Thursday, August 30, 2012

2012 Chicago Air & Water Show

Hello again everyone.  As most of you know by now I am a Navy Veteran and every year I try to take my daughter to the Chicago Air & Water Show.  I love the look on peoples faces as the planes pass by or soar in the sky!  The Air Show usually starts out with either Navy Seals or Army Frogmen jumping out of a perfectly good plane, sorry, but, to me, there are only two things that fall from the sky, bird droppings and fools!  Why would anyone want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane???  Then the show usually goes on to the Barnstormers...

More Barnstomers...

Every year the Chicago Air & Water Show has either the Air Force Thunderbirds, or my favorites the Navy Blue Angles.  This year it was the Blue Angles turn.  This year, I got, what I consider to be, one of my best photographs ever.  Shortly after the first group of Barnstormers a jet came through making several passes.  As most of you probably know, or maybe some don't know, but, when the Air & Water Show is so close to the city, planes are not allowed to break the sound barrier because they will shatter to many windows.  When a plane gets close to breaking the sound barrier, you have vapors around the back half of the plane.  Attached next if quite possibly my best photograph ever.

This was no easy shot to get, but, I got it simply by tracking the plane and guessing where he was going to be, and honestly, like most good photographers will tell you, I got lucky with the shot.  Photography is all about applying both skill and a little luck.  My camera, nor my lens should have been fast enough to get this shot, but, that is where the skill and patients of a photographer comes in, knowing where to be and shooting continuously and hoping for the best.  Thankfully, I got this shot, and made it into the Daily Herald newspaper.  The same plane kept coming by and I got this next photo soon after the last one, I am so grateful, that I would love to provide these photos to the pilot and co-pilot for there own albums.

Last of all to end the show with a show stopping finally, was of course the Navy Blue Angles...

This photo had to be slightly altered in order for me to show the Seagull that was trying to keep formation, which obviously he was unable to!  As always, any of my photographs are for sale, and I can be reached at  Any and all comments, good or bad, are appreciated.  I hope you enjoy this posting and that you keep coming back to look at more of my photos, thanks again for viewing!  Mike Noonan 

Niagara Falls Vacation & the formation of clouds

Unfortunately, because of finances and other variables, we rarely go on vacation!  This year I talked my wife and daughter into taking a road trip to Niagara Falls.  Niagara Falls has long been on my "Bucket List" of places to see before I leave this world. We did a few of the touristy things like Maid of the Mist, see Marilou & Lily below...
We also went to Niagara-on-the-Lake.  This is a quaint little town about 25 minutes from the hustle and bustle tourist attraction that is Niagara Falls.

The coolest part of the trip for me was the first morning after we arrived.  As always, I did not sleep very well.  I got up quietly, got my camera equipment together and went to the Falls.  Before long, I got to see the sunrise over the Falls. 

I was amazed to see what looked to me like the formation of a cloud!  This was my favorite picture from the trip.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did taking it.

As always, I hope you enjoyed photographs and this little step through Niagara Falls.  One down from my "Bucket List", and several more to follow.  As always, my photographs are for sale.  You can always reach out to me through email at  Please keep checking back for my adventures in photography!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Break Chicago Style

Some times you just need a few days off. Thankfully my
daughter had Spring Break
this week from school. My parents own a place in Galena. Monday and Tuesday are my normal days off, so this week my daughter and I went up to Galena for Monday & Tuesday. As you know by now, I love to hike. Lily and I went to Mississippi Palisades State Park which is located near Savanna, IL, about a half hour from Galena. My daughter was such a trooper. On Monday when we got to the park, it was later in the afternoon, around 3:30 p.m. We drove around the park and hit all of the easy stuff. On Tuesday we tackled the real climbing, which Lily loved!

We came home late Tuesday afternoon so that we could get up, and go have some fun with Marilou on Wednesday. We went to the SEARS TOWER SKYDECK. My pictures from there turned out pretty good, I especially like the one where it looks like someone is dead about 15 feet from where she is standing!

Thank you for viewing my photos, and, as always, any comments, suggestions or opinions are appreciated. Thanks again, and keep checking back!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Brookfiled Zoo Views & Misc. Photos

There are times, when you just know you've got the shot, but, like all things in life, there are many more times when you wish you could go back and take a second (Or third) shot at it to make sure you got it right! I recently went to the Brookfield Zoo with my daughter and her best friend Nicole. One shot I had never been able to get was a good shot of the Zoo's Bald Eagle.

Since the Bald Eagle is one of the symbols of this great nation, I have always wanted to get one. I have had many failed attempts, but, I think I succeeded this time. Please let me know what you think.

The gorilla house is always hard to get shots in as well. The lighting is...just different. It is hard to get the right shot with or without a flash. I finally got a good one, I think.

I was very blessed to be asked, recently, to photograph a couple who were celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary. This was one of my first paying photography jobs.
I researched what to charge and how to do things the "Right way", and I believe I hit a solid triple in doing the job. What did I do wrong? Well for one thing, I actually ran out of batteries for my shoe mount flash, a definite no-no. One other thing that I need to learn is to be more aggressive in getting people to pose for the needed shots. I was unable to get a shot with the couple with every table. One good thing I learned is that there will always be one person that you find yourself gravitating towards, this can be a problem. My "Problem" in this case was a wonderful little girl named Emma, and she ruled my photographs of the event. Why is this a problem? Because, I spent too much time chasing Emma and not getting other shots needed. Emma is the great niece of the woman (Sue) who asked me to do the event. I can tell you for certain that I got a few really nice shots of Emma. Here is my favorite pictures of Emma with her Dad in the Church. My second favorite is of Emma with Sue blurred out a little bit in the background.

