Experiments in Chios

As some of you will know, this past Friday was Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday that marks of the end of Ramadan. In Turkey, it's simply known as "Ramazan Bayramı" (Ramadan Holiday) and usually involves a long weekend off from work. 

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Izmir, my hometown, is about an hour's sail from Chios, a Greek island which is a popular choice for Izmirli holiday-goers given its proximity and the relatively inexpensive $24 ferry ride. Chios also boasts a small selection of supermarkets that stock European foodstuffs more cheaply than they can be found in Turkey. This makes the island an especially attractive holiday destination for people like me, who got used to their Fage yogurt-and-honey pots during college and sometimes need a break from admittedly delicious yet low protein Turkish breakfast options. 

It's always nice to have a change in scenery, and this weekend was no exception. We spent one night in the sleepy seaside town of Langada, which is filled with small, gorgeously designed and brightly colored houses.

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On holiday, I have a tendency to zone out and spend all my time with my nose in a magazine, trying not to get horribly sunburned. When I finally ventured out that night, the sun was just setting and the light was so beautiful that I sprinted to my sister's cabin and begged her to model for me. 

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The next night, I made the same request, but she was busy making banana pudding. (Yeah, your guess is as good as mine.) By the time she was done, the sun had set, but we decided to have some fun with flash instead. 

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I'm awful at using manual focus, which is highly necessary when shooting in the pitch dark, but I'm pretty happy with how this one came out. It's a little bit edgy, and a far cry from my usual natural light style- but isn't that the point of experimenting?

On Portraiture and Space Buns

I'll just come right out and say it: portrait photography is not my strong suit. 90% of the time, if I have my camera in hand, it's because I'm shooting rowing or a social event. In the former, there's no interaction with the subjects, given that said subjects are usually in the process of trying to beat an opposing crew by putting themselves in extreme amounts of pain, and this is not conducive to interaction with a photographer. In the latter, I'm trying to snap a well-composed, in-focus shot of a small group of people as quickly as possible to get through the massive line of people who want to be photographed in their evening finery. 

Portrait photography involves a very different skill set: you have to be able to make the subject comfortable and keep them that way for the duration of a shoot, which generally lasts much longer than the three to five seconds I spend taking a photo of a person at a party. So far I've been able to get away with simply not really knowing how to use lights, reflectors and Photoshop, but the time has come to earn my photographic chops. Luckily for me, I have the perfect subject to practice on.

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I like to joke that my younger sister got all the good genes in the family. She's tall enough to make it as a WNBA star, with eyebrows that have garnered her countless comparisons to Cara Delevigne, and has somehow avoided the need for heavy-duty acne interventions that were the bane of my teenage existence. She's also far more fashionable and makeup-savvy than I will ever be, and is not at all camera shy. (Unlike her older sister, who chose to stay behind the camera for a reason.)

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After a series of negotiations (i.e. you model for me, I indulge your current obsession with ColourPop highlighters) we hit on a look and spent a very enjoyable afternoon bonding over our shared love of NARS concealers and inability to figure out how the heck one actually applies bronzer. (Multiple makeup remover wipes were used in the creation of this image.) 

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Having only recently been introduced to the campy gloriousness of Star Wars, I was also a big fan of the hairstyle she chose. Although she isn't actually familiar with Princess Leia, having never seen the movies, she did refer to her double topknots as "space buns," which suggests that they are at least an indirect homage to Leia's iconic hairdo. 

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This is probably my favorite image from the shoot. The head-on pose captures the intense chemistry she has with the camera, and the wider crop means the space buns have a little more breathing room. It also emphasizes what I love about my sister: yes, she's glamorous, but that doesn't mean she's not tough as nails, too.

Favorites of the 2015 Spring Season

After a few weeks of post-graduation travel, I'm back home in Turkey with plenty of time for self-reflection and digital housekeeping. Looking back on my photos from the 2015 racing season, three in particular stand out as my favorites.

