Oct 28, 2008

Football, football, football...

... In a way it feels like that's all I've been shooting lately. Of course, being essentially gone for three out of five weeks this month could have something to do with it. But in looking at my work load this month, 5 of the 11 assignments I've shot have been football games. This week I'm finally getting back to normal with a bit more variety planned, but here's a few pix from last week:

Last Thursday I did something that I can't really recall if I've ever done before, and that's shoot a junior high football game. It was Ilwaco Middle's last home game and they played great, winning 36-6. One of the highlights for me was being surprised by how great one of our friends oldest son was. Wyatt Wullger is a running back for the team and scored three touchdowns in the game (and he really only played offense in the first half. Here he is brushing away tacklers like oh so much dust...

It was actually pretty fun to shoot, though for some reason I did not dress as warmly as I tend to do at a varsity game and was freezing by the end. I put together a gallery of some of the pix that I liked on the Friday Night Sights blog HERE

The next night it was back to the gridiron once more, as I was in Naselle to shoot their homecoming game. I LOVE homecoming games, I guess because I really like the various things associated with the game and youth and tradition and not just the action on the field. And this game had it all. Funny thing is, the game was so tight and down to the wire that for the first time this year I think the action I got was better than off the field stuff... funny how that works?

(I know its a bit grainy. The D200 does pretty well at high ISO, way better IMO than the D2X, but iso 2000 is really kinda pushing it. But the field at Naselle is not very well lit. Even at such a high iso I was still only able to squeeze out an exposure of 1/200th at 2.8). Here Nick Hines, who was the star of the game with four TDs and was crowned homecoming king at halftime, has his helmet pulled completely sideways during a catch and run for a score.

Halftime with crowning stuff is a favorite as I think its kinda classically funny on some levels to see the girls dressed up all pretty and fancy and then the boys, many of which are players, are standing next to them all dirty and sweaty. Add some pretty cold temps and a sleeveless dress and your teeth might chatter a bit too...

With less than a minute to go and the visiting team trailing by 2, this defensive play was a game-saver as if it were caught would probably have been a TD for the other team. Even though a poorly called interference penalty was called the Comets were able to hold tough to get a hand on the ensuing field goal try with 10 seconds left to win the game.

As always, there is a gallery from the game on the Friday Night Sights blog, which you can check out HERE if you like.

Rod Mar, a great sports shooter for the Seattle Times has also been shooting a number of homecoming games this year, though he has a particularly different take on them. Read his blog HERE

Finally, a little off topic, yesterday was a HELL of a day, on many levels, but one nice little surprise was when I stopped by Ness' shop to say hi and found Wyse hiding under a prep table trying out a potato he had grabbed from her pantry. He is always into to everything ... and he's not even 2 yet!


Oct 19, 2008

California and a fall tradition

I haven't done a kids-pix-post in a while, so here goes...
This last week me and the kids made a trip to visit my folks in northern California (the real northern Cal, not the Bay Area...). And part of my plan was to acquaint McKenzie a little better with the town that I grew up in. Funny thing is, the first place we visited was a spot I had actually only been to once, Tree of Mystery, a redwood park in Klamath.

My dad went along too, though you'd be hard=pressed to know it from these pix, as I think he was avoiding the camera some — usually a skill used only by my mom... (that's his hand on the stroller)

I finally caught him at the top of the Sky Trail

Going up a couple hundred feet over the forest in a gondola was pretty cool, Kenz especially liked it.

The next day I took the kids on an exciting tour of places relevant to me and Ness in town, including places we lived, worked and the overlook where we got married 10 years ago.

Wyse has a particularly confused look about him, doesn't he?
I've started noticing that I squint my left eye a lot in pictures of myself and I wonder if this is a symptom of being a photographer for years and squinting my left eye while focusing? I'm kinda cusious if any other shooters out there notice this about themselves?

A couple days after we got back we all made the drive over to Sauvie Island near Portland to go to the pumpkin patch and corn maze we've been going to for a few years now. Ness's mom, who lives in P-town, met us there and surprised us when she showed up in costume, ala' the witch from Snow White. She actually had many of the kids at the patch thinking that she was one of the people who worked there.....

I had planned on getting a few pix of us traversing the maze too, but we got there a little late and had to do the maze in the dark, which was an added challenge.... so here's a few of the kids finding their orange gourds instead...

Back to work tomorrow....


Oct 11, 2008

Just a song, er, game, before I go...

