Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Concert

The Joe Garza Youth Orchestra had a Christmas Concert last week. I did a little story on the group at the beginning of the summer when they held their very first concert as an orchestra. I thought it was such a great idea: offering free lessons and borrowed instruments to kids who's families may not have the means to be a part of such a thing. They've had the lessons for years at a local recreation center, but this past year they secured a grant and were able to purchase dozens of new instruments. Enough to put together a little orchestra. We almost didn't cover their Christmas show, but I managed to squeeze it in before heading to a basketball assignment.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

You Better Watch Out, Santa

Those kindergartners want your soul.

Or, at least your sweet candy goodness. Nothing says Christmas like stringing up an effigy of a global icon and beating it with a stick. Some of those kindergartners really got into it, too. I hope this doesn't push any of them over to the "naughty" list.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ice Rays

So about halfway through the second period the game was still scoreless and there hadn't been any real fights on the ice. I had some decent enough photos but obviously nothing pivotal to the outcome of the game. Still, I'd already stayed longer than I had planed, and I had a ton of images to edit through before deadline. I figured it would be safe to leave now.

"You know as soon as I leave there's going to be a big fight or a goal or something," I joked with another photographer.
"That's the way it always goes," he said.

I walked away from the rink and out the rear arena door. I got maybe 10 feet away when I heard the fans roar inside. The siren went off and the announcer started screaming about an Ice Rays goal. Son of a...

When I was editing my stuff later, I found it hard to open up a photo I liked that didn't have our newspaper's logo somewhere in the image. That's good marketing for us I suppose, but it was slightly annoying for me.

The paper plastered its name everywhere. You couldn't even look at a players ass have a player skate away from you without seeing our newspaper's logo. Hey, I'm all for whatever keeps out circulation numbers up, I suppose.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Its Over (or, Cheerleaders Hate Me)

My days of shooting high school football have come to an end. At least for this year. Our last local team from Refugio, Texas, was eliminated in the state regional quarterfinals at the Alamodome in San Antonio over the weekend. I decided to tag along and take a couple of snap shots while I was there.

Before the game started, I think I may have creeped out some of the cheerleaders. They were practicing their flips along the sideline as the team was warming up on the field. I thought it would be neat to try and freeze one upside down with the team in the background. I prefocused, set my camera down on the ground and shot a couple of frames. It didn't take long for one the cheerleaders to notice. I'm not sure what she thought, but they abruptly stopped and ran to the other end of the field. I didn't really get what I wanted, but whatever.

The game went alright. Nothing stellar as far as action. Refugio couldn't get anything going in the first half, which I used as an excuse for not really getting a decent photo. The second half went much better for me. Not so much for Refugio.

It was interception and turnover central for Refugio. And it seemed like they couldn't do anything to stop the opposing team's running back.

The coaches were not happy.

But the people who were really unhappy (beside the players and families and such), were the cheerleaders. I'm not sure why, but at every playoff game I've shot, the cheerleaders always seem to burst into tears. I get that it is a sad event to see your school lose, but it always puzzles me how emotionally invested they are.

There two girls were crying behind me, and I really wanted to take their picture. I turned quickly and fired off two frames before the girl on the right gave me this disgusted look and ushered her sobbing friend away. I had actually tried to shoot the girl on the right earlier. Before the game was over she sat down on the bench next to (I assume) her football player boyfriend. He was "overcome with emotion" (football players don't cry) as I stood behind them. I tried to use my mental powers to get her to put her arm around him or make some sort of comforting gesture. She didn't, so the photo didn't really make. At that point I was pretty sure the girl wasn't going to be thrilled to give me her name anyway.

By the end just about everyone was crying. With so many "emotional" players, I felt kind of guilty singling one or two out for a photo. So I avoided the crying player shot. I was very excited, however, to get this shot.

I just love this little water boy! He offered his support to one of the emotional players as the team came off the field. It was something different and unexpected, I thought, so I was super excited I got it.

Friday, December 05, 2008


OK, so I've been a bit distracted over the last month...

Between a busy work schedule, holidays and that minor shifting of our staff (we no longer have a photo editor), I've been unable to post on the old blog. Actually, unwilling is more like it. When I would get to the end of my day, I just didn't have the desire to spend another 15 minutes or so minutes crafting a witty yet self depreicating blog post. Plus my stuff from October wasn't all that great to begin with, so you really didn't miss much ;)

Much of what has kept me busy has been high school volleyball and football playoffs. The sports beat has been good to me the last few weeks. I've had a lot of fun doing it, and I've come away with some images I think people have enjoyed. Tomorrow I'm headed to San Antonio for what could be my last football game of the year. If they lose, its over. If they win, they are going to the state finals. It's a bit bitter sweet. For the last year and a half (has it been that long?), I've been working the night shift at the newspaper. Starting in January we're juggling the schedules around, and I'll be working a set day shift. That means no more sports for this guy for a while. Tear. It was fun while it lasted.

So here's hoping Refugio gives me just one more game after tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Homecoming Parade

I've been slightly obsessed with the Diptych, but haven't really tried shooting them. It's mostly because I'm not really familiar with the concept. The pairing of two contrasting yet parallel images, however, is intriguing.

This one is sort of obvious, and I'm not really sure qualifies. Scott Strazzante's Common Ground provide's much better examples. More recently, Damon Winter with the New York Times put out a set of political pairings that are worth a look as well.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Marching Madness

Who doesn't love marching band? Well, me now after spending 8 straight hours editing video of the high school performers last week.

The final product, though, was worth all the time. It came out kinda long (like, super long), but I think it flows well and tells a complete story.

I tagged along with our multimedia production guru, Michelle Christenson, for this video. We both shot video and I was the lucky one tasked with putting it all together in some sort of coherent, watchable fashion. Success?

By the way, after all this marching band immersion, I decided to check and see how my old high school band fared this season. Turns out that they are going to state AND they are marching to a Sigur Ros song. Wow, I don't remember the band being nearly that hip when I was there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I really don't shoot much volleyball anymore, but last night I got the chance to cover one local high school team as it made its push for the playoffs. I was inspired to try and shoot this with the same eye I shoot every other non-sport event. My first game out this season didn't go so well. I was a bit out of practice, and spent all my time just trying to get a decent, in-focus photo. Well, last night I arrived extra early to give myself more breathing room to shoot some different, non-action photos. Once the game started, I unfortunately snapped back into panic sport-shooting mode. So here are a couple of images I like from before the game. I'm no Damian Mulinix, that's for sure, but I still like them.

While I was shooting a less-than exciting society event tonight, I was pulled aside by two different people who commented on the volleyball photos. The first women said she was excited to not only see her daughter in the paper, but to see all the extra photos that ran online. She mentioned one particular photo (above) that she really liked. I was surprised. All of these were photo I really just shot for myself. The only reason I crammed them into a photo gallery with my action photos was so that I could share them on my blog. I guess I didn't think the average reader would appreciate something other than the standard game action we always give them. It definitely encourages me to continue. It also made shooting the society event tonight a little more bearable. Just a little.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Oh, Oh Its Magic

I set out to shoot some "magic hour" photos the other night, and came across this guy hunting for small bait fish. I was running late and almost missed the hour completely, but there's still a bit of magic in these photos, I think.