Monday, April 29, 2013

Baseball is Back

"Batter Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles hits the ground after a pitch is thrown in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 17, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland."

Baseball is back in Baltimore - I've been waiting for spring to return after a long winter.

Since the end of football season, sports in my life have been few and far between. Although, since my last post, I've been swamped shooting a full range of action on different fields and tracks.

I've mentioned it before - baseball is not my favorite sport to photograph, yet over the years it has really grown on me.

As the season goes on, I find myself really enjoying documenting the games. Whether it's the days getting long or the evenings being warmer, something really excites me to shoot games at the ball park.

It's still early in the season and much like the teams I'm covering, I'm trying to find my rhythm.

Here is to summer and sports.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dover Solitude

"U.S. Army soldiers walk away from the transfer vehicle after they placed the flag-draped transfer cases containing the remains of Department of Defense Civilian Hyun K. Shin and U.S. Army Staff Sgt., Christopher M. Ward during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base, on April 8, 2013 in Dover, Delaware."

Last week I was on the tarmac at Dover Air Force Base covering a pair of dignified transfers.

These never get any easier to document. Of all I've had the opportunity to document, the transfer is performed nearly identical each time making you really think about making it different visually that also tells the same tragic story.

Although the media covering these transfers can range from a handful to only a few, it's a moment of solitude each time - much like everyone else, I find myself quiet the entire process from the minute we hit the runway waiting.

Sometimes we become numb to what we are documenting in front of us, but it's afterward we as photographers think about what we documented. Driving home I always reflect on what I saw and think about those that have served and lost their lives at the cost of war.

It's a difficult assignment in many aspects and I always think about the friends and families of those lost. I cannot imagine their grief, but they should also be proud of what their loved one gave for our country.

As always, thank you to the families for allowing us to cover this difficult day in your lives so that others can understand what is happening in our complex world.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


"Midfielder Bryce Dabbs #5 of the Navy Midshipmen and his teammates sing their school song after losing to University of Maryland Terrapins, 11-8, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on April 5, 2013 in Annapolis, Maryland."

This weekend I shot a lot of sports locally and I am trying wanted to get back on the routine of posting regularly here.

As I was covering an action-packed college lacrosse game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Navy Midshipmen, I kept noticing that Navy had a very strong bond amongst them. Everytime they scored, whether winning or losing, their bench reacted as if it was the game-winning goal each and every time.

I kept wanting to venture over there and get in the mix of the celebration to document their team support. But as the game went on, I wasn't sure how the image would translate if they did end up losing.

When time expired, Navy had lost the tight game. As I was walking off the field to go transmit, I overheard the Maryland coach telling his players to take off their helmets and show respect to Navy. I wasn't quite sure why. The Midshipmen walked toward the crowd and took off their helmets, too. Again, never covering Navy sports, I wasn't sure what was about to happen.

I quickly realized it was school pride gesture, as they placed their hands over their hearts and sung their school song. Despite losing, they were still proud of their effort and showed their class, respect.

Moments like this is why I love covering sports - sometimes it's less about the actual game than we often think.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Bird Man

""Mr.Tony" looks to the sky as he holds a handful of his pigeons that his raises and trains on February 9, 2013 in Baltimore, Md."


Last year, while on an unrelated assignment, I met "Mr.Tony."

I was curious about Mr. Tony because his face artistically adorned a wall in his neighborhood. After talking to some of the artists of the art project I was covering, and those from neighborhood, I met the man on the wall.

From the minute I met Mr. Tony, he was open to sharing his life, and his birds, with me. However, after my first introduction and making some pictures, it wouldn't be until 2013 before I saw him again.

Recently, my editor at Baltimore Magazine asked if I wanted to do another visual essay much like my Smith Island piece and I instantly thought of the man with the birds. He is just one of many amazing characters here in Baltimore that we all live amongst - but we don't know much about.

A simple man, Mr. Tony has been raising and training pigeons since a kid and now houses more than 200 birds in a small unassuming shack behind his Station North home. With his eyes always looking to the sky, his birds know where their home is and he lives for their companionship.

Thanks to Mr. Tony for allowing me into his life and allowing me to document his days. Here are some of my favorite images from last year and this past February.