31 December 2007

On 2007. *(looking back) The Year that Was...

Early thoughts on this New Year's Eve evening. Wondering what the 2008 will bring...

Rice field. Mae Sot, Thailand. Nov. 2007.
Working in a rice field photographing rice farmers in Mae Sot, northern Thailand on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2007. (Photograph by Chasmo.)

There is much to reflect on this past year. So many good people made this a positive and productive year for me. Here's a heartfelt thank-you to: Judy Weeks-Padgett, Jade & Vernon Jones in Charlotte, NC, Victor Guzman, Walter Lew & Ray Ng @ Photo Habitat, Jeff Hirsch @ FotoCare, photographers Keith Bedford & Shiho Fukada, Hank Johnson, Hassan & Maris, Connie, Katherine Cohee-Taylor & Lisa Jardanhazy @ Operation Smile, Kathy Caruso, Jennifer Warren, John Miller, Chasmo, Barbi Harris, Kristina Wells, Meg McGuire, Tom Bushey, John DeSanto, Mike Rice, and Gittel Evangelist at the THR, Vic Vogelin, Rita Levine, Mark Antman & everyone at The Image Works, Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan of Democracy Now!, pilot Gary Quade, (to be continued...)

28 December 2007

OK, It's POY time again... *(Pictures of the Year.)

Our paper is going to run one "best of" image from each photographer in the paper next week & link to the website with a brief video of each of us talking about our favorite photos from the year. Should be fun. Had a colleague shoot a new portrait of me yesterday, with outtakes.
-Thanks Tom.

ecgchetmug2a.jpg ecgchetmug1a.jpg ecgchetmug3a.jpg ecgchetmug4a.jpg

25 December 2007

*"Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year..."

Spent the day working. My lone assignment for the day was covering a Christmas Dinner in a local church here in Middletown, NY. Our longtime religion and features reporter Chris Farlekas was there as Santa, so it was kinda fun to put together something really nice and light on his participation. Here's a few images of Chris, who's been at my paper for something like 44 years...

Volunteer Santa. Middletown, NY  12/25/07 Volunteer Santa. Middletown, NY  12/25/07 Volunteer Santa. Middletown, NY  12/25/07 Volunteer Santa. Middletown, NY  12/25/07 Volunteer Santa. Middletown, NY  12/25/07 Volunteer Santa. Middletown, NY  12/25/07 Volunteer Santa. Middletown, NY  12/25/07 Volunteer Santa. Middletown, NY  12/25/07

23 December 2007

*This year's Holiday card is in the mail... *(whew...!)

This year's card was no easy task. Kept looking for an image or moment I've had in mind for a few years and couldn't find it yet again, so ventured quickly into NYC last weekend by train to roam one of my favorite neighborhoods to shoot something and produce the card this past week. I've included the other two candidtes shot on the same evening in lower Manhattan that were seriously considered. Had printer problems with both of my Epson printers for a few nights, so only 50 or so cards went out this year. Check your mailbox, as you may already be a winner...
Holiday card candidate #1. Tompkins Square Park tree. Sunday, December 16, 2007. Holiday card candidate #2. St. Mark's Place Christmas Tree stand. Sunday, December 16, 2007.
*(One plus from the week was that I bought a small rotary paper cutter, so will force myself to start producing "portfolio image" note cards sometime soon. this is a project I've always wanted to initiate, so we'll see.)

22 December 2007

*The week that was. Fri. 12/14 - Fri. 12/21

It was some week for making images; (in no particular order) everything from a police shooting of a man with a grenade, a quick feature on an undefeated high school swimming program that hasn't lost a meet in 2 years, and Muslim prayer in a hotel celebrating Eid, marking the end of Hajj in Saudi Arabia...

Early Friday (yesterday) moring in the ballroom of a Holiday Inn Hotel, for Eid Mudlim prayer. For a while I felt like I was back in Jordan, Senegal or Kenya working in and around a mosque. This would have been a wonderful opportunity to make an audio-slideshow, but I think my head would have exploded with all that it entails doing audio recording and making good images... *(smile)

ecgeidprayer2a.jpg ecgeidprayer3a.jpg ecgeidprayer11a.jpg ecgeidprayer9a.jpg ecgeidprayer6a.jpg

Quick feature on the opening of a local burger joint:
ecgwoodysburgers4a.jpg ecgwoodysburgers9a.jpg ecgwoodysburgers5a.jpg ecgwoodysburgers12a.jpg

Spent a few hours Tuesday night at a HS swim meet to feature the undefeated Monroe-Woodbury swimming program. (they're the same school whose undefeated football team lost in the Syracuse Dome a few weeks ago in the state championship game. see my earlier post on covering their game last month.) They haven't lost a swim meet in something like two and a half years. I put up two strobes in the corners of the start / finish line side to help light up the Middle School pool. Looking back, I know I should've put up two more strobes, as I even had a helper working with me.
ecgmonroeswimming1a.jpg ecgmonroeswimming9a.jpg ecgmonroeswimming2a.jpg ecgmonroeswimming5a.jpg ecgjustinwright2a.jpg ecgmonroeswimming10a.jpg

Police shoot a 65 year-old man in the parking lot behind a local hospital:
ecgbonsecoursbomb2a.jpg ecgbonsecoursbomb4a.jpg ecgbonsecoursbomb6a.jpg ecgbonsecoursbomb11a.jpg ecgbonsecoursbomb9a.jpg
State Police officers in the rear parking lot crime scene at Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis on Friday, December 14, 2007. A 65 year-old PA man with a grenade was shot in the rear parking of the hospital at approximetly 4:30PM. Times Herald-Record/CHET GORDON *(worked a full day shooting three assignments, and then sent out to the scene at the hospital to sit on this story for another 6 hours or so. Then back out to the scene the following morning at 9 for another 12 hours on the story, working with the reporter to get the victim's ID, back story, police info & reactions, etc. It was a long weekend to say the least...)

