2014 Little 500
There are some things in life that just make me smile. The profundity of seeing the million-year-old light of stars in the night sky. The connection I make between something I learned in organic chemistry and something I've observed and wondered about throughout my life. The friends I made in Madrid, and the fortune I've had in seeing them many times since we studied together.
On Friday, what made me smile was the exit off State Road 37 into Bloomington. At 1:45pm that day, an hour after finishing my physics lab in Indy, the exit meant I was that close to the Little 500, an experience that is simultaneously just a pair of bicycle races and so much more than just a pair of bicycle races. It's spring, it's college, it's athleticism, it's determination, it's the pinnacle of life in a great many ways. For me, it's the memory of good times at the IDS, it's where I first earned a photojournalism award, and it's a reminder of how vivacious life is and can be.
That's how I describe it when I'm away from the race. When I'm there, though, the only words I can say are "Wow" and "Woo hoo!" and "This is the best!" I have neither the time nor the presence of mind to put those emotions into words; I'm living the emotions, and there are photos to make! And make them I did, including my first good crash photo and the winning moments in both the women's and men's races. The sound I made when I saw that I got Brenna McGinn of Kappa Alpha Theta crossing the finish line, hand over her mouth in jubilant realization, is something hard to replicate. If you see me in person, ask me about it, and I'll try my best to make it. It was some sort of squeal.
I was covering the race for the Star, and they posted photo galleries, of course. Their gallery-posting system is still a bit off, though, and it resulted in crops I didn't make (to be fair, I'm certain the photo editors didn't make them, either). So, here are galleries of the women's and men's races, but original versions of 32 photos (16 women's, 16 men's) appear below.
Happy Little 5, everyone, and happy spring!Continued...
IU School of Medicine Evening of the Arts
I had an interesting assignment on Saturday. Every assignment is interesting in its own way, but this one felt a bit like I was looking into my future.
Every year for 23 years now, IU School of Medicine students put on an Evening of the Arts. Medical students with added performance acumen do skits, play music, sing, and dance, and the proceeds from the event assist four free clinics in the Indianapolis area. It's a good cause, and it ensures future doctors know how they can positively impact their communities through more than just doing medicine. It was held at the Madame Walker Theatre Center, another place in Indy that I knew of, but had never been to without a photo assignment as an excuse. It reminded me of Bloomington's Buskirk-Chumley Theatre, and if something reminds me of Bloomington, that's usually a great sign.
The event felt like the future because a) I plan on going to medical school for an M.D./Ph.D. and b) I might feel, at whatever school I attend, the need to flex the muscles I built up in high school on the speech team and as Major General Stanley. That was a cool feeling, and I hope one day to be a part of that. If this sort of program isn't at the school I attend, maybe I'll start it...Continued...
IU men's basketball vs. North Florida
or Back Home Again in Assembly Hall
Soon after my biology test on Friday, Mike Fender texted me wondering if I was up for shooting an IU men's basketball game for the Star.
I replied, "AM I? Of course!"
For a while, the primary content on this blog was IU men's basketball. I was one of the beat photographers for the Indiana Daily Student, and during that time, I had grown quite accustomed to Tom Crean's pacing, Martha the Cleaning Lady, and the dedication of student fans, even though the team was not yet good. I also grew accustomed to the fellow photographers on the baseline: Chris Howell of the Bloomington Herald-Times, the Associated Press guys, Mike Dickbernd of IU Athletics and his intern (Peter Stevenson at the time), and whoever came down that night from The Indianapolis Star (usually Matt Kryger, source of endless jokes and well-placed distractions). I was a little sad when the season ended, but as I was used to endings in my senior year, I didn't make a big thing of it when I shot my last game at Assembly Hall. It helped that IU finished last in the conference that season.
I've been back to Bloomington multiple times since then, and once I was even on the floor of Assembly Hall, but when I got that text, I was so excited to go back. I stepped onto the floor, all the memories came rushing back, and I HAD to share it on Instagram. It just felt right. The Martha the Cleaning Lady video played, Tom Crean paced down the sideline, hiking his pants up all the time, and even some of the same photographers were there.
The only big differences were these: IU was a good team again, the IDS photographer (Caitlin O'Hara) and IU athletics intern (Steph Langan) were younger than me, and I had grown up to be, effectively, Matt Kryger, the guy the Star sent down for the night. All of that made the experience even better, and I hope I get another chance to go back home.
The full 19-photo gallery appears here, but fair warning: The crops are weird. The Star just moved to a new website layout, and I think they have a bit of work still to do with their photo galleries. I definitely did not crop photo 5 that way, and it showed up full-frame in the paper this morning.Continued...