Thursday, October 30, 2008

Woo hoo, witchy woman

"Tour guide and former Annapolis mayor Dick Hillman waits for his group to catch up as Pat Honeysett explains a legends and story to a group in Annapolis, Friday, Oct. 24. Annapolis Haunted Ghost Tour, run by Watermark Tours, is a walking tour that visits buildings and houses in Annapolis, including the Paca House."

Children are so greedy during Halloween. I know for a fact I was.

Here is a holiday (well, is it really considered a holiday?) that encourages folks to dress up, knock on doors and get candy for free.

On the other end of the spectrum, it promotes the idea of adults to dress as scantily-clad nurses, naughty bunnies, Sarah Palins, and Jokers, then drink excessive amounts alcohol (not for free) as if it were candy.

But if you can think back to when you were young, try and remember how greedy you were during that Halloween night.

First, you picked your costume. Despite what your parents said, you always were what you wanted to be whether or not you've been the same football player year after year.

Second, no matter how cold it was on Halloween night, you were not wearing a coat over top of your costume. That was just not happening.

Third, the objective of the night was clearly to get as much candy as possible. Yet when you got small amounts or candy you didn't like you always got upset.

Fourth, you went back to the house that gave out full sized candy bars as many times as humanly possible.

Fifth, the last to greediness. A bowl labeled with "Please just take one" really meant "I am cleaning you out, you should have answered the door."

And after all that selfishness, you only ate maybe a quarter of what you brought home. Not to mention, you had your parents buy your favorite candy so when they didn't give it all out you had some left over.

But aside from all that, I finally after years of wanting to go, got to go on a haunted ghost tour...for free.

Since I was shooting the assignment for work, I got to hang out with a small group and a real "witchy woman" who explained the legends and haunts to the group.

Only the thing was that I wasn't scared at all. I was never spooked. It was more or less a chat about what they claim to be the real haunts.

Granted, half the people in my group were over the age of 40 and probably came from the bars, I was expecting to be frightened.

But the only thing that frightened me was not being able to shoot ambient only during the black of night. I had brought a flash, but wanted to put my Nikon D3 to the test.

Equipped with a 35mm f/2 and the ISO cranked up to 6400, I was easily able to shoot in total darkness. Pretty amazing stuff. Even the tour guide asked why I didn't have a "magic candlestick" to help illuminate my subjects.

Anyways, I feel as if I am rambling today, so I'll end it with have a safe Halloween.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Making something of nothing - literally

"John K. Burkley II is marketing the idea of a tourist destination, including a Hollywood-themed slots complex, for developers of a 150-acre tract in Perryville. Marylanders could vote in November to legalize slots in five locations, including the area around Perryville."

Election day is drawing closer, and aside from voting for a the next president of the United States, residents in Maryland, including myself, have the chance to legalize slots.

This, much like the death penalty issue and whether or not to abolish it in Maryland, has been a hot debate topic which I followed this summer and fall.

The debate on slots has left many in Maryland with mixed feelings. Some fear the they would disrupt their way of life with increased traffic and crime, while others say the state needs the economic boost. As stated several Baltimore Sun articles, during these tough economic times, the financial benefits hold particular appeal for many.

Since June, I've covered both sides of the proposal. From those like John K. Burkley II (above) who is marketing the idea of a tourist destination in Cecil County, to the opponents and supporters who live directly behind other proposed locations like Pimlico Race Course.

Much like Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is pushing for voter approval of the slots plan, I have to agree to bring them to the state. I don't see the difference between Joe Random buying $100 worth of scratch-off lottery tickets and Jane Random pulling the lever on the slot machine. Not to mention the financial benefits would be helpful in these tougher times.

As for this assignment, I met the reporter and subject directly off of Interstate 95 in Cecil County. Where? On a service road next to a huge lot of empty land.

Knowing the story was about the proposed area for slots, I needed to make something of literally nothing. Just grass and dirt - and a human.

