Friday, June 29, 2007

The Long Trail Rider

I was sitting in the office talking to TMN's bureau editor in Bentonville this morning when the regular Cintas delivery guy came in and said he had a story for us. He was running his route in Bella Vista and happened upon a man riding his horse along the highway. He said the man looked like he had been riding for a while, a long while, and pulled over to talk to him. Turns out the man left the Oregon coast on June 5, 2003 and he and his Austrailian shepherd, Yogi, have been riding on his paint horse, Hawkeye, on a cross country journey ever since.

Check out TMN's blog tomorrow for more photos and the full story.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fruits Of My Labor

I know what you're thinking, and you should be ashamed of yourself for even letting the thought cross your mind.......Of course Japanese eggplant tastes just as good as regular eggplant. What? Just because they're Asian doesn't mean they shouldn't be able to penetrate deep into your taste buds and give you the same flavorful experience as an American eggplant.

These babies, also known as Ichibans, were grown in the garden in my backyard. I harvested them today and am quite proud of them, especially the 12-incher (remember, no laughing). They're the first of a bounty of Japanese eggplant, three varieties of tomatoes (Roma, Grape and Better Boys), red bell peppers and Tobasco peppers to soon be plucked from my 4'x8' garden. This is my first true vegetable garden, I planted it on May 24, and I couldn't be happier with the results thus far. Except for the freakin' Japanese beetles who keep eating the eggplant leaves (I hate those little pricks) I've had no problems. Alona has even told me how proud she is of my garden. She especially loves the eggplants (I said stop laughing). They're a very popular vegetable in most Asian countries and are actually quite tasty in stir fry, soups and mixed with egg in an omlete. Just let me know and I'll pluck you one of the 12-inchers and you can try it out for yourself (O.K., now I'm laughing).

Monday, June 25, 2007

From The Vault: Sahar's Prom

Here are a few portraits of my daughter, Sahar, from her junior prom in May. I'm posting these photos for two reasons. One, because she's a beautiful young woman and I'm proud of her. Two, because this is the beginning of a new weekly posting I'm going to do on Monday's called "From The Vault." It will be a random feature of photos from the past. They might be from the current past or the far off distant past, like childhood stuff. Who knows. Just check back each Monday. The vault is overflowing with photos to share.

These portraits were shot on a fishing dock at Lake Windsor in Bella Vista at sunset. They're pretty straight forward as far as lighting and composition goes (one softbox supported by a human lightstand). Sahar loves them. She's posted them on her Friendster page, her My Space page, mailed them to friends back in the Philippines and handed them out at school. She refers to the top photo as her fashion model picture. We're going to be shooting her senior portraits sometime soon. I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Blogs, Blogs Everywhere

So I was going to post some photos from a candlelight vigil I shot Friday evening that was held for Alicia Minton, the 29-year-old Bentonville woman who disappeared on June 1 on her way to Beaver Lake. Well here's one of four of those shots. If you want to see the others then you need to check out the brand new TMN Photo Blog. Launched just a day ago it is a place for myself, Zac, Wamp, Michael, Justin, Josh, Spencer (does he still take photos), and Will, our newest photo staff member, to showcase our photos, multimedia slideshows and video as well as our thoughts and experiences about our work. Check it out!

Really, check it out. Don't leave this page unless you click the link above.......DO IT!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Photo Therapy

So after spending the past week in the office digging up photos for the next issue of Hawgs Illustrated Magazine I finally got out and shot some news. This was the first time in my career I put in a week's worth of work and didn't shoot a single photo. I was actually feeling a bit depressed about it by the third day. What better way to get out of the funk by shooting a spot news photo you're proud of and that's worthy of a clip. The fire happened in Springdale on Wednesday night. I showed up at the house on Thursday morning hoping there would be somebody at the location. Luckily there were several investigators on the scene digging through the debris trying to find out what caused the fire. I pretty much walked onto the scene and right into this photo. I'm happy with it. I'm glad to be back on news for now, but I'm still really looking forward to football in the fall.

