Monday, October 29, 2007

Whats Wrong with Baseball.

Two Words: Scott Boras.

I love baseball more than any sport. I love photographing baseball. I consider myself primarily a sports photographer. More and more media access is being controled for sports teams by either the teams or the agents. Its all about publicity and getting your name in the spotlight. And there's no man in the world of baseball who does more to disparage the sport (while maiking himself a crapload of money) than Scott Boras.

Here's the deal. Scott Boras is the Super Sports agent who's latest infraction against humanity is to announce during Game 4 of the World Series that Yankee Alex Rodriguez would opt out of his multi-zillion dollar deal. In the Mmiddle of the World Series, where Boston swept the Rockies, Boras steals the spotlight for himself and his player, showing zero respect for the Red Sox, the World Series, or even baseball itself, including Red Sox outfielder & Boras client J.D. Drew ($70 mil). Don't forget Red Sox captain Jason Varitek, who's Boras' client and got a $40 mil salary from John Henry and the Sox. Assuming that Boras gets a meger 10% of those deals, it sure looks like that even $11 million of the Red Sox's money isn't enough for him to keep his damm mouth shut until the Series is over.

In a rare show of restraint, the Yankees decided not to announce their managerial turn until after the World Series was over. Shame that Boras couldn't wait one day. At least the "Old guard" of Major League Baseball - Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago - still have some class.

Boars doesn't care. He's the one who got Red Sox CF Johnny Damon to turn traitor and go play ball for the Yankees.... for $52 million. And then there's J.D. Drew. As a rookie, he wanted $11 mil from Philly for the first round pick. Philly said "F off" and he eventually got redrafted by the Cardinals.

And since the BoSox won the series, here's some from Spring Training.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Florida - Georgia

Probably my best game shooting football thus far.

Only complaints were the 12 hours spent in the car and the typical, incompetent, pain in the ass security people.

It threathned to rain the entire time. I ran my ass off up and down the sidelines, which ended up as a precurser to running with Mark Richt all over Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Georgia beat Florida 42-30. Somehow i ended up on TV, sporting my Murphys shirt.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fun with Designers

Prince Avenue Wolverines senior middle blocker Anna Cearley on Wednesday, October 24, 2007.

Working at a newspaper, there are some things you learn to expect. Odds are you will get assignments that force you to get as creative as possible so you have something you can print. And then there's sports, which you would think brings the least nightmare possible.

Sports is a combination of artistry, reaction time and prepositioning. You have to put yourself in the right place for the photos. Then there's the sportrait, wherein *I* have total control over everything. Or so i thought.

That being said, it really irritates me when a desk editor crops a photo to suit their liking or their preconceived page design. The last time it happened was in college (He's now a guest of the commonwealth) but now it's happening here to all four of us. They crop our sports photos, action, portrait, or whatever it is to suit their whims. The news department and the style desks don't do this, but for some reason, sports feels obligated to do so.

So this simple sportrait was massacred like Sonny on the causeway. They made it a square. Ick.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Raining Pop Art

McDonalds. Its an iconic (and nauseating) image. But every kid worldwide can recognize the golden arches. It was raining and i needed a clean bathroom, so i pulled into one on the way back to the office and made a photo.

Its the iconic bit that makes the photo work for me. To pull off these raindrop photos where you have the inverse of the main image reflected over and over needs to be large enough to be readable as well as some reader interest. No matter what it is, you have to be able to understand at a glance what it is.

.... And today marks 200 visits over the past 30 days! Woo-Hoo! So hello to Indy, Chicago (i wont mention the Cubs if you don't mention the Phillies), Boston (Go Sox. I mean it. Really.), So Cal, Deutchland, London, Sweden and Brazil.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fun with Smoke Machines

So i've been wanting to pull off the Smoke Machine sportrait for a couple of weeks now.

Of course I didn't test the machine out before hand! A highly motivated person (meaning smart) would have teched that thing out in the living room before hand. Me? I opened the box for the first time at the shoot.

It turned out pretty well. I used the target branded one for $20. Its pretty much.... eh. You get what you pay for. I really wouldn't recommend it to all that many people. I feel i need more control over the smoke and its direction. It turned out nice i think.

The smoke was behind him and really behaving badly. The light was clearly behind. (Yeah, that was an oopsie) And the main light was a 10 degree grid spot with a CTO gel over it, shot in tung/incandescent to make the smoke really blue.

(Next time I'll probably shoot it on cloudy and toss that CTO gel on the rear light giving a big orange glow.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

At least i wasn't sick.....

Every once in awhile, when you ask, someone says yes. Case in point, a bunch of High schoolers going for a ride on an Air National Guard C-130. It was a lot of fun but a lot of bumpy as well. I felt very sick midway through so i passed on a few pictures towards the end.

Okay, i passed on some REALLY COOL pictures but i thought sitting there with my jello legs enjoying the 40 degree a/c blowing on me seemed like a much better idea then trying to take pictures of a student looking over the pilots' shoulder while he flys lazy-8's and me keeping mexican food in my tummy.

Which isn't to say it wasn't a lot of fun, because it was. Those military boys sure know how to fly.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I photographed some Salsa dancing lessons the other day. Horribly dark and a flash didn't help much. Somewhere between 1/30th and 1/10th of a sec of people dancing. It was a lot of fun to experience; i've never seen true cuban salsa dancing done that way before.

I think that the low light really adds to capturing the intimacy and the passion of such a dance. The interesting part is that its a group dance. Usually three or four couples.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

And.... Winner!

