Monthly Archives: July 2013

Gold Cup 2013 – The End

Mexico lost. That means the end of my Gold Cup 2013 stint. No trip to Chicago to see USA beat Mexico in the final. And the most disappointing part of it all is that the game between Mexico and Panama was terrible. Think of the most cliched stereotypes of hispanic soccer and that’s what happened – stupid, hard fouls; stupid dives and acting; fairly stupid officiating; and all around poor quality play. It was hard just being at the game.

This assignment provided challenges in a work capacity as well. The client was very specific about needing every photo to contain at least 3 players. If you know soccer, you know that ‘bunching up’ is a very bad idea. So getting 3 or more players in a shot is difficult. I managed to do it often enough to meet the minimum requested number of shots, but the basic nature of the game coupled with the horrendous play meant none of those images were very good. That’s the way it goes, sometimes.

I enjoyed the overall experience and the challenge of meeting specific client needs. Getting to watch USA play up close was a thrill – and being able to relax and make some good pictures of the game with no pressure was fantastic. I really need to find a way to shoot more soccer.

Posted in Photography, Sports

2013 Gold Cup – USA 3 – 1 Honduras

Game over. USA 3 – 1 Honduras. A fantastic game that I had a blast shooting. I wish I could do this every week. And maybe I can get one more chance – if Mexico wins and GILA wants to send me to Chicago. They’ve asked me to go but nothing has been finalized. That would be the Final on Sunday 28th. So… Mexico! Mexico! Mexico!

Lead up to another Donovan goal.

Posted in Photography, Sports

Gold Cup 2013 – USA v Honduras

I am in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington right now. It’s halftime of the semi-final between USA and Honduras in the 2013 Gold Cup. USA is up 2-0. And I’m not here to work this game so I get to do what I love with no pressure. I’d be jealous of me if I wasn’t busy being jealous of the guys who actually get to be on the pitch competing. Still, I made the right choice back in sophomore year of college when I decided I was much better at taking photos than I was at playing soccer (and I wasn’t really that good at taking photos back then). Here’s the first half.

 

(yes, that’s Landon Donovan scoring a goal.)

 

 

 

 

(Dek could totally do that.)

 

Posted in Photography, Sports

Video – 6509 Soter Parkway

A week or two ago I photographed a listing for an agent over in the Regent Hills area off Southwest Parkway. These are some very nice homes and this particular listing lived up to my expectations. I had a great time shooting it and spoke to the agent afterwards about the possibility of returning for some video work. Last Thursday, we made it happen. Here is the result. Hope you enjoy!

6509 Soter Parkway video

Posted in Real Estate, Video

CONCACAF Gold Cup 2013

I love soccer. One of my favorite things is to get the opportunity to shoot an international level soccer game. So of course when Getty Latin America needed a shooter to cover the match between Haiti and El Salvador in Houston I was in.

Another thing I love is BBVA Compass Stadium. The home of MLS’ Houston Dynamo is just about the best venue I have shot at. The light is bright enough to keep ISO to 1600 or below and still have a shutter speed fast enough to stop action. An evening game – usually a take full of grainy, dark-faced, blurry shots – comes out looking almost as good as a day game shot under a translucent dome.

So anyway, I was tasked with covering the Haiti side. Except for the difficulty finding Haitian fans – I saw maybe 1 for every 300 or so El Salvador/Honduras fans – the game went very well. Haiti lost, scoring no goals, but the action was good and my timing was on target.

I brought a D3 and D7000 with a 200-400 and an 80-200. I ended up using the 200-400 on the D7000 almost exclusively. Since Haiti never really threatened I didn’t have to switch very often. And with most of the action being in the middle third of the pitch, the extra reach of the 7000’s crop sensor really worked in my favor.

On Wednesday, I travel to Arlington to cover Mexico v Panama in the Semi-finals. They had originally asked me to go to Atlanta to cover the quarters, but I convinced them that a local guy would work just fine and save them a ton of money. Not that I wouldn’t have enjoyed going – and earning the paycheck – but a Saturday spent at home with my family trumps that kind of traveling any day. I am also slated to go to Chicago on the 28th for the final – if Mexico makes it, and they are expected to. A final v (probably) USA is definitely worth the trouble of traveling. Sorry, family.

So here are a few pics from the game. Hopefully I’ll post more not to long after Wednesday’s action concludes.

 

 

Posted in Photography, Sports

PPFA Bus Tour – Finale

Yes, it’s been over a week since the Planned Parenthood Stand With Texas Women bus tour ended. Yes, the bill passed, and yes, this post is late. Sorry, I’ve been busy. But I’ll get to that in another post.

After San Antonio on Day 3, we returned to Austin to stay the night. Friday afternoon, I was back at the capitol – along with hundreds (maybe thousands?) of orange, blue and other colors. I kinda felt sorry for the occasional obvious tourist – but then, what a story to tell about your first visit to the Capitol of Texas.

Friday was mostly a waiting game. Everyone knew that the bill would pass – it was just a matter of time, with the Democratic Senators not necessarily attempting to delay, but rather trying to affect the bill through amendments. All proposed amendments were tabled by Republican sponsors.

As for me, I spent some time getting atmosphere pics – long lines waiting to get into the gallery, masses of orange shirts gathered in the rotunda and elsewhere, interesting signs and faces. It wasn’t until about 5:30 in the evening that things got real for me. Cecile Richards arrived at the Capitol and I spent the next several hours shadowing her.

Cecile made the rounds through the Capitol, high-fiving the orange shirts and stopping here and there to join in a chant. It was a pretty fun time, though trying to keep up with her in the crowds was difficult. At one point, she made her way to a hallway outside the Senate floor. Several of the Democratic Senators came out to greet her and provide updates. It felt pretty cool being ‘on the inside’, because I’m sure if I had not been on her heels coming through that door then they would not have let me in.