Friday, June 15, 2007

My First Official Hawgs Illustrated Cover

The 2007 Hawgs Illustrated Football Preview is now on your local newsstands Razorbacks fans, at least if you live in Arkansas. Otherwise you need to get yourself a subscription to the magazine. This is my first cover for Hawgs Illustrated since I started my new gig as chief photographer for the magazine. I'm pretty stoked about it. I had another cover earlier in the year during basketball season. It was a jube photo from the Arkansas/Alabama basketball game. But this is the first cover I actually had to conceptualize on my own. Peyton Hillis, the inserted player at bottom right, was supposed to be at the shoot but was held up in a player's meeting and couldn't make it. He was going to be jumping over the top of Jones, McFadden and Smith. It would've looked cool, but oh well. I'm still happy with it anyway. Next month's issue will be the baseball and track season wrap up.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

BINGO Hates Me

So we went to Alona's employer's annual family picnic yesterday afternoon (TMN doesn't have a family picnic by the way). After chowing down on burgers and dogs there was a door prize drawing for employees and then BINGO for all. When I heard there was going to be BINGO I was immediately filled with apprehension. As a kid growing up my mom's employer held an annual BINGO night for years. We went every year and every year I never won anything. I don't recall my parents ever winning anything either. I came close scores of times, but never had the joyous opportunity to yell "BINGO!"

Anyway, when they announced BINGO at the picnic I was hopeful, yet pessimistic at the same time, about my chances. Even the damn cards were the same as I rememberered using when I was younger. We played round after round of straight BINGO with a game of Texas T BINGO thrown in to spice it up. They even went so far as to keep playing each game even when there was a winner to further the chances of others winning prizes. There was a table full of prizes ranging from company logoed coozies to a Barbie fishing pole to give away. Everyone around me won a prize including Alona and Sahar. One friend even won four or five times. She had a lapful of prizes (she even won the Barbie fishing pole). So when they announced there were only five prizes left near the end of the last game I had lost all hope. And then, there it was, G50, the last space in one of the diagonals on my card. They called it. I opened my mouth to yell "BINGO! JOYOUS BINGO" only to hear over the loudspeaker the announcement that there were no more prizes left and the game was over. Yep, BINGO hates me.

On a brighter note, Alona did win us a new folding chair (of which we already have four of) in the employee door prize raffle and a company logoed fleece blanket playing BINGO. Sahar also won a company logoed waterproof disposable camera playing BINGO. So all in all I did win something because when you have a family what is theirs is also yours as well.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

A Photo Is Worth A Thousand, Um, Bites?

So I'm running an errand to pay a bill today in the middle of my work schedule and I come across this poor kid dressed as a big taco suffocating in the hot, 80-percent humid weather. I didn't take the photo for work because all it is is a big advertisement for another new Taco Bell. I took it to remind myself how lucky I am to have a job doing what I do for a living. The stark reality is I don't have any other skills besides being a photographer. So, basically the kid suffocating in the big taco costume waving to traffic making minimum wage is me if I ever called it quits as a photographer. SCARY!! Yeah, I won't be leaving the world of photography anytime soon.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

New Digs

Summer Jerome had her one bedroom apartment at the transitional housing facility she lives at in Bentonville renovated by a group of volunteers from local businesses. The renovation was revealed to Jerome and her boys today. As you can see she was quite overjoyed. This was one of the better news assignments I've shot in a couple of weeks (granted I have been shooting a lot of baseball and golf and not much news during that time). There were several media outlets there (two TV stations and another local paper) so it was rather tight to get clean photos in a 600 square-foot apartment. I stuck around after everyone else left hoping they would relax in their new space. They did, except Jerome's oldest son couldn't get over the camera being pointed at him and he kept mugging. At least his eyes are closed in the shot. I just can't win with kids I tell you. I can't.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Is This Thing On?

I've finally done it. After all the "gonna start my own blog" talk I've finally taken the big step. I'm now a blog person. Great. Now I can start sharing the outtakes from work and the fun family photos that are never seen beyond the glow of my laptop and home iMac. Funny thing is I've got nothing exciting or unique to show from today. So I guess I'll show off the shot of me and Alona kissing in front of the Trevi fountain during our trip to Italy back in March. Awwww....