Super Bowl Tickets Win!

Jeremy Smallwood, who is battling stage four lung cancer, opens a gift from doctors and nurses with his wife Amanda during a ceremony at Lahey Medical Center in Peabody where he was awarded tickets to the Super Bowl, made possible by the Chris Draft Foundation. Wicked Local Staff Photo / David Sokol

To read more about Jeremy's story check out Wicked Local Beverly.

Nikon D4s, 1/100 @ f/4, ISO 1250, 17-35mm

A New Sheriff in Town

I arrived at the Essex County Sheriff's office with a reporter to photograph the new sheriff. I've been inside the previous Essex County Sheriff's office and knew there wasn't a lot of interesting subject matter to photograph. I hung around and made photographs inside his office but I knew those weren't the photos that told the story. An office portrait doesn't really say much about being a sheriff. After the hour long interview I wasn't sure if he would have time for a portrait outside the jail. He agreed to go outside, but it was very cold and windy and we had already taken a lot of his time. I wasn't exactly sure where I was going to photograph him but it had to be quick. Sheriff Kevin Coppinger was a great subject and helped me portray his job with more than an office photo.

Nikon D3s, 1/2500 @ f/3.5, ISO 320, 17-35mm

Essex County Sheriff Kevin Coppinger outside the Essex County Sheriff Department Headquarters in Middleton.

Nikon D500, 1/640 @ f/4, ISO 200, 70-200mm

Evviva Cucina

I was assigned to photograph a new restaurant opening in north Beverly named Evviva Cucina for a restaurant preview story. Restaurant previews can be a lot of fun to photograph. Like most restaurants I photograph, I was interested in capturing one of the chefs preparing or cooking some of the food they offer on their menu. Thankfully executive chef Brandon Welch was willing to cook up a pizza for me to photograph.

Nikon D500, 1/250 @ f/5, ISO 800, 70-200mm

Brandon Welch, executive chef, cooks a margarita pizza at the Italian restaurant Evviva Cucina in north Beverly, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. Wicked Local Staff Photo / David Sokol

Nikon D4s, 1/125 @ f/5.6, ISO 1,000, 17-35mm

Margarita pizza at the Italian restaurant Evviva Cucina in north Beverly, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. Wicked Local Staff Photo / David Sokol

Winter Sports Action

I spend a lot of time photographing high school sports and there's plenty to keep my busy in the winter. Here are a few photographs from various games I've covered so far this winter season.

Nikon D4s, 1/1,000 @ f/2.8, ISO 10,000, 70-200mm

Joe Alba of Saugus wrestles Michael Castro of Malden in the 145 lb weight class during their meet at Saugus High School, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016. Wicked Local Staff Photo / David Sokol

Nikon D4s, 1/800 @ f/2.8, ISO 5,000, 70-200mm

Beverly fans react to an out of bounds ball being chased by Justin Roberto of Danvers during their game at Beverly High School, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2016. Wicked Local Staff Photo / David Sokol

Nikon D4s, 1/800 @ f/2.8, ISO 5,000, 70-200mm

Swampscott's Julia Carbone competes in the 200m freestyle race during their meet against Marblehead at the JCC of the North Shore, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016. Wicked Local Staff Photo / David Sokol

Nikon D4s, 1/800 @ f/2.8, ISO 6,400, 70-200mm

Belmont's Paul Ramsey and Cal Christofori battle for a loose ball with Dylan Vienot of Melrose during their game at Melrose High School, Friday, Dec. 16, 2016. Wicked Local Staff Photo / David Sokol

Ski Racing

Ski racing is a lot of fun to photograph and being ready to capture peak action is key to great skiing photographs. I was ready to capture this moment as a Masconomet racer veered slightly off course and ended up crashing into one of the gates just before the finish line. The student athlete didn't finish the race but was able to walk away from the accident.

Nikon D500, 1/1600 @ f/3.2, ISO 1600, 300mm

A North Andover athlete cuts the corner close making contact with one of the gates as he races down the slopes at Ski Bradford during a ski racing event.

