Jul 31, 2007

Ready to Ride

Press play to watch video

I'm pretty excited about this one. This is my first try at a multimedia show that features the three main multimedia components together in one package: video, audio and stills.
The story is about a group of young girls who race in the Pee Wee barrel racing division, as they get ready for last week's Long Beach Rodeo. I began shooting, recording and filming two weeks ago and just finished it up tonight for posting on our site tomorrow night. It is accompanied in the print edition by a multi pic spread on the cover of the Life section.
It's not super good (for some reason I can't seem to get the resolution to not go to hell over a 320x 240 size at the moment), but I think it's another good step. Ever since we really got into multimedia, this is the type of piece I wanted to be able to do. I'm really looking forward learning more about it and hopefully getting better at it. If I can get it to work at a larger res. size I'll add it later.


Jul 30, 2007


I spent a good portion of this last Saturday and Sunday at the Long Beach Rodeo shooting and filming a group of girls in the Pee Wee barrel races, a piece that I've been working on for a couple weeks now. Since I was there I figured I'd stick around for the remainder. This proved a good move as I caught the bull riding event and the stick horse races after the main rodeo events were done.

I'm sure its my wife's influence, but I love seeing the bull get the better of the deal in these events...


Jul 23, 2007

Magic hour at the beach

I was reading my friend Sol's blog today and he was talking about the so called "Magic Hour" or "Golden Hour," whatever you want to call it. Basically it's the hour before sundown when the light is such a nice orangey color and it makes things, especially people, look particularly good.
Anyways, on my way home tonight I realized that this magical time was upon me and thought I'd take advantage of it, especially since we've had four straight days of rain. I don't shoot a whole lot at the beach, kinda weird for living on the coast I guess, but couldn't resist tonight. Apparently neither could this man, who was out to shoot some pix of shorebirds during the golden hour (he was smart, he brought his own bag of bread).
I really like how he's so small in comparison to the vastness of the sky (click the pick to zoom in). Kinda deep, but not profound. Oh! That's a great word game, we should play sometime. The object of the game is to figure out how to play. Here's a sample, I could say umbrella but not parasol. Or I could say green but not red. If you figure it out, drop me an email...


Vespers & 7/7/07


This afternoon I shot one of the vespers services at the historic Oysterville Church. These will run in the paper as one of my "In View" photo essays and be the lead-in for people to go online and checkout the video piece about Suzanne Knutzen, who plays the old pump organ at the services.

I just love the old building. It always has such great light, even on stormy, dark days like today.

A couple of weeks ago I had tried to round up a bunch of photog buddies to do a shoot-out-sort-of-thing on Saturday 7/7/07. I thought we could each do seven pix on the day and I'd host a gallery on here of them for people to check out. Sort of a day in the life, but not really.
Well, unfortunately of the 6 people I had contacted about it (they shall remain nameless ... you know who you are green-sox!) only one was good enough to follow through on it, my long-time friend Jaime Valdez, who is chief photog for the community newspapers in the metro Portland area. He was actually a good enough man to shoot two pieces of 7 for the day.
I know it's kinda late, but I thought I'd share a few that he sent.

"Talia's Combover" - Jaime Valdez

"Gracie's Feet Sink" - Jaime Valdez

"Ramona is Baptized" - Jaime Valdez

I spent most of my time on 7/7/07 at the Schwingfest Swiss wrestling match, but I had a few extras I was going to throw into the pot. I went for a color theme, each pic was representing a color. Here's a few:




Jul 20, 2007

Rain Rain Go Away

Summer rain? Well, it is the coast. Here's a try at something a little artsy and fun with the video camera.


Jul 19, 2007

Keeping it clean

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Keith Stavrum is an organic oyster farmer at the historic Moby Dick Hotel, located near Nahcotta. He and his boss are in the process of suing the county over the mandatory control of Spartina, a foreign grass that was brought to the area in oyster crates from Asia back in the early 20th century. While a vast majority of oyster farmers on the Willapa Bay hate the grass, and claim that it eats a ton of space that could be used for growing their crop, Stavrum believes that the oysters and the Spartina can coexist. The county has been using a chemical spray to fight back the invasive grass, something the Stavrum does not agree with. And when the county sprayed some of the Moby Dick's land without their permission, it was the last straw.


Jul 16, 2007

Chinook Observer on Brightcove

After adding the Observer to YouTube last week, I also created an Observer channel on Brightcove, another video hosting site. A lot of papers are uploading their Web videos to this site and then embedding the player for it (like up above). It makes it pretty easy, plus it saves a ton of space on our site, as video files can take up a lot of room.
Here's the Suzanne Knutzen piece again, this time in the Brightcove player, which I think is a little nicer looking, both in appearance and the crispness of the video.

