Dec 30, 2008

Best of '08

After much diliberating, taking out, putting back is a gallery of what I think are the best pictures I took in 2008.
To start you'll find a group of 10 single images, and then two photo essays — the first a yearlong piece about how things that may be considered antiquated or old fashioned are still very much important to a lot of people today. The other is a piece on the special season had by the Naselle High School football team this year. This is the core of what I plan to enter in the year end photojournalism contests.
If you want to see it bigger, which also features full captions on the side of the photos, click HERE)
Use the arrows to navigate through the gallery.

Thanks so much to David, Mike, Timm and everyone else who offered up some sage advise on what was good and what was not...

Happy New Year eneryone!


Dec 29, 2008

Cartoons before Christmas

I know it's a bit center-focused, but it was a bit of a grab shot — the kids watching Xmas cartoons two days before the big day.


Dec 27, 2008

Hoops for the holidays

I guess I just wanted to show that I sometimes shoot stuff other than my family these days. Here's a pic from the Astoria holiday hoops tourney that Naselle played in over the weekend. It's the first game I've shot in over two weeks, due to the weather canceling everything.
Back with more pix of the fam tomorrow....


Dec 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

Hey everybody,
Here's hoping that everyone has a great holiday and an even better new year!

A couple nights ago I took our annual kid Christmas pictures. My mom makes the kids Christmas outfits each year, so of course pictures are a must. I usually put together a little backdrop upstairs and use a couple lights. Wyse was a little unintersted, especially in the sitting sit department... Merry Christmas!


Dec 20, 2008

Snow day 2

Today was more of the same as the "Cape Cod of the Northwest" began to resemble the real New England at wintertime more and more. More walking, more clicking. As I sit here working on images and pages at the office, every time I look out the window and worry about driving home later as the snow keeps on falling and keeps on piling up...


Snow day #1

This morning we were treated to a bit of a surprise as overnight the Peninsula was hit with several inches of snow. Sure the weatherman said it would likely happen, but who ever believes that guy? In the morning me and the fam hit the neighborhood to find a good sledding spot. Didn't take long to find the best hill and some good friends to hang with. Here's a mix of family, friends and neighbors. Good/bad news for me is that the best pic IMO is the first one, which is of Kenz ... which I can't use in the paper.

Press the arrows below to advance through the gallery

I hear it's supposed to snow some more over the weekend, and then freeze on top of that...


Dec 18, 2008

Fires on a freezing night

I had been home for all of about 15 minutes Tuesday night when I got a call from work that the new WorldMark condos were on fire. So I ran over there and sure enough two rooms were ruined by an innerwall electrical fire. About a half hour after arriving another call went out over the firemen's radios saying that there was another structure fire in north Long Beach. I was pretty cold from the first one, but headed over to the second one and made a few pix there too, including of the owner of the house, who was sleeping inside when the fire broke out in his garage. I'm glad the fires weren't too bad, but in a way I kinda wish they would have been a little more toasty, cuz it was darn cold that night...


Dec 17, 2008

My snow angel

Over the last few days it has been unusually cold — temps not getting over freezing and even more notably, a fair amount of snow. Kenz got out and enjoyed it some, while Wyse was more content to stay inside and stare out the window.


Dec 16, 2008


Last Saturday I shot my first wrestling meet of the year. I've never felt as though I ever really get good pix when it comes to this sport. To be honest, I feel a little lost at the moment as I transition from shooting a lot of football to now hoops and wrestling which are a lot different on many levels.
When I worked in Mac we would shoot a lot of swimming this time of year too, and I'd usually get some pretty cool stuff from that, but they don't have swim teams at the high schools here.... so yeah, anyway
For this assignment I concentrated more on emotive faces and was somewhat successful I think, though IMO they all kinda look the same to some extent. Funny thing is, though I liked these ones best, we didn't use any of them in the paper, as these players were not particularly successful on this occasion ... but I guess that may be obvious from the looks on their faces...

I put up a gallery with some additional pix from this that night at our new SPORTS BLOG if you feel like checking that out.


