Saturday, March 31, 2007

Jedi Post Master

When did George Lucas take over the US Postal Service? May the force be with your late car payment, I suppose.

Friday, March 30, 2007


I love the light and I hate the light in this photo. I love the back light because its cool, but I hate the front light because it casts shadows all over the wall. It probably would have been better with no lights at all, but it was super dark in the jugglefest gym. The side light, I thought, worked out a little better.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Final Four Assignment

I was kind of bored on my day off today, so I decided to put a quick entry together for the Strobist Final Four assignment. The assignment is basically to shoot a basketball on a neutral background using no more than two lights. You can see some of the other entries here, and see my set up for the shot here. Apparently since I have a new Flickr account, an administrator must review my photos before my entry will show up with in the strobist group. Becasue that review period could take up to 10 days, my photo may not post to the Strobist group before the Monday deadline. Boo.

By the way, I picked up a couple of CDs today. One fantastic, the other OK. I may have overhyped the Mika CD, "Life in Cartoon Motion," a little prematurely. It was good, but somewhere between him singing about sucking on lollipops and how "big girls" are beautiful he lost me. It's still a fun album with some great moments, but not as great as I expected.

Andrew Bird's "Armchair Apocrypha", however, is so wonderful. I instantly liked his single, Heretics, but was afraid the rest of the CD would disappoint. Far from it. Andrew Bird is a musical genious, and I am loving this CD. This song is an early favorite:

Plasticities.mp3 by Andrew Bird

Monday, March 26, 2007

I Once Was Lost

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Little Bit More Mural

Press conferences are never really that exciting, and neither was this one, but I was loving this mural they had up in the lobby of the women's athletics building on campus. They announced a new head basketball coach today, and here he is just chatting with some people after the press conference in front of my favorite new wall.
Unfortunately during the actual press conference they put up this dull gray back drop. The whole thing was also set in a dark corner of the lobby with mixed lighting. Why PR people don't consult photographers I'll never understand.

OK, so I'm straight stealing a post idea. Lost Things Found, a music blog I often visit, recently featured the cool retro soul stylings of Jamie Lidell and I was quite intrigued. I'm not a big listener of R&B/Funk/Soul, but good music is good music. You may recognize one of these songs, which is featured on the latest Target commercial. These are off Lidell's 2005 CD "Multiply," and they are just phenomenal.

When I Come Back Around.mp3 by Jamie Lidell
A Little Bit More.mp3 by Jamie Lidell

Monday, March 19, 2007

Shock, Shock Me

I don't want to over hype this, but the greatest CD of the year comes out next week and it will change your life forever. Well, maybe not.

It's called "Life in Cartoon Motion," by London-based singer Mika, and I have been obsessed with two of his songs for the last week or so. They are so happy and fantastic and fun. I haven't heard the entire CD yet, but if these songs are any indication its bound to be brilliant.

Grace Kelly.mp3
by Mika
Love Today.mp3 by Mika

By the way, little kid + flowering tree = cool springy photo. It's basic math.

Friday, March 16, 2007

One And Done

I don't care what people say, I love marching bands.

So the first round of the Spokane regional of the NCAA Tournament got underway. It was good times. Great games all day, including the New Mexcio State/Texas game (above) and the Winthrop/Notre Dame game.

Well, it was great games all day until the last game, the Arkansas/USC game. Arkansas played well...for about 10 minutes. Then the Trojans started dominating and Arkansas couldn't keep up. Cue the sad photos:

Better luck next year, Arkansas.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ready For The Madness

The madness doesn't start here until tomorrow, so today it was all practices and press conferences for teams at the Spokane site of the NCAA Tournament. I shot this as I was walking out of the stadium after a long day.

What made it a long day wasn't all work related. The sports reporters and I made a little excursion across the border to Idaho to check out some of the scenic areas and take a ride on what is billed as "The World's Largest Gondola." I'm not really into landscape photography, but the 20 minute ride to the top of Silver Mountain was pretty cool.

Going up (with sports reporter Alex Abrams)

Hanging out at the top (with a pair or random snowboarders)

And on the way down (with sports reporter Grant Hall)
The ride was pretty steep at parts. The only really scary part happened while we were heading down. The ride suddenly stopped and we just hung there over the steep mountain side for about 5 minutes. We were debating if we could survive the jump down when the ride started back up again.

The real action starts here tomorrow, and I'm so ready for the games to begin. It will be interesting to see how this team plays. I was shocked all last week by their run of wins in the SEC Tournament. Hopefully they will keep it up this weekend.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

On The Road Again

A couple of quick shots from the Salt Lake City Airport, taken during the layover on the way to Spokane, Wash., for the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. I actually really liked the SLC airport. Huge windows to gaze at the Rocky Mountains that seemed to surround the airport, and photos and art hung all over the walkways. I'm sure most passengers just rush by as they scurry between connections. Don't worry airport director Maureen Riley, I appreciate your efforts.

I feel like I didn't shoot enough non-sports photos in Atlanta for my blog last week. I hope to change that this week.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Atlanta Outtakes

A couple of random photos left over from my trip to the SEC Tournament in Atlanta.

The sports reporter and I took the MARTA subway/train thing a couple of times while in Atlanta. I think public transit areas are so ripe for people watching and photo opportunities. These were just a couple of quick shots from the hip as we were navigating our way back to the hotel. I wish I had time to take pictures around the city while I was there, especially along the MARTA. I could have spent all day in the train station just observing the different people and quietly trying to capture life on commute.

