Monday, August 23, 2010

Just back from vacation, quick post!

I haven’t posted in awhile. I usually try to post two times a week with the goings on and some recent photographs from a shoot. However, I just had a family vacation in a place I will call Paradise. Growing up, I didn’t really go on family vacations unless I went with a friend that did. As an “adult” I had never been to the Ocean. Well I had…but there’s an interesting back story to that. I went to San Francisco in 2004. Now to someone who even thinks about this for 30 seconds will figure this out, but for those of us who were from PA and really didn’t go out of the 5 closest states much….California is almost all of the West coast. So when you think Cali, you think about these sandy beaches, babes in bikinis (or guys on surf boards for our ladies that read). Well San Francisco is not that. It is like PA. They get the 4 seasons. The reader’s digest version of the story is, though I got to go to the ocean and skip stones in it…swimming in it didn’t happen on the West coast.

When I was younger I went to Cape May and places like that with friends, but my family and I never went on a family vacation to the beach. Not a big deal, but there’s a reason I stress this. When you see something so alien to you, it either amazes you or makes you very uninterested.

My beautiful wife and I went to Florida, with my Sister-in-law, Mother-in-law and father-in-law. So firstly I’ve got to give a big THANK YOU to my family. The trip was wonderful and I appreciate the opportunity that you’ve given me to see Cape Canaveral, and Cocoa Beach.

Now if you’re reading my blog you’re doing it probably because you are either a fan of my photography page, you’re looking into photography OR you’re a friend of mine that knows I am a photographer. So naturally I pack up a gear bag (or in my case, a hard case…funny story, Pelican makes my cases. I’ve never seen a real life pelican…then I did!) I have a Pelican that is the largest you can take as a carry on, on an airplane. So I load this thing up with everything I think I’ll need.

I ended up only taking out one camera and one lens at any time. I did bring a flash with me, but I never had my wife or my sister in law take it out of their purse (thanks for helping me!)

The problem with this is when you’re in an air conditioned place, and you go into a high heat high humidity place you can damage your equipment if you don’t take care. Of course I did, and I use high quality rechargeable dessicants in all of my packs, but that’s not the point. I didn’t want to ruin anything and I used my cell phone to record a lot of cool moments. Though on the last day/night we were there, my wife and I got to go watch a sunrise. I can honestly say I’d never watched a sunrise before, let alone tried to photograph one! It was truly beautiful, even if that damn cloud bank wouldn’t get out of the way.

So I walk around all of these places, play in the ocean and meet these amazing people. I was in absolute heaven. I didn’t have to worry about working on anything except my tan (or my SPF 85 (yeah not kidding) protection for my tan!. I drank Corona Light, and ate Cheesecake or Ice Cream OR BOTH every day. I had some great food and some poor food.

A few people I met, one man was 83 years old. He didn’t look it. He arrived in America in Connecticut in 1968. He was 40 then. He was a heavy crane operator and ended up working on several buildings in the USA. I believe he said Sears Towers and the WTC. Before that, he was a 14 year old boy holding a rifle waiting for the Germans to invade Great Britain. He was in the British Army (I believe he said he was a Captain). Now he lives in Florida, and owns a company with his friend. They do nuclear water filtration.

I met another young man, who is a lawyer for the US Air Force. He moved there from NJ. He is 28 years old and when I asked him if he liked it there he said that he’s 2 blocks from the beach…how can’t you like it?

I seen cruise ships in person, and they are so huge! I went in the Atlantic Ocean over my head (perhaps 1 foot over my head?) and there were dolphins swimming by me. I didn’t know they were, and something swam an hit my legs that was like rubber. I freaked and swam to shore. My wife and sister-in-law told me that I was so close to the dolphins that they think it was a dolphin!

I’m terrified of flying. I had to have my Dr. prescribe me a few valium so I wouldn’t have a panic attack on the air plane. I’m sitting there reading all of this crap about how my seat can be used as a floatation device. All I could think was that if I hurt myself doing a belly flop in a pool…imagine the damage from falling 30,000 feet from the air. Then I would tell myself that the pilot would set us down as nice as he could, but then I got to thinking when we were flying through cloud banks, that what if another damn plane hit us!

I’ve got a few events coming up that I’ll be photographing, so I’ll have those photos when I shoot them. I just upgraded to the newest photoshop, CS5. However, it hasn’t arrived yet. I did a fresh install of windows 7 64bit on my computer, and don’t want to install my old version of photoshop just a few days before my new one arrives. I also upgraded to the new Adobe Lightroom 3. I had 2.5/6 before, but never used it.

