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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:

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Ashawn Creque, 6, right, catches snowflakes on his tongue as his brother Amari Brady, 5, follows on West Market Street in York on their way home from a clinic on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. York County’s first snowfall of 2014 happened two days into the new year. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. A red bird perches on a tree branch amid heavy snowfall in the Springetts Apartments complex in Springettsbury Township on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. The National Weather Service predicted a total of 10-18 inches of snow will have fallen by the conclusion of a storm that began late in York County, Pa., on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, and continued through Thursday afternoon. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Mail carrier Greg Holler delivers mail in the snowfall on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, in West York. York County received its third snowfall in a week on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Two people walk the King Street bridge across the Codorus Creek in York amid a dense fog advisory on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. Much of York County was cloaked in dense morning fog on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. (Left to right) Ben Bartkowski, 12 of Springettsbury Township, and Sasha Sobestanovich, 13 of Springettsbury Township, tube down the AvalancheXPress slope on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in Springettsbury Township. AvalancheXPress at Heritage Hills Golf Resort was closed Thursday during the heavy snowfall but opened back up with fresh snow on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. As coworkers Jack Adams, left, and Todd Barnhart, far right, tug at a fallen pine tree, A Climbers View tree services employee Robert Mays cuts off sections of the tree trunk on the York County Heritage Rail Trail half a mile north of the Taylor Hill Road crossing on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in Shrewsbury Township. York County Parks and its contractors are working to clear sections of the York County Heritage Rail Trail that have been blocked by fallen trees from this winter’s storms. Parks assistant superintendent George Howett said this winter has felled the most trees in the past 11 years, and he expects more to fall by summer: Trees, especially pines, that are already leaning over will likely succumb to typical springtime rains and strong winds. “This has been an exceptional winter,” Howett said. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Kristian Martiny, 2 of Lancaster County, gets ready to slide down a tall snow pile created by snow plows near AvalancheXPress’s snow-tubing slope at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in Springettsbury Township on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Martiny’s mother took him down the tubing slope twice, but he preferred to slide down this smaller snow pile on his stomach. AvalancheXPress at Heritage Hills Golf Resort was closed Thursday during the heavy snowfall but opened back up with fresh snow on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

A dress for dancing

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.

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Costume designer Carrie Robbins shows a group of college, high school and middle school students how she designed a silk dance dress for The Alley Theatre’s “American in Paris,” during a talk she gave on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, at Penn State York. A Penn State alumna, Robbins has designed costumes for on- and off-Broadway shows, including operas, for about four decades and has received multiple awards and two Tony nominations. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

Mini golf mania

It’s 20-something degrees outside, and we’re about to get this season’s 17th winter storm, and I’m not sure that we’ll ever see warm weather again, so it is time that I posted photos of people having fun in the sun, even if only to remind myself of what summer is. (That said, come summer, I’ll almost wish for winter weather again. Almost.)

Last summer, I went to every miniature golf course in York County — eight! there are eight! — and made pictures at each for a project at The Daily Record/Sunday News. You can view all the photos and read my snippet of an article, but here’re some of my favorites:

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Carl Henry Smith, 4 of Abbottstown, practices his putting on his first time at a miniature golf course as he waits for the group ahead of him to finish the next hole at Cones and Clubs Miniature Golf in Hellam Township on Saturday, July 20, 2013. The facility, owned by Jimmy Mack, includes the 24-hole miniature golf course, a miniature zoo, an arcade, a bounce house and, of course, Jim Mack’s Ice Cream. Elijah was too young to play miniature golf with his father and brother, so his mother Christy kept him occupied in the Bankshot court. York County is home to eight miniature golf courses, and each offers a different approach to the game. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS – CHRIS DUNN

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Miniature golf clubs stand up against the concession stand building at the Memorial Park complex’s miniature golf course on Thursday, July 25, 2013. Donald Reeser of The Frosty Putter Miniature Golf Course built the course in York City’s Memorial Park complex, “somewhere around 2000.” The course is now owned by Tom and Julie Thomas, who open it mostly during the spring and summer softball seasons and operate it as a nonprofit benefiting the Razorback softball team. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS – CHRIS DUNN

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Donald Reeser watches as a golf ball gets putted into the final hole — built into a sprint car — at his Frosty Putter Miniature Golf Course on Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. The car, which replaced an Amish buggy that rotted over the years, was “one of the best sprint cars in Pennsylvania,” according to Reeser. “This one won 26 features in one year. I worked about six months to get it.” Three years after a shoulder injury forced him into early retirement, Donald Reeser built The Frosty Putter Miniature Golf Course within sight of his house, just south of Lewisberry. Now 76, Reeser enjoys watching people roam the course. The par is 41, but Reeser says he’s shot a 32, which included six holes-in-one. “In fact, I had four of them straight in a row,” he said. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS – CHRIS DUNN

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Madison Messinger, 5 of Franklintown, runs up a green to join her twin brother and grandfather at Putters’ Paradise on Thursday, July 25, 2013. Putters’ Paradise, formerly Rutter’s Putters’ Paradise, has been located near the Manchester Township Rutter’s Dairy facility since 1983. John and Liz Inch have owned it and the adjacent snow cone stand for five years. “It’s just a fun night out,” Liz Inch said. “Dessert’s good with everything.” DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS – CHRIS DUNN

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Jim Richard, 75 of Newberry Township, watches as his wife Judy, 63, tries to putt her ball from between a bear statue’s legs at Putters’ Paradise on Friday, July 26, 2013. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS – CHRIS DUNN

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Madelin Marcin, 6 of Catonsville, Md., stands on a rock formation and a wooden stump near her golf ball as she and her brother Drew Marcin, 9, wait for their grandparents to putt at Hickory Falls Family Entertainment Center’s miniature golf course on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013. “It was Jeff’s dream to own a miniature golf course,” said Rick Martz, who now co-owns Hickory Falls Family Entertainment Center with Jeff Stern and several others. The miniature golf course is just one of several attractions at the Penn Township complex, but it was the first one built, in 2002. “It’s something that all ages can do,” Martz said. “We’re all about promoting family time.” DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS – CHRIS DUNN

Thank you, Grant Kalivoda

If you took Yoda (non-combative, original trilogy version), Obi-Wan (mostly Alec Guinness’s version) and Gandalf the Grey (pre-White) and mashed them together, you’d get Grant Kalivoda.

