[LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
East Lake outfielder and pitcher Travis MacGregor (center) gathers his teammates for a pregame huddle before a Class 8A region final baseball game against Steinbrenner at Steinbrenner High School in Lutz, Fla., on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Steinbrenner went on to win the game 3-0.
I have a confession: my favorite lens for shooting high school baseball is a 24-70mm. A super telephoto lens, usually a 300mm or 400mm, is the first lens photographers turn to for this sport. The long focal length is key for getting in tight on action around the field. You'll never find me at a baseball game without at least a 300mm, but there's always a 24-70mm or 35mm hanging around my neck too.
[LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander greets students at Bevis Elementary School in Lithia, Fla., on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Bucs players, personnel and representatives from the American Heart Association visited the school after it won the 2015-16 Buccaneers PLAY 60 Challenge, a program that encourages healthy lifestyles for students at local schools through physical activity.
I was recently given the opportunity to become the Tampa Bay Times' Buccaneers beat photographer. Covering a team in this capacity is about so much more than just showing up at games every Sunday. With the first game of the season happening on September 11, I have four months to begin forming relationships with team personnel and, to a lesser extent, players.
LOREN ELLIOTT | Times
From left, Jennifer Lincoln holds her tabby cat, Sneezy, and Danielle Becker holds her bearded dragon, Mushu, before the 4th Annual Eckerd College Pet Graduation at Eckerd's Fox Hall in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Thursday, May 12, 2016. Eckerd College, the first school in the nation to accept on-campus pets, holds the ceremony to honor the animals that support the school's students.
Graduating seniors donned caps and gowns. Brushed their hair. Smiled proudly for photos. And cleaned their scales? Classmates brought their pets to a ceremony celebrating the 4th Annual Eckerd College Pet Graduation at Eckerd's Fox Hall in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Thursday, May 12, 2016. Eckerd College, the first school in the nation to accept on-campus pets, holds the ceremony to honor the animals that support the school's students.Full Story
ZACK WITTMAN | Times
Runners prepare for the 200 meter dash preliminary race during the FHSAA statewide track and field finals on Friday afternoon, May 7, 2016 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton.
A gunshot rings out across the stadium, the crowd goes wild. Tears, shouting, hugging; somehow this all seems like an under reaction to the athleticism portrayed at the FHSAA Track and Field ﬁnals.Full Story
Athletes from all around the Tampa Bay area competed recently at the IMG Academy, some arriving before sunrise and most staying until well after dark. Dashes and relays, shot-put and discus, long jump and high jump, each competition pushing the limits of the human body.
When you see the commitment and athleticism these students put forth, it's easy to forget that they're so young. They're all still in school, balancing their schoolwork, social life, and jobs, while still maintaining the discipline to be among the best athletes in the state.
I left the IMG stadium after more than 20 hours of work over two days. I felt nothing but appreciation and respect for these young athletes. Ofﬁcia Harold Pierce said it best, preluding the shot-put ﬁnals on Saturday afternoon: "I just want you all to realize that you've already made a huge accomplishment: you're here. The only reason you're here is because you're among the best in the state of Florida, one of the leading states in track and ﬁeld. That might not seem like a lot to you, I know you're all here to win. I just want you to remember how impressive you all are. Now let's get started, good luck!"
DIRK SHADD | Times
Jonathan O'Brien, a junior in the Pinellas County Center for the Arts program at Gibbs High School, performs in the instrumental category on stage at the Mahaffey Theater, in St. Petersburg Monday afternoon (05/09/16). Students from all over Pinellas County were rehearsing at Mahaffey Theater Monday afternoon in preparation for Monday night's annual Walker's Rising Stars Scholarship Program Showcase. The main sponsor is the Pinellas Education Foundation. The categories of performers included culinary, instrumental, dance, theater, visual arts and vocal music.
Students from all over Pinellas County were rehearsing at Mahaffey Theater Monday afternoon in preparation for Monday night's annual Walker's Rising Stars Scholarship Program Showcase. The main sponsor is the Pinellas Education Foundation. The categories of performers included culinary, instrumental, dance, theater, visual arts and vocal music.Full Story
[Submitted by Larry Cote, Madeira Beach, FL.]
1. Red-Shouldered Hawk at Raptor Fest (Published April 3, 2016)
Fine-feathered friends and foggy morning weather are featured in this month's batch of reader-submitted photos. Help pick the one that will wear the title of Reader Photo of the Month.
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throws hats into the crowd before the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban National Team in Estadio Latinoamericano in Havana, Cuba on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.
Times photographer Will Vragovic had three days to document life in Cuba as he followed the Tampa Bay Rays and President Barack Obama on their historic trip this spring. The state ofsports, politics, history and community dominate in 19 of Vragovic's best images. They're a look at what was -- and what is developing.
