Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Blog Has Moved

To have more control over the way I can post content and the design of the blog, I have switched to a wordpress blog hosted on my own site. You can find fresh posts from me at http://www.andrewstanfill.com/photoblog/


Friday, November 20, 2009

Zombies and wizards dominate my oddball video roundup

I've been shooting a lot of video for the Alligator recently and several of the videos have been on pretty oddball subjects.

Here are two of my recent ones on UF quidditch and a zombie invasion.

Wednesday I ventured out to the UF quidditch club's practice. The team sport invented by J.K. Rowling in her Harry Potter universe is actually catching on around the country at college campuses. While they still don't have many of the things to make it look like the real deal(brooms for instance), they're trying to get things together. At the scrimmage I covered, they played without brooms, and used one hand to simulate holding a broom. They also only had one goal at each end, instead of the usual three, so goaltending was a bit easier.

A few weeks ago, UF's Theatre Strike Force improv group improvised a zombie invasion in honor of UF's zombie awareness plan(Which I suggest reading if you've never seen it.). The group chased a member acting as a surviving human student across UF, from the Reitz Union to Library West. It was a pretty entertaining way for them to promote a new show. It even prompted a student working at the Hub information booth to defend it with a toy lightsaber without knowing what was going on. His interview was 3 minutes of intense zombie discussion, but only the most relevant bit made it into the final video.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Painting on the Plaza and a fair day

The Alachua County Fair is going on right now through Sunday. They expect 35,000 through the week, but when I went to shoot Monday night, there were maybe a few hundred people there. As an adult, there really wasn't much to do. The ride I photographed above was one of the few that could be enjoyed by big people.

This was a really fun find while walking back to the office from a class. Nicholas Cravey is the student whose shadow is projected onto the sheet from the other side. He said he set the sheet up on the plaza because he was bored and you have to do something with that time. I'd say this was definitely a better use of his time than throwing down on NCAA 10 or Halo. The size of the canvas attracted people passing through the plaza, who he invited to paint with him.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Battle in the Bayou

The LSU game marked my first trip to Louisiana for a visit, along with New Orleans and Baton Rouge. We stayed near the French Quarter in New Orleans, which was perfect for me without a car. Signs of Katrina damage were still around. I did a long walk through most of the French Quarter Saturday morning before the game. Much of Louis Armstrong Park was still closed with heavy damage. Owners of one or two properties inside the French quarter had even left faded X marks from when search teams scoured the neighborhoods in 2005.
Along the Miss. River, I watched as a man poured someone's ashes into the murky water and leaned over to a woman for a long embrace. The peace of that moment was broken when I walked just a little further down the waterfront and saw a man take a break from fishing to urinate against a pier as tourists looked on.

This house on the edge of the French Quarter was recently sold and the new owner is rebuilding it.

A University of Chicago graduate student talks to tourists from the hole where a metal binder for a scroll of cloth containing orders from France was found with the date inscribed as "Nov. 10, 1751."

I ran into a team from the University of Chicago digging at the St. Louis Cathedral on my long walk. They had made some cool finds and were wrapping up the dig before the cathedral restored the garden to pre-Katrina style.

After a short trip to Cafe Du Monde where a bus boy earned a good tip by handing us a bag of the tasty doughnuts off to the side of massive line, we were off to Baton Rouge.

Tim Tebow, trying to elude Kelvin Sheppard on a third-quarter run, finished with 134 yards passing and 38 on the ground.

Death Valley had to be one of the better stadiums I've shot in as far as crowd atmosphere goes. The miles of tailgaters outside did raucously find their seats for the game. I passed photos during the game to the St. Petersburg Times and ended up with one in print and online. The one hour time difference made all the deadlines tighter than usual, but it still worked out.

UF coach Urban Meyer reacts to the second personal foul called against Florida on the same LSU drive in the second quarter of the Gators' 13-3 win against LSU Saturday, October 10, 2009 at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

UF quarterback Tim Tebow shakes hands with LSU defensive tackle Drake Nevis after the Gators' 13-3 win against LSU Saturday, October 10, 2009 at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Lacrosse comes to Florida

Before Saturday, I had never watched the sport of lacrosse in person, let alone photographed it. It's a new set of terminology to an already bloated set of terms in my mind. The US lacrosse association has a handy guide to the women's rules if you're planning on following the team when it starts its first season in the spring.

