Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Holidays

Jacksonville has this fantastic event over Thanksgiving weekend called the Jacksonville Light Parade, where folks dress their boats up in Christmas lights and drive around the Landing to show off. There's also a huge Christmas tree and live music. Then they launch fireworks over the river from two different bridges.

This is the Acosta, which is my favorite bridge in Jacksonville even when there isn't light pouring off of it. I love Thanksgiving in Jacksonville. Happy Holidays, everyone.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

8mm, or What I Do in My Spare Time

I've been playing around with Nikon's 8mm fisheye lens (we had one buried in a closet in the studio here). Half of my photo friends think it's really cool-- the chief photographer here at the Monitor even suggested I do a book. Everyone else thinks it's a total waste of time. Ken Rockwell says, "This is among Nikon's least useful lenses for photography."

I will defend the 8mm. As a colleague once pointed out to me, when you use different lenses, you look different places for photos. Shooting at 8mm has helped me to notice everything, since basically everything ends up in the photos and in focus (including my feet, sometimes). It's fun to play with because it's so different from my normal work, which focuses on truthful portrayals of genuine moments and personalities. It's tough to capture a "moment" with a fisheye lens. As far as people go, well, everyone looks goofy at 8mm. Fisheye photos are more about shapes, light and shadows.

Here are a few--click to see them bigger.

A collection of fisheye photos. These were taken over the past several weeks in Somerville, Allston, at Walden Pond (I biked almost 40 miles with that heavy chunk of metal on my back and was not about to let these go to waste), and Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

All that goofiness actually came in handy when I had to photograph Yelp's iphone app for a Monitor article on Augmented Reality. Yelp's Monocle uses the iphone's camera, GPS, and compass to display reviews of places right in front of you (when it works). The fisheye let me get the image on the phone and the restaurants behind it in the same picture, properly-exposed, and all in focus. With a little help from the graphics department, we have an Innovations section cover that carries the page (see below). Take that, fisheye naysayers.

Friday, December 4, 2009

CSM Pictures of the Year

We're in the final stages of editing the Christian Science Monitor staff photos of the year for our upcoming special issue (you know, the thick one that counts as two weeks and lets us take Christmas week off). It's been quite the editing process, and we have a gorgeous 6-page spread. I'm delighted that two of my pictures made the cut this year. Most notably, this photo from Obama's inauguration is on the first page, and it's the biggest in the spread.

We have an extremely talented team of editors and our staff is top-notch. In the past year they've covered assignments in India, Africa, Ecuador, and all over North America. I can't think of a greater honor than to have my work featured with theirs.

Charisse Raysor, from Washington, D.C., shows off her earrings during the inauguration of Barack Obama in the National Mall. January 20, 2009. PHOTO: SARAH BETH GLICKSTEEN / The Christian Science Monitor.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Light on the Money

The center two pages of the CSM weekly magazine is always a photo spread. This week's was called "Panoply of Patterns". This was my contribution. I shot it on Front Street in the lovely little town of Bath, Maine, where I stopped on my way up to some assignments last month. The small title that ran with the photo read "Light On Cash". I'm not sure who wrote it, or why they avoided the obvious, terrible pun: "Light on the Money."

A streetlight casts a shadow on bricks and a bank depository in Bath, Maine. Sarah Beth Glicksteen/The Christian Science Monitor

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My second CSM weekly cover

Well, ¼ cover this time, but still. I shot the Boston skyline at the lower left.


In the spirit of working through a nasty cough today, here's an article about people doing the same. I shot this a couple of weeks ago.

Of the several hundred people I photographed, perhaps 2 made eye contact with me. Even Boston can't possibly be full of this many unfriendly people; I maintain that the morning commute constitutes an altered state of mind.

Packed: Commuters crowd downtown Boston. Nearly half of US workers don't have paid sick leave, and some may ignore exhortations to stay home if feeling unwell.
Sarah Beth Glicksteen/The Christian Science Monitor

Friday, November 6, 2009

Such a beautiful country.

