Jeeps Basketball Sectionals

The Northeast Dubois High School boys basketball team won the sectional title this year but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the rest of the state tournament was cancelled. In such a basketball-loving state, it’s always a privilege to photograph playoff games. Here’s a look back at the Jeeps’ sectionals run.

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Northeast Dubois’ Reece Bauer, left, and Ethan Ziegler hold the sectional championship trophy after Saturday’s boys basketball sectional final in French Lick. After the game Reece recalled how close the team came the past couple years and how great it felt to win this year. “It was just a special feeling to hold that trophy up for the first time.”
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A Jeeps sign is hung from a tractor at the property of Michael Cave of Crystal for the team to see on the way to their basketball sectional in French Lick. Cave displays Jeeps signs on his property every year the Jeeps play at Springs Valley High School.
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Northeast Dubois’ Ethan Ziegler talks to the team in a huddle before the first boys boys basketball sectional game in French Lick.
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Northeast Dubois High School sophomore Riley Beckman, left, as Eugene the Jeep, leads the student section in the wave during Friday’s boys basketball sectional semifinal in French Lick. Northeast Dubois defeated Vincennes Rivet 50-35.
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Northeast Dubois’ Reece Bauer makes a layup during Saturday’s boys basketball sectional championship in French Lick. Northeast Dubois defeated Evansville Day 55-51.
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Ripken Ramsey, 6, of Dubois, cheers during Saturday’s boys basketball sectional championship in French Lick. Northeast Dubois defeated Evansville Day 55-51.
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Northeast Dubois’ Head Coach Terry Friedman watches during Friday’s boys basketball sectional in French Lick. Northeast Dubois defeated Vincennes Rivet 50-35.
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Northeast Dubois’ Reece Bauer, left, Logan Mehringer and Colby Pieper dance in the locker room after Friday’s boys basketball sectional in French Lick. Logan and Colby said they felt relieved after winning the game. Northeast Dubois defeated Vincennes Rivet 50-35.
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Northeast Dubois’ High School senior cheerleader Jordan Bauer watches the final moments of Saturday’s boys basketball sectional championship in French Lick. Northeast Dubois defeated Evansville Day 55-51.
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Northeast Dubois’ Ethan Ziegler reaches for the ball during Saturday’s boys basketball sectional championship in French Lick. Northeast Dubois defeated Evansville Day 55-51.
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Northeast Dubois’ Ethan Ziegler reaches for the ball during Saturday’s boys basketball sectional championship in French Lick. Northeast Dubois defeated Evansville Day 55-51.
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Northeast Dubois’ Eli Schott cuts down the net after Saturday’s boys basketball sectional championship in French Lick. Northeast Dubois defeated Evansville Day 55-51.
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Northeast Dubois players hoist their ring of horseshoes after Saturday’s boys basketball sectional championship in French Lick. Northeast Dubois defeated Evansville Day 55-51.
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Eli Schroering, 10, left, Owen Harris, 9, and Parker Mehling, all of Dubois, reach for a piece of the net after Saturday’s boys basketball sectional championship in French Lick. Northeast Dubois defeated Evansville Day 55-51.
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Northeast Dubois’ Ethan Ziegler hugs Reece Bauer, both seniors, after Saturday’s boys basketball sectional championship in French Lick. Northeast Dubois defeated Evansville Day 55-51. Ethan said he could barely describe how it felt to win the sectional title. “Just to know I worked my whole life, pretty well, for this game, this moment. To finally win one,” Ethan said. “I always dreamed that I would win a sectional. It just feels great.”

 

Six Months in Jasper

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Easton Boeglin, 8, of Ferdinand, throws a football during a game of catch during Friday’s football game in Ferdinand on Sept. 20, 2019.

In the six months since returning to The Herald, I’ve loved digging into Saturday Features and documenting daily life in the rural midwest. Click to view some of my favorite Saturday features and special web presentations I’ve photographed. Edited + produced by Sarah Ann Jump.

The Herald | Letters from Matt

The Herald | State Sounds

The Herald | Treasured Keepsakes

The Herald | Shining with the Schmitts

The Herald | Santa Claus

The Herald | Juanita's Path

In my daily assignments, I aim to capture a sense of place and feeling. Sense of place is always something I resonate with a lot in photographs and I am always working on. Here are a few of my favorite images from daily work. Thanks for looking!

