Hands-on learning

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Colleges and universities are increasingly instituting 'hands-on' work experience into the curricula.  This comes in the form of summer internships, work-study programs, and course work that incorporates time working with local companies.  This trend is perhaps greatest in business schools like the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. One allied program called the Tauber Institute is an interdisciplinary operations program between the business and engineering schools at the university.  Classes in the business school often pair teams of five students with a local startup or established business to work on marketing, finance and business issues.

It's definitely a win-win:  students work on real-world problems to hone their skills and perhaps get a leg up when they've graduated and are looking for a full-time position.  And businesses get the benefit of really sharp young students with insight into what young people are looking for in the modern marketplace. 

I photographed several of these collaborations for the business school in recent months, including at the Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Listening to members of the Whirlpool marketing team question the students about their take on current advertising programs, it was evident this mutli-national company was eager to pick the brains of these smart millennials. One startup company teamed with students was Nakee, maker of a new chocolate/peanut butter spread.  The gregarious, bearded owner invited the U of M team to visit his booth at Detroit's Eastern Market, and then his modest packing operation in the kitchen of a nearby restaurant.

Students end the semester's project with a presentation to the company's executives.

Other colleges within universities like U of M have their own programs, including Art & Design and Public Health.  Summer internship opportunities are a real draw for high school seniors deciding on a college to attend.

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This is a video piece I videotaped and edited for automotive supplier Schaeffler during media days at the Detroit Auto Show. It's for inclusion on the German company's website.

The auto show is open to the public through Sunday, January 28.

Along with photography one of the great passions of my life has been music.  And I've been blessed to be able to play with great friends and musicians over the years.  All through the 90s I played piano and accordion and sang with a group called One by One.  We focused on music of social justice, from a bluesy lament on sinking into debt, to calls for solidarity, to a lighthearted anthem to bananas.

In October of 2017 we regrouped to play a benefit concert, and had so much fun we did it again two months later.  But barely a week after that second concert the member of the group who was instrumental in getting us together again, Charley Gehringer, died from heart failure tied to his Type 1 diabetes.  He was 65.  He was one of the finest, most kind-hearted men I've every known.  A superlative pianist, he also played guitar.  He recorded a number of albums of original piano pieces, taught piano, and played thoughout the area for many years. 

In a world of bombast and inanity, I think the world should note that fine people like Charley are out there making the world a better place every day.  Goodbye my friend.

Creative Finder

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To view a quick overview of my 39 year business and sample images, take a look at The Creative Finder site: 


Nikon found 32 photographers from Africa, Asia and the Middle East to work on assignments in service of promoting a new camera.  All were men.  Not a single woman in the bunch.  This squares with my experience in the photography business going back almost 40 years.  Women have always been underrepresented and snubbed in this male-dominated profession. And reading stories like this, it seems any progress for women has been negligible.

Read the New York Times story here:


Gladiators to Football

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Today we react with disgust to so-called sport and entertainment of ages past. Roman gladiators fought, and slaves were fed to lions to entertain the citizenry.  Even more popular was deadly chariot racing.

Today boxing in the U.S. has only a sliver of its past popularity, though it continues to be popular worldwide.

My opinion is that American football as played today, given the emerging evidence of widespread brain damage among former players, will either change radically to ensure the safety of players, or be relegated to a niche sport favored by only the most brutal among us. Even the NFL itself now acknowledges the link between playing football and the brain disease CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

We can't continue to bury our heads in the sand concerning CTE and still call ourselves a civilized society.
I've photographed and videotaped in industrial settings for many years.  And that experience has taught me to come prepared.  150 feet of extension cord.  Check.  Extra lighting.  Check.  Earplugs, work boots, heavy stands, backdrops.  If you might possibly need it, make sure to pack it.  Of course discussions with the client and plant manager are vital to understand the parameters of the job and to know what to expect.

I photographed and videotaped a model automation process for a client for use in a trade show. While just one minute and 12 seconds long, the video required some fancy editing and music timing. And a GoPro camera helped for a close-in view inside the viewing glass. For the stills, complete white seamless backdrops made the final retouching manageable.


An instructive post from photographer John McMurtrie about the state of copyright infringement in the age of facebook and twitter.  Eye-opening:

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Everyone can see the slow decline of print publishing over the past number of years.  Newspapers and magazines continue to decrease staff and budgets.  And no one sees that more clearly than editorial photographers.  For many years I've photographed for business, trade and consumer magazines. But fees are declining.  And for the past 10 years that part of my business has done a steady fade.

I could see the situation in stark relief when I was reading the March 15 issue of Fortune magazine this week.  The issue listed the 100 best companies to work for, a yearly feature in the magazine.  When I checked the photo credits in the section, over and over again the credit read 'Courtesy of Quicken,' 'Courtesy of Whole Foods', and on and on.  Fortune is using photos sent to them by the companies. Of the 19 or so photos, 12 were supplied to Fortune by the company, two were stock photos, and five appeared to be assigned to photographers.