The original plan was to gather the troops (orange-shirts) on the West steps at 8PM. Everyone expected the bill to pass and the Senators to be out by 9PM – if they wanted to make the 10PM news deadline, that seemed the best plan. The Senators would then join the gathered mass and marshall a march through downtown Austin to a staging point at Republic Square. So of course at 10:30PM we were still in a hallway off the rotunda waiting for the Senators to emerge.

The PPFA people had a permit to march through Austin that expired at 10PM. So, at 9:30, still waiting for word from the Senators, the march happened. A large group of Orange-shirts headed to Republic Square – possibly expecting to be met there by the VIP’s. They waited until about 11:30 – that’s when Cecile boarded the Big Orange Bus and went to tell the masses what was what.

With things winding down in the Senate – they were on closing statements at this point – it was decided that the best thing to do was to march right on back to the Capitol and greet the Democratic Senators on the South steps as they emerged – battered but not defeated. It was amazing watching those people who had a few hours earlier marched out from the Capitol turn and march back – chanting and singing on the way. (They only sang once – as we passed by the Governor’s Mansion, a chorus of ‘Nah Nah Nah Nah, Goodbye’ broke out. Then right back to chanting.)

Back at the Capitol the marchers merged with those who had remained inside and a very large crowd was on hand to welcome the Democratic Senators. Speeches were made, people cheered, the media witnessed. Those of us not quick enough or with sharp enough elbows remained on the fringe, while those others formed a tight cocoon around the VIP’s. I’d seen the same thing several times over the past 3 days, so I chose to hang back and look for crowd/wide shots.

Then, the Senators and Cecile went back inside. We climbed back onto the bus for the last time and headed to the hotel. I got a cab home and said goodbye to the Big Orange Bus.

Overall, it was a fun experience. The people were great and the opportunities for photos – scripted though they were – challenged me and forced me to think on my feet and work creatively. The money wasn’t bad either. Yeah, I’d do it again.

Posted in Photography

PPFA Bus Tour – Day 3

Today was San Antonio. It was supposed to be a long drive to El Paso, but things change. With the very real possibility of a vote on the bill coming tomorrow, it was decided that we needed to be close to home. Which is where I am right now, so no complaints from me.

There is an event planed for Austin tomorrow afternoon. It is supposed to happen sometime after the vote – the bill is expected to pass. Opponents of the bill will be gathering at the capitol and marching off afterwards. Come join if you have the time.

The San Antonio event took place at Sunset Station. I did a photo essay on Sunset Station when I was in college back in 1996 or so – and that was the last time I was there. Nice place – covered stage area with large fans to keep the air moving. And they had iced water.

Other than venue it was pretty much like all the other events. Things get to feel repetitive, which is never a fun feeling when shooting. So since I am tired and feeling repetitive, I’ll just post a few quick shots.

 

Posted in Photography

PPFA Bus Tour – Day 2

Day 2 of the PPFA Stand With Texas Women bus tour took us to Dallas and Fort Worth. We got into Dallas around 3AM, slept for a few hours then headed to city hall for a press conference.

 

After that we headed to Fort Worth to check in at the next hotel and rest for a couple hours. Then it was back on the bus for a rally in some parking lot near downtown Fort Worth. Odd venue, but still a heathy turnout.

 

I really liked the sneakers on the Texas flag. I did not like the setting sun in my face – until it was low and to the side and not directly in my face or lens. The crowd wasn’t quite as pumped as Houston – it was considerably hotter in Fort Worth and we were standing on asphalt, so I’m sure that sapped some energy. Still, local news is reporting around 1200 people showed up. And they ran out of orange t-shirts.

Okay, one more sneakers shot.

 

Tomorrow is still up in the air. Possibilities include El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, Brownsville and McAllen. I know which one I am hoping for…

Posted in Photography

Hard at work.

“Can you get this angle?” they ask me. (*EDIT: I removed a pic of me standing behind Cecile and Wendy on stage with a camera to my face because I couldn’t figure out the right attribution. I think it is a Houston Chronicle shot – thought it was Planned Parenthood at first. So just imagine that pic while reading this. Thanks, bpm). (*EDIT #2: Here’s the shot – http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Opponents-to-abortion-bill-rally-in-Houston-4656147.php#photo-4896485 – it’s #5 in the gallery).

Hmmm, not from there, no.

Yep, that’s me, hard at work getting the wrong angle. Still, I think it worked.

Posted in Photography

PPFA Bus Tour – Day 1

For the next several days I will be on the road with Planned Parenthood Action Fund on a Stand With Texas Women bus tour across Texas.

Today we started in Austin at the Capitol building.

The press event went pretty smoothly. It was interesting to see the pro-life group try to usurp the camera time by moving behind the podium and holding up signs – and then the pro-choice group get between them and the cameras and hold their signs higher. No shouting, pushing or name-calling – just a silent signage war. All very civil.

A minor bump in the road lead to a flat tire minutes from the Capitol.

An appearance on the drag was cancelled and the trip to Houston was delayed, but we eventually got on the road. Overall it was a pretty cozy trip. High speed internet, captain’s chairs, Direct TV – and I didn’t have to drive. Every trip to Houston should be like this.

The event in Houston was a bit larger than the one in Austin. They brought maybe 850 people to Discovery Green. Senators spoke, people cheered, I took photos.

Then it was a long wait until the second bus came around. We transferred our gear to Bus 2 and hit the road to DFW. We should arrive sometime after midnight. Our first event is in Dallas at 10AM – somewhere TBD so far as I know. The Fort Worth event is at 6PM – also TBD last I heard.

More tomorrow. Night all.

Posted in Photography