24 May 2008

*A slightly different take on photographing Track & Field.

Tried out a few different angles & camera placements today at the OCIAA Section 9 HS Track & Field Championships. Too bad I couldn't have been at the meet most of the day, as I had two morning assignments and the school is nearly an hour's drive from my house. I really hated missing the morning events, like the 100 meter dashes & high hurdles, especially at a meet like this with all of the best kids from our coverage area competing.I guess putting myself in that mindset made me work a little harder to try some new things. Here are a few from today that I thought kind of worked out. Wanted to also add how much I really like shooting sports "long..." with a 300mm f/2.8 & a tele-extender. I really like how that focal length sort of "cleans up" the background in a lot of the running images. It is my mainstay viewpoint in shooting sports, sort of like when I shot a few seasons of pro-sports at a former newspaper, where I utilized their 400mm f/2.8 almost daily. Here are a few more from the day's different perspective and thought process:
HS Track Championships. May 2008. HS Track Championships. May 2008. HS Track Championships. May 2008.

23 May 2008

*More on remotes...

Floor remote. May 2008. Floor remote. May 2008. Floor remote. May 2008. Floor remote. May 2008.
Set-up a floor remote during a track meet yesterday. It wasn't the big "all-county-everything-championship" meet, and the skies were mostly cloudy and ugly all day. I sort of look at the few events were I set up the remote rig as sort of practice for tomorrow's Section 9 HS Championship meet. Hopefully I'll be able to get something nice in a few events, and the weather will cooperate. Stay tuned.

21 May 2008

FIRE...! FIRE...! FIRE...!

Steve and Sheila Faith and their 2 year-old son Eric, after a fire destroyed their house on Celery Avenue in Goshen, NY on Wednesday, May 21, 2008. Steve Faith is a NYC firefighter. Times Herald-Record/CHET GORDON

*there isn't anything more to add to these images from this afternoon. -cg.

19 May 2008

*Portfolio editing w/ Daniel Morel.

Spent the afternoon again with my friend and colleague, Haitian photographer & filmmaker Daniel Morel editing his work in my Newburgh, NY apt. on Monday, May 19, 2008. Daniel is one of finest "pure street-shooters" I know and his life's work in his native Haiti is simply incredible. I've known Daniel since we first met in Port-au-Prince back in 1993. To see more of his work, go here: www.facingourhistory.org

"Brother Malcolm..."

During the annual birthday pilgrimage in 2004 to the gravesite of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X) and his wife, Betty Shabazz, at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, NY, Westchester County. Today is Malcolm X's birthday, born May 19, 1925. He was assassinated on February 21, 1965, as he spoke before a packed audience in Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom. He was just thirty-nine years old. He would have been 83 today...

18 May 2008

*A Very Serious Study in Contrasts.

This is the story of two 16-year olds:

Earlier this week I mounted a remote camera behind the pilot's seat for the story about a 16-year old girl who's taking flight lessons. (scroll down to see the eariler post from Wednesday.) Things couldn't have gone better photographically for that assignment. Yesterday, while covering a college graduation not far from my apt., our reporter mentioned to me backstage in a hushed tone, "We had another homicide last night... A 16-year old stabbed to death." A comment like that immediately takes the wind out of your sails, so to speak, and I could feel the creativity & spirit of covering a graduation on the sunny Spring morning leave my body. We talked briefly on the few details he had so far on the crime, only blocks from my house. There had been a fatal drive-by shooting a week earlier in the neighborhood, and I'd just rushed to the scene where another teenager fired shots in the air along Broadway on Tuesday evening, (left). Instinct told me I'd be photographing the scene where family, friends and neighbors erect a candlelight vigil with photos of the victim, a 16-year old (below). We learned later that this kid had been incarcerated for 3 or 4 months in the county jail. The red handkerchiefs at the scene are obviously gang symbols as well. I've seen far too many of these street-side memorials in my career, that's for sure.

"Is it just me, or does anyone else see anything wrong with this overall picture...?"

*Graduations 2008...

Mount Saint Mary College. Newburgh, NY. Saturday, May 17, 2008. 11:59.04AM

15 May 2008

*Airplane Remote for a Cessna 150.

