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Archive for March, 2012

Softball was one of the few mainstream sports I’d never shot, at least until yesterday.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Central York's Courtney Hastings slides safely into home in the seventh inning against Spring Grove to score the game's only run on Thursday, March 29, 2012.

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“The Steelers? Aren’t they a… football team?”

I may be somewhat pop culture-illiterate, but I had to double-check on that one because, one day last week, I saw I was assigned to photograph the Steelers play a basketball game against local teachers.

Sure enough, the Steelers are a football team. But they also play basketball for fundraising, and West York hosted them to play three games last week.

Here’re a few photos I made during their game against the middle-school teachers:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Mundy high-fives wide receiver Antonio Brown before leaving the bench during player introductions prior to the game against the West York Area Middle School faculty on Friday, March 23, 2012. West York is hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers' basketball team in three games -- one against the faculty of each the elementary, middle and high schools -- on Friday, March 23, and Saturday, March 24, to raise money for the girls field hockey team. The Steelers defeated the middle school faculty 84-46.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. West York Area Middle School's Kelly Kessler, back, gets the ball after fellow faculty member Matt Smith, center, was blocked by a Pittsburgh Steeler in the second half on Friday, March 23, 2012.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Twins Carrington and Zoey Henry, 3 of West Manchester Township, offer up their teddy bears to be autographed by Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Mundy during halftime on Friday, March 23, 2012.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Wes Lyons goes up for a dunk against the West York Area Middle School faculty in the first half on Friday, March 23, 2012.

Be sure to check out Ryan’s recap of the alley-oops and fun that everyone had at the game… as well as this video I made about how the middle-school teachers prepared to play basketball against professional football players:

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The night before I left for a three-day photojournalism workshop in Fairfax, Va., I shot and turned in photos for our 2012 spring sports tab.

Earlier that day, my editor told me three female athletes would be arriving for the studio shoot.

“Do anything you want,” she said. “Make it gritty or stylized or anything, but they all have to be in the shot.”

“All three?”

“All three.”

So I worked with the girls, took suggestions from them, made them get closer to each other and turned in three different options before I left for home to pack.

The next day, as I was in one of the workshop’s sessions, my editor texted me… because, in the photo I’d designated as my favorite, the track-star girl in the center seemed as if she were missing an arm.

I wasn’t there for any of the deliberations, but they kept the shot. And no, New Oxford’s Jamilla Janneh is not, in fact, missing an arm.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News and GameTimePa.com.

I also turned in this similar option:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News and GameTimePa.com.

For both of the shots above, I had a three-light set-up: One in the back to highlight Jamilla’s jumping figure, and two — with umbrellas — flanking me. The cover photo was taken from the third or fourth rung of a ladder we have in the studio; the outtake was taken from almost floor-level, as I sprawled out on my stomach.

Below one of the last shots I tried, this time with only one front light for a more stylized approach. Not as punchy as the others, and my depth-of-field was way too shallow for this to work for a cover photo, but I still like it:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News and GameTimePa.com.

Related: Check out this past football season’s preview tab, which I also shot.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect as I drove to Glen Rock one warm day last week to meet a group of men who’d reportedly been trying to harass a flock of 500 vultures from roosting in the trees near their homes — using everything from trash can lids to pyrotechnics.

Would it be like the “Kill the Beast” mob scene out of Beauty and the Beast? Or would the men have a strategic, thought-out approach to their USDA-approved harassment?

Turns out, a little bit of both.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. (Left to right) Dave Swidor, Dane Grove and Roy Cubbler are next-door neighbors in Glen Rock who have formed the "Vulture Harassment Task Force" wherein various neighbors have taken turns every evening for the past two weeks to harass a local flock of about 500 turkey vultures from roosting in nearby trees and roofs. The USDA has recommended that the neighbors harass the vultures to get rid of them, so they have progressed from using trash can lids and cymbals to pyrotechnic guns and airhorns.

As they gathered, the men brandished airhorns, laughed at each other and semi-seriously acknowledged that they were the “village idiots” as they patrolled the skies for any incoming vultures. Naturally, that night — as well as the next night — no vultures appeared, which meant that their methods for the past two weeks had been effective.

“Great,” one of the men joked. “No vultures tonight, the night she has video rolling, so now everyone’s going to think we’re crazy.”

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Roy Cubbler of Glen Rock displays the pyrotechnic pistol he acquired through the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the purposes of harassing vultures from his neighborhood.