Instead of photographing an empty lot of land, I pitched the idea for the reporter to drive her SUV out into the middle of this field and conduct her interview. She went for it.

So we piled into her small SUV and trekked out into this lot. Little did we know this flat terrain was anything but smooth. As we trickled across the dry bed of dirt and tall grass, our heads continually hit the top of the headliner as we bumped across multiple ditches and pot holes.

At this point I wasn't nervous about getting shot, but scared that I'd be driving the reporter back to Baltimore after she either got a flat tire or ripped her oil pan off the bottom of her truck.

But without delay, we made it to the middle of pitch, after we decided not to try and make it to the small hill on the far side of the lot which over looked the water.

As the reporter and the subject talked, I tried my best to show the size of the land by standing on her truck door frames to get a higher angle.

In the end, we ran the above photo which I liked better. Nothing like a little bit of grass to help fill your frame.

And to those locals interested, and still unsure which way you will vote, follow The Baltimore Sun's coverage on the slots here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Patience during sadness

"Maryland State Police Trooper Holloway lowers his head as he stands in line for the viewing at the Gamber and Community Fire Company's Social Hall for Trooper First Class Mickey Lippy, who died in Police medevac crash this past Saturday."

Caveat: Let me preface by saying sorry for the blog being down for 48-hours. As some may or may not have known, my domain was forwarding you here to my blog. But now, as I slowly work on an actual Web site (gasp!), my new permanent blog address will be ( and my Web site address will be ( Thanks!

Some days are just tough - mentally and emotionally. Not to mention they can be photographically challenging, too. But that must be all pushed aside in order to tell the story for the greater good.

Thus was true of photographing a viewing of a fallen member of the Maryland State Police earlier this month.

Three weeks ago, the Maryland State Police grounded its fleet of medical evacuation helicopters following a late-night crash in Prince George's County that killed four people, including the pilot.

The tragedy was deemed as the deadliest accident since the force started flying medevac missions 38 years ago.

Attempting to make an emergency landing then going down in a forest near Andrews Air Force Base, it killed the pilot, two emergency medical workers and one of the two auto accident victims the helicopter had been transporting to Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly.

Of the two emergency medical workers killed, one was Tfc. Mickey Lippy, 34, a flight paramedic from Westminster.

The Sun had been covering the accident on the front page for a couple days, and my assignment for one afternoon was to shoot the first viewing of Tfc. Lippy.

Originally, media was granted permission inside of the viewing, so I had to jet home to grab a shirt, tie and pants before heading out to Westminster.

But after getting home, I was informed we would actually not be allowed inside, however, I would need to still attend and make an image of the crowd going in as daily.

Now, this could come off sounding wrong, but making a visual of folks standing around isn't easy when you're trying to put the story in context for readers. It's my job to communicate the sadness and loss.

So after making some overall images of the large congregation of mourners waiting to pass on condolences to the family, I started waiting for some sort of emotion from the crowd.

I captured a couple hugs and comforting images, but I thought this image told the story the best, granted the Maryland State Police was a large part of the story. Hopefully it passed along a sympathetic message to the readers about this terrible loss.

I am saddened by the loss of life and it's never easy to photograph events like these, but that's our job. Hopefully it was meaningful. My heart goes out to all the families, friends who lost someone in this incident.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The b-more beats go on

"Howard Mazer, GM of WERQ 92.3 FM, along with friends, family and others at the station gathered to dedicate a mixing booth that celebrated the life of "K-Swift", otherwise known as Khia Edgerton, Monday. Edgerton died this summer after a pool accident at her home. She was 29."

The great thing about photographing someone is that I never forget them.

Unlike meeting someone random for the first time, when I see my subjects through the lens and get to know them, it's a rare occasion that I'll ever forget them or their story. And what is also nice, is I'll even get approached by those I've photographed, too.

So as I watched the news last night my eye caught glimpse of a couple of my subjects this past year, one being Howard Mazer, General Manager of WERQ 92.3 FM, the top radio station in Baltimore.

