Track and Field Photography

I know awhile ago, I wrote a post about going out to photograph a track and field meet at Perry High School. Well a couple of days ago, I got another chance at track but with a twist.

They weren’t teenagers that I was shooting, but instead were kids ages 6-13. Some of them had never competed before in a track meet and seeing their faces was the sweetest thing in the world.

It gave me such perspective because they had big eyes, like a deer caught in headlights and had no idea what the world of competitive track and field was like. Here, these kids train for 1 week before the meet and at the high school level they train for 4 months and some of them are year-round runners.

It was the Lake County Junior Olympics (http://news-herald.com/articles/2012/06/27/news/doc4feb49ba5f41c388051808.txt) that I was shooting and they only did track and field events.

Maybe something to consider in the future considering it was such a success is letting them do other sports and then making it a whole big tournament just as the real Olympics are to make them feel as if they are competing in the Olympics. You could do a winter version when those are airing and then a summer version when it is that year.

This is just an opinion of mine, probably not something I will see happen. Anyway, it was a lot of fun to shoot which is really good.

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Wild Art

Sorry for the delay and not posting last week, but I got my wisdom teeth out so that was the reason for not posting. Now, I am back and better and excited to get back to shooting assignments.

On Monday, I was out looking for wild/free/feature art, just something to fill space that looks nice.

The first thing I thought of was this little spray park in Lyndhurst, but the weather was so cold that there was no one there.

So, they told me to go to the pool where they might be more people and there were. There was a group of kids there playing and they didn’t care that it was cold out, they still swam and played around.

I saw that there was a dog playing in the fences so I took some shots there and then I got this shot of the dog just looking into the child’s eyes and that was my shot.

Marines are awesome!

This past week was Marine week at downtown Cleveland. This is when a bunch of Marines (over 700) come into Cleveland to educate us about what they do on a daily basis and what it is like fighting overseas. It’s not a recruitment type of thing, it is just really cool to see a bunch of Marines all in town with everything, almost like fleet week of New York.

Anyway, I went down to Voinovich Park on Monday to take some shots for wild art because  it was something I was passionate about. All I kept hearing on the news and in the paper was marine week this and marine week that, so I wanted to check it out for myself.

When I got there, they were as nice as could be. I introduced myself and said I was a member of the press and this Lieutenant just started talking to me and gave me a guided tour of what was downtown. He was incredibly nice and polite.

The first thing I noticed, picture wise that I wanted to shoot had to be the memorial flags. There are over 400 of them and each one represents an Ohio resident who was killed in action during the war on terror. I saw these three people just sitting right in front of it and I thought, “there’s my shot.” So, I snapped it but still continued looking around.

I landed in front of a light armour vehicle (LAV) that had been used in Afghanistan last year and three marine soldiers, two of them had been on tour last year. First of all, they were my age and easy on the eyes which is always appreciated. And second of all, they were so nice because they let me climb on the vehicle and one of them held my bag and made sure it was safe when I was climbing in it.

After that, I left Voinovich Park and went back to the newsroom to edit.

However, today I got to go down to Burke Lakefront Airport for some of the demonstrations they were doing. First of all, I flashed my press badge by the tarmac and they led me to a public relations person who could take me 1/2 mile down in an air conditioned van to where the demonstrations would be. Then, once I got down there I was talking to more marine public relations people and a photographer and these were women marines and they were also incredibly nice.

Just so incredibly understanding and willing to let me go wherever I needed to get my shots. It was pretty damn cool to see them fighting with each other and how they interacted with each other.

Once they were done fighting, it’s like a switch flipped and they suddenly became regular human beings again.

The only negative thing that I can say is I was sweating like a pig in the 90+ heat with the humidity going. In fact, the photographer that I was talking to who is based in San Diego, California said she had never experienced heat like this before because of the horrible humidity that we had.

I would just like to say thank you to all those men and women who served and to the marines for picking Cleveland for marine week!

For more information about marine week go to http://www.marines.mil/community/MarineWeekCleveland/Pages/Welcome.aspx

Wedding Photography

I wanted to share with everyone what has been on my mind lately and that is wedding photography.

Weddings are a joyous occasion in someone’s life where people want to invite you to see how happy they are and celebrate with them.

However, wedding photography is a whole different avenue. Some of them will force you into pose after pose in an awful background and make you pay thousands of dollars for what should be the best moment in your life.

This is where I think it needs to be changed and some photographers are starting to adopt this principle now. It shouldn’t be about a boring background, it’s the moments that happen when you are not looking through the camera that are the best. Those looks are the moments that need to be captured.

Some people might be thinking, “How does she know about this?” Well, it is because last weekend I was out at this gorgeous manor for my cousin’s wedding in Maryland.

It was an amazing property, but the wedding photographer put them in the worst spot, right in front of all these trees and shrubbery. It was such a waste, if you are going to have that gorgeous property, USE IT!

Then, when she was taking the posed pictures, I was photographing too and I caught the best moment. She didn’t even see the angle because she was too busy capturing the others.

I just think that you should have those posed portraits too a point but also include the moments that matter. It needs to be a combo of both of those things to really photograph a wedding correctly.

