Monday, July 30, 2007

In Case You Missed It

These shots are from a pair of American Legion baseball games I shot this weekend. They're nothing special but they're certainly better than the fifth photo not pictured here that ran with the tournament story. Why oh why does this always happen? The lead photo in this series basically summed up the lead and headline in the story. Instead they ran the shot that had absolutely nothing to say about the lead gamer. GRRRR!

So I'm sharing these photo with you now just because........there, now I feel better.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Two Days, Two Better Features

What a difference a couple of days make. I shot these features on Thursday and Friday after getting tired of having to fall back on water featuers as of late to save the front page of one of our zoned editions. The lead photo is from a carnival games day at a local children's day camp in my area. The couselor was helping children get the frisbee into the trash can so they could win a prize. It seemed like she was putting more effort into catching the frisbee than the children were trying to throw it accurately.

I passed by this man's house the day before I shot this feature and noticed his big sign advertising his moving sale. When I drove by on Thursday he was out in his front yard with his children and his dog. The story was he and his family were moving to another state and were selling all of their belongings except for a few beds, their television and microwave and the dog. Maybe my photo helped him make a few extra sales. He sure helped me out with a decent feature. Thanks fella!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sahar's Senior Portraits: Take One

Here are a couple of the hundred or so photos I shot of Sahar last night for her senior portraits. This is the first of several shoots we'll be doing between now and the time school starts. This was more of a glamour session. We'll be doing location shoots next.

I'm happy with the results so far. Sahar is thrilled with them. She's already posted several, about a dozen or so, on her Friendster page. For our next shoot we're going to go for a PJ or editorial style.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lazy Summer Days

Shot this feature right out of the gate today of a girl relaxin' while fishin' at Lake Atalanta in Rogers with her family. I love it when unique features present themselves as early in the day as this one did. Summertime feature hunts can be brutal. You can only come back with so many pool or other water-related shots before editors start issuing "water feature" moratoriums for the photo staff. At least my photo from today didn't have the kid actually in the water. Unlike the photo below from last week which oozes summertime cliche feature photo. What can I say, I'm shameless.

Only 36 days til football season starts.

Monday, July 23, 2007

From The Vault: Alona At The Zoo

I was digging through the vault today and dug up this gem. The photo cracks me up every time I see it. My wife loves to make faces for the camera. I think it's involuntary. On this particular occasion during a visit to the Memphis Zoo she was trying to imitate the character above her at the Pacific Northwest Exhibit. I think she nailed it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Say Hello To My Little Friend

I met this friendly feline while leaving an assignment today in Pea Ridge. He was super cool (check out the scars on his nose) and really talkative (too bad I don't speak cat). For a brief moment I considered taking him home with me (he didn't have a collar and was a bit skinny so I don't believe he has a home). Then logic kicked in and I realized I too would be homeless if I brought a stray home to my wife. Alona has grown to love Juno (sometimes she worries more about Juno's well being than I do), but she isn't much of an animal person. I personally could see myself with at least two dogs and a cat. One dog is too many for her, but I'm working on it. I think she'll come around some day. In the meantime I wish my new furry friend all the luck and hope he's got someone caring for him. Take care scrappy little fella.

Monday, July 16, 2007

From The Vault: Cockfighting in the Philippines

These photos are from a series I shot in the Philippines during my trip back in 2005. Cockfighting is the national sport of the Philippines so it was on my list of things to see and shoot during the 3-1/2 weeks I was there. It was a very interesting experience. I consider myself an animal lover and was surprised I wasn't bothered by what I saw. My honest feeling is at least the birds can fight for their survival. As long as a bird wins it lives and if it's really good it gets put out to rooster. Not a bad thing for an animal that will end up getting eaten anyway. As long as you kick ass you live. They're like little feathered gladiators.

On this day, Nelson, my brother-in-law, accompanied me to the cockfight in the countryside outside of Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. Mansalay is my wife's hometown. It's a small town on the island of Mindoro, the island directly south of the main Philippines island, Luzon, where Manila is located. It's very rural, deep, deep in the Philippines provincial countryside. I loved it. You can't just wander into the countryside as a foreigner and see things like this. It's not safe to do so. But if you have family and or a guide with you, basically if you're spoken for by a Filipino, then you're good. People are happy to meet you and talk to you. This was what a vacation is all about for me. Not sitting on a beach drinking Coronas or driving cross country to camp in some mountain forest. But stepping completely out of my comfortable American life and getting transplanted into a entirely unfamiliar, but altogether enticing environment. We're going back next year for a month and I can't wait.

You can see the whole 12-photo series in my Sportshooter gallery linked below:

Sunday, July 15, 2007

In Color

I shot this feature photo yesterday of a Mhong lady arranging flowers at her family's produce stand at the Bentonville Farmers Market. I like the photo. Clean. Simple. COLORFUL, right? It ran five columns in today's TMN.....In Black and White! The facing page had a six column photo series from the AP......In Color! Good Morning. Grrrr!