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Firstly, I can't get enough of this shot of lightweight women's head coach Paul Rassam with captains Becky Kreutter '15 and Julia Wendt '15. Our first varsity girls had just beaten Radcliffe in the regular season for the first time in a number of years, and the elation was palpable. The races finished around midday so the sun was high in the sky, casting harsh shadows on the whole scene. I admit to kicking myself during post-processing, because I'd managed to catch the perfect moment with horrible exposure. Thankfully, this was one of those times where converting into black & white had a magical effect. I still wish the sky wasn't so blown out, but mostly I'm happy that I was able to capture the essence of how excited we all felt.

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This photo of openweight woman Brett Simpson '16 racing against Brown and Michigan is another of my favorites this year. Start line photos on Lake Carnegie have always been really difficult for me to get right: you're inevitably shooting directly into the sun, during the part of the race when the stroke rate is highest, which has always made it hard to get shots that are in focus and well composed. When you do get it right, however, the results are often stunningly backlit, and I love how the little halo effect accentuates Brett's game face.

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It's so rare that you get good race pictures of coxswains- given the angle you're shooting from, you usually can't get their faces! That's why I particularly love this shot of Izzy O'Connell '18 coxing the lightweight men's 3V against Columbia and Delaware. Having the other two boats visible in the background and the water droplets flying everywhere added to the intensity of the moment.

2015 Men's Eastern Sprints

Yesterday I went to support the Princeton lightweight and heavyweight men at Eastern Sprints, their conference championship. Sprints takes place in Worcester, Massachusetts, about a five hour drive away from Princeton.

The heavyweight men's 1V races in the heats at Eastern Sprints

The heavyweight men's 1V races in the heats at Eastern Sprints

It was a bittersweet day for me- while I had an awesome time photographing and cheering for the tigers, I know that this is likely to be the last time I'm able to do so. Although IRAs is close to home at Mercer Lake this year, it clashes with my graduation!

The lightweight men's 1V rows in the heats

The lightweight men's 1V rows in the heats

The Princeton crews did an awesome job out on Lake Quinsigamond (hardest ever word to spell) - the top three boats of both teams medalled.

The lightweight men's 2V rowing to a third place finish in the finals

The lightweight men's 2V rowing to a third place finish in the finals

Especially exciting was the fact that the heavy men's 2V and 3V both got gold medals. And in the rowing world, gold medals mean...

Heavy 2V coxswain Jill Barton '16 gets some air

Heavy 2V coxswain Jill Barton '16 gets some air

...cox tosses! It's traditional for the winning boat to toss their coxswain into the lake and then jump in themselves. Always makes for an awesome photo op! 

Casey Ward '15, Henry Ogilby '17, Trip Henningson '16 of the 1VL pose with Coach Marty Crotty

Casey Ward '15, Henry Ogilby '17, Trip Henningson '16 of the 1VL pose with Coach Marty Crotty

In the end, the lightweight men's 2V beat their fourth-place seed to secure bronze medals, and the 3V snagged silver. The 1V also took bronze, leading to Princeton's second-place finish in the running for the team points trophy.

The heavyweight men won the Rowe Cup, awarded to the team with the most overall points

The heavyweight men won the Rowe Cup, awarded to the team with the most overall points

The heavyweight men's 1V finished third, just 0.3 seconds back from Northeastern, claiming the bronze medal. However, the team's spectacular overall performance won them the Rowe Cup, awarded to the team with the highest number of points in the 1V, 2V and 3V events. 

The light men's 2V huddles up after their race

The light men's 2V huddles up after their race

One of my favorite things about the sport of rowing is the camaraderie, and the deep bonds that form between teammates and coaches. Those bonds really come out on race day, and especially during big regattas like Sprints, and it's always fun to capture.

Patrick Watt '18 shakes hands with Coach Marty Crotty after claiming bronze in the 2VL final

Patrick Watt '18 shakes hands with Coach Marty Crotty after claiming bronze in the 2VL final

That's what I'm really going to miss about the sport. Being injured this year was tough- I'd be lying if I said I really missed erg tests, but every time I see a crew out on the water, I get pretty nostalgic. Former rowers have a tendency to wax poetic about how good it feels during those moments when you have eight people rowing perfectly in sync, but there's some truth to the trope. I feel incredibly lucky to have had coaches and teammates who've let me stick around, stay involved and given me that camaraderie and support that makes the Princeton rowing program so amazing. I'm going to miss it.