So along with getting a new software to learn some new changes with, I’ll be learning to use the LR3 software, which I’m completely unfamiliar with it.

What this means is after I get my copy of CS5 (should’ve been here today), I’ll begin processing a few Florida photographs and posting them. Until then, here’s just a few snaps to get us started. They aren’t indicative of the trip, just something to look at until I post again.

Also, if you go to my face book page and check out the mobile uploads section, you’ll be able to see some that I snapped with my cellphone.

Stay posted, lots of new things are going to come from Rob Lynn photography. I hope you enjoy reading my blog, and will continue to do so. I find a lot of blogs are stale because they don’t say anything about the person behind it. I love meeting people and exchanging stories, so I focus mine not only on photography but also on something that you can walk away from and feel like you have something worth talking about.

Check out the website for more information,

From there you can navigate to my face book pages, and fan pages. Please send me a request, as I’m often offering specials on FB that I don’t advertise on the website.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Let me introduce you to...

Many of you know that I train in Judo and Ju Jitsu. My training in these arts, my love of MMA, and me being a professional photographer naturally lead to photographing MMA events.

In my experience, I've been exposed to many fighters. One of which I'd like to introduce you to is Charlie Brenneman. Charlie is a Holidaysburg PA native, a pros vs joes season winner, an outstanding wrestler, an educator and a hell of a human being. What he is also is a UFC MMA fighter. MMA is mixed martial arts. A lot of people in their ignorance don't realize that MMA is a sport and not "human cock fighting".

It combines all martial arts, Judo, Ju Jitsu, Karate, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Sombo and the like under a unified rules match and a fighter pits his skills against another.

Charlie Brenneman is an elite MMA fighter. Sporting a record of 12 wins and 1 loss, Charlie is a UFC fighter. I've had the pleasure of photographing him in his MMA infancy at several events. I've got to meet Charlie several times, and can tell you he's a great guy.

Some of you know that I do photography for submission to different websites. I also write articles for a well known MMA site. Well something happened recently. I interviewed Charlie Brenneman, and submitted the interview to a guy named Peter. He's an editor. The article was changed from a Q and A to an editorial. Long story short, things that I asked Charlie weren't represented the way that Charlie and I intended.

I explained to Charlie that it was posted in an edited version and one that I wasn't pleased with. So here, I'm posting THE ORIGINAL interview, the one that I submitted on my website. I also want to take this as my public forum to apologize for the malarke that happened when the interview was changed.

Here's various pictures of Charlie through the years (I've got tons of photographs of Charlie) and the article.

Q: Since your recent victory inside the UFC octagon, what have you been up to?

A:I took a few days off, but then got right back into the gym. I try to maintain steady training. You never know when you'll get an opportunity.

Q: Your scheduled to fight at UFC 117 August 7, in California. Taking a look at that card, it is stacked! How does it feel to fight on a card with so many big names, and how does it feel to see the growth from fighting in the smaller shows to making it in the big-time?

A:I couldn't have picked a better card to be on. It's a cool thing, going from being a fan of these guys, to being a coworker. I'm being given a huge opportunity by the UFC, and I'm going to make the most of it.

Q: Your current opponent is Johnny Hendricks. What are your thoughts on Hendricks?
A:I love the matchup. I really didn't see it coming, but I have zero complaints.

Q: From what I understand, there’s some history between you two from both of your wrestling days. If this is true, how does it feel to get a fight against him?

A:Was this one that you went looking for, or were just presented with? He actually beat me in the round of 12 at NCAA's my senior year. I hold no hard feelings. It was a different time, in a different sport. I'm looking at this from strictly a fighting point of view, and career wise, it's a great situation. We were presented the matchup, and we jumped on it.

Q: When you have someone that has such a great wrestling pedigree, and is strong where you are strong, what kind of training do you mix into your program?

A:I train daily to be a great fighter. I've mixed my wrestling in well w/ my other skills. I'm obviously working on my hands, and I really feel conditioning and standup will be the most important factors in this fight.

Q: Where is/are your training camp(s) for this fight?

A:I'm training at AMA Fightclub in Whippany, NJ. I may mix it up at a few other gyms a bit, but AMA is my home.

Q: How is the strength program going? I’ve seen the videos and the workouts do not look fun at all.

A: A huge thanks to my strength coach Don Messing ( He's helped me put on some solid weight, and we're at it four or five times a week in the gym. We do a good job of mixing up weight training, as well as endurance training. And no, they are not fun!

Q: How have the fans been treating you since you signed to the UFC?