He and others were joining together to celebrate a special memorial dedicated to popular and groundbreaking Baltimore DJ Khia Edgerton, also known as "K-Swift" who died in a pool accident this summer.

Since Edgerton would have celebrated her thirtieth birthday Sunday, her coworkers and others celebrated all she accomplished on Monday.

Ederton was a pioneer in the Baltimore club music scene, enough to have a random guy like me enjoying it.

I grew up listening to a little bit of hip-hop music, and couldn't escape the addicting sounds of Baltimore club music. Whether it was in a friends car, at a party or bar, or just playing in the background of a sporting event.

Often I'd be heading home in more recent years, and the beats would keep me awake behind the wheel.

She knew what she was doing, and as I heard them say on the station once, "You know it's good when they in Harford County are feeling da beats..."

But back to remembering. This all came back to me after photographing Mazer earlier this year. I had liked the photo, yet wasn't very pleased with the context during the time it was shot. So when I saw him on the news, I thought the portrait better portrays the story now.

As for K-Swift, I remember photographing her at a high school basketball tournament at Morgan State earlier this year. I had heard her mixing for years, but never knew who she was. But once I heard the distinct beats, I knew exactly who she was.

Between the two games I was shooting, I let her know I liked her stuff and she gave me a free CD, which has been in my car changer since. From what I gathered, it was the last CD she released before passing.

Like the dedicated mixing booth, it will keep me going, just in different way. It will keep me jamming on the long night drives home, remind of home when I am not and remind me of someone who was bringing something new and fresh to others with her own style.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Can you pay my bills

"Richard Spencer's painting business has slowed and he fell behind on his BGE bill. He went through dozens of agencies for help before finding grants from Salvation Army to help pay a bill of $1,800."

I don't know about anybody else, but I just feel overwhelmed with the state the country's economy.

Maybe it's the fact that I am already a poor college student that scares me.

Maybe it's the fact that I am trying to find a job in a dying industry all while people are losing their jobs, be in newspapers or not, that terrifies me.

Maybe it's the fact that I could just make this post a bunch of reasons I hope the United States doesn't fall into a depression.

Whatever the reason, the financial crisis continues he in the states. Last week it drove the Dow Jones industrial to their biggest loss ever during a trading day. Banks are continually going bankrupt. What's next?

Anthony Sabino, a professor of law and business at St. John's University, assured others in an Associated Press article that better times are to come, stating, "Most certainly, this is not the Great Depression of the 1930s, but (is like) the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s -- and we bailed them out."

Once people catch their breath, they'll see this is the proper analogy and this will breathe life back into banking institutions."

Hopefully he is right.

Until everything is straightened out, I'll probably continue to find myself shooting people with money problems and spending my money conservatively. Which translates into, no new photo, electronic toys.

Throughout the past month money has been a reoccurring theme with my assignments. People going bankrupt, investors scared to trade and folks asking, "Can you pay my bills? Can you pay my telephone bills?"

OK, obviously I am trying to make light of the situation with my horrid Destiny's Child reference. Man, they are such a horrible music group. How those lyrics popped in my head, I have no idea. But lame pop culture music lyrics are always sticking in my head.

However, I am guessing that's the song Richard Spencer (above) was probably singing after his painting business slowed and he fell behind on his BGE bill.

Luckily for him, he went through dozens of agencies for help before finding grants from Salvation Army to help pay a bill of $1,800. Must be nice. Not that he was having trouble, but that there are others out there willing to help.

Yet, he is just one person of I am sure many in Baltimore, the United States that is struggling with money.

Well, I don't want to turn this into a 2,000 word essay on the bailout and the economy.

Stay brave people. At least gas prices are falling a bit, right?

Friday, October 17, 2008

EAW - Sensory overload

(My raw edit of my Eddie Adams Workshop XXI story entitled "Baby")

The past couple days I've been trying to catch up on life and work, oh, and sleep. I am struggling to move on from the Eddie Adams Workshop, I had such a great time, it's difficult to jump right back into my normal life.