Every once in awhile, your bets pay off. This photo from August came about as a result of listening to the scanner and dropping everything when i heard the word "shooting," which turned out to be incorrect. He merely claimed to be shot to try and keep the local cops from searching his car and finding a copious amount of drugs and ammunition. After finding that out, i worked the scene to find a good shot of him in the back of the car. Him yelling to a friend "Don't leave me, bro" was simply icing on the cake.

1st Place Spot News August 2007 NPPA Region 6

Twenty-two year-old Christopher Rex Conway yells out the back of an Athens Clarke County Police car on Glenhaven Ave. on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 after being arrested on multiple drug related charges after Conway was spotted driving recklessly and fled from police. After being stopped, Conway initially told police that he had been shot (he was not) and his vehicle was searched, revealing a large sum of cash, ziploc bags of marijuana, other drugs and ammunition. Conway is charged with posession of marijuana with intent to distribute, two counts possession of marijuana within 1,000’ of a School, possession of marijuana within 1,000’ of Housing, possession of a schedule II drug, possession of a schedule IV drug, reckless driving, and fleeing/attempting to elude.

Monday, October 15, 2007

More HS Football

So yeah. Every once in awhile you can get a good high school football field that looks decent at night. Me, i HATE the on camera strobe look of high school football. So this leads a photographer to either 1 - pray for an early start time (1:30 PM is a great time) or 2 - pray for good lighting. Anything that is faster than 250 @ 2.8 @ 1250 ISO is usually a godsend. Usually then i can get at least the eyes or some key feature of the players nice and crisp. I'm expecting motion blur, and all these photos have it. Shame it wasn't daylight.

Usually I've found the private schools have the best lighting. The best was Jacksonville Bolles (they have artificial turf too) but Prince Ave here in Athens was a close 2nd. Exposure could have been 1/400th in the center of the field. It was one of those games where we were covering 2 local teams, so its a case of just photographing who has the ball.

All in all, i had a pretty good game shooting. Sometimes i have a hard time reading the play. (I know baseball much better than football) but i was able to pick up the pass patterns pretty easily.

And this is a pretty bizarre attempt at framing a replica of Ben Epps' first airplane as seen through a set of aviator's goggles.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Animal Auction

Yesterday was my first dealings with an animal auction. It was pretty interesting. Very dark tho. It would make a good soundslides project, that with the audio of the auctioneer. Its almost like a song.

So yeah, i was out trying to work on framing again. I wish it was lighter in there because i wanted to use a higher aperture on the lens than 5.6, but even at 1250, its 1/20th of a sec and some serious noise.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Red Hat Mayhem

Well, the Red Menace invade Athens this past weekend. No, not the communists, the Red Hat Ladies.

Thus i continued my attempts at framing. The biggest problem with assignments at times when people are eating or in a social function, generally they're not doing anything. You can have 300 women eating breakfast but thats still photos of people eating breakfast. Someone needs to get that through the editors heads.

Friday, October 5, 2007


While it's still baseball season, this is what my Phillies will be doing come Sunday. (I left the car, we went up 3-2 on a Jimmy Rollins triple. Two innings later, we serve up a fat grand slam that makes me very unhappy)

Just more on my framing kick. I had to go out and make a feature photo because... well I wanted to. Sure beat watching the debacle that was the game.

UGA Senior Randy Matheny hits a golf ball on the UGA driving range on Thursday, October 4, 2007.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Boston reference there. I lived (near) there the last time the Phils won the series back in 1980. Fourteen years since we've played in the playoffs. After yesterday's second inning, i'm amazed i haven't thrown anything at the computer.

So the past few days, I've been working on more framing, and less silouettes. One was actually spot-ish news, a truck ran over a fire hydrant where the other was an ice cream social. I used french doors, a british style phone booth as well good, ol' fashioned branches.

Brian Brodrick eats dinner at Watkinsville home with his wife Susan, son Aaron, and daughter Phoebe on Monday, October 1, 2007. Brodrick was named as one of the "40 Under 40" by Georgia Trend magazine.

Athens-Clarke County utility workers search for the shut off valve to a fire hydrant that was ripped from the ground, breaking the water line, after it was hit by a truck at the corner of Prince Ave. and Millage Ave. on Tuesday, October 2, 2007.

Janice Sand take a bite of ice cream at an ice cream social dedicating the Eugene Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia on Tuesday, October 2, 2007.

Now i know editors love Dogs in the newspaper and they love ice cream, so......

Anjing is fed ice cream by her owner alumnus Tom Shannon at an ice cream social dedicating the Eugene Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia on Tuesday, October 2, 2007.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Long Weekend

I'm listening to "The State of Massachusetts" off the Murphy's new album. Perhaps Brittney should have listened to it... "The poison stole your babies, the judges took your rights. You can have your children for the night." Anyways onto photojournalism.

(Boston - Philly World Series anyone? Please?)

Couldn't resist this sillouette

So between the Murphys show Thursday night to the football game on Saturday, that was about 42 hours which i shot 2 concerts and 2 football games. Way too many images. Lots of crappy football photos. Lots of underexposed, noisy, out of focus concert photos. Shooting with a 1.8 lens wide open or at 1/30th of a second isn't easy, when your subjects have a lot of energy and are bouncing around everywhere.

I really wasn't on my game for UGA football or HS football. I didn't do that well. I was still in concert mode for Pigpen studio's cd release party at the 40 watt. I mentally lost focus and thats on me. Not enough sleep. Not enough food. Too much talking on the sidelines. I do best with the earplugs in, ignoring everyone and focusing on the moments at hand and making photos.

Every once in awhile I'm very happy with my work. I just want to constantly be getting better. Maybe i am. Maybe i'm just expecting too much right off the bat. Who knows.