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Mike Weikert bales hay in Dubois on Sept. 22, 2019. Weikert said he loves being out in the fields.
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Jasper High School Marching Wildcats exit the stadium after performing during the ISSMA state marching band finals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Nov. 9, 2019. The Marching Wildcats placed seventh in Class B.
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Northeast Dubois High School band members hug before competing in the IHSMAA invitational in Jasper on Saturday.
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Dylan Kahle, 7, of Huntingburg, plays Marco Polo with Arian Meyer, 7, of Holland, not pictured, during Tuesday’s girls basketball game in Huntingburg. Dylan, wearing his U.S. Army outfit, said, “I’ve been wanting to be in the army since I was three.”
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Forest Park’s Macie Zink, right, embraces Kenlee Gehlhausen after Friday’s girls basketball sectional championship in Ferdinand. Mater Dei defeated Forest Park 56-52.
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Pat Gress of Ireland drives a giant rainbow past the Grace and Truth Church to place on the corner of Walnut Street and Green Street in Ireland on Tuesday. Gress, who made the rainbow in 2016 for the Ireland Bicentennial, moved the rainbow out of storage in preparation for Ireland’s St. Patrick’s Celebrations which begin this Friday. Gress said the rainbow has become a popular spot for people to take photographs. “People appreciate it,” he said.
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After dinner at the Night to Shine, a prom experience for adults with special needs, Scott and Shannon Schmitt slow dance. Shannon said she prefers slow dancing. “That’s my way of doing it,” she said.
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At age 96, Sister Mary George Kissel is celebrating her 80th Jubilee, the anniversary of her monastic vows.
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People gather around the Light Up Ireland giant light switch before the Honorary Mayor for a Day Kick-Off Party outside the Chicken Place in Ireland on Feb. 28, 2019.
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Crystal Barnett of Loogootee and her brother, Danny Barnett of Jasper, hold up their tattoos which commemorate the day Crystal donated her bone marrow to Danny at Patty Chandler’s home in Huntingburg on Wednesday. “It makes me think how lucky we are to have him,” Crystal said about the tattoo.
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Jasper High School seniors Brandon Sermersheim, left, Ethan Lents, and Mitch Kaiser pretend to be asleep with the student section for Jasper’s first 10 points of Friday’s boys basketball game in Jasper. Jasper defeated Evansville Memorial 71-45.

Summer at The Washington Post

My 10-week internship at The Washington Post included covering DC politics, protests and rallies, stories in Delaware, Maine, and Virginia, health stories, professional tennis and baseball, fireworks on the 4th, and lots of metro DC coverage. I’m thankful for the experience and all that I learned from the editors, photographers, and writers.

Bill Duggan at Dewey Beach
DEWEY BEACH, DELAWARE – JUNE 18: Ja’Shawn Butler, 12, left, and twins Dayshawn and Tayshawn Lee, 12, dump clams they collected into a bucket on June 18, 2019, near Massey’s Landing, Delaware during Madam’s Organ owner Bill Duggan’s 23rd annual trip with DC school kids to the beach. (Photo by Marlena Sloss/The Washington Post)

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D.C. Politics

Jabin Botsford was a fantastic guide for a couple days at the White House, my introduction to DC politics. I was also able to experience the capitol with Melina Mara and photograph a D.C. City Council Meeting.

President Donald J. Trump

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Fourth of July

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With six Washington Post photographers working on the fourth, it was neat seeing our images together in print. Beautifully edited by MaryAnne Golon, Annaliese Nurnberg, Natalia Jimenez, and Monique Woo:

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Aging in Maine

For two days I was sent to Maine to document the state’s aging population and the resulting effects on the local businesses, caretakers, and residents.

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HARPSWELL, ME – JULY 24: Albert Rose, owner of Allen’s Seafood, oversees fishermen unloading their catch on July 24, 2019 in Harpswell, Maine. Rose’s grandfather started the business in the 1950s and Albert took over four years ago when his stepfather passed away. Rose has trouble finding young employees and ends up working long hours, up to 100 hours per week, to keep up with the demands of the business. (Photo by Marlena Sloss/The Washington Post)

It was neat to see the story land on A1. My photo editors said that my detailed captions were the reason they could lobby for the specific photo to be chosen for the front page and to represent a prominent aspect of the written story. Full story here: bit.ly/agingmaine

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Pro Tennis + Baseball

Very thankful for my time with Jonathan Newton as he coached me through my first pro baseball game (Nationals)! And had a blast covering professional tennis at the Citi Open thanks to Thomas Simonetti.