Princeton Lightweight Women vs. Georgetown

This past Saturday, the tiger lightweight women travelled up to DC to race Georgetown for the Class of 2006 cup. The Hoya teams race out of the Thompson Boat Center, on the Potomac River. Down in Princeton we're spoiled by Lake Carnegie- it's relatively sheltered compared to many Northeastern courses and has pretty even lanes, and better yet, it's only used by the Princeton crews. The Potomac course does not always tick those boxes. On Friday, when we drove up, the current was so strong that it took our girls twenty minutes to paddle to the start and something like ten to paddle back, an effect that was especially significant in the lane closest to shore.

The 2V prepares to line up at the start

The 2V prepares to line up at the start

 Our Saturday morning racing also took place shortly before the Charlie Butt regatta, and so the boathouse (and later, the course) was totally swamped by high school students. Add in the fact that a couple of pleasure boats were parked smack bang in the middle of the course, and you have an eventful morning, to say the least. We eventually got the pleasure boats to move, and headed up to the start for the difficult process of aligning the crews. Due to the strong currents, Georgetown wasn't able to use stake boats, so we had to do a floating start. It took two tries to get all crews for the eights race lined up just passed the start line, and then we were off.

The 1v races on the Potomac river

The 1v races on the Potomac river

The first raced pitted our first and second varsity eights against Georgetown's 1V. The tiger 1V boat shot out ahead from the start and kept widening the gap, undeterred by a men's double that decided to row across the course mid race. 

The tiger 2v races the Georgetown 1v. Spot the double on the course!

The tiger 2v races the Georgetown 1v. Spot the double on the course!

The tiger 2V was neck and neck with Georgetown's 1V for most of the race, fighting hard to keep even. Eventually, the 1V came in first place, 19 seconds ahead of Georgetown's boat, which in turn beat the Princeton 2V by a slim margin of just under half of a second.

Princeton's A4 races Georgetown's varsity four

Princeton's A4 races Georgetown's varsity four

Next up was a race between Princeton's 3V, split into fours, and Georgetown's V4. This time, the Hoyas were victorious, topping the tiger A4 by 27 seconds and the B4 by 37 seconds. 

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Overall, it was a positive day for the tigers, and a good step towards next weekend's Eastern Sprints regatta, where we will look to repeat our hard-won results from earlier this season and go for gold! 

Princeton Lightweight Women vs. Radcliffe

A confession: I planned to catch up on posts as soon as I turned my thesis in, but alas, it's been three weeks and no posts in sight. That does not, however, mean, that there aren't some very exciting things going on.

Megan Mirabella '18 coxes the Lightweight Women's 1V in their race against Radcliffe

Megan Mirabella '18 coxes the Lightweight Women's 1V in their race against Radcliffe

Last weekend, I travelled up to Boston with the rest of the lightweight women in prep for our race against Radcliffe. (That's Harvard's women's team for those of you who aren't in the know!) I always forget how far Boston is from Princeton - almost 6 hours on the bus! -  but happily upon my arrival I was able to have a lovely visit with a family friend. The next morning, I met up with the team at the Radcliffe women's Weld Boathouse, ready to hit the river. The Charles is a notoriously hard course to row on; there aren't buoys to guide you, and spring season 2ks are raced in the Basin, which is much less sheltered than the Head of the Charles course further down the river. 

The Lightweight Women's 1V races on the Charles River

The Lightweight Women's 1V races on the Charles River

It was a relatively nice day as far as days on the Charles go: a light tail wind, and warm enough to go without gloves on the launch. First up were the 1V, racing for the class of 1999 cup. The Tigers got ahead at the start and stayed there, pulling through 1.5 seconds ahead of the top-ranked Radcliffe crew. Those 6 minutes and 32 seconds were hands down the most exciting that I've ever spent on a launch. It's been a few years since we've won this particular race, and so it was a huge thrill to have front row seats to the victory, and to see the year's hard work start to pay off.

