San Francisco 49ers vs. Buffalo Bills

I know, I’ve been slacking off on this whole blogging thing. It’s been a very, very busy year and I am thankful that I get to do what I love alongside some amazing photographers.

Now, onto the photos. I’ve been covering the 49ers home games this season for the San Francisco Chronicle and their new 49ers Insider Magazine. With four photographers, a photo runner and an editor on-site, we are able to divide up our workload so that we can concentrate more on shooting. In addition to capturing game action, I also look for pre-game fan features. Trust me, there is always something new to photograph in the parking lot.

Guys On Heels

Call it goofy, weird, fun. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been tasked to photograph something with all the above. As photojournalists, we are always on the hunt for compelling images that gives our audience a ‘feel’ of the scene. That said, it’s not an everyday event where your photo assignment puts a focus on people’s shoes.

I was given such an assignment a few days ago to photograph the tenth annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, an annual event in the city of San Jose where men, women, teens, and adults joined in an event where participants walked a mile in high-heels around city blocks to raise awareness for sexual violence.

According to the Department of Justice’s 2010 National Crime Victimization Survey, 268,574 cases of rape and sexual assaults were reported. To put it into perspective, this translates into a case occurring every two minutes. While the numbers have fallen dramatically in recent years, there are still many unreported cases and it’s very sad to see such staggering numbers.

As participants from all walks of life continued to trickle into Plaza De Cesar Chavez in Downtown San Jose, they were directed to tables of shoes where they chose a pair of high-heels to walk in. Heels of various heights and designs were chosen and fitted.

After a brief introduction by various officials, participants embarked on their mile walk. It seemed like second nature for some but for others, this was an entirely foreign experience. 

With the weather cooperating and beautiful late afternoon lights, everything came together nicely without a hitch. I wonder what it would be like if I photographed the assignment wearing a pair of heels.

Edwardian Ball

A few weeks ago, my editor at the Chronicle asked me to photograph the 12th annual Edwardian Ball for a Style centerpiece.  Similar to the Project Nunway III that I photographed back in December (I know I know, I am not really doing things in a chronological order, but a Nunway writeup is in the queue!), I was tasked to create a series of portraits of the participants as well as to capture the “scene” of the event. It was not an easy task for an event running non-stop from 8pm-2am.

Though I didn’t have much room to work with, the event organizer and my reporter extraordinaire Carolyn Zinko made the portrait portion enjoyable. Not to mention the attendees were also wonderful to work with.

With the portraits in the bag, I packed up my lights and began photographing the scene. It was my first time inside the Regency Ballroom and I found the vintage architecture and the dramatic mood lights to be rather beautiful and perfect for the Ball.



Occupy Oakland J28 Move-In Day For Reuters

It all started like a normal day covering Occupy Oakland. But little did I know it was going to be one of the most intense protests I’ve ever covered. The following is a snippet of what I experienced throughout the day.

I arrived at the Oakland City Hall around 1pm and there was already a sizable crowd gathered in preparation for the march. I was a bit surprised to see people carrying shields, but I didn’t think much of it and proceeded to photograph the protest as I normally would.

The march began as the group announced that they were headed towards their sound truck which was supposedly pulled over by the police. Sensing a bit of tension, I instinctively went back to the car to grab my gas mask and helmet.

As we approached the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Building, we were met with a strong police presence in efforts to block the protestors. The protestors attempted to avoid confrontation with police by maneuvering through Laney College. This is where the first face-off began.

Shortly after, the protestors made their way to the convention center via Lake Merritt Boulevard. At one point, demonstrators were seen pushing metal fences down to advance towards the center. Unlawful assembly was declared and smoke grenades were set off.

As tension slowly subsided, I followed the main group of protestors as they proceeded toward 12th and Oak Street. We saw the police line not too far from 10th and Oak St. near the Oakland Museum of California. Instead of avoiding the police line like they did earlier in the day, the protestors marched directly towards them with their shields drawn. Violence broke out soon after. Tear gas was fired and white smoke filled the air, affecting both protestors and officers alike. The demonstrators regrouped, made one more advance toward the police, and were met with more tear gas and less-lethal munitions before retreating.

After the 10th and Oak St. clash, I spent the next hour photographing arrests as the police began pushing the group back toward City Hall. Soon after, I went to transmit my photos.

When I returned, I was informed that the group had left the plaza and was surrounded by police at a park near 19th and Telegraph Avenue. I arrived just as police were confronting the protestors at the other end of the park. While I was trying to figure out how to work around the scene, the protestors broke through the metal fence, narrowly escaping the police kettle and started marching again before police made a mass arrest outside the YMCA on Broadway between 23rd and 24th Streets.

Though tear gas was not used this time around, it was total chaos. I soon found myself trapped inside the perimeter across the street from the main body of protestors along with AFP photographer Kimihiro Hoshino, SF Chronicle Photographer Michael Macor and fellow Reuters reporter Laird Harrison. We were initially told that we were not allowed to leave, but we ended up being quickly released. However, a few of my other colleagues were not so lucky.

As I continued to work on the scene of the mass arrest, I received an alert saying a small group of protestors made their way into the Oakland City Hall and had burned an American flag. I quickly made my way there but it was already too late. However, I was able to capture a protestor burning a smaller flag. Here are two different accounts of the incident from dear friends and very talented Beck Diefenbach and Alex Washburn

Later, the remainder of the protestors marched toward the Oakland Police Headquarters before returning to the intersection of 14th and Broadway where police issued a dispersal order again and made a few more arrests.

Eleven hours later, I was finally able to sit down and enjoy a late lunch/dinner with a few colleagues. We were all too exhausted to complain about anything, including when the restaurant gave us pure watermelon juice instead of watermelon juice with tapioca.

Mr. Obama for Getty Images

Last week I was asked by my editors at Getty Images to cover President Obama’s LinkedIn Townhall at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. A whole lot of work (and waiting) for an hour-long event. But again, it’s not like I get to to photograph to the President of the United States in such close proximity on a daily basis – He was on the campaign trail when I last I photographed him. Time flies isn’t it?

 

Niklas Zennström for Atomico

A few months ago I was commissioned by venture capital firm Atomico to photograph its founder Niklas Zennström at Stanford University. If his name sounds familiar chances are you’ve use some of his previous invention such as Kazaa and Skype.

Despite Niklas was on a very tight schedule between the shoot and his speech at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Niklas was kind enough to let me photograph him in a few different places. My task was to photograph Niklas with some the iconic Stanford architectural elements. Here comes the long curve arch walkways.

With the environmental portrait in the bag we decided mix it up a bit. One being a simple tight head shot against one those stanford brick walls…

… As well as a backlit shot of Niklas. Let’s call it the ethereal angel investor theme. It’s different than the standard head shots, but it’s a different way to look at the usual commercial portraitures.


hope.

I was given this origami titled “hope” last week from a high school kid while photographing a leadership camp in Occidental, California. What a neat little thing isn’t it?

Since the item was pretty cool looking I figured I’ll try a new way to capture a spiky 3D object into a 2D photograph. What do you think?

Next up. Camp photos. Stay tuned!