Coco Gauff at Citi Open qualifying match

Hope for Annabel

I loved working with photo editor Bronwen Latimer on this story about Annabel, a 3-year-old with a rare neurological disease, and her parent’s efforts to find a cure.

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WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 9: Annabel Frost, 3, focuses during speech therapy with speech language pathologist Cristin Brophy at Building Blocks Therapy on July 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. Annabel’s speech is delayed by about 2 years due to her rare neurological disease, AHC, and goes to speech therapy twice per week. (Photo by Marlena Sloss/The Washington Post)

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Protests & Rallies

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WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 18: A demonstration of Catholic nuns, priests, advocates and immigrants to pressure Trump and Congress to end the practice of detaining immigrant children takes place at the Russell Senate Office Building on July 18, 2019 in Washington, DC. Dan Moriarty, Sister Karen Burke, CSJ, and Sister Barbara Battista formed a cross on the ground and were among the dozens arrested from engaging in civil disobedience after refusing to leave the rotunda. (Photo by Marlena Sloss/The Washington Post)

Metro D.C.

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I had a blast running around the city thanks to photo editor Mark Miller.

Lynchburg, VA

For the Outlook section, Chloe Coleman sent me to Liberty University to make moody photographs of the campus. These images accompanied a perspective story written about the school’s censorship: bit.ly/libertycensorship

And in the morning, I feature hunted Snowplex ski area in 95-degree weather.

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LYNCHBURG, VA – JULY 20: Patrick Cole of Cullowhee, North Carolina, snowboards at Liberty University’s Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre on July 20, 2019 in Lynchburg, Virginia. “I love it, this is as good as it’s gonna get out here on the east coast in the summer,” Cole said. He drove overnight to be able to snowboard today for his first time at the Snowplex Centre. After living in Colorado, “this is what I needed,” Cole said. There is a National Weather Service heat advisory in Lynchburg today with a high of 98 degrees. (Photo by Marlena Sloss/The Washington Post)

More:

Other assignments throughout the summer included quickly building trust with a family suffering from their daughter’s accident, suiting up for a beekeeper story, and figuring out a unique visual approach to the Apollo show projected on the Washington Monument.

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WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 20: A grid of images shows scenes from the “Apollo 50: Go for the Moon” show projected on the Washington Monument on July 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. The show was conceived and commissioned by the National Air and Space Museum to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission. (Photo by Marlena Sloss/The Washington Post)

 

Elements of the outdoors

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Bekah + Glacier

In my hometown of Juneau, Alaska—a town only accessible by plane or boat—nature envelops the community. Most of our large industries are seasonal, and people are generally connected to the outdoors in some capacity, whether for work or recreation. 

I began making these double exposure portraits as a way to represent my family and friends’ connection with the outdoors. Each image is meant to represent the element of nature that the individual connects with most. Double exposure images were made in-camera, not in photoshop.

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Laurel + wind
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Lalit + fire
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Myself + plants
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Rachelle + ocean
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Sue + sky

This was my first time experimenting with double exposures. It was a fun challenge figuring out how the images merge together: the dark parts of an image allow the other image to show through.

If you’d like to see some incredible double exposure projects, check out the work of Daniella Zalcman, Signs of Your Identity: http://www.dan.iella.net/signsofyouridentity

And Erika Schultz, The Mom Question: http://www.erikajschultz.com/the-mom-question

I think these two photographers use the double exposure tool very effectively in these portrait projects. What other ways have you seen double exposures used?

“What it’s all about”

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Marge Stenftenagel has been a widow for six years after her husband Si died of pancreatic cancer. Though she gets lonely, Marge is content with her life at home and pushes herself to stay active. “The kids said, ‘mom, why don’t you sell the place and go to town?’ and I said, ‘are you kidding? I’d be dead in six months. I’d fall apart. I want to do the routine thing.'” Marge read the newspaper on the evening of May 7 at her Jasper home.

Reflecting on my internship at The Herald, I feel lucky to have learned not only about how to be a better storyteller, but also about the greater purpose of community journalism. The story that I felt instilled many of these lessons was one of my Saturday Features, The Art of Getting By. The story is about a widow, Marge Stenftenagel, and how she is grieving her husband’s death while continuing her life as an independent, hard-working woman.

