Thursday, April 29, 2010

Crash and Splash...

Friday was the first track meet I shot all year. Somehow or another I've missed them all year so far due to scheduling, vacation, days off, etc. The first day was mostly field events. The only two races being run were the 10,000m and the steeplechase... probably the best event in track. Sadly the race isn't run in high school in Texas, although I may need to petition the UIL to add it since it's such a great race to shoot. Now, I never wish for anyone to get hurt but tripping over the barrier and falling in a puddle of water isn't going to hurt anyone, but it sure will make great photos.




Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Saying Goodbye...

The Abilene School superintendent announced last year that he was going to retire at the end of this school year. This did a couple of things. 1) Gave the school board enough time to find his replacement. 2) Gave the town time to set up a big goodbye gala. Last Thursday was that goodbye. It started off with a reception at the Paramount Theater and then moved down the street to the civic center for a big goodbye dinner. I had an assignment 30 minutes before the reception, but the dinner wasn't until later. However, I was pretty sure the reception was going to make for the better photos. I've shot plenty of these dinners and they are all pretty much the same, little to no interaction between the guest of honor and everyone there, except maybe him standing at the podium.
So, luckily enough I made a decent photo at my early assignment to get over to the reception only a few minutes late. Which was fine since most of the people coming hadn't even arrived yet. I made a few safe shots of him getting hugs from well-wishers. Then I went upstairs and made some shots I liked a lot better. My two favorite shots were the overheads, however, the photo was running secondary, so I was kind of forced to go with the safe shot I made earlier, and then the inside photo was from the dinner. A shot that I liked as well, it was a nice candid shot that did a nice job of showing some personality.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

World's Largest BBQ....

This is one of those events I cover every year. I've tried to shoot it differently in the past but after 10 years you kind of run out of ides. So, you just have to keep an eye out for nice moments. Since we pushing so hard to put more content on the web and my day was pretty open and I didn't have another assignment for a few hours I was able to spend a little more time than normal. Usually I concentrate on just shooting the airmen since they are the ones being honored, and deservedly so. But since I had extra time and an outlet for the photos I decided to shoot some extras with the volunteers as well. I think the overhead meat cutting shot is one of my favorites, mainly because it was a shot I hadn't done from here before. However, a close second would be the little girl in the pink cowboy hat. She was an absolute doll. When I was getting her name and the names of her family members I told her I liked her hat, and after I did that she raised her leg up above the table to show me her matching pink cowboy boots, it was just too cute and I got a great laugh out of it. It's the little things like that, that make my job so much fun.




Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Weathering the Storm...

Last Friday was my first day back after a week and a half of vacation. My assignments were to shoot a portrait of a city council candidate for an election preview then McMurry University's Spring football practice and after that to Breckenridge to shoot softball. It started raining while I was in the middle of the portrait, that was ok because it wasn't coming down hard and we were under a tree. By the time I got to McMurry it was pouring! The practice was going on like normal which at least that was good, there was no thunder or lightning, just rain so I shot the assignment. I had to shoot both a practice shot and get a shot for a feature about one of the assistant coaches. It was easy enough, and although I was drenched in the 20 minutes I was out there I was at least able to get out of the rain.
So, when I got back to the office I was sure the softball game was going to be rained out. Breckenridge is about 65 miles northeast of here, but the storms were headed that way. I checked with the reporter and the game was still on. He called the coach and she said they were going to play, but if something changed she would call his cell phone to let him know. So, as we were driving up there through the pouring rain we were sure the call would come any minute that the game was called off... it never happened.
We got there and they were playing, in the rain. And it was coming down! So much so I grabbed a towel and my waterproof windbreaker. I threw the towel over my 300mm lens so it wouldn't get totally water logged. The game was awful, it was so sloppy out there the pitcher could barely even hold on to the ball! I ended up grabbing a quick shot of the people in the stands huddled under their umbrellas, in case a weather feature was needed. Good thing I did. Because after the end of the inning they called the game. The field was just too sloppy. So, we drove an hour each way to shoot 20 minutes of a softball game that was never even a game! I'm just glad I had a photo to turn in since we still ran a story about all the games that day that were postponed.
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Street balling...

After shooting the Little League opening ceremonies I had to rush across town for a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, the last few of these things I had shot weren't all that great and not very well organized. Luckily this one was being run by the city park and recreation department and not a bunch of people just trying to make a few bucks.
It was basically set up to be 3-on-3 street ball being played outdoors in a parking lot, most of the teams were made up by kids. The good thing about it was I could pretty much do whatever I wanted to aside from standing on the court. So, I wanted to try to shoot something different from what I would normally get from a high school game. It seemed like a perfect opportunity for the stick cam. I put a 14mm lens on my D3 and used a pocket wizard to set it off.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Kids of Summer...

Nothing better than getting up early on a Saturday morning. Anybody who knows me knows I value my sleep. So, needless to say I was less than thrilled to be getting up early to shoot last Saturday. However, the good thing about it is the light is really nice at this time. So, I took advantage of what I was given. A lot of the Little League organizations around here do an opening ceremony where they introduce every one of the players. I've shot one before and always thought it was a pretty cool thing to do for the kids.
The problem is I only had about 30 minutes before needing to shuffle off to another assignment. That's ok, I was able to get a decent shot of one of the little kids running on to the field as well as a couple of other shots I liked of the kids standing and sitting in the dugout waiting to take the field.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Still Waiting for a Goal...

Cooper played Brownwood for the second soccer game I shot in the week. I got there about 7 minutes into the game and the score was 1-1. I figured great, there have been 2 goals in the first seven minutes that's gotta be a good sign. Well, I later found out that both goals were scored on penalty kicks. Cooper later scored another penalty kick goal and finally Brownwood did score a goal... while I was on the other side of the field. But I was still optimistic about some more scoring happening. Well, that wasn't such a great idea. Through the whole second half and two overtimes, there were no more goals. Luckily, unlike the Abilene High game the game was early and I wasn't sweating over a deadline. Not to mention the overtime period had some really nice light. But there were still no goals until they went to the shootout. Which also was short on goals. Sadly, between 10 shooters only ONE was able to get one past the opposing team's goalie! I'm not sure if that meant the goalies were that good or the shooters were that bad. Well, at least it made for a nice celebration photo.