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The Bump Heard Around the World

Maximum Security, second from right, with Luis Saez up, bumps other horses in the final turn which caused his disqualification during the 145th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday. Country House, left, with Flavian Prat up, left, was declared the winner.

After a five-year hiatus from covering the Kentucky Derby, McClatchy News once again picked me up to photograph the start gate, turn 4 and heading into the stretch of the 145th Kentucky Derby. My math is a bit foggy but I think this was my 23rd Derby. Experience matters when you are attempting to operate seven cameras that cover less than five seconds of total race time on two sides of the track and on the starting gate. Then to add complexity to the situation, one hour before race time the skies opened up and a deluge ensued. With the assistance of an inside trigger person, a card runner and an outside rail camera wrangler I had some success with all seven cameras capturing what I needed to earn my money! The only failure was one camera I had with me on the outside rail as a backup, wide lens option that took on some water damage and died before the start of the race. The camera was a total loss but thanks to the Canon Procare Package I purchased when I bought the camera in December, Canon says a new camera is in the mail. Whew! Best $360 I ever spent.

The start gates had to be pulled away for track maintenance leaving us with less than five minutes to unwrap the cameras, set exposure, check focus and make sure they were going to fire. And oh yea, all in pouring rain.
That’s me on top of gate nine – thumbs up, all systems are go. If they weren’t, no time to fix it.
And there off ….
Both gate cameras fired but we experienced an electrical short stopping the cameras after firing only eight frames, less than one second of real-time. We would have preferred another 10 more frames to get the horses a bit further down the track but I’ll take what we can get considering the wet condition.
Derby favorite, Maximum Security, in pink silks, comes out of gate seven along with the rest of the 19 horses at the start of the 145th Kentucky Derby. This was taken by my hand-held camera located in my position on the outside of the track at the top of the stretch.
With this being one of the tightest Derby ever with only 5 lengths between the lead pack and the last horse, I am glad I had a remote setup on the outside rail covering the pack as they came into the top edge of the fourth turn.
Maximum Security, middle in pink silks, with Luis Saez on board battles for the lead with Country House, far left, War of Will, you see just his nose third from right and Code of Honor, closest to camera.
The next two horses after the front four take all the mud as Improbable, left, and Plus Que Parfait jockey for a line coming into the stretch. I just liked this image in black and white. It was a muddy one under the rail, I’m glad we got what we got considering the track condition.
Another remote camera captures some of the conflict from up above the rail just coming into the final bank of turn four.
Plus Que Parfait with jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. is blasted with mud from a well-fought race.
Another remote camera shows just how tight this race was heading in to the stretch.
Country House, left, War of Will, black cap, Maximum Security and Code of Honor all bump for position coming out of turn four.
War of Will begins to fade as the remaining three horse come down the stretch.
Code of Honor has a nose lead over Maximum Security going down the stretch as Country House charges from the outside.
Eventual Derby winner Country House challenges Maximum Security.
It ain’t as glamorous as you might think it is. A fine mixture of Kentucky clay and million dollar horse poo and pee covers me after the race.
My abled body and very wet camera wrangler, and daughter Gabi, got to experience her first Derby three years earlier than I did at that age, did her best to keep my gear dry. Thanks for all the back breaking work and sorry you had to see me take a backwards swan dive off the starting gate.

Hitting the hardboards once again

I found myself getting a call to shoot the #15 ranked Wisconsin Badgers taking on the .500 season WKU Hilltoppers. Expecting a route I decided to give a try shooting the game on two A9’s from Sony. WKU surprised all and made the game incredibly interesting and I found myself suddenly stressed covering a Big Ten upset with a a camera I have only used once before. As Sony preaches, the autofocus system in the A9 is out of this word. I felt strange shooting and no click of the motor drives but working in 19 frames a second proved to be beneficial at times. The highlight of the night? Having my daughter, who is in her second semester of her photojournalism degree, accompany me as an assistant, she got to shoot with my Canon gear.

Gabi Broekema ponders her next moves as she covers her first sporting event. I think the 400 2.8 fits her well!
Wisconsin guard Brad Davison (34) gets defensive pressure from Western Kentucky guard Jared Savage (2) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Bowling Green, Ky. (AP Photo/Tim Broekema)
Western Kentucky guard Dalano Banton (20) tries to take control of the loose ball against Wisconsin guard Brad Davison (34) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Bowling Green, Ky. (AP Photo/Tim Broekema)
Western Kentucky guard Taveion Hollingsworth (11) celebrates a three-point shot that secured the WKU lead during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Bowling Green, Ky. (AP Photo/Tim Broekema)
Western Kentucky guard Dalano Banton (20) shoots over the top of Wisconsin guard Brevin Pritzl (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Bowling Green, Ky. (AP Photo/Tim Broekema)
Western Kentucky guard Josh Anderson (4) points towards Western Kentucky guard Taveion Hollingsworth (11) after he scored a three-point shot during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Bowling Green, Ky. (AP Photo/Tim Broekema)
Wisconsin guard Brad Davison (34) struggles to hold onto the offensive ball as Western Kentucky guard Dalano Banton (20) provides the defensive pressure during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Bowling Green, Ky. (AP Photo/Tim Broekema)
Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard and team watch closely during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Bowling Green, Ky. WKU kept the game close leading into halftime. (AP Photo/Tim Broekema)
Western Kentucky forward Tolu Smith (00) celebrates the end of their upset victory over 15th ranked Wisconsin with WKU sidelined player Marek Nelson after an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Bowling Green, Ky. Nelson was not allowed to play due to a DUI arrest. (AP Photo/Tim Broekema)
Wisconsin guard Khalil Iverson (21) and Wisconsin forward Nate Reuvers (35) accept defeat in the closing moments during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Bowling Green, Ky. (AP Photo/Tim Broekema)

