February 28, 2010

Cal Men's Basketball Pac-10 Title!

WHAT an exciting day! Cal Men's Basketball beat ASU. The game determined whether Cal clinched at least a share of the Pac-10 Title. Did I mention that would be the first time in 50 years?!?!

ASU was ranked #2 and we were down at half time. But second half we scored 33 to their 16 and ended up winning it 62-46.

It was senior day so you had Jamal, PC, Jerome, Nikola and Theo all being introduced on the court before the game with their families. Well except for Nikola who's from Serbia who instead walked out with his Serbian friends from Cal's water polo team. Rome was crying with his mom and hugging his brother. To think it's their last home game is nuts. It's crazy too because a lot of these guys were getting started same time as me, or red-shirting a season, and since I didn't get started shooting for GBS until my sophomore year, these are the ones I've been photographing throughout.

I thought about what I'm going to miss most about the seniors:

Jerome: Being a "balla" in every sense and fighting through the struggle of life and basketball when everyone counts him out and he keeps on with a smile

PC: His crazy flashy ways and big grin

Theo: Being serious and in there. Really really solid

Jamal: His CRAZY faces and intensity

Nikola: His accent and absurdly muscular arms

You will be missed =)

At the game, we had some famous Cal alumni. NBA player and now mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson

Cal's all time leading scorer Sean Lampley, and Linebacker for the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl Championship team, Scott Fujita. Great Cal players and it's awesome to have them come back and show their support!

But back to what matters... the victory! Cal had it in the bag so with 1 minute left Montgomery put in Nikola so the senior could get some play time in his final home game. Then with 20 seconds left, everyone else came off the court and all the bench players who were eligible and uninjured went in. I think that was a classy move on Montgomery. Great to let everybody get a minute in the game that determines Pac-10 Championship. Also awesome to see the standing ovation for all the seniors coming off the court. Then with the win, everyone rushed the court to celebrate, confetti went flying and everyone was going crazy!

Then it was time to cut the net. Everybody got up there and got a piece of it until Montgomery took it down and tossed it to the players.

I'm in such high spirits and so excited for Cal and all the guys, they have worked hard for this and it's so great for the seniors last home game to be this big win! Go Bears!!!

February 25, 2010

SOC: Mexico beats Bolivia 5-0

Something I've been looking forward to for quite some time... Mexico vs Bolivia at Candlestick!

I arrived SUPER early... to make sure I could park, eat press box food (yum) and get all set up. It was great to see all the shooters that I usually only see during soccer season. But I made one critical flaw... I shot Bolivia the first half.

At most soccer games unless you are the designated official photographer, you have to stick to one side for the entire half. I thought I'd shoot Bolivia so I could shoot Mexico the second half and get all their jube of winning the game. Problem was... Mexico scored 4 goals in the first half. Was glad to see them put those in  but would have rather they save the show for when they are attacking towards the side I'm sitting!!

Still feel like I was able to get some good shots.

Oh well. I'll get another chance to cover them next week. =)

February 24, 2010

Cal Men's Gymnastics

Went to Berkeley to shoot Cal Men's Gymnastics today. Basic team photo and head shots, was done within an hour. I had SUCH a hard time with my sync cords though. Out of 4 cords, there's alwyas only 1 that works (never the same one) and it will only work when shooting horizontally or vertically, never both, and it depends on the camera's orientation not which shutter release I'm using... so bizarre. Anybody know what's up with that?

Hopefully I'll have some spare time tomorrow before the Mexico vs Bolivia game (wooooo!) so I will head over to Calumet to see what the dealio is.

Nothing too exciting or graphic about these but always nice to have a basic solid head shot. I realized this when I went to pick up my credential for tomorrow's game... below is the photo I use on credentials. Definitely need a new one. I can tell you this was taken after midnight with a friend of mine's point and shoot, against the wall in my apartment while I was still a student at Berkeley... I don't look any better now, but I should compensate by shooting one with lights and a pro lens. haha! :-D

February 23, 2010

Cal Men's Golf/Goofs

After about 5 reschedules due to rain and other circumstances (none of my own) I finally completed the Cal Men's Golf shoot.

Most of these are standard head shots and a team photo and sometimes not even a team photo. But considering golf has one event at "home" which still isn't in Berkeley, we have to take a team photo, head shots, and a bunch of posed action stuff.

We started out on campus to get a shot of the guys in front of the library and with the campanile in the background.

Then I had to drive over to Grayson Woods Golf Course in Pleasant Hill. If I were to play golf, I would play here. The course and people were totally unpretentious and incredibly friendly and it has great views of Mt. Diablo.

After some quick head shots, I was golf-carted over to where the rest of the shoot would be. This made me realize, I don't ride golf carts enough, it's oddly quite a thrill!!

