Last month, South Western hosted its 36th annual diving competition. I wasn’t able to arrive on time to photograph the girls, but I did photograph every single dive performed by the boys later in the afternoon. Some favorites:
Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category
A few years ago, I blogged a series of summer heat pictures. Now that there’s a wind chill of -2 degrees Fahrenheit, I’m almost ready for summer again. Almost.
Unrelated: I forgot to submit my January entries for the National Press Photographers Association’s monthly clips contest, so over the next few days, I’ll be blogging many of the pictures that I probably would have turned in.
One does not simply cover a bowl game.
At least, not if you’re The York Daily Record.
In the weeks and days ahead of the 2014 New Era Pinstripe Bowl, I was involved in one formal planning meeting and at least a half-dozen informal others. The main points were these:
- It’s Penn State’s first bowl game in three seasons, following the NCAA’s lifting the sanctions enacted after the Sandusky scandal erupted, so this game is important for the players and the fans.
- It’s in New York City, which is weird because bowl games are usually played in nice, warm places, but New York is also iconic, so pictures of Penn Staters — who usually tailgate in the rolling hills of rural, central Pennsylvania — wandering or partying in the concrete jungle are paramount.
- It’s my first bowl game to cover for the paper, so it’s crucial I’m on my A-game.
To be fair, the third point was never actually uttered, but it stood.
So, the day after Christmas, writers Frank and Lizi and I boarded the Amtrak to Penn Station, and got to work immediately upon our arrival in Manhattan. The only chances we had for relaxation and/or exploration were in the late evenings after we finished work on Friday and Saturday, as well as Sunday morning before we departed for home. We made the most of these limited opportunities, and had a nice Roman-Jewish dinner, a hoppin’ late-night Korean dinner and a hearty Sunday brunch.
(The Korean dinner was particularly memorable: Not only was it weird and delicious, it also followed an unintentional 12-hour fast during which I was so busy covering festivities, the game and the celebration that I didn’t have time to eat anything, including the provided meal for media.)
As for the actual festivities, game and celebration? Check out some pictures:
In two days — the day after Christmas — I’ll be covering the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium, where Penn State will meet Boston College in the Nittany Lions’ first bowl game since the Jan. 2012 TicketCity Bowl.
This will be my first-ever Penn State bowl game, and only my second-ever college bowl game. (My first was in 2010, when the Navy defeated Missouri in the Texas Bowl.) This will also be my first time in Yankee Stadium.
I’m ready for it. But first, I’ll finish out my Christmas Eve shift and enjoy Christmas Day. In the meantime, here are pictures from the Penn State football games I’ve covered this season:
Tomorrow is officially the first day of winter, so naturally my mind is turning towards warmer, summery topics. I’ve also been reviewing the pictures I’ve made in 2014, which reminded me just how many summer nights I spent at William Grove Speedway. (Three — which isn’t that many, but definitely more than any other YDR photographer this year.)
This job has a way of flinging me out of my comfort zone, with the expectation that I’ll make it out not just alive and relatively unscathed, but with some decent pictures as well. Four years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined being able to navigate my way around a dirt track, but now I’m hailed as a familiar face by crew members and push-truck drivers. The more time I spent with these folks, the more I appreciated how the races are just a big family reunion.
Here are pictures from three of those reunions, or races:
Jeff and I went to Colorado for a friend’s wedding in Snowmass Village, where it was autumn and the aspen leaves were in their golden prime. Then we spent the next day and a half at Rocky Mountain National Park, where it was winter and the snow crunched under our boots.
When you go to a big, epic place like Colorado, you need to take a big, epic camera. So I brought my Pentax 6×7 and all three lenses, plus a few rolls of Portra 400. Enjoy!
I never thought about it til Penn State football beat reporter Frank brought it up, but I’ve covered three different head coaches in as many years as I’ve been with The York Daily Record (about three and a half years).
My first season photographing Penn State football turned out to be Joe Paterno’s last (2011).
Bill O’Brien took the helm for the next two seasons, but signed on with the Houston Texans basically as soon as he possibly could (2012-2013).
And now, we have James Franklin (2014).