Grant wasn’t an awards-amassing ivory tower type, nor was he a lofty-minded artist, nor was he a Jedi (I think). But he was a whiz at camera, darkroom and printing technology who dreamed of organizing Segway tours of his beloved Santa Fe and who had a hearty appetite for New Mexican food and good conversation. He was the “New Mexico hippie [who] put a medium-format film SLR camera into my hands and told me to have fun” who is mentioned in my biography on this blog.

Grant passed away earlier this week.

Grant Kalivoda, 67, sits for a portrait in his Santa Fe front porch with Gnorm the Gnome on Tuesday, June 25, 2013.

© 2013. Grant Kalivoda, 67, sits for a portrait in his Santa Fe front porch with Gnorm the Gnome on Tuesday, June 25, 2013.

I’ve mentioned Grant before on this blog, but only once, apparently. Which is absurd now that I think about the extraordinary impact Grant had on my life. So, I now belatedly attempt to correct this oversight.

Rewind to 2006. I had applied for several different summer jobs at Philmont Scout Ranch in northeastern New Mexico and, on a whim, included a CD of pretty craptastic photos I’d taken on my first digital camera, a Canon point-and-shoot. For whatever reason, Philmont offered me a job as a photographer. I accepted, even though I knew nothing about photography and was terrified of learning how to use real cameras and the darkroom.

Enter Grant. Grant, a photo and printing specialist out of Santa Fe, had for years been training Philmont photographers how to use the gigantic Pentax 6×7 cameras, how to develop C-41 film with the Jobo processor, how to use the enlargers and the Kreonite print processor for individual prints and how to use the Noritsu print processors for prints en masse. As the only photographer on staff who’d never manually exposed or developed her own film before, I was at a distinct disadvantage, but Grant treated me just as if I were any of the other photographers. All I needed was a bit more mentorship, which he provided.

Under Grant’s instruction, I didn’t botch up my first-ever roll of film (which I still have), nor any roll of film I shot that summer. I fell in love with film, hard. Being in complete control over every step of the process never ceased to awe me, and I was hooked. I happily lugged the heavy Pentax gear up and down mountains, relished the thudding sound of the heavy shutter and voluntarily spent many late nights developing film and printing.

This said, I was still an awful photographer. I’m not sure that the ranch was able to use most of the pictures I produced for marketing purchases that first summer. But I sure did have fun.

In fact, I had so much fun that when I went to Mizzou that fall, I slammed the brakes on my aspirations of becoming a reporter, and instead worked my tail off to become a photojournalist.

And now here I am.

A photojournalist.

© 2013. This is a control panel from one of two Noritsu printers that was saved and mounted amid the 2007 digital conversion at Philmont News & Photo.

© 2013. These prints, dating from the early 1990s, were ones that Grant Kalivoda used to demonstrate color compensation for the Noritsu printers we used at Philmont News & Service before the 2007 digital conversion.

I came back to Philmont for two more summers: In 2007, I was one of the only returning photographers from 2006 to help transition the department from film to digital, and in 2008, I headed the ranch’s weekly staff newsletter. Grant provided training during both those summers, albeit at a diminished frequency compared to 2006. Still, I loved seeing my old friend whenever he made the drive from Santa Fe, and was greatly reassured that he was only a phone call away.

When Jeff and I made Santa Fe our destination for our 2010 spring break road trip, I made sure we saw Grant. It only made sense to introduce two of the most important people in my life to each other, and of course it was great to see Grant again. We met up for green chile burgers at the now-defunct Bobcat Bite and ended the night at Grant’s house, where we ate ice cream and played dominoes.

© 2010. Santa Fe from afar, coming up north on I-25, on March 31, 2010. Kodak Portra, 35mm, not sure which ASA.

After that trip, my contact with Grant was limited to a few emails here and there. I’d occasionally catch a recurring mountain fever, but finances and time kept me from making another trip to my beloved Sangre de Cristo mountains. Then, last spring, a friend contacted me with news that Grant had Parkinson’s and arthritis and wasn’t doing too well.

That changed everything.

Three months after I emailed Grant to check up on him and one month after he replied, I was on a plane to New Mexico. I stayed three days in the Land of Enchantment; the only times I wasn’t with Grant and his girlfriend Charlotte were when I took a quick driving tour of Santa Fe and made a half-day trip up to Philmont. But we spent two days eating lots of good food, taking driving tours, sharing old memories and puttering around their home on the outskirts of Santa Fe. Usually when I make trips, I produce lists of things to do and eat, and every day is planned out to the max. But this trip, I had no agenda except to be with Grant and Charlotte. I don’t think Grant ever believed me on that — several times, he tried to guess why I really came from Pennsylvania to New Mexico — but my earlier revelation that Grant might not be immortal made me realize I wanted to share more time with him.

Earlier this month, I got mountain fever again and started babbling to Jeff about booking another trip to Santa Fe. This trip, I’d want to make a few hikes, but seeing Grant and Charlotte was definitely at the top of my list, too. Unfortunately, a few hours after I got off a 12-hour overnight shift today, I received word that Grant wasn’t immortal after all.

© 2013. Grant Kalivoda and Charlotte Schaaf stand in their Santa Fe, N.M., backyard, “American Gothic”-style in late June 2013.

Lessons I learned from Grant Kalivoda, many of which he may not have known he taught me:

  • Slow down. (Still learning this one.)
  • Knowing more than others doesn’t necessarily make you better, and often it just makes you lazy.
  • Never stop tinkering. Never stop learning. Never stop wondering. And have fun in the meantime.
  • You’ll enjoy things a lot more if you slow down and appreciate them. Unless it’s ice cream we’re talking about.
  • It ain’t broke until fixing it just makes it worse.
  • Anything can be repurposed.
  • Taking the time to enjoy a meal (slowly) with friends, sans phones and other distractions, is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

The thing is, I’m just one of countless people who learned from Grant and became a better person for it. I have no clue how many summers he helped train Philmont’s photo department, and he also had a sizable presence in the Santa Fe community. The man’s influence was and is far-reaching. He helped me realize where I wanted to take my career, and I’m positive I’m not the only one who so benefited from his instruction, patience and kindness.

