Way Back Wednesdays: DeMatha, Coolidge and Caron Butler

When I first walked into the Frank R. Williams Center, I thought to myself "this is no place a camera can or should be used". The dark cavernous arena was home of the Coolidge High School Colts and the annual Caron Butler Classic. The Classic was a showcase of local high school basketball teams hosted and sponsored by the former Washington Wizard.

The date was December 4, 2007 and the final game was between Coolidge and Dematha coached by Vaughn Jones and Mike Jones, respectively (both alums of the DeMatha program). I don't remember the fine details of the contest, but according to this video, DeMatha won by two. This photo was taken with a 70-200mm lens at 1600 ISO, 1/320th at f/2.8. The most interesting thing about this picture are the people in it and all the basketball talent that lives in the DMV. From left to right, Philip Green, Derrick Washington (Coolidge), Quinn Cook, and Josh Selby.


Way Back Wednesdays

I was sitting on the sideline of a DeMatha vs. Good Counsel regular season football game on November 3, 2007. At the time, Kenny Tate (now a Maryland Terrapin) was DeMatha's big time player. On the field he played the positions of wide receiver and defensive back very well and on the court he gobbled up rebounds for Coach Mike Jones. I was kneeling about 35-40 yards ahead of the line of scrimmage when DeMatha's QB, Tommy Chroniger, launched a pass toward the sideline. I shifted the camera away from my face, found the ball in the air, found the man he was throwing to and got right back behind the lens. As the ball came nearer and Tate (6) and the two defensive players jumped to action, I pressed down the shutter of my Canon Rebel XT and all of its 3 frames-per-second glory. Tate came down with the football, flipped it to the referee and hi-fived a couple of teammates. I looked down at the LCD screen and hi-fived myself. It was the first action shot that I was truly proud of taking.

Kenny Tate


The Ides of January: Joker Edition

Near the middle of each month, I've decided to showcase a picture not related to sports, portraits or any documentary project. So instead of the usual unknown high school sporting event or portraits of people you've never heard of, there will be some familiar faces and scenes from familiar places. The best thing about this is that you'll be able to order prints to decorate your walls!

First up is a head shot of Joker circa 1989. I've got a cardboard box full of old toys tucked away in my old bedroom in my parents house. I'm pretty glad I've kept them this long, although this past Christmas my nephew has collected his inheritance. Anyway, shout out to Jack Nicholson...best Joker ever.



Time Machine Wednesdays...I mean Way Back Wednesdays

Last week I started Time Machine Wednesdays in which I would go back in my archive and find a picture from waaaaaaayyyyyy back in the early days of my illustrious photography career. In the 8 days since I've unfurled this guaranteed rating increasing series, I've already made two mistakes. One is that Time Machine Wednesdays lacks the alliteration needed for this to be remotely successful. The other mistake: today is Thursday. So I will attempt to fix both problems by now calling it Way Back Wednesdays and dating this entry as if I posted it yesterday. Enjoy!

This is the photo that started my foray into sports documentary work and my infatuation with Coolidge High School. On August 15, 2006, I took this picture in the Coolidge locker room. The previous day, I talked with then head coach Jason Lane about a photo project I wanted to do that involved documenting the team throughout the season. I showed up about 10 minutes late after getting lost and the first thing he said was, "I knew you were coming but I didn't know you were going to be 15." The gift and the curse of the baby face. I was actually 23 at the time and didn't know I would spend the next 4 football seasons at 6315 5th St. NW.

Shout out to (l-r) Greg "G-Dot" Bagley, Kobi Williams, Wayne Ouzts (sitting) and Alfred Williams.


Paul VI and the VI Man!

Often in spectator sports, the home fans make a lot of noise and create an atmosphere that give their team a perceived advantage over the visiting team. In football there's the 12th man and in basketball there's the 6th man. But at Paul VI Catholic High School, there is the VI Man. Last Friday, Paul VI played their biggest rival and crosstown competition, Bishop Denis J. O'Connell High School. I photographed both the girls and boys

varsity teams in during their exciting match-ups against O'Connell. The girls were able to pull out a victory but t

he boys were unsuccessful. After giving up the lead shortly after halftime, they never regained it (read about it here). Who knew hundreds of shrieking teenagers could be so

damn loud.

Purchase Prints Here: Girls and Boys
Paul VI BasketballPaul VI BasketballPaul VI BasketballPaul VI Basketball
Paul VI Basketball
Paul VI Basketball


Dunks and DeMatha

Last night the DeMatha Stags beat the Bishop McNamara Mustangs in front of a packed house at the new Morgan and Kathy Wootten Gymnasium on DeMatha's campus. It was a match-up of two pretty good teams in the area but the game was never really close with DeMatha earning a 64-53 victory. There are plenty of places to shoot in the Stags' new gym but I spent a little over a quarter of the game laying on my stomach trying to replicate the floor remotes used at NBA and college games. I didn't quite hit the jackpot but I was able to make a pretty cool gif animation of Jerami Grant dunking on a defensive minded Mustang. Shout out to two-handed jams...I miss those days.


Time Machine Wednesdays

Every Wednesday, I'll reach way back into my archive to find an image or two to share. This new blog post series is made possible after I finally took the hard drives out of my old desktop computer and breathed some new life into them using a couple of slick, new hard drive enclosures. After struggling past the idea of dynamic and basic disks, the old drives (and images) are up and running.

First up is a portrait of SB taken on April 6, 2008. I rented a 24mm tilt-shift lens from Penn Camera and we wandered around Cardozo High School stopping at a few places to shoot some frames. This shot was taken on the steps of Harrison Elementary School in NW Washington DC. We were originally shooting some stuff for his website, but sadly these images never got used. Shout out to David Burnett, he does the tilt-shift thing pretty well.

SB portrait