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Category : Blog

Ribbon cutting

Sam Beyer at a ribbon cutting for Seton Health Pediatric Center on Feb. 15, 2011 in Clifton Park, N.Y. (Cindy Schultz / Times Union)

Sam Beyer, 5, keeps a firm grip on the scissors with his grandmother, practice director Annina Rabbitt. Impatiently he waits for the end of the dedication prayer. Just give him the word, and he’s ready to cut that red, ceremonial ribbon. A patient since he was a baby, Sam was a special guest at the event to announce the opening of the new Seton Health Pediatric Center in Clifton Park. He even got to miss his morning pre-school class.

Afterwards, between bites of scone, Sam decides he liked cutting the ribbon better than eating the tasty treat. “Because I got to got use scissors,” he says. Sam’s little sister Lily, 3, who’s not as proficient with scissors, had to settle for just the scone experience. After his second bakery treat, Sam announces he’s ready to go home and watch “Cars.” He had enough danger for one day.

Doggie chowder

Shimmey enjoys his bowl of chowder on Feb. 5, 2011 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Cindy Schultz / Times Union)

Ummmmm, chowder. Shimmey, a 9-year-old dachshund, licks his bowl of doggie chowder clean at Impressions of Saratoga during Chowderfest 2011 in Saratoga Springs. His owners, Steve and Barb Byrne of Malta, said Shimmy gave “Raleigh Roo’s Special Stew” two paws up.

The ingredients did sound delicious:  Wild pheasant and venison, ground sirloin and turkey, beef marrow bone stock, Yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, brown rice, kale, carrots, baby peas, celery, olive oil, thyme and ground pepper. Even two-legged carnivores were savoring this unique dish.

I met up with Shimmey and his owners while covering this popular winter event, sponsored by the Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau. Although this is the fourth year Chowderfest has included a Dog Chow Down competition, it was the first I learned of it. I knew I couldn’t go wrong with dogs and chowder. I found a shop featuring a delectable doggie dish and photographed several pooches before the right moment presented itself.


An Albany man makes money shoveling walkways on Jan. 31, 2011 in Albany, N.Y. (Cindy Schultz / Times Union)

Mark, a self-described Jack of all trades and master of all, carries the tools of his winter trade down Clinton Avenue in Albany. “When I see snow, I make dough,” he proclaimed. An Albany native, Mark said he’s been shoveling snow for money since he was about 8-years old. Today he has ten regular customers, both businesses and residents.

During this most recent snow storm, I met up with Mark while I was looking for winter weather pictures. He planned to shovel twice that day so he didn’t have to do the full snowfall at once. “It’s about working smarter not harder, ” he said. After shoveling the walkway of a hair salon, he set to work clearing off the shop owner’s van. Mark said it was a courtesy he did for no extra charge. He then headed down the street to the next customer’s walkway.

Mark declined to give his last name because he works for cash, and he didn’t want any trouble from the government. “I’m doing the work, not them,” he said. He calls his business “a legit hustle.”

Undefeated wrestler

Shawn Berman warms up for his wrestling match on Jan. 29, 2011 in Albany, N.Y. (Cindy Schultz / Times Union)

Shawn Berman, 16, who wrestles at 96 and 103 pounds, is undefeated and about to become Albany High’s all-time leader in career wins. While preparing for his next match in the 15th Annual Big Ten Invitational Wrestling Tournament, Berman stepped out of the dark gymnasium into what photographers call “The Light of God.”

I quickly switched the aperture, shutter speed and ISO on my camera to change from cave-like settings to actual sunlight. I was delighted. So I was shooting Berman getting into the Zone, listening to music and doing his wrestling, warm-up dance. But now he had moved from the gym, the mats and the action that provided the story-telling environment. So how are my readers going to know he’s a wrestler?

Like magic, the young man with the informative T-shirt moved into the foreground and I had my picture. No longer do we wonder why Berman’s jumping around in a sunlit hallway. This picture provides one example of a shooter’s patience and ability to think about creating levels of information in a single photograph.

Hockey game

Yale vs. Union hockey game on Jan. 28, 2011 at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. (Cindy Schultz / Times Union)

The distant stare of this young lady caught my attention during the Yale vs. Union hockey game. She was sitting in the Union student section but didn’t cheer along with the fans. I had been shooting the game through the plexiglass when I turned my camera on the stands. I saw this woman, and the reflection of the others in the glass, and I liked the convergence of faces from this viewpoint.

After the second period, I planned to walk over and ask her name, but the young lady had vanished. I waited to see if she would return to her seat, but she never did. That made me wonder all the more about her. Was she distracted because she was thinking about an upcoming college exam or a paper she had due? Was she having a fight with her boyfriend? Or did she just hate hockey? I guess that’s possible, just not in my native state.

I’m a born and bred Minnesotan, and anti-freeze runs through my veins. Minnesota calls itself the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” and they all freeze over in the winter. That’s when the ice is cleared, the boards go up and kids, young and old, play hockey. Learning to play hockey, especially for boys, is a rite of passage.

I do understand that people have different likes and dislikes. And although I’m willing to try and embrace most everything, I will be very happy if I never see, smell or taste another lima bean hotdish.

Blue house

Mrs. Deluise sweeps the front step of her building on Jan. 25, 2011 in Albany, N.Y. (Cindy Schultz / Times Union)

I’ve always admired Albany’s colorful, downtown brownstones. So the sight of Mrs. Deluise sweeping snow from her tenants’ steps caught my eye and stopped me in my tracks as I drove up Madison Avenue. I quickly pulled over my vehicle and jumped out to make this picture. I love how the color of the lady’s broom and pants nearly match the color of the building. If Mrs. Deluise wasn’t wearing a winter coat and there wasn’t snow on the ground, this scene would look very much like what I saw while traveling in Mexico and Central America.

Once I had a picture I liked, I talked with Mrs. Deluise to find out her name. I quickly realized we had a language barrier. She could speak little English, and I know no Italian, except for the names I see on Italian menus. She pointed to the mail box at her home next door to show me her husband’s name, and then she wrote in my notebook her indecipherable first name. We mutually decided I would identify her as Mrs. Deluise.