Returning to politics for a moment, this is “journalism” at its best... (Insert sarcasm)
Currently showing posts tagged Events
Returning to politics for a moment, this is “journalism” at its best... (Insert sarcasm)
A gallery of photos from Saturday’s “March for Our Lives,” one of the largest student-driven protests in U.S. history, is now up on my website here. You also can see a larger gallery of photos on my Facebook page here.
Crowd estimates ranged from 200,000 to 850,000 as students, parents, and activists of all ages and from across the U.S. and Canada jammed Pennsylvania Avenue and side streets from 3rd to 12th Avenue.
The Washington, D.C., event was the largest of 800 marches across the country spearheaded by a group of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students and staff were killed by a gunman in February. The march came on the heels of a nationwide student walkout earlier this month; a second walkout is planned on April 20, the anniversary of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School.
#marchforourlives #washingtondc #StonemanDouglas #rally#guncontrol #photography #eventphotography
Given the attention around the March for Our Lives and the students’ determination to make changes, I thought I’d make one last plug for my featured artist photo exhibit, “The Resilience Project,” on display through Saturday in the Arches Gallery (Building 9) at the Workhouse Arts Center.
"The Resilience Project" includes 28 of my photos and 10 taken by students at Holmes Middle School in Annandale. It is on display from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Stop by and take a look if you get the chance! You can see and read more about the show by going to http://glenncook.virb.com/resilience.
On this day last year, I surprised my oldest son Nicholas on his birthday in Durham. Unfortunately I’m away in Nashville and can’t do so again as he turns 25.
25? How did that happen? I’m not sure, but I know how grateful I am to have developed such a solid, loving give-and-take relationship with this terrific young man. He’s undertaken a lot of changes over the past 365 days (engagement, working on a master’s degree, reclaiming his muse) and we have bonded in this past year like never before.
I love you, my son, and am so proud of you.
Hard to believe, but it's been five years since Ben made his debut as Billy Elliot in the sweltering Louisville, Ky. Here he is after the show with Nicholas and Ginno.
The Virginia Dance Coalition recently held DanceFest 2017 in Alexandria, a weekend event featuring master classes for students and performances by 13 area companies/studios. I was the official photographer for the event, which featured 20 performances in a two-hour show at the end of the festival.
These photos were taken during the dress rehearsal, where I could walk around and look for different angles, and the performance. Companies performing, in alphabetical order, were:
Ballet Arts Ensemble, Ballet Nova Center for Dance, Classical Ballet Theatre, DanceArt Theater, Encore Theatrical Arts Project, Fairfax Ballet Company, Kalavaridhi Center, Kista Tucker Insights, Metropolitan Youth Ballet, Nrityanjali, Play Time Tap, Virginia Ballet Company, and Xuejuan Dance Ensemble.
A new gallery is up in the Performances: Theater & Cabaret section of the website. To see more photos from the event, go to my e-store at http://glenncookphotos.smugmug.com. If you are interested in purchasing photos that are not watermarked, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In my 30-year career, I've been fortunate to see — and photograph — the last five presidents at various events in Texas, North Carolina, New York City, and Washington, D.C. The first four times I saw the nation's commander-in-chief are from the pre-digital days (Reagan at the Challenger Memorial Service, Bush I at NASA's Johnson Space Center and at a campaign stop in Tyler, Clinton at the 200th anniversary of UNC-Chapel Hill).
I don't have any photos from those events scanned, but here are a few selections from others — Teacher of the Year ceremonies, NBC's Education Nation — dating back to 2003 and featuring Bush II, Clinton, and Obama.
For more photos, go to my Facebook album here.
Highlights from the Association for Career & Technical Education's "Vision 2016" conference, held Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This slideshow of my photos was shown at the final general session.
ex•trem•ist (n): a person who holds extreme or fanatical political or religious views, especially one who resorts to or advocates extreme action.
This term has taken on new meaning in 2016. Just look around you. Visit your news feed on Facebook. Look at the vitriol on the campaign trail. For every good moment that we witness, for every proud graduate that we watch crossing the stage, for every small victory that someone has when he or she manages to get out of bed in the morning, we watch helplessly as extremists take over the conversation.
