Monday, September 26, 2011

Bye, bye baseball

"Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals warms up in between innings as the grounds crew freshens up the field against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on September 25, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Washington Nationals won, 3-0."

Spent the weekend covering what will most likely be the last baseball games I'll cover this year. That is, unless I somehow end up shooting some playoffs.

I decided to spend a couple extra innings shooting from above since it was the last game of the season. Thanks to Mark, I have a picture of me in the super-secret location.

While the game was scoreless much of the game, I did make some interesting pictures with the 2x converter that I borrowed. It was an interesting view that I'd certainly like to try for football, too.

This was my favorite picture from the game, only because a couple photographers had been talking about the classic days of baseball when photographers were literally allowed right on the field.

The sport would certainly be a lot more interesting if grounds crew, photographers and other media could simply wonder the field at any given point.

Then again, batters would probably use others as targets, much like on a driving range when the cart is out diving around.

Baseball, it has been fun. I'll see you next season.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Feels like fall

"Referee Pete Morelli #135 and other officials take the field before the start of the Washington Redskins taking on the Arizona Cardinals at FedExField on September 18, 2011 in Landover, Maryland."

It has been just about a year since I last shot football, and then very shortly after finding myself in the operating room.

So to say I was anxious was an an understatement. While I am completely healed and released to do whatever I want, remembering football was the nail in the coffin, so to speak, terrified me.

But all the worries quickly vanished as I walked onto the field. The feel of football was in the air - cold and crisp, the colors of the Redskins stadium replicating the leaves, colors of fall and the large crowd echoing loudly - I was pumped.

While shooting NFL games doesn't really excite like it did when I first started shooting them years ago, I was really excited to be back out there shooting a fun, fast, hard-hitting sport.

I was teamed up with all around rock-star Rob Carr to cover the game for Getty.

The game started slow for me, as all the action seemed to be on the other side of the field, but by halftime I was feeling confident, despite almost getting run over in the endzone.

As the second half rolled around, I was really having a good time. The game started to get interesting and came down to a Redskins field goal late in the four quarter to win the game.

Cannot wait to get back out to shoot more football. Being my first football game of the season, I had a tough time editing down my frames, so check out the slideshow. You can also see our full Getty take of the day here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

On deck

"Maicer Izturis #13 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim warms up before leading off against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 17, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Baltimore Orioles won, 6-2."

Another baseball game, another lead off photo.

I couldn't pass up not taking a photo with the ominous clouds. The only downside was that the game was delayed about 15 minutes because of an umpire injury, so I worked the scene while the player had his helmet off. Minutes later, the sky was completely black.

The bright red helmet would have added another layer of color and make it pop a bit more.

Alas, documenting what's happening in front of you is what it is.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


"Washington Nationals grounds crew walks by the dugouts before they play the New York Mets at Nationals Park on September 4, 2011 in Washington, DC."

I tend to always start shooting from the inside wells when shooting baseball games. I also tend to get out to the field about 25 minutes early to get warmed up and get a sense of the what the light is doing.

Since I started shooting the Nationals earlier this year, I watch this grounds crew member walk by me with this huge "W" that is used on the pitcher's mound.

Despite the harsh, odd light, I was able snap a couple frames as he walked by. Knowing me, I'll probably try and make a better image of the scene next time I'm at Nationals Park.

Then again, the season is coming to a close.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ringing ears

"Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kellogg's/Cheez-it Ford, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 10, 2011 in Richmond, Virginia."

I'm not ashamed to admit anything, so I'll come right and say it - NASACR is a challenge.

Got the call a couple months ago to shoot the high-speed auto sport at Richmond in September and was hyped from the minute I was asked. Conversely, I was nervous because I don't follow the sport, have no idea who anyone is and knew simply nothing about photographing it. So to say I was anxious was an overstatement.

Luckily I wasn't alone, as I had the pleasure of being apart of a face-melting, awesome Getty NASCAR team in Richmond.

I can't be more appreciative of the guys on the team. They kept me grounded, had my back and answered my non-stop questions, which means a lot considering I had literally no clue what the hell I had gotten myself into.

It took me a solid day to get acclimated to the sport and I'm sure it will take me another race or two to really feel completely comfortable. In addition, it might also take until another race for my ears to stop ringing.

In short, being put along the wall where these machines fly by and rip your eardrums out was simply unbelievable. I learned a lot, had a lot of fun and can't wait to get back out on the track in the future.

As for the picture, it was one of my favorites from the weekend. And to answer the question probably burning in your mind, yes, I tilted a auto racing image. I'm not a tilter, but it was fitting and worked.

Now only if Edwards would have come in first, not second, and I was able to get a couple more cars in the frame.

Next time I suppose.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Bird view

"The New York Mets warm up before taking on the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 4, 2011 in Washington, DC."

