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:

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!

Monday, August 12, 2013

San Rafael Twilight Criterium race

I've never photographed a criterium race, and was assigned by the Marin IJ to cover the Twilight Criterium race a few weekends ago in downtown San Rafael.

The criterium race is a loop course race that circled downtown San Rafael lined with spectators around.

I photographed the women and men's professional races.

Each group raced multiple laps around the course.

And it was fun to see a group of professional bicyclists racing on what are normally city streets.

In the women's race Kimberly Wells of Australia won in a sprint at the finish.

She celebrated the victory before the men's race...

...and was in no hurry to leave the victory stand afterwards.

Before the men's professional race, the top bicyclists were introduced to the crowd by a group of ladies known as the "umbrella ladies."
And as the sun set, the dozens of racers competed on the course.

And some spectators watched the action from the Starbucks next door.

Eamon Lucas won the men's race and cheered crossing the finish line.

And after the race Professional women's winner Kimberly Wells and Professional Men's winner Eamon Lucas placed on their winner belts to have a photo taken together.   If you want to see more of the photographs view the Marin IJ photo gallery.