Since coming back to Baltimore, I still don't know whether to laugh, smile, cry, or be mad. Over the long weekend, I fell in and out of love with photography many times, for various unknown reasons. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions. But I suspect there are many lessons that will become apparent in the weeks to come that I haven’t considered yet.

It’s hard to find the combination of words to describe what I am feeling: Happiness. Sadness. Overwhelmed. Sensory stimulation. Sleep deprivation. Passion. Excitement. Fun. Inspiring. Unforgettable.

Whatever words and thoughts spit out of my mouth, my brain still cannot process all of it at once. When past attendees say it's like a religious, spiritual journey. It really is.

Yet if anything, I feel privileged to be selected in this small group, this fraternity of great photographers.

The photographers I heard speak were intelligent, touching and profound (and did I mention witty?). The fellow students, professionals work I saw was a photographic concoction of inspiration for my mind body pupils and soul. Its been nearly impossible to digest all this incredible photojournalism.

Aside from my personal thoughts, I was apart of the yellow team. Our squad was led by National Geographic Director of Photography David Griffin, Gerd Ludwig, also of National Geographic, and Guy Solimano of AOL.

Our focus was pregnancy. Our stories revolved around those having children for the first time, young and old, those with multiple kids, those ready to give birth, and those working in the profession of health care and more.

After getting two assignments changed on me only because I had a car, I landed with 22-year-old Arielle Parker, who lived in Livingston Manor, Ny., with her parents, siblings and four-year-old son, Donovan, in a tiny two bedroom apartment. Not small to the average person, just extremely cluttered with all the bodies living in it.

Being due a day prior to us meeting, yet still pregnant, I focused on the relationship between Parker and her son. She had recently moved home from New York city to get some help with her pregnancy.

I hung out with her for about 10-hours in two-days trying to tell her story of pregnancy, but her story was more about how she loved her "baby." Despite being ready to pop, she was chasing him around, picking him up and caring for him non-stop.

They had a great relationship, whether she was feeling sick at home, playing with him on the playground, laughing at his funny antics, watching her brothers football game or simply loving him. Although she often had to yell "baby" to get him to listen to her sometimes, he had a great mom.

I wasn't completly happy with my take or my final story, which only included maybe a quarter of the above images (above is my entire "raw edit" of the story). I wish I could have had some say in what images were used, how to crop my photos and simply more time with my subjects. But it is what it is and I learned from it.

Overall, this is one weekend I'll never forget. The ups and downs. The good photos and bad. The no sleep and sleep...wait a minute.

Maybe I am having an epiphany? Maybe these are normal reactions and thoughts after Barnstorm? Who knows. What I do know is that I feel a sense of change. There is a new life ahead of me and I am equipped with fresh ideas and vision.

This has been one hello of a ride. Thanks for everything to everyone involved. And of course, thanks, Eddie.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Back from the barn

(Images from the barn and of the yellow team at Barnstorm XXI in Jeffersonville, Ny.)

What can I say, this past weekend at the Eddie Adams Workshop was absolutely amazing. Four days, four nights filled with endless information and inspiration. Low sleep, a large catalog of students, professional shooters and enough great work to make one go to bed smiling each night for years to come.

Again, if you're not familiar with Barnstorm, it's a four day adventure of 100 hand-picked students along with 100 photojournalism veterans that descend upon Jeffersonville, Ny., for the annual Eddie Adams Workshop.

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, Eddie Adams, founded the intensive four-day program 21 years ago. The tuition-free workshop's purpose is to create a forum in which an exchange of ideas, techniques, and philosophies can be shared between both established members and newcomers to the world of visual journalism.

Before reaching Jeffersonville, I always heard stories of the workshop and how it can change your life, shooting style and basically fast-forward your life as a photojournalist by five years.

On my way up last week, I was terrified. I didn't know what to expect, other than being immersed in photojournalism for four days straight with little to no sleep.