What have I learned from photography? I think that I have learned the true meaning of success lies within how you feel about your success, and a life lesson learned is that success is an ongoing process. I hope all of my friends and family know that I am writing this blog for them, but, also for me so that I remember where I came from and how to get to the next step of success. Will I ever be a "Famous Photographer? Hopefully, but, in reality, probably not. Will I gathers some great and meaningful stories along the way, you bet!! I hope you enjoyed this post and my continuing journey through Life, Liberty and the pursuit of my best photograph...

As always, any comments, suggestions and/or criticisms would be appreciated. Thanks you again for viewing, and keep stopping back.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

2011 Chicago Air & Water Show

I, like most adult males who served in the military, love a good air show. The Chicago Air & Water Show is always good, except for one major problem...too many people on the lakefront. Today and tomorrow will be a mess, no matter what the weather is. I try to go each and every year to see if I see something different, and although I never really see anything different, I always seem to have a good time.
For the most part, at least I think that, people are always willing to share, whether it is a bit of their shade thank you Todd & family this year, or space in general, and I think that people are friendly. Last time we went, there were some drunk teenagers acting up and at one point we actually moved to get away from them. The air show always starts out with either the Navy Seals or Army Frogmen parachuting down to the ground...sorry this I don't get; why would someone want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane...sorry NOT ME!

Then came the "Barnstormers", the older Airplanes and their acrobatic thrills in the air. This year there were a couple of different acts with the old time military aircraft.

This years featured act was the Ai
r Force Thunderbirds. Like everything in life, photography is all about being at the right place at the right time. A lot of people had tripods and were using them to steady their hands. When ever I am shooting, I try to do it free-hand because you are not limited to the range of the tripod, especially with something as fast moving as airplanes.

I hope you have enjoyed my photos and hope you will stop back anytime to see more. As always, my photos can be purchased, let me know what you are interested in having and what size and I will get you a price. Thanks again for view and keep coming back!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happiness is being a volunteer...

Oh, what fun it is to be a Volunteer...especially when all I have to do is run around and take pictures. The picture to of the four girls in the China program from last weeks Hands Around the World Camp. As you can see, the Camp isn't just for the adopted children, but, the family, brothers and sisters included.

On my two days off from work last week, I volunteered my time working with this organization. As most of you know, my daughter, Lily, is adopted from China. Hands Around the World is a week long camp for children adopted from other countries. It is really quite nice for the kids. They get to learn things about their native countries, as do all of the volunteers, made up of parents of the children. To the left of the text you will see a picture of a very proud little boy, whose name I never got. When I was walking around, he saw me, sat up a little straighter and smiled at me, almost daring me to take his picture, I love the results.

The kids, at least from the China group all had to look up information on the area where they were adopted from, and tell something important about the Provence they were from, or something their area was known for, such as exporting or importing, the heat or cold, the mountains or rivers.

The children also got to play games, it was not all work, just a chance to get to know children about their same age who came from similar backgrounds. Each group got a shot at a Pinata. As you can see below, I got a pretty good shot of this one being broken...
As always, I want to thank you for viewing my pictures. If you enjoy them, pass this posting or this blog along to friends, please. I have always said you never know where your next job may come from, and any and all referrals, as well as comments, would be appreciated. I can be reached at

Thanks again,

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hot times on the lake....

Everyone needs a "Sanity Day" once in a while. I rarely ever call in sick from work, just because I don't believe you should, even if you have the days coming to you. A week and a half ago, I called in sick for the second time in two and a half years. I was even at work on the day of the blizzard, when only 19 people out of a normal 250 or so showed up.

How do you spend a "Sanity Day"? Well, thanks to my brother-in-law and his family I spent it at their lake home in Coloma, MI. The first two pictures say it all for me, calm all thumbs up ready to go on the way to picture number two. In that picture, the look on my daughters face says it all...pure terrifying fun! Even my nieces dog, Zeus, was having a good time. By the end of the day, my great-nephew Ben was passed out!

The last photo I took from inside my house. My daughter was looking out the window onto our deck when she said, "Dad, look at the chipmunk on the rabbit", I quickly grabbed the camera and got this shot, which I think is priceless!

If you like what you see, forward it on to a friend. All of my photos are for sale, "Make me an offer I can't refuse!" Thanks for viewing, please check back when you can, and please remember, any and all comments, good or bad would be appreciated.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


What is the 4th of July all about, the independence of our great nation and, of course, FIREWORKS!!! I sure hope you enjoy this photos as much as I enjoyed taking them!

As always, if you enjoy these photos, let me know, if you don't like them, let me know. Although I have never been paid for any of my photos, there is always a first, and everything you see on my blog is for sale, with the exception of photos of my family. Contact me, if you like something and we will work out a price. Thanks for viewing my photos and I hope you'll check them out again. MWN

4th of July

Is there a better holiday in the year than the 4th of July? Well, I don't think so. This year, like most years we spent our day close to the home front. We went to the parade in Arlington Heights, the town we live in, then had a cook out with a few neighbors and a few my family, then went to a pretty good firework celebration in Wheeling, IL. Most of the next few photos have not been altered, other than cropping them into a different look.

Jessie White and his tumbling crew were there, as usual.

The fireworks in Wheeling were short, but, sweet as you can tell from the flower inside this shot.

Toward the end of the evening, I saw my neighbor getting really mad, so mad, that he almost blew his top....just kidding Rick.

I think my most interesting photo of the night was the last one here. To me, it almost looks like you can see the faces of tragedy or happiness that you see around Theatre Groups.