Sunday morning’s tragedy in Orlando shows us yet again the best and worst in people. It brings the same outpouring of grief and compassion that we saw in the wake of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Paris, and too many others to count. It brings the same number of talking head “experts” onto cable television to fill the airwaves. It brings out the writers (me included) and so-called analysts who feel compelled to weigh in.
With what? Opinions. Conjecture. Speculation about motives. The why, why why.
The extremists show no signs of letting go, willing to use isolation and intolerance as their comfort food. Extremists thrive on attention. That’s why it takes a mass shooting to temporarily lift us out of our self-imposed food comas and look at the world around us.
The first word that came to mind when I saw the news this morning was “Horrible.” I saw the horrible tweet that came from Dan Patrick’s Twitter feed, followed by the wave of condemnation. I saw Donald Trump’s narcissistic “I was right” statement, still in shock that he has a one-in-two chance of being the leader of our country. I’ve seen God’s name used to justify beliefs from all sides — the pro-gun community, the anti-gun community, the LGBT community, the Fundamentalist community, the Muslim community.
That’s part of the problem. We’ve become so strongly identified with our niches, our think-alike communities, that we can’t seem to take a step back in our day-to-day lives and look at the bigger picture.
I don’t disagree with a person’s right to bear arms, but I don’t understand why anyone believes it should be easier to get a gun than a driver’s license.
I don’t understand why someone who identifies as transgender, and is willing to be above board and brave in the face of bigotry and misunderstanding, can’t go to the damn bathroom of his/her choice.
You can agree or disagree with me on those issues and countless others, but can't we do so in a civil manner? Or is that impossible in today's extremist world?
Come on, folks. We’re better than this. We can’t let the extremists on either side win.
After Sunday's showcase featuring 16 high school seniors, Metropolitan School of the Arts hosted a reception for the soon-to-be graduates, a number of whom have been part of the studio for more than a decade.
Recognized were Ben Cherington, Sarah Christophersen, Emma Cook, Sam Cornbrooks, Nakya Fenderson, Sarah Kelly, Sophia Kleess, Biby Medrano, Georgia Monroe, Gabi Odom, Jeremiah Porter, Veronica Quezada, Lexi Rhem, Amber Supernor, Hank von Kolnitz, and Adia Walker.
To see more photos, go to my Facebook album here.
Emma and Sam Cornbrooks produced the showcase and developed, filmed and edited this video to introduce the event. Congratulations to both of these very talented kids and to all of the performers for their hard work.
Metropolitan School of the Arts’ iMpulse and MYTE groups were among seven area companies performing at “Convergence 2016 — The 30th Annual Jazz & Tap Dance Festival” this past weekend.
Produced in collaboration with Marilyn York, artistic director of the Dancin’ Unlimited Jazz Dance Company, the event featured iMpulse members in four numbers and MYTE (Metropolitan Youth Tap Ensemble) in three. Several MSA students also performed during a post-intermission homage to the festival’s history.
This year's festival, featuring performances on Saturday and Sunday, was held at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale. To see more photos, go to my Facebook page.
First Lady Michelle Obama honored Katherine Pastor of Flagstaff, Ariz., as the 2016 School Counselor of the Year during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House on Thursday. Obama has honored the past two winners of the American School Counselor Association program at a White House ceremony and will host a third event before the administration’s term ends next January.
Pastor, who works at Flagstaff High School, was introduced by one of her former students, Wyatt Whitegoat, a Navajo Indian who lived in a dorm on campus. Whitegoat is now in his senior year at Cornell College in Iowa, earning degrees in kinesiology and psychology.
Also speaking at the event was John King, acting secretary of education. Among the attendees: former Duke and NBA basketball player Shane Battier.
Pastor and the others recognized by their states will conclude several days of events in the nation’s capitol tonight with a banquet at Union Station.