The Lightweight Women's 2V races Radcliffe 

The Lightweight Women's 2V races Radcliffe 

The 2V also put up a good fight, falling to Radcliffe by just over eight seconds. The 3V race, though, was when things got really eventful.

Katie Mirabella '17 waits for the 3V races to be restarted

Katie Mirabella '17 waits for the 3V races to be restarted

The two crews were relatively even for the first 500m, at which point Radcliffe slowed to a dead stop and Princeton surged ahead. Watching from afar, we quickly realized that one of Radcliffe's novices had caught an over the head crab that pushed her head through her rigger into the river, the force of which meant that her foot stretchers got ripped off.

The Princeton 3V races a 1000m piece against Radcliffe

The Princeton 3V races a 1000m piece against Radcliffe

 However, the official didn't catch the attention of the Princeton crew until they had rowed another 800m, making a restart a painful prospect. The two coaches resolved to have their crews race an additional 1000m piece instead. This time, Radcliffe pulled ahead to come out on top.

Coach Paul Rassam congratulates senior co-captains Becky Kreutter '15 and Julia Wendt '15

Coach Paul Rassam congratulates senior co-captains Becky Kreutter '15 and Julia Wendt '15

Overall, it was a really positive day for the lightweight women's program, and an exciting one for us spectators. I especially love this last photo of head coach Paul Rassam with my fellow seniors, co-captains Becky and Julia, because it really captures the excitement we all felt post-race. Anyone who's ever rowed knows that training for the spring season is a lot of hard, indoor, thankless work, and staying motivated can be difficult when it's snowing outside, you have an absurd amount of classwork and it's another tough workout on the menu. It's always awesome to see all of that hard work pay off.

The 2015 Fosburgh Cup: Princeton Lightweight Men vs. Georgetown

This weekend, Princeton's Lightweight Women's 1V is on the west coast, at the San Diego Crew Classic. Before tuning into the live stream to cheer our girls on to their close third place finish in the race for lanes, I caught the other three Princeton teams racing on Lake Carnegie.

Karthik Dhore '15 strokes the Lightweight Men's 4V in their race against Georgetown

Karthik Dhore '15 strokes the Lightweight Men's 4V in their race against Georgetown

It was another freezing day out on the water, with temperatures in the 30s and a strong headwind throughout the morning. Four warm layers and a warm pair of gloves didn't stop the four hours we spent out there from being painfully cold, but as usual, the excitement of seeing great races up close was worth it. 

Princeton Lightweight Men's Second Assistant Coach Alex Mann times the 3V race

Princeton Lightweight Men's Second Assistant Coach Alex Mann times the 3V race

Suraj Bhat '16 strokes the fifth varsity boat

Suraj Bhat '16 strokes the fifth varsity boat

The first event featured Georgetown's 3V racing against Princeton's 3V, 4V and 5V. The two 3V boats were neck and neck until about halfway through the race, when, to quote Row2K's race summary, "a Gtown oarsman caught a crab and was unable to recover it for about 400m." 

Princeton's 3V, stroked by freshman Tyler Valicenti '18, racing to a win over Georgetown

Princeton's 3V, stroked by freshman Tyler Valicenti '18, racing to a win over Georgetown

In the end, Princeton's 3V emerged victorious in a time of 7:02.4, with Georgetown's 3V finishing in a time of 7:41.1. Much of Princeton's 5V raced again later in the afternoon as Princeton's 6V, falling to Georgetown's 4V boat.

Patrick Watt '18 strokes the Lightweight Men's 2V, coxed by Trip Henningson '16

Patrick Watt '18 strokes the Lightweight Men's 2V, coxed by Trip Henningson '16

Fabrizio Giovannini '15 rows in Princeton's Lightweight Men's 2V

Fabrizio Giovannini '15 rows in Princeton's Lightweight Men's 2V

The Lightweight men's 2V rows to victory over Georgetown

The Lightweight men's 2V rows to victory over Georgetown

The second varsity race came next, with Princeton's 2V winning by similar margins; 6:32.2 over Georgetown's 7:08.3. 

