Wednesday, April 27, 2011

beauty for beauty's sake

aah, now onto the things i really love! my lensBABY, and flowers, like the "purple winky" columbine and asiatic lily that i bought on sale on easter just to keep pressing the point that i am REALLY in the mood for spring
after getting in the "not so shoot out" pix from the day and all else and posting a gallery to our website asap, i found myself clicking the lensBABY in place and exploring a whole different landscape...i think i want to live in there!

i know some of these are redundant-ish, but i just find them so uniquely beautiful, albeit sometimes subtley different...hope anyone looking enjoys them too!

hunt & shoot

picking up roughly where i left off last, my week began with a very bad soccer game (which is why i have nothing worth really taking up any net space...barely got anything worth taking up the newspaper space!), but after the first half of that, i had to head out, cos it was a skate party for students and family of a local school who had vowed to give up technology for the week, opting for more interactive activities instead....hence roller skating night
and night is indeed an apropos term, as when i got there it was pretty much pitch black except for the spotlight casting a small sweet spot of light as it bounced off the disco ball center-rink, and a couple other color light spots at the's "cosmic skate" time, which might be cool for the kids, but for me, not so much.....asa 6400, f2.8, and i still couldn't get above a 30th of a second at my brightest point - egads i think to myself....are they going to do this the whole time? i ask the school woman in charge..."i don't know...they just turned off the lights right before you got here"

yes, well, of course they, here's what i got....kind of had to wait for someone to get into the light and then basically not be whizzing by...would have worked better if there had been more motion swirling around this kid, but i tried and tried and that moment just never came together...i'm sure there was a cooler picture there, but i wasn't getting it, and after an hour, when they announced on the mic that now it was going to get even darker and more "cosmic" i had hit my tipping point...i.e. skate night done

on my way home, i drove past this house with their xmas manger scene in the front windows...just made me do a double-take

next day, nothing on the schedule, and after sitting at the office doing whatever officey kind of work i could for a few hours, i went looking for a feature....ended up at the mall just shooting kids visiting the Easter Bunny, which to 1-year-old kids is just this weird big fuzzy thing that's either a sheer curiosity or absolutely frightening...this kid fell in the former camp

saturday, easter egg hunt in a south county park...i always go into these with the highest of hopes and resolve, but rarely leave feeling satisfied with my efforts, and this year's event didn't manage to break that record, unfortunately
shot a feature of kids on the playground before the hunt started

and then this one was what i picked from the actual egg hunting...if anyone has cracked the code to getting a good egg hunt picture, i'd LOVE to hear it!

after that, went to a funeral for a vet where the story (well, not really a story, cos it's a stand-alone feature foto....which was kind of weird) was that local members of the Patriot Guard - biker vets who stand outside funerals with large flags, then lead the procession to the cemetery, would be a more standard pic, but i was trying for something more and shot this, which they also ran as a secondary, buut i'm not sure how well it accomplishes what i was trying for - kind of hard to read

on to this half of the week posting, came in to a couple assignments yesterday - people shooting on the indoor range of a sport shooting club which will be rebuilt this summer since it is very old and in disrepair...just as i'm getting out of my car i get a text - man holed up in trailer park, shots fired - call the editor on desk - they're not sure what's going on, go ahead and shoot something here and call back....

so, i shoot as they shoot, then tell them i gotta go, cos someone else is apparently shooting, but not for sport...and i make my way to the trailer park, whereupon i am immediately stopped by state police saying, this is as far as you go...only i'm at the entrance, and the incident is in the back of the park....hmmm, no i shoot the 2 troopers redirecting people, then i look at her map of the park and see that i may be able to get closer to where it is if i go to a side entry, so off i go, and although there is a police car parked there, no one's in it, so i go around, and bam, i'm right there....of course a few minutes after getting there i see the tv truck from detroit that had gotten stopped at the previous entrance pulling up from the other clearly detroit tv can get access to the scene, but we, the local press, have to find back doors - lame!

anyway, despite all the high security, residents, including toddlers, were roaming freely among the area to watch as the swat team and detectives work the situation...and the guy (who apparently decided to give up instead of getting into a full-on fire fight with his very large cache of weapons - ak-47's included) was in custody, so there wasn't anything really insane going on to shoot, but i got what i could

found out later, he's a not-too stable dooms-dayer sort who believes the world is ending may 21st....
now, personally, if i really thought the world was coming to an end in a mere 3 weeks, i don't think i'd opt to spend them sitting in jail...
but that's just me

this morning, after getting some office stuff done, i headed out to the new location of a veteran's assistance office....shot the people working there interacting more with each other, since no vets were coming in or had appointments, and had just stopped home for a spot of lunch when i got a text....
fire at a multi-unit apartment building....
throw things in fridge, quickly text "on my way" and off i go

flames out, but there were tons of residents out, including a guy who just got home from work to discover his apartment was right next to the one in which the fire started...
and later came upon the woman who discovered the fire as she was coming to provide home-care to the man whose place had caught fire - dropped cigarette into sofa - she got there, saw smoke and kicked in the door and basically hauled this guy out...he likely would have died had she not responded, so her super joked that she was getting a promotion for being a hero

so, 2 spot news events back-to-back....who knows what tomorrow brings!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

soup's on, spring's not

while the spot news mania seems to have abated for the moment, work has still been plenty busy...well, more like spottily slow punctuated by moments of marathon shooting....sort of the nature of the beast
so, to highlight from the past week or so, i guess i begin with the final follow-up to the plane crash, which was to get a picture of the sign that family had placed at the site...strangely we only knew of this because of a wire story that moved about the dispatch calls made that night and it happened to mention the sign....
so, yeah, here's the sign

maybe later that day, or the next (sometimes they all just kind of run together!), there was "soup day" - a fundraiser for the Salvation Army where the public could sample soups from local eateries and vote for their favorites....basically a slew of people crammed into a too small hotel banquet room (which between the soup kettles and body heat, was reaching near sauna temps) eating soup....not the easiest to shoot, but i kind of liked this moment with one of the servers

throw in a round of golf practice

top with the annual "family fun night" event (inflatables? carnival games? balloon making clowns? popcorn?......check, check and check!)

