Friday, June 30, 2006

OK... so I forgot a few images from the opening ceremony of the soccer tournament... forgive me.

It was kind of olympic in the sense that there was a big march by team into the municipal stadium. There were three of us shooting, and I was the man on the ground... we had another guy in the stands, and a third behind the scenes and shooting an overhead-overall.

I arrived on the scene of a fire last week. It was kind of far away, so the flames were reduced to lots of smoke by the time I got there.

I saw this guy being gently restrained from approaching the home and I figured he might be the homeowner. Come to find out he was just a interesting-looking bystander who was "wisely" smoking a cigarette next to the fire engine.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

US Youth Soccer Regionals, Day 5 – Game Over

Here's my coverage from the semifinals of this soccer tournament. Because no local teams made it to the finals, our extended coverage stopped here.

It was nice to end on a day with some emotion and genuine effort.

US Youth Soccer Regionals, Day 4

More of a break from action.

If I had brothers I would take their shoes.

US Youth Soccer Regionals, Day 3

No action terribly great this day. I'd rather post a fun snap.

Two guys who were manning the Adidas display asked an Appleton police sarge to pretend arrest them so they could have a picture.

A bit stupid, yeah... but whatever.


I went to Fazoli's tonight for a square meal and what I witnessed made me feel so special.

At the table across the room for me was a couple. Grown, young adults. A guy and a girl. The girl... quite attractive, and the guy... wore abercrombie and fitch, so take that for what you will.

Before my very own eyes, two people, probably not that much in love, sat idly without conversation. And he... I still cannot believe this... grabs his fork like a handlebar on a Schwinn, lowers his head, and just... starts... scooping... in... the spaghetti.

I did everything within my power to keep from choking in my fit of laughter.

This gives me hope. Merely by being – civilized – my stock has gone up.

Monday, June 26, 2006

quirky... I liked it...

I suppose it's not a bad thing to take a photo for yourself, knowing it has no editorial relevance to your story (there's your Stan-ism for the day)...

US Youth Soccer Regionals, Day 2

Ok... this isn't so bad after-all... I am getting better at this sports stuff... this is just fun...

US Youth Soccer Regionals, Day 1

A somewhat decent start...

Friday, June 23, 2006

This is a 325-shot Saturn missile battery... available at your local fireworks store. Looks like a box of Crayolas... coincidence? I think not....

... good way to attract children...

For a story on legal sales in the Fox Valley region.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

soccer tourney

I've been assigned with another photographer to the huge youth soccer tournament that has invaded the Fox Valley. Coverage began today with preparation photos and walking through our coverage plans.

Yes... we have a plan. We have contingency plans. Yes... for a youth soccer tournament.

This is the largest tournament in the midwest involving teams from about 10 states. About 12,000 are expected to attend. There are no hotel rooms available. There are 14 fields of play. Each day we are producing a 16-page special section for on-site distribution.

This should be interesting.

I am allowed one artsy frame per week. This is my frame. If only some dude had come close to these water jugs so I had a human element. Can't have my way all the time though...

Eduardo and Jose Luis own the new Mexican restaurant in town: Solea. It's pretty damn good food.

I spent about 90 minutes there setting up and minupulating lights, trying different angles and positioning... for nothing... I later captured the ambiance and a bit of their character with this frame... sans lights.

I guess you can give me lights, but you really can't change the way I shoot and visualize a story.

It was a story on an empty warehouse... what can I say?

(Actually this woman had organized a 2-year furniture drive for Hmong refugees relocated to the Fox Valley – the region of which Appleton is part of. Thankfully she wore red or this picture would have really not worked at all.)

Monday, June 19, 2006

We had tornado warnings this afternoon. I had the day off but I wanted to show some bravado and go chasing. Nothing touched down, surprisingly, but we did get a nice rainbow.