So here it is on my blog, In Color, the way it was meant to be seen.

Monday, July 9, 2007

From The Vault: Quite A Wonder

A new version of the Seven Wonders of the World was compiled recently based on over 100 million votes cast worldwide. The Colosseum in Rome was named to the new list, of which The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only structure from the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to maintain its "wonder" status. This is one of several photos I shot of the Colosseum during my trip to Italy in March. The structure is quite impressive. We only had the opportunity to see it at night because our time in Rome was limited. I wanted to go on the tour the next day, but chose to tour The Vatican instead. I certainly don't regret it. The Vatican was incredible and it took the whole day to see everything. We'll still get to see the Colosseum again someday. Giuseppe and Loni, my brother and sister-in-law, are planning to move to Rome from Sicily so we'll be seeing more of the ancient city in the future.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Hawgs Illustrated: July Issue

The July issue of Hawgs Illustrated is out now. This issue features the baseball and track season reviews. I shot the cover photo of Jess Todd during his record-setting Southeastern Conference Tournament outing against South Carolina in Hoover, Ala. Todd racked up 17 strikeouts in the game. All of the baseball stuff is mine and the track photos are from Zac Lehr and Michael Zamora. Check it out if you get a chance. I've also included a couple of extra Todd favorites from the same game.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

With Rockets Red Glare

So I'm 30 minutes late posting this and it is now the Fifth of July, I wanted to be patriotic anyway. This was my only fireworks display shoot this Fourth of July. I'm happy with it. It was one of those shots you see when you're leaving and you think you've already got your shot "in the bag." I had already broken down my gear (tripod and lightstand) when I passed this couple standing in the street with their bikes watching the fireworks. I knew immediately that this shot would trump what I already had, so I took the time (reluctantly) to setup my gear again and get the shot quickly. And here it is. Happy Fourth!

I posted a couple more fireworks shots on TMN's Behind-The-Lens blog. Check them out:

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Imagine My Surprise

So I'm taking a three-hour break in my day working on the Fourth of July sitting at home surfing news websites on the net. When Fox News' website loads I see a very familiar photo as their lead picture. One of my Fourth of July Boat Parade photos from Beaver Lake this morning. It really just took me by surprise. One of the photo techs at work sent it to the AP unbeknownst to me. Happy Fourth of July.

Monday, July 2, 2007

From The Vault: Introducing Juno vom Schodak

This is my dog Juno. She's a 7-year-old purebred German shepherd and is, without question, the "Best Dog in the World." At least on my block she is, if you don't believe me just ask my neighbor's grandchildren. The first thing they want to do is play with Juno whenever they come to visit. One of the children even wrote a story about Juno in her first-grade class a couple of years ago. How many of you have a dog that has a story written about them? (silence....crickets) That's what I thought.

I named her Juno because she was born in a "J" litter from the breeder, Schodak Shepherds, where I got her from in 2000 in New Mexico. The name Juno comes from the mother Roman goddess, also known as Hera in Greek mythology. She is NOT named after the city in Alaska. Juno started her life to be trained in Schutzhund, the German shepherd dog sport similar to K-9 training. She received her first temperment and obedience certification at a year and a half and has since gone on to receive numerous titles in "Spoiled Brat" and "Lazy Dog." Her training halted in 2002 when I moved from New Mexico to Arkansas since I couldn't find a local Schutzhund club to join. She is now just a great family dog, loyal companion and my "Big Sweetie." She's basically like a child to me. I've include a couple more photos below.

Juno playing in the snow. She loves to catch snowballs and eat them.

Juno playing with her Kong at the park. You can get Juno to do just about anything if you have her Kong in your hand. It's like crack for dogs.

Juno and Sahar pose together for a snapshot at the Tanyard Creek waterfall in Bella Vista. Sahar and Juno are best buddies.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


It's Rodeo of the Ozarks time, so dust off yer shit kickers and ten gallon hats and cowboy-up people. I couldn't help but post this photo on my blog, sorry Michael. I had just returned to the office from getting rodeo setup photos, see second photo below, at Parsons Arena in Springdale when I pulled into the parking lot and saw fellow TMN photographer Michael "Texas Ranger" Zamora standing at his car talking to fellow staffer William Moore. They were getting ready to head to the arena to hang lights for our rodeo coverage, so Michael had the hat on to meet the rodeo "dress code." This is why I'm glad I'm off the next three days and will miss out on shooting the rodeo. Don't get me wrong, I like shooting rodeos. Plenty of great man vs. beast actions shots to be had and all. But I'm not one for the attire. Rodeo's are the only events photojournalists shoot where the costume is mandatory to get access inside the arena. Imagine having to cover a circus dressed in a clown suit.....with a camera that squirts water instead of taking pictures. Yikes!