First, I learned the value of “listening with your heart,” as Herald staff photographer Sarah Ann says. That is a phrase one of her subjects (Ed Young) used to describe her heartfelt, genuine presence. I learned that just listening to the people we photograph—often for hours, perhaps about nothing “related” to the story or the original question you asked—is essential to earn their respect, get to know them as a person, and also helps contextualize the parts of their life you are photographing.

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Other lessons clicked too: the importance of truly caring about the place and people you work with, the beauty of slowing down and being mentally present, ways to visualize non-visual concepts, etc. But I think the real lightbulb moment has come in the past few days, after I’ve heard both Marge’s and the community’s reaction to the published story that ran last Saturday.

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Marge told me that the day the story ran, she could barely get out of church because of all the people wanting to talk with her, compliment her, and thank her for sharing her story. She has received several letters, including one from another widow she has never met. The woman’s letter said Marge’s story inspired her to get more involved in the community and to continue to find meaning in life without her husband, and that she hopes more widows follow suit. Marge also talked about how much it has meant to her personally and how much she’s cried looking at the story. It’s allowed her to reconnect with friends, receive affirmation about her artwork, and most importantly (in my opinion), empower other women in her position.

I am thankful to have experienced a newspaper that strives to tell intimate stories in the community. As my editor Dave Weatherwax said, this type of story is not hard to do, it just takes intent.

Mulling over the reactions to the story, I’ve given a lot of thought to various elements of journalism like accountability, quality of coverage, readership, story access, etc., and how these pieces come together to affect the story’s impact. In a small community, it’s not as simple as “good story, big impact.” Instead of writing this out, I’ve tried to visualize the relationships here:

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This is by no means perfect, but it’s helped me as I reflect on the “greater purpose” of journalism. Each element affects the others, and it’s never about a single photographer, editor, or story. Everything newspapers do builds on its history with the community, its reputation and reader trust. When everything comes together, there’s potential for greater story impact.

I’d love to hear from other photographers about the ways they think about the “impact” of a story, on whatever platform. How has this affected your career choices as a photographer (the types of stories you focus on, or where you sought a job)?

Here is the beautifully written story on Marge, by Herald reporter Allen Laman:

https://duboiscountyherald.com/b/the-art-of-getting-by

“There’s no crying in baseball”

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After winning the Class 2A sectional championship 14-0 over North Knox in five innings, Southridge’s Joe LaGrange was lifted by teammates Justin Lammers and Jose Calderon to swim through the air behind head coach Gene Mattingly’s TV interview.

…or so the saying from A League of Their Own goes.

This was my first full season covering baseball. I covered the Southridge Raiders in most of their playoff games, including their first trip to the state finals in school history.

My favorite partour focus as a community newspaperwas documenting not only the team, but the community’s relationship to the team. (Also, A League of Their Own was filmed at the Raiders’ home stadium).

Southridge lost in the state finals 5-4 after their near comeback: scoring 4 runs in the seventh inning. Tom Hanks’ character, Jimmie Dugan, is wrong… there’s actually a lot of crying in baseball. But that’s the beauty of it: witnessing how much everyone cares.

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Ellie Bardwell of Huntingburg, 11, got her nails painted like baseballs at a salon on Thursday before the Southridge send-off at League Stadium in Huntingburg. Bardwell collected Raider signatures on her baseball.
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Jill Harter, left, mother of Jayce Harter, and Staci Smith, mother of Colin Smith, sang the Southridge High School song at the pep session at League Stadium in Huntingburg following the Raiders’ Class 2A semistate victory. Harter, who went to Southridge, joked about Smith, who went to Jasper, “we’ve converted her.”
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Southridge’s Joe LaGrange leaned on the fence in the dugout as the Raiders faced Vincennes Lincoln in Huntingburg on April 28, 2018. Southridge won 4-3.
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The Southridge Raiders dog-piled on the field after defeating Indianapolis Scecina 7-2 in the Class 2A semistate game.
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Southridge bus driver Don Astrike’s sign sat outside the Patoka Township Trustee’s office in Huntingburg. The Southridge Raiders traveled to Indianapolis to compete in the Class 2A state finals for the first time in school history.
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Colson Montgomery, center, watched the Class 1A state finals which went into 9 innings and delayed the Raiders’ Class 2A game at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
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Southridge’s Ethan Bell pitched as the Raiders faced Boone Grove in the Class 2A state finals at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
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The Southridge Raider mascot Kamden McKeough of Holland, 13, right, Graham Bolling of Huntingburg, 5, and Aidan Wibbeler of Holland, 9, watched the awards ceremony after the RaidersÕ 5-4 loss to Boone Grove in the Class 2A state finals at Victory Field in Indianapolis. Graham said he was sad the Raiders lost.
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Southridge head coach Gene Mattingly collected himself after hugging his wife Traci following the Raiders’ 7-2 semistate victory in Jasper on Saturday. “You just put so much time and energy into trying to make sure you don’t let anything sneak up on you,” Mattingly said. “So sometimes you get caught up in just the work of it all and you don’t really sit back and enjoy it. Just trying to take it in; that’s what it’s all about.”
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Southridge’s Justin Lammers rode the bus with teammates through Huntingburg on a victory lap after winning the Class 2A sectional championship on Monday. Southridge won 14-0 in 5 innings.

