At the beginning of my career, I photographed the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon from 2002-2006. When we’d begin to plan for the race, I knew I’d soon have my earliest morning of the year, since I usually work nights.
Yesterday, I woke up at 4:30am and went downtown to photograph my first Memorial Marathon in 7 years. It’s still remarkable to see so many people in the streets of Oklahoma City. And it still makes great pictures.
Garett Fisbeck and I worked the start and the course, while Paul Hellstern covered the finish of the run. Below are a few of my favorite pics. You can see more (86 in total, I believe) in this photo gallery.
During the RedHawks home opener I noticed a man shooting video between innings with two phones. He said one phone for himself and the other was for someone else.
Then the next day I took a photo of grandparents shooting a picture of their granddaughter during the Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s Family Day.
This made me think about all the pictures we take of people taking pictures and video, or getting their pictures taken for keepsakes. Seems like I have done this a lot recently. I did a quick search of our archives for these types of photos and found a variety. Here are a few different ways we have photographed people taking photographs.
Some of the photos were just pictures of cameras.
Some were pictures of people taking pictures of themselves.
Others were of people taking pictures of someone they have never met but watch all the time.
With the rise of the smartphone, cameras are everywhere these days. So, it’s no surprise we’d start seeing even more in our pictures.
As I walked into the office last week, fellow photographer Paul Hellstern said, “Hey Bryan, my wife’s friend is upset with you for chopping her granddaughter’s head off.”
“I’m sorry, I hope she recovered,” I replied.
I understand that parents want to see the faces of their children in the newspaper, but sometimes concentrating on a detail in a photo can add to the story, as well. In an effort to make up for this I thought I would post a different picture of her and explain why this happens.
I explained to Paul that I had already taken similar photos of children with their Easter egg baskets and I was looking for a photo that emphasized other details of the day. This is often the case when a person’s head or torso is left out of a picture. Generally when a face and eyes are visible the viewer almost always looks there first. By leaving them out a viewer is drawn toward a different spot in the picture.
After talking with Paul about this I decided to look through the archives and see how often I chop heads and torsos off in my photos. I was a little surprised at how many I found. Here are a few from the last couple months.
I already had a few photos of children standing at the microphone, thinking and reacting as they were asked to spell various words. I noticed that a few of the children were not tall enough to speak into the microphone and were standing on their toes to be heard.
Although the rider’s head was not chopped off, it was obstructed. The hat hovering in the air really was what made the photo for me.
There is still a face in this photo but the defender’s head was cropped out to emphasize the girl floating inches from the ground as she dives for the the ball.
Here are few more examples that are more common. Usually the photo involves a child or an animal that is not at the same eye level as the other person in the photo.
To all those who I’ve beheaded, I apologize.…
I’ve been lucky enough to have covered Oklahoma teams in the NCAA Tournament for more than a decade.
And, when I think about the Tournament the first thing that comes to mind is not the crazy upsets I’ve covered, such as Kansas losing to both Bucknell and Northern Iowa, or the cities I’ve been able to visit.
No, I think of the color blue.
One area in which the NCAA excels is the consistency of the Tournament’s brand and feel at the games, especially in the work areas. Every site seems familiar because of the ubiquitous blue carpet and drapes, as well as NCAA-specific basketball floors at each arena.
It’s been this way since as long as I’ve been covering these games, except for the floors. Those were just starting to become consistent when I photographed my first few NCAA men’s basketball tourneys.
The blue mandate goes so far as to include drinking cups. If you take a beverage or some popcorn to press row, it has to be in a blue NCAA cup. This year’s cups are sponsored by Powerade. It was Dasani for a long time.
Here are some pics to give you a sense of what it looks like behind the scenes in Philadelphia where the Sooners will play tonight.
Here’s a gallery from the practice and press conference day for the Sooners.
Check tomorrow in The Oklahoman and late tonight on NewsOK for pictures from the game against San Diego State.
Today I was assigned to shoot pictures of a newborn gorilla at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden. It was not an easy task to take pictures of the baby gorilla. The zoo enclosure was very dark and I had to shoot through a reflective glass. To make matters worse momma Kelele sat on a perch and kept her arms tightly wrapped around her precious new bundle.
I waited for over an hour for Kelele to come close to the window so I could get a good view, but it was difficult to focus the camera through the window. She kept her arms wrapped around the tiny, little ape only giving me quick peeks of the baby.
