Monday, November 30, 2009

Over Thanksgiving Weekend...

That devilish grin on my wife's face is a bit scary. Especially since she is pointing at a hole near dead-center of her target used at the gun range in DFW this last weekend. Brooke and I spent the holiday with my parents, ate some great food, saw friends and family, and on Saturday we all went to the gun range.
Brooke has never fired a gun before, much less been around firearms. We let Brooke fire the .22 Ruger Mark I which is very easy to use and has virtually no recoil. Apprehensive at first, Brooke lined up her sights with the target and on the very first shot put a bullet almost dead-center of the target. Our mouths dropped open. For someone who was so nervous and afraid of guns, she really knew how to handle one.
We stayed at the range for about an hour and finally went home for dinner. We had a great time and I look forward to Christmas when Brooke and I will fly to North Carolina to see her family. We'll be staying on the beach. Can't wait!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Passin' Thru BBQ

On Saturday morning I had two assignments in Mertzon, about 30 miles west of San Angelo, that I needed to work on. The first was covering the new location of the Irion County Library in a 100-year-old building. It's a neat place with a lot of character that could hold some good photo opportunity in the future.
The second assignment was to cover several of the local businesses for the upcoming Business Journal due out in December. Each journal has a profile of one of the surrounding towns and Mertzon was next on the list. Little did I know that the entire town shuts down at noon. You name it, it was closed: the general store, the meat market, the local crafts store, even the Mexican restaurant. Great. What was I going to shoot for this assignment that is due on Tuesday?
As I was heading out of town I spotted a BBQ joint with it's open sign still on, so I quickly pulled in. The place was called Passin' Thru BBQ. It used to be a drive-thru place like those beer barns that are popping up everywhere, but the owners decided to close it in. It's a cool place with some good food. My favorite shot from the 30 minutes I was there before they closed was of the Texas flag painted on the wall with a pass-thru window. This photo would be better if there was a customer sitting on the bench with BBQ sauce all over their face. I plan on visiting this place again for a Focus feature next year, so maybe I'll get the shot next time.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Brady Wins Area Playoff

I know, I know, it's another trophy photo, but in my defense I was not given many chances this football season to photograph a winning game for the team I was there to cover, so it's nice to see the team happy and celebrating rather than crying quietly in a corner. I went with sports reporter Nate Wright last night to Shotwell Stadium in Abilene to cover Brady High School's area round playoff game against Merkel. It was great. Brady has got a fantastic team this year and could possibly make a really deep run into the post season.
All the usual suspects were there on the sidelines last night: James Stewart, the Brady Standard-Herald editor and photographer, Jim and Tisha Shuffield, of Shuffield Photography in Brady, and an assortment of parent and student shooters. One of my favorite things about shooting large events, no matter what the subject, is to watch how other photographers work a scene. Most of the time everybody is jockeying for position to get a unique shot while trying to be quasi respectful not to ruin someone's photo.
While I was photographing the mid-field talk between Brady head coach Glen Jones and his team, I inadvertently caught Tisha Shuffield trying to be as tall as she could be to get a Hail Mary photo of the same scene. I really like this photo simply for the sheer determination on Tisha's face. It makes me wonder: Did she get the shot?


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Brady Wins Bi-District

Brady Football
I was assigned the Brady Bulldogs game against Jim Ned for the first round of the Texas High School playoffs. I love shooting Brady. They have a great group of kids and their head coach is an upstanding person. I hope I get to follow them through their run in the post season. If you would like to see a gallery of photos from the first playoff games you can see them HERE.
SIDE NOTE: Three photographers from the Austin American Statesman have posted a video slideshow of a few of their photos and talk of their experiences covering the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"So, am I out?"

That was the question asked by Air Force Staff Sgt. Jeff Held to the laughter of his teammates. I believe that I got the funnest Veterans Day assignment. Active duty, reserves and National Guard servicemen and women held a charity paintball tournament on Wednesday. Usually when I get these types of assignments I end up getting shot with a paintball, or catch someone's splatter, but for the first time, I didn't hit. It was cool to hang out with all those guys for a morning.
SIDE NOTE: Standard-Times cops/courts reporter Jennifer Rios and I won the Best of Scripps contest in the Spot News category for the third quarter. We covered a rare homicide in Grape Creek. Jen wrote the story and I pieced together a video. Also, the PDNpulse blog just posted this video of National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen's encounter with a leopard seal. It's a very cool look into some of the amazing photos Nicklen made while on assignment.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Senior Night

It was senior night at San Angelo Stadium for the Lake View game against Frenship. All the seniors on the team lined the sideline for the coin toss at the start of the game. My favorite thing about this photo is the small flash in the middle of the home stands from someone's point-and-shoot camera.

A Cool Video

Brochure from Peter Hinson on Vimeo.

I saw this video and thought I would post it. It is of an artist who draws large designs in the ground that are best seen from high above. And for those of you who donated to my camera fund, this video was shot with one of the cameras I am considering, the Canon 5D Mark II.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Big 3-0!

Sunday was my 30th birthday. Brooke and I drove up to Lubbock early Saturday morning having both just come off a very long football-Friday at our jobs. The drive was nice, the sun was just coming up and there was a light crisp to in the air. We were driving up to meet the rest of my family who was coming in for the party. My dad and step-mom were coming from DFW and my grandparents were driving in from Oklahoma City. When we got to my mom and step-dad's house I call my dad to if he was ready to go to the shooting range. He bought me a .40 pistol for Christmas last year that I had not yet fired. After the range and a quick beer/wine run it was time for the party. I wanted everything to be really simple, so Gary (my step-dad) made a large shrimp boil and my mom made five pies. Everything went great. Great food and family and a great haul of money that I will eventually put down for a new camera. The above photo is of the pies and beer consumed at the party. We also have a new addition to the family... Charlie. She is a three-month old toy dachshund that my sister and brother-in-law just got. She is very sweet and likes to cuddle.