Here Florida basketball player Joakim Noah hams it up for the cameras while he waits for the live CBS interview after the game. It was kind of funny, but obviously I was on the wrong side. I don't know if you saw his interview, but I thought the he came off extremely cocky, almost arrogant. I guess when you are as good a player as he is, you can get away with that.

So I picked up a CD yesterday, kind of on a whim. That usually results in a fantastic discovery or an amazing let down. This kind of fell somewhere in between. It's called "Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!" from the band Hellogoodbye. Apparently they have a top 40 hit that I hadn't heard before. Good thing too, because the single, "Here (In Your Arms)," isn't all that great. The CD isn't bad, but it's kind of all over the place. One song sounds like a remixed dance track, another is a light, mall punk anthem. Then there's that ballady acoustic song thrown in for good measure. Overall, though, its fun and an easy listen. Here are a couple of my favorites so far:

Homewrecker.mp3 by Hellogoodbye
Oh, It's Love.mp3 by Hellogoodbye

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Championship Bound

What is going on with this team?

Apparently coach Stan Heath's prayers have been answered. After today's semi-final round win, the Arkansas Razorbacks are heading to the championship round of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament tomorrow. Now the team will likely get an NCAA Tournament bid regardless of the outcome, thus saving Heath's job and ensuring I get maximum mileage out of my trip to Atlanta.

So unlike today (sorry Mississippi State), tomorrow everybody wins. How did that happen?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Fantastically Random (or, A Beyond Useless Post)

Rather than just regurgitate the fantastically average photos I shot from the Arkansas vs. Vanderbilt game (they won, another day in Atlanta, yeah!), here are some photos from the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament that will never see print.

Even if my newspaper did want photos from the Kentucky vs. Mississippi State game (they don't), these photos would still never run. Kentucky (the blue team) lost and Mississippi State won, making these photos beyond useless. I still like them though.

Keeping with the theme, here are a couple of extremely random songs that have made their way onto my play list. They are very much on the fringe of what I normally listen to. The Sigur Ros is not only random, but the Icelandic band's song is in another language. Once you get over the initial, "what the hell is this" shock, it's actually quite fantastic and beautiful. I'm still on the fence about the Dntel (yes, it's suppose to sound like that in the beginning). Dntel (aka Scott Tamborello) makes up half of a group I like called The Postal Service, so this song from his new album gets a pass. Finally, the Ms. John Soda song is an old favorite. For some reason it has resurfaced and become the theme song for my trip to Atlanta. In fact, I made all but one of these images while listening to this song on a continuous loop. Enjoy.

by Sigor Ros
Dumb Luck.mp3 by Dntel
A Nod On Hold.mp3 by Ms. John Soda

Thursday, March 08, 2007

March Madness

The first round of play got underway today in the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament, held in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

I fully expected this to be a "one and done" situation since the Razorbacks have had a less than successful season, but Arkansas actually won their game against South Carolina (82-52). This means that not only do I get stay in Atlanta another day, but I will likely miss the indoor track meet back in Fayetteville.

No one was more excited about this win then me.

Well, except maybe Charles Thomas and Patrick Beverley.

The first half of the game was kind of boring. Both teams played pretty poorly in the beginning, but there were pockets of action here and there. In the end Arkansas dominated the second half and everyone came away happy.

Well, except South Carolina I suppose.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

On The Bubble

Arkansas may not be at the very bottom of the SEC, but head coach Stan Heath is feeling the pressure. The Razorbacks' post-season chances, and Heath's job, are on the line heading into the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament in Atlanta.
Meanwhile, I'm praying the Razorbacks can win at least one game in the SEC Tournament. If not, that means I'm headed back to Arkansas early. I've never been to an SEC tournament where Arkansas has made it past the first round, so recent history isn't in their favor.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Dandy in Vandy

I had the chance to shoot the Arkansas at Vanderbilt game yesterday, and this was my favorite shot. It didn't run in the paper today, but I understand why. Arkansas won the game and the players are finally on a hot streak after a pretty dismal season, so a photo that makes Arkansas look like they are out of control or doing a poor job doesn't work. It's just dandy for the blog, though.

Speaking of doing a poor job, its been a while since I've posted some music. I'm sure almost no one cares, but I'm excited about these song and think they are worth sharing. Give them a listen:

Thank God It's Fatal
The newest CD from artist Andrew Bird comes out later this month. The wild whistling, violin playing singer is responsible for what is probably one of my favorite songs (Mysterious Production of Eggs' "Sovay"). His new song is lush and infectious, and I can't wait for his new CD to come out.

Heretics.mp3 by Andrew Bird

Shining Bright

Conor Oberst fronts the sometimes rotating line up of performers for the group Bright Eyes. This coming week they release the CD single "Four Winds." I've heard a few of the six songs on the disc, but this one remains my favorite.

Tourist Trap.mp3
by Bright Eyes

Jenny Was A Friend of Mine
Scottish singer/songwriter Paulo Nutini was recommended to me by a friend at work. I don't know much about him, but he's got a great voice. The CD is extremely polished (almost too clean and perfect in production) for a first album. Definitely worth a listen.

Jenny Don't be Hasty
by Paolo Nutini