I guess it’s customary for papers to feature the first baby of every new year on their Jan. 2 front pages… but let’s not forget about Leap Day babies, either. After all, Leap Day babies come but one every four years.
Archive for February, 2012
Last night was the first time I’ve ever used flash to cover a sports assignment.
Last night may also have been the first time any of us photographers has shot basketball in New Hope Academy’s cafeteria/gym, so I tried to have some fun with it. After shooting one quarter from the ground, I decided to get up on the stage behind the home basket so I could pretend to be a remote camera clamped to the nonexistent post. It definitely resulted in photographs I’ve never before been able to make for high school basketball, which was exciting.
What does it take to be the mascot for the York Revolution?
A lot more than I’d thought.
As Jacob — who’s been the Wildcat mascot at his high school, Dallastown, since August — explained, people who play mascots need to make very exaggerated motions. People who are bad dancers are more likely to be good mascots. And yes, it’s a very fine line between being an awesome mascot and being a laughably bad mascot.
After some agony, a nearly two-month delay and a lot of hemming and hawwing, I’ve finally edited together what I think are the best of my photos from 2011.
2011 was good: It was the first full year in which I shot on assignment, full-time, every week. In January, I left my home in Texas for an internship at a paper in York, Pa.; in May, I left my internship for a job at the other paper in York. I’ve since been learning my way around York County, exploring the rest of Pennsylvania on occasional outings and making friends among various local and regional journalists.
2012, so far, has also been good. We’re only about a month and a half into the new year, but I’m already looking forward to compiling next year’s “Best of,” as well as looking back at 2011 again and coming up with an entirely new selection. But — in the meantime, here’s what I have from last year.
Hope you enjoy.
“If you want to get really good photos out of the airplane,” the pilot told me over the phone, “you’ll have to ride up front and open the door while we’re flying, because that window is glued shut to the door.
“You’d be strapped in, of course,” she added.
I did ride up front (and the co-pilot sat behind me) in a single-engine Cessna as we flew over York County two Saturdays ago. But we didn’t open the door — the pilot decided it could be a bad idea, since this was my first time in a small aircraft.
Turns out, leaving the door closed was a good idea, as I finally got motion sickness on the return leg. I didn’t throw up, but no amount of ginger ale or crackers could alleviate my queasiness for the next 10 hours.
Maybe next time, I’ll open the door.
Be sure to check out more aerial photos on our new staff photo blog!
I could probably use one hand to count how many times it’s snowed this winter since the freak snow-dump in October. Because of this fairly mild, fairly snow-less winter, it’s all the more important that, every time it does snow, we get snow features.
At least, that’s the way I see it. And that’s why, on my way to and from an assignment in southern York County, I opted to take state roads and some other back roads instead of the interstate. (Because, as I learned in Atlanta, you don’t find feature photos if you’re driving 65-70 on an interstate.)
To make this photo, which ran as the secondary photo on today’s front, I had to make some quick turnarounds.
I was taking Rte 616 from Railroad up back to York when I saw this man jogging on the Heritage Rail Trail, which runs parallel to 616 for a little ways.
“Man, that’d be a great feature,” I thought to myself as I continued driving. But I was driving in the opposite direction, and parking my car and finding him — and keeping up with him — would be difficult. Especially since 616 is a two-lane road with steep embankments and no shoulders. But… he was running. In the snow. And he was wearing red. Which would contrast really well with the snow.
So, next chance I got, I turned onto another street, turned onto another street and turned back onto 616. After that, I wasn’t sure how or where to catch up with the man. The section of 616 on which I was driving at that time is separated from the rail trail by a long stretch of private property. I knew there was a road — Seitzville Road — coming up that intersected with the rail trail. Maybe I could park there and just stay put and wait for him… unless he’d already passed that area.
Whatever. I turned onto Seitzville and, as I pulled across the railroad tracks (which give the rail trail its name), I saw the man in red. Running toward me. I’d beat him there, but only narrowly. I parked on the other side of the tracks, jumped out of my car, waved him down, ran ahead of him, made some pictures, talked to him briefly — and then we went our separate ways.
A local club recently lost its alcohol license after the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board decided not to renew it, citing fights that have happened outside the club.
The club’s solution? Free alcohol.
Full disclosure: I actually made these pictures for an article that ran shortly before the club lost its license. And fortunately, we’d just received our new D3s camera bodies, so I definitely needed every bit of that 128,000 ISO rating.
Every time I shoot a new sport, I a) overshoot, b) just follow the ball, c) keep faces in focus and d) also try not to get overwhelmed. Then again, and again, and again, through the next few games until I start to better understand the sport. This has been my method with baseball, football, tennis, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, field hockey, wrestling, volleyball and a few others that I might have forgotten here.
And, now, ice hockey.
I have attended a professional hockey game and even voluntarily watched a few games on TV, both thanks to Jeff, who’s a fan. Despite his best efforts, though, I have little understanding of the game. So, last night, I just did my damnedest to follow the puck. Maybe someday, I’ll understand hockey the way I understand football: well enough to shoot it.
Off the ice, I saw these kids pressing their noses against the glass, so whenever the action headed their way, I trained my lens on them — at which point, naturally, they would immediately become distracted by something else and lose their focus on the game. This is a picture wherein I don’t mind that they’re not too terribly engrossed in the sport at that moment.
Thanks to the summer floods and township/state policy, Bill Metz is up a creek without a shovel.
When I asked Metz to crouch down on his feet for me at the site of his former bridge, I told him, “This will be a portrait, but you don’t have to smile.”
“I don’t have anything to smile about,” was Metz’s wry reply.