I always like to show up early when covering the Nationals. Mostly because of traffic coming down from Baltimore. But it also gives me time to walk around and try and find features.

Decided to walk around on the five-hundred level before the game last week to catch a view.

As I looked over the side of the railing, I got pooped on by a bird. First time in my life that has ever happen.

I also made this picture, from a bird's eye view, if you will.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Need a play

"Alex Cora #13 of the Washington Nationals slides into second underneath Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets in a double play in the ninth inning at Nationals Park on September 2, 2011 in Washington, DC. The New York Mets won, 7-3."

I often find it amusing when people are jealous of my job - especially when photographing professional sports. They think my job is easy and that I have the best seat in the house.

While I cannot deny the latter, it's not easy. Of recent, a lot of the baseball games I've been shooting have been really lacking in the action department, as well as, images that tell the entire story in one or two images.

While to average reader, this means nothing. But as a photographer, you know you're really reaching for something great when the world seems to stop, go silent and all you can hear is camera shutters clicking when there is a play at second base - even more so when it's in the ninth inning.

The game the other night was nothing but pop-flys and plays at first. We really have to put ourselves in unique positions to get something great. I rarely move batting images or plays at second because they are so standard, but I had no choice against the Mets during the first game of the series.

That's the way it is some games.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Clear the court

"Carmelo Anthony wipes his face during the Goodman League All-Stars taking on The Melo League basketball game at Edward P. Hurt Gymnasium at Morgan State University on August 30, 2011 in Baltimore, Md."

Last week, my editor contacted me see if I was available for some sort of basketball game on Monday night. At first, there wasn't much information to the assignment, other then it was some sort of game related to the NBA.

On Tuesday morning, I had assumed it was high school kids looking to make it into the NBA or something. But when I got word later that it was some of the best talent in the world playing - actual NBA players - I got a little bit more excited.

It sounded like an awesome assignment since the NBA is currently on lock-out.

I arrived early and got in without hassle. But the minute players started rolling up, things got out of hand. Without using too many words, the entire production was planned by word of mouth - so there was little, to no, structure to anything.

The game started late. People wouldn't get off the court and the baselines were littered with non-media folk trying to get the perfect image.

At the end of the night, I guess it was ironic that my favorite picture ended up being the exact opposite of what everyone was trying to get pictures of - actual closeup pictures of the NBA stars.

Maybe I felt the way "Melo" looks in the picture - just trying to shield myself until it was all over.

Alas, it was an interesting and fun night despite all the challenges.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Thinking of Theo

"Theo Stephen lays in his bed after having portions of a malignant brain mass removed at University of Maryland Medical Center, Aug. 30, 2011."

Caveat: I try and leave family and personal posts off my blog, but this deserves some attention.

As journalists, we are supposed to be biased. We uphold strong ethics and follow them with strict guidelines. That often means holding our opinions to ourselves and not becoming part of the story.

However, when you're already part of the story, you can only try and help. That's the case with K's nephew - Theo.

Following his first birthday party, some adverse conditions had him in the hospital. He would be intubated and then go unresponsive before having surgery on Monday.

During the procedure, a majority of a posterior fossa tumor was removed, but hard portions near the brain stem were unable to be eliminated. The tumor was found to be malignant - otherwise know as containing cancerous cells.

Theo is still under the care of the pediatric intensive care unit and will receive oncology treatment.

Having worked stories similar to these in the past, I did what I thought would best help Theo and his family. I set a website and foundation in which friends, family and those in the community can donate contributions to help with Theo's medical support.

I don't ever ask of anything from anyone, but I ask you to please donate, and if you cannot financially do so at this time, to please forward on the link. I'm also offering that anything does make a donation over $50 that I will send you a 11x14 signed print free of charge.

If you're donating from this blog post, please email me to let me know what print you'd like. There will be a Paypal payment option soon, too.

Thank you for reading. To find out more about "Thinking of Theo" please visit |

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Hurry rain

"Evan Cunningha, 9, uses a down tree as a playground as Maryland deals with the after-effects Of Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland, United States."

The New York Times reported Hurricane Irene as a storm that "will most likely prove to be one of the 10 costliest catastrophes in the nation’s history."

While that may very well be true, Baltimore thankfully didn't suffer much damage. No real flooding, but lots of high powered wind that left many without power.

I was originally assigned to head to Ocean City, Md., to cover the storm. Then my schedule changed and a mandatory evacuation had us changing plans and send someone in sooner.

So while I was out in the storm shooting lacrosse Saturday, I got the note to head to Annapolis on Sunday morning. However, by the time I was walking out the door, it was evident that the storm spared Annapolis and Baltimore, but I still was sent out to cover Baltimore City.

All my rain gear and extra clothes were a waste as it never even rained on Sunday in the city. I drove around for a couple hours and photographed a lot of downed trees. Hopefully my coverage gave Baltimore a voice in a rather dull storm in the city.