Before the World Turns Off Its Heart

Sometimes while conducting interviews someone says something that can just catch me off-guard. The statement I heard Jung-Ho Pak make three years ago did just that. He said that art is important – and that artists are fighting against time and technology; before the world turns off its heart it is imperative that institutions like Interlochen realize that what they are doing is fighting for humanity. That phrase stuck with me, I asked several more people of note that I interviewed for various projects since 2015 to respond to the question, why is art important. In the end, I had over 4 hours of statements from almost 15 different conductors, composers, dancers, art directors, creative directors as well as others. I distilled it down to 4 minutes and created this video clip for Interlochen this summer. It is a call to action for the world to stop and think. If art is completely stripped away from the youth educational process, what kind of world will we end up with?

The Power of Art

When I discovered that Interlochen Arts Camp was starting a class called Citizen Artistry I was very intrigued by the possibilities of what this class meant. I was first in line with my hand raised high wanting to do a video project on this unique camp offering. As a producer, the goal of any project is to create an emotion that even the uninterested will feel – and this idea of an arts institution taking students to different places in the community and teaching that the real power of what a creative person does is to make a difference in other lives made for the perfect storm of content. My failure was not having a strong enough plan heading into my content gathering portion of the project. I preach planning to my students, and then I did not. But coming across Ani and her personal story while my shoot was in progress allowed me to take a turn and redirect the project to some extent. My personal thanks to everyone involved in this project – you all touched my heart in some way and I thank you for opening up to me and allowing this story of this powerful class concept to be told. And my thanks to Interlochen for realizing there is so much more beyond art creation – that what we do really can make a difference.

A Little Bit of Class

Thanks to Andrea Houde and for providing all the fun while out on an album cover shoot this past week. Andrea loved how I “chased the light” and became very good at it herself, she is a quick learner. My lesson learned? Well, more just reconfirmed. The 50 1.2 is to me, still one of the best lenses ever made. Just simple.


Seeing Red and Staying Country

Thanks to former student and all-around great guy and friend, Daniel Vorlet, and the chance that the Dustin Lynch tour was passing through Traverse City’s Cherry Festival, I got the opportunity to spend an evening back-stage, side-stage and front-stage covering the concert. It was wonderful to put away the video stuff and shoot stills for a night. Great to get back to the roots of it all. I might be old but I can still run with the youngin’s – might need a week rest in between gigs unlike Daniel, who found himself in Iowa to do it all over again before I even woke up the next morning. A big shout out to the band, stage crew, road manager and of course Daniel – you all were so accommodating. Thanks for the beer and the Nashville hospitality while lounging between the tour busses and for making me feel like someone important for a few hours.





Let The Games Begin!

Year nine for me here at Interlochen Centre for the Arts working as a videographer in the marketing office. I find this role challenging and rewarding. The challenge is in finding something new in a place that thrives on tradition and everything happening the same way it has for the past 92 years. The reward is in meeting and getting the opportunity to spend time with some truly talented young adults and in many cases, mere kids.  I get to try new equipment and play with some new ideas. This year, I got to create the opening “welcome to campus” piece, or as it is called here – and has been called for 92 years – “first gathering.” I strived to create a piece that never had to show an interview video clip – I almost succeeded but I could not resist the smile I got from Eduardo at 2:36. Shot some footage at 60fps, used a Ronin and a Ikan and captured in two days, along with my colleagues Julie Bacon and Greg Johnson, almost 500 GB of content then spent the next two days editing, exporting, proofing, approval, re-approval, title approval and finally – the approval of the approved to go ahead and post it.

Celebrate Kentucky call for images

The Celebrate Kentucky Wall is a seasonal rotation collection of images that celebrates the joy of life of everyday people and places from across the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Broekema Photography is excited to announce a new CALL FOR IMAGES to populate the Celebrate Kentucky multimedia installation at the University of Kentucky’s Chandler Hospital.

Hey photographers! Do you want to see your still photos and video displayed in an exciting installation that truly makes a difference for those who view it? Consider submitting your work to Broekema Photography, LLC to be considered for possible inclusion in this installation. The project, as part of the Arts in Healthcare program at the University of Kentucky Hospitals, is privately funded and is edited and designed to provide comfort and familiarity for the patients, family and staff while visiting the hospital.

