Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Scaritage Park

I love Halloween. This photo was taken in the parking lot as I heading back to my car from the Scaritage Park event at Heritage Park. I think I may be over doing the silhouetted-palm-tree-with-fill-flash photo, but those palm trees were just begging me to shoot them. I couldn't resist when I saw people parading past them in their costumes on their way to the event. Actually most of the stuff I came away with was shot outside or at the edge of the park. I just wasn't keen on the actual event, I suppose, but was all about the comings and goings around it.

And I'm the fence about his photo. The layering of subjects with people coming in and out of the frame make it either interesting and brilliant, or extremely pointless and pretentious. I'm not sure which.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Outtakes (or The Patrick Hat Trick)

A couple of outtakes from a Closet Snoop fashion thingy I shot tonight. The above shot I love. This was taken in a small room off to the left of a bright kitchen. It was bare and dark, and the kitchen light streaming in was so cool and moody I had to recreate it with my lights. Throw some cool art in the back and, bam, you got a photo. The photo below I shot as I was waiting for the woman to change. The kid was jumping all over the place saying, "take my picture," "let me see," "can I try it," and so on. So I took a couple of test shots of him to adjust my lights, and we were both happy.

So it's only Tuesday, but the highlight of my week has already happened. I'm talking, of course, about The Patrick Hat Trick. I'll explain.

For a while I was obsessed with a Canadian singer/group called Patrick Watson. Good stuff. It took me a while to really get into it, but it has some fantastic songs and overall is a great little album. Then a few weeks ago, a co-worker introduced me to the music of Patrick Wolf, and my obsession shifted to the slightly androgynous, yet fantastically talented British singer. Pure coincidence that they both had the same name. But after a while I thought, 'wouldn't it be funny if the next artist I started listening to also had the first name Patrick?' Not only would it be cool, but then I could use the phrase "The Patrick Hat Trick" when people asked what I was listening to. As soon as I uttered those words I knew I had to make it happen. Well, Monday I found my third Patrick.

Introducing Patrick Park, the L.A. based folk rocker who's catchy tunes and slightly melancholic melodies provide the perfect balance to Patrick 1 and Patrick 2. The first song of his I heard, "Here We Are," had me hooked right away. Here's a sampling:

Here We Are.mp3 by Patrick Park
Life Is A Song.mp3 by Patrick Park

I guess to make it a true hat trick (and to keep with the post's theme) here's a Patrick outtake that didn't quite measure up. Still a great song though.

Rocket To The Moon.mp3 by Patrick Cleandenim

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fright Night

One of the reasons I left the Natural State in search of greener pastures was to create more web and multimedia content. Last week I decided it was probably about time I started doing what I came here to do. So I swiped a video camera from our web department and ventured over to a local haunted house.

About 5 minutes after I arrived at the haunted house, I started having second thoughts about this whole video thing. It was so dark, I had no idea how to really use the video camera and I felt kind of lost without my Nikon and Domke bag around my shoulder. About 5 seconds into the editing process I decided I'd made a horrible mistake and never wanted to do video again. Adobe Premiere is definitely not as user friendly as iMovie.

In the end, though, I was happy with the final product. It definitely tells the story better than I could have with a still camera alone, and it was a bit of a thrill when I finally saw it on our newspaper's web site. I think I'll definitely give this video thing another try.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Train Tragedy

I think this woman's daughter got hit by a train.

Or maybe it was this boy's girlfriend. I don't know. Either way, four kids were crossing a train bridge over the Nueces River when they heard the engine coming. Two of them ran back south the way they came. Two ran north to the other side. The two that ran north weren't going to make it. One jumped off the bridge into the water. The other, a teenage girl, was hit by the train. Her body was later recovered from the river.

There was some questions in the newsroom on how we should run the grieving photos, or if they should run at all. The people refused to be identified and no one on the scene would confirm if they were the family of the deceased. But the photos were compelling. Couple that with a slow news day and you can justify just about anything.

