Details Details

Keeping an eye out for details adds a layer of information and texture to photography I do, whether it’s at a wedding, for fun or on assignment. Here are a few of my favorites I have done recently for the Valley News:

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From top: Darkly roasted Kenya AA coffee beans are stirred by Carrier Roasting Company’s machine as they cool in Northfield, Vt.; A gate is locked by three padlocks at the site for a proposed biomedical facility that has not been built in Newport, Vt.; Players replace baseballs used for batting practice on the second day of practicing outside at the Dresden Athletic Fields in Norwich, Vt.; While volunteering during a Work Bee at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds, Priscilla Farnham, of Tunbridge, Vt., catalogs sheet music for Irving Berlin’s 1918 song “Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in The Morning” part of a collection of songs the Tunbridge Cornet Band played from 1890 to the late 1930s; Pins on a map at the offices of Royalton Community Radio mark where the 50-60 people who have programs on the Royalton, Vt., station come from.

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Dog Days

The dog days of summer are a welcome counterpart to New England’s long and cold winters. Between staff vacations and the amount of summertime activity needing coverage, I feel fortunate to get out and about with my camera for the Valley News. Here’s a few of my favorites:

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From top: After a quick dip in the Connecticut River, Pete the Papillon watches his owner swim with a friend, cooling off after work at the East Wilder Boat Launch in West Lebanon, N.H.; Passing in front of AVA Gallery and Art Center, a young runner is amongst the 112 who participated in Brady’s Run, a one-mile fun run before the start of the 13th annual Skip Matthews Memorial Run in Lebanon; Scott Turnbull, of Essex, Vt., demonstrates drone goggles he customized with silly eyes during a demonstration by the Northern New England Drone User Group at the Royalton Memorial Library in South Royalton, Vt.; Erin Zagadailov, of Grantham, N.H., hands a bag of clothing to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne, of Hartland, Vt., while rotating stock as part of a community service project with campaign volunteers and supporters at Listen in White River Junction, Vt.; Anna Royce, of Norwich, Vt., greets organist Phyllis Potter, of Sharon, Vt., as she arrives for the Beaver Meadow Union Chapel’s monthly service in Norwich. Potter has been playing at services for 25 years because she enjoys the pump organ in the 100-year-old church; Joel Dizon, of Lebanon, tries to catch a crayfish while volunteering to clean up the Mascoma River in Lebanon.

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Living History

The Vermont History Expo has been coming to the Tunbridge fairgrounds since 2007; I have covered it several times for the Valley News. This year, I also did a small photo spread for Enterprise, its sister business publication. As someone who has an interest in history, I enjoy meeting others with the same passion! Here’s a few of my published favorites:

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From top: Sue Cain, of Royalton, Vt., demonstrates spinning flax to make thread during the Vermont History Expo 2016 in Tunbridge, Vt. Cain, who also works in the Antique Hill log cabin during the Tunbridge Fair, has been doing demonstrations since the expo started at the fairgrounds in 2007; Dave Tuttle, of Walpole, N.H., shows the various stages of woodcarving at the Green Mountain Woodcarvers booth. The club meets across Vermont for carve-ins and also give demonstrations at festivals; Flag-bearer Nathan Depatie, of Brandon, Vt., leads Rustan Swenson, of Shoreham, Vt., and the rest of the Seth Warner Mount Independence Fife and Drum Corps as part of the Expo’s mid-day parade.

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Racing Through Generations

I spent a recent chilly Sunday at Claremont Speedway in Claremont, N.H., with the Stockwell family, working on a story for the Valley News. Brothers Avery and Howard are following in the tire tracks of their racing father, grandfather and great-grandfather. I enjoy working on racing stories because I grew up with the sights and sounds at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, S.D. And it was interesting to hear the stories told by three generations involved with the sport! Follow this link to read the story. Here’s a few of my favorites:

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From top: Howard Stockwell, 12, of Randolph Center, Vt., makes an adjustment to his go-kart in his grandfather’s race shop in Braintree, Vt. The one-car garage is the same space his father, Kip Stockwell, prepared his NASCAR Busch North race car in, shown in a photograph on the wall; At left, Kip Stockwell and his sons Avery, 9, and Howard, attend a driver’s meeting with other parents and their racer children at Claremont Speedway in Claremont, N.H. The Stockwell brothers are the fourth-generation in the family to race, starting with go-karts like their father did; Howard waits for the first practice of the season in his new go-kart. “I’m more nervous than excited,” he said; Kip gives Avery a pep talk after he finished third in his qualifying heat. At center is Lennie Stockwell, who helps work on his two grandsons’ karts; After an inverted start for the main race put him at the back of the field, Avery works his way to the front in his No. 16 go-kart; Isaiah Hogan, 10, of Canaan, N.H., gets his picture taken by his mother Amanda after winning the Junior Bandits A race. Hogan passed Avery, right, on the last lap of the race.

