Saturday, July 23, 2011

dancing, digging, mowing, baseball and beauties

my week started with
heading out to a Salvation Army summer camp for a feature find....kind of happy with what i got

this little brother and sister dancing looked almost iconic somehow...maybe it just reminds me of an old foto i've seen somewhere

later that day, i went to the Timberwolves (semi-pro football local team) for a feature on a player...he missed most of his varsity high school playing time due to injuries, but he's still hoping to go collegiate and then pro

friday morning started with an assignment to cover the work being done on the south county park/cemetery, whose sign for years has said "coming soon," but has lacked the support/money to actually get started until now
cemetery park - kind of a strange combination, but anyway, i went out early-ish to try and beat the worst of the continuing heat

then i hit the fairgrounds on the way back to look for any activity to help fill holes in the fair tab..not much going on besides this guy mowing around the barns and some other guys smoothing out gravel around bathrooms, but it is what it is

saturday, headed out for the fair baseball tournament finals in the morning...they have these crazy rules, one of which being that the champion has to win by one win, so, the undefeated team winds up losing to the once-beaten team (who'd only been beaten by them), which meant that they had to play a second tie-breaker to determine the ultimate champion...2 baseball games, 4 hours, heat advisory....i was a sweaty mess by the time all was said and done...and to complicate things, my battery, which had showed 3 out of 5 bars full at the start, went down to 2 bars at the start of the first game (literally about 10 frames in), and by the end of the first game it was down to one - not right! so, now i'm worried, cos the end-game reaction is critical, i have a page one news assignment that i am going to be late for and have to get, and i'm not sure how many frames i have left on this one bar since it's losing power so fast...and then, i was also told the other day that we have so many pages in sports for sunday that they want a photo page to fill space - great - so, i miss a lot of good action in the second game, cos i'm hesitant to shoot, but in the end it all works out, and i get some good reaction that i like, and then i high-tail it out to get to the news assn...

caught in a pickle - always such a crazy moment

as i walk in, i see this moment happening between Miss MI and a l'il fan, who was enamored of her wrist corsage, and thank god for that, because then it was onto a series of people speaking at the podium, and my battery is about a goner anyway....phew! just made it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

how could i forget????

after watering the garden, i went out with camera and lensBABY.....maybe not the greatest, but it has been a while, so here is the latest

Sunday, July 17, 2011

new directions

the theme of the week begins with the final day of a month-long camp for girls who will be entering middle school in the fall....addressing self-esteem, body image, bullying, and all the other lovely issues that kick into gear at that age....wish we'd gotten to this sooner than the very last day when they were really just preparing for a talent show for, i shot them doing that

and then it was off to the college, where the Lt. Gov. and a state rep were coming to tour DTE's massive solar panel project - 2000 panels, the biggest in the state and the first to include an educational component as they partnered with students to build it....

next day, i went out to a dirt bike/4-wheeler motor sports track...we did a story on a kid who who was badly hurt riding last summer - the crash left him paralyzed from the waist down, and friends recently modified a bike so that he would be able to ride again....this was the third time he had ridden, and i have to say, it kind of choked me up to watch him take off and go soaring over the hills on the smaller track...just imagining the freedom he must be feeling, and the guts it took to get back out there and ride again

later that night, i headed up to Novi for 2 events going on simultaneously - an outdoor sculpture exhibit opening and a Beatles tribute band playing in the park

saturday, with little sleep given how late a night it was after editing and submitting the freelance stuff, started with (coffee first and foremost) a fundraising bake sale, part of a feed hungry children in America effort

then out to the fair ball games park for the opening day of the baseball tournament

i felt really wiped out after the heat of the day and lack of sleep...and i felt like i should have gone back and shot more games, but i just didn't have it in me at that, as the saying goes, it is what it is...and now i am on to the next week's adventures, which will include addressing a group of kids at the local community center about starting a neighborhood journalism online site...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

thursday back to the office...nothing much on the agenda, so i feature hunted and found these kids playing in the park.....self-described monkeys, they scaled the jungle gym, rigging up their own zip line across one of the kids, and not such a bad feature find, though not something i'd call my best work....but it's always fun to meet innovative and talkative kids!

