"Recapping My 2009…"

*”Oh No, Not another look at a photographer’s “Best of 2009″ post out here in cyberspace…!”

Yea, I figured it was time to get around to sifting through my favorite 10, 20, uh, probably more like 40+ favorite images from the past year. Hey, It’s my blog, right…? After a bit of teeth-clenching, sleepless nights, and laying on the delete key to whittle down my favorite 6 for the paper and then 10 to post over at SportsShooter, here are the images that truly meant the most to me in 2009. In all seriousness it was an extremely rewarding year for making photographs – and that’s what all this is about in the first place, isn’t it…? There were days where I couldn’t wait to get out of bed – way before sunrise – to head out on the job. Shoot, there were a few long haul nights again last year where I didn’t get to sleep at all (see: The Newburgh Bombers’ Bust – Here.) or napped in the car after logging more than 1,000 miles for three days of coverage up in Glens Falls, NY for the HS State Basketball Championship Tournament games, including installing arena strobes & remote cameras alone. Worked assignments that routinely called for two, and sometimes three cameras (see: remotes for HS basketball and feverishly installed a remote for an unforgettable hot air balloon ride Here.) The highlight of the year for equipment overkill on one assignment was covering my third West Point Graduation & Commissioning ceremony in Michie Stadium, where I arrive with five cameras, and enough supporting gear to open a small curbside camera shop. Slipped away from it all in June to get the passport stamped again for a week in Bermuda. There were stories that touched me & grabbed my heart, and countless people who went out of their way to offer a kind word, share much needed laughs, hold a ladder, loan me gear, or put something in writing about the work. Continued the most basic mindset to be in the right place at the right time when I could – and probably more importantly, worked my butt off to be in that place to not only witness firsthand but to capture those oh so special fleeting moments that we as photographers live for. Realized again that it’s not all luck at this level, and just as Sports Illustrated photographer Bill Frakes told me in a lecture years ago when I was still pretty green in this business, “Luck is where opportunity meets preparation…” I never forgot that.

I trust that some of the following images in the click-thru slideshow will leave an impression on you as well. *(Click the image or the arrows at the bottom left of the player to manually scroll through the slideshow. Enable full screen viewing by clicking the 4-way arrow icon above the captions button at lower right of the player. You can stop the small continuous slideshow in the right column by clicking the pause II button under that player.)

Here’s the video again that the paper put together where sports writer Kevin Gleason and I talk about HS player Will Bouton’s game winning 3-point shot with two seconds remaining, to knock off arch rival Mt. Vernon in the state playoff quarterfinals. (first two pictures in the above slideshow) What made these two sports pictures particularly sweet was that NFA went on to win the State Championship up in Glens Falls, NY. This game exemplified their full roster of talent, unselfishness as a team, and a picture I surely needed to have. Talk about being in “the Zone…”

I am already looking forward to the challenges of the new year 2010… Happy New Year & Don’t touch that dial! -cg.

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