Georgia Reese's and community clean-up
or Two batches of color on dead trees
I lucked out with my previous two assignments for the Star. The first was a private dinner event and de facto debut on Aug. 30 of a new restaurant on the Northwestside, Georgia Reese's Southern Table & Bar. The restaurant, owned by former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Gary Brackett, is named for his daughter and aims for a casual dining experience focused on soul food, which meant the kitchen smelled AWESOME. I lucked out immensely with the last picture; I was driving away, realized I didn't get a photo of the front of the restaurant, drove back to get it just in case, and caught Brackett walking out the door. Superb.
The second assignment was arguably a more important affair. The Near Westside of Indianapolis is not the best of places to live. It's full of abandoned homes and crime and a lack of the economic & social stability found in many other Indianapolis neighborhoods. Good people live there, though, and with the help of good organizations such as Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, residents spent Saturday sprucing up Elder Street south of Washington Street. They cut down trees, cleared out weeds, swept the sidewalks, picked up trash, and generally made the street a safer place for kids to play. These "cosmetic" changes are important, not least because it brings neighbors together for a common cause and shows hope for a better future.
Plus, the kids were kids. When they weren't dragging branches to the trash bin or raking weeds, they were running up and down the street yelling about being famous. You can't help but see some promise in that enthusiasm.
Both sets of photos were paired with a story, and both showed up in the front section of the paper. The restaurant played out in color on A3 and A4 on Sept. 3, and the clean-up was the A1 centerpiece on Monday with a jump color photo on A11. This is my second centerpiece for the Star.
On a sadder note, as part of Gannett's "Newsroom of the Future" plans, five good Star photographers are on the staff no longer,. They're all good people, and it will be hard to imagine the Star "photo phamily" without them. Best wishes to Greg Griffo, Brent Drinkut, Danese Kenon, Rob Goebel, and Joe Vitti.Continued...
Kiss and Def Leppard do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
I've never been to a KISS concert, and neither had another photographer shooting last night at Klipsch Music Center. He had started out following John Mellencamp, got into photographing Farm Aid in 2009, and has since covered so many acts, but not KISS. We had also heard that KISS was quite friendly to photographers, doing their thing so close to us in the pit and, of course, providing pyrotechnics and painted faces. He was excited, jumping up and down a bit before the show started, and he made me excited, too.
After our two songs were up, on our walk back to the holding room, we were kids in a candy store. We were looking through our photos, gaping and hollering and yelling, "I got it!" and throwing awesomes every which way. It was so much fun.
And that was before KISS and Def Leppard did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
This is the sort of assignment that gets you excited about the whole idea of photography. This is like a hole-in-one in golf; you don't get many assignments like this, but you do your best to get them, and the promise of one in the future keeps you going.
In other news: I took the MCAT on Thursday. I can now return from the life of a studious hermit to a relatively normal existence.
(There are no photos of Def Leppard, even though what I heard of their pre-KISS concert was face-melting, because they didn't approve any photographers. They were out for the challenge, though, so there's that.)Continued...
Walk for Water and Tri-Indy Triathlon
This past weekend's assignments both involved a lot of walking around downtown. The first was Saturday's Walk for Water, an event I covered last year. I wasn't worried about taking a test later the same day, so I was able to be mentally present at the event a lot more completely than I was last summer. So, I tried something outside the box and rented a paddleboat to cover the water-retrieval part. I didn't get the photo I envisioned (the water fetchers didn't throw the buckets out into the canal, so there wasn't a chance to get a photo of one of the buckets hurtling toward the camera just above the water), but it did force me to think differently, which is always good in a photo assignment. The photos went here on the IndyStar website, and two of them got into the paper.
The second assignment, early on Sunday morning, was a triathlon that started in the canal. The Tri-Indy Triathlon snaked up to the Northwestside, but it was centered in White River State Park, where all three segments converged. I found a parking spot in time to cover the start of the sprint-distance race, and really, what part of the race would be better than people jumping into and swimming in the canal? These photos also went up to the IndyStar website, but there was a very unfortunate crop done on photo 4 in that gallery (probably by the website's CMS), so ignore that version of it. Photo 7 here is the full version; it has the all-important walking-on-water aspect that the cropped version lacks.Continued...