Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cracking Nuts

Some randomness from backstage at one of the local productions of The Nutcracker. The editors only wanted/needed one shot from the rehearsal for tomorrow's paper, so none of these will make print. I don't know why, but I didn't really want a backstage photo for the newspaper. I ended up turning in a regular rehearsal shot for publication. I really do enjoy shooting these kind of assignments, though. Theater productions are so full of possibilities, with the costumes and the colors and the lighting and such. I ended up sticking around for much longer than I needed so I could just observe and shoot. Good times.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

All I Want For Christmas

Nothing overly fantastic about this image, but I was a little taken aback when I was talking to these people.
This was from a "Lighting of the Park" event, held at a ritzy shopping center with high-end stores and boutiques. Everything was already lit before the event started, and it was all kind of a random gathering of people eating free refreshments and looking through high-priced merchandise. So after I made this shot I started gathering the cutline info. I asked the mom whether they've come out to this event before. Her response was something like this: "Well, we haven't been out here the last couple of years because we're usually in Aruba at this time, but we're here now."

What? Really? I didn't really know what to say. I felt kind of sorry for her because she was slumming it in CCTX rather than on an Aruban holiday. Then I felt sorry for myself because I'll probably never set foot on a Caribbean Island in this lifetime.

I also think I may have angered Santa, since I was flashing him every time he came around the big lighted tree to hand out candy canes. Here he is giving me the evil eye. That's fine. There really isn't anything I want for Christmas anyway.

Get Behind Me, Santa!
by Sufjan Stevens
That Was The Worst Christmas Ever! by Sufjan Stevens

By the way, I finally purchased the Sufjan Stevens' "Songs For Christmas" CD that came out last year. Now my holiday will be 45% more Sufjany. Hooray!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Current Mood: Gray

Cold weather has finally come to Corpus Christi, and I couldn't be happier. This morning I came into work about an hour later than I had planned because I was unpacking winter clothes and trying to decide which jacket/sweater/long sleeve shirt/hat/toboggan combination to go with. The last two days it has been cold and wet and overcast and murky and dismal and all around fantastic.

I dusted off the melancholy melodies of Damien Rice and David Gray just for the occasion, contently listening to their somber tunes as I drove around the very gray city that is Corpus Christi. I have to enjoy it, because I'm sure in a few days it will go back to being sunny and warm. These photos are from downtown, all taken from either the roof of the Caller-Times office, or the parking garage at the American Bank building across the way.

The Refineries
"Sparkling City by The Sea"

The American Bank building
The opposite view
Water Street and The Harbor Bridge

Grey Room.mp3 by Damien Rice
Disappearing World.mp3 by David Gray

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Shapes and Colors

Because unlike in the paper, I can always get the photos on my blog to run in color.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Cage Fight

Showtime and the EliteXC came to town over the weekend, bringing all the class and family entertainment you would expect from a cage fighting event.

I was actually really excited about shooting this event. I'm not sure why. Going in I knew almost nothing about mixed martial arts fighting, and until this past week I had never heard of the "big" names like Kimbo Slice or Nick Diaz. But for some reason the allure of shooting caged fighting at a live televised event made me giddy. It was the first time I've been really excited about an assignment in a while.

When I arrived, I was under the assumption that the Showtime people weren't going to let me near the cage. That turned out to not exactly be the case. I did sit right in front. The only thing between me and the cage was about a two-foot wide platform used by the Showtime cameramen to walk around and film the action. It wasn't a bad seat, but not being able to get right up against the cage or shoot over it did not make my auto focus happy. So I shot the entire event on manual focus. It's been an extremely long time since I've shot a sporting event like that.

The big draw of the evening was the professional debut of Kimbo Slice, a fighter who has built a huge fan base with his videos of street fights and backyard brawls posted on YouTube.
Unfortunately the fight didn't last long. After a few second of dancing around the ring, Kimbo cornered his opponent and beat him into submission. The match lasted 19 seconds.

That was another thing I wasn't prepared for. They advertised three rounds at five minutes each, but a fighter can tap out at anytime and the whole thing is over. Only one of the fights actually made it to the third round. Most of the fights were over within a couple of minutes in the first round. For some reason I thought it would be an all out brawl until someone was knocked out. I also thought there would be more cool martial arts action. Mostly, though, the fighters danced around, took some jabs, then inevitably got balled up together on the floor trying to wrestle/punch each other. It was very odd.

It got kind of bloody sometimes, which of course was super cool. A couple of the fights were stopped by officials because a fighter was bleeding so bad. At one point one of the fighters spit out his bloody mouthpiece on the mat, splattering blood on the platform right by me and another photographer. When that fight was over I checked to see if I had any blood on me or my camera, half hoping I did. Sadly, I did not.

Between bloody rounds, this guy came out to wipe the cage clean. Talk about your bad jobs. Overall, though, a good time was had by all.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Greek Fest