26 February 2009

"Fight Night at the Academy..." 2•24•09

It was good to return to the Arvin Gymnasium at West Point the other night. Photographed a few of the cadet bouts during the Brigade Boxing Open again this year. The ring was lit really well for broadcast on ESPNU, and I tried my best to make good use of the TV lighting, by shooting from ringside, standing in the back row of the floor level bleachers and from above level running track with fans watching along the rail. I really liked the some of the images made from the overhead position, as I wasn't looking up into the ring lights, and having to shoot everything wide. The tighter composed images from overhead kind of make the viewer pay attention to the punches thrown, and particularly the clean backgrounds. I remember commenting to a ESPN crew member at ringside on how good the light was this year, and he mentioned that it really looks great in "HD..." Since I'm not a fan of the "Tee-Vee", I really wouldn't know from firsthand experience as far as owning one of those new-fangled boxes. I was just really pleased with the overall lighting of the boxing ring. Here are a few favs. -cg.

17 February 2009

"Untold Stories..." Darrell White. February 2009 (update).

*(Update): My personal project with Darrell White is coming along quite nicely. I spent the evening with him yesterday and specifically concentrated on documenting his discussion about the various medications he takes daily. Got some amazing quotes and clean audio during our session. Stay tuned. -cg.

*Click here to see the initial post when I started the project last month.

13 February 2009

"Man On Wire" Philippe Petit. Feb. 2009.

Yesterday I photographed Philippe Petit, the famed French wire-walker who stunned the world in 1974 by walking across a tightrope wire strung between the yet uncompleted World Trade Center towers in lower Manhattan. The documentary film based on his feat, "Man On Wire" is up for an Academy Award this year. He was really gracious and a true pro, posing for me in his practice barn, which he's dubbed "The Smallest Theater in the World." That's why I (still) love this business; you never know what opportunities the day will bring. (I'll post a few photos from the assignment after the story runs in a few weeks to coincide with the Academy Awards and his upcoming book signing tour.) -cg.

09 February 2009

*Another look at last week's work... 02•09•09

Things kind of worked out pretty good last week, with two big sports assignments, the candlelight vigil for Laura Garza, championship swimming on Saturday, and I wanted to drop in a few images from a job fair for techies up at SUNY New Paltz. It was good to light up the high school gym again for the big game on Wednesday night, working at times on my hands and knees in front of the family of the missing woman during their neighborhood street vigil, and then again to light up the pool venue for the championship swim meet on Saturday. I've included a few of the file type images from the game & swimming, as those are the types of images I know can be used again throughout the season when the sports guys are writing on these particular players and coaches. (I also remember thinking to myself how intense it all was while on my knees - ducking under the 'Tee-Vee' cameras for a few moments in front of the family clutching their candles. It's exactly the same image I've made through the years at press conferences, so at some point I'm going to create a post here about intentionally dropping to my knees to make those similar looks. Had to change a flat tire after the bball game at 11:30PM on Wednesday, so that made for a pretty long night, with hanging & disassembling lights, making deadline at the paper, and returning back to the school to change the tire in 7ºF temperatures...) Here's a look at the week's work: -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. )

06 February 2009

"This was not an easy one..." 02•05•09

Elizabeth Esquivel, center, cries as she stands with her son Nicolas Garza, left, and supporter Barry Fixler, right, during a candlelight vigil in honor of her daughter Laura Garza, outside the home of Michael Mele's parent's house in the Town of Newburgh, NY on Thursday, February 5, 2009. Laura Garza is the missing NYC woman who was last seen in early December with Michael Mele at the McDonald's in Newburgh after a night of partying in a Manhattan nightclub. Times Herald-Record/CHET GORDON

*We've had a missing person story dominating the news up here in my area for something like two months now. A beautiful 20-something woman from Brooklyn hasn't been seen since early December, when she left a NYC nightclub with a known & convicted sexual predator from the area. Bad news all around. The missing girl's family has been coming up to the area with supporters from the city to the local jail, county court, press conferences, and to witness searches by NY State Police dog tracking teams along local highways, interstates, and divers scouring local lakes and ponds, the suspects condo, the whole nine-yards. Oh yea, the guy is sitting in jail right now - tonight - on probation violations stemming from previous sexual misconduct charges, and he's not talking about this case at all. Not a peep, even though a witness puts him with the girl back in December and no one's seen her since. Anyway, today was my turn to follow the story for a bit during the family's journey back up here to Orange County, NY, and hold a brief candlelight vigil outside the parent's home of the offender.
Link to my paper's ongoing coverage of the story by clicking here.

As I think back on the evening's work, and these kind of stories I've covered through the years, the people it affects; it all remains as sort of a constant and burning reminder again of why I became a photojournalist, and take all aspects of this craft very seriously... -cg.

04 February 2009

"Hoops du Jour" Part II 02•04•09

*(writing on last night's game): From what I can remember about this image, it was made early in the game last night and made the back page. What REALLY made it sweet was that the Sports Editor at my paper called me at 9:15AM this morning to say how much he liked the photograph. That call combined with the home team's coach greeting me during the Jay-Vee game as I was unpacking and hanging my remote strobes behind the benches, to say how much he appreciated all the work I've been doing in covering games; so that combined with the editor's call made it worth all the effort of lighting these gyms and shooting with 2, sometimes 3 cameras at these games.

Tonight is the night. It's going to be one of those games I've been secretly waiting for all season. Lights, clamps, radios, 3-cameras, etc., etc. Enough already. Tonight Minisink Valley HS with last year's player of the year, Cory Quimby, will host Newburgh Free Academy (NFA) with their slick backcourt, and run 'n gun offense. It's a rematch of last year's Section 9 Championship Playoff game. (this favorite from last year's Section 9 Class AA Championship game):
Sebastian Valdez, #41, left, and Cory Quimby, #44 right, of Minisink reach for rebound during their Section 9 Class AA Championship game against Newburgh Free Academy at SUNY Orange in Middletown, NY on Saturday, March 1, 2008. Minisink defeated Newburgh 60 - 57. Times Herald-Record/CHET GORDON

To view the full link to last year's set-up: click here.

I won't be mounting a remote camera behind the backboard glass for this game, particularly working alone, (save that extra work for the playoffs in the college venue next month.) but have already been thinking about how I'm going to run three cameras again at a big HS game. Possibly a low-angle floor remote will work out nicely, as there's plenty of room behind one of the baskets. A four-light setup is already mandatory in this gym and the 6:30PM scheduled tip-off will surely help me on the 9:30 - 10PM deadline for the sports pages.
Should be a good night. Check back for game photos tomorrow. -cg.