Dec 10, 2008

Valley Christmas

Last night I drove up to Rosburg to shoot the annual Grays River Grange community Christmas party at the old Rosburg school. This has been a tradition in the valley forever it seems and is kind of old fashioned by today's standards ... which I why I love it. I photographed it last year too and had a great time and decided to go back this year (I figured if nothing else I might get a pic to add to my year long "Something Old, Something New series about people in modern times still doing things that are considered old fashioned). It is definitely a plus that all the folks are so nice and seemingly glad I was there.
So here's a group of pix I liked from the evening.

Press the arrows below to advance through the gallery

I was given the wrong start time so I arrived well over an hour before the start of the party, so I decided to snoop around the old school and found the Naselle fourth grade basketball team practicing in the gym, so I snapped a few...


Dec 9, 2008

PDXcross photo blog

For those of you who dig on bikes and cyclocross events (or for that matter just some really cool photography) you should check out the PDXcross photo blog HERE
I just came across it after reading about their cool new book DIRTY PICTURES
The blog is updated by a number of great phoogs, two of which (Rob Finch and Torsten Kjellstrand) I've been a fan of for many years (a few years ago Rob actually gave me some portfolio help on a couple of occasions which was most helpful). Anyway, they are both bike enthusiasts and have been making some really great pix at these events for the last couple months and post photo galleries after every event (all in B&W which is great). Anyway, check it...


Dec 8, 2008

For those with a sense of humor only!.....

This was being talked about on Sportsshooter today. A lot of people have been complaining about how the new Nikon D3X is a rip-off at $8,000 and not that much of an upgrade over the D3 which sells for about half that. It's hilarious — but if you are morally opposed to laughing at Hitler .... well, maybe not your cup of tea.

Watch the video HERE


Nov 28, 2008

Comets conclude

Tonight I was at the Tacoma Dome to shoot Naselle playing in their first ever state semifinal football game. Unfortuntely the Comets couldn't muster enough offense in the second half for the win (though they did make it close, 18-13) eventually falling to the Napavine Tigers who will now play for the 2B state title next week.
And while I'm sure that there is a great feeling conclusion for the players, coaches and fans, I too came away with a bit of a feeling of finality as well. I've covered this team pretty closely for the last two years as they have set school records for team success on the gridiron and it's a little sad to see it end, especially a game away from the championship, but like I said, I know it is waaaay harder for the players obviously. In the next week I plan to edit down what I hope will be some of the best and most story-telling images from the over 16,000 I've shot of the team this season to put together a photo essay on the season.

As a parting shot, I have to say, the Tacoma Dome sucks! This is the first time I've ever shot a game inside, and only the second time I've been in it period (the other time was to watch the minor league hockey team Tacoma Sabercats play their final game like 10 years ago). The lighting is cooky, though better than the stadium lights at many high schools. The air is dry and funny smelling. The event staff is ridiculous as to where you can be and not be. I don't know, I just coudn't get into much of a rhythm shooting-wise. I think I made a few good frames, but not many despite the fact that I really wanted to, for at least the team's sake if not my own.

I have to say though, I really feel lucky to have been afforded the kind of access that I have gotten from the team and its coaches over the last two years. It's very cool to be treated like you belong in a situation like this, but it's even better in my profession when people are so accustomed to you being there that they don't even pay you any mind, which more often than not this team has done, and I wanted to say thanks!

Below is the gallery I put together for Friday Night Sights, if you wanted to check that out.


Nov 25, 2008

A home for the homeless

This last week I got the chance to spend some time at the local Humane Society animal shelter (and are a no-kill shelter) for a feature we did for this week's paper. I put together an audio slideshow to go with the piece ... the first one I've done since like August. It was kinda weird since I was doing at least one a week for a while there, so I was a little rusty. It's not the best one I've ever done, but thankfully its not the worst either... IMO anyway. Let me know what YOU think...
Press the arrow below to make it play


Nov 22, 2008

To the Dome!

