29 December 2009

REWIND - Images from the Archive.

Cricket players along the Gall Face / Indian Ocean.
Colombo, Sri Lanka. August 1997.

REWIND - Images from the Archive.
A showcase for some of my favorite images here on the blog that aren't particularly in the working portfolio. Look for this occasional feature where I'll highlight a single image that's meant a lot throughout my career. Enjoy. -cg.

25 December 2009

*The 'CARD' is in the mail... Dec • 2009


It took a while this year. Yea, they're probably arriving late to your doorstep, mail slot, or post office box. But hey, can't break this longtime tradition of handmade, limited edition, 4"x5" holiday cards right...? Folks even called wondering where this year's version was.

What has become an annual rite of creative winter stresses coupled with maddening computer design & home printing time between two aging printers - has grown into a nice following of my personalized holiday cards. That all means a lot. I guess in some off-kilter way, it all serves as a brief therapeutic getaway from the sometimes ominous work schedule, to again try and refine this project into something meaningful for friends, family, clients and colleagues. I trust if you made the "short - list" you'll be happy with this year's effort... -cg.

20 December 2009

"Mr. Scalo..." HS Football POY. Dec. 2009

Monroe-Woodbury quarterback Dan Scalo is the Times Herald-Record's 2009 Varsity Football Player of the Year. (Middletown, NY). He's seen photographed in his bedroom of the family's Chester, NY home on Tuesday, December 8, 2009. Scalo ran for 1,569 yards & 20 TD's and threw for 1,143 yards & 13 TD's. Scalo was also the paper's Player of the Year in 2007, and was named NY State's 2009-2010 Gatorade Player of the Year as well. Times Herald-Record/CHET GORDON

Dan Scalo. I can't recall when a HS athlete was such a pleasure to photograph. Both on and off the field. I've seen a lot of them play throughout my career, including athletes who've gone on to play at major colleges and even the pro ranks in various sports. This kid's accomplishments on the football field were something to behold the past three years that I've been photographing him and the rest of the Monroe-Woodbury Crusaders. Before joining the staff here at the Times Herald-Record, I had no idea of the "mystique" of MW football and their previous trips to Syracuse for the HS State Championship. I would eventually wind up in the Syracuse Univeristy Dome the last two seasons myself, following MW's consecutive runs at a state championship. All in all, this is a kid who brought it every week. I'm talking about a true "A-Game" player. Throughout last year and this past season he endured the effects of a surgically repaired throwing shoulder, but defenses just couldn't handle his running ability. For the record, he ran for 1,569 yards & 20 TD's and threw for 1,143 yards & 13 TD's. He was also named our paper's Player of the Year (POY) in 2007.

Our portrait session was made in his bedroom (not my idea) as I tried to incorporate a few props; a football, his Gatorade NY State Player of the Year trophy on the bed, and even put a third strobe on the Michael Vick poster in the background. Stripping the image into the 35mm film template held by my fingers was an additional idea I wanted to utilize, otherwise it might've just been a portrait of the kid in his bedroom... -cg.

18 December 2009

"This One Hurts..." Dec.• 2009

We have a missing child case here right in my neighborhood. Marc Anthony Bookal - 4 years old. It's been big news all week, with gaggles of the NYC & local cable TV crews up here. My 'hood. This one is close to home and is messing with me a little more than probably any child related case has in a long, long time. I've worked more than my share of abused, abducted and even murdered children stories in my career. Covered, accidents, funerals and crime scenes for little ones. Stood over countless children while they've undergone facial corrective surgery in operating rooms in such far off places as Siberia, Amman, Gaza, Nairobi and even northern Thailand. Joyously played with orphaned & injured children displaced by war and conflict in Kosovo, Albania, Haiti and of course Afghanistan. But for all those past experiences and keeping those demons at bay - if just temporarily, this one hurts.

