Friday, September 28, 2007

More Murphys

Okay, its been a slow day at work, so have some more photos, kids. Once again, Thanks to the black velvet band.

The fans sing back to Al Barr.

Marc Orell and Ken Casey.

Scruffy Wallace plays while girls dance on stage.

Marc Orell crowd surfs.

The Meanest of Times

Al Barr

Marc Orell

Okay a giant "Thank You" to Dropkick Murphys, their fans, family, Al Barr, Woody, Evan, Jud, all the stage techs (and James Lynch's cousin who just got back from Afghanistan). It was an amazing show and i got some really good stuff out of it. By far the greatest people i've delt with at a concert.

This is the fourth time ive seen the Murphys play in the past year. (Last October, St Paddy's Day in Boston, Savannah in a "shady" venue in August and last night) They put on an amazing show thats just a lot of fun. So go to their website and get their new album.

So.... back to photography. Masquerade had some amazing lights, full lights were 250@2.8 (ISO 1000). Most everything else was faster than 1/80. The venue had a riser that seperated the stage from the baricade, so it was duckwalking for the first three songs. From there i moved to the back of the stage and then the side of the stage. Shot mainly with a 17-35/2.8 or an 85/1.8. Actually my 85 was the broken one that i grabbed by mistake. The aperature is stuck wide open because i dropped it and it has occasional focusing problems. The best part was actually being ON STAGE photographing at one point. To be fair, everyone else was on stage, including the audience but still.

Tonight i have to shoot something at the 40 Watt (local Athens Venue) for a CD release party. Won't be anywhere near as good.

Scruffy Wallace

Ken Casey

Tim Brennan

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

So do i eat my curds and whey now?

So..... yeah. I found that when i walked out the door tonight.

To quote Alec Baldwin from The Departed.... "Last Known Photograph."

The band, Elwood! The Band!

So last night i went to a high school band exhibition put on by the UGA marching band. I couldn't stay to hear them (but i heard them several miles away from my house 2 hours later) but it was a good show put on by some of the local schools. Its still weird to hear a marching band arrangement of the Rolling Stones' 'Paint It Black'.

The kids i heard played some good stuff. The smallest band out there broke into 'Billie Jean,' which might be one of the highlights, along with 'Shake your tail feather' (The song Ray Charles sung in 'The Blues Brothers'). Good times, good times. One band brought their own fire.

On an unrelated note.... as usual, a photo that i shot a month ago finally ran with a story and they used the wrong photo on the front of the section. Why the big bright colorful one was used black and white, I'll never know. (Look at how they massacred my photo!) So let this be a lesson to anyone who reads this, only turn in what you want to see 6 columns across the front.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Friday Night Lights (pt. 2)

More fun with Friday Night Football. I really liked this game. Its like exactly at 6:55, the sky cleared and the pretty light came out.

There was some great jube at the end of the game, most of which i missed because of poor positioning. Should have stayed where i was. Game winning kick with 6 seconds to go. Thing is, you can't predict them. You have no idea which direction they will turn in celebration. Usually they turn towards the bench. Oh well.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Disney Trip Pt. 2

Forgot to post these from the trip. I like the symmetry on the one on the top.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Random Standalones

A University of Georgia flag hangs outside a downtown store on Thursday, September 13, 2007.

The best part about Friday night football is the hour or two i spend archiving before games. The stuff I've put off and then some. Here's some random standalone goodness. Oddly, two i shot today.

The biggest thing I feel I've learned in my short time here in Georgia is learning the ability to "make" a photo; meaning taking something utterly boring and making it into a photo through some sort of artistic technique. I'm still growing and maturing.... although i've got two thing i have to stop milking. No more sillouettes and no more zooming. (See below with the knights)

A stained glass window from Colombia is illuminated in the lobby of St. Mary's Hospital.

A passer-by looks at crosses memorializing Georgia soliders that have fallen in Iraq near the arch at the entrance of the University of Georgia during the UN's International Day of Peace on Friday, September 21, 2007.

This photo makes me think of this song written by Eric Bogle. Ninety years after the 'War to end all Wars,' have we not learned anything as a world?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Game of Shadows

North Oconee Titans outfielder waits in the on-deck circle before batting against Washington-Wilkes on Tuesday, September 18, 2007.

Nothing too interesting to say here other than i really liked yesterday's late evening light.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Murphys Album Today

Marc Orrell of Dropkick Murphys plays the accordian while Tim Brennan plays the banjo during a show in Savannah, GA in August.

The Dropkick Murphys released a new album today, "The Meanest of Times." I've heard a good portion of the album and it's just downright awesome. It's edgy, it's got an attitude and it's just downright rock and roll.

Makes me proud to be irish. So go buy it.

