Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Random Moments

A couple of photos from the last few weeks that I've meant to post.

The littlest boxer gets ready at a Golden Gloves tournament.

A city council women blends in at a recent function.

Indian girls perform a dance during a Bollywood-style fundraiser.

A group of kids, members of the "Young Marines," gets ready to participate in an Iwo Jima reenactment.

Also, a photo of me ran in the newspaper yesterday. It was for a new photo column called "Depth of Field" they stated having us write a couple of weeks ago. It's sort of a blog-style/behind-the-scenes/photo-tips-and-tricks sort of column. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. Anyway, one of the other photographers was writing about how we always try to get different angles and points of view, and they used this Michelle Christensen photo of me from the Hillary rally as an example.

And to keep things interesting, here's a sampling of the music I've been listening to recently. The first is a random song I found on The Hype Machine. The other two are from albums I bought online after checking out some of the Brit Award nominees last week. Apparently I'm some big euro music poser now.

If you see me at my desk with my head phones on quietly editing photos, I'm probably listening to this:

If you see me driving around town, windows down enjoying the mild weather, I'm probably blaring this song on repeat:

And if I'm just standing around at a society assignment trying to escape to my happy place, I'm probably playing this Kaiser Chiefs' remake in my head:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Obama Rama

Oh, Obama. You're not making this any easier for me.

Nine days after Hillary came to town, Barack Obama turned up in South Texas to rally for votes in the Sparkling City by the Sea.

The newspaper really blew up the Hillary coverage last week, so we had to repeat the effort when Obama came to town. It was pretty much story-for-story and page-for-page coverage. Had I know I would have to do everything all over again, I may not have agreed to write a story and put together an audio slideshow when Hillary was here.

The whole rally was kind of odd. After pulling in tens of thousands of people in Houston and Dallas, I expected Obama's visit to be this tidal wave of hope and optimism. Instead, the event seemed sort of low key, at least as far as rallies go.

People were not allowed to bring any campaign signs to the rally. But just before Obama took the stage some campaign workers started handing out signs, including several homemade looking signs drawn on white posters. It was odd.

Anyway, check out the Obama slideshow. I like the beginning a lot, and I may have borrowed a little inspiration from another photographer's blog to help me out.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hillary (or, Media Access Rocks)

You never really miss something until it goes away. On Tuesday, the Hillary Clinton machine came steam rolling through town, and it didn't take long for me to really miss the perks of being a credentialed member of the media. The event was free and open to the public. The media, however, was to be restricted in a pen at the back. In attempt to beat the system and try and get some different shots, we decided that I would just walk in with the regular crowd. Of course that meant I had to wait in line with all the regular people. Seating was first come, first serve, and we were worried that people were going to start lining up early. The venue was kind of small and I didn't want to end up in the overflow area, so at 8 a.m. I rolled up to get in line for a 1 p.m. speech.

It turned out that media wasn't really restricted, and I could have just skipped the whole wait-in-line thing. I was able to get pretty close, but I ended up standing behind possibly the tallest girl in attendance. She and her friends also didn't mind telling me how much they disliked our close proximity, and they got tired of my cameras touching them whenever I squirmed around trying to grab different equipment. It's a thankless job sometimes.

I really didn't get any spectacular photos. Despite the long day, though, I did have a good time. Big events like these are always stressful, yet fantastic at the same time. I think what I liked most was how excited the people were. It had the atmosphere of a rock concert at times. Even though I was trapped in the mosh pit, I was excited to be part of it all.

I also put together a little audio slideshow with photos and audio collected by all the photographers. It has parts of her speech mixed with reaction from some regular people thrown in. It's an idea I've wanted to try out for a while, so I'm glad I finally got it done.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Rock Out With Your Doodlebop Out

It's been a rockin' weekend so far, with assignments to shoot two concerts on Friday and a Guitar Hero tournament Saturday.

So what's a Doodlebop? If you have to ask, you are probably older than 5 and have no children. They are a trio of brightly colored musicians from The Disney Channel, singing songs about learning or being a better person or something. I don't remember. All that stuck was "Do-Do-dodo, Do-Do-dodo."

They kind of freaked me out a little bit, but the kiddies seemed to love them. I did enjoy a visit from their street-styled studio producer, a dog named Audio Murphy.

So how do you follow up a Doodlebop concert? With a little Free Bird, man.

Southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd was also in town. While both concerts were held at the American Bank Center (one in the auditorium and one in the arena), they couldn't have been more different. I was surprised how much I enjoyed shooting and hearing the first three songs of the Skynyrd show. I guess after hanging out at Kiddiepalooza, a little classic rock was just what I needed.

Finally, it's time to bust out the Xbox. If you really want to feel inferior to a 12 year old, a Guitar Hero tournament is the place to be.

A local drum group held the tournament as a fundraiser, attracting about 120 people. I was surprised how many little kids came out. Seeing kid after kid finger their way through Foo Fighter and Van Halen songs made me question whether I have ever been that coordinated.

I definitely need some practice. But, like all physically challenging activities, remember the importance of stretching and warming up. You don't want to injure yourself.

That's so not Rock 'n' Roll.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Ocean Drive

Today I had an assignment to shoot a softball practice at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, also known as "The Island University." The best part about shooting on campus is that the only good way to get there is to take Ocean Drive. Ocean Drive has scenic bay views all the way, dotted with multi-million dollar homes on either side. It is a fantastic drive on a beautiful day like today. It doesn't matter that I was nailed by a softball player during practice, the drive is always worth it.

These are a few quick pictures as I drove my way back to the office. I don't recommend shooting and driving, by the way. I just had to watch our employee training video on safe driving yesterday. They frown on driving and using cell phones, but they didn't say anything about photography. No driving while chimping is probably implied, I'm guessing.