29 November 2008

Syracuse, NY. HS State Championship Football. Nov. 2008.

My gear layout at home on Saturday, November 29, 2008, packing for the Monroe - Woodbury vs. Orchard Park Class AA High School State Championship game in the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University in Syracuse tomorrow afternoon.

Spent the morning packing up gear for tomorrow's big game in Syracuse, NY. Stopped on the way up to make a few frames of the players arriving at their hotel a few miles down the road from the Carrier Dome. It's fourth trip in a row to this game for Monroe - Woodbury High School, so some of us here at my paper are secretly rooting for them. More after the game tomorrow. -cg.

23 November 2008

"The Frozen Tundra..." Kingston, NY. November 2008.

HS Football State Semifinal game: Monroe-Woodbury vs. New Rochelle. Game time: 8PM. Temperature: 22ºF. Wind Chill Factor: 12ºF. w/ a slight wind. Visibility: Clear.

*(I could almost hear the booming voice of John Facenda of those long ago NFL Films highlight shows. I knew this night was going to be our Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers...)

The sportswriters at my paper and I talk a lot about "Bringing your "A-Game" to cover games like this one last night. Nothing could be closer to the truth. Neither of us would even dare bring it up, but we knew we were all "prepared..." I start mentally preparing and planning on how to go about covering a game with weather conditions like this a few days in advance. Keep a careful watch on the weather links, sites, radio forecasts and the like. Secretly walk around mumbling to myself a few days prior; "Did I buy enough hand warmers..? How many layers am I going to wear...? What about rain gear...? Long underwear or the polar, heavy-duty stuff under fleece-lined pants...? The new Gore-Tex, steel-toed work boots are a no brainer. Chewing gum. An extra pair of gloves. Backup pair of gloves - that makes three pair readily available. Favorite Gore-Tex ski hat. 6-charged camera batteries. A third spare camera body in the trunk. Is the turf field going to be wet...? This could prove to be a major factor on how I shoot a big game such as this, and the results I'm after, as I like to work from my knees, particularly at football. This was going to be the real deal. Again. Yea, some of us thrive on this kind of game, with deadline pressures looking you right in the face - as I was required to send a photo to the office at half time, sometime around 9PM for the paper's website, to accompany the writer's game updates. (I sent three) Obviously dealing with the challenges of the extreme weather conditions. Did I mention the game time temperature...?
Oh yea, our home team won. On a 35-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, by one of the best place-kickers ever in the state. The kid had hit 11 previous FG's this year and had a streak of something like 83 extra points in a row, before missing one earlier in the sectional playoffs. I remember hustling to get in place on the sideline for his kick, because I knew right at the time, if he made it - that might've been the game winner. That's a picture or series of pictures that you can't afford to miss - especially in a game as tight as this; with a return trip to Syracuse for the state title game on the line the following week. The kick was good. He gave it a "good look" and the "jubo" (jubilation) with the holder was sweet. They gave me one good hug frame which worked too.Didn't hurt that they also have one of the top-50 HS juniors at QB, according to the Sporting News, and he always makes for good pictures.
All I needed to worry about by the end of the game was making good reaction & "jubo". That's when the "gremlins" finally showed up. One camera battery died right at the last play of the game - so I actually missed a lot of the on-field craziness, but managed to quickly change batteries, and swap that body from the 300mm on a monopod, to the short 16mm - 35mm zoom, and run on the field for the ongong celebration. Took my gloves off for that battery and lens change, and found myself at midfield for 10 minutes or so, sans gloves. Big mistake. Hands were literally burning in the cold, trying to operate the two cameras.
Here's a slideshow of my take on the game. Just booked accommodations for another trip to the Carrier Dome up at Syracuse University this weekend for Monroe-Woodbury's fourth State Class AA Championship game in a row. Stay tuned. -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. )

11 November 2008

"Fox" Battery. 2nd. Battalion / 12th. Marines. Okinawa, Japan. (circa 1986).

*Yours truly standing @ second row - second from right. M-198 Howitzer F 2/12 Battery, Fire Direction Controlman. (0844)
Today is Veteran's Day. Yesterday was the Marine Corps' 233rd. birthday. With all the happenings in the world today & in my career, it's hard to sometimes believe it's been more than 20 years ago when I proudly wore the uniform of the USMC. Being a Marine changed my life, and quite honestly, has had a lot to do with who I am each & every day. I think of my fellow Marines often..."Semper fi." -cg.

06 November 2008

"OBAMA..." 04 Nov. 08

Tuesday night was historic, no doubt. My assignment for the night was up in Kingston, NY to cover the expected victory celebrations of our Democratic NY Congressman Maurice Hinchey and the first Ulster County Executive, Mike Hein. Kingston is a long way from the main office, and from home, probably 30 - 40 miles up the NY State Thruway. I knew it was going to be a late night, and the deadline clock was ticking feverously every minute after I'd arrived at the hotel to start making meaningful images of both candidates. Fortunately I know the Congressman's PR guy and even the Congressman himself, as our paper chases a lot of our elected officials. I knew it wouldn't be a problem getting close to him for the night. but he wasn't the (local) story of the night. Mike Hein, who I'd photographed back in the summer in a debate was the big deal on the this night, running for the newly established county executive position. So I had about an hour of potential shooting time to follow Hein and his family from their suite on the other side of the hotel, then their victory stroll, and introduction in the Holiday Inn's main ballroom. (Man, this was a long way from previous election night winners I've covered in NYC, etc. years ago...)
Here's a slideshow of the take from the night, starting off with the local coverage of Hein and his family, and then after quickly editing & transmitting a half dozen or so images to the paper right on the 11PM deadline, I decided to stay and watch Sen. John McCain's concession speech and then Obama's victory speech from Chicago's Grant Park. Emotions never got the best of me, as I knew I was there to document the folks in all their jubilation in Obama's win. Seeing that emotion and making images under such poor light after midnight was enough for me to remember this night... -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. )

02 November 2008

Army - Air Force Football. Nov. 1, 2008.

"Oh Doctor...!" It doesn't get much better than this on our end. Army vs. Air Force in a battle of the two military academies here at West Point yesterday. Beautiful crisp Fall day. Two remote cameras. A 12 noon kickoff time. Actually I treated this game as more like a prep for the upcoming annual Army vs. Navy game in Philly next month... Here's a look at my take of the game, including a few frames of the gear I arrive with, and placement of my (2) two remote cameras, etc. -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. )