The Philmont and Santa Fe communities owe much to Grant Kalivoda, whether or not they realize it. For myself, I’m learning that there’s never enough time in the world to spend with those who matter most to you, but I’m no less grateful for the time that we did share.

Rest in peace, Grant. You are dearly missed.

Last week, while washing out my Tupperware in the office’s break room, I mentioned to reporter Rebecca how I’ve known Christmas is coming up, yet I could hardly believe it was next week. She then said something that completely explained that phenomena: We at the paper have been covering Christmas-y things for so long that Christmas just feels like a marathon now, not a sprint.

I’m not sure if that makes sense written out, but it makes sense in my head.

Here are pictures from pretty much all the Christmas-y assignments I’ve had, starting in… November! I also covered at least three  – maybe four? — retail/business stories focusing on Christmas shopping, so I’ll spare you most of those, too. (Whew. End-of-year holiday coverage truly is a marathon.)

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. An apatosaurus-like dinosaur is one of many lit-up attractions at Christmas Magic for the 2013 season. Christmas Magic, which opens the day after Thanksgiving, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in Rocky Ridge County Park. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Greater York Dance students Katie Harper and Jennah Motter perform as harlequin dolls as Morgan Strathmeyer plays another doll in a dance sequence from a party scene from “The Nutcracker” at the Capitol Theatre during Light Up Night on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. York City hosted its annual Light Up Night throughout downtown, with events culminating in the arrival of Santa Claus in Continental Square. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York Revolution mascot DownTown greets Rodney Yeaple as he plays Christmas tunes on the bagpipes while approaching Continental Square during Light Up Night on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in York. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Faith United Church of Christ member Pete Perez puts the finishing touches on his 10-year-old son Aaron’s shepherd costume before participating in the church’s first live nativity program on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Christina Abel, 6 of Jackson Township, picks out a poinsettia for her mother as she shops with her grandmother Sherry, not pictured, in Ollie’s Bargain Outlet in West Manchester Township on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. With three snowfalls in a week’s time, both shoppers and stores are being affected by the weather. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Brothers Carlos and Jorge Montalvo, along with Carlos’s daughter Karla, beat on las plenas (drums) as they and other relatives sing traditional Puerto Rican, parrandas-style Christmas music in Carlos’s living room on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2013. Jorge Montalvo and his brother Carlos came to York from Puerto Rico about 14 years ago, and have since lived in the city with their families. Every Christmas, their 12 other siblings and other relatives fly up from Florida, Puerto Rico and other areas to celebrate the holiday in a hotel ballroom that they rent to hold more than 100 people. The Montalvo brothers and their families also regularly gather at least twice a month for large family dinners featuring traditional Puerto Rican food. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Sister Ana Luisa Sanhueza plays the guitar as she and others lead parishioners in worship during mass while celebrating Las Posadas in a York home on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. Parishioners of the Church of The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in York participated in one of nine nights of Las Posadas — a Latino pre-Christmas tradition focusing on the journey of Joseph and Mary — at the house of Vicente and María Reinoso in York. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Santa Claus, played by Elmer Baker, opens up his bag in veteran Ryan Walton’s York Township living room as Walton’s son Ayden, 3, watches shyly on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. With the help of Santa and Mrs. Claus, CJ Hoffman and her nonprofit Feed the Vets Red Lion delivered an early round of Christmas presents, grocery gift cards and food to Walton’s family. Walton, who served in Iraq and was at Fort Hood at the time of the 2009 shooting, is currently hospitalized for renal failure and disintegrating spinal discs. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

Next up… my “Best of 2013″ post.

Maybe.

After all, I didn’t get around to my “Best of 2011″ until February 2012.

Cats of 2013

I’ll scrabble together a “Best of 2013″ — and maybe “Best of 2012,” since I didn’t get around to it last year — at some point, but for now, let’s talk about cats.

I love cats. I do. Unfortunately, I’m pretty allergic to cats. This means that every time I’m on assignment and a cat is in the vicinity, that cat finds a way to rub up against my legs. In return, I find a way to get that cat in a picture.

And then I manage to get that picture published.

According to some people in the photo department (my editor, and Kate), six published cat photos (out of nearly 1,500 published photos in 2013) is a lot.

I guess it is.

Here they are.

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Omega Horse Rescue director Kelly Smith bundles up hay feed for the following day, on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. Kelly Smith, director of Omega Horse Rescue in Peach Bottom Township, rescued a horse from a kill auction whose photo she posted on Facebook. A Massachusetts teenager recognized the horse as hers, and is now reunited with it. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS – CHRIS DUNN

In my defense, two of the six photos involve barn cats, which are basically the most bad-ass domestic cats around. I mean, check out Rascal:

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. One of Eric Thomas’s Belgian Draft horses approaches Rascal the barn cat on Thomas’s Springfield Township property on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. Eric Thomas and his family own five Belgian Draft horses, which weigh about 2,000 pounds each, and keep them and three other lighter horses on their 50 acres in Springfield Township. “As a kid, I wanted elephants, so this was the closest I could get into it,” Thomas said. The family got their first team of Belgians in 2000. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS – CHRIS DUNN

And I’ve also been working on a three-part series about a married couple who operate a white-glove travel agency, and they work out of home, and they have a naked Sphinx cat. A NAKED SPHINX CAT. How could I not make sure to get photos of a naked Sphinx cat?

