World Cup, parte dois

Still working on the World Cup feature. I went to the England/Germany game at ten in the morning on Sunday (after getting up a 7:30 to haul over to West Tisbury for photo shoot with a farmer. Blah).

There were quite a few England fans in the restaurant, but despite some promising play in the first half, the game did not go the way they wanted it to…
(MU photo-js, doesn’t the guy in the middle look like Joel? Unreal.)

Future pubbers.

Bartender Garry Metters fills in the World Cup bracket hanging on the wall of the Coop de Ville. “You have no idea how much it hurt to do that,” said Metters, who is from England.

I had two shoots worth of losing teams’ fans, which was annoying. But fortunately, there was a still a Brazil match to go watch.


I mentioned before that there’s a huge Brazilian population on Martha’s Vineyard (before that it was a large Portuguese population who came here for the whaling). It was a very different experience watching them watch the game–unlike US fans, or even England fans, they just EXPECT that Brazil will win. It’s a given. The tension that was building in the US game and the sad resignation that showed up during the England match weren’t there at all. I’ve never really seen any fans with that kind of wholly confident outlook towards their team. That’s not to say the Brazilian fans were at all boring or subdued about showing support, though.

Vani Pessoni buries her face in her hands after watching Brazil miss a goal opportunity in a World Cup Round of 16 match against Chile. Pessoni was on call at the hospital where she works at the time of the match. “I’m a freak,” she says of her fandom. “I get way too into it.”

Luis Lopes (left) high-fives across the table after Brazil scores a second goal against Chile. The Brazilian team could be even better than it is, according to Lopes, but “they go for the big-name players” when making a roster, rather than pure talent.

20100628_1234Meadow Willoughby, 3, plugs her ears to block the roar of the crowd as mother Tatiane daSilva embraces her after watching Brazil score a third goal against Chile.

World Cup!

I love the World Cup. As is the case with most sports things, I didn’t start really paying attention until I was fourteen, at which point I became one of Those People who wakes up at 5 in the morning to watch games. When I was sixteen, I lived in Spain for two months and started paying more attention to international club soccer, and four years after that I lived in Barcelona for a semester. It’s very hard to live in Barcelona and NOT get swept up by football mania; FC Barcelona has been one of the best clubs in the world for the past several years, and the Catalans are quite proud of that.

Plus, the Americans have been doing well in their international matches lately (Spain? Confederations Cup?), which gives me even more cause to love El Mundial.

This is why I asked my editors at the paper if I do a short feature about soccer-watchers on the Vineyard; there are a lot of ex-pats here, as well as a sizable Brazilian population. Today I went to the Coop de Ville in O.B. to photograph the USA/Ghana game, and I’ll be going back there tomorrow for England/Germany (I’m mostly interested in that one for the ex-pat factor, and because Oak Bluffs liquor laws make it so alcohol can’t be served before noon…but the game starts at ten. Interesting twist!). Brazil plays on Monday, so I’ll work then, too, but probably not at the Coop.

Yes, shooting spectators is pretty much a gimme assignment, but I had a ton of fun regardless (plus, it helped me not completely stress out about the US team playing, which I tend to do when actually watching them). I don’t have everybody’s names, unfortunately, since there was a surprising ebb and flow of the crowd considering that soccer games don’t lend themselves well to leaving in the middle.

The lazy among blog viewers can just skip to #10.

Men in Kilts: Outtakes + A Select!

On Thursday I went to a fundraiser auction for a high school theater troupe. The group is going to Fringe festival in Scotland in August, and is about $5000 short of the total $60000 they needed. This particular event was “Men in Kilts,” in which some of the high school teachers and alums paraded around in kilts while people bid on their services (mind out of the gutter), which ranged from guitar lessons to gardening to architectural consulting (I promise this last one is true).

I was not the ‘main photographer’ there (the Gazette accidentally sent two of us, and Ray asked to cover it, plus the Times had their guy taking photos as well), which left me free to take whatever photos I wanted to instead of doing straight event coverage. Overall, not my best assignment—I struggled with terrible lighting and my camera’s general low-light issues, and while I had brought my flash, I was hesitant to use it in the face of there being two OTHER cameras there both using flash. I would post a photo of what happened when all three of them went off at the same time, but I don’t want to blind you.

