Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Carry Me Home(coming)

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Angelo State has a player on their roster, John Norcott, who has a unique post-touchdown ritual. If he's not being carried, he's carrying the teammate that just scored back to the sideline. He always gets a laugh from crowd when it happens. I have no idea why he does this, and I'm actually surprised he has not been flagged for excessive celebration.
Norcott got to carry quite a few teammates this last Saturday during the Rams' homecoming game against Incarnate Word at San Angelo Stadium. This is only the second season Incarnate Word has fielded a team, so a blowout was expected. The Rams ran up the score early and never looked back en route to a 61-17 win. You can go HERE for more photos of the game. Unfortunately for the Rams, they face No. 3 Abilene Christian this week. I think ASU has the talent to compete with ACU, they just need to sustain their momentum through the entire game. I wish I could go shoot the game this Saturday in Abilene, mostly because it starts at 2:00 pm and I'll have good light for the entire game. But, I'll probably be assigned the annual roping fiesta held at the fair grounds.

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SIDE NOTE: I came across these videos on Petapixel.com the other day. They are as series of interviews with award-winning photojournalists about the power of photography in today's media. If you have about 20 minutes to spare, they are worth the time.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

They Call it "Game of the Week" for a Reason

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The game between Miles and Bronte last night was great. It included a lot of defense, good plays and bad plays, terrible officiating, emotional highs and lows. This game had everything except for one thing: good photography to tell it's story. I was so pissed that I didn't come back to the office with better photos. I could go on with the usual excuses: the lighting was terrible, I can't be on both sides of the field at the same time, the great plays were few and far between, and I missed most of the third quarter because I had to transmit photos. None of that applies here (well, maybe the lighting one, it was pretty bad). I just plain sucked last night. But if you care to see any more photos from the game you can see them HERE. Bronte came out on top 33-27 to remain undefeated in District 6-1A Division II play.
Later today I'll be covering the Angelo State homecoming game against Incarnate Word. Hopefully I'll have a better day of shooting.
Oh, if you would like to see more photos from all the games covered last night you can see them HERE.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Angelo State Dominates

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Last night I was sent to the Angelo State volleyball game against Lone Star Conference rival Southeastern Oklahoma at the Junell Center. The Rambelles have won their last seven conference matches and last night added an eighth. It was also their annual "Dig Pink" night, raising money for breast cancer research. I have posted a gallery on the San Angelo Standard-Times website HERE if you would like to see a few more photos from the match.
Tonight I'll be heading to Miles, about 15 miles east of San Angelo, for my Friday Night Football game. Miles will be facing off against Bronte in a showdown of quarterbacks. It's our Game of the Week and should prove to be a fun one.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More Volleyball? Why... Yes

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This is a busy sports month for me. Four of the five days of work this week are going to involve some kind of coverage of a local sports team. Last night it was a District 3-2A volleyball match between Grape Creek and Sonora. Grape Creek in ranked No. 8 in the state, Sonora is not ranked, so I was betting it was going to be a fast match. It was. Grape Creek rolled in three straight games 25-14, 25-10, 25-6. I have posted a gallery of game photos HERE if you would like to see more.
Today (Wednesday) is my only day of the week I'm not shooting sports. Tomorrow I'll be back at Angelo State for the Rambelles' volleyball game against Southeastern Oklahoma, Friday I'll make the trip to Miles for Friday Night Football coverage and Saturday I'll be covering the Angelo State homecoming football game against Incarnate Word. Like I said, busy sports month.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bronte Rolls, Sterling City Inspires

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Wow, two posts in one day! The top-ranked Class 1A volleyball team in the state, Bronte High School, is just 30 miles to the north of San Angelo and played host to District 4-1A rival Sterling City this afternoon. As usual, Bronte hit the ground running and it would be redundant of me to go through all the game details so I'll cut to the chase: Bronte won the match. I was proud, however, how well Sterling City was handling the situation. They had some downs, but when they had ups, they celebrated wholeheartedly. The photos I've posted are of Sterling City. My favorite is the celebration photo. They had just won the second game 25-23. Unfortunately for the Lady Eagles, Bronte won the other three game to end the day.
Not to toot my own horn, but I think I might be getting the hang of shooting this sport. I'll be photographing the Angelo State game next Thursday and I'm going to try and get up on the catwalk again. Should be fun.

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Losing Season Continues

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The Central High School Bobcats were back in town last night after a week off and a road game. This was going to be a tough one, as usual, as the Amarillo High Sandies came to town. Amarillo boasts a solid offense and a rigid defense. Last week they had a 17-play drive that ate up over 9 minutes of the clock. Central has come off of some real close games in the last few weeks, leading in the fourth and then completely falling apart. It seems to be a continuing trend.
The first half was going great for the Bobcats, any early touchdown, a 38-yard field goal by kicker Matt Opincar and another touchdown late in the second quarter by quarterback Logan O'Brien to send the Bobcats into the locker room ahead of Amarillo 17-14. At the half is usually when I will edit through my first half photos, caption and send some back to the office. It's usually late in the third quarter or the start of the fourth by the time I get back out to the field. With just a minute or so remaining in the third, I walk out of the field house and see that Central is down 38-17, but right at that moment Central breaks out a 64-yard touchdown run to pull back into the game. "This is manageable," I thought. But it wasn't. Central's morale was crushed when the game official overturned a fumble recovery that would have put their offense on Amarillo's 15-yard line, they couldn't complete a pass to save their life and the defense imploded. It turned out to be a 52-24 bust. Central is now 1-6 for the season and 0-2 in district. Central will not have another home game until the regular season ends in early November.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Maidens Fall in Five Sets