Nikon D500, 1/1600 @ f/2.8, ISO 3200, 300mm

Epiphany Tree Burning

A group of kids stand on a dock at Riverhead Beach in Marblehead as they watch the Ephiphany tree burning fueled by discarded Christmas trees.

The Ephiphany tree burning is a fun event to photograph on a cold winter night and this year was no exception. When I arrived the fire was burning large and hot. I scouted for something to catch my eye and noticed kids playing on one of the docks on the beach. I was able to silhouette them against the fire and also tried some attempts at using slow shutter speeds to show movement in the fire.

Nikon D500, 1/200 @ f/5.6, ISO 7200, 70-200mm

Nikon D500, 1/200 @ f/5.6, ISO 7200, 70-200mm

Nikon D500, 1/25 @ f/5.6, ISO 360, 70-200mm

A Few Favorites From 2016

Every year I try to gather some of my favorite image and create a gallery for the Wicked Local newspapers websites. Here is a small selection of some of the images in this year's gallery. To see more images check out the photo gallery at the Wicked Local North of Boston website.

Nikon D3s, 1/3200 @ f/5.0, ISO 320, 70-200mm

Matty Robbins, 12, takes a turn on the slip n' slide during the Youth and Recreation Department end of the summer party at the Belmonte Middle School, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016.

Nikon D4s, 1/800 @ f/6.3, ISO 80, 24-70mm

Alena Thalput, 13, leaps a wall gap as Isabel Andrews, assistant coach, spots her during a Parkour recreation program at the high school, Thursday, July 7, 2016.

Nikon D4s, 1/800 @ f/6.3, ISO 25600, 24-70mm

Boston Celtics Green Team mascot Lucky dunks the ball during an exhibition at the Glover School, Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2016.

Nikon D810, 1/60 @ f/14, ISO 800, 70-200mm

November's supermoon rises near Thatcher Island as seen from Long Beach in Gloucester, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016.

Nikon D4s, 1/1250 @ f/3.5, ISO 8000, 70-200mm

Swoop from the Harlem Wizards dances with Georgetown resident Patty Correa during the Harlem Wizards vs. North Shore Thunder game at Masconomet High School, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016.

Fuji XT-1, .5 sec. @ f/5.0, ISO 3200, 18-55mm

People watch the Fourth of July fireworks at Singing Beach in Manchester by the Sea, Sunday, July 3, 2016.

Nikon D4s, 1/2000 @ f/2.8, ISO 2500, 300mm

Reading fans cheer on their team during their Division 1A championship game loss to King Philips, 21-18, at Gillette Stadium, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016.

Nikon D4s, 1/1600 @ f/2.8, ISO 6400, 300mm

Lincoln-Sudbury's Andre Kotikian and Landon DeCesare-Fousek get tripped up Somerville's Edwin Mejia Sanchez as they battle for a loose ball during their north division 1 game at Manning Field in Lynn, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016.

Nikon D4s, 1/2500 @ f/5.0, ISO 200, 70-200mm

Marblehead's Sarah Caulfield competes in the long jump during their meet against Beverly at Beverly High School, Thursday, Apr. 21, 2016. 

Nikon D4s, 1/500 @ f/5.0, ISO 320, 70-200mm

Somerville's Ryan Vogel places one of his clubs into his bag after completing the second hole during their match against Medford at Unicorn Golf Course, Tuesday, Sep. 27, 2016.

Tournament Action Wrap Up

With the fall sports season officially over I decided to post a few more photos from tournament action around Massachusetts. 

