Friday, March 23, 2012

The naked truth

I've said it before you never know what assignments the day will bring.  Just the other day I was taking pictures of a a scared little chihuahua cowering in a corner of the Tracy Animal Shelter.  Next day I'm taking pictures of a naked chick getting covered with paint.  Ho-hum, my boring days never end.
Ok, she wasn't completely nude.  To tell the truth she was in the buff from the waist up.  We were working on a story about a local artist who started a business of body painting.  She turns skin into a canvas as she paints a variety of designs from clothes to flowers on her subjects.  We would sit in on a painting session transforming a woman into wearing a baseball jersey.
I knew about the assignment for a couple of days and I already had the lecture.  "We're a family newspaper-keep it clean" were the instructions given to me.  Seems some people hold a grudge against me for a certain streaker photo (award winning streaker photo I might add) so they thought I might try to sneak in a stray cheek or breast into the frame.  No pressure.  I'm going to photograph a nearly naked woman being covered in paint but keep it tasteful.  And people wonder why I drink coffee and take Tylenol like it's going out of style...
So I'll cut to the chase, there is young Tanya, naked from the waist up covered in paint.  Yellow paint.  Ok, so what are we going to shoot.  Well my options are pretty limiters.  after the first three minutes in the room I am pretty much thinking I am locked into a view from the back.  There is too much showing from the front.  they would run a butt they are less likely to run any kind of breast shot so I have to make an interesting pose from behind.
There is a lot of "ok try moving this way, no the other way-turn your head, just your head" and comments like that.  A nearby mirror poses a problem as I can see just a little too much pin the reflection.  Well maybe a carefully positioned arm or elbow can mitigate that issue.  Keep it clean the editor said.  No worries I said.
Well anyway I think I have enough shots and maybe an interesting view so I head back to the office.  I go through the shoot and the mirror did ruin a few shots but overall I think i have something that could run in the paper.  Sort of.  maybe without offending too many people.  Heck who am I kidding, i just shoot the photos, other people will field the calls.
So another memorable assignment in the books.  I wonder what the coming week will bring.  I did lose out on the opportunity to have a  picture of a naked breast AND a naked butt cheek in print in the same issue.  Maybe some day.  Possibly.  Sure...maybe.  No, not really.  Back to pictures of scared chihuahuas and car crashes for me.  Somehow it seems safer.


I grabbed this shot on the first race of the day at the West High swim meet against Tokay.  This is the start of the girls 200 meter individual medley relay race.  The first swimmer is in the backstroke and starts in the water against the wall and dives backward at the sound of the horn.  I shot across the pool with my 70-200 mm zoom lens with a 1.4 tele-extender.  I wish her face was just a little bit more above the water line but I ma still happy with the shot.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I spotted this collection of colors on assignment today and couldn't pass it up.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Holy crap it won!

Wow.  Of all the photos I shot in 2011, of the fires, the accidents, the grief and tragedy what did I win an award for?  A picture of a guy's ass.  No lie.  I won 1st Place Sports Feature photo in the San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographers 38th Annual News Photography and Video Competition for a photo of a streaker at a Tracy High baseball game. Let the celebration commence.

I always thought this was the best photo I took that never got published.  Who was I kidding, there was no way we would ever put a guy's ass cheeks in print.  It never even made it to the wall of shame in the newsroom where photos rejected by the editor go to live in infamy.

So..... it won first place. No shit!  I thought this was the only shot I entered that had a chance of winning.  I sort of thought it had a chance then I didn't, then I figured I must have won for something else.

To tell you the truth I am glad I didn't go to the awards banquet.  I would feel like a pervert getting an award for taking a picture of a guy's ass.  It just seems creepy.

Anyhow I sort of feel vindicated for taking the picture, I wonder how the Tracy Press will talk about me winning an award for a picture it can't run.  Seems fitting sort of?

Oh well congratulations to me, BOOYA!  FIRST PLACE!

If you are going to talk shit on me about this post or photo, screw on a pair of ball and use your name, your real name.  Anonymous doesn't mean dick to me.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Close up

I tried out the olloclip 3-in1 lens for the iPhone today.  i picked it up at the macWorld and today was they first try using it.

Overall I was impressed with the lens system.  I was keying on the macro lens as I tried my iPhone's artistic side in the rain showers that passed through Tracy.

Overall I was impressed with the lens and look forward to experimenting with it more.

Friday, March 16, 2012


This is another set of iPhone photos of some mushroom growing on the city hall lawn I spotted heading to my car.
I downloaded them to my iMac and processed the pictures with the Snapseed app for computers which is just like the mobile iOS app.    It has some nice effects to give an image a different look quick and easy.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I was out on assignment today covering a softball game while storm clouds gathered overhead.  The pattern of light and dark was too good to pass up so I turned to my trusty iPhone camera and captured some of the storms approach.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

On track

My college photojournalism instructor looked at one of my photos and in his critique of my work said "all composition, no content."  I remember I felt crushed at his words but now I am starting to think what wrong with that?
I covered the first track meet of the year on Thursday and I always think I better have a well composed and interesting photo.  Track is pretty easy to shoot, you always know where the athlete is going to be it's just a matter of waiting for the moment they reach that point/.  Therefore the photographer needs to spend some time crafting the composition.
I tried for a couple of unique angles from Thursday's meet.  It's always nice to try and give the reader a different look at the action.  I tried some wide angle shots  and low perspectives just to mix it up.
I think I came back with a couple of different views, it gets boring shooting the same thing day after day.  A unique perspective and careful composition can spice up the most mundane of assignments.