It’s been spring for over a week, but it hasn’t felt like it. Cold and snowy days have delayed the start of high school spring sports, and the Penn State baseball and softball seasons. But today finally the sun peaked out, the snow has mostly melted and the ringing of a ball flying off the bat filled Medlar Filed. I enjoy baseball season, and it felt like I never left the photo well well I returned for this afternoons game.
The smell of pancakes wafted through the air when I arrived at the 30th Annual Maple Harvest Festival at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center. I’ve covered the event in previous years so this year wanted a new focus. The festival invites visitors follow an educational trail to learn the process of making syrup. At the end, or some choose to do so at the beginning, they can enjoy an all you can eat pancakes, of course covered in maple syrup. I started chatting with the pancake chefs, or “flipper skippers” as they’ve titled themselves and found out that an hour into the festival they’d already made 2000 pancakes!
From the pancakes I followed the educational trail and met up with several families learning the maple syrup process many Penn State students and volunteers.
Now time to go find some pancakes!
With snowing falling and cold temperatures it did not feel like it was time for the first day of spring football practices. The practice was moved into Holuba Hall due to the bad weather, which I was very thankful for, even with my several layers of clothes on. I had my eye on several of the players for upcoming stories and tried to spot some of the new freshman in the limited time frame I was allowed to snap photos.
This morning State College went Wild for Animals. I was worried if there would be enough people there to photograph as I headed to the Penn State Snider Ag Arena with the snow coming down and accumulating quickly. When I approached the parking lot and saw the line of cars waiting to turn in I knew I wouldn’t have an issue. Hundreds filled the arena throughout the day to check out the animals, from baby water buffalos, to zebras, llamas, yaks and so much more.
More and more seasons are coming to a close. Yesterday the Penn State men’s basketball team had their last home game at the Bryce Jordan Center. They started out strong in the first half against Wisconsin.
For a unique angle I took my 300 mm lens and started to wonder around the upper levels of the Bryce Jordan Center. I’ve tried this angle several times with not much luck, but finally found some spots that worked out well.
The game stayed close and as the clock ticked down it was tied 60-60. To Penn State’s dismay Wisconsin threw a 3-pointer that swished as the buzzer went for the Badgers win.
Yesterday brought the high school wrestling season to a close. The day started early, with AAA semi-finals and consolations starting at 9 am in the Hershey Giant Center.
I had my eye on one local wrestler as he was left in the brackets in the semifinal round. I spotted him in the tunnel warming up before his match and made a few images without distracting him before his bout, which he won.
Another local in the consolations wrestled and moved on to another round, which allowed him to place in the tournament after a forfeit
As the afternoon continued it was time for the AA championships. Even though I had no wrestlers from our coverage area, we were covering a few of them who have committed to wrestle at Penn State. I didn’t mind as it gave me something to photograph.
After another short break the arena was emptied and filled back up for the AAA championships. As I waited till the upper weights I wondered made my way to the top of the arena for some new views.
Finally the 182 pound weight class arrived and I photographed as our local wrestler clenched the state title.
The title was extra special as he hugged his Dad, who also won a state wrestling title as a high schooler.
This week I got a call from work that I’d be traveling to Hershey to cover 8 local students wrestling in the PIAA State Championships. It’s three long days full of wrestling in the Giant Center with several mats and cheering fans.
I arrived this morning for the preliminary rounds for class AA. Both wrestlers ended their seasons after losing in the preliminaries and the first round of consolations.
The afternoon session was the preliminaries for the AAA, which we had 6 kids in. I also was photographing several guys who have signed to Penn State, or have Penn State as an option for continuing their wrestling career.
From the preliminaries we we had 2 winners, and 4 move on to the consolation round. Consolations did not go well for Centre County wrestlers, with none of them advancing.
Tomorrow will be quarterfinals for two Bald Eagle Area wrestlers.
Today a project I worked on last month ran in our Good Life section. The first Sunday of each month we publish Good Life, which features people in the area doing unique and interesting things around the community. This month featured illustrator Jason Lenox.
I met Jason when I was photographing a Setsucon, a comic/anime convention hosted by Penn State students. Knowing he was from the area I spent some time at his booth as he worked on detailing a panel for his upcoming book and chatted with visitors of all ages.
I sat down with him as he enthusiastically showed me the first book, “Ugli Studios Presents #1.” He then flipped through his current project showing me how he sketched out the pages, and will continue the process by detailing each panel after a high quality scan was made.
A couple weeks later I met up with Jason again in his home studio to see the progress and make some more images. We chatted for two hours as I photographed and he carefully detailed just one panel of a four panel page.
I tried as many different angles as I could as his pens moved very precisely through the panel.
Keep your eyes out for the new book and Jason’s work to be featured in a movie in the upcoming months.