next day was what was to begin the comedy of errors that depicted my day....after doing officey work in the morning, i got a skype message about a nationally-renowned band rehearsing at a local high school for a later evening show in Ohio....5 semi trailers filled with equipment...should make them pretty easy to spot, right? only, i get to the school to which i am sent, and see nothing of them or their massive editor....well, maybe they're at this other school...go i go, and i find them, only now i've got about 15-20 minutes to shoot before they go to lunch...great! so, pix, needless to say, not so great.....but i get them in, set some appt's up for the weekend, including a portrait, for which i soon discover i am short on lighting gear, grr...and then i am out of the paper and getting ready for my next assn up in Novi - an art exhibit opening.....i get there early, which is fine by me, since i need to write a copy block and would like to talk to the artists, etc, beforehand, but it's all locked one in sight....ok, i'm early....go find a store, grab a pop and come back....then still, no one around, except for an older couple who make their way toward the entry...i follow, but after several minutes, it's pretty obvious that we are the only ones showing, and now it's opening time, so that's even the editor, who makes a call and gets back to say that the event has been cancelled....aah well, back to Monroe, after a brief stop through Northville, where the couple i met is from and who encouraged me to follow them back to see what their town is like (more on this later)
saturday then, out to a gubernatorial recall petition drive....the reporter was scheduled to shoot this, but it had sounded like her day was getting crazy and she was stressed, so i offered to do it and grabbed some quotes and color for her story, just in case there weren't many people there signing up when she could come (of course, those 4 graphs all made it into the story with no attribution to me, which they normally do when more than one person contributes...whatever...i feel SO over this whole paper right now!)

then it was out to the family retro games day in the park - retro games being things along the lines of potato sack races, hoola hooping and tether ball....i remember having tether ball in our older sister nicely facilitated the falling out (or, rather knocking out) of one of my hanging-on baby teeth during a backyard game of tether ball!

i think i like this one best from the day there

then, it was off to a portrait - triplets who have taken up bowling....pull up to the bowling alley with the question in come the parking lot is empty on a saturday? to discover that the alley is closed for renovations through the month....thank god for the bowling mural painted out front! and now, my lighting logistics issue is no longer an issue either!

later that night, our local semi-pro football team playing a home game...nothing too stellar from that....just decent daily

and that is all....for now, til the next week....same bat time, same.....well, you know the drill!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

the 4th.....flowersBABY style

dug into my left-over sparklers from last year and tried to get a little july 4th spirit going with the gerberas and the lensBABY....liked this one the best of the bunch i think

it's almost like the flower is the big burst

Sunday, July 3, 2011

features a'plenty and a soldier's return

i can't believe it was just earlier this week that i was up in Novi for feels like it was weeks ago...this week just seemed especially long...didn't get as much done on my down-time as i'd hoped...think i've hit that wall in trying to put together a portfolio website where i now have all the pieces in place, and i now have to find a template in which to present them, hopefully for free, and then a host to post....that and making a business card's so easy to get caught up in playing around with different ides/formats/venues, only to realize that you're probably wasting good time on something that isn't going to be the right fit in the end....aah well, all part of the learning process i suppose....
so, onto the newspaper work for the remainder of the week....
thursday was a shoot at a woman's home garden that is to be part of a community garden tour next weekend...her garden was amazing! really, like an enchanted garden, but it being shaded, very humid and including ponds, the mosquitoes were INSANE! literally, i think one tried to bite my eye...not just eyelid, but my actual eyeball! and another flew into my ear and started biting....made shooting pretty rough...i'll probably get lyme disease or something now that i have no insurance anymore! oy vey

