23 September 2008

"ARMY Football, Bobby Knight & Air Force One..."

Well, it was some weekend, and I am just getting around to recapping the assignments. First of all, thanks to my colleague & fellow Vet, Scott Strine. Scott loaned me his 400mm f/2.8AF for the ARMY - Akron game down the road at West Point on Saturday. Regardless of the game's outcome, I had a good time lugging that 'artillery piece' (left) around on my shoulder, making images from a different perspective on the field w/ that big-gun, even stretching the limits of the lens by utilizing a 1.4X tele-extender occasionally during the game. Pay close attention to some of the images in the slideshow shot "long" from the end zones and you'll actually see the heat waves rising in the background from the stadium's new turf. Three hours before game time, I'd installed a 4th. camera up in the press box to capture the pre-game arrival of the Army parachute team landing again at midfield. That's always a neat picture have on the fisheye, as it's a handy file image of the stadium for the sports dept. guys to reuse during the season, or when just writing about Army sports in general.
On Friday night, we covered Bobby Knight's induction into West Point's Sports Hall of Fame, during a black-tie banquet on post. Duke University & recent Beijing Olympic Dream Team Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski was the presenter, as they both were previously Army Basketball coaches. Isiah Thomas, who played for Knight at Indiana, and is currently a NY Knicks suit, was also in attendance. That was a nice affair, albeit a long night, but still fun to socialize a little with the Army brass in their dress uniforms and such. Knight, college basketball's winningest coach, was his usual sometimes callous self, but still kinda cool to be around a sports legend. He was also at Saturday's game & shows up again in the slideshow below. Finally, yesterday afternoon after returning the loaner 400 & heading to the office to upload a photo gallery of the Army game to the paper's website, I spotted a rather large aircraft circling over Stewart Airport's airspace here in my area. When the plane went on final approach, I sped to a parking location where I knew I could get a clean view of the Boeing 747 on the runway. Remembering that the UN General Assembly was in session this week, I knew instinctively that it was Air Force One arriving, with the President onboard. Although I couldn't get anywhere near the aircraft when it was parked, it was worth the effort to make a few file images of the plane. You certainly don't get to see Air Force One everyday, particularly in your own backyard...

Here's the slideshow from the game. -cg.

*(Use the arrows at the bottom of the player or click the image to scroll forward through the slideshow. Enable full screen viewing by clicking the 4-way arrow icon above the credits button at lower right of the player. )

14 September 2008

"The more things change, the more they, uh, remain the same..."

Similar stuff, I guess. Working at a small winery last week here in Ulster County, NY reminded me of images I'd made a few years ago while on holiday in California. Made the same detail images of Cabernet-Sauvignon grapes on the vine in Napa Valley. In additional to having the owner of the winery giving me a "swirl" of his product in the tasting room, I thought of the same resulting images when I asked a sommelier in a swank Manhattan eatery to do the same in their wine cellar a few years ago, while on assignment for the NY Daily News. Although I'd lit her up with two portable strobes, one into an umbrella and the other as a faint background fill-light, both images have the same nice, simple feel to them. "bon appétit" -cg.

Gamay Noir grapes on the vine at Whitecliff Vineyard in Gardiner on Friday, September 12, 2008.

Ripe Cabernet-Sauvignon grapes on the vine at Trefethen Winery in Napa, CA. August 2004.

Michael Migliore, owner of Whitecliff Vineyard swirls a glass of Gamay Noir in the vineyard's tasting room in Gardiner, NY on Friday, September 12, 2008.

Erin Sullivan, the Sommelier at Del Frisco Double Edge Steak House in Manhattan displaying a $21,000. magnum of Chataeu Mouton-Rothschild in one of the restaurant's glass enclosed and climate controlled wine cellars on Tuesday, November 15, 2005.

*"Pigs, Football & a few Angels..." Sept. 2008

The week that was - September 9 - 13, 2008. Put this one in the books. Just when I thought I was done finding imagery with similar color schemes as last week's yellows, greens & reds, the very first image here in the slideshow gallery below screams with reds & yellows over the bland tones of brown. More reds with the coverage of Curtis Sliwa and his Guardian Angels arriving in Middletown, NY - one of the main cities in my paper's coverage area. A few generic assignments mixed in, including a trek to a really nice vineyard up in Ulster County, more HS football practice, waited nearly 3 hours to photograph four HS soccer players that stand over 6' (photo'd them in the gym as their game was played in a downpour & no way was I setting up lights to shoot them in the rain, although it would've been a killer image on the field if we'd gotten a break with the weather) and finally a real-life football game after driving nearly 90 miles for a farming feature story, highlighting how local farmers are turning to raising pigs for slaughter. That assignment capped off the work week, and reminded me how humbling this business can sometimes be; considering I thought last week's gig photographing a guy in his backyard picking up dog-poop was about as low as I'd ever been. Here's a look at some of the favs from the week. "Cheers." -cg.

