Tuesday, July 31, 2007

News of the Day

This morning I was sent to cover the search for a boy who went missing on Sunday afternoon. When I arrived at the location where the searchers were supposed to meet, I found a field wrapped in police tape.
Over the course of the morning, we learned the police had found a body, and there was a good chance it was the missing boy.
I hate hearing about Amber alerts and children lost to predators. Sometimes, like in the case of Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby, the children are found alive. I wished that would happen more often.

When I worked in Sebring, most of my spot news coverage consisted of car accidents and an occasional fire. Since then, I've covered a lot more. In each picture, I got close to capturing the decisive moment. Today, I think I finally nailed it.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Some Recent Snaps

I've been busy breaking telephoto lenses, moving apartments and working on a photo story. But here are a few singles from the last two weeks that I like.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Kingfish: With The Birds

Because my last aerial adventure yielded several nice pictures, the folks at the T-U asked if I was interested in taking to the skies once again. I love to fly, and I like aerial photography, so I couldn't say no.

The tournament started earlier than sunrise this year. Instead of getting a beautiful shot of boats waiting to leave the inlet as the sun rises, I got a tight shot of a 32-foot vessel hitting the surf.

Mercury outboards, if you are looking for someone to work on your next campaign, I'll submit a bid!

Monday, July 16, 2007

MMM ... Kingfish

If the picture above is the Sports centerpiece tomorrow, I will be:
A) Surprised
B) Happy
C) Mildly Shocked
D) All of the Above

I'll go with D. The Kingfish tournament is a big deal around here. Today was the VIP tournament, and a few more than 70 boats participated. When the main tournament takes place on Thursday and Friday, there will be more than 200 boats.

My primary mission was to get a picture of the angler with the largest fish. I assumed a scene-setting photograph or a shot of the big fish would be the dominant image. Since the tournament occurs every year, the editors thought this said Kingfish in a new way.

However, I also had to photograph the biologist who makes sure the fish were caught today and the man who cleans and guts the fish.

Mmmm. Fish smell.
The weigh station opened at 3 p.m., and Bob Self (one of the T-U staffers) told me that several boats would probably be lined up ready to weigh their trophy catch.

The first boat arrived a few minutes before 4 p.m. Apparently the fishing wasn't so good, but the winner hooked a nice sized King: 35.4 pounds.

Good fishing or not, I had fun. It goes without saying, a bad day fishing is better than a good day at the office. Look for more tournament pictures later this week...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

My Week With Nikon

I had to spend the week shooting with my newspaper-issued Nikon D1X's. They're not bad. I'll admit it, they're not bad. But I'll take my Canon gear over Nikon any day. Especially considering most of my work is shot with available light indoors....

My camera started acting up last week. At first it was hard to make the review button work. Then I couldn't change ISO, White Balance, etc. So I FedEx'd it to Canon. A little more than $250 and a week later, it's back. Back with a new shutter, new mirror, new top plate, new rear plate, new battery plate, cleaned and returned to factory specs. I love being a CPS member.

The underwater cycling shot finally came together. I learned a lot about working underwater and had fun with this story. I'll head back on Tuesday to shoot a noon class in available light, and then it's off to the presses.

Babysitter Boot Camp

When I started in Jacksonville over a month ago, our DOP, Dede Smith, gave me a pamphlet listing all of the local summer camps. I'd be lying if I said I was excited.

Back when I worked in Sebring, a lot of my summer was spent working on summer camp picture pages. Unless the camp is unique, has interesting participants, or is just plain different, I struggle with making great pictures.

Armed with the list, and the knowledge that I would have to shoot at least two or three camps during slow weeks, I set to work finding the "cool" camps. A few weeks back I hung out with some kids building dog houses and learning about construction.

Thursday and Friday, I hung out with 10- to 15-year-olds that were becoming Red Cross-certified babysitters. I was only supposed to go on Thursday. But not much happened while I was there, and Friday was slow, so I went back.

It was fun to watch the kids enthusiastically share stories with the instructor and answer her questions. It reminded me of myself growing up.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Six Days

Since my last post six days ago (notice my lack of creative post titles), I've worked on several neat assignments.

It's really hot all over the country right now, but these muggy Florida afternoons make life miserable. I went to a local park Tuesday afternoon to shoot kids playing in a fountain.
Yesterday, I worked on a story about the president of the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police. (He's on the left.) Next week I'll spend some more time with him.I also updated the singles portfolio on my Web site. It can be found at www.jarrettbaker.com/singles.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Mmm. Pizza.

Today I shot a portrait at a pizza restaurant. From the story summary: "Need a restaurant review photo of owner Vic Comastro at Chicago Pizza and Sports Grille. He'll have a pizza prepared."

Since it was the only assignment I had, I tried to make it really slick.

Tomorrow I'll be in Daytona for the Pepsi 400. It's my first NASCAR race, and I'm looking forward to it.

Spinning ... Under Water

I've always wanted to ride a bike in three feet of water. Next week, when I return to this piece, maybe I'll give it a try. One of the YMCA's in Jacksonville has underwater spinning, and I'm trying to take underwater pictures. This was my second visit, and I was much happier with the results this time.

Monday, July 2, 2007

She Said Yes

Friday night I asked Kristen to marry me, and she said yes. I thought preparing myself to pop the question would be the hard part. I think planning a wedding will be a bit more involved.

We couldn't be more happy, and we're looking at dates next summer.