I thought this photo felt very Winconsiny.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


"It's the last we'll ever see of each other." Raymond Gensler (Ret.), a machinist mate 3rd class of Grand Chute signaled the honor guard to commence firing volley after ringing a bell in memory of fallen fellow soldiers, Friday, June 16 in Appleton. World War II Veterans of the U.S.S. Ommaney Bay CVE-79 gathered at the hotel for a memorial service and their final reunion. The ship was sunk in the Pacific during WWII.

It was kind of sad. The men were getting to the point where their age was inhibiting their ability to travel and meet regularly. The story’s angle was clearly about mortality. What totally killed the mood was the nearby street construction that incessantly drowned-out the heartfelt words being spoken on the group’s PA system.

Jeannie has been a waitress in Clintonville, Wis., for over 40 years. She’s the next featured Good Neighbor… a series we do here at the P-C. Jeannie’s daughters buy fun fabric and make her work-blouses. She has one with cows and another with Spongebob Squarepants. She’s a character. I love these assignments.


Pouring rain, 50 pounds of equipment, and a golf cart make for a fun afternoon. Here are some scenes from the Appleton junior golf tournament. The Mediterranean lookin’ dude shot a 65 with a hole-in-one on the 2nd hole.

Golf has got to be one of the most challenging things to photograph.

Balk all you want at the notion, but golf coverage – in my mind – is mostly about the reactions and nuances… and to capture those moments with some context and aesthetics is friggin’ hard. Props to all the golf shooters out there…

This last image is just a fun, misleading, disorienting crop. I just found it funny.

Man on the run...

We had a federal fugitive run into Wisconsin last week. He got nabbed-up north of Appleton in Grand Chute. A cabbie from Appleton Taxi actually gave the guy a ride at one point and later told the police. The P-C and all the area TV stations did features on the driver.

For the photographers: this was my first time using my Dynalite uni400jr kit with jackrabbits. So much fun…

It's a jungle out there...

My first assignment for a new paper always appears to be trivial when it’s assigned. My first shoot at The Dispatch was lumberjackers at the state fair. In Evansville we did a feature about how gas stations were running out of 2’s for their price boards (ha! A lot changes in a year!). But, I have a track record of turning these things into A1 or Local centerpieces. And this is a cool thing, because chicken shit to chicken salad (which still isn’t all that palatable) is what daily photojournalism is all about.

This shoot was actually kind of interesting and it might even make some waves. This guy Scott of Darboy, Wis., owns an empty lot on the north side of Appleton. The city has been issuing multiple citations to him and other landowners for “offensive growth” of vegetation on their vacant property. Each fine is $50.

It does seem rather ridiculous. We’re running the story A1 sometime next week.

Michael King II

A lot of you know me as Mike… or Michael… or P-King… or Pdiddy. My name has been the brunt of fun the past few days. Who knew, but I am not the only journalist named Michael King. Sigh… I thought I was so unique.

I happen to share a name with another sentient being. Now, my byline is usually Michael P. King and I go by Mike among my friends. Something had to give, and being the new guy, I’ve changed my byline temporarily to M.P. King. I like it… it has this “man of mystery” – slash – distinguished feel to it.

Sweet Apple–ton

I arrived in Appleton on Saturday, June 10. It was a long drive… I got detoured 30 miles in the middle of Indiana (I think I totally hate that state…) and then I took a wrong turn in northwest Chicago which took me on traffic-laden two-lane state routes.

Twelve hours, but I finally got here…

The town was totally disorienting at first. It’s the little things. The traffic lights are horizontal on the sides of the intersections… there are more yield signs than stop signs… there are several 6-way intersections… there’s only one set of railroad tracks that runs through town, but it’s on a 45º cross through town, and the streets are curved so you’ll cross the tracks maybe 2-3 times on your way home.

It’s funny.

I live downtown. Now, downtown in a city of 80,000ish people is nothing like a metro’s downtown. But this place is bumping. Dare I say its nightlife is just as lively as Athens? I know… unreal. This place is f-u-n fun. I don’t know about the cold winters, but I think I could live here.

The folks I work with in the Post-Crescent’s photography department, and a few others from the newsroom, had a cookout on Sunday so I could get to know them. Good time...

Good people.