Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Second Half Comeback

Not Liking the Call by Wayne-K
Not Liking the Call, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

Granada High School visited the Amador Valley Dons tonight. I arrived at the game at halftime and the Dons were down 24 to 11. I'm not sure exactly what happened in the first two periods, but it must not have been pretty. Fortunately, the second half was a different story and the Dons pulled off a huge comeback, winning 51-44.


Putting it up for Two

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Photo Fair

Kevin by Wayne-K
Kevin, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

I went to a Photo Fair yesterday with my brother and cousin. It was basically an indoor swap meet, with vendors selling primarily used camera gear. There was a great selection of film and vintage cameras. I found a nice Olympus 35RC, but the vendor was asking $200 for it (I would have paid $50). I considered purchasing a second Nikon FM2 body, so I could shoot one with color film and the other with B&W. One problem with shooting film is one is stuck with one type of film for 36 frames. But, I decided to save my money and left the show empty handed.

My brother was marginally interested in the show. He was more interested in eating at all the great Vietnamese places down in San Jose. We had great pho at one place and then drove to another place for bun bo hue. I'm not accustomed to eating two back to back lunches, so I passed on the bun bo hue. After lunch number two, we checked out a Vietnamese New Year festival. It was $6 per person...and not nearly as interesting as the $5 per person photo fair. We finished the day by having iced coffee at a Vietnamese coffee shop. Very interesting and culturally enlightening....

Here are some random photos. The Vietnamese New Year photo was taken in San Francisco a few weeks ago. The San Jose celebration was similar, except warmer and more expensive ($6/person).

Future Softball Player

Happy Vietnamese New Year


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Back to the Action

Point Guard by Wayne-K
Point Guard, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

I'm starting to appreciate the lighting in the Amador Valley High School gym. Tuesday's game at Foothill was like shooting in a cave. The Amador gym is bright and sunny in comparison. After a few weeks of snapping photos of the cheerleaders and other relatively stationary subjects, I was back in action last night, shooting the De La Salle game.

I bumped into the photographer from SPORTSWURLZ during halftime. I asked if he'd been to any Amador games this year because I hadn't seen him in a while. He mentioned this was his first game in the Amador gym since last season. He asked why I wasn't shooting for SPORTSWURLZ. He typically shoots six games per week (and I think they get paid per game)....hmmm, something to think about...

Anyway, here are a few photos from yesterday's games against De La Salle (JV and Varsity).

Foot Race



JV Cheerleaders

Go Dons!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

American Samoa

Tisa's Barefoot Bar and Grill by Wayne-K
Tisa's Barefoot Bar and Grill, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

I traveled to American Samoa last week on business. I had never been there before and was excited to check it out, experience the culture, and enjoy the food.

The total population on the island is approximately 65,000 people, which is about the population of Pleasanton. The people live in small villages around the island. The Samoan people are fun, friendly, and love to laugh. We waved to the people as we drove through the villages and the people smiled and waved back.

There are only two flights in and out of American Samoa each week, one on Thursday and one on Sunday. We caught the Thursday flight into Samoa, took care of our business on Friday, and enjoyed the weekend before flying home on Sunday.

Samoa requires one to slow down...in more ways than one. The speed limit is 25 MPH over most of the island...except when it was 20 MPH. Type-A Americans may have trouble adapting, but I enjoyed every moment of it. On Saturday, we hiked in the National Park, enjoyed lunch overlooking the ocean, consumed lots of beer (in a responsible manner), swam in the warm, clear water, showered, and went to dinner for more good eats. The only stress all day was trying to select an entree from all of the wonderful choices on the menu. I went for the Oka, which is raw fish marinated in lime juice and coconut milk. It's like Samoan poke....I need to get the recipe for it!

On Sunday, we went for a short hike down to the coast, had a nice lunch of fish and Papaya kabobs at Tisa's Barefoot Bar and Grill, enjoyed a swim in the warm ocean under a hot sun, and then headed to the airport for our flight home. I was hoping someone would steal my passport, forcing me to spend another week there, but no such luck. I am definitely looking forward to getting back there some day...

Okay, enough ramblings about Samoa. Here are a few pictures from the trip, captured on my Nikon FM2.

Walking to Paradise

National Park

American Samoa

View through the Fence



Vailima Beer (Brewed in Samoa)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Amador Shoots Down the Falcons

9.5 Seconds by Wayne-K
9.5 Seconds, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

The Amador Junior Varsity team beat their crosstown rival today, squeezing out a two point victory over Foothill HS. It was a close and exciting game and the energy in the crowd was electric!

The gym was a bit dark today. I was shooting at maximum aperture, maximum ISO, and minimum shutter speed (to limit motion blur), but still needed another stop or so of light. I decided to focus my attention on the non-action shots. The slower moving subjects allowed me to use a slower shutter speed (and better exposures).

The players like using my action shots for their Facebook profiles. They don't, however, fully appreciate the artistic, non-action shots....although many of the parents seem to enjoy them.

In addition to the digital photos, I also took a few with my FM2 film camera. I used the FM2 on my trip to American Samoa last week and had ten frames remaining to be exposed on the roll of film. After today's game, I still have a handful of frames to shoot before I can develop the roll. I'll probably take five photos of the dog tomorrow so I can get it developed....I'm anxious to see how my Samoa pictures came out!