James Goble '18 and Cam Howie '16 row in the Lightweight Men's 1V

James Goble '18 and Cam Howie '16 row in the Lightweight Men's 1V

The Lightweight Men's 1V races for the Fosburgh Cup

The Lightweight Men's 1V races for the Fosburgh Cup

The 1V race for the Fosburgh Cup was more closely contested. Stroked by sophomore Henry Ogilby '17, the tigers battled tough conditions to achieve a 6:34.9 finish, twenty seconds ahead of Georgetown. Their first place finish won the Tigers this year's Fosburgh Cup, named after former Georgetown Coach Whit Fosburgh. 

Princeton lightweight men's head coach Marty Crotty '98 addresses both teams after the racing

Princeton lightweight men's head coach Marty Crotty '98 addresses both teams after the racing

Cam Howie '16 and captain Casey Ward '15 pose with the Fosburgh Cup

Cam Howie '16 and captain Casey Ward '15 pose with the Fosburgh Cup

Overall, it was a great day of racing for the Tigers, and an awesome start to the season. Thanks go to Ed Hewitt for hosting me on his launch! Race times are from Row2k's summary of yesterday's racing. A full recap (illustrated by one of my photographs!) can be found on Go Princeton Tigers here.

Stay tuned for posts about the Heavyweight Men's and Openweight Women's races, coming soon.

Princeton Lightweight Women vs. Rutgers, Villanova, URI

Yesterday was our first race day of the season - a scrimmage on the Raritan river against Rutgers, Villanova and the University of Rhode Island.

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And it was really, really cold.

After a week of relatively nice weather, we got five inches of snow over the course of Friday. Which meant that on Saturday morning, we arrived at the Rutgers boathouse to the beautiful sight of snow-covered trees and perfectly flat water. 

Princeton Lightweight Women's 2V races on the Raritan

Princeton Lightweight Women's 2V races on the Raritan

I'm out for the season due to injury, so I feel very lucky to be able to get an up-close view of the action through photography. It was also incredible to see how deep our talent runs this year- we had some really great pieces and I'm excited to see how the season plays out. 

The 1v chilling - literally - between pieces

The 1v chilling - literally - between pieces

We brought our first varsity, second varsity, and 3rd varsity/novice boat, with each boat racing four pieces between a bridge stretch.

Becca Singer '18 and Phoebe Huang '16 race in the 2V boat

Becca Singer '18 and Phoebe Huang '16 race in the 2V boat

This was my first time shooting with a monopod, and while it definitely meant that my neck and back were less sore after a couple of hours out on the water, it took a little getting used to- and also meant that everything I shot was in landscape, given that I didn't want to spear any of my fellow passengers in the face. 

Megan Mirabella '18 coxes stroke Juliette Hackett '17 and the first varsity boat

Megan Mirabella '18 coxes stroke Juliette Hackett '17 and the first varsity boat

Katie Mirabella '17 rows in the 2V boat

Katie Mirabella '17 rows in the 2V boat

Did I mention that it was cold? Between the temperature and the fact that my shoes were slightly damp from walking through snow, I was honestly worried about suffering from some minor frostbite. Katie Mirabella '17 always awes me with her ability to row in just a uni, even when it's below freezing! 

Gabi Pezzini '16 strokes the 2v boat

Gabi Pezzini '16 strokes the 2v boat

Monica Gomez '18 and Grace Miles '18 lead the 1v back to the boat trailer

Monica Gomez '18 and Grace Miles '18 lead the 1v back to the boat trailer

Juliette Hackett '17- excited to get warm?

Juliette Hackett '17- excited to get warm?

After a great day of racing, I think we were all excited to get warm, dry, and refueled by delicious snacks provided by the lovely parents of Julia Wendt '15. 

Natalie Wertz '18 having fun derigging

Natalie Wertz '18 having fun derigging

Christina Warren '17 and Juliette Hackett '17 - best of friends.

Christina Warren '17 and Juliette Hackett '17 - best of friends.

All in all, it was a great way to start the season. Next week is the San Diego Crew Classic for our first varsity boat, followed by the Knecht Cup on April 11th. Fans can check out our race schedule here. Stay tuned for more great racing over the next two months- I can't wait to see how far we'll go! 

