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True/False

Caught a pair of films at True/False, an annual film fest in Columbia, over the weekend. It’s a pretty unique time in town. Walking home after a film on Saturday I caught this scene in Alley A.

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Snow times

Two snowstorms hit Columbia, and pretty much all of the Midwest, in less than week. This morning I got up early and trekked over to campus to get a shot of the Columns all covered in snow and did a quick loop through downtown as well. The last photo is of my dog, Boomer (the small one) playing with his buddy, Maverick, playing the the backyard of Maverick’s parents’ place last weekend.
 
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Wood part II

Had some downtime between watching the judging for POYi this afternoon. A bench caught my eye. Just nice and worn down from countless numbers of students sitting on it and being out in the elements. Didn’t have anything other than my iPhone on me, but I made it work. Just used the regular camera app and emailed the photos to myself and worked them over in photoshop after.

I just feel like when it comes to mobile photography, more transparency is always better.

Wood

My girlfriend Amy and I took my dog, Boomer for a walk today at Stephens Lake Park. At her encouragement (sorta) I brought my camera along. I needed a focus because I’ve taken my camera to the park lots of times and just kind of randomly shot. I’ve gotten good things before, but I knew picking a subject to focus on would help.

I after a few snaps of some vines growing on an old tree I decided to go with just wood as my subject. Since it’s the middle of winter, none of the trees have any of their leaves and all their little features are exposed for the world to see. I had fun looking for interesting parts of the wood, enough so that I might keep this subject up for a while and make a project out of it.

Morning Light

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Been a while, eh?

A lot has happened in my life since last spring. A lot of small changes. A few big ones. The biggest of all being a promotion.

Last August I accepted a position as the Columbia Daily Tribune’s web editor. It was an important moment in my life that is still resonating today. But, sadly, it meant that I had to start putting my camera down a lot more, at least professionally.

I still shoot for the Trib from time to time, but I spend most of my days managing the our website’s content and social media accounts. Last month we actually launched a new version of our site. I wish I could claim some credit, but the process was already started when I took over and I just jumped on for the ride and held on as tight as I could while learning all about the new content management system as fast as I could.

So I had almost no time over the last six months to do much blogging. But I’ve still been shooting, even if it’s only on my iPhone. So this blog will probably take on a much more personal nature, but I’ll be sure to include some pro work whenever I come across it.

This morning was nice and sunny and I kept noticing some awesome light just about every where I went on my way to work. The above is a triptych I shot using Instagram that I later photoshopped together.

MU falls to LSU in Super Regional

Want to know how to make for a really long Sunday? Start by covering a massive fire at an apartment complex, then shoot back to back softball games, both of which are televised and one of them stretched into 12 innings.

It was just before two in the morning when I finally was done editing, transmitting, and making slideshows. It was a long, hot and dirty day. But it was the kind of day that made me want to be a photojournalist in the first place.

LSU center fielder Simone Heyward in a run down between Missouri's Corrin Genovese, left, and Kelsea Roth, right.

Missouri short stop Corrin Genovese collides with LSU catcher Morgan Russell while attempting to knock the ball loose.

LSU left fielder Ashley Langoni, right, celebrates after catching a fly ball for the final out of LSU's 3-1 win over Missouri on Sunday. After dropping the second game of the Super Regional series 5-1, LSU advanced to the Women's College World Series with their game three win.

Fire at Brookside on College apartments

This morning when I let the dog out I thought it quite odd that the construction crews working on the apartment complex going up near my house would be working on a Sunday. I thought it even more odd that it sounded like they were blasting the buildings with water or something since the building exteriors were nearly complete.

Then I actually bothered to look up.

All I could see between tree limbs and over the top of the building behind my house was a fire bucket with a firefighter aiming a hose down. But it was enough to know that I needed to get moving.

Before I could get out the door Kit, the new photo editor, texted me and asked me to cover it. And I was already out the door.

