Dec 21, 2009

An early xmas

So tomorrow is Christmas, hope everybody out there is doing great and having a good time over the holiday. Here's a couple pix from an early Xmas we had at Ness' mom's place in Portland last weekend.

Joining us by way of modern technology was Ness' sister in New York

Merry Christmas,

Dec 15, 2009

Hot lights & cold ice

What do you get when you have a group of kids dressed all in black, lit by strong stage lights, as seen from a side angle? (that was a ridiculously long set-up) Essentially the pic below.
Last night I was at the Ilwaco Middle/High School winter concert at Hilltop and was pretty cool with how they presented themselves. I saw this pic coming together over about the first 20 minutes. It kinda reminds me of the cover of With the Beatles — same basic principal, black background, black clothes, strong side light.
It was also cool to see that my wife and daughter are not the only ones hip to the new show Glee (I was starting to wonder...), as the concert choir did a little song and dance routine to the classic R&B tune Do You Love Me
For those of you who don't live around here, it was damn cold here for more than a week (we're now back to normal, just gale force winds and rain...). My late Gramma, who was well known for her witicisms, would have likely said "it was colder than a witches teet!" Never quite sure if that made sense or not, but it seemed fitting. Anyway, on I think the last day that it really froze I found this scene on my car windhsield.
Later that day I went out to get a few pix of the flock of swans who are living at Loomis Lake right now, only to find that the lake was almost totally frozen and they were walking across the top of it. Now my wife scoffs at such a notion, but I was quite convinced that it was frozen thick enough — at least 6 inches — that people could have ice skated on it.
The swans also swam around in these two little pools of water in the middle of the lake that didn't freeze over, and I was lucky enough to catch a landing.


Dec 8, 2009

Falling out (in) to the halfcourt trap

Man, I don't know if its the holidays or just plain laziness in getting new stuff on here with any frequency, but here's something new (that I was originally starting to put up on here last Saturday and never finished...)
So.... hoop season is back and last Friday night I was at the Bear River Battle doubleheader between the boys and girls teams from Ilwaco and Naselle. 

When I first started shooting hoops 15 years ago (oy, that just makes me sound old right?) my first photography mentor Mark Ylen gave me an old Nikon 85mm f1.8 HC lens that he no longer used and it was great. On a film camera (yep, no digital back then) it had a great field of view for shots from the waste up of guys driving to the hoop, and with a 1.8 aperture I could shoot fast, usually around 1/500th, in most gyms pushing B&W (film) to 1600, or in dark gyms with the old TMAX 3200 (again, film). For some reason, I really have no clue why, I sold it or traded it in for something else in like 1997, and I've wished ever since that I had not (I've done that with a lot of equipment over the years unfortunately.)
Anyway, for the last season and a half of shooting hoops I've gone with the wide angle under the hoop and mostly liked the results, but seeing as how I get bored easily I'm switching it up again.
I think you'll be seeing a lot more stuff like this in the months to come as I have changed my strategy yet again to shooting across the court with an 80-200 2.8 zoom. I've set up my strobes from above, one on each side of the gym, but instead of aiming from them from the baseline toward the key, I have instead set them up at halfcourt aimed between the halfcourt line and the foul line on the other end. It seems to work pretty good, especially since all the teams I shoot use a pressing defensive style with a lot of halfcourt traps. 
And whereas I shot almost exclusively with one body for hoops in recent years, I'm back to going with two, using a 50 mm f 1.4 under the hoop on the other one, using natural light. It's field of view on a digital body is fairly close to the 85 (75mm equivalent on a digtial) and with the fast aperture I can shoot around 1/400th at 1.8 at ISO 800 (I don't shoot at 1.4 cuz it is such a slim margin of focus I don't find it sharp enough a lot of the time). 

Funny thing about this new set-up, which I'd been thinking about since the first volleyball game I shot this year, is that I don't know if it will work at both schools. I have always had a much easier time lighting the gym at Naselle, as it is smaller and has a lower, white painted ceiling that is curved. But while the Ilwaco stands are high and their auxiliary hoops are set up at halfcourt, the Naselle stands are low and their auxiliary hoops are down by the baseline. It may take some tinkering, but I think I'll be out there on Saturday to or next week to find out. I'll be back at Ilwaco's gym tonight and believe it or not I'm actually looking forward to shooting in that cave of a barn!