A Little Spacey

Something people might not know about my family is how crazy into space we are, specifically my mom. She has been volunteering downtown at a museum called the International Women’s Air and Space Museum (IWASM) (www.iwasm.org) since I was a little kid. Anyway, why I am bringing this up is that our two worlds collided on Tuesday.

I didn’t really have an assignment to shoot yet, so I called my editor and told him about this event that was happening at Edgewater Park on the west side in downtown Cleveland. I read about it on tweet from IWASM (@WomenintheAir) where they posted a link to a cleveland.com article that said the transit of Venus was going to be occurring and there was a viewing party where 5,000-10,000 people were expected.

Once I saw that article, I knew that this would be a great photo opportunity because of the amount of people that were expected to be there. It was a slow news day at the office so my editor let me shoot it.

So, me, my sister and my mom all got in the car and drove down to Edgewater. I had my laptop with me so that I could get my pictures in on time because I knew that this would run a long time.

We all got downtown around 4:30 and as soon as I got there I began to see all of the amazing telescopes that were set up.

For those who don’t understand what the Transit of Venus is, it’s basically when Venus is visible appearing across the Sun. It’s sort of like a solar eclipse when the moon is in the middle of the Earth and Sun, except it is a planet. They occur in pairs, eight years apart and then 105 years after the last one appeared. So, there won’t be another transit occurring for 105 years.

Anyway, when we got downtown there was all of the media set up: Channels 3,5,8 and 19 as well as NASA TV. That was cool to see because they all had the long satellite transmitter trucks and were all parked together.

I noticed one of the broadcasters was talking with this guy who owned one of the biggest telescopes I have ever seen. It was all brass and made in 1874 by Alvin Clark. It was spectacular.

I started floating around a little bit, talking to people and taking pictures here and there. One other thing that is essential to be able to see the transit of Venus is a cloudless sky. It had been overcast all day, but thankfully before the time came for optimal viewing, the skies cleared.

Then, all of a sudden as if from nowhere the park started getting more crowded and there was suddenly people everywhere. Soon enough, it was 6:04 p.m. when the transit could be seen and everyone took their viewers and looked at the sun.

It looks like a black spot just moving across the Sun because that’s what it was. The cool thing was taking pictures of everyone looking through their viewer because it was thousands of people all gathered at the park looking at the sun at the same time. It sort of looked like they were watching a 3-D movie except it was real.

I even had a little time to look through one of the telescopes and see it and it was weird but cool. It was definitely something I didn’t want to pass up because it was a once in a lifetime experience and I am grateful that I got to do it with my family.

CYB (Cover Your Butt)

One of the most important things that I have learned during this entire experience, as well as studying at Kent is CYB aka Cover Your Butt. This means that when you are shooting something, make sure you get something usable and then get all artsy and start playing around with different angles, lighting and stuff like that.

On Monday, I shot the Lake County Captains game. This was very exciting to me for two reasons. One, I absolutely love shooting baseball and these are future Cleveland Indian players, which is cool when you think about it. Two, Indians catcher Carlos Santana was there on a rehab assignment after he got hit in the mask with a ball and got a concussion.

So, when I got to the stadium, I found the reporter, David Glasier, and put my stuff away and got ready to take some shots before the game began.

One of the most interesting type of shots that I was going to get was if Santana would sign autographs for the lined up fans and if he would have any interaction at all with them. Unfortunately, he didn’t sign autographs, so I couldn’t get that shot.

But, I got shots of other future Indians signing as well as one of the opposing team. One important thing to know about the way the Captains come out is they go from the locker room and go down a railing to get out to the field. While I did need to go back to my bag and put my stuff away, I didn’t rush there at first. Instead, I stayed a little bit higher and took pictures as Santana walked down, which I really liked a lot. The shots turned out way different, which is a good thing.

See, here’s the thing about me. I am constantly checking USA Today’s Day in Pictures/Sports and looking at the way the photographers frame people and can get different types of shots. That is what is so interesting to me about photography is being able to create a dynamic image that tells a story.

Once I changed my lenses, it was right to work taking pictures of the game itself. I also took pictures of the crowd because there will be a three-day feature running in about two weeks or so featuring past crowd shots as well as shots that I took.

Anyway, Santana got to bat in the second inning. And he popped out. And again his next time and the time after that he grounded out. So, in between innings I knew it was time to CYB. I took a lot of shots of him in the dugout making strange faces and talking to people. I really think by the end of the game, he was thinking “Who is this girl taking photos of me and when is she going to focus on the game? Stop taking photos of me”.

Or that could just be my warped sense of humor. Anyway, in the bottom of the eighth inning, Santana steps up to the plate and the Captains are down 3-1. He sends a ball back and in the words of Tom Hamilton, the ball is GONE! He had hit a two-run home run to tie the game at three.

Finally, I get some action shots of Santana and on his way back from tagging the bases, I got a very nice shot of him pointing to his Captains teammates.

After his home run, he was done for the day and on his way to Detroit to join his teammates in playing the Tigers. The point was I got my shot and I covered my behind just in case.