Turned out the fire was pretty much over at this point. It started around 5 am that night and every on duty member of the Columbia Fire Department was called out to fight the blaze.

And I slept through it until 9:30…

Fire crews and Missouri Department of Transportation workers line College Avenue at the site of a fire at the Brookside on College apartment complex at College Avenue and Walnut Street on Sunday morning. A fire that started early Sunday morning caused an estimated $7.5 million in damage to the complex, which was scheduled to open this fall.

Two firefighters with the Columbia Fire Department rest on a ladder overlooking the smoldering remains of the Brookside on College apartment complex at College Avenue and Walnut Street.

A water pipe sprays a jet of water into the air while remains of the lobby area smolder. At 9:45 a.m. fire crews were still working on putting out hot spots of the fire that started early Sunday morning.

Herman Cain and the Rally for Common Sense

Former Presidential candidate Herman Cain swung through Missouri for a Tea Party rally called the Rally for Common Sense.

Now I can be objective as possible when covering political assignments. But I had so far managed to not come into close contact with this brand of conservatives before, so I knew I was in for a bit of a trip. I knew I was right when less than ten minutes after arriving a man came up to me and started asking if I knew about the 44 layers of altered content on the images of President Obama’s birth certificate.

I’m not sure if anyone at the rally found the common sense though. I’m sure it’ll turn up somewhere.

Former presidential candidate Herman Cain greets the crowd as he arrives at the Rally for Common Sense on Saturday.

William Temple protects his ears as a cannon is fired in the Patriot Field of Dreams on Saturday during the Rally for Common Sense.

Alyssa Ortballs, 4, of Warrenton, Mo. and Abby Hope, 8, of Nixa, Mo. play on a tire swing near the stage for the Rally for Common Sense as Addison Phillips, 7, of Russellville, Mo. watches. Children at the event found various ways to entertain themselves, including two bounce houses, while their parents listened to the speakers.

Quick softball post

Missouri's Nicole Hudson tags out Oklahoma State's Chelsea Garcia as she attempts to dive back into third base.

It’s that time of year again when the softball team goes into overdrive and I’m never short of something to shoot on a Sunday. Here’s a quick photo from MU’s win over Oklahoma State…because there’s going to be a lot more softball coming down the pipe.

Stay late. Even if it gets you in trouble.

Missouri freshman Case Munson is swarmed by teammates after driving in the winning run with a sacrifice fly.

I’ll admit it, college baseball isn’t my favorite thing to shoot. I could list a handful of reasons, but regardless I was bored during this game. Lots of stand up plays and such.

I also knew that I was very close to spilling into overtime hours, something which had been happening with increasing frequency lately, and I was worried that the powers that be at the paper might not be to happy about it. So I told the reporter I’d stick around for just a bit longer, but I’d probably be leaving early.

No sooner said than the game suddenly tied up and went into extra innings. It took 11 innings to decide the game, and in the end Mizzou came out on top thanks to a sacrifice fly by Case Munson. Cue the awesome jube shot.

Moral is: Stay late, even if you get in trouble for it (which I didn’t). Chances are you might see something special.

Balloon Crash

Mike Wilcoxson of Boone Electric Cooperative works Saturday night to remove the remains of a hot-air balloon that crashed into a power pole near Highway 124 while attempting to land. No one was hurt in the crash.

I was sitting in the photo office on a quiet Saturday night, training our new weekend image tech/web producer, when the city editor came in and said she needed someone to go out to a hot air balloon crash. It was getting a little late and the crash was a good 15 minutes out of town, so I knew I was gonna be pressed to make use of natural light as fast as possible. This was one of the first frames I popped off after arriving at the scene and the what little natural light was left went away shortly after this. Still got off plenty of other frames, making use of headlights and flashlights at the scene, but you can’t deny a good late sunset backdrop.

Tigers lead the way

Brittany Conley performs a push up during warm up exercises near Stankowski Field Thursday morning April 19, 2012. During ROTC training sessions the MU women's soccer team wears camoflage colored shirts with a modification or the Army Rangers motto "Rangers lead the way".