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Good Sports

While filling in for Valley News photographers over the past few months, I did a good amount of winter high school sports coverage. Using my cameras to document the drama and silliness has been a treat! Here’s a few of my favorites:

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Valley News winter sports coverage

Valley News winter sports coverage

Valley News winter sports coverage

Valley News winter sports coverage

Valley News winter sports coverage

From top: Hanover, N.H., teammates Emma Riccardi, left, and Sarah Bibeau chest bump during team introductions before the start of the game against Lebanon; Lebanon sophomore forward Erin White reacts to missing the opportunity to score on Oyster River goalie Haley Durham; Hanover’s Hannah Wittmann receives encouragement during her 1000 meter heat at the Dartmouth Relays; Newport, N.H., guard Ty Richardson splits the defense by Stevens forwards Christopher LaFont (32) and Henri Bourque in Claremont, N.H.; Lebanon’s Brendan Kelley gives his mother Annette Kelley a kiss on the cheek after giving her flowers as part of Senior Night festivities; While wearing the Lebanon Raider Bird mascot head, Michael Fleury sends a text on his phone during halftime of a Division II basketball playoff game.

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Primary Focus

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been searching the Valley News archives for the “Primary Focus” page published today. As a photographer at the paper for the past 26 years, I have been a part of New Hampshire primary coverage a few times. It’s interesting to be part of the exchange of ideas and the cult of personality. Here’s a few of my own favorites:

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Phil Gramm in Newport, N.H.
Bill Clinton & the Gennifer Flowers story
Dan Quayle in Woodsville, N.H.
Pat Buchanan and a cardboard George Bush

From top: Bernie Sanders gives an hour-long campaign speech to a full house at Dartmouth College’s Spaulding Auditorium on January 14, 2016; Hillary Clinton listens to an interviewer’s question during a November 2007 editorial board with the VALLEY NEWS; Phil Gramm shows off a finished shotgun while touring its manufacturing plant in Newport, N.H., in September 1995; The media anxiously waits to talk with Bill Clinton on February 12, 1992, the same the day a tabloid story accused him of having an affair; Vice President Dan Quayle heads for Woodsville High School’s gymnasium with his entourage during a January 1992 campaign appearance for the Bush/Quayle reelection campaign; Pat Buchanan plays to the media as he pretends to shake hands with a cardboard cutout of President Bush at a January 1992 Rotary meeting in White River Junction, Vt.

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The Year in Pictures

As photo editor at the Valley News, most days I am office-bound to help with the newspaper’s daily visual report. But there are times when I use my camera and it gives me as much of a charge as it did when I started as a 24-year-old 26 years ago. Here’s a few of my favorites from 2015, with a little commentary:
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The VALLEY NEWS’ weekly photo page is a monthly commitment for each staff photographer. I only do one or two per year during vacation time. Following the Ignacio family as they competed in a motocross event in Canaan, N.H., last summer was enjoyable because the family was very generous with their time and I enjoy being around the racing scene.

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For the first time, the VALLEY NEWS honored athletes from the 17 schools it covers with a special supplement and banquet. The staff did 34 portraits in a short amount of time. The students were all polite and thankful for the award. It was an enjoyable experience to be part of.

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The Barre Auditorium, known as “The Aud,” is a place steeped in tradition for Vermont high school basketball playoffs. It really has not changed much in the years games have been played there. The lighting is a challenge, but fortunately the cameras are catching up. I spent a day covering three championships (this photo was from a semifinal a couple of days before) – it was exhausting, but great to document.