These images are from the final Raiders games. I loved being able to cover the same team over and over, and to build rapport with them.

Photographers: what are your tips for building rapport with teams?

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Intuition and the Hunt

Marlena Sloss/The Heraldat  in Jasper, Ind. on Saturday.
Jagger Schipp, 9, and his grandfather Merf Schipp, both of Ferdinand, listened for wild turkey gobbles as they sat in the woods for four hours Saturday morning at the Youth Turkey Hunt held by the Patoka Valley LimbHangers Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation at Patoka Lake on Saturday. “It’s just peace and quiet,” said Merf. “When you’re at work or in town, it’s like ‘hurry up, hurry up, hurry up.’ Out in the woods, it’s just like time shops, it’s so peaceful.’ Jagger has turkey hunted for four years, and has learned to hunt from both his father, Cory Schipp of Ferdinand, and grandfather, Merf.

Before photographing a Youth Turkey Hunt last weekend, Sarah Ann Jump lent me her favorite photo book: “Photosynthesis: A Simple Guide to the Magic of Photography” by Bryan Moss. Moss’s beautiful writing is about the process and philosophy behind photography, rather than pictures themselves.

Here is a favorite passage of mine, that stuck with me as I sat in the woods at dawn in my camouflage, watching the sun rise and hearing the woods wake up.

“We can define intuition. We can quote hundreds of famous people about its undeniable role in peak performance.

But if we try to control it, it becomes more elusive than ever.

How, then, can we cultivate it?

There are hundreds of books that try to answer this question. But I think it’s relatively simple.

Photographers must live in the moment. Given the nature of what they do, they have little other choice. Previous and future pictures are irrelevant. The only one that counts is the one you’re making now. If the photographer is in tune with her intuition, concentrating on the moment and in tune with the subject, the result will take care of itself.”

 

This lesson about photography—that living in the moment is most important—is also something I learned and observed from the hunters. Hunters need to be in tune with their subject: animals and the natural world, in order to be successful. That’s also why many of them love hunting. Watching the hunters visually and emotionally become a part of the landscape was beautiful to witness.

Marlena Sloss/The Heraldat  in Jasper, Ind. on Saturday.
Maris Drew of Jasper, 11, applied camo face paint in the hunting blind at the Youth Turkey Hunt at Patoka Lake on Saturday. Drew’s hunting guide Shannon Gillette of Markleville brought the camo face paint, and said that the face paint is “sacred” to her.
Marlena Sloss/The Heraldat  in Jasper, Ind. on Saturday.
Maris sat with her father Mike in the afternoon while hunting. The Youth Turkey Hunt was the first outing the two had done together since Mike’s back injury two years ago, where he fell out of a tree stand and shattered his back.
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Hunters rested after spending the morning in the woods at Patoka Lake.
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Brennan Masterson of Evansville, 15, held the turkey tail feathers and beard from the turkey he hunted at the Youth Turkey Hunt at Patoka Lake on Saturday. Brennan, who has hunted for four years, said that when he hunted the bird, he “was shaking, because it’s a big deal to me.” His favorite part of hunting is that “you get to stroll through the woods; it’s different than being in a city all the time.”
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Hunting guide Shannon Gillette of Markleville held up a turkey decoy before taking Maris Drew of Jasper, 11, and her father Mike Drew out to hunt at the Youth Turkey Hunt at Patoka Lake on Saturday. Hunters place decoys near their blinds to attract male turkeys.
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Cory Schipp of Ferdinand took down a turkey target during the practice session for the Youth Turkey Hunt at the Jasper Rifle and Gun Club on Tuesday. At the session, participants practiced aiming for the turkeyÕs wattlesÑthe flesh under the turkey’s throat.
Marlena Sloss/The Heraldat  in Jasper, Ind. on Saturday.
Hunting guide Shannon Gillette of Markleville asked Maris Drew of Jasper, 11, to talk about her experience hunting for Gillette’s Instagram story video after their evening hunt at the Youth Turkey Hunt at Patoka Lake on Saturday.