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Jason Holland wears his pilot’s uniform as he enters information from scores of business cards he’s collected onto his computer and social networking sites, as Sphinx cat Bailey nestles in his lap, on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. Jason and Sandy Holland’s white-glove travel service, Travel Simplicity, has recently turned a profit. But Sandy Holland, who has been the primary provider since they started the business, continues to work her full-time day job even as she helps the company grow. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS – CHRIS DUNN

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Bailey the Sphinx cat watches from a high chair as Jason Holland mixes up another batch of chocolate chip cookies, which he and his wife Sandy Holland serve to potential and existing clients at trade shows and during meetings, on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS – CHRIS DUNN

Gettysburg cat:

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Buddy the cat stands up to look out a window in the Shriver House Museum’s attic, which during the battle at Gettysburg served as a sniper’s nest for Confederate soldiers. Blood stains have been detected on the wooden plank floor, and bullets are still embedded in the brick walls of the house that is now a museum depicting civilian life during the Civil War. Private musuems in Gettysburg are starting to prepare for the 150th anniversary of the battle this summer. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS – CHRIS DUNN

And, finally, spot-news cat:

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Holding a Dora the Explorer blanket and a wet cat, a woman prepares to disembark a five-ton rescue vehicle after she, four girls and two dogs were rescued from a flooded Hellam Township mobile home park on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News

But even my cat-loving editor says she’s getting tired of my cat photos, so I guess I’ll have to seek out a new favorite animal for 2014.

Analog: Bambina

Thanks to warehouses and shipping and other forces beyond my control, I won’t get to send Christmas presents to my brother, sister-in-law and niece in time for Christmas. So, Matt, Emily and Layla, here are some analog photos from Italy (and a bonus frame) as an early Christmas present to make up for the belatedness of your package!

© 2013. Layla rides a turtle? dinosaur? something? in a playscape near the Pozzuoli harbor.

© 2013. Emily and Layla along the river Tiber in Rome. This frame looks like I applied an Instagram filter, but this is real film, y’all.

© 2013. You can sit on ancient pillars inside il Colosseo. I think my mom might’ve had something over the lens, on the righthand side of the frame.

© 2013. Family photo in Montepulciano.

© 2013. Along the Pozzuoli harbor.

© 2013. At this point, I was trying to use up the rest of the roll of film, and Emily and Layla happily obliged.

Aaand now for a bonus frame — the last frame on the roll, which I took during one of three snowfalls we had in a week back in York:

© 2013. We bought this bottle at the Maker’s distillery back in May, and I got to dip it in the wax. Jeff finally opened it to make bourbon balls, but before he did, I insisted on making this frame. Check that dynamic range!

And thus concludes my blog posts of photos I made while in Italy.

Sunday, it snowed a few inches and then melted down a bit. Today, it snowed another six inches on top of what we already had, so after I shoveled out three cars and then some, and after Jeff helped a neighbor shovel her driveway, we took snow pictures. I might have made us wait 20 minutes for the sun to come back out so we could get this shot of me:

© 2013.

© 2013.

The snow picture pertains to my Italian vacation and Il Duomo di Firenze (Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower, which is topped with Brunelleschi’s Dome) because there, I too waited a while for good light.

Like, an hour.

Here’s what happened. Best sister-in-law ever, aka Emily, and I left Matt and my mom in  Galleria degli Uffizi so we could climb il Campanile di Giotto in time for sunset pictures of il Duomo di FirenzeThe sky was pouring rain on us the whole way from Uffizi to il Campanile, and it was still coming down when, 414 steps later, we reached the top of the bell tower. But we’d come so far, so we stepped out into the rain anyway, at which point another man in the room thrust his open umbrella at us, which we obviously accepted.

This is what il Duomo and the rest of Florence looked like under heavy rain:

© 2013. Il Duomo di Firenze, under heavy rainfall, as seen from Giotto’s Campanile (bell tower) on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013.

Emily, who has never known me to be without a camera, graciously accepted that we would be waiting at the top of the bell tower, just to wait and see if the sky would ever break up and if the light would ever improve. So we kept baby Layla occupied and checked outside every now and again. When the rain stopped, we stepped back out. The sky was definitely clearing up in the west, but I still waited. Finally, just over an hour after I’d taken the photo above, the sunset cast an amazing orange glow over the city, and quality of light was almost Rembrandt-esque.

So, here’s my best Duomo shot:

© 2013. Only minimally toned in post-production.

Moral of the story: Real photographers wait for good light. (Unless, of course, you have two or three other assignments to complete and can’t afford to linger.) And, the quality of light can truly make or break a photo. Just take another look at that rainy-sky Duomo photo.

Thank you, best sister-in-law ever, for understanding this and being patient.

© 2013. Il Duomo from the ground, in less-good light.

Penn State ended its 2013 football season on a high note tonight, but here’re a few action-feature photos from the two regular-season games I shot this year. (I did shoot the spring Blue-White game, and did video for a third regular-season game.)

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State’s Zach Zwinak brings the ball into the endzone against Eastern Michigan in the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. Penn State defeated Eastern Michigan University 45-7.

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State’s Adam Breneman celebrates in the end zone after scoring the first touchdown against Nebraska on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. Penn State lost 23-20 in overtime.

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg finds an opening in the Nebraska defense to rush a third-quarter touchdown on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013.

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State kicker Sam Ficken reacts after watching his bad field goal attempt in overtime against Nebraska on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013.

When my mom and I visited my brother and his family in Naples, Italy, Matt and Emily made sure we saw the sights. For one thing, I’m pretty allergic to cats, and Emily wanted to minimize my exposure to their cat by getting us out of the apartment as frequently as possible. For another, we were in Italy — and who knows when or if we’ll be back?

So the photos below — a mix of landscapes, food and cute baby — are largely in chronological order of our travels around southern Italy and then our four-day excursion to Rome and Florence. Enjoy!

Costiera Amalfitana

Our first outing took us along the Amalfi Coast, where the views and seafood are ample.

© 2013. Can you tell where the sky and Mediterranean meet? View of the Amalfi Coast from an overlook near Ristorante L’Incanto in Furore.

© 2013. Matt’s platter of fried fishes, squids and shrimp at Ristorante L’Incanto in Furore.

Matt and Emily generally feed Layla “real people” food. She’s not allowed extremely salty things like prosciutto, but she can handle Indian food and a variety of other cuisines, and Emily always cuts up small samples of the meal for Layla to eat. So, nobody was surprised when Layla grabbed one of the lightly fried sardines that Matt left on his platter…

© 2013. Layla reaches for the fried fishes remaining on Matt’s platter.

