Wednesday, April 30, 2008

One Month And Counting

We leave for our vacation in the Philippines in exactly one month. I'm getting anxious. The subjects pictured within this post are Mangyans from the mountains above Alona's hometown. Mangyans are indigenous to the island of Mindoro in the Philippines. They are very friendly people, extremely hard working and very poor. They exist mostly by growing and trading root crops in the towns below their mountain villages.

Mangyan women work just as hard as the men. This woman was heading back to her village late in the day. The basket she's carrying probably weighed about 60 pounds and she was going to be carrying it back up the mountain.

I gave this man some bread in trade for his photograph while hiking the Mangyan's trail in the mountains above Mansalay with my brother-in-law and a guide. I never found out what the bird was for. It made for an interesting element of the portrait though. I plan on shooting lots more photos of the Mangyans when I return to Mindoro. This month couldn't pass by any sooner.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sahar Prom Portraits 2008

Sahar attended her senior prom Saturday at Bentonville High School. I was working that night shooting Arkansas' annual Red vs. White game. So to make up for it I took Sahar and her prom date, Christian, out for a portrait session here in Bella Vista.

This was the last shot we did before we lost all of the light. Christian's parents, Jay and Jane, accompanied Alona and myself on the shoot and made great assistants. Thanks guys!

Now I still have to do some more senior portraits of Sahar before she graduates on May 24.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Red vs. White Game

Bobby Petrino got to show off his new Razorbacks to a crowd of more than 40,000 Razorback fans today at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. O.K., they're not new Razorbacks, but the whole system is new from top to bottom and you can tell a difference from the old Nutt days.

Michael Smith showed he can carry the ball beyond the shadow of D-Mac and Felix.

Casey Dick ran the No. 1 offense. Who knows who will be under center come fall when Mallett is healthy again. The Razorbacks also have a hot shot freshman QB coming in from Greenwood.

London Crawford showed he still has room for improvement. He actually dropped this pass. The ball is in his hands and he still managed to drop it. Ugh.

Lots of good physical play today.

The new Petrino system includes lots of passes to multiple targets. Things are going to be much more exciting to shoot this fall.

Instead of the normal halftime band performance there was a baby race at mid field. Man I hope this isn't part of the new Petrino system. I could do without the band, but baby races?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Busy Day

Shot four assignments today. The most I've had to knock out in a while. I enjoy staying busy at work. It gets the ole creative juices flowing and makes the day go by faster. Which equates to getting me home and a beer into my hand a lot sooner than would happen during the course of a slow day. The lead photo is from the Farm Friends event at the Pauline Whitaker Science Center in Fayetteville. Lots of kindergarteners and livestock. The kids in this photo were actually kindergarteners pretending to be livestock. Quite funny. They were herded into a cattle scale and locked in. Then they all started "Mooing." Funny.

After Farm Friends I stopped by Dickson Street to get the setup for this weekend's Dickson Street Music Festival.

Then I hustled to the Washington County Courthouse to sit around and wait for several hours for the sentence to be handed down to Gregory Christopher Decay for his double capital murder conviction. This perp walk shot came after being jammed into "The Closet" for about 30 or so minutes with Ivester, Reyes and two t.v. cameramen. It was close quarters, thank God nobody had Mexican for lunch.

Reaction shot of Decay's family after his double death sentence was handed down. It really is sad that the families are the ones that are left to deal with these tragedies.

And the last assignment was the worst. I hate having to shoot Arkansas football practice indoors. It was a beautiful afternoon today, why oh why did they have to practice indoors. Probably because they know us still photographers hate it. I know that's not the reason, but sometimes I wonder.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Feature Du Jour

My take from the day's news cruise. Z-Man might recognize the location as his new favorite Mexican food stand in Springdale.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lame Game

Arkansas beat up on Northern Colorado tonight. I don't even know what the final score was. It was 9-2 when I left. Snore!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hogs Win in 10

The Diamond Hogs went 10 innings against Tennessee and came out on top 5-4 off a poorly-fielded pop fly. Tschepikow scored the winning run and jubilation ensued at the plate. The game was in the bag in the ninth inning until Tennessee tied it with a homerun. This is the Hogs' first SEC series win so far this season. Could this be the turnaround?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Vacation Preview: My Second Home

This is the town of Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. My wife's hometown. This is where I'll be spending at least a week of my time during my one-month vacation that is less than two months away. I shot this photo from an overlook after a two-hour hike into the mountains above Mansalay during my last trip to the Philippines three years ago. Getting anxious. Can't wait.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Roller Derby

Shot roller derby for the first time last night as a trade out for TMN graphics artist and designer of my future website Michelle "Sin" Obana. The NWA Roller Girls (Arkansas Killbillies and Backwoods Betties) had bouts against two out of town teams. Gotta say I enjoyed shooting roller derby. It was a fresh look at a sport I know nothing about. I shot tons of photos and this is just a small sample of them. I could have had even more photos but the skating rink was very dark and focusing was a major challenge. Lots of soft frames. I used two strobes set up at opposite corners of the rink to light the bouts.