Dec 3, 2009

I see a full moon risin'

Saw this as I was going into the post office the other night to check the box. Got out the camera and snapped a few through the trees in our buddy Chris Jacobsen's front yard. Wish I woulda taken the pic before going into the PO as the moon was bigger as it rose on the horizon, five minutes made a big difference in how big it looked...


Nov 30, 2009

New Moon? Nah, new season...

It's been a boring couple weeks since fall sports ended, but this week comes the opening of winter sports so I spent a few days over the last couple days shooting practices for previews. Things get going in a big way on Friday as IHS-NHS face off in a doubleheader, with the boys game first, followed by the girls. All four teams should be pretty good this year, which will hopefully lead to some good pix. I haven't been super psyched about my sports stuff thus far this year, so maybe some hoops and wrestling can turn that streak around? So far so, well, pretty good. I really like this first pic from Naselle boys practice.
This one I dragged the shutter quite a bit, and though the coach pops through like I wanted they guys must've stopped moving at that 15th of a second enough to not be very blurry, which is too bad.
Over at Ilwaco the coach was running them pretty hard, trying to build up endurance. Here they are after finishing up a long running drill. For whatever reason I didn't get very good stuff from the girls practices I went to, but Friday is only a few days away...

Hope everyone had a great holiday last week, and with that here's a few shout-outs:
Thanks to the Marcus family for having us for T-Day, it was a blast!
Thanks to everybody out there who takes the time to check out this blog. I know I can be slow on the uptake on here, but thanks for hanging in there. ON a related note, thanks to everybody who takes the time to give feedback out in the community, it may not seem like a lot but it really drives me to keep trying to be better at what I do and it is much appreciated!
Thanks to my Ness, Kenz and Wyse for being the reason I can't wait to come home and am bummed when I'm away (in a good way).

Alright, enough warm and fuzzies, cheers, 

Nov 17, 2009

A bitter end in the bitter cold

Friday night was the end of the football season for the Naselle Comets and for me. It was certainly an unexpected end for both. We have covered this team pretty heavily the last four years as they rose from a perennial under-.500 team, to one of the best in the state. There's a small sense of finality for me, as many of the kids I've been shooting for that time are now all done. Next years team will likely be great again, as they have some very good players returning and the coaching staff is a caring and professional group, but for me, in some ways it won't be the same. I can honestly say that I've had the pleasure to befriend on some level several of the players and it really made it a joy to go to their games and document their successes, and lesser so their defeats. Here are a couple pix I liked from the night, you can see a gallery from the game HERE
As the game entered the fourth quarter and it became more and more evident that it would not be the Comets night I had to shift my focus away from the normal action and look for pix of how the players react to the impending loss — truly one of my least favorite things I have to do. Following the game this scene happened in front of me, and while sad I think it speaks to the level of family and community of this team.

I got this one prior to the start of the game, as they chose to have their final pre-game meeting on the field since their locker room was located a couple hundred yards from the field. They brought it in tight so they could all hear the coaches, though I personally think it may have been to conserve body heat, as it was the coldest game I've shot in a couple years — I actually ran into the Burkhalter family at Safeway following the game and we agreed that the similarities between Friday's game and the second round playoff loss to Life Christian in 2007 were many, including: freeeeeezing cold, Christian private school, no offense for Naselle, night game in Tacoma, two weeks before Turkey day (I actually remember that part because just a couple hours after returning home we were off to California for an early Thanksgiving with my folks).

I don't think anyone would deny that Alan Erickson has been the emotional leader of this team. Once again at halftime he tried to rally the troops one more time. And while they marched down the field to score on their first possession in the second half, that's all they could muster. A couple days after the game Alan wrote a particularly touching farewell to his teammates, which you can read HERE if you like. Alan and the Burkhalter boys were the first to take on player blogging for Friday Night Sights, and have written consistently, win or lose, the last three seasons (the Longview Daily News even wrote about it last year). I don't know who will carry on that torch now, but I hope someone does as it really has added a further level of depth and understanding of the game on the blog.

So, goodbye football once again (believe it or not, hoops practice begins today at  both schools), we'll miss you — well maybe not the rain, cold and late Friday nights...) Hoops is on the horizon and I've been trying to think up some new approaches to shooting it — hopefully in a way where a Raymond parent won't want to get in a fight again after a game...