PS - They'll be at Masquerade in Atlanta on 9/27.

Knights who say Nee

UGA Sophomore Nick Church, right, duels Casey Gordon during a Society for Creative Anachronism event hosted by UGA's Medieval and Renaissance Society on Myers Quad on the UGA Campus on Monday, September 17, 2007.

Okay, i know i need to get off this silouette kick, but this one is pretty. Plus it didn't run in color in the paper, so... yeah. It ends up here.

Now i've shot stuff like this plenty of times (in much better light) with an 80-200, but i felt like trying some zooming and panning with the slow shutter this time. Its not Braveheart but it gives me the feeling of the Fields of Athenry

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Football (pt 3)

Quarterback Matthew Stafford slides after a 22-yard run in the third quarter as the no. 23 Georgia Bulldogs beats the Western Carolina Catamounts 45-16 in Sanford Stadium in Athens on Saturday, September 15, 2007.

So yeah, i think i did pretty good with this one. Of course bright sunlight tends to do that. Georgia played whats called a Cupcake (AKA a 1-AA school that isnt Appy State) on a huge losing streak that hasn't even scored a touchdown against an SEC school.

I did two bonehead moves this game. Well three, actually. First.... i forgot my monopod. Second... i forgot two memory cards back in the card. Third, i didn't stay close enough to the play to get the shot when Stafford got nailed on teh blindside, causing a fumble. I was at the wrong end of the field during that. Thankfully it was nothing important as the game progressed.

While i'm getting better, i really need to work on my ingame focusing and being able to read the play better and inticipate where i need to be for the shots that i want. Georgia has rarely thrown the ball deep, so staying behind the line and shooting the small, dropoff's that Stafford is throwing might be a better idea. But i need better kneepads.

Next week i have the game off. But the Murphys come to town on the 27th so thats better than a gameday any day of the week.

Senior tailback Thomas Brown celebrates as he goes over 2,000 career yards with a four-yard touchdown run in the third quarter as the no. 23 Georgia Bulldogs beats the Western Carolina Catamounts 45-16 in Sanford Stadium in Athens on Saturday, September 15, 2007.

Junior Melinda Wong is caught by her fellow cheerleaders before the no. 23 Georgia Bulldogs take on the Western Carolina Catamounts in Sanford Stadium in Athens on Saturday, September 15, 2007.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Fellow staff photographers Tricia Spaulding and Kelly Lambert watch as we set fire to a softball in the studio.

So i've always wanted to do a sportrait involving fire. Always. So i practiced in the studio and went out into the field. To do this you need rubber cement, a lighter, a willing subject and very little wind. Rubber cement will burn on leather for about 10-15 seconds and then go away. At 100 ISO, Fire is around 500@f/8. (Bright sunlight at 100 ISO is 250@f/8)

So this is the most important thing to realize: Use a leather ball. Synthetics actually do catch fire. I know this, as i nearly set a softball pitcher on fire. Fortunetly, common sense ruled the day and she just dropped the ball in the dirt.

Other general advice.... bring an assistant to actually light the ball on fire.

The results ended up in black and white on page 4... which is unpleasant.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Silouette Happy

Tailback Knowshown Moreno before the game against South Carolina.

Okay, so i went a little overboard with the sillouettes of the surrounding stuff at the last Georgia game. Yes, i climbed back up on the horse and did almost the exact same thing i did that i got injured doing (see below) and made a nice shot of tailback Knowshown Moreno.

I also tried to sillouette the trumpeter that starts the game from the stands (it didn't work, you cant see the trumpet cleanly) As well as the offensive line (below) during warmups and the crowd at sunset (below)

Silouettes are good if used correctly and sparingly. Out of the four, the crowd is the best, followed by the Moreno shot. Needless to say, I'm done with silouettes for a little while.

However.... by happy accident, i made a bizarre blur/panning photo at 1/10th of a second following one of the silouettes. I kept following the play despite hearing how slow the shutter was going. I like the fluidity of the motion.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

College Football pt 2......

One very angry Steve Spurrier.

So game two of college football season is in the books. Shame of it is, i really don't remember that much beyond the images. The images help me place the evening together. By the time i was done, i just wanted to crawl into a hole. The earplugs kept the crowd noise to a minimum. My head is still pounding. Imagine a hangover that won't go away.

I work with a tough crew. Between John, my Director of Photography who has shot football for close to 30 years and Trevor, I have to work my tail off just to make the paper. I like the sense of friendly competition; i'd just like to be able to have my head together when it happens. Here's our take -

So i think i had a better game shooting wise. Got some interesting stuff. Went sillouette happy for awhile. And the sunset one, i swiped that idea from Josh at the Red & Black.