Calling the Play

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Amador Defeets Cal

Feet by Wayne-K
Feet, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

Get it...de-feets? Picture of feet? Okay, never mind. The Junior Varsity team played well tonight and defeated Cal High. After the game, we scooted home quickly so the kid could study for finals.

I didn't take a lot of photos today. Quite honestly, I didn't want to spend all night processing photos. The wife's been gone for two weeks and I've been Mr. Mom, work's been crazy busy, and I'm dog tired.

Here are a few more pictures from today's game. I decided to take a few more non-action shots again.


Go Dons!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Small Wurlz

Amador by Wayne-K
Amador, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

I was shooting the Amador Valley basketball game tonight and a photographer from SPORTSWURLZ walked up to me and asked, "Don't I know you from some where?"

I said, "Oh hi, I'm Wayne, I know you from church...we just hadn't been there in a while..." Yes, I guess it's been a while.

There are only so many ways to shoot a basketball game, and while I haven't figured them all out yet, I'm yearning for a change of pace. Today, I decided to seek out some different shots.

Here's Max, getting ready to get back into the game. Is he Tebowing?


Here's a headless and legless player. I call him number thirty five. I liked the angles in his bent arms.

Thirty Five

Here's a picture of the coach. He's not a "sit on the bench and relax" kind of coach. He prefers to yell at his players, gently encouraging them to stop screwing up.


Here's a player doing the right thing...scoring. Look, there are three opposing players, just helplessly standing there while he pulls up for a jumper.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Proof They are Still Alive

Proof They are Still Alive by Wayne-K
Proof They are Still Alive, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

I have the utmost respect for single parents because it's hard work! Mia left to visit her mother last week and left the kids in my semi-capable hands. It's only been a week and I think things are going great! The kids are fed reasonably well, they are clothed when they go to school in the morning, and they still have all their limbs and fingers. Just don't ask me how the kitchen looks! Don't worry dear, the house will be as clean as a whistle when you get home.

About the photo: I envisioned a high contrast, low quality, grainy, B&W photo of two distressed looking kids...sort of like the pictures of hostages, where the captors include the current newspaper in the photo as proof that the hostages were alive as of that date. I converted the color image to B&W, increased the contrast, sharpened, did no noise reduction (to retain the noise/graininess), and increased the grain size. Fortunately, the kids had lots of homework today and were extremely annoyed when I dragged them out of their rooms for a photo.....they didn't need to "act" distressed and unhappy, because they "were" distressed and unhappy!

I love photography because it gives me an avenue to channel my creativity. I often torture my kids....I mean, include them in the fun. But they are always good sports, even when they have no idea what I'm laughing about.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Monte Vista at Amador

Air Tyler by Wayne-K
Air Tyler, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

After a rough start to the EBAL league play, the Amador Junior Varsity team pulled things together and played a nice game against visiting Monte Vista.

Cheerleaders from both teams lined the baseline, so I was pleased to have the reach of my zoom lens. It allowed me to capture the action from the corners of the court.

Here are a mix of photos from the Junior Varsity and Varsity games today.

Drew Going After the Loose Ball

Jack Driving by the Defender


Monday, January 9, 2012

Paisley's Bath

Paisley's Bath II by Wayne-K
Paisley's Bath II, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

Paisley got a bath today. Well, technically it was a shower in the front yard with a garden hose. We don’t normally wash our dogs in the middle of winter, but then again, our dogs don’t normally poop in their kennels at night. Kami volunteered (sort of) to help me wash Paisley. She and I worked together and it was done in no time. Kami washed Paisley’s head, while I washed….err, Paisley’s other side. Let’s just say Kami got the cuter side. Now, I love Golden Retrievers, but I don’t like pulling “stuff” out of their long fur and feathering. Fortunately, it was a warmer than normal winter day and we were able to wash her without suffering from hypothermia.

Kevin wasn’t so willing and was volun-told to wash out the kennel. He did a nice job cleaning it out. As a reward, we had pizza for dinner tonight. Fried chicken would have been great…but we didn’t want a “finger licking good” meal, if you know what I mean.

So, today was a “crappy” day. In fact, it down right “stunk.” On the positive side, I got to spend some quality time with the kids and dog.

Here are a few quick pictures of Kami drying Paisley with a towel and hair dryer.

Paisley's Bath III

Paisley's Bath I

Friday, January 6, 2012

Amador at Granada

The Amador Valley Dons visited Granada High School in Livermore today. The Junior Varsity team played a hard game, but came up short. There were too many turnovers and a lot of missed shots. It appears Granada installed a lid on the Amador basket.

It's tough being a parent and a photographer at these games. As a parent, I want to watch and enjoy the game. But as a photographer, I'm looking through my viewfinder, trying to anticipate the next play. I'm usually oblivious to everything going on, frequently not knowing who's winning or even when my own son is on the court.

Today, I spent the last few minutes of the first half sitting in the bleachers, relaxing, and watching the game. Well, not really relaxing because these games are stressful! I think it's less stressful shooting pictures and not knowing what's going on in the game. If you like basketball, check out your local high school games. It's a lot more fun and exciting than the NBA...


Driving to the Hoop

5 on 5


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

AVHS @ De La Salle

Ready to Inbound by Wayne-K
Ready to Inbound, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

Amador Valley visited De La Salle today. They battled hard, but the Spartan's press was too much and De La Salle pulled away in the second half.

Time for Braces

Unhappy Fan