Thursday, March 29

slowly, slowly, slowly.

this is the vaudeville class i've been to twice. the goal here is a short/sweet soundslide. i'd still like the photos to be better than daily work, so i'm taking my time putting it together. i'm making this story b&w because the lighting in this dance studio is hideous, pulsating florescent orange/green. ugh. it would be a nightmare to color correct everything, hence the monochrome. i'm also interested how people feel about the almost eye-contact in a lot of these photos. the kids are always performing to the mirrors which i usually keep to my back to avoid being in the photos. sometimes it looks like they're looking at me or close to it.

this is marc. he's been a gymnast with the special olympics since age 6, he's now 28. he was the only one from this are to be asked to the summer games in china this october. i found out about his story while researching another photo story. it will be a "daily". the other story on special olympians has yet to begin.

this one doesn't quite do it for me. a bit too cluttered, not quite a moment, but i had to try. i'm making an effort to photograph the in-between moments more.

these are from the massage-therapist nun story. she works at nursing homes and hospice with patients. my co-worker paul said this story is doomed because the photos will be repetitive. i know he's right in some respects, but i also think this woman is a good story. so there. i haven't shot anything that gives me a "wow" but i'm sticking to it.

these are from a medieval festival thrown by the local society for creative anachronism group. my editor requested an audio-slideshow, so i'll link to that once the package is done.

there's something about this kid's posture that i really like. i was wishing for a 4x5 at this moment. he's wearing a gold mardigras mask, but at this size it's hard to tell. this was the set up before the fair.

trying for more layers and that "weekend-warrior" hint with the new balance shoes on the right.

if i were chip litherland this wall would be red and bathed in golden light. i get blue with nikon 1000 iso.

baseball season is finally here. and so are cliche weirdisms to pass the time. i froze my butt off at this game. without a hat or a monopod i was pretty miserable. i love to shoot outdoor sports, i just need to be more prepared in the future.

Wednesday, March 21

the first days of spring have arrived in the midwest. the sun has only made a guest appearance, but the temperature is warming to the 60's. thunderstorms rolled in this afternoon with the kick drum and i'm tempted to sit in the middle of it just for the quiet-loudness of it all.

i spent all morning at the cook county courthouse waiting to take a picture of the attorneys for a big murder trial set to start here next week. 8 tv people and two other still shooters and i set up base camp outside of the security booth. we waited for hours. the smarter ones among us (read: not me) had packed snacks ("have you tried these dried oranges?") and diversions ("oh! USWeekly says brittney called justin from rehab!"). note to self: court assignments suck.

coincidentally, three other huge court cases also heard motions that morning so i found myself snapping pictures of a priest in a sex abuse scandal and a drunk off-duty cop who beat a (female) bartender to a pulp because she wouldn't serve him. strange mix, that cook county court house. all the while lines of people shuffling in and out, beltless and recently frisked.

by 12:00 the judge finally relented for lunch and we got our sideshow of defense and offense. snap, snap, snap. done. a long gray drive back to the office with low blood sugar and that was my day.


this family is having their home renovated for free by a local contractor. the mother has neurofibrosomethingorother (notebook is at the office) and is in 24/7 care. her husband and four kids are living in a local hotel until the house is finished. i would like to hang out with them more for a possible story.

gets a kiss from her oldest son.

with some more planning this shoot could've been great. according to another staffer, this is the reason the paper needs and assignment editor. we've been sitting on a request for a historic prom dress fashion shoot for two weeks. we could have found props, developed a story board, researched lighting schemes, borrowed lights from another office (ours are still broken). but no. i got this assignment 2 hours before the shoot was to start. sigh. frustrations of the grind.

so this is what i could come up with. luckily the light in the historic home the writer had set up was very nice at 5pm.

a little something from the hatchery at the museum of science and industry. getting born is tiring work. must. take. nap.

my nun massage therapist with a client. we ran into static at one of the nursing homes she visits. we walked in to go to work and for some reason the hospital's top brass was right inside. "oh taking pictures?! you need to talk to rex in the PR department first." gah. busted. we were escorted to rex's office where we sat outside in the hallway while they talked it over behind closed doors. felt like being called to the principle's office. a few minutes of PR double-talk and we were on our way.

shot water polo (for the first time) in a cave. grabbed this in between periods, or quarters, or whatever they call them. with more light i would love to shoot this again. with a water housing it would be really fun.

