Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Can't Buy a Break...

The second game of Wylie's playoff baseball series against Mineral Wells didn't go much better than the previous day. There isn't a whole lot more painful thing to watch than a baseball team that's hitting the ball, but not getting hits. It seemed like every time the Bulldogs hit the ball they were hitting it to someone, or they'd get a hard hit up the middle and twice it hit off the pitcher's glove or foot right to the shortstop to make an easy out. The best way to describe this day for Wylie is, sometimes you just can't buy a break. The photos, however, turned out a little bit better than the day before... too bad the light wasn't as nice.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An Exceptional Rodeo...

On my way back to Eastland for the second game of baseball between Wylie and Mineral Wells I was assigned to shoot the Exceptional Kids Rodeo at the Cowboy Heritage Church in Clyde. It was a fun little event where special needs kids get to try out some of the events and be a rodeo cowboy for a couple hours. Of course, the events were a little different than what you'd see at a real rodeo, but they were a lot safer too. Like, the roping used roping dummies instead of real calves and the "bucking events" were using the practice devices too, but it was obvious the kids were having fin. Plus, they did get to ride real horses and meet real cowboys and rodeo queens. It was a fun event to be able to capture the fun that these kids were having.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Baseball Playoffs...

Here we are in the third week of the baseball playoffs and for the first time this season I'm shooting Wylie's baseball team. Part of it had to to with weather, the one in-town tournament they were playing in got rained out. And after that, the Bulldogs played only four games at home this season. Then, with the golf, tennis and track state tournaments going on I ended up missing the first two rounds of the baseball playoffs. So, here I was in the third week of the playoffs shooting Wylie playing Mineral Wells in Eastland. The game wasn't all that great from a shooting perspective, not a lot of hits, no extra base hits and only a few close plays, but a did manage to pull out a couple of decent shots.



Friday, May 25, 2012

Gone Fishin... For Features...

It never seems to fail, on the days that we're short on photos, one of the events that we are expecting to be the centerpiece photos ends up falling through and I'm left scrambling to find something to replace it. The worst part, this time it happened at 6pm. So not only am I scrambling to find a main photo for the local page, but I'm also working against the clock to do it. The only good part about this is the sun doesn't go down now until after 8pm. I spent about an hour looking in a lot of the regular spots for something... anything that may work. Nothing. One of the parks I saw some people sitting on one of the bridges, I had thought they were fishing from the bridge over the water. Well, when I ended up getting out there they weren't fishing and there was nothing that would make a photo. So, I was moving along. At that point it was getting really tight on time. I ended up heading out to Kirby Lake, I guess thinking about seeing a fishing shot got my head set on finding a fishing photo and it had been a while since we had run a fishing photo anyway. Well, I got to Kirby and saw a few high school kids fishing. I ended up hanging out with them for a little bit and made the shot of the kid in the cowboy hat first, thinking that was my shot, I like the hat with the socks and shorts, I just found it kind of funny. Then I ended up getting the shot of the kid throwing the net in the water while his buddy was trying to untangle his line and the sun setting at the same time. I decided I liked all the layers from that a lot more and the hat shot ended up just running here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

State Track, Day 2....

The great thing about the second day of the state track meet is after working 18+ hours the day before, the second day is a "short 12-13 hours. However, from 9am until almost 5pm it is literally almost non-stop shooting, almost 1,400 images worth. The Saturday afternoon session this year was the Class 1A and 3A meets. This year we had a bunch of 3A kids in addition to usual heavy dose of 1A kids.
The day started in the morning with field events. The good part was that they were spread out enough that I could spend a little time shooting each event. Then around noon the running started. Luckily all of the field events were done during this tie and I wasn't going to have to worry about being in two places at once.
This year, we had a couple of teams that were vying for state titles. Both the Munday boys in Class 1A and the Big Spring girls in 3A had a chance to win. And after a strong performance the day before the Albany girls had an outside chance at winning. Munday ended up running away with their title, literally. Big Spring had a few races that they came up short in and Albany couldn't pull off a win in the mile relay. I ended up getting a few nice frames from the meet, but overall, I think I was happier with what I had shot the day before even though I ended up having a lot more keepers on Saturday.