but, after that, i went a bit north to take a portrait of the county girls athlete of the year...running is her major sport, so we were set to meet at the track, and i had a cool idea i really wanted to try, thought at least i'd have the track lines to work with if that didn't work...but that school has a pretty simple in, lines, no nothin' so i scoped out other places, and decided i'd try something with the lines from beneath the bleachers if all else failed...think this works, and the lights looked very natural, so i'm okay with it, but not the 'knock it outta the park' pic i was hoping for....guess i'll save that idea for later

friday, not much on the agenda but a soldier returning from Afghanistan in the evening...and there was a story about a woman who rescued some baby birds whose nests were destroyed in the power washing of a grocery store...after playing phone tag with her for a while, i was able to get that set up before the soldier return....then got a text that his return was pushed back to saturday, so we need a stand-alone now for page one
so, i looked around early in the day....saw lots of kiddie pools and other things out in front yards....unfortunately, they were the only things out there, no, i shot the bird rescue lady

then went out on a big feature hunt....stopped at one of the beach communities on my way back to Monroe, but that was fairly lame, as far as page one goes, at least...

so, i started making the circuit of neighborhoods...still saw lots of pools, play toys, trampolines, but still, no people...hmm...drove past a house i know is always full of kids and people hanging out outside, and they were out there as usual, and as i glance over i notice this guy holding a python, so i pull over to check it out...hung out with them for a while to work it

this one ran as a secondary

but i think i like this best, especially in b/w....just like the feel of it
but, i wasn't sold on this as what anyone would want for 1a, so i kept at it....headed up toward an ice cream stand that's usually busy, and i saw an employee dressed as Lady Liberty out front...thought there might be something there worth working, so i stop....not totally impressed with what i was getting, hoping for one of the kids eating ice cream to interact in some way, but that didn't happen....though, this one did end up running dominant...guess the whole holiday theme thing

then i notice that the Sheriff's helicopter is circling, and it comes to land in the playground/field in the school across the street, so i walk over there...turns out to be a children's 'safety city' program graduation...that seemed promising, so i stuck around and shot some of that

got to play ball with the little boy singing here for a while, then went over as kids headed to check out the helicopter.....not the greatsest, but at least it was a little more generic community/family event that i thought the paper might like, and it was getting toward dusk, so i decided to call my hunt to an end and headed back to submit

saturday, as i had to get some hours in as i only had the soldier return assignment, i went to find a feature earlier...the event i'd read about wasn't happening, so i just started driving through neighborhoods....found some kids playing in a backyard pool

liked this image best, and thankfully i got splashed a lot, because our heat advisory was kicking in by then, and i was feeling pretty darned hot and sweaty!
after that, i went to check out the soldier's neighborhood...they were supposedly decorating with yellow ribbons and flags, but that was all done already, so i went up to dump my card, then came back about 20 minutes before he was supposed to get home, since i didn't want to be late, and also thought there might be something featurey going on at his house that i could work for the package...lots of cars in the driveway, but apparently they were all at the airport, cos no one answered, so i sat and waited, and now the day's heat is really kicking in, and i am feeling gross, and about 40 minutes later they arrive...

it was pretty cool...i'd actually been to their house before when his mom was presented with a blue star flag by members of the American Legion Riders, who also escorted them home from the airport....wish i'd been there for the initial reunion, because the emotion of seeing him (especially since the whole family went) was pretty amped down by the time they got to the house, but i still made some good pix, so it all worked in the end

later, i shot some pix of my that i posted before had blossomed into something even more beautiful, and though they aren't the coolest photos, i just liked capturing the flower itself

and the echinacea are beginning to bloom, too!
then a big lightning storm...tried to get something cool of that, but i just wasn't in my storm mojo moment i guess...kinda liked how this burst of lightning almost looks like it is travelling along the power lines, but that's about it....

so, onto the holiday...gonna try to make a cool photo tomorrow...i have sparklers left over from last year.....who knows what i can do with all that?!!!!
happy fourth all!