When You Know You’re Doing Something Right



Most of us go about our work from day to day not knowing the affect we might be having on others. I always had a goal of wanting to make a difference, but quite often this is very difficult to gauge and evaluate. I oftentimes joke that I much prefer to cut the grass in my lawn than working because at least when I am mowing I can see the progress. You know, there is is truth in jest!

Compliments are rare in the workplace it seems to me these days. Attaboys and attagirls are not often heard from most bosses or employers. Our parents worked for more loyal companies who appreciated their work forces and even told them so. Worker loyalty was returned. Nowadays many of us will have two or three different jobs at a minimum.

So, how do we know when we’re doing something right? I remember an episode of NCIS when Probie Tim McGee did something right and his boss just gave him a stare. McGee’s partner said, “That look is the closest thing you’re gonna get to a compliment, Probie.” Knowing we are appreciated for the work we do seems to be a rare luxury these days. When we receive a compliment we should file it away in our memory banks or in our files for safe-keeping and archiving.

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I remember one place I worked where a colleague shared a great idea with me. She kept a “Pick Me Up” file. I had never heard anything like this before so I asked for more clarity. She explained that each and every time she receives a compliment–an email or thank you note, etc., she filed it in her Pick Me Up file. Then, on those days when she needed some encouragement, she would pull that file and read some of the contents. I’ve kept such a file ever since that day.



Here are just two examples from editors that I have in my file:

“First, thanks for the tremendous art. The photos are dynamite and we’re very pleased with the composition, timely delivery and quality of the shots. Particularly liked the shot to the helmet from today! Wow!”

Chris Mele, Editor
Pocono Record
2012

 


“Hi Bob, I’m glad that the new contract was approved and delivered.  The quality of your work is exceptional and is a great benefit for us and our student-athletes.  Also glad that you’ll be able to get to Denver for some additional seminars and ideas for how to shoot! 
Hope you have a great summer, and look forward to continuing to use your great shots!”

Greg Knowlden, Sports Information Director
East Stroudsburg University
2016

I sometimes look at these two notes and just know I was doing something right at least two times in my life!

 

ESU Lacrosse Defeats Edinboro

L160402 2294 ESU’s Lacrosse Team played a well-executed and strong game against Edinboro University this afternoon. The Fighting Scots scored first, but that lead was quickly erased by a follow-up score by the Warriors.

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It was Senior Day after all, and this team would not be denied. Quick movement and strategic plays were the order of the day, as one goal after another was racked up on the scoreboard.

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All these photos were captured with my new Nikon D5. To say it is sweet is a gross understatement. I am still getting used to shooting with it, but it is an incredible camera. I am using the Sony XQD card and it keeps up incredibly well. Today, I ran it through some of my sports photography paces and it kept up with me every step of the way!

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First Sports Photos from My Nikon D5

BB160331 0293Well, today I had the opportunity to put my new Nikon D5 through a real test. I photographed the Millersville v. ESU baseball game for the university today. The sky was partly so I did have to keep adjust some of the camera settings and I am still learning the new camera, too.

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Overall, I am extremely happy with the results. The frames per second speed is phenomenal. I still prefer to time many of the shots, but having the rapid fire ability is helpful to capture the ball in the frame a little more consistently.

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I still have a ton to learn about the settings on this camera. The learning curve will be a little slower than I’d like at first. The focus settings, for example, are extensive with a variety of options. I need to narrow down what will work best when tracking a player through a play on the field. Overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with the functionality and performance of this new D5. So far, it is even passing my exponentially high expectations!

Winning Ways

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Steve Harris dunks home two points for East Stroudsburg University against Lock haven on Saturday, February 20, 2016. I love the expression of total intensity in his face as the ball went through the hoop. ESU’s basketball teams, both men and women, are continuing their winning ways, as they are both headed to the PSAC playoffs!

This reminds me of the wonderful opportunities I have as a sports photographer to follow in their footsteps. A winning sports photograph should show action, have the ball in the frame, and tell a story. I believe this photo does all three.

I played sports and now keep close to the games and players through my photography. I’ve always believed that lessons learned on the court or field are helpful in life, too. We learn a lot about life from winning and even losing. One of my goals in life is to continue winning ways!