Today I shot the Naselle High Comets win their state semifinal game against rival Valley to earn a trip to the final four at the Tacoma Dome next week. Here's the gallery I put up on our football blog Friday Night Sights.

It was cool to get to shoot with my pal Bill Wagner from the Longview Daily News, who I haven't seen in over a year!


Nov 17, 2008


Though I'm sure it's normal, I feel bad sometimes that I don't get as many pix of Kenz on here as I do Wyse at times, so here's a few of my favorite girl from this last week.
First off, after a good round of Clue (her new favorite game) Kenz decided to lay down with her brother and they both ended up snoozing away on the couch. I think Wyse has a little milk and cookie left on on his face....

It seems that her unusually early sleepiness was because she was getting sick. This is her after coming home early from the school the next day, reading on her bed with her cat. There are so many little details that I just love about this picture...
McKenzie loves to read and does so at a near sixth grade level in second grade this year. She was actually given three reading awards today in an assembly at school


Nov 16, 2008

Comets move on

Today I drove up to Bellevue to shoot the Comets first round playoff game against Seattle Lutheran, the team they blew out in the first round last year. Yep, this was more of the same for the Comets, who will now face their league rival Willapa Valley this coming weekend in the quarterfinals. Here's some pix I liked from the game (I'm starting to find that a lot of my work for the Friday Night Sights blog of Naselle is ending up a nice little photo story on the teams season). You can view a gallery of pix I shot HERE including (gasp) a bunch of action pix. Hey, this was the first time in a year I got to shoot football during daylight hours...





Nov 10, 2008


A lot of times in this job you have to try and make something from next to nothing sometimes and this last Saturday was kinda like that. It started out with me shooting a play practice, an old boat and home, and ended unexpectedly with the biggest fire I've covered in a few years.

First up was the first dress rehearsal for the Peninsula Association of Performing Artists' revival production of Fiddler on the Roof. The same group did the same play last year and we didn't want to do the same kind of coverage — last time I did lighted portraits of the main characters to go with a preview of the play. This time around we decided to do an article on the group, as they are newly formed, and try for more candid photos. I still ended up making a couple on the stage, but liked the look of these.

Next up I was driving up to Bay Center to photograph this guys old Navy ice breaking research boat that he's restoring. The story also apparently touches on the fact that he owns the old Cheney House, which is a historical home up that way as well. He was kinda picky as to what I could shoot (I learned upon arrival that having him in the pix was out of the question). Nice enough guy, and interesting enough boat, but God do I love taking pictures of inanimate objects....

Just as I was finishing up my edits and getting ready to go for the night I heard the call over the scanner for a fully-engulfed house fire that all departments were being called out to. I grabbed my stuff and drove over. It's been a couple years since I've been to a fire this big. Limited light made the pix a bit of a challenge (as did the rain that started coming down about halfway through), but I thought these ones looked alright. So far as we've heard no one was injured thankfully, but the house, which was a beautiful old home, is pretty much destroyed.


Nov 7, 2008

Out with a bang

Though Naselle Comets volleyball team lost their first round district playoff match with Adna Monday night, you really couldn't tell from the way they played, or the way they acted. It was an inspired performance, if not ultimately unsuccessful.

I haven't shot much volleyball this year for one reason or another. I think this was only the third match to be honest. I like volleyball, but its a difficult sport to shoot as you never know where the ball or the players are going at any particular time — save of course for the net, which I've come to try and avoid if possible as it is the most common and redundant shot in the sport. And of course it figures that I have my best game shooting on the last game I'll be shooting this year...
Prior to driving over to Napavine (two hours each way) for the 7:30 pm match our sports writer and I exchanged e-mails that conceded that Naselle would have to play the match of their lives possibly in order to win. I said that for both our sakes I really hoped this was true. And while the outcome was not what most would have hoped we did witness an intense and exciting match.
I like using a two light set-up for volleyball, though I'd prefer if one was on each side, from high pointed low, I arranged two Nikon speedlights from a rail along the balcony weight room in the gym, one pointed right along the net, the other pointed in the back court area. Now this set-up worked for some angles, while others not so well.