Sunday, March 18

the DH has 5 bureaus and i forget how many "zoned" versions of the paper. it's hard to find images i take in the print edition. they never say exactly when something is going to run and even if you do know it could be in one of ? editions. i usually don't have time to find everything. that being said this is the best photo play i think i've had since i started here in january.

i took these photos ages ago, all in one morning service. if we have another month to work on the story, why not send me back a few more times to get better images? sigh. i'm sure they have their reasons. that's why it's important to keep my own projects on track.

Saturday, March 17

came down with a wicked bad case of the flu this week. ugh. i should be back on the job tomorrow. bad thing about internships (other than low wages) is no health insurance or sick days. i'm glad it didn't morph into pneumonia...

high school fashion show of formal wear for prom season. these kids were practicing their runway routine before the start of the show.

the cub scout pinewood derbies continue. the most fun for me at this one was away from the racing.

march madness gets madder. i think this may be the last of the bball for me. if i hadn't been sick this week i might have covered some state tournament action. oh well. next year. bring on the warm weather, outdoor sports!

late turnover seals their fate to loss.


Saturday, March 10

a no photo post

today marked the first day i spent in illinois without a jacket. cars drove at a leisurely dawdle down the warm road. people stumbled, blinking onto sun-drenched sidewalks with white, almost ghostlike children on bikes, no destination in mind, just a reconnection with nature after four months of cabin fever. little girls, backlit by the sun, wore halos of rimlight as they hoola-hooped on concrete. some homies on emerson st. cracked forties and settled in for the first stoop sit of the year. another, lulled into a drowse by the sun, missed the crosswalk signal and remained on the corner for another round of stoplights.

this is what i saw from the car on my way to a conference today. this is what i wanted to photograph today.

i spent the day getting inspired at the illinois press photographer association annual shindig. steve jessmore and robert cohen showed us the results of making every assignment count, of pushing personal vision and creative impulse. i was all fired up and then had to go shoot back-to-back fundraiser-gala-society things again. nothing takes the heat out of the fire than society assignments. i guess not *every* assignment counts :) i made hideous frames out of my bitterness and then was rewarded with my version of photoshop bugging out. i had to reinstall 2 times for it to finally load. ugh.

i want to get back to the morning's inspiration. hopefully the sun and the hoolahoops will be out again tomorrow.

Thursday, March 8

so here's a few from my boxing thing. not sure it will be a "story" but this girl kicks butt and is fun to be around. hopefully i can just keep hanging out and a story arc will present itself. this is maya.

maya kicks butt as the boys watch.

the tragically hip opened up for the Who. i have some dull, standard shots of townshend. nothing fabulous there. this is the actual frame-by-frame during one second of the opening act. i thought it was crazy going through my take. more like the tragically epileptic light show.

went to a vaudeville class. i'll be doing a quick multimedia thing on these kids. the layers here almost work. not quite clean and separate enough. i'll be back for more this weekend.

had fun at a holi festival with the local hindu temple.

holi is a welcoming of spring called the "festival of color." part of the ceremony is a big dye fight. good to know the D2h can withstand a solid coating of magenta. of course with a name like "festival of color" you'd think the paper would run it in color, right? heh. i am saddened by the irony that this ran b&w.

off-court march madness. these kids were trying so hard not to look at the cheerleaders. they were failing in the funniest way.

uncles are tall.

this kid took the opposing team's student section in stride.

from today's stroll in evanston.

the thaw might be on its way. it will hit 60 sometime next week. bring it on.

Friday, March 2

the x-files

i rescued some files off the G5 at work. i had rushed back to file and left the computer in the car. d'oh! so these never made it to my desktop.

i had another case of all-day events trumped by semi-spot news. last time it was a building that had burned the morning before and this time it was...a building that had burned the morning before. hmmm. pattern? so i didn't have time to wait for the perfect trio of brass to enter this frame. i settled for the sax in a rush.

would you believe i got this background in a gym?! they had some sort of dividing mesh that was just opaque enough.

this condo unit had a pipe bomb of some sort explode in the central stairwell just after midnight. no one was hurt in the explosion, but some people had to evacuate the ensuing flash fire via their balconies. the stairwell was totally charred, but all the condos got away with smoke damage and some melted, bubbling paint. i love this frame for the subtle texture contrast between the bubbly door and the fancy-schmancy wall paper.

march madness is here. i found a 1D (not mark II) lying around the pool equipment. it's making my life so much better shooting in dim gyms. i'm getting a flavor for what the mark II (or III!) could do. le sigh. want to lend me $5,000?