A blog by WVPA Executive Director Don Smith
Posted March 16, 2014:
The West Virginia girls’ basketball state tournament was an exciting challenge for the WVPA staff. Our plans called for providing a few photos, but when we realized The Associated Press was not covering any games on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, we decided to provide photographs from as many games as possible.
Using a rotation of photographers that included WVPA staffers Chris Stadelman and Samantha Smith — and valuable help from Kelly Stadelman of the The Putnam Standard and Dalton Walker, who freelances for the WVPA — we were able get photos from most games. Hopefully your newspapers found the extra photographs useful. As always, I hope you use them in print and suggest you post all photos on your website or share the WVPA gallery link — https://wvpress.wpengine.com/?p=5100 — to give your readers more value. You have access to the photos, so why not share them?
It had been a long time since I had photographed a sporting event, which was a regular duty in college and when working at the Wetzel Chronicle in New Martinsville and frequently at The Inter-Mountain in Elkins. Fortunately, some of it came back quickly and my photos were, I hope, adequate; although, I shouldn’t be allowed to carry Kelly Stadelman or Samantha Smith’s camera bag. They provided great photos.
My toughest duty, after a day of moving around the floor, sitting, bending and kneeling for photos, was actually talking to the many former staff members and coworkers who now lead an outstanding group of sports reporters around the state.
While I was proud to see that people I has worked with or had hired had become very successful, when I started adding up the years, it was suddenly harder to stand up after kneeling down to get a photo
Let’s just say it’s been a long time since the days when I rolled my own black & white film in the darkroom to shoot a game before returning to the darkroom to roll the film – in the dark – onto the spool for the development tank, before developing the film. I remember the fun of printing photos, dodging spots and trying to get the exposure just right. Wow, I’m so old my memories are in sepia.
Perhaps the best change since my first days covering high school sporting events: The seamless working relationships between the male and female sports staffers. It wasn’t an issue, and I doubt the staff members covering the state tournament this weekend even thought about it. That wasn’t always the case. There’s one memory I’m glad to see fade.