27 July 2010

chicago sky

I shot the WNBA Chicago sky a few weeks ago, one word: intense! I didn't even know the Sky existed. There were a lot of screaming children there showing support and then I found out it was Camp Day.

Chicago Sky's Mistie Bass goes up against San Antonio Silver Star Jayne Appel on Wednesday at the AllState Arena. The Sky beat the Silver Stars 88-61 to improve to 4-0 against western teams and to 9-11 on the season. Interesting fact: Mistie is the daughter of musician Chubby Checker.

pets and heat stroke

Pet owners take note! 
Ellie Mae, 4, a golden Labrador owned by Karen Leisten of McHenry, suffered heat stroke while taking a walk at at Moraine Hills State Park July 5. After four days in intensive care, Ellie Mae is now back home and doing well.

other shoots I have had

The hearse carrying the body of Marine Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Antonik travels down Woodstock Street in Crystal Lake on Monday afternoon. Antonik, 29, died July 11 supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
I covered a less somber homecoming last Saturday.  Aria Wood, 5, hugs her father Lt. Colonel Edward Wood as Woodstock Mayor Brian Sager and wife Amanda applaud him at his homecoming ceremony at Emricson Park in Woodstock on Saturday.

Sisters Donna Freeman, left, and Adele Knickels prepare for the Alzheimer's Association's annual Memory Walk at Freeman's home on Friday afternoon. The siblings, along with another sister, walk in a team called "Rose's Girls" in their mother, Rose Freda's honor and in her memory. Freda, passed away in 2001 from the disease at the age of 87.
I got to talk with Donna and Adele for the better part of an hour on that Friday, and was amazed at their dedication to this association. I also liked that Donna remembers her mother whenever she sees a cardinal and we saw one twice.

And for the business section...
Ben Giblin and Chloe Juckel work at Peace Offerings on Wednesday afternoon in McHenry. The shop features handcrafted gifts and jewelry, tye-dye shirts, incense, bath oils and salts, and a vintage resale area in the back of the shop.


I took this photo after leaving the AllState Arena in Rosemont. This plane, one of many in that flight path, was headed to O'Hare.
Over 100 participants drove tractors from Von Bergen’s Country Market in Hebron to Lake Geneva, Wis., on Saturday morning, in the eighth annual “Tractor Trek.”  Proceeds from the event were donated to the Agriculture in the Classroom program to promote agricultural awareness in McHenry County.
Some seagulls on a hot July day.

summer assignments

One of my favorite things about working for a newspaper is how seasonal it is. Lately I have been outside pretty much everyday for work. Here is what I have been up to.

From left to right, "Team Nee" participants Joe Seredick, Rich Louderbough, and Chris Vezeau await their turn to race in the 26th annual America's Cardboard Cup Regatta at Main Beach in Crystal Lake on Saturday. All proceeds from the event went to charities that benefit McHenry County residents.
Team "Utter Chaos" sinks with smiles in the 26th annual America's Cardboard Cup Regatta at Main Beach in Crystal Lake on Saturday.
I also put together a short video feature at this assignment:

This was for a story about a recent National Golf Foundation study.
About 1,500 public golf courses in the U.S. are in financial trouble. Within the next five years, about 500 to 1,000 courses likely will close. The root of the problem, the study defined, was the golf course development boom in the 1990s. And the economic conditions during the past few years might be playing a role in the increased imbalance between supply and demand.

Rob and Rich Clements, left, talk with Frank Muse and Pat Clements at the Oak Grove Golf Course in Harvard on Monday afternoon. The course is one of a dozen Chicago-area public courses owned by Golf Visions.

15 July 2010

aerial photos

Last week I went up in a small plane to get some aerial photos of a new recreation area being developed.
I love heights. I have been in hot air balloons, jumped out of a plane, flown to the eastern hemisphere and back. Regardless, all did almost not end well as the dips and turns and bright sun and shooting out at a crooked horizon made me nauseous. Thanks to reporter Brett's "look forward!" advice I made it to the ground in one piece and the photos turned out alright.

