Monday, July 26, 2010

The Running of the Wieners

Being that I'm a sucker for dogs (I just got another one, and now have 5 again), I was really looking forward to shooting the Rescue the Animals' third-annual Dachshund Races. It was originally scheduled for July 10th, little did anyone expect a week of rain and it had to be canceled. This is a really fun event, both for the people and the animals. Outside of a few people enticing their canines with treats, toys, and one even used a laser pointer, none of the dogs had any former training, except for the dogs who had participated in years past.
It's really funny to watch the races, some of the dogs will take right off and run to the finish line. Others will never leave the starting line. The best ones are those who take off and stop in the middle and start playing with the other dogs, or just turn around and run the other way! Overall it's a couple hours of fun for both people and their dogs.





Cowboy Billy Bob...

This is a story we were doing about Billy Bob Brown, a kid from our area, Carbon, Texas, who was going to the National High School Rodeo Finals. It's not totally uncommon for a kid from our area to go nationals, however, when the kid was born with only one lung and nearly died when he was born it makes the story a little better. That angle made for the story being kind of cool, but didn't really mean much for me shooting pictures.
One interesting thing about him was how much time he spends away from home. I had to go find him at a rodeo in Seymour, about 100 miles north of Abilene. What was interesting was he told me this was his sixth rodeo in 3 days! And, he and his roping partner Chace Thompson had been away from home for a week and weren't going to be back home for another two weeks! After the Seymour rodeo they were going to spend the night at Chace's house (which was only about 30 minutes south of Seymour) and then go to Oklahoma for a week before going to Wyoming for another week before finally coming home. It was pretty cool to hear how it worked, I knew the professional rodeo cowboys spent a lot of time on the road, but these guys just finished high school!
It was pretty cool hanging out with him and getting a behind the scenes look at how rodeo cowboys work. I've shot plenty of rodeos over the last 10 years but it's mostly just competition. With these guys I spent most of my time watching them getting ready and waiting for their competition. The competition parts only lasted about 3 total minutes. The rest of it was observing what exactly they do while waiting to compete. Most of it is cutting up with other cowboys to kill time.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy (Really Late) 4th...

I've shot fireworks the last couple of years at the Tye fireworks display and some years have been better than others. The first year I went out their was pretty miserable since I think I parked in a swamp and gotten eaten alive by mosquitoes. Last year turned out pretty cool. This years wasn't so great, it was rainy and nasty out and honestly I was kind of scared it may be canceled. The other pain in the ass was we had the bright idea to shoot this live this year for the next day's paper. In the past this fireworks show was always done on July 3, and allowed for us to add it into our fourth coverage. But, since the fourth was on Saturday this year they did the celebration on the fourth. The problem was with the rain it backed everything up there were some difficulties so the show started 20 minutes late. And my deadline was 10 minutes later. I basically had enough time to shot the beginning of the show run to my car and send pix from my laptop. I shot from the park where the fireworks were being shot, in the past I walked up and down the highway finding people watching from in and on their cars. I think it made better photos but took more time. Since I was on a tight schedule I stuck close. Given the constraints I had I'm happy with what I got but would have like more time to look for something better.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Exercise Class...

I shot this for a story we were doing about summer exercise resolutions. Basically the story was for people who made new year's resolution type promises to themselves for the summer and whether they do a better job of keeping them. The problem was it was a last-minute filler for another Life assignment that had fallen through and needed to be shot quickly, so following someone who was doing this wasn't going to happen. Heck, it was hard enough to even find an exercise class since I was shooting this on a Friday afternoon. Now, since my uhhhhh... exercise, consist of NOT working out at a gym or health club I didn't know that most people don't exercise on Friday's. So, I got to this class and there were only three people there I was kind of nervous. Luckily it turned out pretty nice and I was happy with what I got. On a side note, I was told by on of the instructors that the woman on the left has three kids... I should start exercising.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Football Camp...

Professional athletes often get a bad rap for being selfish and only in it for the money... see the recent circus that has been the NBA free agency market. So, every year when former Cooper High School standout and current Indianapolis Colts player Justin Snow brings some coaches along and holds his annual football camp, you just gotta think it's cool. Hundreds of kids from all over the area show up and run drills. Justin is there for the whole things helping with drills observing and talking to the kids. It's not like a lot of these things where someone puts their name on the camp charges outrageous fees (this one is free) and shows up once talks for three minutes and leaves. In fact, after the camp was over Justin hung around talking to the kids and parents and signed autographs until it was over. Just a really cool event. I could honestly care less about meeting anyone of any type of celebrity status, mostly because they start reading about themselves and thinking they are wonderful. Justin, came up introduced himself and thanked me for being there. He was really genuine about it and a nice guy. And hearing him talk to the kids, he really did seem like he did care about giving back to the community he grew up in.




Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Heating Up...

Summer in West Texas is hotter than hell. The lack of humidity is nice but when you're standing in the sun hot is hot. And, when you're wearing football pads it's gotta be just downright miserable. This was the first day of practice for one of the local high school all-star football games. I was out there shooting the practice for a couple stories for the sports section, but we were also in need of weather photos. And, since most people with any brains hide indoors when the temperature is over 100, I took advantage of the players getting cooled down during a water break.