Each day, we as individuals, worked on a personal assignment given to us by our team producer and listened to a laundry list of varying speakers. Whether they talked about their own work, the industry, a new product, or the life of Eddie Adams, I enjoyed every second of it.

From Bill Frakes, Micheal Williamson, Platon, and Brian Storm to Stanley Greene, Samantha Appleton and Yuri Kozyrev, and the iconic Bill Eppridge (to name only a small portion). My mind was racing with inspiration and ideas. I was honored to hear them speak. I wanted to know more. I wanted to get out of my chair and go shoot, but at the same time was so inspired it scared me.

Each night, we got maybe three hours of sleep. On the drive home, I calculated maybe 10-hours of sleep in four days. From sun up to sun down sun up, we were eating, sleeping and breathing the industry.

I had a blast, met a bunch of new photog friends and once again was inspired over and over again.

OK, I am keeping this brief because, well, I am completly exhausted. Mentally and physically.

Until then, I've posted some images I took from while at the barn. I didn't take many, but wanted to share what I had of mostly my teammates...Go Yellow. I'll be back later this week with more on the workshop, a more detailed view if you will, and my images from my own story.

Must get sleep. Must get sleep. Must get sleep.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Picking a winner

"A University of Virginia fans gazes at the Maryland Terps' bench during a timeout at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday night."

If I had to pick a winner between Maryland and Virginia before the game Saturday night, I certainly would have picked the Terps. This girl would have probably picked a booger the winner having been from the University of Virginia.

Maryland entered the match on a three-game winning-streak and was picked by many to roll over Virginia. Yet as in my last post, the Terps were crushed and failed to put any points on the scoreboard.

The game was fairly uneventful and didn't yield many photo opportunities, so between the timeouts I tried to focus on the fans.

Although I've covered numerous high school, college and pro football games, the matches I typically cover don't fill the stands, aside from Maryland and the Ravens.

In my eyes, a Division I college football game is just, if not, as exciting as an NFL match. However, some D-I college teams in Maryland barely fill one section of the stands, let alone an entire complex. So there is some difference in the divisions.

With that said, witnessing a nearly full Scott Stadium was an added bonus, a treat. Clean backgrounds with fans actually filling the seats, a little bit of adrenaline from all the cheering, sound levels and a lot of eye candy during the timeouts.

I often try to ignore the crowd, although the witty bellowed comments always seem to amuse me.

The other thing with fans is that they don't seem to ever notice a huge lens pointed in their direction since their focus is usually on the game. The front row may cheer louder and go nuts when I turn around to shoot someone 50 rows back because they think I am shooting a picture of them.

But most of the time no one ever notices, so finding candid moments is simple.

At this game, the use of the giant foam "we are No.1" fingers played a big part. I honestly didn't think they still existed. And I never really understood their significance, but whatever.

This girl probably didn't realize what she was doing, nor did her friends. Had she been doing it on purpose, goofing around, I probably wouldn't have liked the frame as much.

Well, I am still trying to fix a couple bugs with my new layout (which I am loving by the way). As always, big thanks to my buddy and "personal" Web designer, Blake, for the help.

On an unrelated note, I may not be doing any posting until next Tuesday, as I will be in Jeffersonville, Ny., for the Eddie Adams Workshop, also know as Barnstorm XXI.

Wish me luck. I feel privileged and hope to learn a lot from this fantastic experience, meet a lot of great, inspiring photographers and make some new friends.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Private tackle

"Virginia's Cedric Peerman leaps over Maryland's Terrell Skinner during the second quarter at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008. The Terps were crushed in 31-0 loss to Virginia."

Although I vowed to begin posting on some older assignments, I felt if anything, this game would become obsolete if not posted.

In addition, until my redesign (another one you ask?) when I am able to post Soundslides and multiple image slide shows, I'll keep this brief as I post on the other side of the game tomorrow.

Last weekend my schedule changed. Not once. Not twice. But three times.

