Once a month, Josh Cochran, director of the PSU-Greenbush Astrophysical Observatory, leads a night of star-gazing and learning about a topic in astronomy. Every now and then I get to go and cover it for the paper. I know that for obvious reasons (very dark) it is going to be really hard to photograph. But, I always look forward to heading out there to try. There is just something so peaceful and inspiring when staring at the stars and with the dark skies at Greenbush, many stars fill the viewable night sky. I recently had that assignment and wanted to add a couple of photos from the event. The first photo is one of the favorites that I have taken in a while. I hand held the camera for a several second exposure. I noticed that they were looking at their phones to identify stars above them and their faces were illuminated. So I leaned against the railing to brace myself, brought the camera firm against my chest and fired off several long exposures. This one image worked for me. They a a blur of movement but you can tell what they are up to. And the stars in the distance are bright and sharp and like I said earlier, inspiring. It was a pleasant evening that I will remember for a while.
There were quite a few nice assignments for this entry which included spending a little time with the Southeast Kansas Youth Orchestra, and at an assignment covering a touching show of support for Payton Kannarr, a St. Mary's Elementary fifth grader who is battling leukemia, and with the Tristatesmen Barbershop Chorus making surprise visits on Valentine's Day. There were competitive basketball games and wrestling matches during the week as well as the start of the Pittsburg State baseball season at Al Ortolani Field. The Pittsburg State basketball teams continue to battle for their spot in the upcoming MIAA basketball tournament in Kansas City. I also spent some time working on my vocabulary while covering the Pittsburg Scrabble Club during one of their meetings at the Pittsburg Public Library.
Here are few more photos from assignments spanning last week. I am also including a link to a photo gallery from the 2013 Pittsburg polar plunge which is always fun to cover but wasn't quite cold enough this year. With past plunges I remember covering an assignment the day before of preparations for the event which included using an axe to break up the thick ice in the pool. Not this year though as the water stayed a few degrees above freezing. It was still a great event raising money for the Special Olympics.
Time to play catch up with my blog. This newspaper keeps me pretty busy. There is always something to do and I never seem to get to the end of it. I finish up one thing and something else needs to be done and this isn't including the photos I need to get everyday. So, with my excuses behind me I am putting up photos from my recent assignments which offer quite a bit of variety.
As I usually do, I made many photos at the event I covered Friday evening which was the Southeast High School basketball homecoming. I had the normal assignment to get a photo of the king and queen, which I did. But, I made another photo I liked of two children taking part in the ceremony as they waited to hand over the tiara and basketball when it was time. Space was limited with so many other homecomings taking place around the area so it didn't make it in the paper. But, this photo will find a home in my blog. I have also added photos from other activities taking place around the area over the past few days as well. This post is also the 300th entry for this blog.
I spent my afternoon Friday in Columbus covering the story of 93 year old WWII veteran James G. Cook who was presented with the French Legion of Honor. I learn as much as I can about WWII whether by documentary or book. I always have, and I am especially interested in studying WWII in Europe trying to learn more about my grandfather and his journey through the war. The sacrifices they made are the reason I am here today, able to go about my life in freedom and I don't take that lightly. I learn as much as I can to honor them and love it when I have the opportunity to help tell their story. I have added a link to the story written by Nikki Patrick.
I had the opportunity to tour the spacious McNally building yesterday and take some photos of the really cool interior. The building which has been vacant for a decade is being purchased by CDL Electric. I am glad to see this place coming back to life. As I wandered around looking for photo opportunities I could almost feel the energy from all the work that has taken place there over the years. The first photo is also a good example of what I have mentioned about the self assignments I have given myself to help me see the details. I noticed lots of leading lines from the beams and windows and a variety of different types of light both warm and cool to use to compose that photo, which helps show the depth of the place. It is huge and I felt really insignificant standing there. It is a very cool place to take photos. I have added a link to the story written by Andrew Nash.
I traveled to Girard High School with our sports writer Brock Sisney to cover the Trojan's as they played Galena to begin the second half of the season. The girls played well in their 64-33 victory at Ted R. Taylor Gymnasium. The boys also played hard but fell just short losing 37-36. The girls improved to 10-3 overall and 2-0 in the CNC while the boys fell to 6-7 and 1-1 in the CNC. I have added links to a photo gallery from both games below.
Fort Scott Community College honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday evening with “Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” in the Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center. Dr. King will be honored all week with activities open to the public taking place through Thursday at FSCC. I have added a link to the story written by Nikki Patrick. http://www.morningsun.net/news/x65631579/A-day-to-remember
I am not a big fan of ice. Scraping my windshield is way up there on my list of dreaded things I have to do. But, I do love photographing ice. During our recent cold spell and lingering ice I spent my free time wandering around searching for interesting designs, shapes, texture and patterns as the ice melted a little bit and then refroze. I wrote a blog entry a little while ago http://www.morningsun.net/blogs/photos/x1631899476/PHOTO-BLOG-Practice-Practice-Practice about how I give myself personal assignments with my little point and shoot camera that helps me become a better photographer. For me to make a strong image, I need to understand exposure and composition and all the other technical things, which I do (a never ending opportunity to learn), but I also need to see. By that I mean that I need to be able to focus and find an image in a larger scene that helps visually show what a particular story is about and usually I need to work fast. I need to be able to see the details that can lead to a telling image. This is one of the reasons why I give myself these personal assignments. It teaches me to take my time, search and not overlook things and this is training my eyes which will help me down the road when I am on deadline. Plus it is just fun to get outside and get some sunshine.