It was an uneasy scene, to say the least. I felt terrible every time I lifted my camera. Occasionally they would look back at me through my long glass and glare in disgust before turning and weeping some more. Just don't put your camera down, I thought. I was afraid there would be issues when I got back to the newsroom, but I couldn't worry about that. Shoot it all, sort it out later, I kept thinking. So I kept shooting.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Small Town, Texas

It seems that I have been sent out of town a lot in the last couple of weeks. No where glamorous, just to some of the small towns on the outskirts of our coverage area. Cities like Sinton, Benavides and Alice are hardly bustling communities, but for some reason each one has intrigued me. When I lived in Arkansas and got sent to a small town, I just wanted to get in and out as soon as possible (before the banjo music started, perhaps). Here though, I find myself wanting to explore a little bit. So on my last rural excursion to Refugio, Texas (pronounced Re-few-HEo), I left a little early in hopes capturing some of that small town imagery I was seeing. Next time I'll leave earlier (I got a little lost), but here are a couple of quick shots I took in and on the way to Refugio.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fashion Snoop

Here at the Caller-Times, the cover of the society section isn't adorned with a human interest profile or spotlight on some service organization. No, society's Sunday cover is reserved for the Closet Snoop, where local woman (and the occasional man) allow Caller-Times staffers to raid their closet, dress them up in their trendiest clothing and play model/fashion photographer for a couple of hours. Now fashion photographer I am not, but that didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying my first Closet Snoop assignment. The photos of this girl, a local high school senior obsessed with fashion, ran today. The girl and her mom were super nice and cooperative, which some of the other photographers have warned me may not always be the case. It was good times all around. I'm sure, though, after I get several of these under my belt I'll dread it as much as an Ourtown profile.

In case you are wondering, I shot most of these photos Strobist style. I used a big strobe for the pics on the coach, but the rest were all shot with a small off camera flash on a light stand bounced into an umbrella. It was definitely a learning experience, and I'm looking forward to shooting another one.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ballet Position

I realized two things when I saw William Moore's ballet photo on his blog. 1) I have ballet photos from last weekend I forgot to post, and 2) Will's ballet photo is so much better than mine. But, hey, having inferior photos has never kept me from posting before.
I shot these backstage at a Dancing in the Park event in downtown Corpus Christi as the performers were getting ready. It was a held in an outdoor amphitheater, so backstage was outside next to the bathrooms and under a tiny little tent.
The only snag I had was when I was shooting these two dancers as they were warming up. I was shooting them mostly against a clean wall, but when the ballet director walked by she freaked out. Don't take pictures of the dancers in front of the bathrooms, she said. Position them in front of the bay if you want a good photo, she insisted, but don't run a photo of them in front of the toilets. So of course once she left, I became obsessed with shooting awkward photos of dancers and surprised audience members scurrying to the bathrooms. I know there was a killer photo to be had from it, but I never hit that great position.
The one above, with the man watching just after emerging from the bathroom, ran as a secondary inside. I just might be banned from future ballet events.

And what's dancers without a little music? A coworker and fellow music nerd recommended this CD to me, and I am quite intrigued. It is from British artist Patrick Wolf. I really don't know much about the guy yet, but I know I like his music. That's enough for me.

The Magic Position.mp3 by Patrick Wolf
Augustine.mp3 by Patrick Wolf

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Pipe Play

I've had A1 play before, but today I was particularly excited about dominating the front page. I put together a story on a group of local bagpipers, which ended up being a completely different story then I first intended. I ran into these guys at Hector P. Garcia Day last month, and was all excited about doing a little slideshow about the father/son firefighters that play bagpipes together. The story shifted to more about the band and the audio shifted to more about the pipe major. Then finally the news angle came out when I realized these guys were heading to Maryland this weekend to play in a firefighters memorial, where a local paramedic was among the firefighters being honored. So the little project I planned on spending some time on got shifted into high gear and turned into a Saturday play package, complete with a 30+ inch story and an audio slideshow (By the way "play" is how they refer to their centerpiece packages or dominant photos around here. If something is "local play," it means it will be the main photo on the local section. Phrases like 'we're looking for some local play,' and 'the game you're shooting will likely be play' still sound kind of odd to me, but I'm trying to get used to it.

And don't forget to check out the audio slideshow I put together. I thought it turned out nice, and after the hours of audio editing I will probably have bagpipe music stuck in my head for days.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Dog Walk

I was feeling quite surly when I went out to the Paws for the Cause event this evening. I had a million things to do back at the office and not a lot of time left in the day. So I was more than happy when I came away with this photo.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Random Stuff

Some photos from last week I meant to post but didn't. The first one is from a small-town high school football game. The last two are from the Bayfest carnival.


Finally! My new Caller-Times business cards have come in, and I have been handing them out like candy on Halloween.

And I'm not sure why, but my photo editor handed me this card today.
He and another photographer had a bunch of them printed up back in his shooting days. He even told me they made T-shirts to go along with them. I guess it was kind of a 'I've been in your shoes' sort of gesture. Then he told me to go out and find some wild art. I should have told him no.