NBA!

By: Edyta Blaszczyk

Dunk

Today I had the fantastic opportunity of covering the basketball game between the Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Let’s just say that for my first NBA game, a double overtime with the Clippers coming out on top with a 117-109 win was the best introduction I could have had.

How did I get such a privilege you ask? Well fellow DE reporters Luis Medina, Jeff Engelhardt and I were sent out on the road to cover the Wooden Tradition where Purdue will challenge Davidson and SIU will take on St. Mary’s in good ‘ole Indianapolis in the Conseco Fieldhouse. The offer to cover the Pacers – Clippers game was given to anyone who would be covering the Wooden Tradition. Luis then worked his magic with the media relations crew and got us our wonderful media passes. Bless the soul of whoever came up with that idea, because of him or her, Luis, Jeff and I rocked out at our first NBA game as reporters…or visual reporters in my case.

I would like to share with all the world how my experience went.

First off, we were treated exceptionally well in the Media Services room. We were fed well with the buffet that included salads, mostaccioli, pizza, and breadsticks. Not to forget the desert island. Yum. On the tables were also bowls of delicious popcorn. The one thing that felt awkward was that there was a fellow whose job is to walk around and pick up after everyone and refill drinks. I just simply wanted to throw out my own plate and refill my own drink.

With 10 minutes left until gametime, we set off to our assigned locations and started to work. I was a bit overwhelmed by all the tall players (I’m 5’3″) I have to admit. After getting accustomed to it all, I got in my groove and shot away.

I had some pretty interesting moments happen to me when my shutter wasn’t going off. One would be getting tips and laughs from a photographer that sat next to me. Another was getting hit on by one of the mascots every time he came on the court. He “kissed” my hand, stole my camera bag, danced sexy for me, and insisted on me calling him. After the game, this fellow photographer told me he saw me turn bright red from the catwalk. Another photographer, Frank McGrath, who was sitting next to me decided to take photos, as seen below. I’m excited and curious to know what the guy looks like under his helmet. Guess I’ll never know.

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One thing that Luis and Jeff have started teasing me for is my new found crush on the Pacers forward Josh McRoberts.

josh mcroberts

I guess I have a thing for tall white guys with scruffy beards, like Kyle Orton. But that’s neither here nor there.

The Pacers ended up losing in a tight game, but it was an experience that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Thanks Media Services people for the Pacers.

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With One Day to Go . . .

By: Julia Rendleman & Joe Rehana

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Joe, working hard for the money, chases after reluctant interviewees in downtown Chicago Monday afternoon.

The number of media and security personnel surrounding Grant Park in Chicago has doubled in the past twenty four hours. Hundreds of locals and tourists alike have flocked to the baracades around the park to take photos and observe the preparations for tomorrow’s election night event with Barack Obama. Although tickets to the event have been limited to 65,000, Mayor Daley estimates that over 1 million people will gather at Hutchinson Field in Grant Park to hear Barack Obama address his home town crowd.

We are among the lucky few that has managed to secure a ticket to the event. We were not, however, lucky enough to get our hands on the much desired media pass, which would have allowed us to be very close to the stage and on risers. Nonetheless, we will be there well before the gates open tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. to secure a spot as close to the stage as possible and hopefully get a picture or two of Obama as he accepts his new role as commander in chief, or concedes the position to Senator John McCain.

We interviewed dozens of Chicagoans today and except for an occasional Ron Paul supporter, Chicago does seem to be solidly behind Barack Obama. Some people we talked to were able to secure tickets for tomorrow’s event while others are apprehensive about battling the crowds for the hottest spot in town.

Look for our soundslides in the hours to come. One will feature street interviews from the site where the historic WigWam convention center once stood. It was at this location in 1860 where Abraham Lincoln accepted his party’s nomination for the presidency. The second soundslide features a discussion of election politics with a segment of Chicago’s African immigrant population on the North side of the city.

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Media on the right, everyone else on the left. A view from the barracade in Grant Park.

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Emmanuel Abidemi, right, owner of Bolat African Cuisine on Chicago’s North side discusses tomorrow’s election with his friends and employees Monday afternoon.

Excitement fills the Air in the Windy City

Julia Rendleman and Joe Rehana

As the sun was setting, Joe and I pulled into Chicago and almost immediately we were excited. I-57 gave way to Lake Shore Drive and as we pulled around Soldier Field, the cityscape and Grant Park opened up in front of us. Dozens of camera crews, trucks, journalists and security guards filled the streets around the park where Barack Obama is hosting an election night open-aired rally.

