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.)
Archive for the ‘Pennsylvania’ Category
So, I guess I like rubber duckies, because this happened in July:
…And this happened in October:
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:
But let’s be real: It was mostly about the duck.
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:
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.
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.
Happy football season, everybody!
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:
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:
KINDRED SPIRITS, I’M TELLING YOU.
(Read more about the Maize Quest Fun Park here.)
Softball picture from forever ago:
I’m not gonna lie: For the majority of my life, Memorial Day meant little more to me than a long weekend.
Until I met a 90-year-old World War II veteran who has devoted the past two years of his life to finding, documenting and mapping more than 70 York County veterans memorials.
Al Rose is blind in his left eye, but he spent countless hours poring through newspaper microfilm at the York County Heritage Trust, in search of any news of veterans memorial dedications. Then, before giving up his drivers license last Christmas Eve, Al put several hundred miles on his car in search of these memorials — many of which are pretty difficult to find even if you know generally where they are.
Believe me, I know: I followed in Al’s footsteps in order to confirm his work and readers’ information and to help create a map of these memorials for the newspaper.
This was a time-consuming process that took me several shifts — in one case, all the daylight hours of a shift — to complete. And I loved it. I thrilled in driving to and finding corners of York County I had never seen before. It was exciting to find an obscured memorial, and it was sobering to read the names on so many communities’ honor rolls.
One honor roll had a name listed under the Spanish-American War. Others were overwhelmed by those who served in World War II. At least three honored those who have served in the current war on terror.
After finding and photographing 68 of the 70+ veterans memorials over roughly the past few weeks (editor Scott and reporter Brandie helped out with a few of the last ones we found out about), I find it repugnant that I formerly had so little respect for Memorial Day, and that many Americans continue to do so.
York County certainly has its share of veterans memorials — over 70! — and yet I doubt that many who live here are aware of or care about their existence. It’s saddening, especially when I think about all the tiny communities who gave up so many sons that their honor rolls are too long for a readable photograph.
Yes, I’ll probably participate in some sort of grill-out this Memorial Day weekend. But I’ll draw the line at Memorial Day sales. And, thanks to a long and sometimes difficult search for almost 70 veterans memorials, I’ll remember just how much of itself York County has given to this nation.
For more information:
- A summary of Al Rose’s work and how we completed this project
- The interactive map itself
- A full slideshow of all the veterans memorials Scott, Brandie and I photographed
- A video of Al Rose working on his project… at the bedside of his wife, who has Alzheimer’s
Sometimes, when the big event is happening, I look elsewhere to make pictures — especially when the big event involves somebody at a podium.
So, I look to the children.
(I love that the fathers in the second photo can so easily show affection for their daughters without my having to include their faces: Look at their gentle hands.)
Today, the York Catholic girls played their seventh state championship game in the past eight seasons.
Today, they lost 45-38 to Bishop Canevin.
But — they lost with grace.
I began following the team’s journey this morning after I checked in with the student tailgate outside the Giant Center:
After the game, tears:
And a pep talk:
I’d like to thank the girls for letting me follow them around, even inside the locker room, and being completely normal about it. They’re a class act, a strong team and wonderful people.
For more coverage:
- Check out the full slideshow of photos I took today
- Read reporter Matt’s game story
- Watch photographer Jason’s video about Morgan Klunk’s mother watching her last game
I’ve never taken the time to count how many times I’ve been assigned to photograph people as they work out or otherwise exercise. But even if we don’t include sports practices and games, it’s still a fairly large number. In the week around New Year’s this year, I happened to have two separate assignments that had me cover people going through their routine gym workouts.
The funny part was, people in both assignments made remarks along this vein: “I’m sorry you have to follow me around while I’m in the gym today. This can’t be that interesting. I hope they’re paying you a lot.”
I assured them that I was not suffering in these assignments. On the contrary, I see these assignments as a challenge to show the human interacting with and mimicking the form of the gym equipment.
My first-ever cheerleading assignment took me to the YAIAA Cheerleading Championship, where seven teams competed in two divisions. It was a lot of fun, especially with the presence of the youth cheerleaders who performed showcase, non-competition routines. If I shoot this next year, I’ll definitely take my shooting to the next level, but nevertheless — this was fun.
I love shooting basketball. It was the first sport I ever shot (thanks for throwing me in, Rae) and much of my first winter in York was spent covering high school games. This season, not so much, oddly enough. But here’s a collection of some reaction-oriented feature pictures — or jubilation, or “jube” — from the post-season.