I kept my camera pointed out the window when I flew from San Francisco to Boston a couple of weeks ago after a weekend in Vegas celebrating my grandma's 80th birthday (who takes direct flights anymore, really?).

I spoke with an older woman who was so excited to have a window seat a couple of rows up from me. "I always feel like a child when I fly," she said, "We live in such a beautiful country."

I've been feeling the weight of a couple of national tragedies today, so it seems like a nice time to remember that.

San Francisco

Sierra-Nevada mountains.

(It doesn't hurt to note that this post is taking a page from shooting from the hip. Scott Strazzante, one of my favorite photographers-- and also one of the nicest people you'll ever meet-- posts photos from his flights on his blog when he travels on assignment. I enjoy them.)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween to you, too.

I won a Halloween costume contest in Ringer Park today and my prize was 12 sticky eyeballs. I handed them out to the kids at the party, who were simultaneously grossed-out and delighted. After a while, their grimey hands caused the eyeballs to lose their stickiness and fall apart. Darth Vader here asked me if he could have a new one because his was broken. This was his face after I said no. It was a gift, not a guarantee-- plus I'd already given the rest of them away to other kids who also wanted new ones.

Liam Rushe, 5, from Allston, celebrates Halloween dressed as Darth Vader at a party in Ringer Park.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Whittier Street

I spent a good chunk of time shooting and interviewing some very nice folks in the waiting room of this community health clinic for a CSM weekly article on MassHealth. You'll see my contributor's byline at the end of Mark Trumbull's weekly magazine article: What lessons Massachusetts holds for US healthcare. Mark is brilliant, but I was proud of my reporting on this article.

Also, a cute kid with the sniffles:

Carol Wideman cares for her great-nephew Dewight Andrews, age 15 months, as he waits to be seen for a cold at Whittier Street Health Center in Roxbury, Mass., on October 2, 2009. Wideman is currently making expensive COBRA payments to Harvard HMO after being laid off from her job. She says MassHealth works fine for her great-nephew, and thinks it's good for kids. PHOTO: SARAH BETH GLICKSTEEN / The Christian Science Monitor.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Father & Ford

My editor said I was lucky to find this pair during the hour I had in the middle of a weekday to find a photo to accompany a CSM weekly magazine article on Obama's fatherhood initiative. I told him I make my own luck. This family was great. I'm just thankful they didn't send me out to photograph "bipartisan accord".

Togetherness: Paul Christie of Somerville, Mass., enjoys lunch with his son Ford. The father of two boys works nights but says he tries for two meals a day with his family. A new federal initiative is advancing the value of active parenting.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Freelance hoopster

Jenn Bliss, who organized Friday's East Somerville Honk! Festival, and acted as parade marshal during Honk!Fest's Sunday march down Massachusetts Avenue, enjoys some hula hooping during the Environmental Encroachment band's performance on Saturday in Davis Square.

I asked Jenn if she was affiliated with the Chicago-based Environmental Encroachment Band as she took a break while performing with them at Honk! last night. She said no, she was just freelancing. I saw her around the festival a few more times after photographing her. She looked like she was having a heck of a time. And, yes, that's her real last name.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My first Christian Science Monitor weekly magazine cover photo

Just a still life I lit and shot in the studio. I'm not famous, but that stethoscope is. Thanks, Skenderian Apothecary.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fair fan: Carly Marsh

I made this short turn-around piece about a contestant in the Fair Queen pageant. The goal was to tell the story of the Westmoreland Fair through the eyes of someone who absolutely loves it. Feedback welcome.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sunshine Superman

Kara Shafron, 8, from Ligonier, holds her Bantum breed baby chicken, Superman, at the Westmoreland County Fair in Greensburg, Pa., on August 22, 2009. Shafron is in the Sunshine 4-H group. Superman is a Quail Antwerp Belgium chicken, and also Kara's first chicken with a beard. He attracted a lot of attention, which Shafron explained was "'cause he's so cute!"
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Kara's affection for Superman illustrated beautifully the love and care that these kids put into the animals they show at the Westmoreland County Fair.

