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C-A-T-S and mouse

March 20, 2008 by David Stephenson  
Filed under Blog, Snappers

If anyone ever wonders what we photographers do between games during tournament time – well, we often turn the cameras on ourselves.
Here, UK Athletics photographer David Coyle and Courier Journal photographer Bill Luster welcome Wildcat fans to the land of Disney for the NCAA first round game in Anaheim, Ca. on March 20.[shot with Canon G9 point-and-shoot]

Done in 75 seconds

For those of you who live in Lexington, you know how frustrating Man o’ War Blvd. can be. For a Sunday story about some of the proposed solutions to the growing traffic problems on the road, Charles Bertram and I put together a time-lapse video of the road.

While it plays like a video, it is actually a sequence of 1,044 still images. Here’s what we did:

We clamped a Canon 5D to Charles’ sunroof using two Bogen magic arms and various clamps. We used a Canon intervelometer and set it to take a photo every two seconds as we drove the entire 16-mile length of the road. It took us 27 minutes to drive it the first time at around 3:30 on Thursday. On the way back, beginning at around 4 p.m. at Blue Grass Airport, it took us 35 minutes.

You’ll notice that we got pretty lucky and hit some crucial green lights during our trip – something we weren’t expecting, even at 4 p.m. We joked about doing it again at 5 p.m. to see how long it took us, knowing that rush hour would be picking up steam.  Twice was enough for us, though, even with the green lights. 




You have to remember the little details.

October 2, 2006 by admin  
Filed under Snappers


So Saturday night I was working for the Kernel covering the UK football game.  While I was there I was talking with HL staffer David Stephenson and remembered him saying he would be in a parade Monday.  Generally I would ignore this, but for some reason it stayed in my head.  Then this morning I received a call to cover a parade tonight, for some reason it popped in my head that Stephenson would be there and I kept my eyes peeled as the bag pipes came by.  Sure enough he was there.

I figured the rest of the staff would enjoy this, so I posted it.  I mean how often do you see a friend of yours in a kilt, playing the bagpipes?

Behind Frisky Business


Most of my days are spent at a desk in the Herald-Leader newsroom, but once a year I get to go do something different—The Kentucky Derby. I’m Tom Woods, a 28-year member of the photo staff, now working as Photo Assignment Editor. If you call the photo department, you’ll probably get me. Every year I trade my desk in Lexington for one at Churchill Downs in Louisville. This year I got to do something different for the first part of my day. I spent a couple of hours with staff photographers Charles Bertram and David Stephenson as they worked on the production of “Frisky Business.” The show was one of our many web only items produced during the day.

I was up at 4:45 a.m. and ready to meet Charles at 5:45 for the trip to Louisville. When we arrived at the Downs, we met David and headed out to infield. We got there just as the gates opened at 8 a.m. and were faced with the charge of folks who wanted the best spots. Charles and David both went to work. Charles was photographing the patrons being searched as they entered the Downs and David was gathering audio to go with the photos. Just for fun, I took along a small digital camera and photographed them as they worked the area.

I stayed with Charles for most of the time they worked as David was moving quickly through the crowd trying to gather audio from the scene. The hardest job I had was trying to stay out of Charles’ photos. Except for the press credential around my neck, I looked like anyone else coming through the gates, so I could blend in even if I was in camera range. Everyone was searched as they came through the gates. Patrons tried any number of ways to sneak liquor into the infield. The most popular seemed to be taping small bottles to various body parts. The inner thigh seemed to be the most popular. Some had more thorough searches than others. One guy was taken behind a dumpster where he dropped his jeans and pulled out a couple of bottles of liquor. David followed this guy down the tunnel and interviewed him.

After about an hour of work Charles and I headed back. David had gone back to work on the audio part of the show that takes more time to edit. We talked about past Derbies and agreed the infield had changed, or maybe I’m just older.

To see where we worked at the Downs, take a look at Janet Worne’s blog.
Also check out “Frisky Business” in our Derby slide shows.


Derby Week update

May 4, 2006 by David Stephenson  
Filed under David Stephenson, Snappers, Sports


One of the best tips I had this week should be credited to Louisville photographer David Harpe. Why I hadn’t thought of it before, I don’t know. He passed along to me the radio frequency for the spotters who follow the Derby and Oaks horses during workouts on the track. One of the most difficult things about working on the backside during Derby week is trying to pick out the Derby horses from the hundreds of other thoroughbreds working out in the mornings. Sometimes they wear their saddlecloths which identify them, many times they do not. The spotters, who are stationed at various points around the track, know these horses well, with or without saddlecloths. They call out locations of the horses each time the see them.

For the last two days, I kept the scanner in one ear listening to the spotters, and a two-way radio in the other ear with Herald-Leader photographer Mark Cornelison on the other end. With that combination, we were able to shoot every Derby horse at Churchill yesterday, and two or three others that were on the bubble at the time. I’ll not be without that scanner again.

Amongst all the chatter about horses this morning, I heard talk about retired Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey being on the track working on a production with ESPN. It wasn’t a moment later that I heard his exact location and was there within minutes to shoot his photo as he was removing the camera gear from his helmet and vest.

Another one of my favorite shots from today is of A.P. Warrior as he was grazing with trainer John Sherriffs by his barn. I normally try to exclude other photogs from photos, but I thought these shooters lined up nicely and gives a good representation of the attention the horses and trainers get.


Below is a snapper of Steven King as he was supposed to collecting audio from the Derby Draw last night. Apparently it wasn’t going too well, but he managed to survive and has produced some killer multimedia content for and The Herald-Leader contracted King to help out with our multimedia content for this year’s Derby. You can see what we’ve been up to by viewing three audio slideshows from Derby Week and the daily slide shows from the backside. On top of all that, Steven has posted the first in a series of 360-degree panoramic photos.


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