“As photographers we must cherish the experience, the picture-taking, and do it for the joy of the experience. The results are not important. What will be will be.”

 

Like Moss’s quote, every hunter said they didn’t care about whether they got an animal or not—but rather cherished the experience. There are many lessons to be learned from the people that let us document their lives.

Photographers: what has helped you cultivate “intuition” and “presence” that Moss references?

 

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Hoosier Hysteria

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Northeast Dubois’ Clare Mangin and Tyla Rasche embraced while Kortney Quinn cuts the hoop down after defeating Wood Memorial at Wood Memorial High School in Oakland City on Saturday. The Jeeps won 35-30 to claim the Class 1A Sectional title.

Little did I know before moving to Indiana, the state is crazy for high school basketball. My “research” before photographing this season was to watch the movie Hoosiers. The film conveys the essence and beauty of basketball in Indiana: everything from the misty, rolling farm fields with hand-painted signs supporting teams, the trail of cars that follow the players to playoff games, and the fact that everyone in each town cares about their team. The high schools play for more than the game itself; they play for the community’s respect and to carry on the team’s history.

Here at The Herald, I am learning more about developing the narrative arc throughout edits. With that in mind, here is an edit of my high school basketball season photos. I focused on moments surrounding the game that communicate what the sport means to the community.

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Southridge’s Joe LaGrange dribbled a ball in the hallway before facing Sullivan at Huntingburg Memorial in Jasper on Friday. Southridge won 47-32. Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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A sign that has been up since Monday reading “Jeeps all the way” hung on Michael Cave’s barn outside of Dubois before the sectional final game on Saturday. “We’re just big supporters of the Jeeps,” said Cave, who used to coach the JV boys basketball team. Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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Northeast Dubois head coach Terry Friedman sat for a moment before his team warmed up for the sectional final at Springs Valley High School in French Lick on Saturday. The Jeeps lost 68-54. Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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Southridge’s Colson Montgomery took a shot during the Class 3A regional semifinal at Huntingburg Memorial Gym in Huntingburg on Saturday. Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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For her child development class Forest Park sophomore Tori King cared for her infant simulator, who she named Russel, during the Rangers’ home game against Pike Central in Ferdinand Friday evening. “I think its a good experience for anyone who wants a kid,” said King. “I don’t want a kid now, but it makes me know that its a lot of work.” Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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Jaida Kendall of Jasper, 10, played in the hallway as the Wildcats faced the Princeton Tigers at Jasper High School in Jasper on Tuesday. Kendall is the daughter of Jasper assistant coach Phil Kendall. Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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Southridge freshman Kaleb Wibbeler, top, junior Patrick Sander, sophomore Sam Schroeder, and junior Matt Gentry formed a four-person tower during Southridge’s 47-32 win over Sullivan at Huntingburg Memorial in Jasper on Friday. Senior Tori Tretter said the four-person tower is a tradition for sectional games. Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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Southridge’s Noah Goeppner watched from the bench during the fourth quarter of the Class 3A regional semifinal at Huntingburg Memorial Gym in Huntingburg on Saturday. Southridge lost. Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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Southridge’s Matt Price sat in the locker room as head coach Ted O’Brien spoke after their Class 3A regional semifinal loss at Huntingburg Memorial Gym in Huntingburg on Saturday. Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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Northeast Dubois’ Brandon Merkel walked towards the bus after their 68-54 sectional final loss at Springs Valley High School in French Lick on Saturday. Marlena Sloss/The Herald

One challenge I faced, and can be hard in general, is photographing athletes after season-ending losses. As much as I could, I tried to be around the teams I covered when during happy and neutral times, so that it felt normal to document their losses too.