Also of note: when I returned to the fair the following day to photograph Kara's 11-year-old sister, Leah, who won this year's apple pie baking contest, I was delighted to see that someone had cut out my photo of Kara from the Trib and taped it to the door of the chicken tent. This is better than refrigerator journalism!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pooch swing

You can't make this stuff up.

Rachel Knopf, 17, of Irwin, gives her Jack Russell Terrior, Pixie, a push on a swing at Irwin Park during Irwin Heritage Days on August 9, 2009, with some help from her boyfriend Joseph Donofry, 17, also of Irwin.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Story time

Mandy was a great storyteller. The kids were so enthralled with her tale, they didn't even notice a photographer hovering inches away from the storybook pictures.

Mandy Mangan, of Jeannette, reads to a kindergarteners and first-graders during story time at the YMCA Greensburg summer day camp in St. Clair Park on August 4, 2009. Mangan, who is studying elementary education at the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, is working her second summer as a YMCA camp counselor.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

In the interest of saving time

I wish I would have had time to clean up the background and change lenses, but they literally finished the job like clockwork, exactly as I arrived from another assignment (at 2:58, as shown). I wanted to share this photo because it shows Greensburg so well. The courthouse clock, a focal point of downtown, had read 1:10 ever since I started working here. As of yesterday it keeps correct time and chimes summer songs three times a day. My grandpa would have loved this.

Greg Barsoum, Facilities Engineer with the Westmoreland Cultural Trust, inspects repairs on the clock in front of the courthouse in downtown Greensburg on August 14, 2009. Funding to repair the clock, which had read 1:10 for the past four or five months, came from the county commissioners. The project was a collaboration between the city, the county, and the Westmoreland Cultural Trust, Barsoum said. It was repaired on Friday to keep correct time and to chime at 8am, noon, and 4pm daily. It will play a variety of seasonal music, starting with summer songs.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A stoop artist and a biker dude

Kassidy Zacur, 5, makes art with sidewalk chalk to decorate her front porch in Latrobe on August 10, 2009, while she waits for her friend to come over. Zacur is excited to start kindergarten at the end of the month. Her mom said usually their porch is packed with kids running up and down the sidewalk, but Monday's high temperatures must have kept them inside or at the pool.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Dominic Alcott, 5, gives his new bike a blue paint job in his front yard in Trafford, Pa., on August 5, 2009.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Not buyin' it.

I took a brief jaunt to Cincinnati last weekend to celebrate my grandfather's birthday with my family (this one without him, unfortunately). On Friday, I sat in the passenger seat as my grandma darted around town, showing me tons of cool artsy places. This piece in Funke Fired Arts, a warehouse-turned-pottery gallery was named after some kind of fish, but Grandma Millie didn't see anything fishy about it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A lumberjack and a fisherman

Two of last week's features. Kids work hard around here.

Alex Vickers, 7, from Jeannette, helps his mother's boyfriend, Harry Kunkle (not pictured) do a favor for an elderly woman, cutting a tree in her yard that fell during Tuesday evening's storms in Jeannette, Pa., on July 24, 2009. Here, he reacts to his mother saying he can't lift that branch because it's too heavy. It wasn't.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Eli Underwood, 1, from Blairsville, Pa., concentrates on catching a fish with his magnetic fishing pole in hopes of winning a prize during the St. Simon and Jude Church Bazaar on the church grounds in Blairsville, Pa., on July 26, 2009.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What it felt like

Last week I photographed Clelian Camp, a day of fun put on voluntarily by the PA State Troopers for kids at Clelian Heights, a facility for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Read Libby Cunningham's heartwarming article on the event for more details.