Here’s my favorite image from the whole thing:

And here are some outtakes from the event (including one with my fellow Gazette photog Ray in plain sight):



This is SO CLOSE to being what I wanted it to be, but I hit the shutter a half-second too late.


After photographing Dan Sauer in his backyard garden on Tuesday, I decided to hang around Aquinnah for a little bit. Aquinnah is the westernmost area of Martha’s Vineyard and is home to less than 400 people, a third of whom (more or less) are Wampanoag. The town actually used to be known by the English name of Gay Head until they decided to change back to its original Wampanoag appellation.

There isn’t all that much to do in Aquinnah…unless you’re a tourist and want to visit the cliffs. Of course, even homegrown Islanders should visit the cliffs, because they are simply gorgeous.

This photo has probably been taken several thousand times by now, but never on my camera:20100621_0398_edit_web

Some more ‘been-there, taken-that’ pictures:




I came down from the lookout point to find two girls squealing about a little black snake on the path (“Pick it up!” “It might be poisonous!” “Just pick it up!”). An older naturalist-type guy walked up and scooped up the snake for the girls to see (it wasn’t poisonous, for the record…). In related news, I’m not sure those shorts count as shorts.

Restaurant to Farm to Table

These are some images from a profile I photographed of Dan Sauer, a local farmer’s market vendor. The story focused on Sauer’s decision to give up his job as head chef at the Outermost Inn, one of the Island restaurants (he’d also worked in some big-name restaurants in NYC), and instead farm crops in his backyard. He and his wife are hoping to get a permanent storefront at some point in the future, but for now are concentrating on the twice-weekly farmer’s market, sales to restaurants (naturally), and continuing to do some cooking for private functions.



Homegrown shitake mushrooms! Who knew?




Solstice Saturday: Harborfest

The BIG event going on today (among the fifty billion other ones) was Harborfest in Oak Bluffs. The main drag gets closed to car traffic, vendors and musicions come out to play, and people get very sunburned.

We had done a huge preview story on Harborfest for Friday’s paper, and the editors didn’t want it to overshadow the entire weekend of festivals, so nobody was officially assigned to shoot it. I stopped by on the way back from Juneteenth (not too difficult; the restaurant where it was held is right on Circuit Avenue in downtown O.B.) and made some photos. I don’t really think they’re all newspaper-type images, but I had fun shooting nonetheless.








Solstice Saturday: Juneteenth

I confess I am a terrible person because I didn’t even know Juneteenth existed until last year. This is pretty ridiculous considering I lived in Texas for four years and the holiday started there…but there you go. I am all the better for my fledgling knowledge. And this holiday is an excellent one that should take its message nationwide.

Juneteenth commemorates the day word finally reached Galveston, Texas that the Civil War had ended and the slaves had been freed. Nobody had bothered to tell the Texans about the Emancipation Proclamation before that (but then, the Texans didn’t really want to hear about it, anyway). It was unfortunate that the celebration this year happened to fall on the same day as every other festival on the Island, but turnout was still decent considering that factor.

The event was very low-key–people gathered for a quick meal and reception at a restaurant in downtown Oak Bluffs–but was still powerful and moving. Also, Carole Simpson (formerly of ABC News) was the main speaker. This was quite awesome. She did three costume changes during her speech (I talked to her afterward and she said that after giving “thousands of speeches,” she wanted to jazz it up a little this time), going from a modern African-American woman to a slave woman to a free slave woman in Southern garb. In between one of these changes, Grant Meacham, who’s a high school senior here, read Frederick Douglass’ Fourth of July speech. Also awesome. He does theater and is going to Scotland this summer to perform with a group of other high schoolers. So cool!

These are basically all from the same angle because there was a table full of food in my way. Can’t win sometimes.






Solstice Saturday: Polly Hill Arboretum

There was a whole lot going on on the island today. I think there were at least six festivals, plus one YMCA grand opening.

I started the day at Polly Hill Arboretum in West Tisbury, where there was a summer solstice celebration going on. This is the sixth year they’ve hosted the par-tay, and the sixth year it hasn’t rained. I was impressed.

I didn’t get to stay too long here, because I had another assignment to rush off to, but still managed to get a whole lot of pine sap all throughout my hair (ANNOYING!) and take a bunch of cute kid pictures. And pictures of giant puppets.