Dirt Road Goodness

Well, later this afternoon I will jump in the truck and head west. Texas to be exact. Saturday is the opening of wild turkey hunting season and at the crack of dawn I plan to be somewhere deep in the woods where the cell phone won't work and we can hope there is no internet access.

Every once in a while a man needs to just find a red dirt road and drive. This weekend I will do my fair share. I hope that you will find your road soon.

Love in the Quarter

So I argued... well discussed... the other day with another photographer how cliche' this composition is.... and then I went and shot a photo using it. And worse yet, I like it.

The Quarter is a great place to be in love, I know. This couple stood outside a restaurant on Decatur for an hour and chatted and then, before she went back to her section at work... a brief embrace as his dog stood by, watching the traffic.

The way her hand touches his arm. That's the photo. The rest, well the rest is just background, without that light touch, barely skimming the hair on the back of his arm... well, then its just a bad photograph now isn't it?

New Orleans

How I love this city.

I've had good times, bad times, hard times, times I don't exactly recall and times I wish I didn't. But I love the city. More than any other it has true heart. I sometimes wish I could move here, and then I think it might lose its magic; its strange luster.

But the more time I spend here, the more I know it wouldn't.

Self-Portrait in Green

A photographer I used to work with made self-portraits incessantly.

He claimed they were the spirit of creativity. That it was his way to see inside himself. That they were the most sincere form of creation. He spoke about them all the time. Shot them all the time. But rarely showed them to anyone. He has since changed the last practice and has displayed huge numbers of intricate serial portraits.

On occasion I shoot one myself. I find some of the same release that some do, but don't shoot nearly the same number as others and not at the same level. Mine are usually just side thoughts. Random exposures on other assignments. A relief from my boredom.

Anyhow, here is one I shot recently while working on a department wide project called Green.

A Day In The Park

Typically baseball is not my strongest sport. First off, I don't particularly like the game. Also, to me it is hours and hours of sheer boredom followed by mere moments of action. You have to concentrate on what's going on all the time, even through the boring parts, because if you don't, the action is over before you realize it has started.

So as the season gets started this year I have vowed to myself to make better baseball images. For me it seems the key is to keep my brain active during the game, always seeking some image or another. Watching the dugout, changing shooting positions between innings and even playing around with remote-mounted cameras seem to help me keep my head in the game. My goal is to shoot better action, but also to capture some of the quieter moments of the sport. These are just a start, but hopefully the plan will work and shooting baseball will become more than just a day in the park.

The Evil Side of Spelling Bees

Everyone has to cover a spelling bee now and then.

It's a photojournalist's nightmare in a lot of ways. Dim light, not much action and overly smart kids as far as the eye can see. The kind of kids who can make you question your own intelligence as an adult. Kids that seem to be perfect. Polite and soft, but well-spoken students who certainly spend hours reading the dictionary instead of running about, tracking mud in the house and acting foolish. Shirts tucked in, hair neatly parted to the side. Khakis pressed into smart straight lines. Penny loafers.

When they misspell a word, they simply smile and walk off stage.

As I make my way back and forth across the dead silent LSUS theater filled with English teachers, I swear they are judging my handwriting. I start to feel like I don't belong, but then I look up and there on the stage is a kid with whom I can relate. Number 11. Faded jeans, shirt untucked, devilish smile.... tennis shoes.

Number 11 proceeded to do the unthinkable. He made a spelling bee fun. As the numbers dwindled he held his head in his hands, breathed heavy, oozed with anticipation and finally in the final round Number 17 gave up the goods.... the ole jublilation/dejection shot. A sports photographers dream. Who would have thought it.

And although Number 11 lost in the end, he gave me a new appreciation for the sport of extreme spelling.

Hockey is one of the more difficult sports to shoot. You have to have special access, sometimes special gear and always a fast eye. The sport itself screams by at a furious pace on any level and on the minor league and pro levels it's faster at ice level than you can imagine. One of the things that makes or breaks a hockey shooter is position.

There are lots of positions at different arenas. Some have holes cut in the glass or boards, others have elevated positions and some you can shoot straight down from the rafters. But at the CenturyTel Center we have a box at center ice for our main position. It's situated between the team benches and has no glass. Its great to shoot open ice hits and fights and occasionally provides a nice view of the goal. But you have to pay attention to what's going on in the game or you can get hurt pretty easily. I have had a few close calls with flying pucks, but here is a series of photos I made during tonight's game.

Color for color's sake

Just a little random color to offset the dark, dank industrial look of the page. Shot on assignment about an hour ago at a local tailor's shop.