Aerial photo looking at intersection of Pyott Road and Rakow Road.
A bulldozer works Wednesday at Three Oaks Recreation Center in Crystal Lake. Since the area was previously a quarry, many of the on-site stones were used in constructing the amenities.
The marina and trails at Three Oaks Recreation Center in Crystal Lake are scheduled to open in the fall of 2010, and the beach will open in the summer of 2011.
Three Oaks Recreation Center spans more than 500 acres. Below is the building from the shot above.


A few weeks I ago I got to see what it was like to be a beekeeper as reporter Sarah Sutschek and I followed around beekeeper Larry Krengel of Woodstock. In the midst of a swarm, which occurred when the beekeepers shook a tree branch with 50,000 plus bees, I took stills and also made a video. Here it is:
Dick Walsh smiles while beekeeping at the bee yard in Woodstock on Monday afternoon.

not a bad way to spend a sunday afternoon...

On Father's Day Sunday I saw firsthand what Sheriff's Deputies on water patrol do. Though it may seem like they sun themselves all afternoon on the river, these guys are working! Pulling over speeders, writing citations, laying down the water law. We kept busy for the few hours we were out there, and the nice weather was a bonus.

McHenry County Sheriff's Deputies Dave Carter and Bill Wacaser stop boaters who did not display the boat user fee sticker on Sunday afternoon on the Fox River. The Sheriff's Marine Patrol aims to promote waterway safety through enforcement and assistance.
McHenry County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Wacaser points out an expired boat registration sticker to Ken and Bianca Strauss of Spring Grove on Sunday afternoon on the Fox River.


For a sports feature on MMA, mixed martial arts, I photographed these ladies sparring. Intense!
Kay Stanish, of Crystal Lake, prepares to fight early last week at Team Curran MMA gym in Crystal Lake. Mixed martial arts is a full contact combat sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques and skills to be used in competitions.
Women spar at the the Team Curran MMA gym in Crystal Lake early last week. Jeff Curran, a professional fighter and the owner of Team Curran MMA, has seen an uptick in the number of women training at his gym and treats them as he does every other fighter who comes in seeking his or her first competition.
Sarah French, 17, of McHenry, spars against Kay Stanish at Team Curran MMA gym in Crystal Lake last week. “I’ve always been the type to stick up for the underdog,” French said. “I bring my aggression here and get it all out, which helps immensely.”

recent stuff

Children play a water game at First Congregational Church of Huntley's vacation Bible school Wednesday morning. The themed camp, "Waterworks! Park," included outdoor and indoor activities for children ages 3 through sixth grade.
Education and Ministry Coordinator Sheri Storer leads a prayer during First Congregational Church of Huntley's vacation Bible school Wednesday morning.
For a story on exercise...
Joan Whiteside hula hoops at Curves in McHenry on Tuesday morning. A recent Gallup poll revealed that while frequent exercise is up so far this year compared with 2009, it has yet to rebound to 2008 levels.
I shot a lot of golf last weekend, and though it may not seem taxing to drive around in a golf cart on a sunny day, it is a difficult sport to shoot at times!  Id'ing the right player, finding your way around. Ok maybe it's not that difficult, but I am prone to not have a good sense of direction.
Tom Conway plays in the Northwest Herald McHenry County Men’s Amateur Golf Tournament on Sunday at Plum Tree National Golf Course in Harvard.
Rafi was great to photograph!
Owner Rafi Mir stands behind the counter of his Dollar + Party Store in Fox River Grove on Friday. The store, located across the street from the Metra station on Northwest Highway, opened in February.

11 July 2010

wiener circle feature

After a morning visit to the Chicago History Museum with friends a few weeks ago, we made a stop for Chicago hot dogs at the Wiener Circle in Lincoln Park. There wasn't too much yelling going on at noon on a Friday, and these colors caught my eye.