The installation was conceived in 2009 and and opened in May of 2011 in conjunction with the grand opening of Pavilion A, a new surgical, intensive and acute care wing of the UK Hospital complex. A mixture of monitors and translucent boxes make use of stills and video that creates a non-ending illusion of movement and a sense of passing time allowing for visitors of the installation to escape into a space of relaxation and personal thought. By having a seasonal rotation, visitors are connected to the outside world as it is in that moment and, upon repeat visits, there always seems to be a new world awaiting for them to explore.


One of the three sections of the Celebrate Kentucky Wall in the atrium of Pavilion A can be seen here. 


• Still images should be available as RAW files, however large jpegs will be considered depending on ISO and technical quality of the image.

• Video actualities must be on a tripod and stable for the most part. Four K files are encouraged but we will be able to consider 2K. Four K files can be technically used across 2, 3 or 4 monitors per wall with crops of 3,840×1080, 5,760×1080 and/or 7,680×1080 so 4K has a better chance of being used in various ways over 2K sized videos.

• It is suggested to provide video clips that hold a shot for at least one minute or longer, especially scenics. Certain actualities, of course, are much shorter in duration by the sheer nature of the content but by having longer clips we can let some edits breathe across the display.


• We are looking for visuals, both video and stills, of people engaged in everyday life during all seasons; winter, spring, summer and fall. This is a collection of more than 400 actualities that, when combined, paint a picture of the people, places and character that makes up Commonwealth.

• We need rural images as much as we need urban images. We need all nationalities and ethnicities. We need all social classes. We can even potentially make use of animals. The visuals can be endless.

• We intend to provide as fair an edit from eastern to western Kentucky and points from north to south. So if you have visuals from Paducah, that is just as good as visuals from Lexington.

• The visuals MUST have been taken in Kentucky or have Kentucky in the background. (For example, the Louisville skyline from the Indiana side of the river.) The people in the image may not necessarily be from Kentucky. But the environment in the photo is very important to the historic collective of images. This is Kentucky.

• Controlled portraits are not a product we are necessarily considering but candid images of people engaged in eye-to-camera is a very powerful image we will consider. Video portraits should be considered as well, just make sure there is no mouth movement. Smiles, yes; mouth as if talking, no.

• Scenic vistas are necessary. In fact, if shooting scenics think of an extremely horizontal crop and also consider detail visuals of small elements that make-up the scene. A collection of images can be used all 100 feet of the installation to paint an all encompassing feel of the situation we are presenting.

• Please do not send us visuals that contain any representation of the bourbon or tobacco industry, although the fields around here can be very scenic, the hospital is not interested in presenting these in their space. Any person engaged in smoking tobacco products also will not be considered.



• The deadline is rolling but we would like all fall and winter stock for consideration by April 1, 2018; and summer and spring content by July, 2018.

• Please email tim.broekema@wku.edu a link for any delivery device you may use. (Dropbox / Google Drive / Photoshelter / Yousendit / etc.)

• Although names are not required, it helps if I have file info in all still images in the caption field, including YOUR name to help determine where the image is from.

• Please be sure to identify stills that are available in RAW format and if the video is available as 2K or 4K.


The enormity of the project installation can be seen by this photograph taken from across the atrium’s open space as you enter the hospital from the parking structure.


• Yes. Any recognizable face will need a release signed and on file with Broekema Photography before we can initiate payment. You can access our standard release agreement here.

• Standard practice is for you to transmit to us jpeg quality of stills and compressed files of video for quick review. As the edit is worked on, we will get back in touch with you requesting for full resolution work. Once that is received we will contact you again for a model release. Once we get to the release request stage, it is very likely that your image will make the final cut. Many photographers have told us that they tend to get names and contacts and then, if selected, reach back out to the characters in the photographs to sign the release.


• Since 2010, UK Health in Arts and its group of private funders has provided almost $250,000 that has gone into the pockets to state-wide photographers for this project. This is an impressive number and something we here at Broekema Photography are very proud to say we have been a part of.

• For this installation, we are budgeted to deliver a standard $400 per actuality but some more complex scenes or situations may garner a higher pay.




University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital call for images

Broekema Photography is excited to announce a call for entries for consideration of images that will be used to grace the two main entrances of the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital. We are looking for images that have been taken in Kentucky of children from newborn to 18-years-old at play and enjoying life. They can be blowing out birthday candles, outside playing in any season or just a wonderful portrait. It is better if the original image is available as a RAW digital negative but large jpegs will be considered. To submit, send a low resolution image via email to tim.broekema[at]wku.edu by January 15, 2018 or send him a link to any image transfer system you may use. We will be making our final edit on a rolling basis so be sure to submit early but January 15 is the absolute last day for consideration. If any image is selected, we will contact you via email or phone to discuss best resolution options and final color corrections. People in the image will need to sign a simple model release. We are paying $400 per image used. Feel free to contact us for more information.

What a show

In 6-weeks the high school theatre division at Interlochen handles audition, staging, production, building the sets and 5 performances. It is intense and frankly, I am not sure how it actually happens. But I was humbled to be able to “embed” with this group for the entire 6-week summer class and produce this narrative. I am proud of these kids.