Monthly Archives: September 2012

Blood, cuts and more

If you have a weak stomach, are against violent sports, and are squeamish when you see blood and gore, I  apologize for hurting your feelings.   I’m sure we will have a lot of calls and letters to the editor about the photos that we published in our sports section today from last night’s Friday Night Fights at the Androscogin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.  It is about as brutal a sport as there is, and there is no shortage of fans.  There were more people at that event than most others at the Colisee, so it is not without a following, and certainly deserves coverage.  I decided to submit an overall from above for the front page as I know photos like the one that led the back section of our sports page, right, would not pass the “Cheerios test.”  It’s something we refer to when considering the reaction of people when they are opening up their newspaper having breakfast.  If we feel some of them will throw up in their Cheerios after seeing the photo, we will consider not running it.  Compassion is part of our mission statement, and it is not our intention to shock people or throw something out front just for the “gratuitous violence” factor.  For that reason, and also that it was pretty cool and the average spectator never gets to see the venue from this high angle, I submitted the photo below.  It was a really long night for me.  The card started at 7:00, but I arrived a little before 6 as I needed to turn on the lights we have in the rafters at the Colisee and make sure the miles of our extension cords have not been compromised.  With all the events taking place at the Colisee between events we cover, promoters often use our power strips and take our extension cords and reuse them for their equipment.  Such was the case last night where I had to go searching for my cords.  I only needed three lights for this event, not needing the other four we have set up for lighting the entire hockey surface.  It was a good thing as some of our other cords were being used by the fight lights.  I decided not to make a big deal of it.  However, the amount of electricity being drawn from the one power strip caused so much of a drain when my lights flashed and recycled, it tripped the fuse on the power strip every few minutes, causing me to need to reset it, and limit me to staying in the rafters to keep on top of that, so I didn’t get much variety of photos.    I also needed to arrive early to test the new MacBook Pro we got in the photo dept.  I have always used a PC, so I wanted to make sure I could make it work.   I had one question, but a quick call to Amber, a Mac user, and it was working like a charm.  The event seemed to drag on forever.  I didn’t leave the Colisee until 1:15 AM.  I wanted to stay for the two championship fights as one of them included a local guy from our circulation area, and one from the other since we were not staffing the event with a staff reporter and the Ernie Clark from the Bangor Daily News was giving us his story, and the other championship bout had a fighter from their coverage area, so I wanted to help them out.  When I was done, I only had to drive two blocks to get home, he had a 2 hour drive, and I thought my day was long.   Since I started the day at 1:00 PM with a football game in Lisbon, it WAS another long day for me, but no real stressful.    With the 400mm lens, sunshine and plenty of time, I got some great photos from the football game.  I have a honey do list a mile long that I need to go take care of, but I am hoping I might be able to sneak a quarter or two of the Patriots game in this afternoon.  Sunday’s are supposed to be a day of rest, but usually they are a day like all the rest.


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Bad dad start to a long day

My youngest teens got in a fight just before going out the door to school this morning.  Two teens irritating each other and knowing which buttons to push.  Poking the bear too much will get you a paw upside the head more often than not.  Why the younger and smaller ones choose to martyr themselves is beyond me, but I am told it is normal, to an extent.  Not sure where the line is.

Something needed to be done, but flipping out was not the thing to do.  I snapped and it was wrong.  I yelled and said things I can not take back.   Every parent does it.  Some more than others, and some crossing the line.  But where IS the line.  I guess it’s a sliding scale, depending on your moral compass.  Either way, it has haunted me for the entire day.  To make matters worse, I only got to talk with them briefly over the phone after school as my work day started just before they got out of school.  All day I have not stopped thinking about it, and it makes me sick to think I let my frustrations, frustrations that have nothing to do with my sons, cause me to react like an idiot.  It was a powder keg of emotions first thing in the morning at the beginning of the school year.  Still no excuse for it.  However, I’ll cook them a great breakfast and they’ll forgive me if I even mention it.  Talk it cheap.  Hugs and actions are the real deal

The Greek Festival was my first assignment today and I was forced to eat some traditional delicacies.  It would simply be rude not to.  Customs and all you know. 