Shout-outs go to Rutgers Women's crew for being awesome hosts, coach Paul Rassam for wrangling me a space on the coaches' launch, and to Row2k Assistant Editor Erik Dresser for scoring this sweet picture of me staying warm in my Princeton-supportive tiger hat. I found it at the Japanese weekend market in São Paulo, Brazil this past summer and finally got the chance to wear it and show my tiger pride! 

Our New Arrival

I've finally gotten around to editing and uploading the photos of our new lamb; still adorable even without its little cold-weather jacket!

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Princeton Homecoming 2014

I recently photographed the Princeton-Harvard football game for the Princeton Alumni Weekly. Given Princeton's defeat, it was hard to get happy reaction shots of adults past the first quarter- but there are lots of children and small dogs included to make up for it!

Check it out here!

2014 Head of the Charles

This weekend I was lucky enough to get up to Boston for the 50th anniversary of the Head of the Charles Regatta. For those of you who don't know, the Head of the Charles is the world's largest two-day rowing event, and basically the hottest fall regatta in the United States. Crews from all over the country (and the world!) come to compete, and it's a pretty exciting event.

The Princeton lightweight women's 4+, racing in the Club 4 event, approaches the Elliot bridge

The Princeton lightweight women's 4+, racing in the Club 4 event, approaches the Elliot bridge

The HOCR is a 3-mile "head race", meaning that crews are started a few seconds apart and try to finish the course in the fastest time possible. If you're gaining on the crew that started before you, you'll have to pass them, and if the boat in front of you don't yield, sometimes collisions can occur.

Sophomore Teresa Rufin coxes the lightweight women's club 4+

Sophomore Teresa Rufin coxes the lightweight women's club 4+

Stressful for coxswains, but much more exciting for spectators than your average sprint race!

From left: Grace Miles '18, Shelby Edmondson '18, Becca Singer '18 and Monica Gomez '18 carry cox Teresa Rufin '17

From left: Grace Miles '18, Shelby Edmondson '18, Becca Singer '18 and Monica Gomez '18 carry cox Teresa Rufin '17

The Princeton racing got off to a good start on Saturday with the Club 4+ event, in which we had a lightweight women's 4+ entered. Consisting of all-freshman rowers and a sophomore cox in a field of experienced (and often openweight!) crews, they ended up with a remarkable 12th place. Since Princeton didn't enter a boat in this category last year, they were given a very late start of 60th out of 61 boats-- they ended up passing 12 boats along the way. 

"Fat Cat" alums race in the men's 4+ event, featuring recent alums Tyler Nase '13 (stroke) and Tommy Lindeman '14 (2) 

"Fat Cat" alums race in the men's 4+ event, featuring recent alums Tyler Nase '13 (stroke) and Tommy Lindeman '14 (2) 

The next day was when the fun really began, kicked off by an alumni boat of "Fat Cats" racing in the men's 4+ event. 

The Princeton heavyweight men chase down Bow #14, California Rowing Club

The Princeton heavyweight men chase down Bow #14, California Rowing Club

Next were the heavyweight men, racing to a 9th place finish in the Men's Championship Eights category. The Champ 8+ event includes national and elite club teams, so the competition is fierce- Princeton was actually fifth among college crews.

The openweight women's 1V finished 10th in the Women's Championship 8s category

The openweight women's 1V finished 10th in the Women's Championship 8s category

The openweight women's 2V passes #9 Clemson

The openweight women's 2V passes #9 Clemson

The openweight women raced two boats in the Women's Championship 8+ event, with the first varsity finishing 10th overall (7th among college crews) and the second varsity close behind them in 16th place (11th among college crews.)

The lightweight women's 4 took gold at the 50th Head of the Charles

The lightweight women's 4 took gold at the 50th Head of the Charles

The lightweight women's team fielded another four for Sunday's lightweight 4+ event. They swept ahead to finish in first place in 19:03 minutes, a comfortable 14 seconds faster than second place Brock. 

