Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My week or so

Long time no post. Have been fairly busy with work lately (ahem - surfing), but could always use more. When there is surf I am trying to take advantage of it, if my budget allows. And there has been surf the past week or so. I only got out a couple times. It was okay not as big as I had hoped. Also think I was in some pretty foul water on one of the days. It was the day after the storm and I was antsy to get in the water. I intentionally went to a spot that was away from more populated areas. From what I have read some of the more popular beaches down here have some major pollution problems, old septic lines that cant handle storm runoff and it all ends up in the water. So I went to surf near some farm country. The water was still brown and smelled like....hmm not sure what, but the waves were nice, and I had the entire beach to myself...literally. Not one other person around. Well there was a couple that walked by with their dog, but that was it. That doesn't happen too often once the warm weather comes back. Especially considering that the beach I was at was a high falutin private beach in a rich neighborhood. I probably wont even be able to drive down the road to get to it in the summer.

I actually havent worked too much since the Marathon, and after looking at my archives it just dawned on me, I better start getting some more jobs. Anyway I had the pleasure of covering a few pro sports for UPI last week/this week. On Wednesday I had the Celtics game against the Pistons. Was a great game for the Celts, fun to watch. The Pistons put on a bit of a show when they were coming my way in the second half, which made my life a lot easier.

Detroit Pistons forward Amir Johnson hangs on the rim after dunking while Boston Celtics center Kendrick Perkins looks on in the second half at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston on April 18, 2007. The Pistons defeated the Celtics 91-89.

On Saturday I had some work for CNC. First two jobs involved the kick off of 'Science Week' in Cambridge. The first part involved going to MIT to get some shots of families participating in an 'Augmented Reality Game'. Which was essentially a real world mystery that you played by walking around campus with a handheld computer and a GPS tracking device. At certain locations shown on a live map you would discover information about the mystery. Cool concept, much better than a traditional video game and the weather outside was fantastic which just sweetened the deal.
Michael Kiang, 8, and his father Douglas, of Dedham pause to look at a map for help as part of an Augmented Reality game on the MIT campus on Saturday April 21, 2007. The game was just one of the events taking place for Science Week in Cambridge

Next up was the actual kickoff ceremony and science booths (read PR booths) at City Hall. The highlight being a large scale human powered hamster wheel. Sounded fun, but it was hard to shoot. I'll spare you.

After that I was off to Brookline to the Larz Anderson Auto Museum annual classic car auction. This happens every year at the park but I had never been. Turns out its not easy to photograph people looking at cars. It could have been if there were more people walking around browsing the cars, and then I could have just gone unnoticed and fired away. But the actual auction had started so most of the bidders were seated in the auction tent. The few who weren't bidding were just wandering around and kept apologizing to me for getting in my shot. I spent a lot of time just waiting....and waiting....and waiting. It happens. I eventually found a few folks who knew I was photographing them and didn't care. I tried to avoid the standard people standing in front of a car looking at it shot and played around with some reflections. This was one of them, not sure if it works but whatever.

Steven Gerrone, right, 17, of Methuen and his father Arthur Gerrone, are reflected in the body of a 1958 Formula 1 race car, while attending the annual Bonhams & Butterfields classic car auction at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum on Saturday April 21, 2007.

On Sunday I got to photograph the Red Sox/Yankees matchup for UPI. UPI had been trying for awhile to get myself or my friend into one of the games in which Matsuzaka was starting. They finally granted us a credential two days before the game. The media were out in full force for Dice-K. I got a spot in the first base photo well, the second row. It was actually a pretty good system. The first row was down lower and the second row had stools, so no one got in any ones way, unless you were trying to photograph the dugout. And the seats were all assigned so there was no jockeying for a spot. I even had a second stool to put my laptop on, which I took from ESPN after Peter Gammons used it for his on field live shot.

A Boston Red Sox fan holds up a sign for starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka (18) of Japan in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway park in Boston on April 22, 2007.

That's all I got for now. If you would like to see all my shots from the game click on the link to the right for UPI.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Marathon Monday

Julia Hardy, sophmore at Wellesley College, watches the wheelchair contestants under her umbrella during the 111th Boston Marathon on Monday April 16, 2007 in Wellesley.

I was assigned to cover the Boston Marathon for one of my papers this past Monday. This is the second time I have covered it, the first time being last year in Brookline.

My job this year was to go camp out in Wellesley along the route and get some shots of what was going on. It being a local paper the story was more on the people watching rather than the contestants. The big story in Wellesley is the Wellesley College scream tunnel. Basically a whole bunch of Wellesley students line up along the route, right next to their campus, and scream and cheer on the contestants. They also offer up kisses for good luck. I have never covered the scream tunnel and have to say it was pretty cool. The runners love it and it seems to give them an extra push as they approach the halfway point.