Jul 13, 2007

Chinook Observer YouTube channel

With us moving into more and more multimedia stuff everyday it seems, it was a no-brainer to get us up on YouTube. Above you'll find the first video I did with an actual video camera, a
Canon GL2, on loan from our sister paper the Daily Astorian. It's not the greatest, but for another test subject-type job, I think it came out pretty well. It joins my first video, which was about my blues records, on our new YouTube Channel.
This piece is about Suzanne Knutzen, who plays the 80+ year old pump organ at the Oysterville Church.
I'm hoping that the Observer gets our own camcorder soon — I'd be psyched if it was HD, but even a GL2 would be sweet — cuz I have new ideas for projects that are either video or incorporate video with stills, all the time and I feel like I'm losing time by not being able to pursue them yet. I'll probably try and do a couple more on the grainy point & shooter (like the first one) in the meantime, just to get a little more experience.
Anyways, let me know what you think


Jul 10, 2007


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Last Saturday I spent the day in Frances, Wa., the eastern most town in Pacific County, covering the 44th annual Schwingfest. Frances is home to the largest Swiss club in the United States, and Schwingfest is its main event, where men do Schwingen, a traditional form of Swiss wrestling.
This was a blast. I've been wanting to do this for years. My wife's parents live in Chehalis, and everytime we drove to their house we'd pass Frances and I'd think about getting out for the event. This year it just happened to work out.
It is such a low key event, very cool. No commercialism at all, which is so fresh to see (or not to see as it were) these days, where everything is sponsored by something it seems. In fact, if you didn't know what and where it was, you wouldn't find it, as there are no signs on the road advertising it. I think the only thing that was disappointing — other than the fact that I had to drive home before they did the stone throwing event — was that there was no ethnic Swiss foods to be had — the kitchen was only serving up burgers and fries unfortunately.
The Frances Swiss Club also hosts a Swiss bowling event in the fall at their Oktoberfest, I definitely want to find myself there in a few months for that. Go HERE to find more on the schwingen event

If you're interested in other unusual sporting events, like me, you should definitely check out my pal Sol Neelman's new blog, The Wild Weird World of Sports Now that he's a "free agent DH" photog, he can truly commit himself to his life's passion — finding some of the oddest sports you can think of!


Jul 8, 2007

A late fourth, forth with

We spent the evening of Fourth of July Monday with some friends near the beach, here's a few pix from the evening as the sun went down and McKenzie had many adventures with Karen.


Jul 5, 2007

My Blues, my first video stab

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Despite it being a Wednesday, yesterday afternoon felt like a Sunday afternoon, and what better on a Sunday afternoon than spinning some old vinyl blues?
This is my first stab at video shooting and production. I used a little HP 5MP point & shoot camera we had around the office for shooting the video (M-PEG4's), recorded the audio seperately on my Marantz PMD660 (which I've been using for audio slideshows for quite a while), edited the video in iMovie and the audio in Sound Studio.
Due to the lo-res of the camera, the video was kinda grainy so I shot it B&W, which I think fit the subject and gave it a kinda old-fashioned-film-student-no-budget-art-school-doc-kinda-feel. I don't know that using this camera for normal pieces would be very useful, but I could see using again for that affect.
I think it came out OK, pretty much came together the way I had envisioned it would, so that's cool. Anyways, it's just for fun. I needed some stuff to practice with, so be kind....

Jul 4, 2007

Liga Hispana Futbol

This week's Life section features a two page piece about Liga Hispana Futbol, written by David Plechl with pix by me. Liga is a regional soccer league that plays in Warrenton, Ore. The top team in this league is Atlas, which is from Ocean Park.

Watch the soundslides show HERE

Putting together this piece on my end was a little off-kilter in the sense that I didn't get anywhere near as much time as I would've liked and in turn didn't have the volume of shots or moments I needed to really round it out properly. I've gone out to Liga games four or five times now and wasn't able to catch Atlas until this last week due to their game schedule not always being what it appeared. I like the ambiant sound I was able to gather but only two players who spoke English volunteered to be interviewed for the slideshow, so I ended up narrating it myself off the script from David's story to give it a more cohesive feel. I think it came out OK, but it could've been better in my mind. We'll do better next time....

Jul 2, 2007

From my window

I made this last night from my bedroom window as the full moon was peaking out from behind the clouds over Ilwaco at around midnight. I handheld the exposure of 1.6 minutes by pressing the front of the lens against the window to help keep it still.
Over the years I've tried taking pix of my environment from inside my home, the idea inspired by one of my all-time faves,
W. Eugene Smith who for several years made a series of pix of life outside from his New York apartment window. I find this an interesting way of documenting the world outside — from the friendly surroundings of the indoors. It's viewing things in a disconnected way, very much different than how I usually take photos, which I think is why it is interesting to me. I think that our new home may offer many opportunities to start a series of my own in this fashion as for the first time in a long time we live in a neighborhood and everyone lives really close to each other. We'll see how it goes.