It is obvious that that a lot of planning has gone into preparing for Tuesday night’s affair. Already huge fences have been constructed around Grant Park and all the adjacent streets. The electric company is outfitting the light poles in the area with megaphones where Obama’s speech will be broadcast Tuesday night, and a stage has been built in the middle of the park where a dense row of American flags flap in the wind.

It looks and feels like history is in the making. And Chicago is ready for it. We are very excited to have the opportunity to do some reporting from Chicago on the eve of this election. What happens Tuesday in Grant Park is not important to Chicago alone, but to the entire world. Tonight we met journalists from across the globe and had a chance to talk with Joanna WaJda, a reporter for Polish Television (PTV). She told us that the people in Poland are excited about this election and she is eager to report to them from Chicago over the next couple of days.

Look for more blog postings from Chicago all this week. . .

Sunday, November 2, 2008 - Joanna WaJda of Polish Television reports from G=
rant Park Sunday evening. Julia Rendleman ~ Daily Egyptian

It’s Time to Fly

By: Edyta Blaszczyk

In my opinion, there’s nothing more exciting than being crammed in a tiny Cessna 11,000 feet in the air with four full-grown men knocking into you as they jump out and freefall into the atmosphere. Did I mention that the only thing keeping me from falling, sliding, or being knocked out the open door at my immediate left is a loose seatbelt? Fortunately for me, if I did end up on the outside of the plane, I at least had a parachute strapped on my back.
But let me lay out my first day at Cairo Regional Airport for you guys from the beginning. It started off waking up at 8 a.m., groggily making my way to the car and driving an hour through the beautiful scenery that southern Illinois has to offer. Getting off at the last exit in Illinois, I made a wrong turn and drove for an extra 20 minutes before I realized that I should probably turn around. I eventually make it to the hangar and start clicking away with my camera. Most of what I witnessed was people hanging out and packing parachutes. Not as exciting as I was hoping, but the jump instructors or, “the old men” as they were called, were entertaining enough. Noon rolls around and the engines start roaring. It’s go time.
Maybe three flights made their run before I was finally able to go up with jumpers. I tried to hold in my excitement and forget that I really had to go to the bathroom as an instructor was strapping a parachute rig on me. After a quick briefing of what to grab and pull, how to arch, and what to do if I hear the pilot yell “JUMP,” I found myself packed in the plane like a can of sardines.
It was a fantastic first experience with the skydiving club, and maybe one day I will have enough money to take that first jump. Speaking of, I will accept any donations to the “Edyta wants to skydive, please give her money” fund.

Party On, Planet

By: Brandon Chapple

As a photojournalist, I am immediately drawn to things out of the ordinary. Not that people from Saudi Arabia are unusual, but for a white kid from a moderately small American town, a room full of men in headdress is not something I see on a daily basis.

Being out of our comfort zone not only works great for us photojournalists forcing us to work just a little harder to understand what is going on, but is also is a great thing for people in general.

A little understanding in this world can go a very long way. From enemies of past world disputes all the way to the spooky, elusive cave-dwellers that apparently threaten existence as we know it, one of the biggest tactics used to alienate people is misrepresentation and misunderstanding.

I don’t claim to have all the answers and there are people out there who want nothing more but to hurt others, but I will say it is a fact that most people in this world are good-natured. All it takes to turn a “terrorist” into a neighbor is simply a good meal and a good conversation.

Its been my experience as a photojournalist, as shown by the picture above, that everybody loves to have a good time, and if the world can’t agree on the fact that everyone loves to party, then this isn’t the world for me.

Lopsidedness

By: Stephen Rickerl

Hello everyone, I’m Stephen Rickerl the photo editor at the Daily Egyptian. I figured since we are already halfway through the semester it’s about time I wrote a blog. First of all I should say that I’m new to blogging. Actually this is my first attempt at it, so here we go.

This past Saturday I was able to shoot the Homecoming game against Indiana State. It was an amazingly lopsided game, but still fun to be at. The first play from scrimmage was a touchdown pass, which caught me, and probably other photographers off-guard. The scoring didn’t stop the entire first half.

This image was taken after the special teams scored a touchdown off a blocked punt. The special teams and defense were all pretty pumped up, each scoring a touchdown and dominating their opponents. From the sidelines it seemed like the offense, especially the running backs, could score at will once they were inside the 20-yard line.

I suppose you want a guaranteed victory for your Homecoming game. But by half time with the score sitting at 50-0, it seemed that the Salukis dominating play over Indiana State had taken all the energy out of the crowd. I guess sometimes blowouts are difficult to watch, even when you’re on the winning side.