…but everyone — including Layla herself — was surprised when she ate the tail end of the fish:

© 2013. What happens when a 14-month-old eats the tail end of a lightly fried sardine.

Onwards and eastwards down the coast. We stopped in Vietri sul Mare, a hamlet known for its ceramics. It also has a pretty nice view:

© 2013. View from a metered parking area overlook in Vietri sul Mare.

…and we discovered that Layla, who previously hated gelato for its frigidity, is okay with it as long as she’s holding the spoon:

© 2013. Chocolate gelato tastes even better if it’s all over your face.

Napoli

It’s easier to say Matt and Emily live in Naples, but they’re a bit removed from the city itself. Anyway, Emily took my mom and me into downtown Naples to check out some old churches (including Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo di Napoli and Museo Cappella Sansevero) and, of course, eat true Neapolitan pizza.

We learned that verace pizza napoletana (“true Neapolitan pizza”) is taken pretty seriously. There’s even a sort of governing body that inspects and approves pizzerias that produce verace pizza napoletana. Matt was a big fan of L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele — until he found out that that’s where Julia Roberts ate pizza in the movie Eat Pray Love. (Awful movie.) Since then, his loyalty lies with Pizzeria di Matteo (whose website includes an entire section about Bill Clinton’s visit there), where Emily took us:

© 2013. Pizza con funghi (mushroom pizza).

It was pretty tasty.

Roma

Matt and Emily spent their fourth wedding anniversary in Rome… with their baby and the in-laws.

© 2013. Il Colosseo by night.

And then the restaurant where we ate dinner (I had carbonara) had a pretty teeny bathroom, so Emily had to change Layla’s diaper in a dark alley between parked Vespas. Typical.

© 2013. Oh, the indignity.

Continue Reading »

Ciao bambina (Napoli)

Nine months ago, we all got to meet my baby niece Layla. A few months later, I was lamenting to a coworker about how fast the baby was growing, and how her living in Italy makes it hard for me to be a doting aunt. My coworker immediately chided me for not applying for my passport, booking flights and getting my butt over to Italy, because after all, Layla’s not exactly getting any younger.

So, two weeks ago, my mother and I flew to Naples, where my brother Matt and his family live, for a 10-day trip that would be my first-ever journey abroad. We explored Naples, had a four-day excursion to Rome and Florence, ate a lot and played with the baby. And I made a lot of pictures.

© 2013.

The pictures in this blog post (which is the first of at least three to come) show home life in Naples — or, Napoli. But first, the obligatory travel photo:

© 2013. First light over the Atlantic as we flew from Houston (IAH) to Frankfurt (FRA).

I never wanted to be that person who traveled abroad and returned home with all sorts of snooty attitudes about food, culture, etc., but let’s be real: You really cannot beat super-fresh mozzarella di bufala.

© 2013. A home-made charcuterie board at Matt and Emily’s apartment was our first meal in Italy. Clockwise from the top: Olives, fresh basil, freshly sliced prosciutto, cut tomatoes, olive oil and mozzarella di bufala.

Baby moped:

© 2013. Emily put Layla on a pint-sized moped in a Pozzuoli park.

Real moped:

© 2013. Matt on his Vespa. Behind him are his landlady, who lives downstairs from his apartment, and one of the many stray cats she feeds.

And now for some scenes at home:

© 2013. Emily takes Layla for a walk around the neighborhood above Pozzuoli.

© 2013. Layla pushes against the door screen to watch Matt as he sits on the terrace.

Continue Reading »

Analog: Rubber ducky

So, I guess I like rubber duckies, because this happened in July:

© 2013. At the 25th annual Rubber Duckie Race in Lancaster County Central Park in July 2013. Kodak Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

…And this happened in October:

© 2013. My best attempt at “duck lips.” Rubber Duck art installation in Pittsburgh’s Point State Park. Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2013. Jeff’s best attempt at “duck lips.”

It was our first trip to Pittsburgh, and honestly, we went for the duck. We did do other Pittsburgh things, though. We toured the Strip District, dined in an old-person Italian restaurant in Bloomberg, saw Andrew Carnegie’s dinosaur skeletons, nixed a few sketchy hotels in sketchy areas and rode an incline:

© 2013. View of Rubber Duck art installation in Pittsburgh’s Point State Park from the Duquesne Incline. Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

But let’s be real: It was mostly about the duck.

T-rex jack o’ lantern

Today, I carved my first-ever pumpkin. Granted, my parents bought us pumpkins when I was probably six or seven, and I remember we scooped out pumpkin guts in our patio, but I’m pretty sure my mom handled the knife work. Which means, I’ve never carved a pumpkin. Until today.

Normally, I wouldn’t blog these sorts of shenanigans, except…

  1. I’m really proud of my pumpkin,
  2. I used all three of my prime lenses in documenting my pumpkin and
  3. Jeff and I went to some ridiculous measures to light up my pumpkin for the final shot.

So, here we go!

Taken with my 28/2.8. First, I had Jeff print out the “Jurassic Park” logo. Then, using my light table and a Sharpie, I traced it onto another sheet of paper and simplified some of the details, like the teeth. Jeff helped me tape and tack the pattern onto my beautiful pumpkin, which we picked at Barefoot Farm in Dover.

Using a weird pick tool (not sure why we have it), I punched small holes along the outlines. Then, once I removed the pattern, I used the same pick to create the lines via the holes. The hardest part was not the teeth, but actually the letters.

And voila!

Taken with my 100/2 lens on our deck. Because the pattern is so intricate, I figured it’d be easier to do a relief carving, rather than actually carving through the flesh and meat.

But as we all know, the only thing that matters is how good your pumpkin looks when it’s lit up. So… voila!

Taken with my 50/1.4. This is on our kitchen floor. A couple of tea lights are inside the pumpkin. My Boy Scout headlamp is on the floor behind the pumpkin, and Jeff held up his iPad (on a lower brightness setting) and used the iPad fold-over case as a gobo. Yeah. That happened.

So, uh, yeah.

I promise I’ll have some more, uh, professional photos up soon. And some film, once I pick it up tomorrow and get it scanned over the next few days.