McKenzie Sauerwein tries to avoid touching a rope as her teammates pass her through an obstacle on Thursday, April 19, 2012. The MU women's soccer team is participating in ROTC style training once a week to build leadership skills.

When I saw a request titled “MU Soccer ROTC training” in the photo calendar, I kind of started to salivate. Then I saw that the request was for six in the morning and knew I could easily talk my way into taking that assignment off someone’s hands.

The team was training with a group of ROTC officers and cadets once a week for four weeks to build their team communication and leadership skills. Their training sessions were a mix of physical and mental challenges and the team was broken up into squads that competed against each other in the challenges.

Check out the full slideshow on columbiatribune.com

Wanna go on the roof?

Miles Huddleston, a local hip-hop artist performing under the name Belligerent, sits atop local venue Roxy’s on Monday.

When a subject says these words I get really excited. Things had started to get really busy at the paper and I was picking up more and more assignments. I got assigned to a portrait shoot at a local club. The assignment was during the day and when I got to the club the place was very well lit and nothing was really set up. This kind of nixed the “atmospheric” part of the photo request, or at least my interpretation of it. But then my subject, Miles Huddleston, asked me if I wanted to do some photos on the roof.

Huddleston was pretty close with the club manager so it didn’t take much convincing and we were shortly climbing up a ladder in a storage closet, on our way to the roof. Gotta love when assignments surprise you.

MU Softball vs Baylor

Missouri's Jenna Marston (26) slides into second while trying to break up a double play.

Missouri’s Corrin Genovese rips the ball into left field during the Tigers’ 7-0 victory over Baylor Sunday at University Field.

“Try shooting from the outfield.”

That’s what Parker said to me when he gave me the assignment for this softball game. Just a friendly reminder that it is always a good thing to get a change of perspective.

MU Baseball vs. Oklahoma State

Eric Garcia gets caught in a rundown along the third base line by Oklahoma State catcher Jared Womack in the second inning.Missouri's Ben Turner reacts after being called out at first.

Missouri's Ben Turner reacts after being called out at first.

For more photos visit columbiatribune.com

Missouri Class 2 High School Girls Championship basketball

The Harrisburg girls basketball team celebrates after winning the MSHSAA Class 2 title Saturday at Mizzou Arena. Behind 25 points from senior standout Chelsey Kroese, pointing, the Bulldogs beat New Haven 43-32.

Check out the full slides show on ColumbiaTribune.com

A few from MU wrestling vs OSU

Here’s a few shots from a wrestling meet from a few weeks back. Missouri took a hard fought loss that was shown best during Devon Mellon’s match against Alan Gelogaev. Mellon took a shot to the nose early in the first round which caused a steady flow of blood. But Mellon kept at it even though he needed near constant attention to keep the blood in check.

Missouri athletic trainer Shane Bishop, right, tends to heavyweight Devin Mellon during a time out. Mellon suffered a bloody nose early in his match with Oklahoma State's Alan Gelogaev that caused frequent time outs to redress and clean up the bleeding.

 

Oklahoma State's Chris Perry holds his position as Missouri's Dorian Henderson attempts to escape. Henderson lost 7-2.

Easter Bunny Nightmare

Saturday night I went out to a local haunted house, NecroPlanet, to photography a team of paranormal investigators checking the place out. I didn’t see any ghosts or spectres, but I saw what has to be one of the creepiest rabbits since Donnie Darko.

Independence Bowl

November and December easily saw the most travel I’ve ever done in a short period of time. Part of that came from driving down to Shreveport, La. to shoot the Missouri Tigers in the Independence Bowl for the Columbia Daily Tribune. I woke up at 5 a.m. and drove down from my parents’ house in Arkansas the day of the game. Something like a seven hour drive or so. The day after I drove back to Columbia. If I remember right I clocked about 940 miles in two days. Anyway…Photos!