Today was a special day for making images. Spent a few hours on a story about a 16 year-old flight student, who I later learned is also a concert violinist. Sharp kid. The reporter and I would be following in a second, larger airplane, so I could make images of her flying her small two-seater. Herein was my dilemma. How do I make images in the cockpit of her in flight, while I'd be in the second chase airplane...? I knew a remote setup could solve this, but it was once again a matter of showing up at the airport a little more than an hour early to meet the subject's flight instructor, see the aircraft she'd be flying in, and of course get permission.
There is definitely something to be said here about arriving early, having all your tools, gizmos, clamps, pliers, gaffer's tape, radio remotes, rubber bands, and bubble gum all together and ready to rock 'n roll for an assignment like this. Looking back, I know I should've arrived at least two hours early as it was really a challenge to finally find a good, secure spot to clamp in my old workhorse, a Nikon D-1X. (see my earlier posts on mounting my D-1X cameras for sports, etc. recently.) Initially I wanted to mount the camera somewhere in the front of the cockpit, but there were no suitable window frame edges or anything to clamp the rig to. Considered trying to secure a super-clamp from under the control panel and have the camera rest on the top of the control panel or dashboard, if you will. No good. The magic-arm / superclamp setup was just inches short and the clock was running for us to get airborne for an hour and a half flight time. I finally settled on mounting the monster rig on the small luggage rack behind their bench seat in the cockpit. Made a few quick test frames to insure that my manual exposure settings were consistent with both the camera and flash. Locked everything down tight with a set of channel lock pliers, and added a second magic arm with superclamps to be sure. Briefed the young pilot and her instructor, secured the radio transmitter & trigger with gaffer's tape to the control panel in front of the instructor in the right seat. I was thrilled to talk to them on headset from the second aircraft, and excited to see the strobe firing while we taxied out into position for takeoff. I knew this was going to be fun. We had a brilliant day in our area today, good noontime sunlight and practically no winds...
16 yr. Old Pilot Story. May 2008. 16 yr. Old Pilot Story. May 2008. 16 yr. Old Pilot Story. May 2008.Airplane Remote. May 2008.
Airplane Remote. May 2008.

What were you doing at 16...?

12 May 2008

*My Apple Work Space.

*taking some much needed time here to start archiving my older & current digital files with an app called CDFinder which I really, really like. the program makes sizeable thumbnails of your archived files from various media, including CD / DVD's, external HD's, CF cards, and of course from your local HD. the Mac user-friendly interface is wonderful & a breeze to use. thumbnail searches include all the IPTC caption field data included on your files, for simple keyword searches & the camera EXIF camera data is also displayed.
This also gave me an opportunity to clean up the office desk as I had a colleague over to do some portfolio editing of his work, and to kick around a ton of ideas in the business, talk about our careers, etc.

10 May 2008

*Finally something worth posting. (and self-critiquing...)

I thought these were two special moments today at a Cinco de Mayo festival here in my town (above), and earlier at West Point during a Special Olympics (below). It's been a pretty hectic couple of weeks, with colleagues out sick, (or playing sick), others taking time off, and the paper cutting back on using freelancers. For a while there, I didn't even know what day of the week it was, similar to how it was a few years ago working in NYC everyday. But waiting on these youngsters today for just the right moments at the Cinco de Mayo festival and squeezing in the crowd during the national anthem & opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics, then dropping to my knees to make both images, reminded me again just why I'm always working hard to find these nice little, subtle moments.

Sport contact lenses. May 2008. ...Still kicking myself over this image on Friday morning. This is a case of being happy with the images viewed on the back of the camera and then totally pissed at myself when editing the files later on the Mac. Should've brought in small strobes to light up the room better, and to add more DOF to the image. Maybe turned the model a little more toward the camera to see the front of the eye a little better too. It was a horribly rainy day, and this assignment was squeezed in between two others as part of another 100+ mile driving day. The optometrist's office receptionist / model was a good sport, and she actually wears these things, so I knew she would've been patient if I put up a light or two. No more excuses - should've made the effort to light this correctly, especially with a portable lighting kit in the car. Yea, just some of my everyday, professional stresses...