Note: As many of you know, my wife, Jill, has coordinated this program for ASCA since its inception. The program is one of the largest of the year for the organization, and would not be possible — or as successful — without a total team effort from the entire staff. It was nice (and a bit overwhelming), however, to hear the First Lady give my wife a shout out by name in her speech on Thursday.
To see more photos from the event, visit my Facebook album here.
Photos of 26 events I shot for Metropolitan School of the Arts are now up at my e-store — http://glenncookphoto.smugmug.com. Prints start as low as $2.
This year's NSBA conference is in Boston. Usually, I try to arrive the day before activities start so I can get my bearings and see some of the town, because that's something you don't get to do often when working 16-18 hour days.
Today, I was lucky. I had a chance to tour Fenway Park, which is near our hotel and is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The free tour of the stadium was a welcome surprise as we start coverage of the conference, and a chance to see an American icon.
President Obama honored Rebecca Mielwocki as the 2012 National Teacher of the Year in ceremonies in the East Room at the White House. Mielwocki, who lives in California, was picked for the award by representatives from various education organizations. I represented NSBA on the selection committee for the 10th time.
What a night. The 2nd Annual Born for Broadway benefit also served as a mini-Ragtime reunion, with performances by Quentin Earl Darrington, Christiane Noll, Robert Petkoff, Bobby Steggert, Stephanie Umoh, and Leigh Ann Larkin (from the D.C. cast), plus Ben and the other kids from the show.
The kids performed “Alone in the Universe” from “Seussical.” The video combines footage from the rehearsal and performance.
Directed by Ragtime's Marcia Milgrom Dodge, the evening of pop songs, showtunes, and standards also featured Lesley Gore, Glee's Jenna Ushkowitz, Memphis' Chad Kimball, Malcolm Gets, Jim Brochu and many, many more. Thanks to Marcia and organizer/event founder Sarah Galli for allowing me to take pictures.
I moderated a Nov. 11 session on school boards at the U.S. Green Building Council's annual Greenbuild conference in Phoenix, which drew 28,000 registrants. The highlight was the opening plenary session featuring former Vice President Al Gore and a concert by Sheryl Crow. I was fortunate enough to get on the floor and got these shots with my little digital.
Having lived 15 miles outside Washington, D.C., for almost 14 years, it might seem strange that we've never been in our nation's capital for the Fourth of July celebration. That changed this year as we took in a Nationals game in the morning and saw the fireworks from a spot near the Washington Monument. Weather prevented me from bringing the good camera, but some advance studying about exposures did allow me to take some decent shots on an iPhone. Although that is sacrilege to most commercial photographers, I was pretty pleased with the result.
To see more photos, go to my Facebook page.
As I shoot the Graduate Management Admissions Council’s annual conference in Denver this week, it was nice to see a photo I took of Nicholas is on the cover of one of their new brochures.
Kate, our oldest daughter, graduated Friday from Mount Vernon High School with her siblings, parents and grandmother in the audience. We also had a small party at home with friends and more family. Simply put, it was a day to celebrate and jump for joy.
And we got a nice family photo out of the deal, too...
Several members of the “Newsies” cast invaded the Newseum on Friday to promote fun and different ways that students can lead healthier lifestyles through dance. Part of Disney’s “Get Up and Go” initiative, cast members taught middle school and high school students parts from the “Seize the Day” number and participated in the making of a short video that captured their day at the beautiful Washington, D.C., museum.
The cast also was interviewed on Fox5, which broadcast live from the Newseum for three hours. Dan DeLuca and Stephanie Styles performed a number and cast members taught the anchors part of the dance as well.
“Newsies” is based on 1899 strike by newsboys against Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World and William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal. The show is at the National Theatre through June 21.
Check out this video shot by the Newseum:
For Fox 5's coverage of the event, go to this link.
For more of my photos, check out my Facebook page here.
This past weekend, I was tasked with taking promotional photos for the Metropolitan Youth Theatre Company’s upcoming production of “Rent,” which runs July 31 to August 2.