Nov 7, 2009

'Nother week, another slew of pix

This was originally destined to be like three different posts, but somehow its next Tuesday already...

Halloween night we went trick or treating with our friends the Trudell's. Their son Tristan went as Ben Franklin, complete with the "skullett" hair piece. We met some interesting people along the way.

Wyse went as a dinosuar (he loves dinos right now), while his sissy went as Pebbles, though I don't know if she's ever actually seen the Flintstones, but loves the cereal). Ness made both the costumes, which was pretty cool.

On Thursday I was driving around looking for a weather pix, and instead shot my first buck ... with my camera of course. This six-pointer was hanging out down by Waikiki Beach and was nice enough to hold still for awhile so I could get a few frames. The autumn color helps, though I wish I could've gotten closer.

Later that night I drove to Westport, the home of Ocosta High School to shoot Naselle's final regular season game, where they clinched their third straight playoff berth. At halftime I saw something unusual, as some of the guys washed off the mud that was caked on them. As I told Austin, first time I'd seen guys take a shower at halftime. You can see a gallery of pix from the game HERE if you like. Naselle plays Tacoma Baptist in a first round game this Friday night in Tacoma, course I'll be there. You can check out our week-long coverage of the game at the Friday Night Sights Blog.

Friday afternoon I was up in South Bend again as once again Brian Brush was in court. The main reason for me going was because he has apparently been on a hunger strike and was noticeably thinner.
While taking the pic above his lawyer decided to block my view with his folders, which actually made for a pretty good pic IMO.

Saturday afternoon I shot pix at the North Head Lighthouse again. This is for another story about its deterioration, this time about a non-profit group trying to save it. Thankfully the lighthouse was open to visitors so I could get some interior pix. Last time out I got stuff of the crumbling exterior, which you can see HERE if you like.

I must've had a thing for pix through doors and windows Saturday, as I made it out to Knappton Cove for a quick pic from the L&C event they had going on there.

As I returned to town and was stopping for a peppermint mocha my wife called and said they were down at the beach and I should come check it out. After picking her up a pumpkin spice chai and headed down I found a virtual winter wonderland — only it wasn't snow, it was thick sea foam that was created by the remnants of last months algae bloom and the rough weather and washed ashore by an extremely high tide. A few clammers were checking it out but most stuck to their cars as wind and sneaker waves blew it all over the place.


Oct 30, 2009

Rainy night sights

Tonight I was at the Naselle-South Bend football game, a huge local rivalry. Naselle dominated the line of scrimmage all game to pound out an impressive 22-8 win to secure a playoff berth for the third straight year. What was perhaps most impressive was the fact that they didn't let the sloppy wet weather affect them, switching up their offense a bit and ramming fullback Alan Erickson into the end zone three times. Last years team was really good, but I am now totally convinced that this years team is truly great and can beat people so many different ways.
Anyways, enough of the accolades, here's some pix from tonight.
Here's coach Eaton getting doused with the water cooler shower. I thought it was somewhat suspect that there was a water cooler on the bench for the first time all season (they usually use water bottles) but I didn't really suspect that they'd get him since we were all soaking wet already. But sure enough ... I was lucky enough to be right in front of him when they got him, but I wasn't so lucky to come away unharmed myself. In the course of getting the pic a player backed up into me causing my camera to nail me above my right eye. As I was leaving, one guy was nice enough to tell me I had blood running down my face...
Alan Erickson is such a heart and soul of this team, and with three TDs tonight? Defintely deserves to get a little silly afterward.
Oh, did I mention it POURED tonight?
Pregame national anthem moment. Dig the hair.
Pregame touching moment between friends.

If you wanna see more pix from the game go HERE
Well, here it is almost midnight, getting ready to head home, only to get up at 7 to drive to Olympia to shoot the district cross country meet. C'ya


Oct 29, 2009

Wyse - 4 pix, 1 day

A few weeks back I got one of my cameras back after it had been in the shop and I had yet to reprogram it to my specifications if you will. I finally got around to it yesterday and took some test shots of the boy. I really love this one.

Wyse's favorite show is Sesame Street, the first TV he ever showed any interest in, and that was only like 9 months ago. Here he is dancing along to the "fruit dance" song — he loves going bare-legged at home.