Photographers: what challenges do you face in high school sports coverage and how do you try to overcome them?

Finding flow & other lessons from EAW

TEAM LEADER: Danny Wilcox Frazier ; EDITOR: Andrew Scott ; PRODUCER: Jabin Botsford ; DIGITAL TECH: Bob Houlihan

I had been taking notes throughout the Eddie Adams Workshop, but when Danny Wilcox Frazier spoke with such intense conviction and integrity about his subjects from “Driftless: Stories from Iowa,” I couldn’t consolidate the lessons into words. The passion in his voice and the gleam in his eyes conveyed more about his photography than any concise piece of advice I heard throughout the weekend. Speaking about his subjects, he told us that one day he arrived to their home, exhausted, and couldn’t do much besides sit and eat. He noticed they soon grew quiet and acted bothered. “Is everything ok?” asked Danny. They replied, with a disappointing look on their faces, “Are we just not interesting anymore? You’re not taking pictures of us.” Most of Danny’s speech felt as if he were telling stories about close friends that happened to be subjects, rather than about making pictures. Danny spends years on his projects, moving in with his subjects for weeks at a time, and he said, “my subjects tell me they know too much about me.”

Danny was my team leader (go Mint!) and I was lucky to experience more of his passion for photography and ability to connect with people throughout the workshop. He left team Mint with two pieces of advice as left to photograph on the first day: “Sense of place, sense of place, sense of place,” and “SLOW DOWN!”

With that in mind, that afternoon I spent more time engaging with my subjects–Richard and Mary Ann Dirie, owners of Dirie’s Dairy Farm–than I did thinking about pictures. When I was picked up at the end of the shoot I had forgotten that I was in rural New York, about to go back to Eddie Adams’ barn. I believe it was Danny’s advice on slowing down that translated to an afternoon of being fully present and engaged (an experience I’ve associated more in the past with “flow” in athletics). Here are my images from my story, “Stuck in Dairy” on Richard and Mary Ann Dirie, owners of a small dairy farm that is barely hanging on.

TEAM LEADER: Danny Wilcox Frazier ; EDITOR: Andrew Scott ; PRODUCER: Jabin Botsford ; DIGITAL TECH: Bob Houlihan

TEAM LEADER: Danny Wilcox Frazier ; EDITOR: Andrew Scott ; PRODUCER: Jabin Botsford ; DIGITAL TECH: Bob Houlihan

TEAM LEADER: Danny Wilcox Frazier ; EDITOR: Andrew Scott ; PRODUCER: Jabin Botsford ; DIGITAL TECH: Bob Houlihan

TEAM LEADER: Danny Wilcox Frazier ; EDITOR: Andrew Scott ; PRODUCER: Jabin Botsford ; DIGITAL TECH: Bob Houlihan

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TEAM LEADER: Danny Wilcox Frazier ; EDITOR: Andrew Scott ; PRODUCER: Jabin Botsford ; DIGITAL TECH: Bob Houlihan

TEAM LEADER: Danny Wilcox Frazier ; EDITOR: Andrew Scott ; PRODUCER: Jabin Botsford ; DIGITAL TECH: Bob Houlihan

In such a short amount of time, it was certainly a challenge to be present with subjects and actually make pictures. Knowing that this is a something I will have to balance the rest of my career, I’d love to hear from other photojournalists: how do you balance the two?

The weekend was filled with an overwhelming amount of photographic inspiration. Here are a few more quotes and phrases that have stayed with me (by no means a comprehensive list!).

John White:

  • “Good, better, best. Never let them rest until your good is better and your better is best.”
  • PJ DNA: consistent pursuit of excellence

Tom Kennedy:

  • “It takes the courage to see yourself as you are, courage to face the world with bravery”
  • Integration of heart, mind, and eye.
  • Recognition, Acceptance, Investigation, Non-permanence (RAIN)

Gregory Heisler:

  • “Shoot what you can’t help but shoot”
  • Think about where you aim your camera–it’s easier to point the camera down the Socioeconomic ladder than it is to point up
  • “Comfort is for old people”

Darcy Padilla:

  • Long-term relationships with subjects!

Danny Wilcox Frazier:

  • “My subjects tell me they know too much about me”

Corey Rich:

  • “We create our own destiny”
  • What makes you different?

 

Also, a huge thank you to everyone who made the Eddie Adams Workshop XXX happen.