I knew it was a large field, but wasn't prepared for how much space it really covered(120 yards long by 70 yards wide!). I was lucky that a friend let me borrow a 300mm lens after the first half began, even with a tele-converter to bring it up to 420, it still felt loose.

Even though this was my only chance to cover the UF lacrosse team, as they head out to road exhibition matches before the spring season, I had a great time. The brand new stadium was fun to shoot in. It also must have been fun to play in, several parents of players told me they hadn't seen anything like it touring the lacrosse battlegrounds of the Northeast during recruiting.

Check out the full gallery at Alligator.org

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Friday night football with the Times

Middleton High School drum majors gather before the start of their game against Robinson High School.

Back at the Florida game against Charleston Southern, Chris Zuppa from the St. Petersburg Times offered me a ride along while he did a day of assignments. Of course, I jumped at the offer that he didn't believe I would follow up on (He said so during a laugh at the Times office). I finally had the chance to head to Tampa on Friday to meet up with Chris and some of their multimedia staff.

Because Chris had a late workday for high school football, I met up with the Times' multimedia coordinator Ted McLaren and a few others for long lunch at a Indian buffet a few blocks from the St. Petersburg office of the Times. We spoke some about the Times and the job market, but mostly had a fun wide-ranging conversation on current news.

iPhone photo of Ted showing me the photo studio that staff photographer Scott Keeler apparently spent months improving. It was very impressive.

After lunch, Ted took me around the multimedia and photo "caves" at the Times (Their version of a cave is actually open offices with a 4th-floor view of downtown St. Pete). Ted runs the All Eyes blog on the Times' website. He also works with photographers on their multimedia projects. I sat with him for about thirty minutes as he showed me some of their projects before getting a full tour of their office. He was also kind enough to give a portfolio review.

I met up with Zuppa at the Tampa office of the Times, which is a large hub for the newspaper. While there was only one photographer at the St. Pete office when I went by, there were several at the Tampa office preparing to shoot Friday night high school football. Before this season, St. Pete launched their collection of high school media called Home Team. It's a pretty clean way to keep all of their high school sports content live beyond the weekend it was created.

In case you were worried journalists had lost their sense of humor recently. This was described as the photo editing power ball. I guess you get good mojo sitting on it.

I met two of the photo editors for Tampa and a few other photographers. I sat in on an editing session with an editor and Chris while they went through his shoot of a rubber duck race. It was nice to see someone else's work flow and compare choices.

A Robinson player begins a kickoff return during their game against Middleton

Chris and I headed to the Robinson vs Middleton football game, which turned out to be a bit boring even by high school standards. The small but lively Middleton band made for some good frames as Robinson ran over Middleton 47-0. I shot for fun and practice, but it was kind of fun to think the Advanced Photo 1 students back in Gainesville were out with the same assignment.

A Robinson player kneels for a moment before the game against Middleton.

After the game, Chris uploaded his photos to the Times system using a mobile wifi. From there, photos were selected by editors for print and the Home Team gallery.

A Robinson player comes down with a touchdown after a leaping catch.

In talking with some of the people at the Times, I learned that some journalists are looking to my generation for the answers. We're coming out of college with the cross-training and will to change things. Some of our conversations were pretty gloomy,but it wasn't all depressing, seeing some of their operation showed me that they are constantly working on fresh ideas, some of which may fail, some of which may greatly succeed. It's a scary job market, but I'm alright with leaping into it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Rapping Missionary

A lot of features come from wandering into something going on already. Last Thursday I had the luck to find a rapping missionary on campus. Aaron Daye from the Gainesville Sun was already hanging out for a shot, but journalism is always competitive, so I looked to do something other than just the photo. I realized this guy would be great for a little video interview.

Miko Sy is a traveling, rapping missionary for the Catholic church and is currently assigned to UF after a year-long stint at Colorado St. He just arrived and will soon be a Turlington Plaza staple as he will rap every Thursday.