Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Santacon in San Francisco

I've heard about but never before attended or photographed the annual Santacon event in San Francisco.  It's quite an experience.  I photographed it this past Saturday for the SF Gate.
Some people complain that the annual event, where thousands of people dressed as Santa converge on Union Square and then embark on pub crawls across San Francisco, is nothing more than a boozefest in costume.  In some ways they are completely right...
...but in other ways it does bring a holiday sensibility to the partying.
When everyone around you is dressed as Santa...
...even the smalles of creatures...
...you can't help but be put in a festive mood and giving mood.
And start singing Christmas Carols.
But, yes, boozing is a main part of Santacon as well.  Just visit any bar in North Beach aftewards and you will see tons of Santas.  You can't escape them.
So, here is to Santa (hopefully) bringing you a little bit of joy this holiday season!

Please check out more of my photos and other Chronicle photos on the SF Gate article for Santacon.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Night at the Marin Democratic Headquarters

I've covered a lot of election night results over the years all over the country but I never quite had the experience I had photographing volunteers and staff members at the Marin Democratic Headquarters celebrate President Barack Obama's re-election victory for the Marin IJ last night.
Signs of Obama supporters were everywhere as the election results started tricking in for the Presidential election...
And life-sized cardboard cutouts of the President were everywhere in the building.
The group of a few hundred supporters prepared to hunker down for a long night of vote counting.
But surprisingly a bit after 8 pm local time the networks called the race for Obama.  And pandemonium  ensued.

People grabbed the life-sized cutout of the President and body-surfed him over the crowd like he was a rock star at a concert.
And groups couldn't wait to have their picture taken with the "President."
As boys and girls of all ages celebrated the victory...
...some people kept checking the results on their computers as the vote count in Ohio got very close and the Romney campaign did not immediately concede the election. 
Eventually late in the evening Romney conceded and most of the crowd stayed to watch Obama's acceptance speech.  However not everyone was able to keep their eyes open that late past their bedtime.

I've always loved covering elections and election nights, but what I experienced on Tuesday was quite an experience.

You can see more of my photos and other photographs from the Marin IJ staff on their election story

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

USA vs. Guatemala World Cup Qualifier

There is something about a World Cup qualifying soccer game; where the winner goes on, and the loser goes home, that brings out the passions of all fans in attendance.  At Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City on Tuesday night the passion of the USA fans was on full display for all of the world to see.
Before the game, USA fans marched to Livestrong ready for the game...
...and grabbing a beer at a tailgate outside their favorite restaurant .
Inside, as the sun went down over an unusually warm October day in Kansas City the USA fans, flags and scarfs in hand, were ready to cheer on their team.
The supporters section, led by American Outlaws fans, got the fans into the game immediately.
 ...but a shock counter attack goal by Guatemala put the USA down early and fear about their World Cup dreams crept into the fans at the game.
But the USA quickly responded and the fans went wild.
The fans urged on the team to score more goals.
And after the USA fans celebrating their third goal...
...behind an amazing first half display by Clint Dempsey, all the USA fans were celebrating and breathing a sigh of relief that their Brazil dreams were alive.
In the second half the fans kept up the cheers...
...and celebrated their victory after the final whistle.
Some fans exchanged hi-fives with the USMNT teammates...
...and then continued their celebration outside the stands.
It was a spirited display by the USA Men's team and in particular its fans who gave the team what it needed most: a loud, pro-USA crowd.

I can't wait for the next round of qualifying for the USA Men's National Team.  I'm sure there will be more ups and downs, but with the USA fans cheering on the team the whole way I know it will be quite an adventure.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

San Francisco Giants Win Game 2 of NLCS

Got a first row seat to watch Ryan Vogelsong and the San Francisco Giants even up their NLCS playoff series at one game a piece Monday night at AT&T park in San Francisco. 
Early on things looked a bit dicey for the Giants after their second baseman Scutaro was taken out by a slide from the Cardinals Matt Holliday.
Although he looked severely injured, Scutaro stayed in the game.
And the Giants answered right away with Angel Pagan's lead off home run...
...to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.
But the Cardinals came back to bat.
And although a loud and vocal crowd...
got a double from starting Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter to tie the game up at 1-1.
But after that Vogelsong got locked in and stated mowing down the Cardinals batters.
Including the Cardinals Yadir Molina striking out.
The Giants fans were waiting for a big inning...
...and got it in the 4th when Belt scored to open up a lead.
The fans were going crazy...
...especially after Scutaro got some payback scoring 3 runs on a hit.
From there the Giants played tough D.
Kept the pressure up with their "MVP" Buster Posey at bat.
And even got a double from starter Ryan Vogelsong...
Unfortunately he wasn't able to score...
...but after pitching 7 innings he got a standing ovation.
There was some controversy in the 8th when it looked like the Giants Gregor Blanco was tagged out after roaming too far on a fly ball to the outfield.
But the first base umpire Bill Miller called him safe..
Much to the disagreement of Cardinals coach Mike Matheney.
But after conferring with the other umpires the play stood.
It didn't matter much cause Sergio Romo came in the 9th.
And threw strikes.
And celebrated the win with his catcher.
The Giants tied the series up 1-1.
And the series moves to St. Louis.  Got a feeling this is going to be a great series!