Perhaps the most difficult part of taking pictures of the baby was a jealous orangutan housed next door to the apes. When I focused my camera on the gorillas, the orangutan would pound the glass until I turned and looked. It would then pose for photos with its blanket. I couldn’t resist taking a quick picture.
Read the story here
— Sarah Phipps…
This year our high school sports writers picked The Oklahoman’s 100th All-State football team and asked me if I could do something to make it look a little “old school.” I happily agreed, deciding to use film for the project.
I chose the square format because of my many discussion with Tulsa World photographer Mike Simons about Instagram. He likes to call square photos taken on film Eventualgrams. I love that term.
So, here are some Eventualgrams of The Oklahoman’s 100th All-State football team with the real film borders and all. You can see pictures of the entire team in this photo gallery.
Check out more of the photos in this gallery if you have some time.
At Alternate Crop we were sad to hear of the death of two football coaches this week. The first was Darrell K Royal, the legendary University of Texas head coach. I had the pleasure of eating dinner with Royal in his hometown of Hollis, Okla., in 2003.
Berry Tramel and I traveled to Hollis for a story about the high school’s football field being named after him and ran into the coach at J.C.’s Grille before the game. Berry has put the story from 2003 on his blog along with his column about Royal still being an Okie despite having the greatest coaching career in Texas history.
The second death this week was Chandler head coach Scott Myers at age 45 from cancer. Former staffer John Clanton followed Myers for a night when he was coach of the Moore Lions. Myers had continued to coach the Lions after learning he had cancer. Clanton’s blog entry and audio slideshow are worth checking out here.
We enjoyed photographing these coaches and were happy they let us into their lives for a short time.
I covered the City Rescue Mission’s grand opening for its new Impact Hunger Food Resource Center on Wednesday. As I was standing outside the center for the ribbon cutting ceremony, John Henry Martin asked me to take his picture. I followed him inside the center as he shopped for food.
The center at 831 W California is across from the shelter at 800 W California. Mission leaders said the center is part of the shelter’s FeedOKCNow Campaign to provide nutritious food to the poor, disadvantaged and homeless in the community.
In the fall of 1974, I was a senior at Northwest Classen high school in Oklahoma City. As chief photographer for the newspaper and yearbook, I was on the sidelines of every home football game. We had a so-so team back then, and it has been much worse in the years since. Until this season. NWC is experiencing a football renaissance under head coach Lloyd Smith, posting their best start to a season since 1971. And after this season, Taft Stadium will be torn down and rebuilt.
So, I thought it would be cool to go to a game thirty-eight years later and photograph as though I was shooting for the yearbook. I decided to use the same kind of lenses I had in high school: a 28mm wide angle, a 50mm and a 135mm. And of course I would be using digital cameras instead of black and white film. Back then I was still trying to learn how to focus, and now I have auto-focus. Film was rated by ASA and now ISO is used. “Push processing” Tri-X to ASA 1600 was the “trick” technique and now I have camera that can go as high as ISO 102,400. Back then I would have shot two rolls of 36 exposure film. Last night I shot over 1,400 frames.
I covered NWC a few times in my career at The Oklahoman, but it was always under the pressure of a deadline for sports. This time no deadline. No constraints. Have some fun. Be creative. See what’s changed at the games since 1974.
First thing different is the ticket taker at the gate has a metal detector wand. This job is held by “1st Sargent Jones”, who was with the NWC ROTC program for 20 years until he retired last year. He’s a warm man who still knows a lot of the students. The only ROTC program I can remember in 1974 in the Oklahoma City schools was at Capitol Hill.
One of the biggest changes is the crowd. In the 1970′s each home game had a 1,000 people or more. Over the years covering high school football I knew the crowds had dwindled. I covered some game where the players, band and pep squads out-numbered the crowd. Last night’s crowd was a couple hundred. I was encouraged.
A pleasant surprise was the uniforms for the team and the band. I have covered some OKC schools over the years that had tattered uniforms and printed tee-shirts for the band and pep squads. Now, they are first rate. And NWC has an inflatable for the team to enter the field through!
Some things are still the same, though. The cheerleader and pom squads still to do their thing. The band is still sort of in their own little world. And now, once again the players have confidence.…
I was photographing teachers picking up supplies at the Foundation for Oklahoma Public Schools when I met LaShon Mack and other volunteers from OG&E. The volunteers had spent the day loading school supplies into hundreds of blue tote bags for schools. As she was leaving, Lashon asked me why I hadn’t taken a picture of her, yet. So, I did.