Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"Blood Moon" Lunar Eclipse over Oakland

Early this morning I was able to glimpse the "Blood Moon" Lunar eclipse event in the skies of Oakland.  It was quite a site to behold.
 For most of the night, esp. as the full eclipse was about to start, it looked like the low clouds and fog would eclipse our view of the celestial event.
 But the clouds broke up just enough for me to take these clear shots of the eclipse.
As the moon started to emerge from the Earth's shadow around 1:30 am I took a few last shots and went to bed.

After all I had to file my photos early in the morning to go up on the SF Gate! :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

UConn Fans Celebrate the Huskies Basketball Men's National Championship

I've been a lifelong UConn Huskies fan (having grown up in Connecticut) and even though I live in Oakland, Calif. I still support the Huskies and follow them closely all season.

With my brother, we've traveled to the NCAA Final Four in 2004, 2009, 2011 and this season to support our team.  After the surprising 2011 victory we went to the team's hotel to celebrate with the fans and team.  It was a surprise victory and I took photos of the moment on my blog.  It felt like after 2011 it would be a long time till UConn would be back here, but 3 years later we found ourselves celebrating once again a national championship at the Dallas Hyatt Regency hotel after UConn's 60-54 victory over Kentucky in the Championship game.
 At the hotel the team, lead by Ryan Boatright, carried the NCAA championship trophy to the cheers of all the Connecticut fans in attendance.
 They were there to receive the NABC Championship trophy as well, which really impresses the UConn team.
 2nd year coach Kevin Ollie stepped up to the podium and congratulated his team for their performance and the fans for coming out to support them.
 Afterwards the fans and the team celebrated in the Hyatt Regency lobby and bar.
 Fans were collecting autographs from players like Lasan Kromah (who made the last two points of the championship)...
And senior Tyler Olander, who was gracious to let people get a selfie with him.
 But it wasn't just players from this year's team in attendance, it included some of the royalty of UConn teams from the past.  Richard Hamilton, MVP of the 1999 team...

 Donny Marshall...

And Khalid El-Amin sharing a laugh with UConn's No.1 fan Big Red U-C-O-N-N UConn, UConn UCONN!!!
 The party went late...
 And the UConn chants kept coming, even from former player Natambu Willingham.
 And as the party ended and fans declared Texas "UConn Country" (they have won 3 of their 4 national championships in Texas)...
...The players headed out for their after-party to continue.

After all, although I'm a photographer I'm a UConn Fan first!
(Got a photo with the Khalid "Shock the World" El-Amin from the 1999 championship team)



Friday, November 22, 2013

Windstorm downs large tree in Oakland near Lake Merritt

After the first storm of the season there was the first large windstorm of the season.  It caused major damage, including knocking down a 70 year old eucalyptus tree near Lake Merritt in Oakland.
The tree at Lake Merritt was one of more that 120 that were knocked down by the high winds throughout the city.  It was quite a mess.
I had been working for the SF Gate in the morning finding photos from social media to help with our coverage of the storm.  But I had to catch a glance of this large tree that fell down.  I wasn't the only one amazed seeing this mighty tree come crashing down.

To view more pix and see more from the windstorm check out the article on SF Gate.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

USA vs. Mexico World Cup Qualifier in Columbus

In all my years photographing the fans at USMNT games, I have never experience a home environment like the World Cup Qualifier against Mexico in Columbus, OH.   The energy and passion, sure.  The size: never.
 Before the game a lot of USA fans stopped by the American Outlaws pre-game meet up to grab a beer and "believe".

 Some fans just needed to take a breather with temperatures approaching 100 degrees.
 What were the USA fans to believe?  A "Dos a cero" victory of course.
 There was a sizable group of Mexico fans there as well to support their team.
 Mexican fans of all sizes enjoying the tailgate before the game.
 When the American Outlaws marched into Columbus Crew stadium there was some exchanges of hello to each other, with the help of sign language.
 And it was clear once inside Columbus Crew stadium who was the "home team" for the game.  A lot of times the US Men's National Team has played a game in the USA the American fans were outnumbered by Mexican fans,  including the 2011 Gold Cup Final.  But at Columbus it was the USA fans, and the multiple sections of USA supporters that made it an incredible atmosphere.
 ll the fans were on their feet for the game.
 And started cheering from the beginning of the match.
 Mexico started out brightly and almost scored a goal in the first 20 minutes throwing a scare into the USA fans.
 But the fans kept urging the players on to score a goal.
 And were rewarded early in the second half with a header by Eddie Johnson to take the lead.
 Leading to some intimate moments in the stands.
 The fans kept asking for a second goal.
 And were rewarded with a second later in the match.

 The Mexico fans stood dejected,  wondering if they were even going to qualify for the World Cup next year.
 While the USA fans cheered...
 ...and cheered...
 ...until the final whistle blew!
 And exalted in a hard fought and well earned victory.
 After the game word came out that the USA team was going to celebrate clinching their place in the 2014 World Cup with the fans who waited an hour after the game.  US Soccer President Sunil Gulati became part of the on-field entertainment while they waited.
 The Honduras-Panama game ended in a 2-2 tie clinching the USA a place in the World Cup.  When the fans saw the team emerge from the locker room the excitement was on every fan's face.
 Jermaine Jones doused a number of fans with a celebratory champagne bath.
And as the team went wild in celebration the fans took in the moment.  All of their months of sweat and toil for the team lead to the promise land.  And, yes, they are going to Brazil!

Please follow my ongoing photo essay on soccer fans around the world on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/12thManPhotos

To view more photos from USA vs. Columbus, click here.

Monday, August 26, 2013

#Caltopia 2013

Sunday was move-in day for the undergraduates at UC Berkeley and along with all the change and excitement that the day brings there was also a chance to learn more about their school, community and grab a bunch of free swag at Caltopia 2013.
The event greets the students with performances including the UC Berkeley acapella group.
And rec clubs letting students know about the social opportunities that are available to them.
Caltopia attracts thousands of students (and parents as well).
Some of the students partook in a free make up consultation..

...or took in some Martial Arts presentations...
...learned more about clubs to join...

...listened to some music...
or got their photo taken with the Gold Man in the Social Media center.
And if they marked their photo online with  #Caltopia they got a free t-shirt as well.

Good luck to all the new UC Berkeley students in the 2013-2014 school year!