The facts of the boy's disappearance on Monday afternoon and background of his mother (left), her live-in boyfriend and biological father aren't something that I feel a need to explore here in detail. Not at this time. It's all a mess and the criminal background of the mother's boyfriend doesn't look too good or add any credence to their story. It is extremely hard to disregard all those surface elements in such a case. This could be anybody's family - a little brother, nephew or son. This young mother could easily be anyone's wife, sister or daughter. Yours. Mine. A neighbor. Like I said, "My 'hood..."
As of Saturday, December 19th., there haven't been any big developments in
the case. I regularly stop by the house first thing in the morning and on my way
home. Covered a press conference this afternoon at Newburgh Police HQ
with the Chief of Police, Mayor, etc.

I am keeping my ear to the ground on this one...

Stay tuned. -cg.

13 December 2009

110th. ARMY - NAVY Game. Philadelphia, PA 12•Dec.•09

Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs (#4, center) joins Navy midshipmen in the crowd after Navy defeated Army 17 - 3 in the 110th. Army - Navy Game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA on Saturday, December 12, 2009. Dobbs ran for 113 yards on 33 carries and was named MVP of the game. He set the single season record for rushing touchdowns by a NCAA quarterback at 24, after he scored on a 1-yard run. Times Herald-Record/CHET GORDON

*(Click the image or the arrows at the bottom left of the player to manually scroll through the slideshow. Enable full screen viewing by clicking the 4-way arrow icon above the credits button at lower right of the player. You can stop the small continuous slideshow in the right column by clicking the pause II button under that player.)

12 December 2009

ARMY - NAVY Game & Spirit Week Dec. 2009

Cadets cheer as a boat representing Navy burns during a rally, bonfire and send off for the Army football team at Daly Field at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY on Thursday, December 10, 2009. Army will play Navy in the annual Army - Navy game on Saturday in Philadelphia. Times Herald-Record/CHET GORDON

It's been a hectic & sometimes bitterly cold week in preparation for today's 110th ARMY - NAVY Game in Philadelphia. Leaving in about an hour for the 3 hour drive. Sunny & temps near 40˚F. 2:30PM kickoff. Wanted to share this image which was yesterday's back page, highlighting some of our paper's weeklong previews of the game, including the use of a lot of my file images of Army football. It'll be my third game, and second down at "The Link..." (Lincoln Financial Field). *stay tuned for more from Philly. -cg.

02 December 2009

"POTUS..." West Point, NY 1 Dec. 09

President Barack Obama enters Eisenhower Hall to deliver his national address at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY on Tuesday, December 1, 2009. President Obama called for an additional 30,000 troops be sent to Afghanistan. Times Herald-Record/CHET GORDON

President Obama. There is something so spectacularly special about drawing the assignment to photograph a sitting President of the United States. (POTUS) This would be the fourth President I'd have the opportunity to photograph. For a lot of obvious reasons I was thrilled for the last week or so, when the announcement was made that he'd address the 4,000+ cadets and the nation at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Honored. Pumped. Much, much more than mere excitement.

*"This assignment was for my parents, who I knew were watching... For my family, friends and colleagues who I knew were quietly cheering for me too. But it was also for the ancestors who came before us..."

It was for every senior photographer and photo-editor who ever mentored me; giving of their time in
reminding me of all the little things you must excel at everyday to get to this point in one's career. Although I didn't make the trip in January to be in Washington, DC for the inauguration - even though I'd felt for the longest time that I should've been there, I held onto some strong feelings the last six months or so that I just might get lucky enough to photograph this new president. Ironically, after arriving 5 hours early to navigate through multiple security checks by "The Service", and their bomb sniffing dogs a few times, that when it was actually time to go to work on the press risers approximately 100' from the stage, I had no butterflies. This was a (serious) work night all around, and it lasted until nearly 3AM by the time I was done uploading a photo gallery to the paper's site. I remember going into "The Zone" about 10 minutes into the President's speech. No distractions, no equipment failures or slip-ups. This was definitely "A-Game" territory for every working photographer in the house this night.
Thank goodness I packed a small metal
step-stool, which guaranteed the rope-line images (left) I made from the back row of the risers.
Yea, little things.

Click this link to view a slideshow on the paper's site.