I photographed the Blue-White Game in April, which was technically Franklin’s first game in Beaver Stadium. Tomorrow, editor Eileen and I go to cover the game against Akron, which will be his first regular-season game in State College.
Another season, another coach. This’ll be fun.
When I was younger, summer always seemed to drag on. Don’t get me wrong: It’s not as if I was anxious to get back to school. But after we finished swim practice in the summer mornings, my brothers and I were ushered off to the babysitter’s house for the rest of the day, and frankly, I’m not sure how we passed the time besides rereading the same old books and watching the same old TV shows and reliving the same old arguments. (I’m sorry, former babysitters.)
Now, probably because I have a year-round job and no three-month vacation, summers seem to fly right by. But most York County schools are opening up this week, so it’s time to share my second annual “Children of Summer” collection:
In March 2013, I covered the 2013 YAIAA Cheerleading Championship, where I made this picture:
Little did I know that Q’ajaniyah — whose name her teammates were unable to spell out for me — and I would cross paths again.
The YAIAA would host yet another 2013 cheerleading championship that took place in the next school year, in December. Sports reporter Matt Goul was covering a William Penn basketball game later that day, and happened to be chatting with their scorekeeper, who was upset that the William Penn cheer squad had lost their division title by a mere half-point. The conversation then revealed that one of the cheerleaders had had a particularly rough year: Q’ajaniyah had been caught in some crossfire in June and struck through the hip, yet recovered in time to rejoin the squad in the fall.
Matt relayed this information to me in January or February, and mentioned he was interested in pursuing the story. I encouraged him to dig a little deeper and to include me in the coverage.
The longer we worked on the story, the more we learned.
We learned that Q’ajaniyah’s father had been shot and killed two days after Christmas 1999, when she was 3.
We learned that her mother moved them to Brooklyn two years later and studied to become a police officer, but another tragedy prompted their return to York.
We learned that Q’ajaniyah, profoundly affected by her father’s death and perhaps influenced by sitting in on her mother’s law enforcement classes, was determined to go to college and study criminal justice.
We learned that she is the oldest of her siblings — two brothers, ages 6 and 2, and a now 10-month-old sister — whom she helps care for, and for whom she strives to set a good example.
We also learned that she found strength in cheerleading, where she made friends with other girls who had lost their fathers to gun violence.
Over the course of several months, we worked with Q’ajaniyah, her mother and her friends, and incrementally learned new tidbits that would shape or completely change the story. The weeks before Q’ajaniyah’s graduation presented a tough time for all involved, as she wasn’t sure whether she could afford to go to Penn State and we weren’t certain how we should end the story.
In the end, I’m grateful to Q’ajaniyah for opening up to us, and glad that we all put so much of ourselves into the story. And I’m excited for her as she starts classes at Penn State in the next few weeks, and I wish her all the best.
I didn’t attend my college graduation because I had better things to do. But, having photographed four high school graduations and one college graduation in the past two weeks (including three ceremonies in as many nights, in a row), I’ve probably heard “Pomp and Circumstance” enough times now to atone for not walking in my own commencement.
Without further ado, my favorite pictures from the 2014 graduation season:
I didn’t intend for all of my favorite pictures from the next graduation — William Penn Senior High School’s — to feature one particular senior, but it just turned out that way.
Congratulations to the Class of 2014, and best of luck to everyone!
When I first made plans to fly to Houston for my grandfather’s funeral, I had no intentions of bringing a camera. When my brother made plans to fly himself, my sister-in-law and my niece to Houston, I packed up my cameras, both digital and film.
As I previously wrote, exploring our childhood home through the eyes of my niece, then almost 20 months, was a lot of fun. Without further ado, I present pictures of the world’s most important toddler:
Earlier this month, I returned to Houston for my grandfather‘s funeral, but I was hardly the most far-flung traveler: My brother, sister-in-law and almost-20-month-old niece flew in from Italy.
Not since Christmas 2010 had my two brothers and I been together under the same roof, so while we had gathered to pay respects to our grandfather, we had fun being siblings again and exploring our childhood home through the eyes of Layla, who is now a very confident toddler.
Making pictures of a constantly/unpredictably moving target is a lot different from making pictures of a babe who is either being held or lying relatively sill, but it’s also a lot more fun. Unfortunately, editing down pictures of a toddler who is rambunctiously touring her new domain is pretty difficult. How can you say no to this face?