Five years ago, Bill Eppridge visited my university. He and his wife Adrienne had some time to visit with students, so I hastily threw together a portfolio for them to review. I was terrified and convinced that they’d tear it apart — Bill being a venerable visual journalist and Adrienne being a venerable visual editor — but they were completely kind and supportive in their criticism and suggestions.

Looking back now, I’m guessing they recognized that I didn’t really know what I was doing, and that prodding me along would be more productive than tearing me apart. (Related: I’ll never forget the only written comment that former Columbia Daily Tribune photo editor Gerik provided after reviewing my exit portfolio in May 2010: “Could be a newspaper photographer someday.”) I’ve since made conscious efforts, every time I’m in a position to encourage or review work with a younger photographer, to be just as considerate and supportive as Bill and Adrienne were to me.

. . .

I’ve just learned that Bill has died. His legacy includes a number of iconic images made in times of peace and war, and I’m certain he inspired and helped young photojournalists who are far more successful than I. But for my part, I’ll never forget the gentle, compassionate critique he and his wife gave me five years ago in the Missouri photo lab. My next portfolio iteration was much more restrained and well-edited enough to land me an internship at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the following summer, and I’m convinced that Bill and Adrienne gave me just the right push to get my internship applications rolling.

(With a wink in Adrienne’s direction, Bill also told me that the best advice he could ever give a young photographer is to marry a good editor. I’d like to think Jeff and I have edited each other’s work fairly thoroughly in our almost-five years together.)

Just for fun, I’m opening myself up to potential embarrassment by posting what I believe is the portfolio that I showed Bill and Adrienne on that Oct. 2009 evening:

Sgt. Curtis Webb moves forward to reinforce the line formation during the 1140th Military Police Company's riot control training on April 15, 2007. The company, which is a local division of the Missour National Guard, practiced blocks and movement patterns using wooden bats.

Sgt. Curtis Webb moves forward to reinforce the line formation during the 1140th Military Police Company’s riot control training on April 15, 2007. The company, which is a local division of the Missour National Guard, practiced blocks and movement patterns using wooden bats.

Columbia City Clerk Sheela Amin swears re-elected mayor Darwin Hindman into office on April 9, 2007. Winning more than 70 percent of the vote, Hindman won a record fifth term.

Columbia City Clerk Sheela Amin swears re-elected mayor Darwin Hindman into office on April 9, 2007. Winning more than 70 percent of the vote, Hindman won a record fifth term.

Oklahoma State junior shortstop Jordy Mercer slides home during the series finale against the Tigers on April 6, 2007, in Taylor Stadium. Mercer scored three runs in the game, which the Sooners won 8-6.

Oklahoma State junior shortstop Jordy Mercer slides home during the series finale against the Tigers on April 6, 2007, in Taylor Stadium. Mercer scored three runs in the game, which the Sooners won 8-6.

(No cutline, apparently, but this was from the first-ever Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival in Columbia, Mo.)

(No cutline, apparently, but this was from the first-ever Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival in Columbia, Mo.)

Andrea Molina and Maria delCarmen Reguera dance the flamenco during the Multicultural Dance Expo's opening act on March 19, 2007, at Memorial Union. Other dances featured at the expo highlighted Mexican, Indian and Southeast Asian cultures.

Andrea Molina and Maria delCarmen Reguera dance the flamenco during the Multicultural Dance Expo’s opening act on March 19, 2007, at Memorial Union. Other dances featured at the expo highlighted Mexican, Indian and Southeast Asian cultures.

Robert Ray places a rattlesnake's still-beating heart on his hand after skinning the snake in front of a small audience on April April 26, 2008, in Mangum, Okla., during the 43rd Annual Mangum Rattlesnake Derby. Ray, a Mangum native who now resides in Oklahoma City, has been butchering rattlesnakes at the derby for 32 years.

Robert Ray places a rattlesnake’s still-beating heart on his hand after skinning the snake in front of a small audience on April April 26, 2008, in Mangum, Okla., during the 43rd Annual Mangum Rattlesnake Derby. Ray, a Mangum native who now resides in Oklahoma City, has been butchering rattlesnakes at the derby for 32 years.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., concludes her speech to more than 5,000 supporters on Jan. 19, 2008, in the McCluer North High School gym in Florissant, Mo. Clinton had just won the Nevada primary and was beginning her campaign in Missouri and the other Super Tuesday states.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., concludes her speech to more than 5,000 supporters on Jan. 19, 2008, in the McCluer North High School gym in Florissant, Mo. Clinton had just won the Nevada primary and was beginning her campaign in Missouri and the other Super Tuesday states.

Elton John acknowledges the audience's screams and applause after making his entrance on Oct. 5, 2007, in Mizzou Arena. During an encore, John wore a headband with tiger ears, which a Missouri fan gave him in anticipation of the Tigers' football game against Nebraska on Oct. 6.

Elton John acknowledges the audience’s screams and applause after making his entrance on Oct. 5, 2007, in Mizzou Arena. During an encore, John wore a headband with tiger ears, which a Missouri fan gave him in anticipation of the Tigers’ football game against Nebraska on Oct. 6.

Missouri guard Kassie Drew scans the court to pass the ball away from Nebraska guard Ashly Ford's block during the game's second half on Jan. 20, 2007, at Mizzou Arena. The loss was the Tigers' fifth in conference play.

Missouri guard Kassie Drew scans the court to pass the ball away from Nebraska guard Ashly Ford’s block during the game’s second half on Jan. 20, 2007, at Mizzou Arena. The loss was the Tigers’ fifth in conference play.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., reads aloud a quote he always carries with him, on Feb. 1, 2008, in the Spirit of St. Louis Airport. The quote, by George Washington in 1789, reads, "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars and how they were treated and appreciated by their nation."

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., reads aloud a quote he always carries with him, on Feb. 1, 2008, in the Spirit of St. Louis Airport. The quote, by George Washington in 1789, reads, “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars and how they were treated and appreciated by their nation.”

A man holds up a sign to cheer on participants in the Disney World Marathon near Mile 2 on Jan. 13, 2008. The marathon course began and ended in Epcot, and went through each of the theme parks in the Disney World complex.