South Carolina quarterback Blake Mitchell and Georgia defensive end Blake Mitchell dive back for the ball after Mitchell lost the ball on a 3rd and 4 in the second quarter as the South Carolina Gamecocks lead the no. 12 Georgia Bulldogs 10-3 at halftime in Sanford Stadium in Athens on Saturday, September 8, 2007.

Fans cheer during a kickoff as sun sets on Sanford Stadium.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Friday Night Lights..... Upside the head.

Oconeee County Warrior players wait before practicing kick returns before their game against Winder-Barrow Bulldogs on Friday, September 7, 2007.

So two frames later, i got kicked in the head. Yes, i was laying down, a good 6 yards deep in the end zone, pulling off a sillouette. No one saw me there. The guy was running backwards as he was fielding the kick, Destroyed the lens hood and gave me a bit of a concussion. No real damage there other than to the head. Bump on the nose from the camera and a nasty headache, nausea... all good, ol' fashioned concussion symptoms. Nothing some vicodin, advil, dramamine and a boatload of sleep can't fix. I've been hurt much worse before. Last one was in a car accident, a year ago January.

All in all it was a good game shooting. Got some good stuff. There was nice light there, around 1/250th at 1250 ISO, wide open. Today is the Georgia/South Carolina game, 5:45 ESPN2. I plan on working the visitors sidelines again. Look for the guy dressed like he's invading poland.

Oconee County Warriors Daniel Mobley throws down Winder Barrow Bulldogs Taylor Bradberry during a punt return at the end of the second quarter of Winder's 16-3 win over Oconee.

Friday, September 7, 2007


Katy Wettengel holds a portrait of her late son, Steven "Scott" Helvenston in her living room in Leesburg, Fla., on Friday, March 17, 2006. Helvenston, along side Wesley J.K. Batalona, Michael R. Teague and Jerko "Jerry" Zovko were working as security contractors for Blackwater Security Consulting when they were ambushed and brutally murdered on March 31, 2004. Helvenston, a 12 year Navy veteran who served his entire career with the SEALS, contracted with Blackwater to provide security for then U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, L. Paul Bremmer, for two months. Wettengel along with other surviving family members have filed suit a wrongful death suit in North Carolina against Blackwater Security Consulting.

The most difficult assignments about my job are usually the more emotional ones. Somehow, its more fufilling at the end of the day. The woman above i photographed on my last job. It took an entire hour to get her to agree to a picture.

Yesterday, i had to do a similar shot. Another grieving mother over her son, taken away from her too soon. There's nothing i can really say to these people about their loss. No amount of meaningless chit chat can express my personal anger with why they've died. Usually i just shut up and take the picture.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Why I Do this

Five-year-old Katie Grace plays in the rain outside Chase St Elementary School on Thursday, August 30, 2007.

Sometimes You win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains.

So people ask my why i do what i do. The hours aren't great. The money isn't great. Its constant negotiation to get access and set things up to get the best photos possible. Granted, its a cool job, its a lot of fun, etc., and so on. I've seen things and been places i've never thought I'd do. But I have a desire to change the world with my photos; to somehow change the world - or at least my little corner of it - or otherwise brighten someone's day.

The best rewards i get from this job are the times i do manage to make someone's day. The rewards i get from my peers are nice, but the most rewarding moments are when i've gotten thank yous from a subject or their parent. Its pretty amazing to see a parent tear up at the joy of seeing their kid in our newspaper, especially if its amazing. It's almost a little creepy when you see your photo on a t-shirt. At my previous job, someone bought a copy of the original file from the paper and put it on a shirt for their daughter, with the text being "Thats my big sister."

So you can imagine my utter shock and surprise when the father of one of my grown-up subjects emailed me about my photos of him earlier this month. This is the father of someone whom i admire and respect greatly. I was beyond flattered and will go out of my way to get some additional stuff in a few weeks. So Woody, you made my day and then some.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Big Time SEC Football

Senior running back Thomas Brown is held in the air by lineman Fernando Velasco as they celebrate Brown's first-quarter touchdown.

Well last night was my introduction to true, big time college football. Ninety-two thousand people jam packed into Sanford Stadium, not to mention the 20+ thousand who couldnt make it in that were outside. I was on the visitors side with the bands. A very wise photographer once suggested earplugs for these events and i thnak him very much.

I think i did a pretty good job shooting. It was my first experience working an event as a "team" meaning "you shoot in this area." All in all we did a kick ass job. I had a couple of nice images, like the one above and the couple below.

Tailback Knowshon Moreno runs for a 35 yard gain after a Matthew Stafford pass in the third quarter.

UGA fans spell out their delight at No. 5 Michigan's loss to Division 1-AA Appalachian State.