12 December 2007

*Recent work (Nov. - Dec.) since returning from Thailand, Syracuse & Baltimore...

"OK, time to go out and play in the snow..." The first major snowstorm of the season hit our area today and will continue through the weekend. I guess I'm really looking forward to seeing how many ways I can visually tell the story of winter here in the Hudson Valley. (smile) The season's first major snowstorm is expected to bring 6" - 10" of snow in the Hudson Valley region.

*Always had a thing for trucks, aviation, trains & heavy machinery. Jeez, I used to unload, wash, and park these babies years ago...
Truckers parked at the Pilot Travel Center Truck Stop in Newburgh, NY on Thursday, December 13, 2007.

ecgtruckstopsnow5a.jpg Truck Stop. Newburgh, NY  12/13/07
Truck Stop. Newburgh, NY  12/13/07 Stewart Int'l Airport. 12/13/07 A JetBlue aircraft taxis to the gate in heavy snow after arriving from West Palm Beach, FL at Stewart International Airport in New Windsor on Thursday, December 13, 2007.

"High School & College Basketball season is here, Baby...!" (back to clamping up remote camera strobes when I have time to light up some of these dreadful HS gyms. Two Canon 550EX strobes clamped up in the bleachers on either end of one baseline, powered by Quantum 1 Batteries and triggered by Pocket-Wizards. ISO 800. 1/250th. sec. @ f/3.5 - f/4. Here's a few samples from tonight, Tuesday, December 11, 2007:

1.HS Basketball.  12/11/2007 2.HS Basketball.  12/11/2007 3.HS Basketball.  12/11/2007

(1.) Malcolm Boone, #23 center, of Warwick is fouled by James Cotto, #22 left, as Rob Rhoomes, #24 right, defends during their game against Middletown at Warwick High School on Tuesday, December 11, 2007.
(2.) Noel Dixon, #15, of Warwick drives to the basket during their game against Middletown at Warwick High School on Tuesday, December 11, 2007.
(3.) Isai Reyes, #32, of Warwick reaches for a rebound during their game against Middletown at Warwick High School on Tuesday, December 11, 2007. Middletown defeated Warwick 85 - 56.

03 December 2007

Army - Navy Football in Baltimore, MD. Saturday, Dec. 1, 2007.

Baltimore Ravens Stadium. 12/1/07
8:45PM. I'm starting with this image and how I covered the Army - Navy Football game. After a long, cold day at the ballpark in Baltimore, MD, I ran into these Hispanic workers using leaf blowers to clean the stands. That obviously meant I was in the stadium way too long after a 12 noon football game...! I heard the howl of their blowers in the tunnel and knew there was a picture there somewhere for me to make. In fact, it's a picture I've seen a few times in stadiums thru the years, but never thought anything about it. yea, give these brothers some props too!

"Go early, Stay late..." (you should know the rest by now...)

Baltimore Ravens Stadium. 12/1/07
7:30AM. My company car and luggage cart with gear as I arrived at M&T Bank Stadium for the 108th. Army - Navy Game in Baltimore, MD on Saturday, December 1, 2007.
Got into town on Friday night, and stopped by the stadium to familiarize myself with the entrance ways, pressrooms, etc. Since I knew I wanted to mount a third camera from an overhead postion first thing in the morning, I figured stopping at the stadium first would be helpful for a "look-see." Doesn't hurt to make yourself a familiar face with the security guys, and the one working press room member who was still in the stadium at 8PM setting up things for the writers. From him I got the name of head honcho at the stadium, so I could ask permission to mount the remote camera up in an overhead "Tee-Vee" box early Saturday morning. Thanks, Jim. Besides, I knew if I'd gone straight to the hotel after the 6 hour drive from NY, and relaxed a bit, I wasn't going to be coming back out in the cold. Nothing like trying to get through South Jersey and Maryland traffic on the NJ Turnpike / Route 95 on a Friday afternoon. I think I had my "game face" on somewhere around Exit 4 on the NJ Pike for the next 100 miles or so.

Baltimore Ravens Stadium. 12/1/07
9:10PM. 13 hours at the ballpark. The car is still there. Leaving M&T Bank Stadium after the 108th. Army - Navy Game in Baltimore, MD on Saturday, December 1, 2007.

*This was much more than just a football game between the service academies...:

<ecgarmynavy040a.jpg ecgarmynavy044a.jpg ecgarmynavy009a.jpg ecgarmynavy007a.jpg ecgarmynavy012a.jpg ecgarmynavy014a.jpg ecgarmynavy030a.jpg ecgarmynavy033a.jpg ecgarmynavy025a.jpg ecgarmynavy034a.jpg ecgarmynavy023a.jpg ecgarmynavy036a.jpg ecgarmynavy006a.jpg
As the Corps of Cadets from West Point marched onto the field at 9:30AM, (top three images) I shot from the field with two cameras (short & long lenses) and fired the remote camera mounted up in the press box for the overhead fisheye views... (top left image, from the remote Nikon D-1X camera & 10.5mm fisheye lens clamped and secured in the upper TV press box above the 50 yard line.)
*As a former Marine, I really got a kick out of shooting this game. It lived up to all the hype I'd heard all season long about the "Army - Navy Game..."

Army - Navy Game @ Baltimore Ravens Stadium. 12/1/2007
Talking shop with a Navy photographer on the sidelines in the second half of the 108th. Army - Navy Game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD on Saturday, December 1, 2007. Navy defeated Army 38 - 3. © Photograph by Scott Strine.