My favorite part of roller derby came at the end of each bout. The teams do shake/slap hands at the end of a bout, but they also take a round lining up and slapping each others' asses as well. Of course football players slap each other on the ass during games too. And that of course is sooo wrong. But girls slappping each others' hiney's after a roller derby bout is as right as right gets.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Naturals' Inaugural/Home Opener

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals had their inaugural season and home opener last night in Springdale. They lost 7-1.

No the Naturals didn't lose because they're a bunch of 11-year-olds. This is the Northwest Arkansas Naturals USSSA team (that's a professional little league team, not minor league team).

Of course there was a flyover along with all the pomp and circumstance.

The Naturals' mascot formerly known on this blog as "Squatchy" is now officially called "Strike the Sasquatch." Catchy!

Hey, that's a great banner they've got hanging out there in left field. It'll look great framed behind a double play at second base. Don't DOG it. :-)

Water World

Could we get more rain in Bella Vista? Happened up this couple kayaking on my way into work yesterday after 3-inches of rain fell in Bella Vista overnight. That's normally a walking trail they're boating on. That little sign just to the aft of their vessel is a walking trail mile marker. Yeah, it rained just a bit. This is the second time in about a month Lake Bella Vista has flooded its banks. Thank God I live waaay up in the hills.

Lots of the retirees in Bella Vista won't be playing much golf in the coming days as the flooding has caused a lot of damage to the courses along U.S. 71. Any Matlock reruns on today?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hawgs Illustrated Vol. 17, Issue 5

I'm late once again getting this posted. Published last week. If you're not familiar with Hill's shot it was arguably the biggest shot of the Razorbacks' season and certainly the biggest of Hill's career as a Razorback. Too bad they fizzled out against Georgia and North Carolina. Those losses completely overshadowed the greatness of the Hogs' win over the Vols off of Hill's shot.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Today's Art

Froze my butt off shooting soccer this afternoon after a cold front moved in. Fifty degrees isn't usually so bad. But add in the wind and the fact that I was running a fever (found that out when I got home) then 50-degrees sucks. At least I got a nice action shot. Haven't caught a peak soccer header in a while. I guess it was worth it.

Saturday's Art...

...although it's now Tuesday. Do I care? Not really.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Catching Up

It's been well over a week since my last blog post, thought I would take a moment to get caught up. My trip to Raleigh ended back on March 23 when the Hogs were "slaughtered" 108-77 by the Heels in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Daily Tar Heel (UNC's student paper) ran a headline that actually read "UNC Slaughters Hogs" Ouch.

Got back to the ole wild art hunt. I actually shot this photo of a man clearing vines off the side of a building while I was walking to an assignment in downtown Fayetteville. I love it when I find wild art on my way to an assignment and actually have time to stop and shoot it. The kicker above the photo was "De-Vine Intervention." Nice.

Had to crawl out of bed early on Saturday and head waaaay down to Greenland (remember I live in Bella Vista) to shoot a large scale search for the body of a man who was washed away in a flash flood during heavy rains two weeks ago. I got super muddy on this assignment. All in all it was a good time though. Got to hang out with Pablo for the day. Nuff said. Oh, they also found the man's body, not while I was there. At least now the man's family can have some closure.

Immediately after shooting the search for the man's body I drove a mile up the road to shoot the 142nd Fires Brigade's return from a 10-month tour in Iraq. Remember I'm still super muddy. "Look, it's the Swamp Thing with a camera." I enjoy shooting troop homecomings. Everybody's happy and there are a lot of great moments to catch. This homecoming was also great because ALL of the brigade's men and women came home. No casualties. That's a good thing.

I shot photos of the wife pictured above kissing her husband when she and her children arrived at the armory about an hour before the brigade's arrival. It was a really funny moment when Pablo stepped in to interview her because he kept asking her what she and her husband planned on doing then they got home. "He's going to eat a bowl of cereal because he hasn't had real milk for 10-months since he's been in Iraq," the wife replied after thinking for a moment. "Well what else are you going to do," Pablo asked. "Ummm, that's about it," she replied after giving him the look like he should know what they're planning. "No really, what else are you going to do," Pablo persisted. At this point I wanted to whisper over his shoulder..."What do you think they're going to do when they get home Pablo." (Laugh)