Photo showcase: 2012 OWH Year in Pictures – Mark Davis
Sandy Creek head coach Russ Ninemire nearly knocked down his players as he headed for the stands. Sandy Creek had just won the girls state basketball championship, and while his players dog piled in the middle of the court at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, Ninemire went straight to his wife for a hug and a kiss. I don’t know what made me want to follow him. I guess I was just curious where he was going.
I love photographing high school sports. The athletes give everything to the games and aren’t afraid to show their emotions. I had photographed Seward’s Beth Bohuslavsky several times before. I admire the way she gives 100 percent every minute of every game. Short by basketball standards and sporting her own style, Bohuslavsky may not have been the best player I have ever photographed, but she ties with Michael Jordan for one of most fun players I’ve ever followed to the championship.
Bohuslavsky’s old teammate Emily Cady was part of a photo I wish I didn’t have to take. After Nebraska lost to Kansas in the first round of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament, I was led to the locker room to photograph the team in one of its saddest moments. Nebraska’s Emily Cady, Jordan Hooper and Tear’a Laudermill sat there with tears flowing, and I’m sure they were less than excited to see me there with a camera. The job is not always easy.
I photographed Brent and Landon Gilster waiting in the stands in a driving thunderstorm during a rain delay at the College World Series. They were wrapped in plastic bags and unwilling to leave despite the rain coming down in buckets. It was Landon’s 10th birthday and his father promised to take him to the game. They showed up hours early to get the front row of the general admission seats. The game was postponed, but I bet the relationship of father and son was cemented in the adventure of the game that never happened.
The U.S. Swim Trials was a fabulous event to cover. I was a swimmer and I enjoy photographing the sport, despite the challenges that come with working in dark pools and with athletes that almost always have their faces under water. The trials offered an unusual opportunity to photograph fire and water at the same time. The first time I saw the flames, I knew I had to find a way to get a good shot that showed the glow of the flames on the crowd.
One of my favorite photos of the year was of American White Pelicans as they migrated through the area this past spring. I was failing miserably, so I decided to hide in some bushes for several hours before sunrise in hopes that I could catch the majestic birds at sunrise. Everything came together for the photo, but next time I venture out into the wild I’ll remember to take a heavier coat. I was shaking so bad from sitting on the wet sand in the predawn hours that I could barely steady the giant lens I had to use to get the shot.
Covering the wildfires in northwest Nebraska was one of the hardest assignments I had in 2012. The fires raged through one of the most beautiful places on earth, scarring the landscape and burning down homes. On the last day of coverage, it started to rain as hundreds of firefighters were beginning to get the fires under control. You could feel the tension lifting. For a moment the sun broke through the clouds and a brilliant rainbow formed. I wanted to get the rainbow behind the helicopters that had been used to help extinguish the fires, but I was out of position. Knowing it could disappear at any moment, I ran a few hundred yards to landing field at Fort Robinson State Park – not an easy task for a short little fat man. For me, the photo showed the hope that the end was in sight.
I followed Jane Fonda as she toured the Henry Fonda Theater in the Omaha Playhouse. She is a huge star and a controversial figure, and I really didn’t know what to expect. It turns out she is a sweet woman with a big heart. As she walked into her father’s namesake theater, she spread her arms as if to try to hug him. She said she would call, but I never heard from her. Probably good she didn’t; my wife was quite jealous as I came home beaming. Did I mention I also met Laura Dern that day?
Other World-Herald photo staff members’ photos:
2012 OWH Year in Pictures — James R. Burnett
2012 OWH Year in Pictures — Rebecca S. Gratz
2012 OWH Year in Pictures — Chris Machian
2012 OWH Year in Pictures — Matt Miller
2012 OWH Year in Pictures — Alyssa Schukar
2012 OWH Year in Pictures — Kent Sievers
2012 OWH Year in Pictures — Ryan Soderlin