Marine Reunited with Dog He Befriended in Afghanistan

Marine Reunited with Dog He Befriended in Afghanistan

Chloe awaits the arrival of Cpl. Ward Van Alstine in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2011. Van Alstine befriended the stray dog in August while serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan, and adopted him through a program called Nowzad Dogs charity. (Photo by Joe Gosen / Special to the Chronicle)

Marine Reunited with Dog He adopted in Afghanistan

Cpl. Ward Van Alstine is reunited with his dog, Chloe, in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2011.

On November 23 I was inching along the freeway in pre-holiday traffic when my cell phone rang.

It was an assignment editor from the San Francisco Chronicle asking if I would be available to shoot an assignment on Thanksgiving.

I had to think about it a minute.

I already had plans for the day with my family and friends. Did I really want to work on a holiday?

“The story is about a marine who befriended a stray dog while on a tour of duty in Afghanistan,” the editor said. “He managed to adopt it through an organization and have it flown back to the U.S. They’re going to reunite on Thanksgiving day in Santa Barbara.”

I didn’t have to think a second longer.

“Yes, I’ll do that story!”

Have a look at the touching story that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle’s website – SF Gate. Four of my pictures ran in a gallery with the story.

Jeff Bridges and The Abiders at The Troubadour

Leading up to the August 16 release of his new self-titled album on Blue Note Records, Jeff Bridges recently hit the road backed by Santa Barbara musicians aptly named “The Abiders.” I got the opportunity to see him perform at  The Troubadour, in West Hollywood, California. Aside from Jeff’s great performance, on of the highlights of the evening was having Quincy Jones introduce Jeff at the Troubadour show.

Michael Stern’s “Build A Better Photograph” Internet Radio Show

photo of boy in red shirt swinging a baseball bat

Listen to the interview I did with Michael Stern to hear his thoughts on this picture I made in 1988.

On May 20th, I was given the opportunity to participate in Michael Stern’s online radio program called “Build A Better Photograph.” His show airs live every Friday at 9am (Pacific Standard Time) and features interviews with photographers from all corners of the industry. Michael said the mission of his show is to provide technical and aesthetic knowledge of photography for advanced amateurs, college students and early career professionals so they can “build better photographs, not just take pictures.” In addition to being an informative and entertaining radio host, Michael is an top-notch photographer, dedicated teacher and successful author.

If you have a spare 45 minutes or so, click on the link below and listen in on our conversation, which is archived on his site.

http://buildabetterphotograph.com/category/radioshow/2011/05/20/joe-gosen-52011-episode-16/ (sorry, link no longer available)

See What He Sees

If you ever wondered what photographers go through to get the shot, here’s a great example. Photographer Josh Valcarcel rigged a GoPro camera to his camera during a recent shoot so we all could see what he saw while covering the International Pillow Fight Day in Los Angeles. Check out his blog post “Urban Playground” for more details.

Photographer Josh Valcarcel in action with his camera cam. (photo by Jon Lake)

Photographer Josh Valcarcel in action with his camera cam. (photo by Jon Lake)


Urban Playground: Los Angeles from Josh Valcarcel on Vimeo.

Listen

Composer R. Murray Schafer challenges us to really stop and listen to everyday sounds in this short film created by David New in 2009. “A soundscape is any collection of sounds, almost like a painting is a collection of visual attractions,” says Schafer. “When you listen carefully to the soundscape it becomes quite miraculous.”

This film is one of many showcased on the National Film Board of Canada website.

If you have six minutes to spare, have a look — and a listen.

Listen by David New, National Film Board of Canada

Worth the Wait

"worth the wait" book cover

“Worth the Wait” is the official commemorative book celebrating the San Francisco Giants historic 2010 World Series season.

Sports photographer Brad Mangin has a new book out this week titled “Worth the Wait“, which features his pictures from the San Francisco Giants 2010 World Series season. Brad teamed up with KNBR radio personality Brian Murphy and the San Francisco Giants to produce the hardcover book in time for the start of the 2011 season.

If you are a Giant’s fan, you will want to proudly display this in your home. If you are a fan of baseball, you will want to read this book because Brad and Brian share your love of the game. If you are into sports photography, add this book to your collection because nobody shoots baseball like Brad.

It is a beautifully designed and engaging book that will appeal to readers well beyond the scope of the Bay Area. It’s a great book. Go buy it!

I should probably disclose that my endorsement this book is not without bias. Brad and I have been friends since 1971. He was a San Francisco Giants junkie back then and still is. I never really understood his dedication to this team but have admired his loyalty to it over the years.

In the 70s Brad was one of those kids who brought his transistor radio to school so he could listen to the  play-by-play during recess. In the 80s he would brave the cold and windy night games at Candlestick Park and stay until the last out so he could collect one of those orange buttons for his Giants cap. In the 90s he had a dedicated pager that sent him pitch-by-pitch updates when he didn’t have any other means of connecting to the game. In 2000 when the Giants built a new ball park he became a season ticket holder. Since then, whenever he wasn’t shooting a Giant’s game for Sports Illustrated or MLB Photos, he was attending as a fan.

As a friend, I’ve been watching Brad ride the emotional roller coaster the Giants ball club has taken their fans on throughout the years. Their 2010 season was definitely a high. What a ride it was. Thankfully, “Worth the Wait” will allow Brad and the fans to enjoy the ride for years to come.

Brad and Brian will be signing their book at several events this month. You may have to wait in line to meet them but it will be worth the wait.

Brad Mangin and Brian Murphy book signing events:
• Tuesday, April 5, Noon – 1:30pm, AT&T Park Dugout Store

• Tuesday, April 12, 5:30 – 7:00pm, AT&T Park Dugout Store (pre-game)
• Friday, April 15, 1 – 2pm, Embarcadero Dugout Store in San Francisco
• Friday, April 22, 3 – 4pm, Stanford Shopping Center Dugout Store