Monday, March 31, 2008

First baseball game of the year...

Holy cow was it cold! Look! The grass isn't even green, yet! The flying dirt saved my bacon... only good frame from the game...

Appleton West High School second baseman Cullen Buchanan (6) stops a sharply-hit ground ball before making the final out in the bottom of the fourth inning against Xavier High School during a baseball game at Don Hawkins Field in Grand Chute, Wis., Saturday, March 29, 2008.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Home and garden shows...

We've covered a lot of home and garden shows in the past month or so, and they're difficult to cover. People who attend for some reason are shy to be in photos and the action is really salespeople trying to get a nibble from the fishies. In the past I've totally flopped at these. But this one yesterday went alright.

Lucy Vandertie, left, and Gerry Fiebelkorn, right, both of Appleton, examine a Kitchen Craft pan during a cooking show led by Americraft independent distributor Tom Osenga, background, at a home and garden show at Tri-County Ice Arena in the Town of Menasha, Wis., Saturday, March 29, 2008.

Sun Comfort sales representative Jason Otis, left, demonstrates the flexible vinyl material used for the windows of a three-season sunroom to Appleton residents Dick and Nadine Gade.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


I'll be up front with my opinion. Not to disparage the dedication of athletes who are very skilled at what they do (surely things I could never do with my body)... I really hate track and field.

I've just never enjoyed shooting it. It's a free-for-all with no jersey numbers and simultaneous events. I didn't think it could get any worse than outdoor track... until I came here. At the beginning of the season it's all held indoors. Great... And even worse, it's held at Neenah, whose lighting I've already complained about on this blog.

But on the upside of things, it's one helluva challenge that either makes you crazy or creative. Here's a little of both:

Some people say quiet moments are boring or aren't moments at all.
I don't really agree with that.

Whoa. You know you're struggling when you're taking pictures of shoes. But man.. I couldn't pass up the colors. Runners' shoes are crazy sometimes...

And... yeah... go ahead... give this one a big fat F for failure. Definitely not a winner, here.

Hey, I'll take this. That's alright. What, you say? It's only a trial heat. Psh.

Sweet, I'll take this, too. But, come on... Helmets? The ancient Greeks didn't wear helmets...

Here I go with the blur again...

I can't even escape fire extinguishers and electrical outlets at a sporting event. Lovely backgrounds I'm getting...

Thank you Mr. Official for standing in front of that weird wall.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Artists in schools

Nani Agbeli, originally of Ghana, prepares dyes while demonstrating batik techniques to a kindergarten class at Hoover Elementary School in Neenah, Wis., Tuesday afternoon, March 25, 2008. Agbeli is the school's current artist-in-residence, working for the next two weeks teaching the art, dance, music and culture of Ghana.

Monday, March 24, 2008

It's Eastertime...

Headed out to the quaint little town of New Holstein for an indoor Easter-egg hunt.
Amber Hansen, 7, of Potter, left, and Timber Schuler, 18 months, of Kiel, get a peek into the New Holstein Elementary School gymnasium before Easter Egg Activities sponsored by Premier Financial Credit Union's Penny Pouch Club in New Holstein, Wis., Saturday morning, March 22, 2008.

Joey, 3, and Katie Belair, 4, hunt for eggs in a heap of easter grass.

It must have been fun being that young mustn't it?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Soldier's mother

Really not one of my best portraits, but I found it pretty touching that this mother keeps alive many of the plants that were at her daughter's military funeral.

Mary Bosveld – mother of Army Pfc. Rachel Bosveld who was killed in an Oct. 26, 2003 mortar attack at Abu Ghraib, Iraq – sits for a portrait near plants she keeps alive from her daughter's funeral at home in Grand Chute, Wis., Friday, March 21, 2008. Pfc. Bosveld was the first Wisconsin female and fifth Wisconsinite killed in the war in Iraq.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Good Friday..

I find covering religion uncomfortable because it feels intrusive. It's usually challenging, as well, especially with Catholic ceremonies that I'm used to from growing up in the faith... it's not among the more active religious services when you compare it with, say, those of the Christian Pentecostals or those of the Islamic or Hindu faiths. Aside from communion, Catholic services are fairly stationary and individual.

Good Friday, though, is something of an exception. On this day, Catholics memorialize the crucifixion of Jesus with a multi-part Gospel reading and reverencing of the cross.

I guess the lesson learned here was to throw away your decades of visual memories of this day and enter into it anew as someone who's never witnessed it. With that outlook, I got a couple photos that I was at least content with.

Clergy and laity process with the cross during Good Friday service at St. Joseph Parish in Appleton, Wis., Friday, March 21, 2008.

Kelly Gonzales, left, and daughter Angela of Appleton pray together during the
Veneration of the Cross.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Frozen Field of Dreams

“If you skate, you shovel. No lifting of the puck. No checking – except when my (older) brother comes over. Then he and I will mess around a little bit.” Those are the rules according to Greg Vandenberg, a Little Chute man who built an ice rink for his family in his Main Street front yard.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Basketball season... OVER

Well, basketball season is officially over. Both local teams lost in their respective title games. Now it's time to look ahead to baseball. Yeehaw!

Freedom High School's Stacie Van Handel (14) and Nicole Geurts (10) walk off the floor after receiving runner-up awards after the Irish fell to Monroe High School in the WIAA Division 2 championship game at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., Saturday, March 15, 2008.

Freedom High School's Stacie Van Handel (14) leads her team off the floor after the Irish lost to Monroe High School in the WIAA Division 2 championship game.

