June 23, 2017

Hoop dreams

120805basketball.jpg DougThompson-1.jpgFloyd County High School’s girls’ varsity basketball team made it to the state playoffs last year and are off to a strong start this season.

They opened a three-day tourney at FCHS this week by stomping Pulaski (leading 21-0 at the end of the first quarter).

David St. Lawrence, the Charlottesville-based author and blogger who is moving to Floyd County this month, is our houseguest this week while he works on the new home for he and wife Gretchen and he tagged along Tuesday night as I covered the opening night of the tournament.

David chronicles just about everything he does on his popular blog and I should have known he was snapping away while in the stands (he shot the photo at right).

As a photographer, I enjoy shooting high school sports and cover a lot of games for The Floyd Press. After a lifetime in photojournalism, I find shooting local events equally, if not more, satisfying than covering news events around the world.

In 13 months of shooting for the local paper, I’ve received far more comments and compliments from readers than from 40 years of taking photos for newspapers and magazines around the world.

From time to time, someone will ask: "Do you miss the action that came from all the travel and excitement?" Not really.

Maybe it comes from having bene there and done that. Photojournalism is the perfect career for an adrenaline junkie but I’ve found the need for danger diminished as I got older.

After a while, the death and despair that makes up so much of a journalist’s work on the national and international scale starts to wear on you. And a bum hip and two bad knees can slow you down.

I’ve lost the need for the thrill and excitement that comes from covering wars, disasters and earth-shaking events. I just hope I never lose the thrill and excitement that comes from being a photographer.

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