Wednesday, July 21, 2010

BABY, look at you now

i sometimes wonder when or if it will get old - when i will run out of seeing new things, finding new images, not becoming completely repetitious - when will either i or it get stale?

to my utter gratitude, it hasn't happened yet - the lensBABY continues to enthrall me...i'll be sitting on the porch or poking around the garden and something will stand out - some portion of a flower, some angle or nature of light, an insect, a water droplet - i'll think, ooh, i should get out the lensBABY and shoot this...

then, ya know, an hour later i have gotten completely lost, and whatever drew me in was merely a gateway to a whole new exploratory journey...
and i keep seeing new things, or new things keep deciding to let me see them - whichever way your zen pendulum swings

and for that, i am eternally grateful

Monday, July 12, 2010

on fire n coolin off

the week (a short one, mind you) began with a couple assignments, both of which could be undone by the weather, thursday evening - first was a recreational softball team - the oldest in the league for a forthcoming sunday piece about the decline of people participating in the adult rec leagues - the weather called for storms, which did eventually come, but i was able to get in a half hour's worth of shooting before they called it, which was okay, because i had another assignment to get to anyway - area fire departments participating in a propane fire training....i got to the place where they said the event would be held, but no one was there - perhaps they called it off because of the lightning? but no, turned out they just had the classroom portion of the training somewhere else and just hadn't gotten there yet....even though the lightning had tapered off, it was still raining pretty good, so by the end of it all, i was a pretty drowned rat, but it was actually kind of cool - they started out small - just a little propane grill - then worked their way up to a 40-gallon tank, which i learned is called a "pig" - and which, when on fire, sends flames shooting about 80 feet in the air - "wait til you see this," the fire chief of one dept. told me, "this is gonna be really cool!!" luckily for me, they did this one a few times, so all the guys could get the experience, and i could work on getting better and better angles - the rain actully worked to my advantage, because it gave me a really nice reflective surface in the parking lot pavement, which added to the visual aspect

noticed these guys composing themselves after their turn at battling and shutting off the propane - just liked how their body language mimicked one another

next day was to go to a pool for a story about how people beat the heat....the only problem being that after the previous day's rain, it wasn't quite that hot anymore, and then to make matters more challenging, it poured early that afternoon, so i waited til it cleared to head down, and there was really only 2 moms and their kids there, but i stayed a while and worked it, and i think it will be okay for telling the story....maybe having things less hectic actually made it a little easier

saturday, had "family game day the library" as a stand-alone feature to run whenever - a really beautiful day, and i was a bit skeptical about how many people would actually go sit in the library to play wii on a day like this - guess my thinking was right, cos i got there and there was no one playing, and the librarian seemed pretty skeptical herself as to the turn-out - i took it as a sign that she handed me a pamphlet of events and said, here are some things coming up that people might actually show up to - hmmm, so, instead of sitting there for an hour or so waiting to see if anyone showed (and really, fotos of people playing video games, not too visual even on a good day), i decided to go back to the town i passed thru on the way here and shoot their farmer's market - it goes on every saturday, which at least makes it newsworthy in an informative sense, and they have seminars on herbs and cooking, and gardening, etc, so it just seemed a bit more substantive to highlight as well - so off i went, but it was getting toward the tail-end of the market, so traffic was light, and at least i found these two cousins whose family runs a farm and who decided they wanted to run this stand to make some money, which they have been dutifully putting in the bank as savings - pretty smart kids
not the greatest, but i think better than the alternative at least

took a break, then went in later to shoot the "minor league" regional football team playing their first home game - got a foto of the defense i kind of like, partly cos we rarely shoot defense, but i liked this frame....

then a went looking for a feature - tried to follow these two little girls playing beneath the bleachers, but that wasn't coming together, so i started working something of this little boy and his father in the stands - i did shoot a more standard, easy-read frame, but i think i like this one, or maybe i just like it in the "wish this would work" sense....but regardless, this is the one i'm posting, so you'll just have to take my word for it i s'pose!

after that, back to the office - edit, submit, tone tone tone, then go home!

Monday, July 5, 2010

what have i been up to? well.......

been a while again since i posted - my bad...clearly, i am not the most disciplined blogger, but i'm sure no one's really waiting on the edge of their seat every week to see what pearls i drop out into the blogosphere either - plenty o fish in that sea!
anyway, had a long weekend since my last post, got to go home and go to a first annual family reunion at a cousin's house - really fun and very cool to not have to miss out on it because of work...unfortunately, i caught a pretty bad bug while there, which kicked in in earnest on my drive back up to michigan - not a pleasant journey, to say the least...
back to work the next day, and since bryan had been solo for several days and had a pretty busy time, i really didn't feel like i could call in sick, so i just worked...which i guess was somewhat of a good distraction

like this one of comcast donating a couple thousand meals to a food pantry - the funny part was that there were 2 women in the group whose sole job in the drop-off process was to hold up a big comcast sign - they kept trying to position them so they would be in the background of my fotos - silly
but after 3 assignments, i was pretty shot, and by the next morning it was worse - got sent home and spent the next couple days lying in bed or on the couch just being a big sick slug for the most part
next day, back to it - a new walking/biking trail through town that connects up to the state park was being officially dedicated and the new trail sign unveiled..
i must say, i've sort of learned to take the hoopla over new things here with a bit of a grain of salt - okay, maybe a mound - but this sign was actually really cool - particularly given the fact that it was designed and completely built by 4 local guys who did the bulk of the work in one of their garages!

