Saturday, May 29, 2010

Taking New England by Storm (literally!)

            As I'm sure many of you had heard,  New England got hit extremely hard by a storm Wednesday night this past week.  It began with some pretty awesome lighting and within an hour became a full blown nightmare for those of us residing in Western MA.  I had planned on going for a run that night but due to my ipod not being charged I held off.  It was thanks to the dead battery that I was not caught up in the insane wind, rain and lighting.  I could have ran back to the house just in time to witness the tree falling over on top of the power line though.  It was bad enough inside just hearing everything and seeing the lights flicker about three times before they finally went out completely.  I'll be the first to admit that I was a little scared.  Being alone in the dark in my friend's house in a bad storm.  Uh yeah.  I called home to let my family know what was going on and then I realized that my friend could actually be driving in the middle of it all.  I was right.  She was almost too terrified to understand.  All I could think to do was try my best to calm her down over the phone.  The bad bits of the storm soon passed and all of us awake on the street wandered out of our homes to see what the damage was.  Being that there were puddles everywhere didn't help my nerves of a live power line just inches of me and my car.  You can see how close the line was in one of my pictures.  My poor Rolla.  I watched in disbelief as people drove right under the live wire.  The transformer was on the ground and could have easily been hit if someone wasn't paying attention.  Thankfully no one did.  My friend finally reached the house after a nervous police man put up the caution tape.  She was extremely shook up but safe.  We just shook our heads as one girl drove under the caution tape only to discover the mess.  If we weren't so upset we would have laughed a little more at this stupidity.  My thoughts kept wandering back to the Hallmarkers trapped at the school with no power as they scrambled to complete their final portfolios.  I could only imagine if this had happened to my class.  It would be an extremely long night for so many people.  I sat at the door and watched as sparks fell from the line from a little fire that has developed.  According to the fire department, we would be fine.  Usually fire and live wires don't mix but I was gonna take their word for it.  I eventually fell asleep after about three that morning.  The couch actually felt comfortable.  When morning hit, my friend and I went outside to see the calm after the storm.  It was pretty crazy as you can see in the pictures.  Trees and branches littered the streets.  Many of the trees had actually been uprooted taking some of the sidewalk with them.  We decided to catch up on a little more sleep and then to wander the streets to document everything.  Greenfield was officially in a state of emergency.  Residents all the area had no power and could not even leave their streets.  I didn't dare move my car even though the lines were no longer live.  My little car would not make it through the mess.  Seeing a tree on top of a house, a new Honda smashed and car eating trees was almost unbelievable.  It looked as though a tornado had hit Greenfield.  The next day they finally began to clear our street and put up a new pole.  There wasn't any power when I left for Boston but I'm hoping that it doesn't take as long as Tuesday as they were predicting for some areas.  I am very thankful that everyone was safe and no real damage was done to the house or our cars.  Gotta love New England!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

MMA Fighters Shoot

                    This week has been such an excitedly exhausting week for me.  After spending a week with my family in Virginia I was in CT for a day and then headed back to Western MA for about three days before I headed east to Boston.  This shoot was anticipated for a couple of months now so you can imagine how excited I was when my friend; Rodrigo told me to come on out to photograph him while he was doing his MMA training.  I was hoping to photograph some other fighters as well but not counting on it so you can imagine my smile when the coach; John of Wai Kru in Allston, MA, tossed the fighters one by one into the ring with me.  I was a little nervous being around the guys because this was my first time working with fighters but it turned out to be a lot of fun.  The guys couldn't help but cat call each other as they posed for me.  I was about to run out and grab some strawberries and whip cream for the calender lol.  I left the shoot laughing and grateful that I didn't have to do half of the work these fighters do for their training.  They work out insanely hard for hours a day.  I have a lot of respect for them being so dedicated.  Is it bad that I wanted to kick back in the gym and eat a Snickers?  Yeah, I'm horrible.  :op  The fighters were anxiously awaiting these pics and so I wanted to make sure to get them edited as soon as I could and get them up.  So here you go guys!  The fighters are as follows; Adriano Mello, Rodrigo de Almeida, Alex Corbett, UFC fighter John (Doomsday) Howard, Oscar Rosario and Bernardo Fanti.  In the group shots the guy second for the left on the top row is trainer Nick Drummond.  I think Nick gave me the hardest time of all the guys during and after the shoot.  Good group of guys though.  I have no problem going back and working with all of them again.  I hope to in the future.  A big thank you goes out to everyone putting up with me during the shoot while they were training and getting ready for upcoming fights.