*(Check this one off the career 'bucket-list...')
Thanks for looking and your comments are as always, greatly appreciated. -cg.

23 November 2009

REWIND - Images from the Archive.

Kabul, Afghanistan. May 2002

REWIND - Images from the Archive.
A showcase for some of my favorite images here on the blog that aren't particularly in the working portfolio. Look for this occasional feature where I'll highlight a single image that's meant a lot throughout my career. Enjoy. -cg.

20 November 2009

"22 Years..." 19•Nov.•09

Yesterday was one of those days that re-enforces why I'm a photojournalist. You know, "Truth with a camera" and all that...

Lebrew Jones leaves the Queensboro Correctional Facility in Long Island City, Queens, NY at 9:31AM on Thursday, November 19, 2009. Jones served more than 22 years behind bars for a murder that he, the victim's mother and a growing number of experts insist he did not commit. Times Herald-Record/CHET GORDON

There wasn't any hesitation in waking up just before 4:30AM yesterday, starting my day to head to Long Island City, Queens for the assignment to photograph Lebrew Jones being released from a city correctional facility in the shadow of midtown Manhattan. The paper has covered Lebrew's story extensively the last few years, as a former reporter of ours, Christine Young (hugging Lebrew below) followed the case of what appears to be his wrongful incarceration 20+ years ago.

Click this link to view my photos of Lebrew's release yesterday, our earlier stories, and the paper's award winning multi-media piece.

I kept wondering to myself what do you say to a man who's been incarcerated for more than 20 years...? Needless to say, it was some kind of emotional morning for everyone involved there in NYC. -cg.

16 November 2009

"All Good Things..." 14•Nov.•09

(You know the rest...) Covered Monroe-Woodbury vs. New Rochelle Class AA State Quarterfinal game at Dietz Satdium up in Kingston, NY on Saturday night. Kingston. Dietz. In the dark. Rain. The state's two top schools in Class AA football squaring off in the mist and on the rain soaked turf. This too was a game about being prepared. Rain pants & a few hand towels were additions to my on-field gear allotment. On the first play from scrimmage, MW running back Trevor Officer ran for a 49-yard touchdown. (right) Shooting from my knees as always and from the far end zone, I had him coming right at me on the diagonal across the field. Sort of guessed right again, as something just told me to head for the end zone after the Monroe's return of the opening kickoff. The game started out with all the excitement and up-tempo we all knew could happen at this level of HS playoff competition. I don't think there was anyone in the ballpark who wasn't into this game. I mean even the bus drivers and EMS crew outside the fences were peering in. Although I was down to only two working cameras (2 older Canon EOS-1D's are still in for repair) I felt like I could adequately cover this game with a EOS-1D and the slower 5D-MKII. Trying to shoot sports with the 5D-MKII presents it's own set of limitations like the slower motor drive and sketchy autofocus, but that's the sacrifice for the camera's capability to shoot at exceptionally high ISO's (easily at ISO 3200 & sometimes even ISO 4000+) which I'd done numerous times with this camera on the street and sporting events. The mist and rain introduce a whole new set of challenges - just as in previous games here in Kingston as well as the Army - Rutgers game at West Point a few weeks ago. I know now it's mandatory that I update my full rain gear after this season's coverage.

Back to the game: New Rochelle clearly brought their "A-Game." Not that Monroe-Woodbury wasn't ready - it's just that I'm probably a little jaded in covering them the last three years. The Hugenots of New Rochelle were quicker, stronger, and hit harder. I remember a few coaches from another school on the sidelines comment, "They (NR) want it more..." In fact, during his post game interview, MW quarterback Dan Scalo (left) even said, "They hit hard..." I've seen Scalo take some horrendous, bone crushing hits and get right back up and run for positive yardage. For the year he had something like 1,400+ yards rushing and threw for 20 touchdowns I believe.

*(more to come on this game recap and the end of Monroe-Woodbury's season.)

Click this link to view a slideshow on my take from the game. -cg.

