Saturday, July 19, 2008

Midsummer Classic

This past week, I made my first-ever trip to New York City to help cover the 79th annual MLB All-Star Game. I am glad I was able to make this trip, because this is the last season that games will be played in Yankee Stadium, which is often called the "Cathedral of Baseball" (although as a Chicagoan, I would argue that Wrigley Field is the real cathedral of baseball). I'm not sure if they are knocking down the stadium after the season, but they will be playing in this building next year, which will also be called Yankee Stadium:

Anyways, in my ever-evolving role with the company, I was not there to do a lot of shooting. Instead, I was there to on-site edit. I have been doing this a lot recently, as I have traveled to edit at the Final Four, the NHL All-Star game, the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, the BCS Championship, and probably some other big events I am leaving out. It's not a glorious position, but it is an essential one in order for us to compete with the big dogs. So basically, I sit in the basement or under the stands of of these venues, take the memory cards from our photographers and edit their photos and transmit them to our website in real time.

It sounds kind of ridiculous to have someone on-site to do all of this, but in the age of 15 minute (or less) news cycles, transmitting speed is the number one priority and having a fast, efficient editor who pays attention to the game is not a luxury... it is a necessity!

All that said, I was able to shoot a few photos. Not anything of the actual games, but just your standard "editor photos." So editor photos end up being the shots that photographers aren't able to get to (because they are stuck in their photo boxes and leaving them will cost them too much time and make them miss too much game action), or aren't as interested in (feature type stuff from BP).

Would I rather be shooting the actual games? Well sure, I was a photographer first, an editor second. But regardless of how well I think I can shoot, I realize that my new role with the company - especially in this day and age - is more important than what I can do individually as a photographer.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Chicago in Chicago

About two weeks ago, I shot the legendary rock band Chicago as they made a stop in Chicago for a free public concert at Northerly Island. They were in town performing live on CBS' "The Early Show" as part of CBS' Summer Concert Tour?

'The Early Show?' Isn't that, like, really early? Yes it is. The show airs from 8-10 am central time, but they were telling all fans and media to show up at 6am so that everyone could be in place. I actually have never been up to the Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island (in fact, I didn't even know it existed) so I really didn't know what to expect: how big, how many people, what the view is like (although being on the lake, I figured it'd be really scenic).

Even though the concert was free, the turnout was not all that great. Having a concert that early on a work day will do that to the crowd. However, the fans who did show up were very loud and vocal, and the band obviously appreciated their turnout and helped entertain them in the two hours before they went live on national TV.

8am finally rolled around, and the band started working through some of their greatest hits. I started off down right next to the stage so that I could get some shots of the band members performing.

Because I had no idea how long the band was going to perform for, after I got a few shots, I ran up to the top of the bleachers to do some overall shots of the band performing with the city in the background. It was not an easy shot to do, because there were not nearly enough people to fill the 7,500 person venue. So tried to frame my shots in such a way that I was not showing too many empty bleachers, but it was kind of futile. Oh well, it was a perfect morning weather wise, so at least the blue skies made for pretty photos.

The concert itself was a bit frustrating. Because the Early Show is a news show, and not an entertainment show, the band only really played their songs in 1-2 minute intervals.... as intros into commercials and fade outs to commercials. You could tell the crowd was getting a bit frustrated at not being able to hear entire songs. So I think to make up for it, near the end of the show, they marched through the audience as they performed, and finished their march by climbing onto the Early Show stage!

After that, they played one or two more songs, thanked their fans, and everybody went on their way to start their days (or if they were like me, went back to sleep).

I'm Baaaaaaack :-)

Many apologies for the 3+ months in between posts. I haven't been updating this blog, not because I've been lazy (well, not entirely), but because of what I'm calling "political reasons." It's a long story that I'm not going to try to explain publicly, but let's just say that I have worked through them.

Also, many apologies for the change in URL. I had to change the URL to take the blog offline without deleting my previous content, but for some reason, I could not get Blogger to give me my old URL back. So update your RSS feeds!

Anyways, I will have a brand new entry up shortly, and future entries will be pretty regular as they were before.