A man holds up a sign to cheer on participants in the Disney World Marathon near Mile 2 on Jan. 13, 2008. The marathon course began and ended in Epcot, and went through each of the theme parks in the Disney World complex.

Then-Missouri House of Representatives Minority Floor Leader Jeff Harris, D-Columbia, waits to be recognized by House Speaker Rod Jetton during the House's morning session on April 17, 2007, in Jefferson City. Harris has since resigned from his position as Minority Floor Leader to concentrate on his campaign for Attorney General.

Then-Missouri House of Representatives Minority Floor Leader Jeff Harris, D-Columbia, waits to be recognized by House Speaker Rod Jetton during the House’s morning session on April 17, 2007, in Jefferson City. Harris has since resigned from his position as Minority Floor Leader to concentrate on his campaign for Attorney General.

IndyGround LLC hip-hop artist Bustrip freestyles a song and a beat on March 5, 2007, at the Sapphire Lounge. Hailing from Tulsa, Okla., Bustrip has joined forces with seven other rappers to form a new record label in Columbia.

IndyGround LLC hip-hop artist Bustrip freestyles a song and a beat on March 5, 2007, at the Sapphire Lounge. Hailing from Tulsa, Okla., Bustrip has joined forces with seven other rappers to form a new record label in Columbia.

Byron Carlisle awaits instruction during swim practice in the Student Recreation Complex on Nov. 9, 2006. Carlisle, who is a competitive swimmer on the University of Missouri swim team, was diagnosed with ADD and dyslexia in the fourth grade.

Byron Carlisle awaits instruction during swim practice in the Student Recreation Complex on Nov. 9, 2006. Carlisle, who is a competitive swimmer on the University of Missouri swim team, was diagnosed with ADD and dyslexia in the fourth grade.

Missouri forward Leo Lyons tries to hold onto the ball as Kansas guards Sherron Collins and Brandon Rush grab at Lyons' forearm during the game's second half on Jan. 15, 2007, at Allen Fieldhouse. The Tigers attempted a failed three-point play in the game's final 11 seconds and lost 80-77 to the Jayhawks.

Missouri forward Leo Lyons tries to hold onto the ball as Kansas guards Sherron Collins and Brandon Rush grab at Lyons’ forearm during the game’s second half on Jan. 15, 2007, at Allen Fieldhouse. The Tigers attempted a failed three-point play in the game’s final 11 seconds and lost 80-77 to the Jayhawks.

Rest in peace, Bill, and thank you again.

Children of summer

Incredibly, summer is past, and we all made it through unscathed. The kids have been back in school for a month or more now, but here are a few wonderful children I was fortunate enough to photograph this summer:

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. (Left to right) Siblings Asyar Hoover, 6; Amir Hoover, 8; and Anayah Hoover, 4, of North York, try to eat their ice cream cones before they melt at the counter at Jim Mack’s Ice Cream on Thursday, July 18, 2013.

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Holding a candle and wearing a “Stop the violence in York, Pa.” T-shirt, Danari Hankerson, 5 of York, turns around to face a singer singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at a vigil for Trayvon Martin on Saturday, July 20, 2013, outside the York County Judicial Center. Hankerson and 20 other men and boys stood with candles in front of the courthouse as a representation of the years Martin had lived and, after being shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, the years that Martin would not live to see. More than 125 people gathered for a vigil for Martin at the same time as similar vigils in other cities across the nation. The York vigil, organized by York City School Board member Sandy Walker, featured prayers, calls for justice and a singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Trinity Young, 4 of Yuma, Ariz., gets a lift from family friend Kayla Sherrod, 15 of North Carolina in front of the Cookes House in Martin Luther King Jr. Park during the Codorus Street Reunion on Saturday, July 27, 2013. Young’s great-great-great-grandparents lived across the street from the Cookes House from 1927 to 1961, before the Codorus Street homes were razed and the area became the park. Families and friends congregated at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in York City for the second annual Codorus Street Reunion. The park was once the site of Codorus Street, to which a number of black families moved from South Carolina in the 1920s.

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. (Left to right) Nicholas Warren, 3 of Windsor Township, waves to passing firefighters as he, his sister Brianna, 9, and his mother Danielle watch the Firefighters Association of York County parade of firefighting apparatus pass by on West Broadway in Red Lion on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013. This year’s convention and parade were dedicated to the memory of Loganville fire chief Rodney Miller, who was killed in the line of duty in April 2013.

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. (Left to right) Hayden Russ, 5; Keaton Brenner, 4; and ZaiNez Davis, 3, all of York, eat ice cream while wearing oversized backpacks they received during a giveaway hosted by the Freemason Social Friendship No. 42 at Farquhar Park on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. In front of the boys is a line of several hundred people waiting to receive their free backpacks.

The first high school football game of the season is tomorrow, and we’re sending folks to cover Penn State’s first game on Saturday. With that in mind, here’re a few pictures I made last year while working on a story about pee wee football.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Boys Club rink varsity football players do the crab-walk while drilling at practice on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012.

For one and a half years, practically every fall evening as I drove back to the office via Parkway Boulevard, I’d see miniscule football players running through drills and practices. Finally, my interest had been sufficiently piqued and, one evening, I pulled over, observed the final minutes of practice and chatted up one of the fathers who was making sure his son wasn’t slacking. Then he introduced me to the coach, and after that, I was at practice at least once a week.

After following the “rinkies” for about a month, I pulled the story together with this basic summary:

After an undefeated regular season — and not allowing first downs or touchdowns in all but the last game — the Boys Club of York Red Raiders’ rink varsity football team lost the York County Youth Football Association championship game 12-0 to West York’s rink varsity football team on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, at Northeastern High School. The “rinkies” are 7-8-year olds who had practiced every weekday from August through the beginning of November on a field just off Parkway Boulevard in York. This team of rinkies has played together for three years so far and, despite three consecutive undefeated seasons, has yet to claim a league championship title.