Missouri linebacker Zaviar Gooden, right, snares the ball as it rolls off the back of North Carolina receiver Dwight Jones (83) for an interception during the Tigers’ 41-24 victory in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.

MU quarterback James Franklin (1) — who accounted for 142 of the Tigers’ 337 rushing yards in Monday’s 41-24 victory over North Carolina — works his way past Charles Brown during the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.

Be sure to check out the rest of the photos at ColumbiaTribune.com.

A dream soars

I drove out to Macon, Mo. yesterday to cover a pretty cool assignment. Media and journalism get a lot of flak for giving a lot of attention to negative stories, but this one has heart warming written all over it – even if it is a little bittersweet.


Ruth Payton, 82, of Macon, in red, watches Watson, a 5-year-old American bald eagle, take flight yesterday in Long Branch State Park. Payton, who is terminally ill with hemolytic anemia — a disease that prematurely destroys red blood cells — said she had always wanted to see a bald eagle. Her hospice worker, Randi Petre, contacted the University of Missouri’s Raptor Rehabilitation Project, which arranged for Payton to come see Watson be released back into the wild. The eagle was brought to MU’s Raptor Rehabilitation Project last month after being found in Randolph County with severe lead poisoning, likely the result of ingesting contaminated fish or deer.

Watson takes to the sky after being released over Long Branch Lake on Sunday afternoon.

Hope and Tater: A few of my favorites

Just a few of my favorite shots from Hope and Tater’s wedding back in August.

Sunlight

Every evening the sunset hits a window in my living room just so. And my roommate has this old glass decanter that sits on the coffee table. The light hits only the the top of the decanter but its a pretty sight none the less.

Komen Race for the Cure

Sunday I shot the second annual Susan G. Komen Mid-Missouri Race for the Cure. The 5k race is a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness, treatment, and research that actually started back in the ’80s but only made its way into Mid-Missouri last year.

I covered last year’s race as well and stretched myself a little thin trying to cover the entire course while carrying gear I didn’t need. So this year I packed light and hung around the starting and finishing areas for the most part. I was really pleased with the result. It would have been nice to effectively cover the course and do a slideshow like I did last year, but with runners ranging from very competitive to people just taking a stroll, I focused instead on a few key shots that I knew would summarize the event effectively.

I showed up early and got some pretty goofy shots of some women ‘break dancing’ during a warm up session. Hiked up the steps of Memorial Stadium to get a nice overall of the start of the race, followed the crowd for the first quarter mile trying to find some characters in the fray, and hung around the finish to get the overall male and female finishers.

I feel like I had a really good flow this year, and if I get the chance to cover the race again I’ll use what I learned over the last two years to finally get broad comprehensive look at the race without compromising the quality and visual storytelling of my photos.

Here’s a frame from this year with the first overall female finisher, Hannah Hassemer,

University of Missouri cheerleaders support Hannah Hassemer, the first overall female finisher, Sunday as she nears the finish line at the Race for the Cure.

Two Roads

Due to the flooding that occurred in Nebraska, Iowa and northern Missouri earlier this year, I had to take a detour when I drove up to Omaha the last weekend of August for a wedding. Interstate 29 was shut down from Rock Port, Mo. to around where Highway 34 meets up with it in Iowa.

I ended up taking a different road on my way back to Columbia than I did when I drove up to Omaha. On the way up I took I-29 to Rock Port then got onto Highway 136 going east until I met up with Highway 59 North until I reached Highway 34, taking that back to I-29. Coming back to Columbia, I simply took Highway 34 to Highway 275 and followed that all the way back to Rock Port.

As much as I like driving interstates, it was a nice change of scenery and only added about a half hour to my usual drive time.

I-29 Northbound just before Rock Port, Mo.

Along Highway 59 in Iowa I came across a good sized wind farm.

A flooded farm just outside of Council Bluffs, Ia. along I-29.

A panoramic overlooking Rock Port, Mo. Essentially everything west of the interstate was covered by water.

Of course I saw a whole lot of this stuff both ways.