Go shoot some hoops. (The friar’s robe is optional — unless you happen to be a friar.)
Archive for June, 2012
Go crawl through a mud pit…
…After all, some students said it was actually refreshing.
Despite the pervasive smell of mulch and dank, that is.
Earlier this month, a York Catholic science teacher had his last day of school in 44 years.
Sam Spiese — who graduated from York Catholic in 1964 and returned four years later to teach — is retiring after teaching generations of students in the same school he attended.
As a former prep school student, I really enjoyed spending time with Spiese in his last few hours as a teacher. High school wasn’t that long ago for me, but being back in the halls of a private school populated with uniforms, antiquated desks and teacher-student relationships that are more akin to friendships really brought me back.
My editor chose this photo, among two others, to run:
…but I also like this one, which is similarly framed:
Which would you choose, and why?
Yesterday, I went to State College not for Penn State (for once) but, rather, a local team making its first state championship baseball game appearance. West York, who had lost the district semifinal football game last fall to Lampeter-Strasburg, was facing them again — this time, for the state title in baseball.
Sure enough, the West York Bulldogs delivered their comeuppance in a 9-6 victory over the L-S Pioneers.
As the only photographer sent to the game, I was responsible for two section fronts, a slideshow’s worth of photos, a video and, of course, a bit of social media as well. After some pre-trip brainstorming with editor Brad and fellow photographer Jason, I walked into the stadium three hours before West York and L-S took the field, and started working right away: I explored the stadium, found the team and didn’t stop until after the game was over.
The game itself wasn’t my best in terms of shooting for action. Unlike any other high school baseball game or even any Revs game, I was pretty limited in my mobility by the officials as well as by the geography of the dugouts. But, as reporter John assured me, state championship games are all about emotion — and I did get plenty of that.
For my video — thanks to Jason’s suggestion — I focused on the starting pitcher, Kaden Hepler, who ended up pitching 23 of 26 innings in West York’s state playoff games:
Check out a slideshow of more photos, too.
After I was done chasing storms a few weeks ago, I rushed to Spring Grove to photograph its commencement ceremony. It was a high-energy but dignified affair, and the reporter pointed out to me a special friendship he had just discovered:
Be sure to read more about Carly and Melanie in Tim’s article.
I love Star Wars. I grew up on Star Wars. I thought the Force was real: When I was six or seven, I tried to make the pantry door open as I sat and stared at it from the kitchen table five feet away. On multiple occasions.
That’s a true story.
(As a mature adult, I now know the Force isn’t real, but it’d be cool if it were. And I still love Star Wars.)
So I was thrilled to be assigned to photograph local Jedis. With little kids. And lightsabers. On May the Fourth, naturally.
I’m from Houston, which means I can recall quite a few major storms wreaking havoc on my psyche as well as causing actual damage. Summers mean tornadoes and hurricanes, and I dreaded battening down the hatches every time a potentially dangerous storm threatened to roll through our area. Actually, I’m pretty sure my bedroom window in my parents’ house still has dried-out residue from when we duct-taped all the windows prior to Hurricane Rita, which was supposed to be Houston’s version of Katrina (but wasn’t, fortunately).
In short, I’m personally not a big fan of big storms.
But none of that matters, now that I’m a photojournalist.
When tornado warnings cropped up and strong winds began hurtling through York County last Friday, my editor had me head toward the potentially affected areas. As he directed me, on the phone, to head from Red Lion through Winterstown and then toward Shrewsbury, he concluded with, “Above all, be careful and aware of your surroundings.”
He later (today) revealed that he had visions of my car getting lifted into the air — with me in it. At the time, I was more concerned by the amount of water on the road, how I could avoid hydroplaning and whether I’d make it to Spring Grove in time to cover their commencement ceremony for two newspapers.
As I made my way through the waterlogged roads of southern York County, I happened upon some tornado damage. Except, I didn’t know it was tornado damage.
Pieces of Styrofoam littered the road, so I followed the trail with my eyes and saw, just off the road, that a big metal roof was blown off a home and a large tree branch had been split from the trunk. I turned off the road to check out the damage, but there was no one anywhere. No emergency crews, no puzzled or distraught homeowner. There wasn’t a way for me to quickly ascertain whether that damage had just happened or occurred a while ago. I returned to the main road.
Then, emergency vehicles passed me going in the opposite direction. So I turned around and followed them… right back to the house I’d just checked out.
I didn’t find out until a week later (today), but turns out I’d encountered the only confirmed tornado damage in the county.
So I made some pictures and talked to the homeowner (no injuries)…
…and then went on to Spring Grove to photograph graduation. Which, I suppose, will be my next blog post.
I had only shot one track-and-field competition — and, since I was to focus only on the track events, I had never shot any field events — until I was assigned to make pictures of Jared Allison.
At the time that reporter John and I followed Jared during one of his pole-vaulting training sessions at an indoor facility, the high school senior had his eye on breaking the state record and capturing the gold at the state championships, which were about a month away.
I did my best in the indoor facility. The light situation was terrible. One end of the large, tall-ceilinged room was lit with blue-white fluorescents, the other end (where the landing pad was) was lit with dim orange lamps and finally, just beyond the landing pad, were windows that let in a good amount of sunlight. Not the ideal situation for decent white balance.
But I had fun. Pole-vaulting is such a fundamentally strange sport, as John alluded to in his profile of Jared, and I had never shot it before. So it was a challenge on multiple levels — lighting and exposure, the novelty of the sport — but it was fun.
Be sure to check out John’s full article, which includes more photos.
And as for the state championship? Jared didn’t get the gold or break the state record — but that’s okay.