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Last night I was assigned to shoot the Lake View/Killeen volleyball match at the Ben Norton Gym. Lake View has struggled over the last few years with their program, but progress is being made. This match was the start of the second round of district play for the Maidens against Killeen High. Both teams went into the match with similar records so it was essentially anybody's game.
Fortunately, the start time of the match was moved up from 7:00 pm to 6:00 pm, affording me more time to shoot than I normally would. My deadline times for the weekdays is 8:20 pm. I was able to shoot three full games before having to leave before the conclusion of the fourth. Lake View took the match into the fifth game, eventually losing 20-22.
Traditionally, the Lake View gym has always been better for photos simply for the fact that it had more light and walls that are painted white. It has been a while since I have shot in the Ben Norton Gym, and as I found out last night, things have changed a bit. The main difference being that the lights are now beginning to flicker. Editing and color correction are now becoming a lot more stressful now that every frame in the take is a different color. Add on top of that, the fact that I am shooting volleyball, which we all know is not my strongest sport. But, somehow I managed to pull out a few frames worth publishing. You can go HERE if you would like to see a gallery of more photos from the game.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Marching Band Memories

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Last night I was feeling the marching band at the Wall and Colorado City high school football game in Wall, a small town about 15 miles south of San Angelo. I, too, was a member of the marching band when I was in school and even played in the marching band my first year of college at Angelo State University. Personally, I think directors let me play out of pity because I was so passionate about it, not because I had any discernible ability.
Every time I go to a football game it's the sound of the drum line that gets my blood pumping. I love a good rhythm section, and the Wall High School band has one. We cover mostly 1A and 2A teams in our 20-county coverage area. The bands are minimal in size and it's hard to put together a drum line of more than five or six people that can stay together. Wall does very well. Before the game started last night the band gathered together, forming up on the track. The sun was just about to set, good light and a cool night made for great shooting. I only mention the coolness of the air simply because most of these kids are pouring sweat through their full-length, and sometimes wool, uniforms. Living in West Texas we can easily still be getting into the low 90s, even in the month of October.
I hung out with the band for a little while until they took their place in the stands for the game. The game it's self turned out to be okay. Wall lost 18-6 to Colorado City, who all believe will be the eventual district champions. You can go HERE to see more photos from the game.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Who Wants to be a Horse?

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This last week San Angelo played host the the 2010 United States Cavalry Association's annual National Cavalry Competition at Fort Concho. It sounded like fun, and I'm sure it was, except I didn't really get to see the fun stuff. On Wednesday most of the competitors, comprising of reenactors and active duty military honor guards, had arrived and were participating in a jumping clinic before Thursday's competitions. "Cool," I thought. Let's just say meeting the riders was more enjoyable than the clinic. Then the Thursday competitions started and it was mostly just waiting around for someone to do something remotely interesting. At around 2:00 pm the mounted pistol event started and I thought "Finally, something visual." And it was, but I didn't get to stay for very long as I was kind of in charge of getting the paper ready for the next day, the events started late, and I had to leave. However, one thing did jump out at me. Horses are pretty expressive animals, and I guess you would be too if you were being jerked around by the mouth while being sat on. I know that the animals are not in any pain, but good grief. I wasn't able to go back on Friday because of football, or Saturday because I was off. But, like I said, meeting the riders was the cool part.
SIDE NOTE: Back in 2008 when the State of Texas decided to remove about 400 children from the Yearning For Zion Ranch near Eldorado. The ranch is owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a religious group that has been under some scrutiny as of late federal and state governments of Arizona and Texas. With the raid came national and world media attention. This particular sect predominantly resides in Four Corners area of the US, so reporters and photographers from that area descended on West Texas. It was really great to get to meet these fellow professionals.
Mike Terry, a photographer at the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, was one of the photographers who made the trip to cover the story. Mike keeps a blog, PIE , of which I am a follower and you can find in the "BLOGS I READ" section on the left-hand side of the page. Blogs are an easy way to keep up with great photographers and photography around the country. Another way is through self-published work called "zines". The topics of zines can range from photos, poems, short stories, clip art, comics or anything else the publisher deems worthy. Mike produces a zine titled EZRA, and with his permission, would like to show you a few pages of the zine.

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These are issues one and two. Simple design and construction, a tight edit of photos and text, and very personal. In short... it's quintessential self-publishing.
Issue one is an on-going personal work by Mike about Jewish travelers in India. The second issue is by Erin Hooley, portraying the phenomenon of mixed martial arts in America.

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Well played photos are a delight to see, and EZRA, and other zines like it, are a testament to the power of published photography. EZRA, named after an uncle who's name means "Helper" in Hebrew, is designed to give photographers a chance to show their work. I'm looking forward to following this zine and the work that will grace it's pages.

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