A group of Wellesley College students cheer on a runner at the Wellesley 'scream tunnel' during the running of the 111th Boston Marathon on Monday April 16, 2007.

Now I couldnt just focus on the crowd. I mean there were 20,000 or so runners passing by, so I turned my camera on them as well. The shot below was completely and totally inspired by another shot I have seen. I wanted to try it myself and the results weren't bad. But I should also mention that I almost got stepped on, which was my own fault, stopped in a not so safe place.

Runners exit the Wellesley 'scream tunnel' and head towards the halfway mark of the 111th Boston Marathon on Monday April 16, 2007.

A flurry of runners cruise down Central Street just after race's the halfway point in Wellesley Center. Looking on in the foreground are, left to right, Kirstin Fiorentino, Lexi Fiorentino, Mandy Fiorentino, Ashley Cantwell and Val Cantwell.

A runner takes a break just after the halfway point in Wellesley during the 111th Boston Marathon on Monday April 16, 2007.

Well thats it for now. Celtics game tonight, hopefully have some stuff to post from that.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Stupid taxes

Instead of doing my taxes like a good boy I am going to post photos of our kitties. (Okay I am almost done with taxes but am stuck on one of the questions) Anyway, who doesnt like a good cat photo? I take a lot of photos of our cats. Well usually when I have a day off. I will just pull out the camera and follow one of the cats around. Its good practice and it amuses me. Also just a little pathetic. Anyway today I am featuring our cat Weegee.

This is Weegee. He is emo. He is basically angry all the time. But not the 'I am gonna claw your face off angry' its more like a teen angst angry, just a brooding moping type of angry, which of course makes it that much better. You see he gets even more angry when you point a camera at him, so I of course try and take pictures of him all the time.

Him in his box full of old newspapers. Trying to stare me down.

Thats all for now.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Some of this some of that

Haven't felt much like posting on this thing lately but I am forcing myself to right now. Currently having a glass of wine, listening to some streaming reggae music and have The Wonder Years playing on the TV. There is some station called ION down here in the PVD that plays two episodes of the show a night at 10pm. Obviously the late time slot is to appeal to folks like me that grew up on the show.

Anyway been pretty busy with work lately which is good. Gonna put up a few shots that hopefully you will like. And if you don't, well I don't really care.

This first one is from an Asian Cultural Festival held at Wellesley College last week. Some nice visuals but I only had a little time to shoot.

Carl Dulay, left, senior at Boston College dances a traditional Korean Talchum dance at Wellesley
College on Friday March 30, 2007.

This next shot is from a fundraiser in Watertown for a displaced New Orleans musician named Al 'Carnival Time' Johnson famous for the Mardi Gras tune 'Carnival Time'. Great food, good people, and some good tunes.

Nancy Gates, left, and 'Zydeco' Bonnie Hale dance to the sounds of
New Orleans Musician Al 'Carnival Time' Johnson during a fundraiser for Johnson
on Sunday March 25, 2007 at the Unitarian Church.

These last two are not recent but I just found them on my computer. The first one is from the Seekonk Speedway last summer. Christine went there to photograph it for one of her papers and I couldn't pass up 'Hillbilly Racing'. I just like the look that that guy is giving me up in the corner. He eventually turned around. Nice people look at cars at Seekonk Speedway.

This last shot is from a soldiers' funeral. I went there thinking I may be able to send the pics to another paper. Christine was already shooting it and told me there wasn't anyone from certain papers and that I should cover it and try and move the photos. Not a fun thing by any means but part of the job. Turns out I wasn't needed, but I shot it just in case. When all was over this woman came up to me and told me to take her photo. Think she said she was part of the family and needed to get in the paper. She was lying, and I knew this. She was a person just loitering with her friends in the area where the funeral was being held in Providence. I took her photo.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The big game

I love shooting sports. Something about catching that peak moment still gives me the warm fuzzies. The action is always great to capture, and is a large part of the game, but as a jouranlist, you also need to look beyond the action for other moments that are sometimes more telling of how the game is unfolding. For example a frustrated coach screaming about a bad call, a player with their head down after a tough play. The emotion or 'jube' (short for jubilation) and 'anti-jube' as some of us call it.

When you are shooting week after week of high school sports you don't often get emotion from the players or coaches. That is until you reach playoff time.

I have pretty much spent the entire month of March photographing a lot of these playoff games for various papers, and have been able to catch some great games. One of the games was the State Championship for boys basketball out in Wooh-stah. Actually I shot three that day, but I am going to share only one of them today. The first and last games I shot alone, but for the middle game I shot it for another paper and we had three photographers total. One photographer (Dave) was to shoot just action. One photographer (Jim - also the photo editor) was to shoot action from different angles and maybe some crowd stuff, as well as record audio for a slideshow. My job was to shoot features. That meant photos of the crowd, the players reactions, the fans reactions, etc.. And that is what I am sharing with you today. I cant really caption them because I lost my notebook that day.