The lightweight men's 1v retains their #1 spot in the lightweight men's 8+

The lightweight men's 1v retains their #1 spot in the lightweight men's 8+

The lightweight men's 2v placed 9th overall

The lightweight men's 2v placed 9th overall

The lightweight men also had a successful day of racing: the first varsity boat won gold for the second year running! The second varsity also had a strong race, finishing 9th overall, 7th out of college crews, and a full 44 seconds faster than the next fastest 2V boat.

 

Congratulations to all Princeton athletes on a successful showing!

Red - Theater Intime

Recently I had the opportunity to attend and photograph several rehearsals of a new production of John Logan's Tony Award-winning play, "Red", about the artist Mark Rothko. The results can be seen in the Princeton Alumni Weekly blog's recent slideshow here. Check it out!

Phoebe

I just returned from two months of thesis research in Brazil, where 99% of the photos I took were of early 20th century medical documents. Naturally, upon my arrival back in Turkey I was eager to point my camera at a living subject. 

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A great opportunity came on a boat trip in Çeşme, a windy seaside town where everyone goes in the summer to escape Izmir's oppressive heat. Although the humans on board were somewhat unenthusiastic about having their pictures taken, I had no such trouble with our four year old Maltese, Phoebe, who is a very willing model.

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Getting her to look in the right direction is always the most challenging part- she loses interest in me extremely quickly (especially when my mother/her mother is around) and after a while calling her name stops getting a response.

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Overall, I'm happy with the few clear photographs of her that I was able to get, and really happy with the relatively new lens I shot them with-- a Canon 50mm f/1.4. 

Princeton vs. Penn, Georgetown, Yale

This past week, I yet again had the opportunity to photograph our home races on Lake Carnegie during another successful day for the tigers.

Sam Jordan '16 gets ready to race Georgetown and Penn

Sam Jordan '16 gets ready to race Georgetown and Penn

Unlike the last time I was on the launch, the weather was beautiful: this time I was more worried about sunscreen than keeping my camera dry. In some ways, shooting in direct sunlight is more challenging than when it's drizzly and overcast: it's easier to expose an image a little bit in post-production than it is to fix harsh shadows.

The lightweight men's 3V races to victory over Georgetown and Penn

The lightweight men's 3V races to victory over Georgetown and Penn

Regardless, I was able to get some photos I was really pleased with; the upside of sunny days shooting fast-moving boats is the ability to use a lower ISO and faster shutter speed for sharper, less-grainy images.

Casey Ward '15 sitting ready at the start line during the lightweight men's 1V race

Casey Ward '15 sitting ready at the start line during the lightweight men's 1V race

One of the biggest challenges of photographing crew, especially three years in, is the challenge of trying to capture moments in a way that you haven't done before; at least ideally, the rowing stroke should look exactly the same every time (and you won't make friends if you try to mix it up by showing a photo that's unusual because the blades are flying all over the place!) 

The lightweight men's 1V races to victory over Georgetown and Penn

The lightweight men's 1V races to victory over Georgetown and Penn

That's why my two favorite times to shoot are at the start and finish lines; I love capturing the concentration on people's faces before the announcer says "Attention: Go!" and I love getting the reaction shots at the finish: the fist bumps, the tired smiles, people leaning back into each other's laps. 

Erin Reelick '16 and Margy Bertasi '14 recover after the openweight women's 1V's tight win over Yale

Erin Reelick '16 and Margy Bertasi '14 recover after the openweight women's 1V's tight win over Yale

I don't know whether not having captured a rower vomiting over the side of the boat yet makes me grateful or feel like I'm missing out. Probably grateful.

The openweight women's 1V competes for the Eisenberg Cup

The openweight women's 1V competes for the Eisenberg Cup

It was exciting to be able to capture such a successful day for the tigers; the lightweight men swept over Georgetown and Penn, the openweight women had strong wins in their first, second and third varsity boats, and most excitingly, my own team had a great first home race.

Eden Full '15 checks the time at the start line

Eden Full '15 checks the time at the start line

Although I was disappointed that Georgetown scrapped their lightweight women's varsity four, which meant that I wasn't racing, it was exciting to be able to photograph my teammates in the first and second varsity boats race Georgetown's 1V and see our first varsity girls retain the class of 2006 cup.