I didn’t spill a thing on my shirt as I wolfed down the delicious Gyro made “especially” for me on my way to the Lewiston Cross Country meet with three other teams.  I couldn’t believe how well my son Kevin’s friend, and pseudo son of mine, did.  Only a sophomore, Isaiah Harris finished fourth and keeps impressing everyone.

Next on tap was a photo to promote the Museum L-A’s mini Maker Faire.  A cool idea that is the rage of many cultural venues that bring artists, craftsmen and a variety of entertainment and enrichment of culture and history on display, at the Bates Mill Complex Saturday.

Back to the office to download, upload, and caption the photos before heading off to Winthrop for a football game.  Staff Photographer Amber Waterman(who, according to my mother in law, is shooting better sports photos than I am presently.  I might have to agree…….for now) was just about to leave for the Lewiston football game she was covering.  We have a 400mm f2.8 Nikon lens that we all share in the department and is the shiz for shooting sports.  Usually the person who is shooting the game that will be the lead photo in sports gets to use it. It was a toss-up according to newly crowned sports editor, Justin Pelletier.  So we flipped.  She won the toss.  Could have used it as the light at LHS is much better than in the Winthrop bowl.  Insert whine and whimper here.  After “technical difficulties” due to some malfunctioning software, I finally managed to upload the photo gallery I created with my photos and checked with the copy desk and sports desk to make sure they were all set.  As I headed out the door, I actually said.  Call me if the town burns down, but not for a standoff or something boring to shoot.  No sooner did I walk out the door to the parking lot, Ryan, my oldest calls me and asks for a ride if I was leaving work soon.  He was one of the last to leave the Lewiston football field after the game as he stays and helps clean up and put things away. He is still involved with the army cadets, and will until he leaves for basic training (Air Force), and imagine will long after he retires, which will be after a long and decorated career.

After just opening my second beer, I got a call from Karen on the desk at the SJ.  A two alarm fire at Formed Fiber in Auburn.  I have been to many, and they are all the same.  Unlike a mill fire with flames and interesting elements to film, these are all deep inside the massive plant and all there is to shoot is trucks in the parking lot.  Most of the photos are pretty static.  With video, at least there is sound and a way to piece a short video with a creative flair.  It’s nothing fantastic, and won’t make my portfolio, but I hope worth a minute and a half of your time. Click here to watch it.

I’ll talk at you later, but it is nearly 4am am and I am finally getting tired.  Another long day coming up tomor…today.

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Labor of love

I just finished a week of a much-needed vacation.  I had a number of projects around the house that had to be done and wanted to spend some time with my boys.   I love my job, but I have been working a lot of hours in recent weeks and needed to recharge.  

My job is a labor of love and it was fitting that my first day back was Labor Day.  I have covered the same two events for the past 6 years.  I take Christmas week and Easter and Thanksgiving off, so I get to work the majority of  Memorial, Labor and Veterans Days.  Most everyone is out-of-town this weekend and not much happening except the traditional Buckfield Labor Day Celebration and the Labor Day picnic at the union hall in Lewiston.

The parade is not the biggest, and the field full of activities and vendors is not as full as some of the others I go to during the summer, but the people there seem to have more fun and are into it more than any of the others.  It’s a real small town affair and the folks are wicked genuine and friendly.

It kicks off at 10, which isn’t too early.  I got to go have coffee with my dad before heading out to it, so that was a good way to start the day.  The skies were threatening and a few drops of rain on my windscreen on the way, so I didn’t bother to apply sunscreen to my balding head….big mistake.  The sun appeared just about the time the parade started.  I mounted my GoPro on a stick, my invention I came up with using a extendable painters pole, onto a telephone pole using a bungee cord.  (One of my future blogs will highlight my nerdy inventions)  I kept the video running for most of the parade and condensed about 20 minutes of the parade into about 10 seconds.  It’s pretty much at the beginning of the video if you want to check it out.   Click here to watch it.

I headed to the SJ to download the video from Buckfield and while that was going on, I headed over to the union hall to shoot some photos of the annual picnic.   Being an election year, the place was mobbed with every candidate except the King.   It is hard to get a unique photo from this event.  Speakers, tables with flyers, face painting and people eating.  Not the most visual assignment, but if you spend more than a few minutes at most any assignment and work it, you can usually find something creative, or a moment.  I think I got one here.  My son needs the computer now to do some homework, so goodnight.

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