USATF Cross Country Chamipionships 2013

The past weekend ranks in the top three this academic year (the other two being the weekends of the Forest Park XC Festival and the TubaChristmas and WUPops concerts.)  Funny how things like that work out.

On Friday, Joe Newton and Charlie Kern of The Long Green Line came to speak and answer questions at the pre-race dinner.  My high school cross country coach idolized the York team, and though I’m not quite as enthusiastic, I admire them both greatly–moreso now that I’ve heard them in person.  They’re incredible coaches with incredible legacies, yes, but what struck me the most was their humility.  It’s not that I was assuming they would be arrogant, just that  their humility was of an uncommon level.

As an aside, Friday was grant day at the lab: basically, Christmas for PhDs, complete with jumping up and down, squeals of joy, and dancing of the happy dance.  It was delightful.

Saturday was raceday.  I ran about as I expected for a non-competitive phase, but it was the first time I’d felt good while racing since last summer.  (I’m hoping to race competitively again this summer, so that’s a good sign.  But we’ll see.)  I saw a few people I recognized from back home and lots of big names.  Since I volunteered at the pasta dinner, I had volunteer credentials that got me access to the finish corral where I got to photograph Shalane Flanagan, Kim Conley, Deena Kastor, Sarah Hall, etc. as they finished.  Afterwards, the quest for autographs began.

Part of what I was trying to do was take more than “running” pictures.  While I definitely wanted to take running pictures (I mean, come on, do you have pictures of Deena Kastor on your camera?), I also wanted to try to capture the atmosphere of cross country that I miss so much.  Since this was mostly an individual event minimizing the team aspect, telling that part of the story was a little bit harder, but I went into the day with the mindset that I would get pictures that weren’t just about who ran faster than whom or what times people clocked, but about the emotion, the pain, the passion behind it all.  I wanted to capture the story.  To encapsulate in a few thousand square pixels just how much people care.  Did I succeed?  In a limited sense.  I pushed myself to take non-running pictures, to get in people’s faces (via a zoom lens…most of the time), to seek out different shots.  Sometimes it worked.  Sometimes not.  It’s all a learning process, I suppose.

But you be the judge.  Here are a few photos from Friday and Saturday–a more complete upload may be found here.

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Week 4: Patience

I really don’t know what to write for this week, so I think I’m just going to use it as a teaser post for my coverage of the USA Cross Country Championships.

USA Cross Country Championships 2013, Open Women's

USA Cross Country Championships 2013, Open Women’s

I had so much fun shooting this–and just being around so many incredible runners and people.  More photos to come.  Be patient?

Imago Dei

It’s summer (even if the weather doesn’t seem to agree): the season of reading (Foxtrot!  …and some serious books, too), berry-picking and -eating, random craft-making (sock monkeys!), running, and doing everything else I don’t have time for during the school year (e.g., sleeping).  Yesterday, I was outside eating (I mean picking and bringing inside for dinner) berries, and I came upon a small friend, who obliged while I ran inside, got a camera, and took pictures for ten minutes.

What did I get out of this mini-adventure (besides a lesson on aperture settings)?  Confirmation of God’s greatness.  Something about those compound eyes and stained-glass wings is more incredible than I can fathom.  That a dragonfly–an insect, a bug–is designed with such intricacy and elegance–how does this reflect on the creation of Man, the Imago Dei?

P.S.: About that “summer” weather…

Photos from Chicago, D.C., and Baltimore

Wheaton College

Perry Mastodon at Wheaton

National Zoo

National Zoo

National Zoo

National Zoo

Capitol building: the architect was going for a Gothic theme, but someone told him to make it more "American," ergo, corn.

Capitol building: deification of George Washington

White House from Washington Monument

Washington Monument

Johns Hopkins University

Chinatown DC

George Washington University

Vietnam War Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Butterflies!

The tropical butterfly house in the Pacific Science Center yielded some nice photographs, despite the fact that I only had my camera phone. One of these days, I’m going to go back with a good camera and get some better shots.

The Science Center itself has been in Seattle for years. Some of the more permanent exhibits include the butterfly house, naked mole rats, dinosaurs, the planetarium, insects, and a section on the human body. There’s also an IMAX theatre and a number of simulators. The other exhibits change from time to time, currently, there’s a (fairly limited–I preferred the one at the Museum of Flight a couple years back) exhibit on Martian exploration. Previously, they’ve had exhibits on the human body (and its functions!), Lucy the fossil, mummies, etc. While geared more towards elementary-aged students, it’s still worth a visit for the general populace. Just be prepared to be swamped by a storm of small students.

New York City

I spent three days in New York City (two days traveling) this past week.  As I mentioned in my previous post, my primary purpose was to attend a seminar at NYU Poly.  However, in the other two days, I toured the city, went to a Broadway show, and climbed to the top of the Statue of Liberty.  Rather than boring you with nonsensical narrative, I will let a few of the approximately five hundred photographs I took tell the story.

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Strawberry Fields, memorial to John Lennon

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Atlas at the Rockefeller Center

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Helios (I think) and the ice rink at Rockefeller

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Empire State Building

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Great architecture

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Chinatown

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South Street Seaport

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Staten Island ferry

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The Peace globe which stood between the World Trade Towers and was damaged on 9/11; now stands in Battery Park

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Trinity Church, featured in National Treasure

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New York Stock Exchange

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Ground Zero

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The future Freedom Tower

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Times Square

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Westside Story at Palace Theatre

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WWI and WWII memorial in Battery Park

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Battery Park

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Liberty Island

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The weather was beautiful the day I visited Liberty Island

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The size of the Statue's face--it's actually pretty small

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"The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus

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In the crown!

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The pedestal

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Ellis Island

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In Times Square

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The M&M store

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Polytechnic Institute at New York University--the seminar I attended here was the primary purpose of this trip

This trip was a great adventure.  While I enjoyed the fast-paced lifestyle of NYC, I must say I was glad to return to the Pacific Northwest where I can see trees and grass and more than two square inches of sky at once.

More Photographs from Stevens Pass

The title pretty much sums up this post. I took these (and the photos from my previous post) with a little point-and-shoot camera that’s about five or six years old. Nonetheless, a goodly amount of the pictures have turned out quite nicely.

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Pockets of extremely thick fog surrounded the mountain

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An "abstract" photo of an "abstract" tree

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Very heavy fog

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A moderately foggy day