13 November 2009

When the "S%^£T Hits the Fan..." 12•Nov.•09

A full day of news coverage in 3 parts.
Part 1: "You play like you practice..." Another one of those mantras ingrained in my mind where I sometimes remind myself to sort of step into this mindset when faced with "the big one." Especially when the big one involves a bust of a major drug running ring here in the area, and then to cap it all off, literally running to the scene of a motorvehicle accident, where a police cruiser collided with two school buses later in the afternoon. It was some day, like one I haven't worked in a long, long time. It all began the night before - fortunately in the newsroom where our court reporter and I went over the particulars of the narcotics raid that would take place beginning Thursday morning. Acting on a tip actually helped put our team in place at the local police HQ (above) and at the county courthouse - as we were told there'd be "major arrests" in this case. It was the culmination of a two-year undercover investigation by various law enforcement agencies. My day on Thursday begun before 5AM and I was in place by 6AM at a local PD HQ. I've included this image in recapping the day as it's also a "locator" image or the dreaded "real estate" image we're continually asked to make while out in the field. This image of PD HQ at dawn serves as sort of a confirmation of my being on scene, as the in-camera ITPC info will also confirm it. Looking back after two days, it's easy to recall all the little things that are sort of a mandatory way of doing things when preparing for a day like this. Set up the coffee maker the night before. Wear long underwear or fleece lined pants. Remember to eat and drink something. After sitting in our cars for nearly two hours, we finally got word the arrests were happening and the suspects were being brought to the State Police barracks a few towns away. Hustling down the Interstate to the NYSP or
"SP" (NY State Police) barracks brought the reporter and I to scene like I hadn't seen since my days of working in NYC and covering similar big arrests. Marked and unmarked "SP" vehicles were arriving with upwards of 40 individuals to be processed and then transported to the county courthouse, where our second team of a photographer and writer were stationed. Both of us at the scene were pretty amazed and after a briefing by an high ranking agent from the AG's office (State Attorney's Office in Albany) on who we could photograph, we'd end up standing outside for 3+ hours as the suspects in custody were literally ferried into the barracks. I remember paying close attention as arriving troopers organized the waist restraints and leg shackles (left) each time an empty van would pull up to transport more suspects. It was almost chilling to hear the rattle of those chains in the crisp air. What would make this all a satisfying morning of coverage for us was waiting for the ringleader of the crew to be "walked" out of the barracks. I knew that was going to be my "money shot" (below). This was a local crew that had been coordinating narcotics shipments from Canada, Arizona, Florida, and the Dominican Republic and distributing the drugs throughout our region in the Hudson Valley.

What also made all this especially rewarding professionally was that the two local cable TV stations came and went, so no other media organizations even got any footage on the main subject. I'm sure these will be images that will be used again in other stories on this crew that included women, a married suburban couple, and men of varying ages. I must've photographed nearly 30 of the 37 subjects that were booked and transported that morning.

Click the following links to view our coverage of the story and a slideshow .

Part 2: "Covering the Presser ..."
After finishing up at the SP Barrack and with about an hour and a half to to begin the editing process, we headed back to the original location where the law enforcement big-wigs would hold a press conference at 1:30PM (right). That gave us an hour or so to get back to the original Town Hall / Police HQ complex, as I was told by the desk to cover the press conference. Stopping at a nearby coffee shop with reliable wi-fi, I did a quick edit and moved 18 images of the "perp walks" and the reporter was able to feed info to his desk editors by phone. We both had hot sandwiches and warmed up a bit, before heading to the "presser." This is when the law enforcement types could show off the some of the seized items from the case, explain all the details, charges, and background of some the individuals arrested in the case. Remember this was the culmination of a two year investigation.
These "Dog & Pony" shows usually provide for good visuals of the "products" so I usually try to make a few detail images, etc. (right). It's not that often that even we in the press get to see thousands and thousands of dollars in cash, pounds of marijuana, cocaine and illicit prescription drugs. I remember commenting to a TV cameraman as the troopers were clearing the table, "I can't remember the last time I've even seen 10 Grand in cash - certainly not mine..."