As I was editing my take with Guy Wathen, a Trib photographer whose work and ethic I've come to greatly admire, we came across this image. He was touched by it, and I told him I loved it too. I wasn't sure if I should send it because I was scared it left out too much-- the troopers had stations set up to show the kids fingerprinting, let them explore inside state police vehicles, and try on camouflage costumes. This just showed a student with his PCA, and not even the drug dog he was supposed to be learning about. Guy said I should keep it. Sure, it might have left out what the workshops looked like, he said, but it shows what Clelian Camp felt like for the kids.

I believe he is right. Two months into my internship, and I am learning every day.

Jerrett Burkland, 7, a student at The Clelian School from Hopwood, Pa., laughs with his Personal Care Assistant, Sarah Butler, from Greensburg, Pa., during a presentation by the central K-9 unit at his school in Greensburg, Pa, on July 29, 2009. PA State Police led children with developmental disabilities in fun and educational programming at Camp Clelian.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Not gonna ruin the rest of my life

This couple flipped their camper on the Turnpike Monday.

It's not uncommon to meet people when I'm out on assignment who really touch me or inspire me. But it's not what I expected when I was sent to photograph an accident on the Turnpike. This couple had flipped their camper on the first day of a six-week vacation they'd planned. Here's the photo and caption that published in the local section:

They were lovely people, very willing to chat with me and tell me about the 1961 restored vintage camper as towers turned it on its side and strapped it to the back of a flatbed truck. "It's a lot of fun-- or it was," Isabel told me.

As I was leaving the scene of the accident I thanked them for their time, and said I was sorry the accident ruined their vacation. "It's not gonna ruin the rest of my life, though," Alan said, and hugged his wife. I snapped a quick photo as they shared this impossibly sweet moment in a ditch on the side of I-76 as cars sped by in the summer heat. They said they were lucky the truck that was towing the camper didn't flip, as well. "With an attitude like that," I told them, "Nothing's gonna ruin the rest of your life."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Weekend War

Reenactments, that is. My ears are still ringing from the 6" cannons they fired. Cute kid, though, right?

A living history presenter participates in battle reenactments in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the French attack on Fort Ligonier's Redoubt that fort on July 19, 2009.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Mackenzie Gorman, 3, from Columbus, Ohio, peeks out from soldier's living quarters at Fort Ligonier during battle reenactments in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the French attack on Fort Ligonier's Redoubt that fort on July 19, 2009.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Weekend Fun

Weekends in Westmoreland county are for festivals. One of my assignments read, "Kids doing fun and/or violent activities at Youth Field Day" (there were firearm demonstrations). Another, "Festival-goers doing something fun."

Mary Person, 10, from Latrobe, examines a black rat snake as siblings Jesse (12) and Amber (16) Simms, both from Derry, look on at Youth Field Day in Mammoth Park, in Mt. Pleasant, Pa., on July 18, 2009. The free event, sponsored by Westmoreland County law enforcement officers, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the county's Department of Parks and Recreation, invited kids ages 9-15 to shoot firearms, play with snakes and snapping turtles, and watch civil war re-enactors, with the goal of sparking interest in the outdoors.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Historic reenactor Ron Hobbs, from Jeannette, holds his daughter, Eirene Hobbs, age 9 months, during the reenactment of a session a Colonial court at Historic Hanna's Town on July 18, 2009. Court sessions recreated actual 18th century cases heard at Hanna?s Town, the site of the first English courts west of the Allegheny Mountains.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


This accompanied an article in the Living section, When kids make friends, they build a social network. No, I don't know who writes the headlines.

When I read the assignment I thought I might have to set up some kind of a staged portrait, but when I showed up to photograph a typical play date, the girls were writing BFF and making hand prints with sidewalk chalk. Their idea. Brilliant.

Best friends Jessica Kintigh (left), 10, and Lauren King, 11, and play outside King's house in Greensburg.
Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Local Hero, age 15

Ian Swank, a 15-year-old Junior Firefighter, heard a call about a fire on a bridge on his street in the scanner he keeps on in his garage. He grabbed a fire extinguisher from his home, asked his mom for a ride to the bridge, and extinguished the fire before emergency vehicles arrived on the scene.