Originally I was scheduled to shoot the homecoming, big welcome home bash (two-months later) for Michael Phelps, honoring him for his Olympic achievements.

Then that got scratched and I was put on the Maryland Million horse race, which is the second largest horse race in Maryland aside from the always exciting Preakness.

I was happy to be shooting either, but then the phone call came. "Would you object to shooting the Virginia Saturday night?"

Easy going and knowing it would be a front sports page story on Sunday's paper, I agreed. Now that I think about it, I don't think I've ever turned down any assignment ever, unless I had prior engagements.

Anyways, with kick-off set for 7 p.m., I left Baltimore around noon Saturday and arrived in Charlottesville, Va. around 3:30 p.m.

With time to burn, I ventured around town, stopped for a late lunch and looked for a new fall, winter coat in some sporting stores. Then with about two hours before kick-off I made my way over to Scott Stadium.

After getting my computer set up and receiving a little help from DC Press Box shooter Chris Blunck, after my pool glass lens hood was completely jammed on my the end of my 400mm, I shot some test frames and searched for some different angles in the stadium before the beginning of the game. Basically familiarizing myself to the complex.

Maryland went into the contest on a three-game winning-streak over some ranked teams, while Virginia was struggling a bit. I was hoping on making some telling images before the half with hopes of maybe getting on the road back toward home a bit earlier knowing I had to shoot the Ravens at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

But the slogan "Virginia is for lovers" wasn't very fitting for the Terps. They were getting crushed and went into halftime down by three touchdowns.

At halftime, I moved a majority of my images, and almost over looked this "private tackle." It's not often you see something like this and didn't realize I had made the image until seeing it big on my laptop. Not that exciting, doesn't really tell the story of the game, but worth a shot of getting it on the page.

Unfortunately, the "grabbage" only made it online. Oh, well.

Before the second half, I realized if the game kept going the way it did that I would need to concentrate on shooting some telling images. In this case, dejection since Maryland is the team people in Baltimore care about.

I did just that and the front page ended up being an image of Maryland players, including Da'Rel Scott, as they watched time expire during the Terps' 31-0 loss to Virginia.

Overall it was a pretty boring game. I did get some great play on the pages Sunday and Monday from my other images, including some more dejection shots.

More tomorrow on the other side of the game. The fans and atmosphere.

edit: My buddy sent me a link. The photo was on AOL Sports. Pretty cool. Might have to scroll a couple images over.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Stuck, taught by Windows

"Tommy Wesselhoff, 10, presses his face against the window of the school bus as he waves goodbye to his mother and brother, Danny, whom will stay at home for online schooling Tuesday morning. Tommy and Danny Wesselhoff are two of about 100 students who were enrolled in Baltimore County's virtual school instruction program last year, which continues to go unfunded this year."

This weekend I was nowhere near my computer, so I apologize to my weekend readers who sent me comments asking if I was still alive. I am. I am here. And I am back.

While I actually was near my laptop, I was working and busy and didn't have any prewritten posts to load up. So with that, beginning today, I will start to post on some assignments I've been meaning to share, yet they've become lost in my draft bin.

I'll do my best to update with the most relevant to the news, but I'd like to post these older stories sooner, rather than later, so they don't become even more outdated.

Alas, this is one of the outdated.

Sometimes you aren't stumped persay, but trying to make a story interesting and factual is tough, especially when it involves a subject working at a computer.

Nowadays, people have laptops and I can typically make a cool portrait of them outside, out of their office or room, and not worry about it being stale to the eye.

However, this assignment was about a student who was home schooled by a computer and the fact that his little brother, who attends a public school, wanted to also stay home.

I got to the boys house before the Tommy had to leave for the school bus and I had no idea how to make sure readers understood what was going on. And I wasn't about to set up a portrait.

As the morning went on, I hung out with the brothers (and mother) and tried to capture moments of the younger brother wanting to be like his big brother. But to me, what I was capturing wasn't telling of the story.

Although I had the standard shot of the Danny working at the computer, I needed something else.

