Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Philippines

Well, we made it. Alona, Sahar and I have been here for more than a day now, but this is the first chance I've had to update the blog. My hotel's wireless is overpriced and really sucks so I am posting this at an internet cafe across the street. I thought I would start off the blog with a photo that truly says the Philippines. San Miguel beer, Jolly Bee and a ton of luggage. I didn't know how much I missed San Miguel until I opened up the fridge to find our housekeeper (NeNe) had stocked it with a sixer of bottles. It's great to be back.

I really haven't taken many photos since arriving. This is a street vendor shot from the balcony of our hotel room on the 14th floor yesterday. Notice the crazy utility lines I spoke of in a previous post.

The sun setting last night over Metro Manila. This view is looking west at Pasay, one of the many cities that make up the Metro Manila area. It's is a great feeling to be back here in the Philippines. I truly love this place. And I've got a whole month to continue falling in love with it.

I'll update again soon.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


My lone assignment for the day and I've only got one more day to go until I go on vacation. I'm so excited I'm dancing on the inside. Not a graceful ballet dance though. More like a drunken fool dancing at a Jimmy Buffett show, except I don't really like Jimmy Buffett all that much. But that doesn't matter because I'm drunk and on vacation. Of course this is all in my head right now....but it won't be for long.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Graduate

Sahar graduated today from Bentonville High School. It's amazing how fast her three years in high school flew by. She turns 18 on Wednesday. I haven't had the nerve to tell her how much her rent is going to be come Thursday. Ha! Just kidding. We leave for the Philippines on Thursday so there's no way I could charge her rent until we get back on July 1.

Of course I'm kidding again. Congratulations Sahar. I'm proud of you, your mother is proud of you and we love you!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

One Week Til Vacation

It's now a week and counting until I leave for the Philippines. Thought I would post a few random images from my last trip three years ago to show some uncommon sights that will be very common during my month-long vacation. This first image is a Jeepney station in Bagio City. Jeepneys are common, privately owned public transportation in the Philippines. The Jeepney is an adaptation of the American military Jeep from World War II which was used widely in the Philippines following the war.

Fishing boats. Mansalay, Alona's hometown, is a fishing town. I'll be eating lots of fresh seafood for the next month. :-)

Tricycle taxis. The second-most common form of transportation in the Philippines and also very inexpensive.

Electrical wires. The Philippines' public utility system would make an American utility worker's head spin. I've seen some electrical junctions resembling a big knotted ball of twine, scary. A "Brown Out" is a daily occurence in the Philippines, which really sucks when it's 98 degress outside and the air conditioner stops running during a brown out. That's the fun of being in the Philippines though, the unpredictability and learning to go with the flow. Can't wait.

Friday, May 16, 2008

FLW Tour...Catch The Fever!

I thought I would get away with not shooting the FLW Tour Wal-Mart Open in Rogers this year. Ha! Fat chance. For all of you that don't care, the FLW Tour is a bass fishing tour, not tournament as in one time deal, it's a tour. Like a golf tour with huge hundred thousand dollar purses, big time sponsorships and guys wearing fishing uniforms that travel all over the country fishing in tournaments for a living. Man I tell you, it wouldn't surprise me if the horseshoe throwing crowd is next. I can picture them getting organized and ready to make their big break onto the scene soon, really soon. Before you know it a "leaner" will be a household name.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another Prep Athlete Portrait

This time the assignment was a short distance runner for Bentonville High School to preview tomorrow's state track and field championships. Not exactly what I was going for when I started the shoot, but I'm happy with it anyway.