saturday was a long day - had day-long events on the new trail, a robotics competition running at the same time and a softball all star game that evening, then the night desk work....
went to the trail first to hit the "family time on the trail activities" - which turned out to be golf cart tours along the trail and kayaking, but it was overcast with predictions of possible rain, so that kept a lot of people away..i wasn't getting much of anything, and they wanted to run a package from this thing, so i left to go shoot robotics, which was, ya know, robotics

then back to the trail for the next set of events - a pet walk on the trail etc, and people generally just walking and biking - the weather had cleared, so more people were out, but it was still a bit tough visually - caught this moment of some of the pet walkers on the trail...nothing great, but at least it was somewhat of a moment...

got some other general pix, too, but nothing worth posting really...then softball, then the desk, then home...don't think i was quite back up to speed for a marathon day like that, cos by that night i was running a fever again, felt like crud, and spent the next day back on the couch - uggh
monday i was solo, had 3 assignments scheduled for the afternoon and night - a couple portraits and the all star baseball game...but i got a call early that morning that another tornado had come through in the north part of the county and there was some damage and i need to get up there to get something in for that day's, throw on some clothes, brush the teeth and run up there - found the damage and hung out with one of the homeowners - alot of the people weren't home or had already piled up much of the downed trees etc, since the tornado came through early sunday afternoon and this was now monday morning, and i'm sure many of them had to go to work, but at least there was this guy - he had more than 20 trees ripped up - some had been thrown into their deck, others just uprooted and dragged through his yard

pretty crazy - mother nature is one mean old broad when she wants to be!
i don't think he knew quite where to start in the clean-up - he just stood there looking around and saying "what a mess!"

so then there was the first portrait - a retiring school superintendent - kinda liked the way this turned out

then i met a few kids who are on a pee wee football team that had been playing their games on a field behind the fire station, but were informed that they can't anymore because of some crazy zoning issues

and then baseball that evening, which i forgot to bring home, so nada to post from that, though i did get an action frame i liked
so, another longish day all in all - think i was just trying not to keep getting run down and get sick again for the better part of this week

so the next day was another retiring superintendent portrait - not as cool as the first though, and then later a speech for people working in the state's prisoner re-entry initiative program and the public - she was going to be talking with parolees enrolled in the program first, but we couldn't shoot that, so it was pretty much her at the podium, and then afterward at least some people came up to talk with her, shake hands, etc - nothing terribly cool, but better than the talking head shots - interesting woman, though - made the speech time go a little faster

next day there was nothing on the agenda, so i went looking for a feature and checked out one of the many summer time vacation bible school camp type events..i actually kind of liked this feature - kids playing with one of those parachute things in front of the church

later, i was able to set up a portrait for the girls athlete of the year

next day was light in the afternoon, but i had a couple other sports portraits that evening - nothing too memorable

friday, had a couple feature ideas to go check out - the first was about 2 fireworks businesses located right across from each other having a rivalry over attracting customers - they were having food and music outside the shops and somebody had called to say they were packed....well, by the time i got there, not so much, and it turns out that the guy who called is related to one of the food vendors, which has been in the paper in their own right for having a licensing controversy with the city, so really, our being called out there had a little agenda behind it as i came to discover, and the only people who were taking in the "party" were the family and friends - the other business was dead, so i tried to make something, then went off to the next thing, which was a regatta at a boat club - sounded cool, and it was a gorgeous night, but i came to discover that regatta only means doing something with your boats for sailboat folk - for power boaters, it means a party - i.e., hanging out on the docks and getting ripped...but, i liked a couple of the pix i made there, so i guess it's all good in the end....

after that, it was night desk and then home.....counting down the time til my long weekend!

but first, there was saturday, which actually was pretty cool - get a feature of the holiday weekend activities at the state park beach, then get something from another beach in south county - which has been closed for a couple weeks due to dangerous e coli levels in the water - the story being of course, how this would impact their holiday events and attendance....
went to the state park first and spent a couple hours or so hanging out on the beach - sat down to contemplate what i had, took off my shoes and socks to feel the sand for myself, and as i'm sitting there, looking at my feet in the sand with the lake in the background on what was another extremely gorgeous day, i thought - man, this is my job! really, just when things get to you, you have to sit back and take stock of what doing this work can entail, and really, hanging out on the beach just ain't too shabby

made a couple more feature shots of some other kids playing in the surf, then it was south to the next beach

i was kind of visualizing what i might make down there to tell this story - cos, really, how can you make a picture that says less people are here than normal, or if they are there and swimming, how can i make it look different from the other features i just shot...
i though they might have signs posted up on the beach advising people against contact with the water, but there only one, on an 8x11 sheet of paper posted up on a construction workhorse off to the side of the beach entrance; which i suppose could be considered eye-level, if it was eye-level for your average chihuahua, and what was written on it couldn't have been less vague - i think all it said was to avoid full body contact and don't go in if you have an open sore - no real reason why, just, ya know, avoid that...

of course people are in the water, and a few that i and the reporter talked to didn't even realize there was an advisory, but i don't think they were too concerned
so, we went with a sign foto and a generic beach shot showing people in the water...the one i liked was this kid who was running in and out of the water...but, i think, given how he's looking back and running away pretty much seemed a little too editorial on my part - i mean, given the context of the story, he pretty much looks like he could be fleeing in terror from the bacteria- ridden waters....i think it's kind of funny, but, like i said, a little too much of an editorial image for this story

after that, it was toning on the desk, then home, for 4 whole glorious days!