Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mitt Romney On The Campaign Trail

Mitt Romney was in town today for a fund raiser and then a quick campaign stop just a few blocks down the street from the office.  They didn’t ask me to come take pictures at the 10K/plate luncheon, so I figured I’d walk down to the River City Brewing Company with camera in hand and take a look.  They had a pretty healthy security presence at the venue, which was to be expected.  The Secret Service dudes are so recognizable… at least the ones they want you to recognize as such, so I walked up to an ear-piece and asked where I could position for a good shot of Romney coming in.  Duh… stupid question.  He gave me a look like, “you moron, you really think I’m going to tell you that?”  Which, of course, he didn’t.  I told him I was going to sit on the bench in front of the front door and he said, “OK.”  Well, with ten minutes to go, I was still sitting there, which I figured was a dead giveaway that Romney wasn’t coming in that door! 

They had a metal detector set up on the side of the property and were shuffling people in the back.  The line dwindled to nothing with five minutes to go, so I decided to head on in.  The Secret Service inspector looked at my camera with 400mm worth of glass and decided I needed a thorough checking.  Hey, they don’t call them Canon’s for nothing.  In I went, Canon and all… well, sans the umbrella, which joined about one hundred of its brethren on the ground at the inspector’s feet.

The speaking venue was on a covered deck, but outside, and threatening clouds were assembling to the west.  I staked out a spot high and in the back which suited the long lens.  And then, it started raining.  Humph.  I dressed my camera in its rain cover, but I just stood there and got wet.  One of the bartenders was standing next to me and she went and got some seat covers and brought them back for her and I to throw over our heads.  The media folks, who were assembled in their area just a few feet from our location had a good time taking embarrassing pictures of us with seat covers on our heads, dripping with water from the steady rain.  I’m sure that’ll be on the news tonight.  Ugh!

After a few minutes Romney arrived, as correctly surmised, not from the front door, but from the river side of the establishment.  I don’t know if he came by boat from Epping or what.  After a quick pep talk from Jennifer Carrol, Florida’s Lieutenant Governor, Romney took the stage.  It was still raining, and he looked around at the folks standing in the few uncovered places and magnanimously motioned for them to join him on the stage to get under cover.  Great public relations gesture, but I’m sure the Secret Service was having a cow!  He looked directly to where my small cadre of about ten folks were standing in the rain and waved to us and said there wasn’t much he do for us.  I didn’t care… I knew he’d looked directly at my lens and was furiously snapping away. 

Check out the stare I’m getting from the Secret Service guy behind Romney.  He’s wondering, “what’s that huge round barrel-looking-thing blinking at me at a rate of eight times a second?”  Just your neighborhood photographer sir…

Mr. Romney was a consumate politician... working the crowd, looking for the media, Trying to say the right things.  Fun photo-taking.

See more Mitt Romney photos here

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

PWDs Doing What PWDs Do...

Portuguese Water Dogs are aptly named.  They don't speak Portuguese (well, I don't think they do anyway), but they do love water.  And what a high energy dog they are.  Put four of them together around a pool, and, Wow!  What a sight!

Open the gate and in they swarm.  No hesitation at the water... they plow right on in.

And then the fun begins.  Some of them enjoy leaping into the water to retrieve their toys...

Some like just swimming around and around and around...

Some like diving for their toys...

Sometimes, two of them gun for the same thing.  This looks like it has the potential to end poorly...

I wonder which one will come up with it?

One thing they don't like to do is just sit, which makes this picture all the more remarkable.  From left to right... Memo, Zander, Angus, Leah.

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

How (not) To Pass a Sprint Baton

Apparently, the 4x100M Relay is as hard to perform as it is to photograph.  This series is from the olympic development 4x100M at Penn Relays this year.  Just so happens that the team I keyed on, had major issues in the first transition.  You'd think the pros would be the ones to get it right.  Hmmm, not necessarily.  Everything looks good on the setup.

But things soon go awry when the first attempt fails.

And then a serious overshoot complicates further attempts.

A little dancing in the lane ensues while they try to get the baton passed.

And finally, the passer just meekly hands it over.  Classic.

See the whole series here.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Favorite Penn Relays Photos

This years Penn Relays wasn't quite as conducive to quality pics as I was hoping.  It was cold, windy and overcast most of the three days.  And, when I say cold, I mean like middle of the winter in Jacksonville cold!  However, I did get a few quality pics.  Here are some of my favorites from the trip.

First up... I'm always a sucker for the international teams.  Here's a quality shot of the first transition in the Olympic Development 4x100M.  Transition shots at Penn are always a challenge simply because of how crowded it is.  It's hard to get good position where other photographers aren't in the way, or the officials aren't shooing you away.

Next up is this sprinter from Belgium.  I hope I didn't do something to tick him off.  He sure looks mean.  Wouldn't want to meet up with him in a dark alley...

I was so looking forward to the shuttle hurdles this year, but they turned out to be quite the disappointment.  The light wasn't very good, and I just didn't do a good job of following them.  in addition, in the one Olympic Development heat, there were only three teams, and two of them wiped out.  On the bright side, at least I captured the wipe out.

The absolute best picture I got was of Clemson in their orange jump suits, but of course a hurdle worker stepped right in front of the camera as I took the best shot.  Argh!  I really only got one decent pic.  Disappointing.

The sun peeked out long enough to get a few decent long jump pics.  I like this guy from Indiana.  I've seen him at other meets.  Good jumper.

And, if you know me, you know I'm always a sucker for a good high jump photo.  They had the high jump pit jammed right up against the track, so I couldn't get into my favorite position directly behind the pit.  However, from the side angle, I could get the crowds in the background.  How many times do college kids get to jump in front of thousands of spectators?  Not often.  Very neat!

The highlight of Penn is always the USA vs. The World races.  This year, it was USA 6, World 0.  The Jamaicans always provide the best competition, and I think about a quarter of the population of Jamaica flies up for Penn every year.  They even had the Prime Minister of Jamaica there this year!

The sun finally did come out Friday, just about in time for it to set.  But when it did set, it sure made for some nice light for pictures.

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