Be sure to check out the not-too-serious, but sadly vulture-less, video I made:

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In early January, I made this (candid) portrait of a couple practicing The Bradley Method. I just love the tenderness and love in the photo, which ran in the March/April edition of Smart magazine.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Jonny and Bria McKinzie of Hampton Township in Cumberland County practice relaxation exercises as prescribed by The Bradley Method during a class in the Newberry Township home of instructor Alayna Galbraith on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2011. Bria McKinzie is five months pregnant with their second child, and Galbraith is an instructor in The Bradley Method, a natural childbirth method that does not involve medication or surgery and that emphasizes proper relaxation and diet.

Here’s another look, this time with an appearance by one of the instructor’s regal cats as well as the couple’s first child:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Jonny McKinzie of Hampton Township in Cumberland County reviews the homework he and his wife Bria completed for the last class of a 12-week course in The Bradley Method, as Bria helps entertain their daughter Lila in the Newberry Township home of their instructor Alayna Galbraith on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2011.

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After three days in Virginia for NPPA’s Northern Short Course in Photojournalism and one day in Maryland just because, I rushed back to York yesterday to cover a live A1 package. Literally, Live.

As in, the 90s band of which I never heard until recently but whose songs my sister-in-law and seemingly everyone else know from the radio. They also happen to be from York. They also happen to have purchased a large property in the city, with mysterious plans for renovation.

Reporter Erin and I went to the band’s pre-show sound check to get some non-concert interviews, photos and footage, especially since the band would introduce its new lead singer in its show.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Live lead singer Chris Shinn performs during a sound check on Monday, March 12, 2012, at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center.

Then we returned later for the show itself.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Live's new lead singer Chris Shinn performs during the band's set on Monday, March 12, 2012, at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center.

Be sure to read Erin’s article, in which two videos I produced today are embedded.

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At the end of January, I was sent to Nixon County Park, where kids would learn to sketch wildlife. As I drove to the park, I thought a bit about the assignment and figured they’d be shown professional wildlife sketches and taught how to replicate them. I was wrong.

I should have known, as I’ve covered a variety of activities at the park before, but Nixon County Park has a selection of taxidermied animals, ranging from geese to wolverines (I didn’t know those actually existed) to a hippopotamus. And these were the animals that, after some brief instruction on how not to draw cartoon-like creatures, the kids began to sketch.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Zane Saxton, 11 of Manchester Township, uses pastels to color in a coyote he sketched in a wildlife sketching class on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012, at the Nixon County Park Nature Center. Under the instruction of volunteer Teanna Byerts, kids learned to sketch wildlife.

I also should have blogged these photos earlier — i.e., before the link to the article expired — but I’ll have you know that the article opened with a quote from one girl to another about how “No offense, but” the butt she was drawing was “really big.”

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Joshua Mundis, 10 of Lower Windsor Township, sketches a wolverine in an art class on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012, at the Nixon County Park Nature Center.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Gillian Cunningham, 9 of Dallastown, looks up at a flock of taxidermied geese as she begins sketching in a wildlife art class on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012, at the Nixon County Park Nature Center.

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Last night, I photographed the end of an era.

Rewind: A few weeks ago, I was assigned to a York College men’s basketball game. Not unusual, except the assignment was to make pictures of the coach, who had announced he would retire at the conclusion of the season and who stood gruffly during a short, pre-game ceremony that honored his tenure.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York College mens basketball coach Jeff Gamber, center, stands in front of his team's bench as an announcer recognizes his achievements and tenure as head coach in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012. Gamber will have served as head coach for 36 seasons.

The man showed no emotion… until the game began.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York College mens basketball coach Jeff Gamber, left, reacts to a play by a Mary Washington player during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012.

Those photos ran the next day.

Then, last night. It was the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament, and for the first time since 2006, York College was in. If the Spartans lost, it would be Jeff Gamber’s last game. If they won, they’d live on to see another game the next night.

York College lost, 72-50. And, after the post-game handshakes, Gamber returned to the stands, beckoned his wife out of the crowd and left the court, grasping her shoulder with one hand and wiping his eyes with a tissue in the other.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York College men's basketball head coach Jeff Gamber and his wife walk off the court after York College lost 70-52 to Franklin & Marshall College in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament on Friday, March 2, 2012, at Franklin & Marshall College.

Today in the office, one of the sports reporters and I remarked on the photo.

“I was surprised he was emotional,” I said.

“Yeah,” the reporter agreed. “That man is a stone.”

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The cardinal rule of photographing graduation ceremonies — at least, if you’re a photojournalist and not an event photographer or a parent — is to arrive early. Or late.

I prefer arriving early, when the graduates are a little antsy.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York Technical Institute Computer Systems Specialist program graduates Tanner Ferro, right, and George Wilson, left, chat with Mark Groff, Jr., center, as he uses his phone to send a text while waiting in a stairwell to enter the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center auditorium for the winter graduation ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012.

(I’m also a fan of taped arrows on walls.)

Next time, maybe I’ll try arriving late.

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