Part 3: "Police Car vs. Schoolbus MVA!"

While the reporter I were comparing our notes on the case, looking over the provided press release from the presser, and planning on how we'd finish this already long day, something extraordinary happened again. Spot News! As I was sitting in the car and pumping up the heater, the EMS pager I carry as well as the work cell phone were screaming. "Where Are You...? We have a serious head-on MVA (motor vehicle accident) involving a police car and a school bus...!" Great I'm thinking. Another traffic jam I'll have to fight thru and the scene will be secured by the time I get there. Leaving the town hall complex and driving quickly along a few back roads, I sort of got the feeling that this could still be big scene - as town police, EMS and other vehicles sped by me, including officers from the press conference were we all just left. (In the old days in NYC, I'd literally be able "lock" my bumper on the rear of a fire truck or EMS ambulance to race behind them to a scene...) Arriving near the strip mall shopping center after zig-zagging through stopped traffic, I was forced to park about a half mile away in an adjacent parking lot, and hustle to the scene on foot. Fortunately I could see the flashing lights. You kind of get an idea that it's going to be a bad scene and it's still "working" when there are plenty of bystanders / onlookers with their generic hand-over-mouth poses, and plenty of crime scene police tape blocking off all traffic at the intersection into the Shop-Rite plaza.
I moved through the main scene with the wrecked police cruiser while the EMS techs worked on the driver, still on a backboard on the ground beside the car (right). Pausing to make a few overall and tight images from a good distance with the 70mm - 200mm, and more importantly not wanting to attract any attention to myself, I analyzed the area as quick as I could. Finally one plainclothes individual gave me the obvious "Get outta here!" in a very authoritative tone. Knowing from experience you never challenge the on-scene guys at something like this, and knowing I had a few usable images "in the can", I replied, "Can I go this way and make the bus...?" I got some sort of mumbled reply, so I headed up the road a bit to photograph one of the two wrecked school buses that this officer's car had collided with. All the town police and SP on the scene knew I was the local press photographer, as most had just seen me at the drug bust presser minutes earlier. I think I was at the scene no more than 10 minutes, as I wanted to get home and start the editing process all over again from the presser and now this MVA. Within an of the hour of the accident, I'd moved four photos to the paper, and finished the edit of the press conference and had another 6 or 8 images sent in by 6PM or so.

Looking back, it was the rarest of a full news day, and while seated at my kitchen table completing yet another detailed look through the day's take and a brief re-edit of the images, I felt myself nodding off. Spoke to an AP photographer in their Albany bureau about the drug raid, sent congratulatory text messages to our "team" who covered the arrests and courthouse scene, and spoke to the news desk editor a few times about how the images were going to be "played" in the paper and on the website. By 9PM or so I was totally spent. Finished. Mush. On this day, I'd left it all on the field, so to speak... -cg.

11 November 2009

Veteran's Day. Marlborough, NY 11•Nov.•09

Marine Sgt. Taj Adegbie (center) secures the Marine Corps flag with other members of the United States Marine Corps color guard from MAG 49, Detachment B at Stewart Air National Guard Base during the Veteran's Day Memorial Dedication ceremony at Marlborough Middle School on Wednesday, November 11, 2009. The Viebey-Sutton American Legion Post 124 unveiled two new memorials honoring residents who are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as those who served in the Gulf War. Times Herald-Record/CHET GORDON

Semper Fi. -cg.

