PHOTOS OF THE YEAR PART II: The best photographs from Daily Reporter’s Tom Russo in the 2011-12 prep sports year.
Russo: “Noelle Steele, Marybeth Vaughn, Arika Herron, Brian Harmon or Grant Freking is the editorial team here at the Daily Reporter that I usually work with most of the time and they all have their ’tells’ when that ‘money’ quote comes to pass which makes for the perfect lead for their story. A mental fist pump or ‘heck ya’ kind of rolls across their mind as they scribble the words down on a notepad in their own form of journalistic hieroglyphic shorthand which is usually unreadable to everyone but themselves.
“Same things occurs for photographer; once in a blue moon we get, well….for no better term, LUCKY! It’s when you realize seconds after you clicked the shutter when you check the replay on the back of your camera praying to whatever god you choose at the time that the image you indeed think you captured is actually….there and in FOCUS! This was in fact the case in a pretty basic hum-drum football game with Pendleton Heights at New Palestine. I can’t remember who won or the score or who I talked to on the sidelines or even what I had for dinner that night but I do remember the feeling after I checked the replay on my camera…relief!” (The New Palestine player delivering the hit is Jackson Taylor. NP won 34-21.)
(MV pitching photos)
Russo: “This photo of Mt. Vernon pitcher Seth Gohring was captured by using the double exposure option on my Nikon D3S. It takes the right conditions and with the right type pitcher — a pitcher with elongated throwing motion and smooth, steady delivery — in order to get this photo just right. It took a lot of trial and error throughout the baseball season. As a bonus, there was a runner on base in the background, which sets the picture off a little.”
Russo: “Again with the Nikon D3S — with a 300 millimeter 2.8 lense with a 1.4 converter — I prefocused on the midpoint of the frame (with MV’s Ellie Balbach pitching) and made several attempts to get the ball in mid-focus. I happened to get lucky and get the logo of the ball in a readable spot.”
Russo: “Greenfield-Central tennis coach David Spencer and I have been friends for a while, so he asked me to take a few photos of his players for a team scrapbook that he puts together at the end of the season. Kyle Leary (above) is one of those choice kids who just knew how to pose. I didn’t have to tell her anything; she just was a natural.”
Bright lights, big city
(Super Bowl festivities/EH basketball)
Russo: “Through the years I’ve come to the understanding there are a number of things for which I have acquired a certain disdain or phobia for, not including Rosie O’Donnell or everyone’s fascination for boy bands. But two in particular are pretty prevalent: I’m scared of heights and I’m a bit claustrophobic, too. To include the two together is well certain death to some for me it’s pretty much my Waterloo.
So, when the mighty minds at the IHSAA decided it would be a good idea to hold a girls high school basketball game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on the same weekend of another much larger venue — say the SUPER BOWL — let’s just say I would have been happier to attend the reunion tour of the New Kids on the Block than go anywhere near downtown Indy on what was the busiest weekend my city will ever see in its’ lifetime.
The Eastern Hancock girls basketball team had the pleasure of playing in a real big time arena this along with their first-year coach Jeremy Powers made for what was an important evening for their program and this is what it’s all about. You report the news from where it’s happening no matter what the circumstances are; it’s important for the kids and their families (at least that’s what I kept saying to myself as I fought traffic trying to find a parking space four miles from the stadium). Coach Powers had a special connection with this group of Lady Royals; anyone around them could feel it from the start. Basketball was back and it was fun to play for him. This photo may seem basic but it as a nice personal feel between a coach and his team playing in a large venue for the first time.
After the girls’ game I’m strolling the streets of downtown Indy towards my car trying to stay out of the fray and just make it home when I realized I should try and make some sort of photo of this Super Bowl madness which has invaded my city.
It just happens I knew the guard at the Guaranty Building which sits nicely on the circle and has a perfect view for the Super Bowl numerals displayed on the circle. The guard escorted me to the roof and outside of the Exact Target offices from where I could get a once-in-a-lifetime view. Problem was I had to lean over the ledge of the building and stick my $4,000 Nikon camera with a $1,800 wide-angle lens (which I may add was wrapped around my wrist to protect it from dropping out of my hands)to get the shot. All the while the guard is actually holding my belt as a safeguard as I leaned over for the pic (you can see the ledge on the top left side of the frame). I got the photo I wanted but much more…if for an instance I conquered my phobia of heights.