Dec 27, 2010

My faves/best of 2010

Every year in the course of doing my job, documenting the various goings-on of our community, I take a whole bunch of photos. This year the magic number was just shy of 71,000 shutter clicks. Incredibly enough that is actually up from 68,000 last year.
So what got the most clicks? Day one at the state basketball tourney with 1,415 shots taken of the Ilwaco boys team, the band, the cheerleaders, etc., followed closely by day two at the tournament with 1,325 shots (thats more than 2,700 photos taken during a five to six hour stretch). Trying to edit 1,400 pix in a hotel room that first night on an outdated PowerBook following the game was quite a time-consuming process. It was, however, a very fun 24 hours that included a beautiful, snowy drive over White Pass.
And while in most cases the best or my preferred photos make it into the paper from each assignment, other times the best falls through the cracks or just doesn’t go with the story or the space well enough and is relegated to my blog or the cutting room floor, so to speak.
But with the end of another year comes a time of reflection, and in my case a chance to reexamine all 71,000 pictures and try and determine what was good, what was bad, what can be learned from, and what can be done better. It’s kind of funny to think that a group of 20 or so singles from that can be considered a good year, but I’m happy with what I got, and am looking forward to making more next year.


Dec 22, 2010

Christmas kids

It's the most wonderful time of the year ... and time for the annual Christmas kids pic, happy holidays!


Dec 21, 2010

Baby Abby

On the front page this week is a lead feature about a family and their life caring for daughter Abby who suffers from mitochondrial disease. And while sad, as every facet of this girls life is affected by this, the love her family has for her is palpable and heartwarming. As soon as the story is posted online I'll add a link. I have to say that I'm particularly happy to have been able to make the portrait above for myriad reasons.


Dec 16, 2010

R U not entertained?

Tuesday night Ilwaco High held their first dual wrestling meet in a few years and pulled out all the stops to make it a show including a fog machine, rock music and GLADIATOR lighting. What I'm talking about is the practice of having a single lamp hanging over the single ring for the matches, something which isn't very common anymore, but is pretty fun. Even better, Ilwaco destroyed Seaside, only dropping two matches.


Dec 13, 2010


This week on the Life page we have a feature on the new managers of the historic Sou'Wester Lodge, a particularly unique inn here that has hosted art events and artists for decades. Len and Miriam Atkins, second pic, have owned the place for more than 30 years and still live there on the third floor. The new caretakers, Stephen and Catherine, are in the process of "sorting out the obsolete."


Dec 7, 2010

Power pioneers

Lead story on the front page this week is about folks around the county who are working to or are already living off the power grid thanks to various alternative methods. I though a good way to illustrate this would be a series of diptych style portraits. This worked particularly well due to the fact that most of these alt energy devices were up in air.


Opening night, Pt. 2

Friday night was the opener for the Naselle boys, and was also their annual K-M Trophy game with Wahkiakum. The boys, however, are in a rebuilding mode this year and didn't have much of a chance. One of the few bright spots was Leo Mendoza, who had a game-high 22 points.

Then last night, after shooting a city council meeting where people voiced their displeasure for an hour, I caught the last half of the Ilwaco boys opener, against Naselle. Once again the Comets were vastly overmatched and Ilwaco won by like 30 points.


Dec 2, 2010

Opening night, Pt. 1

The high school basketball season got underway tonight and I was at the Ilwaco-Astoria girls game. Kinda like the team, who lost by a few points, it took me awhile to get a good rhythm going and missed a bunch of shots, but by the end I was starting to get a feel for it again. And with that the three month marathon of hoops begins. Tomorrow night, the KM Trophy game between Naselle and Wahkiakum.


Nov 30, 2010

Christmas cute

Last Saturday I took the kids to see Santa downtown. I'm pretty excited cuz this is Wyse's first Christmas where he's actually aware of what's going on. In fact he asks most days if its Christmas yet, though I don't think he understands that Christmas is a day. As you can see he was somewhat skeptical of Santa.