Although I'm supposed to be in the midst of a two week vacation, I did go back on the clock today to shoot the Ilwaco homecoming game. I hadn't shot a game in two weeks and I felt a little weird at the onset, but it came back around. I'm not sure why, but for a short time during the game I actually shot ...ah, gasp, with a flash. Though I did not like what I was getting and quickly ditched it and felt way better. This is probably one of the more well-rounded games I've shot this year as I was getting equal amounts of action and emotion and fun and weirdness. Ilwaco ended up on the short end of the scoreboard tonight, actually failing to score for the first three and a half quarters, falling 25-6.
Here's some I liked, but you can see the game gallery at the Friday Night Sights Blog HERE

Here an Ilwaco receiver pleads his case to the ref's after coming up just short of the goal line as the first half expired.

Due to technical difficulties the Ilwaco cheer squad had to wait several minutes before performing at halftime.

Ikaika Thomas was a senior prince, and was crowned homecoming king (I never know if that should be capped or not?)

After the halftime fireworks show the beginning of the second half was a bit smokey.

As the fourth quarter ticked away it became clear that it would not be the Fishermen's night.


Oct 8, 2008

Time away, honored to be honored, amazing justice and dying slowly on the floor...

So hey out there, yeah I've been off here for awhile and man it's been crazy.
I actually don't have any pix to share, as some of you may have read on here before, about two weeks ago I injured my left hand which has made it pretty hard to shoot (though I muddled through a football game and a volleyball match) I haven't shot anything since.
A few days later I would find myself in the ER again, but this time for much more serious (and painful!) reasons.

Last Wednesday morning I awoke with an incredible pain in my back on the lower left side. Over the next 45 minutes it proceeded to increase so much that I found myself writhing on the floor in amazing pain. Not knowing what the hell was going on I honestly thought I was dying and can recall actually telling my wife that I thought I might be dying. I could not get up so an ambulance had to called, which carried me the quarter mile to the hospital (yeah that's like $700 I wish we could get back). As it turns out I had kidney stones, one of which was fairly good sized and was working its way toward the bladder. I know it doesn't sound so bad, as they are very small in the grand scheme of things, but I have talked to a number of people since who agree with me that it is quite possibly the most painful natural thing to encounter, save for childbirth.

The doc gave me an IV, which I wasn't too thrilled about as I'm needle-phobic, but by that point I didn't really care. Once in they were in they were able to give me Dilaudin (sp?) a powerful pain reliever that was easily my most enjoyable pharmacuetical experience once it kicked in..... After a CT scan it was confirmed and I spent the rest of the day in bed, popping Oxycodone and drinking a ton of water. I'm happy to say that I feel a lot better now, though I still get a twing every now and again, which may indeed be the other two worked themselves out (my friend Zack told me that he passed like four in a week a few years back). So I guess it's pretty lucky that I already had the next two weeks off to continue to take it easy and recover.

A couple days after my episode I was in Yakima at the WNPA annual convention where I was a speaker on the multimedia panel. My friend Jay Cline from the Sequim Gazette was the moderator and he has set up a discussion board on multimedia production for those interested on the Gazette Web site, which you can check out HERE if you like. Friday night was the awards banquet where the results of the WNPA's Better Newspaper Contest were announced. My paper won 32 total awards, including second place in General Excellence. It was the first time in the paper's history that it had been honored in that category.

As for me it was pretty awesome, as I won 23 individual awards — 18 for photography, three for multimedia and two for page design. You can read about it on our Web site HERE if you like. There is also a gallery of my winning pix online HERE. It's pretty crazy to win so many, though I am not blind to the fact that there is not a great amount of competition, it is still pretty cool to be honored. Maybe this year the bigger photo contests will like what they see too? Who knows?

For those of you who happen to be repeat readers you may recall reading about me having some camera gear stolen out of the trunk of my car a few months ago? Well, thanks to my friend David Plechl, who happened to be checking out some stuff at the Astoria everything-store, the Mallternative, my stolen camera and one of the lenses was recovered by police. To make it even better .... when the store bought the stuff from the guy they got all his personal info and got him on tape during the transaction on the store's surveilance camera, so the dude's gonna get charged! Better yet, maybe when they pick him up they'll find the other stuff that was taken too..... That'd be pretty killer.

SO anyways, save for the IHS homecoming football game that I offered to shoot this Friday, I am out of commission as far as pix go I think for the next couple weeks. Though I will be driving down to Cali to see the folks for a few days, and that usually leads to a few pix, so we'll see. I think I'm just gonna take things as they come for awhile.