Nikon D4s, 1/1600 @ f/2.8, ISO 6400, 300mm

Nikon D4s, 1/1250 @ f/2.8, ISO 10000, 70-200mm

Nikon D4s, 1/2000 @ f/2.8, ISO 2500, 300mm

Nikon D4s, 1/2500 @ f/3.2, ISO 3200, 300mm

Nikon D4s, 1/1600 @ f/2.8, ISO 6400, 300mm

Nikon D4s, 1/2500 @ f/3.2, ISO 3200, 300mm

Nikon D4s, 1/2000 @ f/2.8, ISO 2500, 300mm

Fighting Fire

This week took an unfortunate turn with multiple large fires in various towns north of Boston. I listen to a police and fire scanner when I'm home and just as I was about to take a shower I heard a call come in for a fully involved house fire in Beverly. I quickly grabbed my gear and headed to the scene. I arrived just as firefighters were laying out a hose line to a fire hydrant. Everyone made it out of the house safely and firefighters were able to extinguish the flames.  More photos can be seen at Wicked Local Beverly

Nikon D4s, 1/250 @ f/2.8, ISO 720, 70-200mm

Nikon D3s, 1/50 @ f/2.8, ISO 6400, 17-35mm

Nikon D3s, 1/80 @ f/4.5, ISO 6400, 17-35mm

This fire happened in Malden the following morning. I just arrived at my first assignment when I saw a text message alerting me to a 2-alarm fire in Malden. I wasn't far away but I had to photograph my first assignment, edit it and send it to the editor because I was on deadline. After quickly editing photos in my car and sending images to my editor I headed to the fire which at this point had turned into 3-alarms. When I finally got to the scene firefighters were mostly overhauling the building. I only had a short time to photograph the scene because I had another assignment I needed to get to. Read the story here at Wicked Local Malden.

Nikon D4s, 1/250 @ f/5.6, ISO 110, 70-200mm

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

Soccer is one of my favorite sports to photograph. With state tournament games the action on the field is stepped up along with emotions. Without helmets to obstruct faces there is always an opportunity to capture great reactions and expressions. Here are two images from recent boys soccer state tournament action around Massachusetts.

 Nikon D4s, 1/1250 @ f/2.8, ISO 5000, 300mm

Nikon D4s, 1/1250 @ f/2.8, ISO 6400, 300mm

Jordan Pond at Blue Hour

Sometimes the color in the sky is most vibrant slightly before or slightly after the sun has already set. I arrived at Jordan Pond, in Acadia National Park, Maine, a little later than I had wanted to but I was still determined to create an image. Instead of walking away after a disappointing sunset I decided to wait around for "blue hour." This term refers to the time of day before sunrise or after sunset when the ambient light casts a blue hue across the landscape. Landscape photography all comes down to lighting and mood, which will then set the tone for the image.

Nikon D810, 25 sec. @ f/18, ISO 320, 24-70mm

Acadia National Park

Every time I go to Acadia National Park I'm amazed. I spent a few days camping in the park this fall and was hoping for some nice weather for photography. The park was almost at peak foliage and the crowds were fairly large. I went there expecting to capture vibrant fall colors, but soon realized the photos I really wanted to create were along the evergreen lined Atlantic coast. I was surprised by the lack of color but the green coastal ridge line and brilliant blue ocean made for such a beautiful scene. I only had a few days to explore the park and plan on making another trip back there again.

Nikon D810, 0.6 sec @ f/20, ISO 64, 24-70mm

Nikon D810, 1/8 @ f/16, ISO 64, 24-70mm

November Supermoon

By the time I arrived at Long Beach in Gloucester to photograph the November Supermoon rising over the Twin Lights, the beach was crowded with dozens of people many with cameras doing exactly what I was planning to do. I was hoping for a little time to scout around for a spot to photograph, but the moon was already clearly visible and I was running out of time. I didn't want to capture the same image as everyone else, so I moved to a spot where no one else was. This location offered a small cluster of rocks which I included in the foreground of my image. Another great night to photograph along the shores of Massachusetts.

Nikon D810, 1/60 @ f/11, ISO 640, 70-200mm

Halloween Hauntings in Salem

A Salem police officer, left, holds a switch blade knife which was allegedly found on this man near Washington and Essex Street on Halloween night in Salem, MA.

Halloween in Salem offers a lot to photograph and never disappoints. This Halloween seemed a little bit slower and less chaotic than usual. However, that did not deter this person from being detained. 