For some reason I was thinking, if I have this shot of Danny on the computer, maybe they will run two pictures as a contrast if I get the other Tommy going to school.

So I banked on that idea as I continued to shoot.

As the boy’s mother and Danny accompanied the youngest to the bus stop, I knew this may be the time where I could tell the story on how Tommy wanted to stay at home.

As they played with other students, the big yellow bus finally arrived. Hugs and kisses were exchanged and I thought the moment was endearing. But out of the corner of my eye I caught Tommy banging on the window to Danny. Face plastered against the glass.

Danny laughed and waved back, but as the bus pulled away, Tommy's face remained stuck to the back seat window of the bus. He wanted to stay home. He wanted to be with his brother.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Deer down, reporter up

"Brian Bichell of Rosedale, Md., drags a lifeless deer from the forest to his truck after he shot it with a bow and arrow, as he and other archers gather for the opening of the annual deer hunt season in Loch Raven Reservoir off of Paper Mill Road in Baltimore County, Tuesday morning."

Aside from the inspiring and wonderful photo staff at The Baltimore Sun, I've had the pleasure to work alongside some great editors and reporters this summer, too.

A lot of the time when a story runs (and I am guilty of it too) a photographer won't mention those who actually discovered the story and are doing their magic with the words- the reporter.

Although I haven't worked with all the reporters at The Sun directly or indirectly, if at all, there were a handful I found myself teaming up with time and time again. Together we've enjoyed the painful, mundane long days as well as the interesting, exciting and eventful stories.

The great thing about the "word side" folk I've had the chance to work with is that they are all great people, which makes a long day hanging out with them enjoyable. And when you're happy and having a good time, I believe that is when your work flourishes.

A couple weeks ago, I got to rise once again this summer before the sun and head out to shoot a story with a reporter I had just met and worked with the day before, and there was no altering the fact that it would be a good day.

Having stayed out late with David Hobby the night before and getting to bed around 2 a.m., I knew my day would be miserable when my alarm clock rang at 3:45 a.m. for my assignment.

I was up before dawn to meet a sun reporter for the first day of the annual deer hunt.

The story revolved around hunters being allowed to, for a lack of different words, shoot down white-tailed deer in the Loch Raven Reservoir for the first time of the season and ever in this area, so we hung out with a select archer.

Prior to the "deer stake out" I got some frames off and the reporter got most of his interview out of the way, before for about three hours we (tried) to sit quietly in the dark, cold, damp, bug and tick infested forest.

We lasted, maybe 20 minutes in dead silence as we sat in the brush on a rotting fallen tree. Then it started. The laughter.

Granted we both were running low on sleep and hoping not to get shot ourselves, we couldn't help but to keep one another company.

At times we would catch ourselves getting too loud, and quiet down for a couple minutes. That was until we finally saw a deer; run walk right under hunters stand without him ever noticing.

We lost it. When we saw the deer we went mute. Then after he vanished, we laughed to the point where my chest hurt.

It was one of those, dare I say hysterical giggles, one gets when sitting in church. Its known to be on your best behavior when in worship, but it gets the best of everyone when in church that they cannot control a good laugh. That was us, yet in wilderness.

Following the unsuccessful hunt, we did manage to run into two other hunters who had shot a deer and made at least my morning worth it (better story telling than a guy sitting in a tree). What almost wasn't worth it is when one of them angrily asked us using choice words if we were protesters?

He had been in another stand obstruct to us and heard us "chatting" all morning. But once he found out who we were, he warmed up after many apologizes from us (as we feared an arrow in our chests).

All in all, without some laughter to keep our sanity, I don't think the story would have been as good as it was. We had a good time and did our jobs at the same time.

When my internship ends, I'll miss everyone dearly. No pun intended. But I'll be sure not to forget the reporters who I worked with all summer and made my days and stories when I wasn't working alone a great time.

Thanks, guys and girls. This ones for you and all the future reporters I'll ever work with.