(and whatever other random assignments not worth posting) and you got yourself a work week

then, it's on to the weekend (which is still sort of the work week for me) and what definitely counts as a marathon day Saturday....
beginning with clean-up of fields and ditches at 9 am in Dundee - still have tons of debris from the tornadoes last summer, and they decided to get together and clear it all out, since the township/village/etc wouldn't do anything

then, out to the annual "fur trader day" at a historical site....these events are always kind of tough, because they aren't generally very well-attended, particularly not when it's cold and windy (which parenthetically (should i even say 'parenthetically' if i'm using parentheses? oh well, never mind) it seems to be ALL THE FREAKIN TIME!!!!!), but i liked this moment as i was heading out....just the feel of it, especially as the girl happened to turn and glance back - i think the layout lady officially dubbed this one the "andy griffith picture"

so, that done i now head north for a track invitational.....get 3 or 4 events under my belt, then outta there

cos' the play rehearsal is winding down in about an hour and a least it's inside, thankfully, as the cold, damp and wind has taken permanent home in the depths of me bones after being out in it for almost 5 hours straight!

liked this offstage moment (i swear, i just never tire of shooting this kind of picture), which i turned in as a Still Life feature

then, take a break - warm up for real, go into office, edit edit edit (cos of course everything is running the next day).....tone fotos for the press....bout 10 p- ish go home, drink very large glass of wine (or two), veg out on late night tv, go to bed!!

before ya know it, it's back into work for another week

have a cpr training class on the agenda, which i have to shoot fast since there is a protest by teachers before the school board meets and votes on whether to pink slip the entire staff of Monroe Public Schools (seriously! and they vote yes.....seriously!) cutting it real close with that one, because i could only stay for about 45 minutes at the cpr thing so as not to get back to monroe for the protest and meeting too late, and they spent about 35 minutes watching a video - yikes!
anyway, got a few pix from the protest that i felt pretty happy with - nothing crazy cool...i think it's the nice light that grabs me more than anything i did, actually

later in the week, technology at work in the classroom - which i guess is cool for them, but it does take away from the visual aspect of science labs - gone are the days of bunsen burners, beakers and the flame color changing it's more like "plug this into that and watch while it computes the data"....hmmm, so turn the wheels of progress i suppose

the next day i go out to a rural township to shoot guys grading gravel roads....only they're not on the road they're supposed to be on, and when i call the supervisor to find out where the workers are, he can only tell me "well, they're out there somewhere!" uhh, yeah....kind of a big county, kind of a lot of gravel roads,, drive around for an hour and a half, take a picture of the one re-gravelled road, just in case

decide to give up and go to next assignment....stumble upon the workers on my way back to monroe - take stupid picture since i am now out of time, chuckle to self, continue driving

on a totally different note, i couldn't help but buy a flower the other day (i think i'm trying to will spring to arrive at this, "look ma nature, flowers, pots....what goes well with these 2 things????????")
inevitably, what comes next for me is the lensBABY and some of the funky creative apertures i got a few months ago.....

and i breathe a sigh of creative relief!
more later...thanx for looking

Sunday, April 3, 2011

planes, potholes, pinwheels and more

last week, a lot of school stuff, including shooting recess at an elementary who has switched up their recess/lunch periods as part of a new healthy kids program
thank god for playground stuff like this (and for being small enough to be able to climb into it) - makes for some graphic elements

crazy week in monroe...there's a saying that spot news comes in three's, and i think we've now moved into round 2 of our 3's....first there was a fire, then a kid drowning in the river after wandering from home, a huge DEA raid at a doctor's office, then a plane crash in a park - the plane nose-dived about 50 feet away from the playscape and tennis courts where a local team was getting ready for a match - i didn't go to the crash, but i got the follow-up the next day...very crazy story!

later in the week, a fatal accident that happened overnight and wasn't discovered til the next morning, because the car rolled over into a ditch out of sight after going airborne over 2 sets of train trax - no pix posting from that, cos, really it isn't worth looking at, but just the latest in our spate of tragedies

then there's the other kind of tragedy - the tragic state of our roads and bridges....sometimes it looks like all of this county is just going to disintegrate into a huge swath of concrete rubble!

word to the wise....when coming to monroe, bring extra tires!

but then it's back to the usual - a school assembly preceded by the marching band parading through the halls - the event was to celebrate the school raising the money to buy new lights for the football field - they had to change the times or do away with the friday night home games this year, because their lights were busted and they couldn't afford new, everyone's supposed to be wearing their school t-shirts (which they didn't), and it's gonna be a big rah rah moment (which it wasn't)

though i liked this frame best, i had to use something else, cos 1) i didn't get her name, and 2) she's not only not wearing her school tee, but she's wearing something from a different school, as was the girl behind her, which would have looked pretty stupid in print...but, as a picture, i kind of like it

next morning, the annual planting of the pinwheel garden to kick off child abuse and neglect month

and last but not least, the annual downtown spring clean-up - this kid looks like he's about to take on the world!

and, that's that....