Last night was Kenz' final soccer game of the season. He decided to bring his baseball and glove to keep himself occupied.

One of our friends needed a pic of a parent interacting with a child for a presentation she's working on, so I snapped this one of them sharing a book on the couch last night before bed. He just looooooves books.


Oct 26, 2009

Endless, Nameless

Todays post is named after the "secret song" at the end of the Nirvana album Nevermind. On some of the original CDs after seemingly ending the album with the hushed acoustic track Something in the Way, if you let the disk keep playing for like another six or seven minutes you get the long, loud, lyrically unintelligible track that just keeps going for almost 7 minutes.
After more than a week without posting anything, what you're basically getting here is one long recap of last week or so for me. I'll try to keep my rantings a little more coherent than the song.
So we begin two Saturday's ago at the Naselle High School homecoming game. I like to think that they were thinking of me when they decided to schedule the game for a Saturday afternoon, but I know better. I will say that I'd gladly speak at a school board meeting and make a passionate plea to have more Saturday afternoon games in the future if anyone thinks it will do any good. Love shooting football during the day!
These are two pix that didn't make the paper that I liked from the coronation at halftime. I always think it makes a good pic when a football player wins and gets the cape and crown. The Comets were so far ahead by then that the coach actually let the players sit along the sidelines and watch, rather than heading off to the locker room. Can honestly say I've never seen that before.
The start of last week was also the start of what I'm referring to as the "sick days" at the Mulinix house, as my daughter came down with the flu. My wife took her to the doctor and was told that they aren't screening people for H1N1, but that we might as well assume that's what it was. By my day off on Wednesday everyone in my house had it — except me — to varying degrees. In fact, save for some added tiredness and a rough throat for a day or two, I was just fine. No clue why. I told Ness it was my superior Polish genes, but I have my doubts. As I was assessing the scene that afternoon I sent an email to my boss saying that my house was like the Dawn of the Dead with all the zombies around. I also considered putting a quarantine sign on the door like the one on the LOST hatch.
Anyway, by the time Thursday came around I was more than happy to get back to work. Here's an outtake from a little parade by the Boys & Girls Club kids I went to.
Later that evening I was up in Naselle to shoot volleyball. After a hot start to the season the girls hadn't been doing so well — they'd yet to win a league game. Guess I caught them on a good night, as they made short work of North Beach. And while I would like to think that I was some kind of lucky charm for the team, I have my doubts yet again as a bunch of players came down with the flu a day later and they had to cancel their appearance in an invite tourney Saturday.
After a drive up to Menlo in the afternoon the next day I was out in the cold at Peterson Field for the Ilwaco homecoming game. The coronation at halftime was a little different as the seniors came out escorted by their family and are then made to each open a box in front of them that shows if they have won. Annika Wolters was the queen this year, to which she and her mom were pretty excited about. The girl has had a tough year, and it was nice to see her classmates get behind her.
The king, Troy Harkness' mom Maryann was pretty excited as well. You may remember a few weeks back I caught some ridiculous flack from some staff at the school for a picture of two students briefly kissing before a football game. Hope they don't have the same feelings about this one.
The game itself was a pretty rough affair, as the team the Fishermen were playing started taking cheap shots late in the third quarter. I guess they figured they could get away with it since the referees essentially turned a blind eye to it. The Fishermen hung tough for quite awhile, but couldn't keep up in the fourth quarter.
The next morning I had the chance to meet up with a father who was taking his 12-year-old daughter hunting for the first time. Now, I'll have to add that this was not her first time out, more like her fourth or fifth, but this season has been her first. It was mostly a lot of walking, as we never saw any game. Jerry said that was likely because the weather was so bright and calm. There also wasn't many chances to catch them interacting much, as it is a fairly quiet and almost solitary kind of thing. I like these ones though. I also have plans to go out with another family that duck hunts, so we'll see how that goes.

Lastly, later that night I went to the candlelight vigil down at the Bolstad beach approach — part of domestic violence awareness month. What really made it poignant was the fact that it took place less than 100 yards away from the memorial for Lisa Bonney, and the fact that her sister Kim and several friends, including the woman in the pic below who had been a friend since childhood, were there. I got to talk with her some afterward and found that she lives in McMinnville, and has for several years. In fact she lived there when Me and Ness did, and her apartment is only a few blocks away from the house we lived in. Small world I guess.