See the narrative "graphic novel piece" for Floridian Magazine - Hard deadlines, slow internet: Photographer explains how he and his photos got out of Cuba on timeFull Story
[DANIEL WALLACE | Times]
(May 7, 2012) Wharton High School football player Vernon Hargreaves III runs drills during practice on Tuesday.
I am coming up on my four year anniversary of being a photographer at the Tampa Bay Times. One thing you quickly learn after being in this area during the fall is that high school football is king. When our football stars move onto college, they often show loyalty to teams in Florida. Some have even returned to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
SCOTT KEELER | Times
St. Petersburg Police Department Assistant Chief Michael Kovacsev, right, carries the Special Olympics Florida torch on Wednesday as the group runs west on First Avenue N in St. Petersburg, with other members of the department.
On Tuesday morning, a group of about 50 law enforcement officers and department personnel began the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics Florida.
Officers from nine local area law enforcement agencies — including the police departments of St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park, Largo, Kenneth City, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs and Belleair; the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office; and the Florida Highway Patrol — participated in the relay run that began at the St. Petersburg Police Department and ended at the Paul B. Stephens School in Clearwater.
"This is a great way for department members to give something back to our community," said Assistant St. Petersburg Police Chief Michael Kovacsev. "We have been participating in the run for over 25 years."
The event brings community awareness and attention to the various sports programs available to the intellectually disabled, said Laura Collins, director of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, Special Olympics Florida.
"The run is one of our largest grass roots efforts worldwide. Seventy-five-hundred to 10,000 officers participate in moving the 'flame of hope,' across this state during various events," she said.Full Story
EVE EDELHEIT | Times
Performers practice during the rehearsal for Sing Out! Tampa Bay at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. The performance will be on Tuesday, April 26, at 7 p.m. and admission is pay what you can at the door. This is the first ever completely community-based sing-along concert with The Florida Orchestra.
Sing Out! Tampa Bay will be on Tuesday, April 26, at 7 p.m. and admission is pay what you can at the door at the Mahaffey Theater. This is the first ever completely community-based sing-along concert with The Florida Orchestra. Songs performed will include “La Bamba”, Selections from The Music Man and Amazing Grace.
Visit the Times image archive to license or purchase a reprint of any Times photo shown above.Full Story
[OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Coach "Ms Ann" Sullivan was honored with the 'Pioneer Award' from the Belmont Heights Alumni Association for being the first woman to coach and her contributions to the game in the Belmont Heights minor baseball league in Tampa on Sunday, April 24, 2016. Sullivan broke barriers becoming the first woman to coach a championship winning team for 8 years against other male coaches around the Tampa area. Several of Coach Sullivan players went on to play Major League Baseball such as Gary Sheffleld, Derek Bell, and Vance Lovelace to name a few. Also newly appointed Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward played for Coach Sullivan.
"Ms. Ann" Sullivan, 78, coached professional baseball players such as Gary Sheffield, Derek Bell, Vance Lovelace and countless others when they played little league baseball in Tampa's Belmont Heights. Sullivan, a trailblazer, was honored for being the first woman to coach in Belmont Heights Little League and for the sacrifices she made for those young boys from 1971 to 1979.
[CHERIE DIEZ | Times]
Prince in concert during the Purple Rain Tour at the Omni International Arena, Atlanta, Ga. on January 3, 1985.
After hearing that Prince had died at the young age of 57, Tampa Bay Times staff photographer Cherie Diez went through her files and scanned 20 great images, all from a single concert at the Omni International Arena in Atlanta, GA., on January 3, 1985.
Taken together, they create a fitting tribute to a very colorful and dramatic artist.
LOREN ELLIOTT | Times
Blood drips down the face of Cezar Ferreira between rounds of a middleweight fight against Oluwale Bamgbose during UFC Fight Night at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, April 16, 2016. Ferreira won by decision.
UFC’s Fight Night at Amalie Arena was a gruesome spectacle. At one point, the floor of the octagon had to be repainted between bouts because it was stained with so much blood. In short, it was a very visual evening.
Shortly after the announcement of Prince's death, Raymond Sanderlin sent this photo (date unknown) to our Photo department. We thought we would share it with you here. Thanks, Raymond.
Matt Sayles | Invision via AP
Prince presents the award for favorite album — soul/R&B at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 22, 2015.
Pop superstar Prince, widely acclaimed as one of the most inventive and influential musicians of his era with hits including Little Red Corvette, Let's Go Crazy and When Doves Cry, was found dead at his home on Thursday in suburban Minneapolis, the Associated Press reports. He was 57.
RELATED: Pop music superstar Prince has died at age 57