Jonathan Larson’s rock opera, which ran for 12 years on Broadway and won both the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize, is an ambitious undertaking for the student-run company, which was founded in 2014 by two Northern Virginia high school students. Its mission is to educate young actors and technicians about the challenges they will soon face in the professional world of theatre. Students, most of them in high school, run all aspects of the company’s productions.
Hayfield student Chad Vann is the artistic director and Lee student Sam Cornbrooks is the company’s producer. James Woods, who attends Metropolitan School of the Arts, is the musical director.
MYT is supported by Metropolitan School of the Arts and DC Metro Theater Arts. “Rent” will be the second show produced by the group, which presented “The Last Five Years” in a sold-out run in late January.
Tickets are available at www.metroyoutharts.com. You also can follow the company on Twitter (@MetroArtsYouth).
Another set of promotional photos I shot recently are helping to promote this Sunday’s showcase by Academy students from Metropolitan School of the Arts.
The special Mother’s Day performance of dance, music, and theatre pieces will reflect the progress the students have made in their arts studies at the Academy, which is concluding its second year.
The performance will be held at 5 p.m. in the theatre at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. Tickets are $20. To purchase, visit www.metropolitanarts.org/tickets.
Tap is a challenging form of dance for me to shoot, because success is based as much on sound as it is the visual. However, when the two merge, it can be beautiful. These are photos from Metropolitan School of the Arts' MYTE and DynaMYTE groups performing earlier this week at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C. Imagine the sounds we heard.
For more photos from this event, go to my Facebook album here.
Another weekend, another challenge of shooting live performances.
This one, a benefit for the Metropolitan School of the Arts, presented a particular challenge. Held at the George Washington Masonic Memorial, the event featured performances by the iMpulse Youth Jazz Dance Company, Metropolitan Youth Ballet, Metropolitan Youth Tap Ensemble, students from the MSA Academy, and area professional musicians.
The second annual event served as a benefit for MSA's Next Stage Building Campaign to develop world-class performance and educational facilities at the Alexandria and Lorton campuses. It was the first time MSA has used the Masonic Memorial facilities, and the lighting system had to be put up on the fly.
I wrote about the challenge of shooting live events in a blog entry last month following a similar performance at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C. From a photographer's standpoint, that event was magical because the lighting was just perfect.
The lighting was not the problem for this show, but the venue — despite its beauty — did present some issues. The stage was not large enough for the companies to perform, meaning they had to dance on the cement floor in front of the proscenium. That meant the dancers were too close for me to get a truly good angle, so I had to move up to the top of the theatre early on and stay there for the most part.
At that point, the overhead and side lights presented a number of hurdles. If the person was captured in the spotlight, that meant their face would be blown out and the shot would be ruined. In other places, the shadows were so dark that the dancers were obscured partially or entirely.
I found some work arounds while shooting the dress rehearsal. Fortunately, I had seen many of the numbers in similar form at Atlas, so I knew what I wanted and knew what I liked. By the time the performance started, I thought I had it all figured out.
Here are the results.
Gabi Hernandez's quinceañera court — Herndon, Va., November 2013. For more photos from this event, check out my Facebook album here.
One drawback to taking so many pictures is that, in this enhanced period of self-employment, I don't have time to edit them.
Much of this summer has revolved around my kids and their activities, which means I've been watching a lot of dancing. First it was Emma in "Mirror, Mirror," then it was musical theatre camp, then the two-week dance intensive known as Fly.
This shot, of Ben in mid-air, is from the annual performance that ends Fly, which ended almost two weeks ago. Perhaps you saw the rehearsal video from the performance that I posted earlier; if not, I've uploaded a better version from the performance.
The problem with editing the Fly pictures is that I took too many — a common problem when shooting a dance event — and had to edit them down to get the best. And because I don't like to take photos of just my children, I had to make sure the entire event was represented, much to their chagrin.
You can find the result here in the album on my Facebook photography page. In the end, I think it worked out just fine.
March on Washington — The Ellipse, August 2013: A crowd estimated at 100,000 filled the Ellipse between the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II Memorial to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech. Check out more photos from the march in the Events section.