You can read my final story here, and view more pictures here, but finally, after a year, I’m showing a few of my personal favorites:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Marlyn Dellinger ties the shoe of his son’s Boys Club rink varsity football teammate Jonathan Orr, 8, before practice on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Armonni Borges, 5, waits for the whistle as Jaxiel Ascencio, 8, runs through a drill during practice on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2012, at a field just off Parkway Boulevard in York. Armonni’s older brother Terrance Price, 8, plays for the Boys Club’s rink varsity team, but Armonni is too young to join the Boys Club’s youngest division — the 6-7-year-old “smurfs.” Nevertheless, the “rinkies” coaches allow Armonni to practice alongside the older boys and to watch games from the sidelines.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Boys Club rink varsity football coach Shanoy Moody knocks helmets while trying to pump up the boys near the end of practice on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Zamir Weedon-Parker, 8, stands with his co-captains in the endzone before the semifinal game against the Eastern York County Blackhawks on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, at Central York High School.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Boys Club’s Jonathan Orr stiff-arms Yorktowne’s Imeire Manigualt on his way to a touchdown in the final regular-season game on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, at Central York High School. For the first time this season, the Red Raiders allowed first downs and touchdowns, but defeated the Yorktowne Patriots 32-18.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Andrew Miller, 11, encourages his nephew Zamir Weedon-Parker, 8, as Zamir stretches out after a long rush for a touchdown to bring the Red Raiders up 12-6 after the half against the Eastern York County Blackhawks on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2012, at Central York High School.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Zamir Weedon-Parker, 8, is carried off the field by teammate Mehki Workman, 7, and uncle Andrew Miller, 11, after the Boys Club won its semifinal game against Eastern York County on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, at Central York High School.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Nani Nieves, 8, listens to the Boys Club coaches’ post-game talk during a huddle after the Red Raiders defeated the Eastern York County Blackhawks on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, to advance to the York County Youth Football Association championship game. Nieves’ mother Neesha said she likes to wear makeup at home — and, evidently, while playing football.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Neesha Nieves helps her daughter Nani, 8, get geared up for practice on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Boys Club rink varsity football players march down the track before playing the York County Youth Football Association championship game against West York on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, at Northeastern High School.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. West York’s Connor Michael breaks past the Boys Club defense in the York County Youth Football Association championship game on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, at Northeastern High School.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Boys Club rink varsity quarterback Kerry Glover, 8, leaves the field, tears streaming, after the Red Raiders lost the York County Youth Football Association championship game to West York on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, at Northeastern High School. “The hardest part for me was seeing the look on their faces,” said his father, also Kerry Glover, who is head coach.

Happy football season, everybody!

Rarr

Last week, Jeff, his brother Mike and I found a T-rex skull at the National Zoo. Much to the joy of a nearby 17-year-old girl whose mother insisted she was too old to pose with the skull, I insisted that Jeff take this photo of Mike and me:

© 2013. Um, yeah, I’m 25. And a half. Pentax 6×7, Kodak Portra 400.

Today, while on assignment at a 30-attraction fun park in southern York County, I discovered that owner Hugh is a kindred spirit when I asked him to hop on top of an incomplete tire-saurus for a picture and he immediately struck a dinosaur pose without my prompting him:

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Maize Quest Fun Park owner Hugh McPherson stands atop a “tire-saurus” whose head has yet to be mounted on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. The tire-saurus and a nearby sea serpent — also made of tires — are the latest additions to the 30 attractions at the park, and need to be completed within the next two days before opening day. McPherson opened the park with the original corn maze 17 years ago, and has added another attraction or two every year. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS – CHRIS DUNN

KINDRED SPIRITS, I’M TELLING YOU.

(Read more about the Maize Quest Fun Park here.)

Jeff was burrowing around last week and found three rolls of undeveloped 35mm film in a cookie tin. (There were several unexposed rolls in there as well.) So I took them to get developed. One is a Fuji roll he shot during our 2010 spring break trip to the Santa Fe region of New Mexico; another Fuji roll is from his Dec. 2009 visit to Houston.

The Ilford XP2 Super roll is from our Feb. 2012 trip to New York City — a trip whose digital pictures I never blogged, and whose film frames I never saw ’til now.

Along the lines of an earlier post about how I had a bad habit of wasting film, I was pretty disenchanted with the frames on that black-and-white roll: Too many frames where I shot something just for the sake of depressing that shutter button and advancing the film. Like I wrote before, I’m working now to make pictures, with film, that mean something to me, which typically means they need to be of people I care about. That roll from New York City is a good reminder of what I as a photographer should never do again.

But here’re two frames that I do like from that roll. Obviously, I shot one and Jeff shot the other. Can you tell who shot which?

© 2012. This was shot on 400 ASA Ilford XP2 Super, so you can imagine what the shutter speed was.

© 2012.

Shroud of dust

Softball picture from forever ago:

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Red Lion’s Alexa Taylor, left, swivels around third to successfully evade Central York’s Kelsey Wisner in the fifth inning at Central York on Friday, April 26, 2013. Central York defeated Red Lion 6-4.

 

Sheep to shawl 2013

Pictures from forever ago, it feels like. I have even older photos that I have yet to blog, believe it or not.

This is the annual Sheep to Shawl contest at the Pennsylvania Farm Show this winter. The name says it all: A team shears a sheep, and then uses the wool to make yarn and weave a shawl, all within two hours.

First, the shears:

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Nathan Good of Windsor Township holds up his shears to signal he’s ready to start competing in the 34th Sheep to Shawl Competition on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Good was a member of the Treadlers thru Time team, whose other members hailed from Lebanon and Lancaster Counties, and whose shawl was not completed in time to be judged. Eight teams of five participated in the 34th Sheep to Shawl Competition on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Then the sheep’s sheer terror:

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Nathan Good of Windsor Township shears a sheep in the beginning of the 34th Sheep to Shawl Competition on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

And finally the kids’ sheer terror:

© 2013 by The York Daily Record. Nathan Good of Windsor Township shears a sheep in the beginning of the 34th Sheep to Shawl Competition as his nephew Mitchell Wise, 11; son Tyler Good, 6; daughter Riley Good, 8; nephew Cameron Hoover, 2; and wife Leanne Good, with phone, watch on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

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