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I photographed the annual fashion show at the Main Street Museum in White River Junction, Vt., for ENTERPRISE, the newspaper’s business publication. Fourteen models showed the work of four local designers in the show. I wasn’t sure my lighting set up was going to work once everything started – it was so packed I couldn’t make any changes. Fortunately, it all worked.

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Speaking of the Main Street Museum, Director David Fairbanks Ford showed writer Nicola Smith some of his favorite gravestone etchings for an arts story, including this one in Woodstock, Vt. David’s fun to photograph, looking like he just stepped out of a MAD MEN set (he drives a looong 1970s Lincoln Continental).

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Patrick Ross is not only a talented musician, but also uses his creativity to establish events that support himself and his family. Patrick invites bands to come play with him in concerts at a Bradford, Vt., pub, then sells the recordings. His drive and determination is an inspiration.

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I knew I was ready to get this picture on the Yo-Yo Club in Windsor, Vt., but still pleasantly surprised when I saw it later on the computer screen. Reghan Allen’s facial expression (and the t-shirt!) made the photo.

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I saw Matt Wilcox, of Windsor, Vt., talking with his daughter Ashleay during halftime of a regular season game. As the father of a teenage daughter myself, the relationship between parent and child always catches my attention.

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I don’t remember the reason I photographed this track practice at the last minute in the halls of Hartford High School in White River Junction, Vt., but I do remember not bringing my camera to work that day. I borrowed a staff photographer’s Nikon (I use Canon) and was trying to get the focus settings correct on the fly. Another daily miracle!

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I have driven by the Soldiers Memorial Building in Lebanon, N.H., for decades, but had never been inside. Initially built to honor those who served in the Civil War, it is now a museum for all veterans with ties to the city. I was there for a ceremony, where Vernon Thomas Sr., of Salem, N.H., played a medley of BATTLE HYM OF THE REPUBLIC and WHEN JOHNNY COMES MARCHING HOME on his harmonica.

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I was photographing a December practice of the Union Arena Skating Club in Woodstock, Vt., but was also waiting for coach Sarah Jo Damron-Brown to arrive. I caught the kids’ enthusiastic greeting out of the corner of my eye. Thank you auto-focus!

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‘Faces in the crowd’ photos are interesting to look at – taken during a holiday basketball tournament, I like the added layer of teenage expression.

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Anticipation

I’ve recently been covering several events for the Valley News’ sports department. Photographing sports is a challenge I enjoy because it’s unpredictable and requires anticipation of what’s coming next. Here’s a few of my recent favorites:

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From top: Amy Mitchell-Hartson, of Washington, N.H., gives her husband Robert a kiss as she starts her planned 46-mile run on the Northern Rail Trail, starting at the trail head in Lebanon, N.H. She was raising money for the Catch a Lift Fund in honor of her brother, who serves in the Army; Dartmouth defensive back Danny McManus (34) recovers Sacred Heart quarterback Shane Scambray’s fumble in the second quarter in the Big Green’s home opener in Hanover, N.H.; Sharon’s Carter Blanchard pulls up short while South Royalton goalkeeper Jayson Perron makes a first half save in South Royalton, Vt.; Referee Denis Reisch asks the Hanover, right, and Plymouth girls soccer teams to be sure they all have shin and mouthguards to play the game in Hanover, N.H.; The Hanover volleyball team gathers in the hallway to huddle and chant before warm-ups against Fall Mountain in Hanover, N.H.

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Racing Across Generations

A couple of weeks ago, I visited with the Ignacio family in Canaan, N.H., as they competed at the twice-monthly motocross races hosted by the Canaan Lions Club. Johnny Ignacio, 7, is following his father’s footsteps in riding at the track, one of the club’s biggest fundraisers. Johnny and his extended family are equally passionate for the sport! Follow this link to read the story in the Valley News.

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John Ignacio, of Canaan, N.H, and his son Johnny, 7, wait to see if a replacement throttle cable can be found for his motorcycle while practicing at the Ridge Runner MX47 track in Canaan; Marissa Ignacio shows her son a video she made of him practicing; John Ignacio gives Johnny encouragement while he competes in one of two races at the Canaan Lions Club motocross races; Johnny describes to his grandmother, Suzan Ignacio, of Canaan, one of the races he did; Johnny collects his first place award from Canaan Lions Club member Joe Butterfield, of Canaan, in the trophy trailer at the motocross races.

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