Like I said before, I don't really like net shots, but....

Pretty much every game of the match I tried something different as I felt a bit less cautious, which kinda surprised me as I was fretting a bit while driving over.

Since the final match was close and ended a bit abruptly I don't think the girls had too much time to realize the finality of the loss and so the sad feelings and gestures that usually accompany a season ending loss were pretty minimal.

You can read Kevin's story from the match HERE


Nov 6, 2008


As did millions of people throughout this country of ours, Tuesday night was a historical and monumentally satisfying night for me, my wife, and many of our friends as we gathered to watch Sen. Barack Obama be elected as our next president at our Barack Night party in downtown Ilwaco.
Of course I brought my camera, however I found myself taking a lot fewer pictures than I would imagine, as I found myself glued to the results and the speeches. This was the exact opposite of what I was doing in 2000, when I was running back and forth between Demo party HQ and GOP HQ in downtown McMinnville, Ore. till after midnight photographing that historic, and ultimately dissatisfying election for my previous employer, the News-Register. I can remember clearly returning after they had initially called it for Bush and finding a cloud of utter disbelief and disappointment over the newsroom with people commenting on how things had just made a momentus turn for the worse in our country. This would clearly be shown to be true over the next eight years. But Tuesday night, I felt nothing but an utter sense of relief, hope, pride and joy. I had the honor of making the toast for our group, imploring both the adults, and the children who were there, to remember this night and how important it is for our future as a country. Here's a few pix I happened to make:

As the results from the west coast came in it was a done deal and we all watched as the race was called for Barack. I was particularly proud of the fact that Washington and Oregon were the final pieces, along with California, to put him over the top.

There were many wet eyes, including my own, as we watched him give his stirring acceptance speech.


Nov 3, 2008

Two days of non-stop action, excitement ... driving?

Friday and Saturday were an interesting 48 hours for me as I worked late, worked early, drove over 300 miles and shot a bunch of pix of athletes winning stuff left and right.
I started work at noon on Friday, which was also Halloween. Around 4, me and Ness took the kids trick or treating around Ilwaco. We had to go early because I had to drive to South Bend to shoot the Naselle football game, and we get a ton of kids at our door too. We were however the first to knock on most people's door... Wyse was a skunk (fitting on many levels) and Kenz, what with her literary loves, went as Nancy Drew.

Our trek actually had me leaving town a little later than I would have liked, as I arrived at the game a few minutes after kickoff for the first time in a long time. The game would be a nail-biter and was tied at halftime. That is when I made this frame, by far one of my fave fball pix this year.

In the second half South Bend got out to a two TD lead, but Naselle would score the go ahead point on an extra point with only seconds left. The excitement was tangible for both fans, players and coaches.

The win over their archrival clinched a playoff berth for the Comets, a nice gift on their coaches birthday.

I got back to the office, edited pix and got up the gallery for the football blog (which you can see HERE if you like) by a little after midnight. I charted out my driving route for the next day and got home to bed by like 1. I was up six hours later to get ready to drive to Lacey for the District cross country finals.

Despite being a bit tired, I made it to the meet in plenty of time to walk a portion of the race route and find some interesting places for pix. There were a couple of other photogs from bigger papers there, but were sticking to more conventional (and IMO a bit boring) XC shots, which really motivated me to try something different. This one is the start of the boys 1A race featuring the Ilwaco team. Feel free to click on it to get a better view.

I guess because we don't have a lot of deciduous trees down here on the coast that the color of the autumn trees really caught my eye. I kept finding myself trying to get pix with yellow and red leaves in them.

As the day played out, both the boys teams from Ilwaco and Naselle made the state meet (Ilwaco was second and Naselle finished third, sending them to the state finals for the first time.

As exhausted as I was upon returning home that night, it wasn't more than a half hour later I was up and going again as my wife's family was in town and we were going out to eat. I had thought about bagging out, but went, and was glad I did as it was a good time.
Looks like I'm back on the road again tonight, as the Naselle volleyball team play a district playoff game in Napavine.... no rest for the weary