I wanted to keep the portrait simple, but still show the damage and some of his personality. The natural light on the bridge worked well; Ian certainly looks heroic. My editor said he was glad I didn't "cheese it up".

More from Amy Crawford: South Huntingdon teen credited with saving Bells Mills Bridge from fire

Ian Swank, a 15-year-old junior fireman with the Turkeytown Volunteer Fire Department, stands on the damaged Bells Mills Covered Bridge in South Huntingdon, where he extinguished a fire on Monday afternoon.
Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Troublemakers, or Things Are Sometimes What They Seem

I like this picture because these boys looked so delightfully mischievous in an 11-year-old boy sort of way, and talking to them proved it. It ran big on the cover of the local section yesterday. I was glad the editors kept the part about the boys plotting to tie up their brothers in the caption.

Joel Ewing (left) and Drake Hudson inspect rope they made at the Twin Lakes Heritage Arts Festival on July 5, 2009, outside of Greensburg, Pa. The 11-year-olds, both from Bethel Park, Pa., said they plan to use the rope to help each other tie up their brothers.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Agriculture Meets Archaeology

Last week I photographed an archaeology site on Steve Patricia's farm in Ligonier Township. He'd discovered some interesting artifacts while digging on his land a couple of years ago and invited the University of Pittsburgh Archaeology department to research there. Behind the camera is the organized clutter of stakes, labels, strings, and archaeology students wearing bright colors and slowly brushing away matrix (dirt). Even though it doesn't tell the whole story, I liked the simplicity of this image. Most of what is known about this chunk of land comes from records from the church you see in the background.

Landowner Steve Patricia looks over the archaeology site on his farm in Ligonier Township, Pa., that is part of the university's Field Farm Archaeology and History Project on June 24, 2009.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Flash floods

There were bad storms in Westmoreland County on Wednesday evening. I've been photographing entire basements that had to be gutted due to flood damage, and entire businesses that have to either close down or start from scratch. It's hard to see. I can only imagine what the people actually cleaning it up are going through. There's a strong sense of solidarity, though. Neighbors help neighbors, friends help friends. Nobody said they were in it alone. It made me proud to be a part of the community here, even if it's only for the summer.

Roy Bauer, of Greensburg, uses a lantern to inspect flood damage at the Manor House Tavern, where there was still no power Thursday afternoon, following Wednesday evening's storm. Bauer and his wife have owned the tavern for 29 years, and learned Thursday morning that they don't have flood insurance. "It's amazing," Bauer said, "You can be in business and in a manner of four hours, you're done."
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Mud-soaked eyeglasses sit in a basement window at Cross of Christ Ministries in Jeannette, Pa., on June 19, 2009. The church basement was filled with mud and debris following Wednesday evening's storms.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Jacob Hertzog, 10, sorts through his family's belongings in their backyard in Jeannette Pa., on June 19, 2009. The family had to completely gut their basement following Wednesday evening's storms. His father, Kevin Hertzog, holds his head in the background, as his sister, Amber Hertzog, 15, throws more debris into a trash fire.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Monday, June 15, 2009

For the Bees

While I was out feature-hunting Saturday, this little girl was hunting for things to fill a plastic bottle. I asked her what she was doing and her dad answered for her (this is pretty standard procedure for my interviews with the 5-and-under crowd).

Him: "Oh, that's for the bees."

Me: "Oh, you keep bees at home?"

Him: "No. But she said she was getting flowers for the bees," he answered, completely straight-faced.

How lovely, to spend a beautiful afternoon outside, and adopt your 4-year-old's fantasy world without question.

Nicholas Rose (left), 8, of Murrysville watches as Emily Rose, 4, of Murrysville, looks for items to fill a plastic bottle of flowers she said were for the bees, during her sister's softball game at James E Townsend Memorial Park in Murrysville.
(Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Tribune-Review)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More dog pictures

I did a second edit of my dog show shoot with a different photographer. Here are four of my favorites that didn't make it into the first slideshow.