Monday, August 30, 2010

Garage Band Woodstock...

This was kind of a cool idea and shows exactly how influential social networking has become. A couple of months ago, some local folks decided to have a reunion of garage bands from their days in high school in the 60's. The organizers put it up on many of their reunion pages on Facebook and it pretty much blew up in popularity. It was a pretty cool way of showing just how influential social networking sites can be. The organizer told me they were hoping to get 400 people there so they could break even and ended up nearly selling out the place.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Football Covers...

So, a couple of weeks ago I was looking through the previous year's football tab trying to get an idea of what I shot, hoping for some inspiration for this year's covers. What I saw was a real disappointment in what I had shot last year. Most of the covers I had shot were action shots, they were ok, but I didn't really like the overall product that I had done. I know some of that had to do with time constraints, a lot more last year than I had this year. Others were just not real great in the way of ideas that were given, and some of the stories weren't real conducive to producing a good cover. Basically, it boiled down to me being really disappointed in the work that I had done, and I was determined to improve it this year to a product I was happy with.
Over the past few years, in addition to a front cover of the section, we've split up all of the classifications (Class 1A-5A, six-man and college, seven total) with their own individual covers as well. It's a neat idea in theory, and a helluva lot of work in the short period of time that I get to do it in. Basically, I get about a week-and-a-half (eight total days) to get all of these done, in addition to the first four days of practice being taken up by shooting mug shots.
This year, I think it helped that all the cover stories were player features. This allowed me to go out and shoot portraits of the players. Most of them I was able to shoot portraits for, I did use an action shot of one using game file art for one of the covers, just to change it up a little, plus the photo worked really well as a cover shot.
For the overall cover (second from the top), Abilene High was the defending state champs, so they were a natural fit for the cover. I'd originally planned to put them in a dark room and have a black background, but as I was walking into the coaches office I walked by the wall with all the team accomplishments over the year and figured that would make a better background, all that was left after that was putting the players in and setting up the lights. It worked out just right so you could see what was in the background but not be too distracting.
The only other problem I had was trying to avoid making all the photos look the same while maintaining the same style and still leaving some space to put text on the photo for the cover feel while at the same time being stuck having to put it in a 10x10 hole (which was the page dimensions). I think it worked out ok. I was happy with the overall product, of course there were some photos I liked better than others, but that's going to happen any time. But, compared to last year, the sum of the covers were considerably better.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Downward Dog in the Park

This was one of those odd assignments I didn't know what to expect I was going to get. It was the first ever yoga in the park. It was going to be a nice change of pace from football practice. Yes, even for me it's nice to shoot something other than football every once in a while. The group turned out to be a nice mix of beginners and advanced yoga participants, and it made for a few nice photos. Although, I gotta say, I'm glad I was taking pictures and not doing the actual exercises, I'm not sure I as flexible as I used to be 10 years ago, and some of those positions just looked painful.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's That Football Time of Year Again...

The weather this summer has been pretty mild, however, football practice started on August 2. That's pretty much a surefire way for the temperatures to shoot over 100. On the first day the thermometer, according to one of the banks I passed, topped out at 107! And, of course, I was spending everyday out shooting football mugs and squeezing in practice photos, web videos, and shooting football tab cover shots (more on that later).
This has become a yearly thing. The first four days of preseason practice is spent driving all over the area shooting mug shots of every 11-man football player in the area. Not a whole lot of fun. Luckily I get to shoot some practice photos in between mugs. That's the fun part. If not for that it's would be an insanely boring and long week.









Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tour de Gap

The Tour de Gap is one of the few reasons I don't mind getting up at the crack of dawn. It's always a lot of fun and lets me shoot a sport that I only get to cover once maybe twice a year. Which is different from a lot of the sports I shoot. Because I can't have a "bad game" since I only get one shot, and then have to wait another year. Luckily, I get three plus hours to shoot the race which allows for plenty of shots, and multiple locations. This year's race had the same route as last year, so I was able to mentally recount some of the better (and worse) places to shoot from. So, while I got a few shots that looked a lot like last year's I was able to shoot of the others I thought I could work better again. I was happy with the results.