St. Mary Central High School's Rachel Brown (12) hits the floor while recovering a loose ball before Flambeau High School's Whitney Verdegan (24) in the fourth period of the WIAA Division 4 championship game.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

State Basketball

MADISON, Wis. –– Covering the state tournaments is one of the payoffs for covering the long, long, long, long, long regular season. St. Mary Central and Freedom were our two local high schools that made it this far. Neither was particularly expected to go far, but both won their games today and will play tomorrow in the finals.

The tricky part about the SMC game was that it started at 9:15am. I was awake and ready by 6am so getting there wasn't the issue. Our paper prints two editions daily. One is our morning edition that goes to newsstands, machines, and outlying areas – photo deadline approximately 10:30/11pm the previous evening. The second edition is our PM edition which is what most of our in-town readership gets by home-delivery. Photo deadline for that edition is give or take 10am the day-of.

Because this game was happening so early in the day, we saw it as a great opportunity to get the game news in our PM edition since most papers don't have that luxury – they'd have to wait until the following day's paper. Because of that 10am deadline, though, we needed a photo back at the office before the game was even over. So goes the life of the modern photojournalist...

The second game I decided to use a floor remote with a wide-angle lens on the baseline under the basket. When I shoot basketball I always have two cameras going. Camera 1 always has a 300mm or 400mm lens for mid-court and opposite basket. Camera 2 always has a 70-200 or an 85/1.8. Wirelessly triggered with a radio transmitter, the remote (my third camera) fires every time Camera 2 fires. From this, I get two perspectives or angles of the same play – one medium telephoto and one wide-angle.

Unless you're a master at this, you never bank on getting a good photo from a remote – too risky. I didn't get anything too good and it was a little more work and worry than I wanted to deal with. So one game was all for this technique.

St. Mary Central High School's Brittany Schaffer (31), center, and Reegan Cheslock (24), right, put the press on Sheboygan County Christian High School's Elizabeth Egerer (24) in the Division 4 semifinal championship game at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., Friday morning, March 14, 2008.

St. Mary Central High School seniors David Spielbauer, left, and Michael Miner, right, cheer on their Zephyrs in the first half.

Freedom High School's Britny Conrad (3), center, and Grafton High School's Lindsay Wilde (45), left, and Hilary Wellnitz (15) battle for a loose ball in the first half of a Division 2 semifinal championship game at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., Friday afternoon, March 14, 2008.

Freedom High School's Jill Van Eperen (5) and Grafton High School's Mary Kalies (31) go for a rebound in the fourth period.

Freedom High School's Jill Van Eperen (5), left, and Stacie Van Handel (14), right, lead the Irish off the floor after defeating Grafton.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Reading... it's for the dogs...

The local humane society has a program where reading-age kids can sign up to read to rescue dogs on the basis that sometimes it's less nerve-wracking for a child to perform their reading skills to dogs than to adult humans. This was the photo I turned in...

Rachel Schreiner, 9, of Neenah, reads "Superdog" to Poppet, the mixed breed rescue dog of Karen Cove, Neenah, from Fox Valley Humane Association at the Neenah Public Library in Neenah, Wis., Saturday, March 8, 2008.

Yet, I liked this second photo with Poppet yawning for its humor. Must have been an interesting book...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Basketball season... cont'd

The Freedom and FVL played each other for the right to go to the state tournament in Madison. Nice to have somebody from our coverage area going since all the local boys teams got eliminated.

Fox Valley Lutheran High School's Tori Thern (50), left, and Morgan Schultz (40), right battle for a rebound with Freedom High School's Stacie Van Handel (14) in the second period of a sectional final game at Seymour Community High School in Seymour, Wis., Saturday evening, March 8, 2008.

Freedom High School's Trisha Zwiers (30), left, Stacie Van Handel (14), front, and Britny Conrad (3), back, share a group hug on the bench in the final minute of the fourth period of Freedom's victory over Fox Valley Lutheran High School.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Basketball season... cont'd

Tournament time again, this time for the ladies. A mediocre first game followed by one helluvan upset.

Freedom High School's Stacie Van Handel (14) goes up for a basket past Luxemburg-Casco High School defenders Sami Sisel (44) and Kim Mleziva (32) in the first period of a sectional semifinal game at Seymour Community High School, Wis., Thursday, March 6, 2008.

Freedom High School's Trisha Zwiers (30) drives into the paint on Luxemburg-Casco High School's April LeGrave (42) in the first period.

Freedom High School's Kristin Verhagen (22), front, and Trisha Zwiers (30) collide while grabbing a loose ball in the first half.

Ripon High School's Taylor Wurtz (40) gets ferocious full-court-press treatment from Fox Valley Lutheran High School's Alexa Arent (12), left, and Tori Thern (50) late in the fourth period of a sectional semifinal game at Seymour Community High School, Wis., Thursday, March 6, 2008.

Fox Valley Lutheran High School's Carol Henzi (34), left, and Alyssa McGovern (22), second left, celebrate with their teammates after upsetting Ripon High School.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Brett Favre remembered by Post-Crescent Photojournalist

(Photo by Dan Powers/The Post~Crescent)

Photojournalist Dan Powers of The Post-Crescent remembers recently retired Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre's exceptional performance against the Oakland Raiders on Dec. 22, 2003, one day after Favre's father, Irvin, died of a heart attack. (Photography by Dan Powers, Produced by Michael P. King)