The lightweight women's 1V poses with coaches Paul Rassam and Hank Zimmerman after winning the class of 2006 cup over Georgetown

The lightweight women's 1V poses with coaches Paul Rassam and Hank Zimmerman after winning the class of 2006 cup over Georgetown

Congratulations to all the tiger crews for a great weekend of racing. Here's to replicating that this weekend!

 

Thanks as usual go to Marty Crotty and Ed Hewitt for getting me on a launch to photograph

Adventures with Jasper

A few months ago, I was approached by my good friend Shubhro Saha about helping to film an introductory video about a project him and fellow Princeton 2015-er Charlie Marsh were working on.

That project was Jasper, an "open source platform for developing always-on, voice-controlled applications". Basically, it's JARVIS from Iron Man, and it's awesome- especially given that I remember Shu and I messing around with it when it was in its earliest stages, cracking up at the stock responses it would give to rude questions. In its current version, it can update you about your Facebook notifications, tell you what the weather's like, and play a specific artist's music. Pretty cool stuff! 

 I went and filmed them talking about the project, handed over the footage to Shu, posted the video on this site when it was finished, and didn't think too much about it until a couple of weeks ago, when Shu told me that they were being featured on Wired.com and asked if I'd take a picture of them with Jasper. We had a quick, fun photo shoot, and it was awesome to see both a great project and a photo of mine (!) featured on a major website.

Jasper as featured on Wired.com

Jasper as featured on Wired.com

Check out the article here, and if you feel like you need a voice-controlled personal assistant, make your own Jasper!

 

 

Puppies!

This past Sunday, my eating club (Cloister Inn) brought in some very adorable puppies from Gold Rush Goldens for some much needed "therapy". 

We all had a great time playing with the puppies, who quickly got so tuckered out so they had to go home early! 

It was an unusually hot and sunny day, and it quickly became clear that the puppies were more interested in us as potential providers of shade rather than playmates...

CloisterPuppiesSpring14-8923.jpg

Whatever their intentions, they were still hopelessly cute, and saying goodbye was a struggle!

Princeton vs. Georgetown, Syracuse, MSU & Brown

Last week I had the opportunity to photograph Princeton's lightweight men, heavyweight men and openweight women race their season openers against schools from around the country. 

Heavyweight 1V races Georgetown, Syracuse

The weather started out cold and got colder and rainier as the morning wore on; most of my photographs of the later racing were shot through a Rainsleeve that barely kept my camera dry. 

The openweight women's B four races MSU & Brown.

My pants were less fortunate, and after over four hours shooting in the rain finding a spare set of dry clothes at the boathouse was a huge relief.

The openweight women's 1V races Brown and MSU

Overall, it was a successful day of racing for Princeton, with the lightweight men sweeping over Georgetown, the top two heavyweight boats besting Georgetown and Syracuse, and a close loss to Brown for the openweight first varsity after a great sprint, though their 2V and 3V posted solid wins.

The lightweight men's 2V races Georgetown

The weather didn't stop rowers and non-rowers alike from putting on a good face for the camera...

Julia Stoner '14 mans a stake boat.

Ed Northrop '16 in high spirits after a strong win over Georgetown

Ed Northrop '16 in high spirits after a strong win over Georgetown

Thanks go to Ed Hewitt of Row2k for taking me along on the aligner's launch and to Marty Crotty for facilitating. 

Princeton Crash P's 2014

Every year, Princeton Crew runs its own version of "Crash B's", a 2-kilometer indoor rowing competition, in preparation for the spring season.  This year, I was unable to participate due to an injury, but was able to contribute to the video instead!

Working together with Paul Popescu, who also filmed and edited the whole thing, I was able to try out my new 50mm f/1.4 lens. The wide aperture was a godsend in such low light conditions, and both my video and photos were much higher quality than when I covered the event back in 2012 (prior to walking on to the lightweight women's team.) I was also able to get some footage with a Go-Pro camera, which made it into the final cut.

You can see the full video here.