Sunday, May 20, 2012

State Track, Day 1...

I always look forward to shooting the state track meet every Spring. Even though there have been some year the officials seem to have a bigger bug up their ass than others in trying to flex their muscles and show who's boss, the meet is still one of the best run track meets in the country. Not to mention Texas has some of the best track and field talent in the country competing in this meet.
The biggest thing I try to show while shooting this meet, or any track meet is there is more to it than just kids running, throwing and jumping. And having a photo page to display my work as well as an online slideshow is not only a great way to show it, but also shows a need for more than just the standard action photos. Of course, there are plenty of those to show too, but my favorite photos are always the emotional shots, especially those who weren't expected to win their respective races or events.
One thing I have been trying to do for years is the hurdles shot of the runner in the blocks while framed by all the hurdles from the finish line. There are still a few things I don't like about it, but at the same time I liked it enough to publish... I'll try again in a couple years and hopefully shoot it better.








Friday, May 18, 2012

Rainy Day Abilene...

Last year at this time a good chunk of the state was either in the midst of burning down or had already been scorched and there was absolutely no rain anywhere in sight, plus it was already hotter than hell. This year, we've been getting some nice rain. So much that the area has already gotten more rain in the first few months of the year than we had gotten all last year. Last Thursday was no different. There was a little bit of rain in the morning, but during the afternoon it poured. Getting nearly an inch of rain only meant one thing, the parade that was supposed to be on the front page got rained out and we needed to find a weather photo to replace it. I spent quite a while driving around looking for something and had a few really lame shots of cars driving through flooded intersections as safe shots. But nothing I was in love with. Finally, while I was driving by McMurry University I saw a bunch of people walking into Radford Auditorium in caps and gowns. I figured it was graduation practice. So, I spent about 20 minutes sitting in my car watching people trying to avoid the rain until I saw these two ladies huddling under one umbrella trying to stay dry. I was able to track them down, get names and find out it was a pinning ceremony for new nursing students. After that I was able to head back to the office happy (and soaked just from a 20 yard run from my car to the building).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

State Golf Day 2,

The second day of state golf was a lot more of the same that I had shot in the first day. I did try to change things up a little bit in trying to focus on the one local kid and the players who had done well the previous day. I was thinking being able to spend a little more time with them would allow my shots to be a little better. There were a couple of shot I did like. I was able to pull out my wide lens and shoot a few different things. While shooting over at the Class 1A tournament I ended up pulling out my iPhone to shoot a couple shot of the players teeing off. I did this since the camera on the phone doesn't make and shutter noise while allowed me to shoot during the player's backswing, which is normally a huge no-no. But, since it made no sound I was able to shoot it and the player never knew. I'm glad I tried to make a few practice frames since the shutter lag of the iPhone camera is quite a bit more than my Nikons.





Wednesday, May 16, 2012

State Golf, Day 1...

Going into the week, I was thinking that shooting state golf this year was going to be a lot easier than the past since I didn't have to split thing with tennis. Damn, was I wrong. This may have been the toughest time I've had shooting golf in a long time, mostly just because of the sheer number of golfers we had in the tournaments. Normally in the past we'd have a couple of teams competing and I could spend time shooting the better teams and then grab a few shots of the others.
This year, though, we had six teams competing in three classes and in Class A there were two boys and girls teams. Not to mention a bunch of individual players. To break this down: I had to shoot on three different courses, and when the girls start of the back nine, the boys start on the front. Basically, I was spending a whole lot more time walking the golf course (since in my 10 years of doing this, I'm yet to find the rumored media cart that is allegedly out there) carrying all my camera gear around with me. When it's just a couple of teams I can spend a few holes watching players, seeing how things develop. This time though, I was shooting a player for a hole and plotting where or who I'd be shooting next at the same time, it really kind of sucked.
The other problem I ended up running in to was most of our teams and players were all having bad rounds at the same time. It was rather uncharacteristic of what I was used to shooting in the past. The only good thing coming out of all of this was that golfers playing bad usually translates into sand shots or nice facial expressions. So, even given all of the time constraints, I managed to pull off a few decent shots, though it was mostly of players not pulling them off.