The fans shot from way above with a long lens. Effect created by zooming out
and photographing at a slow shutter speed.

Watching the game.

And more.


They won.

We won. Thats Jim down in the right corner.

They did a kick ass job creating an audio slideshow on the go. You can check it out here and
Be sure to have your sound on: http://util.wickedlocal.com/multimedia/watertown/states/

Monday, April 2, 2007

The Sox

So I have recently had the pleasure of covering some professional sports in the past few months for United Press International. It has been quite a learning experience to say the least.

My first game was a Red Sox game back in September, and I was nervous as hell. Working for a newswire means they need the photos as the events unfold, because they are competing with all the other newswires covering the game. The trick, I was told, for baseball is to photograph the opening pitchers for each team, then file those photos from the photo pit. Then get shots of the game and file those as it goes on.

I was a nervous wreck the entire time. You see you have to stay in contact with the desk editor via instant messanger as you send the photos during the game. This desk editor, in my case, is a guy out on the West Coast and is a someone I had never met before who had never seen my photos before. I sent off the first two shots and send my first instant message to him to let him know. His reply "Your photos are too loose" (this is bad) and "Your captions need help" (really bad). I knew I was in for a long night.

Oh did I mention that this was also the night that David Ortiz broke the club record for home runs? Yeah because it was. I did manage to get a shot of him doing so, and it was very exciting to be a part of it, and to also be able to capture it from field level. The crowd went crazy and the Sox eventually beat the Twins. I spent a lot of time filing and worrying, but in the end it turned out okay. I remember sitting in the photo pit, when the game was over and I was just sort of sitting there with a dazed look on my face. This college aged woman leaned over the railing and yelled to me "Hey, cheer up! Your team won!"

I have since covered a few Celtics games and some Bruins games, and work with the same West Coast desk editor each time. We are now on good terms. He is still tears me apart if my captions are not absolutely perfect, but he does it because he cares....actually he does it so that I don't create more work for him. But whatever.

Here is a pic from the night of the record home run. I never even filed it (because I had a better one of him watching the ball go out of the park).

Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz hits his 52nd home run for the year, a club record, in the 7th inning against the Minnesota Twins on September 21, 2006 at Fenway Park in Boston.

Palm Sunday

My day yesterday.

9 am Palm Sunday Procession into Davis Square in Somerville featuring a 'real live donkey'.
Surprisingly, pretty much just what it sounds like. Members of the five or six churches on college ave all come together and lead a little procession down the avenue and hand out palm fronds. Nice people. Photo wise, a bit rough because they kept passing from shadow to bright sun back to shadow. Lots of backpeddaling. I manged to only bump into one car, but did end up dropping my most expensive lens on the concrete. Thankfully the lens hood was on and it landed on that first and then came to a rest.
Gary Nettleton leads a Palm Sunday procession down College ave
with Chester the donkey in tow.

12 pm Newton 'Support Our Troops' rally held in response to the previous weekends peace vigil.
Also pretty much what it sounds like. The father of a marine who is currently stationed in Iraq wanted to hold a rally in response to the peace vigil the previous week that marked the 4th year of the Iraq war. About a dozen or so friends and family members came out and held signs and waved at cars on Comm Ave in the Nonantum village of Newton. Lots of people beeping in support of them, but also a few folks flipping them off or giving them the thumbs down. I met a grandmother who had a grandson (technically her son because she adopted him) in Iraq. She was away from the rest of the group in her car which was parked on the grass next to the road. She placed a large portrait of her son on the hood of the car.

Mary Clossey, biological grandmother, and adoptive mother of Marine Lance Corporal
Sean Clossey, sits in her car on Commonwealth Ave with a portrait of
Sean on the hood of her car during a 'Support Our Troops Rally'.
Sean has been stationed in Iraq for 74 days.

7 pm Stand up comedy fundraiser in Dedham featuring some stand up comedians of some sort.
The highlight. The older (elderly) couple that I was chatting with while waiting for over an hour for the comedy act to start. For some reason people either love to talk to me when I have my camera out or they avoid me like the plague. This couple was happy to talk to me and I was happy to oblige. Mainly small talk but as I was walking away from them to get a seat in the theatre the man reached his hand out for a handshake. I shook back, then he pulled me in close so I could hear him and he said ....

'Stay vertical, 'cause everything else is incidental.'


Anne Quinlan, left, and Fred Bogan of West Roxbury wait in the
lobby of the Dedham Community Theatre for the comedy acts to begin.

***The above photos are outtakes because I dont think I am supposed to post my winners until they are published. Thats how it will be from here on out, unless they are older pics.