A:On a local and regional level, it's been great. I'm lucky to have such loyal, supportive fans. I actually get a good bit of fan mail too, which is pretty cool. On the national scene, I do get noticed here and there, but nothing major. Hopefully come Aug. 7, that will change!

Q:I personally know how popular you are in my area and your name has been spreading this town like wildfire. I think it’s great too, because you’re the kind of guy that helps give a good face to the sport. A lot of folks who haven’t been exposed to the sport think it’s just mush heads beating on each other. They don’t realize that today’s fighters are highly intelligent individuals. How have people been reacting to you since you’ve moved from education to mixed martial arts?

A: First, thank you. Secondly, it's been a good reception. I can remember trying to explain to people why I was leaving my teaching position, and how many blank stares and confused nods I got. I finished up my Master's too at East Stroudsburg Univ. (per the request of my mom), where I also coach wrestling. I just try to be the best version of me on a daily basis, and hopefully that sends out a positive msg.

Q; UFC 117 is host to a great fight card, and one that I’m very excited for. Do you have any picks for the fights of the evening?

A:I'm working that night, so there's only one fight on my mind!

Q: Do you have anything that you would like to say to your fans, or anyone else?

A:Thanks for the continued support. I've come across some great people who have helped me out a great deal, so thank you to those people. Also, I put everything up online via my site (, blog, facebook, and twitter (SpaniardMMA), so please check them out and spread the word!!!

Q: Do you have any sponsors?

A:I am sponsored during my fights, so please check out my website for the links! Most of my current sponsors are fight by fight. I'm always looking, so feel free to contact me!

Q: Is there anyone that you would like to thank/mention?

A:I would like to thank my strength coach Don Messing ( for the huge gains I've had over the last few months, as well as Dr. Tom Boorujy who helps keep me aligned and ready to go ( And thanks to all of my supporters!!!

Charlie, I want to publicly apologize for the previous version that Peter changed. I didn't know he was going to do that. Good luck on the fight, and I am confident the W is there any way you want it. Be it sub, KO, TKO, or UD.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Intense weekend!

This weekend, Saturday specifically. I photographed a wedding an hour away for a lovely young couple, and then photographed VFL MMA's 4th installment of the Broad Avenue Brawlers at the Jaffa Mosque. Same night, 2 events that you would normally photograph on their own.

Here's the simple back story. The couple needed a last minute photographer because their photographer backed out. I had the fight scheduled for about 1/2 a year now, and it worked out perfect that the couple's wedding was earlier in the day.

Here are a few samples from the weekend. This blog will be sort of short, because I've got a ton of wedding photographs to process.

Here's the quick results from the fights,

Jake Parks Defeated Chad Murawski Via UD.
Ryan Glunt defeated Doug Haupt via Rd 2 arm Bar.
Johnny Waliko defeated Gabriel (no idea on last name) UD.
Joshua Jaskins ddefeated Mike Stuck via choke Rd 1.
Vitautas Bucevicius defeated Eric Delaini via UD.
Christian DeHaas defeated Curtis Link via UD.
Chris Roman defeated Troy Bush via Ref Stoppage Rd 1.
Brett Shoenfelt defeated Mike Kunowsky via UD.
Coy Maloy Defeated Chauncey Gnagey via RNChoke Rd1.
Justin Head defeated Andrew Ricketts via Triangle choke.
Travis Clark defeated Tenyeh Dixon via Ref Stoppage Rd1
Frank Armstrong defeated Tige McAfoos via 2nd Rd Choke
Richard Brooks defeated Travis Glass Rd 1 Choke.
Justin Finnegan defeated Anthony Ford Rd 1 Choke.
Bret Thomas defeated Travis Wineland R 1 Armbar.
Elijah Garshnick defeated Bruce Monroe Rd 3 with an arm bar.

UFC Fighter Charlie Brenneman who fights Johnny Hendricks this weekend was in the crowd and a special guest at the fights. Charlie is a Hollidaysburg native, and a really down to Earth cool guy. It's been a pleasure as a fan of MMA to watch his rise in MMA and his ascension to the UFC. Congrats and good luck Charlie! Look forward to a Q and A, UNEDITED *(unlike the version that appeared on in the next few days.

Also included in this batch of photos are some prelims from the wedding. I can't wait to present the new Mr and Mrs Erstgaard with their wonderful photographs!

Talk to you guys soon!

In the first fight photograph, Bruce Monroe submits to an armbar from kesa gatame applied by Elijah Garshnick. In the second fight photograph local up and comer Justin Finnegan applies a slick and very tight guillotine choke.

In our first wedding photograph, we've got the ceremony then the ,bride and groom together (in a fun photo!) and one of the groom in the church.
For the full fight gallery, go to