Back at it tonight.

"The sun sets behind Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore Maryland Tuesday, June 9, 2009."

I’m shooting my first Birds’ game of the season tonight! This is a view I’ve missed dearly. 

Be sure to keep checking in for photographs from this week’s Interleague homestand!

Back to the O’s.

"Baltimore Orioles Centerfielder Adam Jones blows a bubble after hitting a home run Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland."

I was recently hired as a Team Photographer for the Baltimore Orioles for the remainder of the 2011 Major League Baseball season. My responsibilities will be similar to those I had during my 2009 internship, which you can read about here. Here’s one of my favorite shots from those days. 

I’m excited to once again work alongside and learn from the best professionals in the business. I’m poised to produce successful images, continue developing the photo archives, and do all I can to contribute to Baltimore Orioles productions. 

I’m extremely lucky to feel so energized by the work that I do. 

See you early Monday morning, Camden Yards.

Reflections on Four Years at Goucher College: Tennis

“Members of the Goucher College Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams pose with their families during the annual Tennis Family Weekend October 11, 2009.”

I’m currently halfway through my last week as a student at Goucher College, so naturally there’s been lots of time for reflection on my time spent here.

I’m overwhelmed when I think of all the different aspects of life that I and so many other students here juggled at once. So, while it’s impossible to comment on everything that I did over the past four years, I’m going to try and make some sense out of it all by posting about the most influential parts of my Goucher experience.

This is the first post in a series of several that will appear throughout this week. I usually don’t get too personal in my posts, but I won’t be able to help it for these. They’ll also likely be longer than usual, so don’t feel that you have to read all of my “thank you’s” and memories. They serve mostly as a permanent record for myself to look back on.

Tennis.

I came into Goucher a slick middle-infielder who had never played tennis as part of a team. I grew up on baseball and learned the many valuable lessons the game carries with it. Tennis was always an off-season activity I did to stay in shape, and up until several weeks prior to being accepted into Goucher, had no real intentions to continue playing at the college level.

I’m thankful that Goucher Athletics gave me the opportunity to do so. What started as a hobby quickly grew into a passion that brought me to tears as I walked off the court after my final match at Stevenson University several weeks ago. 

I’m a competitive person by nature, so overall, I was disappointed with our play during my four years. As a team, we didn’t have one winning season, and as an individual, my record was far below .500. 

It was incredibly frustrating at times, but in retrospect, wins and losses aren’t what I’ll take away from Goucher Tennis. What matters most is the irreplaceable leadership, friendship, and pride that builds within the program every year. 

What leaves the strongest impression on me is the sheer number of hours participating at the NCAA level requires. It’s not just playing matches. It’s practicing, team meetings, fundraising, and traveling. It’s your afternoons, your sunrises, your late nights, your weekends, your Spring breaks, and your Summer vacations. Almost every day revolves around the hours alotted for tennis. It’s taught me about commitment, time management, and persistence, lessons that carry far beyond any tennis court.

Mentally, tennis is a tough game, and it just about always left me absolutely baffled. Baseball just seemed much simpler to me for reasons I can’t explain. But despite the losses, I had fun playing and I enjoyed the battle, and I’ll never lose sight of that. Goucher Tennis has given me irreplaceable memories and laughs. I’ll miss the shirtless practices on the first days of spring. I’ll miss the 6 a.m. team lifting, the 9 p.m. hit sessions, the pre-game speeches, the post-game speeches, the closet-sized locker room, the Goucher Football T-Shirt sales, the laser tag in Virginia Beach, the team dinners at the Steamy’s BBQ’s of the world, the bus rides home, and the sweet sound of the Victory Bell. 

There are too many people to thank, but there are several that simply can’t go unrecognized. 

Thank you to Geoff Miller, Director of Athletics at Goucher, for your dedication and enthusiasm in making athletics as vibrant a part of the Goucher community as it is, and for your personal guidance, particularly during my Senior year. 

To Michael Vann, Head Coach of Goucher Men’s Tennis, thank you for finding the talent in me, for allowing me the opportunity to play tennis, for your coaching and mentorship, and for your friendship.

To Sally Baum, Head Coach of Goucher Women’s Tennis, thank you for your extensive wisdom and for always bringing the Men’s and Women’s teams closer together. 

Thank you to Doug Mangi, Mike Simon, Chris Covey, Henning Jakob, and Michael Brooks, the Team Captains I played under, for being the guys I look up to. The impressions you’ve left on me are too big to put into words. 

To Steve Baum and Dave Hemelt, my co-captains and “bros,” thank you for four years of friendship and many more to come. We’ll talk about it. 

We Goucher Tennis people always refer to ourselves as “family,” so I posted this photograph that I took on self-timer two fall seasons ago rather than any action shot I have.

It’s full of family, mentors, leaders, and friends. That’s Goucher Tennis at its finest. 

Journalism from Egypt: Inspiring against hostile odds

 

"Demonstrators create a human roadblock in front of a police van in Berlin, Germany's Potsdamer Platz, Thursday, July 20, 2009. A rally was held to protest German police and government involvement."

A few hours ago, I wrote some thoughts about this semester’s first issue of The Quindecim, our student newspaper at Goucher College. You can read the entire post here, but here’s what I had to say about our efforts to get that paper to press:

Three straight nights of layout, tough decision making, and early-morning coffee breaks made for a pretty tough week. Sometimes it makes me wonder why I do this in the first place.

Since then, I’ve read a few reports that immediately made me rethink what I wrote. Here is why.

This week, more than 100 journalists working in Egypt were attacked, according to a Baltimore Sun article. News crews have been assaulted, detained, threatened, and intimidated by thugs and looters. In some cases, they’ve had their equipment seized.

A tough week? While we sat in our nicely decorated office under strands of jovial, colorful Christmas lights, here is what photojournalists in Egypt were looking at. While we listened to some good music as we laid out our newspaper, here is how CNN’s Anderson Cooper had to broadcast his report.

Yet despite being confronted with such disturbing attempts to stop the world from being informed, these journalists, cooped up in their tiny rooms and underground posts, are still finding ways to get their information out.

I took the above photograph on the outskirts of a somewhat violent protest I stumbled into in Berlin several years ago. I included it with this post because I still remember the rush I had trying to use pictures as information to make some sense out of an otherwise  chaotic situation.

That’s what journalists are doing in Egypt right now. It’s a humbling reminder and a heroic collective effort. Your thoughts?