…Or to this face?
Layla isn’t quite ready to put nouns and verbs together to form sentences, but she is very capable of understanding directions and making pout faces. The pictures in this blog post wouldn’t have made the final cut for what I’ll ultimately share, but I take my responsibility as family photographer* very seriously and believe that not sharing these pictures would be akin to committing a serious transgression.
Obviously, there will be more Layla pictures to come.
* Apparently I was always the family photographer: While looking through photo albums for pictures to submit for my grandfather’s obituary page, my uncle Doug discovered this picture:
Uncle Doug was very proud of this discovery. I am very excited about this early evidence that I’m better behind the camera than in front of it.
We’re currently enjoying spectacular weather here in Pennsylvania, which certainly wasn’t the case even last month when April dared to hurl hot days, cold days and snowy days at our faces, as if the snow-laden winter hadn’t been brutal and long enough.
In January, my editors sent me to a local pet daycare where dogs can indulge in the luxury of two heated swimming pools. It was a fun assignment made better by the caring and energetic dog handlers. My only advice to anyone photographing swimming dogs: Wear rain pants. I’m glad I did.
I wouldn’t call myself a sports photographer by any means, but when you photograph as many sports as we at the Daily Record do, you can’t help but consider the immense variety of humanly physical achievements these athletes are attempting via any amount of training or number of techniques.
Take, for instance, javelin. Javelin is but one sport in the all-encompassing term “track and field,” but it’s similar to shot put in that both involve an athlete manipulating his/her physique in order to manipulate physics in order to propel an object as far away from him/her as possible. Yet, if you observe different javelin athletes, you can’t help but notice each one is using completely different techniques to attempt the same basic objective.
And that’s just javelin. Shot put has the same basic objective, but it’s achieved completely differently. And again, each athlete has his/her own techniques to that end.
Maybe I think too much about these things. But these are the types of things I think about when I’m sent to cover two very different track assignments in one day.
Track and field…
…and sprint car racing:
Yesterday was the first of two days of PIAA District 3 track and field championships at Shippensburg University. Track and field is a good sport to cover if you want to stay on your toes, because it comprises so many different types of sports (and, in the case of track, different events) that are all photographed differently.
Yesterday was also the World of Outlaws’ season debut at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg. Sprint car racing is a good sport to cover if you don’t mind partial hearing loss.
Anyway, when you cover these different sports in one day, it’s hard not to marvel at what the human body (plus the occasional gears, wheels and oil) is capable of doing.
I’ll stop babbling. Photos:
Cue the obligatory kick-in-the-pants. Like many other photo-bloggers, I’m guilty of falling way, way behind in posting current — or even old — photos.
It’s my personal rule to share pictures I made for the paper only after they’ve been run in the paper. I actually have a number of photo stories — some dating back to 2012 — that I haven’t yet blogged. I’d like to think I’m a mercilessly efficient and adept photo editor, but the reality is that I still struggle to edit many of those photo stories in a way that I’d be comfortable sharing. That said, I hope sometime this year to finally post a few of those stories.
But for now, a fun photo from an off-the-beaten-path story that reporter Rebecca LeFever (soon-to-be Rebecca Hanlon) and I covered last summer:
I think we may have just had our final snowfall of the winter — well, I sure hope so, anyway.
Whenever people here in Pennsylvania find out I’m originally from Texas, their next thought is usually the assumption that I’m not used to snow and real winter weather. What they often find out next is that I went to college in Missouri, where the first Midwestern snowfall I experienced was a 16-inch dump that canceled classes. So I’m not entirely a snow baby.
That said, I am absolutely done with snow and winter for now. Everyone in this stretch of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic is. We’ve had nearly 20 winter storms involving ice and/or snow since December, which means area students have had something like a week’s worth of snow days, municipalities have run out of rock salt and everyone is ready for spring.
In the hopes that the 1-inch pittance we just had is this winter’s last hurrah, here are just a few of the wintry-weather photos I made since December:
We watched the Academy Awards show last night, and I’ve just now been thinking about costumes and pretty dresses, and then I remembered that I never shared this photo. So, here we are and there you go.