This little boy was in front of us in line.

And here's a little leftover from last week's pre-snowy weather.


Nov 26, 2010

Ilwaco via Columbia River via Canada via Lake Superior

Back in the old days (like 11 years ago when I actually worked at a daily) this kinda thing would be referred to as a "daily feature," meaning a feature story that usually comes up the day of and is shot and produced for the next days paper without much in the way of planning. In this case this fellow showed up at the port of Ilwaco this afternoon having just completed a trip via handmade canoe with his buddies that began in Michigan and went up through Canada and ended up on the Columbia River, all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The dude did it all as the culminating project for his masters degree. Oh yeah, and before he left he was clean-shaven, and he and his friend decided not to shave for the length of the trip, some 250 days.

The canoe is a "skin boat" made up of tree bark and sealed with pitch. Below he does some final repair the hull before launching from Ilwaco to make the final trip around Cape D and end up at the ocean.

The guy goes to Western Washington U up in Bellingham, and his mom and other friends and family were on hand today for their arrival. Pretty fun way to spend an hour.


Nov 19, 2010

Moving indoors

After a week without sports it was back into the gyms this week as winter sports practices got underway.
With the IHS boys hoops, above, I wanted to make something different as I knew that story would be the lead on the sports page this week. I'm a little on the fence with the pic below from NHS boys hoops practice. I like the pic and it tells the story of how Leo Mendoza, a senior coming off a knee injury from football season, may be hampered or even sidelined as the season opens. But at the same time I don't like to add undue weight to the shoulders of these kids either, so not sure if we're going to use it in the paper or not.
While girls practices can be just as serious as the boys, they sure seem like they're having more fun most of the time. My daughter is planning on playing in a grade school league this winter and is attending a skills camp the next few Saturdays. While I hope that she learns fundamentals of the game, I also hope she remembers to have fun, like these girls at NHS tonight.
The IHS wrestling team has so many wrestlers this year they moved out of their training room downstairs at the old high school building and into the old cafeteria which is twice as big. And while this gives them more room, let's just that ventilation was an afterthought. Even coach McNulty had a comment and smile upon walking into the gymnasium afterward at how much fresher the air was out there.

The only team I haven't gotten to yet is IHS girls hoops, but they're on the list for next week.

Nov 9, 2010

Back in black (& white), or, It's been weeks? That's so weak, man!, or, The only reason I'm posting is because it's raining and I can't golf today

So yeah, it's been weeks since I last posted. Partly because I don't feel super strongly about what I've shot lately. It kinda falls in my middle-grade I'd say. But I know people check in on a daily basis to see of there's something new, and I don't want to lose people who eventually just get tired of checking back on the same old photos. The other part is that I've turned my obsessive personality to the golf course and have been playing rabidly, several times a week for the last couple months and having a great time. So here's some of what happened in the tween time.
Last Friday night I went out to shoot some clam tiders, getting a surprise gift of an incredible sunset (if you wanna see the pix in color, GO HERE). Stayed an hour, sun went down, i went back to get warm.

The nest night I was up in Aberdeen for a rainy district football playoff game with Naselle. Looks the young teams luck finally ran out as they were shutout by defending state champ Adna, in turn shutting them out of the state playoffs for the first time in four years. And while it is a little sad, you gotta feel good for the guys coming back, as their team, which went 7-3, was packed with underclassmen and will figure to be even better next year.

I got a text from Ryley Queener, at right, the day after the photo gallery went up on the football blog saying "How did I know the first picture on the blog would be the one of me needing help getting eye black on? LOL".
Ahh, you guys just know me too well...
More pix from the game HERE
The Saturday before I was up in Olympia, in the rain again, at the district cross country meet. I really like cross country, and especially enjoy shooting district each year.
Whoa, color pic, how'd that get in there? Here's a gallery of color pix from the MEET

And finally, this is from a few weeks back at the Lady Fishermen's final volleyball match of the year. It was also senior night, which is always fun.