Monday, May 19, 2014

A Busy and Great Week Looking Through the Camera Lens

     Most weeks, daily photo assignments are mixed with some okay features along with others that open themselves up for chances at snapping some especially good photographs.  Last week was the exception, every assignment had the potential for a special moment if I was ready to capture it.
     The first one of the week was a late night fire that destroyed several buildings and vehicles. It was my day off but ran out anyway. The fire was mostly knocked down but still was the most important story of the day. Later, on Tuesday, the schedule called for coverage of two lacrosse matches and two softball games all held on fields at Spring-Ford High School. Times overlapped on these playoff games and I was able to run back an forth between games and transmit in time for deadline. It doesn't take long to shoot lacrosse with constant action and athletes battling for control of play. Liam Hare, a defenseman for Spring-Ford took possession of the ball and ran coast to coast firing the ball and scoring on the play. He was very excited as he doesn't get many chances on the offensive end and he celebrated his good fortunes. They won the game so we used that photo as one of the lead shots on line and in The Mercury. With time constraints I shot various photos from softball and transmitted them into the system and called it a night.
     The follow day's most important sports event was the PAC-10 boys baseball final between Pope John Paul II and Methacton. The game turned into a pitchers duel and moved along at a brisk pace. There were good photos to take during the game, but it remained 0-0 going into the top of the seventh inning.
     I checked the time after every batter as I was also shooting for a sister newspaper with an earlier deadline. If the game went into extra innings there wouldn't be any chance to stay and get photos to the desk on time.
     And then things unraveled for PJP, first with a Methacton batter hit with a pitched ball. Two batters later the bases were loaded and the Warriors had their chance to score a run. I focused on home figuring a ground ball would have the throw going to the plate. And this time my calculated guess was correct. Pat O'Neill grounded one to PJP second baseman and he fired the ball home. Pope John Paul II catcher Sean Williamson tagged the plate as runner Kyle Lowery slid by on a close play. The umpire called him safe and the Methacton celebrated giving me my lead shot.

     You have to be ready for these moments as they are over in a matter of seconds. I looked down at the camera's viewer and the slide and cheering photos were both in focus. I never take this for granted and never let down because I try not to miss the big play of the game. Today I had them and got everything done on time. The game ended with Methacton winning 1-0.
      The following day wasn't going to be any easier and I again had the early deadline. This always adds another level of pressure. Girls softball normally moves quickly as pitchers typically dominate in these late season playoffs. The final between Methacton and Owen J. Roberts was running long. Lots of hitting and a number of runs.
     Methacton's pitcher Megan Stauffer was in control of the game and the team was leading in the top of the seventh when OJR threatened to even it up with runners on second and third and two outs. Stauffer got the last batter out and she jumped into the arms her catcher Emily Harris in victory. That photo was my favorite of the week with the battery mates expressions showing total elation.
     Saturday was another busy day ending a work week with several community events. One was the traditional placing of the flags on veterans graves for the coming Memorial Day holiday. I saw three
young scouts stood looking down at a grave. The boys were discussing something and even though they had all the room in this open cemetery the three were shoulder to shoulder. I wondered what they may have been thinking about. So young and possibly unfamiliar with death and the real meaning of the duty they performed that day. But they worked hard and moved quickly from one grave to the next.
     Across in another section were three veterans old enough to be the boys grandfathers. Old enough to have experienced war and loss. They worked together slowly and deliberately. Talking and walking, I couldn't help but notice the contrast between the generations. These photos told the story on this day.
      Then off to Tunes, Taps & Trucks food and beverage event held for the first time at Sly Fox Brewery. The place was packed with hungry patrons looking for unique food and a tasty beverage. Reporter Caroline Sweeney and I sampled several different snacks including a first time treat of fried cheese curds which were quite good. Everyone looked to be having a great time and musicians filled the air with good sounds. Hopefully I can get to this one when I'm off so I can taste several of their beers and spend more time at the venue.

     My last assignment had me climbing the roof at Pottstown High School to shoot the schools 175th anniversary 'We Are Pottstown' group photo. I graduated from PHS with the class of '74 so it was nice to be able to participate. I saw a few friends and my brother Gary attended but its hard for me to stop and chat for long because of the need to snap pictures of what's going on around me. It was still nice see some old grads.
     It was a good way to end the week on my 40th anniversary and to move forward to new things starting again this week as I keep shooting photos for the paper.

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