09 November 2009

HS Football Championship - The Road to Syracuse. (starts now...) 7•Nov.•09

It sometimes starts a week earlier for me. The continual over-thinking on how I'd cover a game like this past Saturday's Section 9 Class AA Championship matchup between undefeated Monroe-Woodbury and Warwick High Schools. It was a repeat of their game a few weeks ago at Monroe-Woodbury HS, when both teams were 6-0. This time the game was to be played in Middletown's new million dollar-plus Faller Field, complete with a pro synthetic turf playing surface (similar to West Point's Michie Stadium), the best stadium lighting of any school at this level I've ever seen, and a real live working press box with blazing internet connectivity - which proved to come in handy at halftime. By week's end I was excited and hoping again for the the opportunity to install my customary remote camera atop the stadium press box (at right), as this was also my first game shooting in the new stadium. This is again an image (top) that can be used as a file picture for any future stories that crop up from the sports guys as well. No matter how routine or insignificant it all may seem to the casual observer, there's still something quite special about arriving a few hours early for a game of this magnitude. Shoot, I still look to get to little league & pee-wee games earlier if scheduling allows. Particularly if I'm going to be pushing right up on deadline for a championship game at night, and am hauling in four camera bodies. Count 'em - four! I guess installing the overhead remote 2 hours or so before game time doesn't really count, as I typically only mount a remote for this specific view of the pre-game coin toss with all the players on the field, halftime show, etc. (Come to think of it, when's the last time you've seen a photo published from the half-time show of a high school game? Better yet, have I ever fired the remote to make an image from this angle of a halftime show...?) Remember what I mentioned about fast internet connectivity in the press box.

Once the remote was securely installed, I was ready to put on my "game face" and begin the night's work: There were a few disruptions to the expected routine of the game. Kickoff time was pushed back a half-hour to 7:30PM as there was a fire alarm activation down at Monroe-Woodbury HS and their star quarterback, Dan Scalo actually forgot his helmet in the commotion in leaving the school for the busride up to Middletown. Other media types and myself included were silently wondering if they'd have to start the game with another kid at QB if the helmet didn't arrive by driver or courier, if you will. It was actually odd to see this kid warming up sans headgear, knowing that he's the type of player who's been running over defenders like a cross between an Earl Campbell and Larry Csonka freight train from my old days as a player / fan in the '70's. What a back story that would've been if they didn't get the hard hat to him on time. We already sensed that a lot of the MW players were out of sync by arriving late to the ballpark. Made sure to shoot frames of QB Scalo during warmups without the helmet just in case. Note to self: these are good file images of the star QB for stories later in the week if needed.

As the coin toss at midfield was choreographed, I was able to make three separate views of the Monroe players in line with their hands clasped together: the #1 image from the roof top stadium remote, and two quick subsequent images were I sort of crept up behind the line of players and photographed them with two different cameras, one wide (at right) and a detail image of any two players' gloved hands, which to me is a decent picture (below) that can be used to illustrate teamwork, the MW team itself, their season, or even an athletic equipment advert, as sort of a "b-roll" image of you will.

By the time the game finally got going, I could officially start worrying about my first 10:30PM deadline, and I remember thinking that I'd have to really hunker down on this one, as these were two excellent teams, capable of making big plays at anytime, literally anywhere on the field for that matter. Both QB's could throw it and throw it deep & with 'touch', and I already knew they could both run. The Warwick QB, Rian White scored early on sweet run off tackle where he actually dove over a MW defensive back (left) - and I was on him clean from the back of the end zone only a few yards away. I remember reminding myself to 'lay on the button' when I saw how this play was developing right in front of me. I didn't know how good the series of images was until I started chimping in the end zone and let the cable TV guys have a peek at the back of the camera too. "That's one," I thought quietly to myself while trotting out of the end zone and to the sidelines to get ready for the kickoff / and return. Soon after, MW back Trevor Officer (right) plowed over a Warwick defensive back from the two yard line or so, and I knew I had two "gamers" already before halftime. Now as the clock ran down, I made the decision to run up through the stands to the press box and that fast, reliable internet connection. I figured I'd give up some of the third quarter shooting time, to be able to move these two images to the paper way ahead of the 10:30PM deadline. I was back on the field by the middle of the third quarter and was fortunate enough to make a few more game telling big play images, including touchdown passes & catches (left) from both QB's and good runs from their star players as well. By sending those two early images at halftime, I was able to stay on the field to make the post game trophy presentation to the coach and players' jubilation. Those images were sent after the second edit and one eventually made the back page as well.

