Rapids, Michigan said they received a tip that may link an old cold case to our area. They released a photo of Dean Pyle Peters at age 15 when she disappeared, and another photo of what she may look like now at age 49.

Peters' poster on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children website

Peters went missing February 5, 1981 from a middle school in Grand Rapids where she was attending her little brother's wrestling practice with her mother. She was last seen walking out of the gym to go to the restroom. 

New tips have been coming in since Peters was featured as the February missing child of the month on the Justice Network. One of those tips came from someone who said she is living in the Dayton area.

Anyone with information should contact the Kent County Sheriff's Department missing persons unit at 616-336-3113.