After relatively basic class photos, the lone sophomore had to pose by himself, awkward of course. But after his silly pose, the coach decided everyone should do an individual silly pose. These golfers were TOO MUCH FUN. They each had unique and completely random ideas... and I can say I've now seen a collegiate golfer jerk on a golf course haha!
*Note... talking about jerk the LA rooted dance move/movement not calling him a jerk (there was some confusion on this from previous blog readers ;-) )

After that, a lot of posed action from different shots. The cool thing about shooting posed action, you can place yourself anywhere on the course and you don't have to be concerned that you might be shooting in their back swing, distracting them with the sound of your shutter, or disobeying one of those many etiquette rules of golf that I'm not familiar enough with.

Despite lasting from 1:30-5:30 (long for a shoot like this, usually 1-2 hours) I had a great time. Coach, players, staff, all great, all goofy. Those are my kind of people, thumbs up!! haha

I'm on a billboard!!!

Wow! Saturday night driving from my parents back to SF, I was cruising along 80 and saw the CBS Outdoor billboard. For some reason I decided to check in my side view mirror whether the Cal Basketball ad was still the photo of Jamal Boykin taken by a Nike photographer... but whaddya know, it was MY photo of Jerome Randle!!

On assignment in Berkeley today, I arrived extra early so I could double check if maybe I was hallucinating and if not, take a picture. But sure enough it was my photo!

How cool! As Uncle Ray would say "I have arrived!" =)

February 20, 2010

University of Alaska Anchorage (Tamar) beats Western Oregon 62-60

Go Turtle! Thursday I went to Monmouth, Oregon to photograph the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves Women's Basketball vs Western Oregon University. Or rather, I got to see my buddy Turtle, Tamar Gruwell, play basketball.

Tamar is my bestest buddy from high school and a superstar of a basketball player. She took Vaca High to the state championship. I went to her games in high school and while she was at Sierra but had yet to see her play for UAA. The game closest to San Francisco was in Monmouth, Oregon... about 20 min from Salem. That correlating with her birthday on the 16th, I thought I'd try to surprise her. And I sure did!

As she was running into the locker room from warm ups I waved at her and she gave me this horrified and confused look of "whaaaaaat?" haha, it was great!

The best part was they won the game! It was neck and neck the whole time and UAA had been down 56-60 but then they tied it up at 60-60 with 31 seconds and Tamar got fouled away from the ball and had to take 2 free throws. She shot them without nerves as if she knew she had it made, not as though the game was more or less dependent on whether she made it. She, of course, made both and the game ended 62-60!! What a stud!

I also got to meet her Swedish friend Hannah who's her closest buddy, and speak a little Swedish, yay!! She is apparently queen of silly faces on the court =)

I had agreed to shoot the UAA men's game afterwards as well and Tamar went up and talked to my parents. They discovered we were both staying at the Phoenix Inn in Salem. What are the odds?! So after their team dinner we tried to meet up and hang out at the hotel. But after going to each others rooms we realized they were at South Salem Phoenix Inn and we were at the North Salem Phoenix Inn, ha!

Was great to see my buddy and watch her kick butt! Hopefully she goes pro in Sweden or Spain and I can go visit her there! =)

February 18, 2010

Driving up to Oregon

Tomorrow I'm going to be photographing University of Alaska Anchorage at Western Oregon University. So today I drove up... or rather rode up to Oregon with my parents.

We stopped at the Redding Sundial Bridge in the Turtle Bay exploration park. It was designed by Santiago Calatrava of Spain, considered one of the elite designers in the world. It's a very beautiful and unique bridge. I still think its odd that a town of 100,000 would bother spending $23.5 million on a pedestrian bridge. But I guess everybody wants a claim to fame. It's a great landmark and a really beautiful structure.

Note my sensor is DIRRRTY. I thought about trying to photoshop it out but decided to leave it, in spirit of honest images and this blog is meant to be somewhat of an insight on a photographers thought process and having clean sensors is definitely something to be considered! Thankfully these images were just for personal purposes.

Also, stopped along my parents newly purchase plot of land in Oregon. They are now land barons. haha. This was an incredibly naive purchase from a family member who was going to stop paying taxes on it and turn it over to the state. Instead, this middle of nowhere lot now proudly belongs to the Cox family and we got to explore the area and search/make up where the property lines might be based on google maps. It was such a fun adventure and turned out to be a lot more beautiful of a location than imagined. I would never desire to live there, but it's definitely a neat getaway and it sounds impressive to say you own land... even if it's not that impressive in actuality haha.

Can you spot my mom exploring her new land?

Deer tracks

The road to the land