A HUGE thanks to TMN sportswriter Nathan Allen for acting as my assistant on this shoot. Not only did he make small adjustments to the position and settings on my lights for me, but he also kept my subject and her coach entertained while I had several small meltdowns due to malfunctioning lighting equipment. Thanks Nathan.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Photographic Feedback

Here is what photographers do when they're bored during a rain-delayed baseball game. This is Wesley Hitt shooting a photo of me shooting a photo of him. Did that sound right? And yes I did also shoot feature photos of the rain delay.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

I had to start early today, like 8:45 a.m., shooting the University of Arkansas' graduation. After that I had a kid's event that was postponed by lightning five minutes after I got there. Then it was on to a Razorbacks baseball game that was also delayed by rain, no big deal. So I get my work done and I'm on my way home at the end of an eight hour day and there is a tornado warning in Benton County, which is where I live. Great. So I have to cover the damage that was done by a small twister in Bentonville. It's now 9:30 p.m. and I'm finally headed home. Man I need a beer.

(Update: 10:00 p.m.)
Guess who else's tornado photos made it onto national web headlines? In your face Z-Man! :-)

Friday, May 9, 2008

To The Past and Back Again

I'm a day late posting these photos that I shot yesterday, but that's O.K. since I practically went back in time to shoot these first three. This was a gem of a photo assignment. A group of fourth-graders from Rogers spent their day at the old Rocky Branch School House. The historic one-room school house is 103-years-old. It was a really neat experience because nearly all of the children were wearing period dress.

Around lunch it was back to the future at the Economics Arkansas luncheon where The Donald was the keynote speaker. Trump really surprised me. He was a great speaker, of course, but also really, really entertaining. He poked fun all over the place but he also took aim at himself and his lifestyle. The gentlemen laughing behind him are also some very rich folk. Jim Walton, left, son of Sam Walton and chairman of Arvest Bank, and Lee Scott, CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Yep there was tons of money in that room yesterday.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Juno Portrait

Snapped a portrait of Miss Juno tonight while shooting at Lake Ann in Bella Vista. I really should take more photos of her. She is the world's best dog you know. O.K. maybe I am a little biased. Nah!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Self Portrait

My camera misfired yesterday while I was climbing to the top of a fence for an overall photo of a tennis court in Bella Vista. Didn't thing much of it until I was editing my take from the day. "Cool" was the first thing that came to mind. Wish I could say it was an intentional photo, but this one was completely accidental. But cool nonetheless.

Bella Vista Wildlife

Not much of a nature photog, but I shot this frame yesterday while working on a long-term commercial project in Bella Vista. The combination of magic light, green foliage reflecting on the water and timing with the Canada goose and her hatchlings all came together for a nice photo. I was really quite giddy when the babies snatched the algae from their mother's mouth. Knew I had a cute moment.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Bama Bummer

Alabama clinched their series at Arkansas today with a 11-6 win in Fayetteville. The Hogs looked like they were going to keep Bama at bay until the wheels fell off in the eighth inning. The Tide scored six runs in the eight, including knocking two out of the park. In all there were seven homeruns in the game. Five for Alabama, two for Arkansas.

Looks like the Hogs won't be headed to the SEC Tournament this year. They basically have to win out to have a shot at getting to Hoover. Guess I picked a good year to vacation in the Philippines. See you next year On Tap, maybe.

Mudane To Fun-dane

Why can't there be a man in a monkey suit at every mundane photo assignment? There should be a law requiring it. I was assigned to shoot the local community college's annual ice cream social and softball game yesterday. This wasn't a kids event, so I was having a hard time trying to pull something visually interesting out of a bunch of adults serving themselves ice cream. But then lo and behold I look off to the parking lot and here comes this guy in a gorilla suit. Thank you Jesus! I followed him around for bit, waited through him taking off his mask to eat his ice cream and then the moment finally came. The teams lined up for the singing of the national anthem. The gorilla lined up with the cheerleaders. "Oh Say Can You"..Click, Name, Outta there!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Prep Soccer Portrait

A feature photo I shot yesterday of Bentonville High School's all-time single season goal scorer to preview today's girl's state championship soccer game.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Pain In The.....

Hey Jason. Does this sum up your feelings about shooting baseball? :-)