My wife is incredibly creative. I had no idea when I married her, but especially after we started having kids, she started getting into creating photo albums and scrapbooks, then watercolors and other paints, some pottery and mosaics, and then more recently, she’s been making stamped and cut-paper greeting cards. The designs and color schemes are amazing. Yesterday she asked me to take a photo of her greeting cards, so she could send it with an email to our community association, as a reminder for a mini craft show that she, and three other friends, were putting on at our house this weekend. I wanted the photos to look nice, so I pulled out some equipment and went to work.
This was a three-day online class that was presented free by CreativeLive during its live recording on April 5-7, 2017.
I was able to shoot 4 games during the 2017 season. Its always fun to watch the kids from this school go up against some of the toughest competition in the county. They’re typically out-manned, but they always maintain a good attitude and give it their best. Sometimes they come out on top.
In photography, I have to deal with the ever-present temptation to over-commit myself. But when the sun is shining and I have camera in hand, I just can’t resist. I took the photos in this post while waiting for one of the varsity games to start. I gave them to the coach, and I posted them on the Annandale Atoms website. I hope the JV kids have them handy when they consider going out for varsity next year.
2017 was the fourth season that I’ve shot photos for the Annandale High School (AHS) Girls Varsity Lacrosse team. Unfortunately, due to travel, weather, and other conflicts, I was only able to catch three of their games. Even for those, the weather wasn’t ideal, and a significant portion of the evening games were played in darkness, so good photos were few and far between.
After taking photographs for the Maryland Crab Pot wheelchair rugby tournament in January, I was asked to cover the 2017 Atlantic Sectionals tournament on March 3-5, 2017. This tournament was hosted by the Punishers of Medstar National Rehabilitation Hospital, in Washington, DC, and it was held at the South Regional Technology and Recreation Complex in Ft. Washington, Maryland. This is one of four annual Sectional tournaments across the country that feed the National Championships, which this year will be held in Phoenix, Arizona on April 20-22.
I was asked by a long time friend and neighbor if I would shoot photos at the 2017 fundraising gala for Virginia Music Adventures (VMA), at The Barns at Wolf Trap, in Vienna, Virginia, on February 24, 2017. From their mission statement, Virginia Music Adventures is an organization that provides comprehensive jazz music instruction, combined with performance and travel opportunities, for school age musicians. Through local, national, and international community service and travel, VMA encourages its students to develop empathy and respect toward other cultures. VMA also helps to preserve jazz, by acting as ambassadors to help educate audiences at home and around the world about America’s unique musical art form.
On January 7-8, 2017, I took photos for the 3rd Annual Maryland Crab Pot Quad Rugby Tournament, at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) in Dundalk, Maryland. Shooting this tournament, which was sponsored by the University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute, was a great experience for me, both because it gave me an opportunity to serve others, while at the same time helping to further my development as a photographer.
Over the holidays, my neighbor asked me if I would shoot the opening of a very special Christmas gift. Her sister-in-law was pregnant, and my neighbor had arranged to reveal the baby’s gender by having her sister-in-law pop a confetti-filled balloon that was wrapped in a Christmas present.
My wife, spends her Thursday evenings distributing free food at the Annandale Supplemental Food Site at Annandale Methodist Community Center. Last year, a couple of weeks before Christmas, I attended with her, and I took photos of each of the kids that came through the line with Santa Claus. Then, when these families came through the line the following week, I gave them each the resulting prints.
Between September 17 and October 26, 2016, my wife Patty walked the Camino Frances (French Way), which is a 500 mile pilgrimage from St. Jean, France, over the Pyrenees Mountains and across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela (roughly the driving distance between Washington, DC and Knoxville, TN). I met her on the trail between Palas de Rei and Portomarin, Spain, and I walked with her for the last four days of her journey. From there, we drove to Finisterre, Spain (“The End of the Earth”), and finally we spent a couple of days in Paris, France, before coming home.
In the early fall of 2016, I was asked by the Annandale High School (AHS) Girls Varsity Field Hockey coach whether I would be willing to take photos during their season. The season turned out to be pretty challenging competition-wise, but it was also challenging photographically, because almost every one of their games took place after dark. These low-light / fast action conditions end up being a trade-off, for a given minimum shutter speed, between the soft focus you may get with a wide open aperture, against the sensor noise you will get with a a more closed aperture.
In recent years, I’ve realized that compelling photographs of people, especially young people, showing them engaged in challenging endeavors, can serve as reminders of the skills and strengths that they possess, and that these reminders can help them to persist against the challenges that they will face later in life.