*(Use the arrows at the bottom of the player or click the image to scroll forward through the slideshow. Enable full screen viewing by clicking the 4-way arrow icon above the credits button at lower right of the player. )

07 September 2008

*"Reds, Yellows, & Greens..." Sept. 2008.

The Work Week - Sept. 2-6, 2008. (or noticing a few unintentional themes once again in my work...) So I'm sitting in my kitchen appreciating the cooler morning breezes, and thinking of how to add a newer post recapping the work week just passed. Started examining the week's images, and immediately was struck by an underlying theme, if you will, of how some pretty obvious color themes, saturation of those colors, combined with some very nice light, if I do say so myself, sort of hit me over the head while viewing the files for the re-edit. A second cup of Java helped me to grasp what I thought was a pretty cool aspect of the week. You'll notice the reds, yellows & greens in all these fav images here from the week. The reoccuring American flag imagery was executed completely on auto-pilot as I was sloshing around in the rain, covering yet another local firemen's parade yesterday. Fortunately, this parade was close to the paper's main office and the remnants of Hurricane Gustav didn't ruin the gear - or me for that matter. Managed to clamp up two portable strobes during the week too, for a feature on a HS freshman swimmer in their new refurbished pool. Still waiting to get the call for either a HS football game or of course an Army football at home. *On a side note: The images of the subject with the "pooper-scooper" device in his backyard at 9AM just really broke me up. This assignment was after a 7:30AM back to school gig at a Catholic Elementary School, not far from home. I literally couldn't stop laughing at the set-up, the business plan, etc. that this guy had devised. Actually wasn't laughing at him - more at me being assigned to photograph it all. Now I'd seen everything I reminded myself. He'll probably turn it all into a profitable business - started by, you guessed it, picking up 'doggie-doo...'
Here's a slideshow from the week:

*(Use the arrows at the bottom of the player or click the image to scroll forward through the slideshow. Enable full screen viewing by clicking the 4-way arrow icon above the credits button at lower right of the player. )

03 September 2008

Shooting Stock. (or how I spent the Labor Day Holiday Weekend. Aug. 31 - Sept. 1, 2008.)

It was a good weekend to totally relax, get away & be away. Even though I stayed relatively close to home. Concentrated on making personal images starting out on Sunday, and into Monday along the Hudson River. I wanted to of course make something fresh for my stock photography agency, THE IMAGE WORKS. Made it a point to dust off my two older Nikon D-1X bodies & put them through working conditions, particularly shooting files on RAW. Even brought out the ancient Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 manual focus and tele-extender. Boy what a piece of glass. Remember making portfolio images with that lens back in the day on film cameras, but wouldn't think of ever using a MF (manual focus) lens nowadays. Hey, wait a minute on that one... One of the bodies was severely drenched in a downpour back in early August when I used it as a remote body on the infield of the Meadowlands Track for the low angle finish line view of DEWEYCHATUMNHOWE winning the $1.5 million Hambletonian. Never got to make that image anyway, as I pulled the camera from the field & stored it in an electrical storage locker at track side off the winner's circle before the big race.
First stop on Sunday was back to West Point for the memorial service honoring some of the remaining "Buffalo Soldiers" and greet retired Army Sgt. Sanders Matthews again. It's honestly a thrill as a former Marine to have a few minutes' personal time with an Army veteran who served in a mounted, all-Black regiment during WWII. Then spent a few hours down on the river just watching the sailboats, jet-skiers, kayakers and managed to grab what I thought was a pretty cool image of a CSX Railroad freight train barreling down toward me. Again all made with the old Nikon body and long manual focus long glass. Here's a slideshow (below) of more of my fav images from the weekend. - cg.

*(Use the arrows at the bottom of the player or click the image to scroll forward through the slideshow. Enable full screen viewing by clicking the 4-way arrow icon above the credits button at lower right of the player. )