All in all it was an exceptionally good night. The weather was good, saw a lot of familiar faces, and as mentioned earlier - the light was nearly as good as a pro or college stadium for a night game. The hot chocolate was decent too.
Click HERE to see a photo gallery on the paper's website on my take of the game. Again, thanks for reading - see you at the next big game. -cg.

02 November 2009

REWIND - Images from the Archive.

Kosovo. July 1999.

REWIND - Images from the Archive.
A showcase for some of my favorite images here on the blog that aren't particularly in the working portfolio for one reason or another. Look for this occasional feature where I'll highlight a single image that's meant a lot throughout my career. Enjoy. -cg.

01 November 2009

HS Football Semifinal Playoffs. 30, 31•Oct.•09

"2 Nights. Four games. 150+ Miles. Rain, Turf & Bad Light..."

Welcome to the beginning of Section 9 HS Playoff post-season football here in New York's Hudson Valley. One good thing about covering games in Kingston in the antiquated Dietz Stadium, is that I'm completely familiar with the operation there. Nice turf. Good parking. Bad light for night games. More like miserable light actually. Decent food at the concession stand - when you need it. (The paper recently opened a bureau nearby in the Uptown neighborhood of Kingston - which is only blocks away from the stadium.) Since this "stadium" still hasn't installed any sort of internet connectivity through the years, it's usually been a hassle to cover games there and get your pictures out. With the newpaper's bureau closeby, it offers a cozier office space to edit and transmit photos on deadline. Previous years I'd always utilized a nearby Holiday Inn hotel or coffee shop for their open wi-fi networks after covering sporting events like weekend track championships and graduations. I am still recovering if you will, from the back-to-back late nights of editing and drives home on deserted county roads way past midnight. It's been sort of a good weekend off from covering Army football (they have a bye-week & play Air Force on the road next week), but that doesn't mean I worked any less in covering these games... Did I mention the crummy light...? and periodic threats of pouring rain...?
Football is always a difficult sport to photograph at any level, and combining those unforeseen weather elements makes it even more of a challenge. The action can take place almost anywhere on the field, so there's always that extra little hustle you have to remind yourself to literally sometimes run to get in place for a potential long pass or touchdown run.
As I've written in earlier posts on my sports coverage, I prefer to work from my knees for football (or sitting on the court for basketball) - as it produces images with "cleaner" backgrounds (soft focus from the characteristics of the long lenses at wide aperatures) and it seems a bit easier to keep the horizon level in most images.

Click the links below to view a brief photo gallery from each game:

Monroe-Woodbury 35 - Minisink Valley 6
Highland 42 - Marlboro 12
Cornwall 38 - Saugerties 7
Ellenville 30 - Millbrook 7

Thanks again for looking. -cg.

24 October 2009

"Rain..." West Point, NY 23•Oct.•09

Army players traditionally touch the plaque bearing a quote from Gen. George Marshall as they take the field before their game against Rutgers University in Michie Stadium at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY on Friday, October 23, 2009. The plaque reads, "I Want An Officer For A Secret And Dangerous Mission. I Want A West Point Football Player." Rutgers defeated Army 27 - 10. Times Herald-Record/CHET GORDON

Rain. Shit. I knew it was going to be ugly. At least it wasn't cold - yet. Fighting the elements is a drag, particularly at this level when you have to make pictures no matter the conditions. There's just no getting around it. Add to it all that I had to leave the field twice and hustle up to the press box to edit and transmit photos back to the office for early deadlines. No easy task even during a day game. Fortunately too there wasn't a full house in the stands. So you're wet, your gear is mostly wet, and you're faced with the added burden's of having the equivalent of about a full quarter's worth of shooting time on the field. Translation: A lot of missed pictures as I could literally "see" them from my workspace high above the 50-yard while the game was still being played. Oh yea, did I mention leaving the press box for the third time to shoot the post game press conference too. It's still Army football, so I was faced with the usual challenges in trying to come up with game-telling images within the extremely limited time frames I had on the field. It's almost still a blur as I continue this post on Sunday morning...

*Click here to view a slideshow of my rainy night game coverage on my paper's site for now. Once again, thanks for looking. -cg.