Unfortunately for photographers, magazines are going to use any and all methods they can to reduce expenses.  The world of fine photo illustration in the editorial world continues to diminish.
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Photos and story © 2017 Dwight Cendrowski

Life-saving airport behemoths to the rescue
Oshkosh Corporation.  Leading the way at airports and beyond.

    Oshkosh is a city in the northeast of the US state of Wisconsin, a region known as the Fox Valley. Known for its dairy farms, lakes and fanatical Green Bay football fans, the area is a growing hub of industry and manufacturing firms, including its iconic namesake, the Oshkosh Corporation. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2017, Oshkosh is an international manufacturing colossus, unmatched  in producing heavy-duty specialty vehicles for markets including defense, fire and emergency, commercial and access equipment. "We are true, heavy manufacturers," says Jeff Resch, vice president and general manager of Oshkosh Airport Products, a business unit of Oshkosh Corporation that produces airport emergency vehicles.  "We design, build and sell everything, from scratch."
    Resch and others in the Fire and Emergency segment of the company are very excited about a new truck called the Striker 8 X 8. It's a redesigned Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) vehicle debuting in April 2017,  a mammoth 8-wheeler capable of carrying 4500 gallons [17000 liters] of water. As Resch proudly says, "We've had an
8 X 8 before, but this new 8 X 8 is the highest performing ARFF vehicle out there." He ticks off the specs. "It has all wheel drive, can go off-road, has high water capacity. Just an awesome firefighting truck."

   cendrowski_161216_3109.jpg Salim Hawi agrees. He's vice president for international sales at Oshkosh and says that "This truck has so much horsepower, you put wings on it, this monster will fly!" That horsepower comes from twoScania Tier4F, 700 hp engines. Scania partnered with Oshkosh from the beginning of the design phase to supply the engines on the new 8 X 8, whose biggest markets will initially be China and the Middle East.Scania also supplies engines for Striker 6 X 6 and 4 X 4 trucks, (the numerals refer to the number of wheels and power to those wheels), as well as snow removal, concrete mixer and refuse trucks.

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The collaboration between Oshkosh and Scania was a smooth fit from the beginning; both companies are leaders in their fields and dedicated to quality products sold throughout the world.  "It's been a great relationship," says Resch. Adds Hawi, "And Scania provides premium service and a warranty second to none."

    The Oshkosh Airport Products group also produces snow blowers, the newest a 3000-ton, single engine machine that is more maneuverable, less costly and requires less maintenance than its double engine sister. Explains Resch, "Similar to the 8 X 8, we said 'We're building a new product. What's the right engine for us?' " And the 8 X 8 design team pointed again to Scania products. Those Scania powered blowers are now being used at the Metropolitan Airports Commission in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, a region known for bitterly cold temperatures and large annual snowfalls of 45 inches [114 cm].cendrowski_161216_3152.jpg

    Oshkosh airport trucks have a worldwide reach. They're custom-built to order, with available features like the Snozzle, a 50 to 65 foot [15 to 20 meter] extendable boom arm that can reach above or below a plane, and with the capability of piercing an airplane cabin or cargo area to spray a powerful shower of water or foam.
    The vehicles also find their way out of airports.  After the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, an ARFF truck came from Dulles International Airport to aid in firefighting.  And in May of 2016,  Alberta, Canada suffered a devastating wildfire that forced the evacuation of nearly 90,000 residents. Two local energy producing companies who are Oshkosh customers rushed several of their Striker 8 X 8 vehicles to aid fire fighters at the Fort McMurray fire.

    Both Hawi and Resch point with pride to the corporation where they've worked  for many years. Says Hawi, "It has a unique culture rooted in strong values, a culture of 'people first.'  Our most important capital is human capital." Oshkosh was recently included among honorees of the world's most ethical companies, an award given by an organization called Ethispere. In addition, Forbes magazine named Oshkosh one of America's best large employers in 2016.
Oshkosh by the numbers
Oshkosh Corporation is a leading maker of heavy-duty specialty vehicles and truck bodies for markets including defense, fire and emergency, snow removal, concrete and construction.
• Founded in 1917
• Four business segments comprising defense, fire and emergency, access equipment and commercial
• 13,000 employees worldwide
• Manufacturing operations in eight US states plus Canada, Australia, Belgium, France, Mexico, Romania and China
• Net sales for fiscal 2015 of  $6.1 billion US dollars

8 x 8 Striker ARFF vehicle
•  Newly redesigned ARFF truck debuting at Fire Department Instructor's Conference (FDIC) in April 2017
• Carries 4500 gallons [17034 liters] of water, 630 gallons [2385 liters] of foam
• 62 ton total weight
• Top speed 70 mph [112 km/h]
• Dual Scania Tier4F engines with maximum 770-horsepower and maximum torque of 3183NM
• Vehicle features power and maneuverability, stable ride, cab comfort and excellent visibility

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