It all started when I was standing at the corner of a busy intersection, pretty much people watching and waiting for my next image to appear. All of sudden I noticed one police officer walking quickly and appeared to be following someone. Then I saw a second and third and fourth officer all closing in on their suspect. I quickly followed not knowing what was really going on but knew something was going to happen. They stopped the man a short distance away and I photographed the officers surround the man and start to search him. I didn't notice that police found anything until someone yelled to check him for a gun. At that point the officer held out the knife, handcuffed the man and took him away. The whole incident lasted only about 3 minutes or so, after that I went back to photographing people having a good time and enjoying the annual Halloween tradition in Salem.

Nikon D4s, 1/250 @ f/2.8, ISO 11400, 24-70mm

Nikon D4s, 1/250 @ f/2.8, ISO 1800, 24-70mm

Nikon D4s, 1/250 @ f/2.8, ISO 25600, 24-70mm

Nikon D4s, 1/200 @ f/2.8, ISO 25600, 24-70mm

Slender Man

Adam Pereira prepares for his role as Slender Man in the MEG Foundation urban legends themed haunted house at the MEG building in Saugus.

I've photographed this haunted house before and it's always offered plenty of visuals and cool effects. The most challenging part is working with the lighting. Most haunted houses are poorly lit and use strobe lights, making exposure and focusing an issue. For these image I used a straight on camera angle and made use of the parallel lines and colored lighting to help frame my compositions. For more photos check out Wicked Local Saugus.

Nikon D4s, 1/125 @ f/2.8, ISO 12,800, 17-35mm

Nikon D4s, 1/180 @ f/2.8, ISO 12,800, 17-35mm

About to Head South

A snowy egret is seen along the banks of one of the salt marshes at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge this past summer. I enjoy seeing these birds year after year along the north shore of Massachusetts. With the cooler temperatures arriving soon, these birds will be headed south until next spring.

Nikon D810, 1/2500 @ f/8, ISO 560, 500mm with a 1.4x teleconverter

Seeing Stars

It's 12:30 in the morning, the camp fire has gone out and I'm all alone to experience the beauty that nature had to provide for me that night in the White Mountains. I didn't have a tripod and I couldn't see anything through the digital viewfinder in my camera. I wanted to capture this scene but without a tripod it would have to take some trial and error. After looking around for something to steady my camera with, I decided on a camping chair. I laid my camera facing straight up, focused on the trees above with the help of a flashlight, set the self timer and captures this scene. 

Fuji XT-1, 30 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 6400, 18-55mm

Waterless Waterfall

It became strikingly clear how little precipitation has fallen this year when I saw Silver Cascade Fall in Crawford Notch this year. I have never seen this waterfall not have a steady steam of water flowing down its rocky ledge. If you look really close you can see a little bit of water, however I was still shocked at how low the water level was. Other than the water level it is interesting to see how the foliage has changed throughout the years.

10/8/16: Fuji XT-1, 1/250 @ F/4, ISO 200, 18-55mm

10/5/13: Nikon D4, 1 sec. @ f/22, ISO 100, 70-200mm

Autumn Brook

I recently hiked along a trail on the Crawford Notch side of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Like many trails in the mountains, streams and brooks often run along side them. I couldn't resist stopping at this one location along the trail. I love finding beautiful spots created by nature and being able to capture its beauty.

Fuji XT-1, 1/4 @ f/10, ISO 200, 18-55mm

Golf Days....

Somerville's Ryan Vogel places a club into his bag after completing the second hole at Unicorn Golf Course during their match against Medford.

I arrived at Unicorn Golf Course after the match had already started, luckily the staff at the course was nice enough to let me use a cart. This enabled me to be able to move around the course and position myself in the best possible place to create an image. I noticed a golf bag in a perfect location under a backlit tree and I knew at some point when a person arrived an image might unfold. I was luck that Ryan was positioned perfectly for me to capture this sports feature photograph.

Nikon D4s, 1/5000 @ f/5, ISO 3200, 70-200mm