And, to end on a joyous note, four pictures from the York Catholic girls’ eighth consecutive district title win — which, by the way, is a District 3 record:
For me at least, it’s easy to forget, after covering some of these girls for three seasons, that they’re just girls. They’re still in high school. They’re just kids. Then you get off the court, and they’re jumping and whooping and giving each other piggy-back rides back to the locker room, where they then break out into song and run around and remind you that they’re still girls, and that’s totally okay.
I’ve lost track of how many commencement ceremonies I’ve photographed, but I learned pretty quickly that you’ll make the best pictures before or after the actual ceremony. I tend to arrive early, just to make sure I get pictures in case I’m called away to spot news mid-ceremony, but until somewhat recently, I never mustered the courage to walk into the girls bathroom and ask if I could make pictures.
Glad I finally did.
Dinosaurs. This was reporter Lauren’s and my first assignment together since covering Newtown.
It was basically a big traveling exhibit of dinosaurs. No one in the newsroom was excited about it except for editor Kate and me. Me, I love dinosaurs. Everyone else, though, was hatin’ on it.
When I asked fellow photographer Kate about shooting wrestling at Milton Hershey School, she gave me two really good tips: Use a 300, and shoot from the track level.
I understand wrestling just enough to shoot it, so I’ve never tried to have fun with it before. Today, I did just that by acting on her tips. Thanks Kate!
Damn straight this is my first photo blog post of the new year. May 2013 be a good and happy year for us all.
(Yes, Rascal climbed up there on her own. Yes, I have real photos from this assignment. Yes, I will share them soon.)
Last night, reporter Lauren and I covered a fire in Newberry Township. It was the second fire in Newberry Township that day — I wasn’t sent to the first — but what caught editors’ attention was that a women was insisting on removing her exotic birds from the burning house. Then, the scanner crackled to life when emergency officials began shouting about ammunition going off inside the house.
So, we drove out, parked our cars near the road blocks and hiked down the dead-end, unlit road where the house was located. We did our jobs there and, over two hours later, hiked back to our cars. I obviously have real pictures from the scene, but here’re a couple I took on our way there and back, just because:
Two-and-a-half years ago, I completed my first long-ish-term story. It was about Mason – a young boy going through hippotherapy – and it was my first time spending more than a few hours or a day with a story subject.
Recently, I completed another story involving hippotherapy. Unlike Mason, Andrew is going through additional therapies and has more significant obstacles to overcome. You can read Bill’s full story, which involves another family as well, and check out all the photos I put together for the story — but here are a few of my favorite pictures from my time with Andrew, including some that weren’t published:
Interestingly, the behind-the-scenes of this story resembles that of another, one-day story I did in Atlanta. It was the first time I got to spend a significant amount of time just hanging out with a family in their home, and it started out a bit awkwardly. First, they hadn’t been expecting me. Then they asked what they should do for me and my camera, to which I answered that they should just carry on with their day and I’d be as much of a wallflower as possible.
It worked out, much to my astonishment, and I’ve since relished every minute of being a wallflower.
With this story, the Breaults had indeed been expecting me, but they were a little uncertain in front of the camera at first. They soon warmed up, however, and were extraordinarily gracious and open as I tagged along with them to the ice cream shop, Andrew’s therapy and a pre-bedtime run to McDonald’s.
I can say this about any number of families and individuals I’ve met in York, but I’m so thankful, as a photojournalist and as a human, that so many people are as welcoming and wonderful as they are.
Tonight was my second consecutive year on the Thanksgiving Day shift. It started with turkey and ended with shopping, and I imagine that’s pretty much how this blessed day will be in the foreseeable future.
Yesterday’s election was the first presidential election I’ve covered as a photographer: In 2008, I wasn’t even halfway through my political reporting stint in the Missouri statehouse. But I’ve covered elections in York County before — in fact, I think my second day on the job at The Daily Record was a primary election night — and yesterday, I went all over the place.
One thing to note about covering elections in Pennsylvania: Photographers are not allowed to make pictures inside polling places. I’m not sure how a photographer could intimidate or influence a voter in a way that the political candidates and volunteers right outside polling places can’t, but I’m pretty sure that we’re missing out on a lot of neat pictures inside those doors.
I was assigned to start working at noon, so I missed out on the early-morning lines and crowds… but I did catch a line further north in the county in the evening.
And, finally, a friend has for several months waited for me to share my favorite election day photo. Here it is, David:
Photographing Mario on election day? If you’re not covering the actual presidential campaigns, working on election day doesn’t get much better than a kid still wearing his Halloween costume.
Be sure to check out all the photos we YDR photographers produced yesterday in this slideshow.