I Love Football!

2015-08-30 ESU WebsiteLast week I attended the Penn State football game in State College. The Nittany Lions were hosting the Buffalo Bulls for the second game of the new season. I took my good friend and former football coach, Al Van Houten. We met my brother and my son for the pre-game activities and we visited some other friends in the RV tailgate area. Then it was game time! There is nothing quite like college football on a Saturday afternoon!

Just two days before the game I received a call from the Sports Information Director, Greg Knowlden, at East Stroudsburg University asking if I could photograph some of their football games this year. Yeah?! Of course! The only thing better for me than watching college football on a Saturday afternoon as a fan is photographing the game down on the field! So this Saturday I will be on the Eiler-Martin Stadium field to photograph the ESU game.

I covered one game last year for ESU and a few of my photos were published on their website and in the local newspaper, The Pocono Record. However, as I was doing my research before this weekend’s game, I discovered that one of my photos is featured on the 2015 East Stroudsburg University Football Media Guide! (You can see the cover below and my photo is in the upper left.) This photo was also featured in the local newspaper’s pre-season football issue.

Did I say I love football? Well, I do, don’t you?

2015 ESU FB Media Guide

 

East Stroudsburg University Tops Millersville University to Advance to the PSAC Final Four

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East Stroudsburg University won big over Millersville University in PSAC quarterfinal action on Wednesday night. The Warriors split the two regular season games against the Marauders but came up with a huge victory to advance to the PSAC Final Four. They will face Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Saturday in the semi-final. I was covering the game for The Pocono Record and the above photo was published on Thursday.

Here are some additional photos from the game at Koehler Fieldhouse.

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at Koehler Fieldhouse in East Stroudsburg on Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

 

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at Koehler Fieldhouse in East Stroudsburg on Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

 

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September Photo of the Month

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For a few years now, I highlight one photo each month as “The Photo of the Month.” It typically features one of my favorite shots or one that stands out in some way above the others.

This concept gained some momentum even among the players I photograph. Some of them even mention one of their goals is to be featured in my photo of the month! I enjoy getting to know these athletes both on the field and the sidelines. They are real people who do some amazing things that I am fortunate to capture with my camera.

This month’s photo of the month was captured at an East Stroudsburg University football game. It includes some of the goals I aim for in sports photography. You can see the description of this photo here.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Division II Atlantic Region Final

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I had the opportunity to photograph a big basketball game tonight! It was the final of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Division II Atlantic Region and I was there for the Easton Express-Times.

Koehler Fieldhouse was abuzz with much excitement as I arrived, first going through the Media Room to pick up my credentials. Both teams were warming up and getting ready for the game.

The action was fast-paced, as is the custom of both of these teams. In fact, the pace was fast and furious most of the night! This made photographing the action a real challenge, but the newspaper published my favorite photo of the night, which is displayed above.

It was a great challenge and a wonderful opportunity. I felt privileged to be there!

Mercyhurst v. East Stroudsburg University

Millersville v. East Stroudsburg UniverstiyThe third college game I photographed this year featured East Stroudsburg University hosting Mercyhurst. The action was back and forth in the first half and it was fast and furious! It still took some concentrated effort to keep up with the pace of the college game, but I could definitely see a difference in my performance from the first college game of the season.

College Football: Mercyhurst v. East Stroudburg
This photo was not quite as easy to capture as I expected. There were many problems I encountered before capturing this shot. Many times the QB rolled out to the opposite side of the field, going away from me. Other times, the pocket was formed around the QB and linemen were in the way. Still other times, the referee was smack dab in the middle of my frame! It took me well over half the game to capture this pose, but I think it turned out pretty well.

College Football: Mercyhurst v. East StroudburgSometimes the QB pulls the ball down and has to scramble for yardage. And sometimes the play is a designed QB-keeper. Either way, keep the QB in your viewfinder and track his movement. This is probably one of the easier photos to capture. I like this shot because both feet are airborne. I think this pose just portrays action! I really enjoyed the three college football games I photographed this year. I learned a lot and got a little better. All-in-all, it was a very good football season!