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Tampabay.com - Reporting with a camera

Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.

MONICA HERNDON | Times

Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.

View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

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St. Petersburg native and Gibbs High grad brings opera to the city council (w/video)

Maiya Stevenson gets applause after performing He Looked Beyond My Faults at City Hall in St. Petersburg Thursday, May 18, 2018, after being recognized by the city council as an official Sunshine Ambassador. The 22-year-old FAMU graduate is headed to Bulgaria for one month this summer, where she will play the role of Donna Anna in a production of Don Giovanni. During her senior year at Gibbs High School's Pinellas County Center for the Arts, she participated in the Negro Spiritual Voice Competition, winning first place. She has also sung at Carnegie Hall.

LARA CERRI | Times

Maiya Stevenson gets applause after performing He Looked Beyond My Faults at City Hall in St. Petersburg Thursday, May 18, 2018, after being recognized by the city council as an official Sunshine Ambassador. The 22-year-old FAMU graduate is headed to Bulgaria for one month this summer, where she will play the role of Donna Anna in a production of Don Giovanni. During her senior year at Gibbs High School's Pinellas County Center for the Arts, she participated in the Negro Spiritual Voice Competition, winning first place. She has also sung at Carnegie Hall.

   Maiya Stevenson performs He Looked Beyond My Faults at City Hall in St. Petersburg Thursday, May 18, 2018, after being recognized by the city council as an official Sunshine Ambassador. The 22-year-old FAMU graduate is headed to Bulgaria for one month this summer, where she will play the role of Donna Anna in a production of Don Giovanni. During her senior year at Gibbs High School’s Pinellas County Center for the Arts, she participated in the Negro Spiritual Voice Competition, winning first place. She has also sung at Carnegie Hall.

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Florida Shorebird Alliance members conduct bird count on Spoil Island 3D (w/video)

Mark Rachal, an Audubon Florida sanctuary manager, drives a boat of bird counters to "Spoil Island 3D" in Tampa Bay on Monday, May 15, 2017. The manmade island was created with bottom material dumped after nearby channel dredging, and now serves as important habitat for myriad bird species. The island continues to grow as material is added with continued dredging operations.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Mark Rachal, an Audubon Florida sanctuary manager, drives a boat of bird counters to "Spoil Island 3D" in Tampa Bay on Monday, May 15, 2017. The manmade island was created with bottom material dumped after nearby channel dredging, and now serves as important habitat for myriad bird species. The island continues to grow as material is added with continued dredging operations.

 

Individuals from Florida Fish and Wildlife, Audubon Florida, Tampa Bay Watch, Port Tampa Bay and the US Army Corps of Engineers conducted a bird count on Spoil Island 3D in Tampa Bay the morning of Monday, May 15, 2017. Spoil Island 3D, a manmade island created with bottom material dumped after nearby channel dredging, serves as important habitat for myriad bird species. Some of those species are deemed “imperiled” by Florida Fish and Wildlife, but find refuge on the island’s quiet shores. As regular dredging efforts continue in order to keep the nearby shipping channel clear, material is added to the island to create additional bird habitat. 

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Photo gallery: Florida High School Track & Field State Championships

Wharton senior Bryanna Rivers gasps seconds after gettig leaned out at the tape during the 800-meter run at the Class 4A state meet on Friday. Rivers finished in 2 minutes, 10.51 seconds, just .12 seconds behind the winner.

SCOTT PURKS | Times

Wharton senior Bryanna Rivers gasps seconds after gettig leaned out at the tape during the 800-meter run at the Class 4A state meet on Friday. Rivers finished in 2 minutes, 10.51 seconds, just .12 seconds behind the winner.

View a gallery of images from Friday's Florida High School Track & Field State Championships in Bradenton. Action will continue Saturday.

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Service dogs receive free eye exams at BluePearl Veterinary Partners (w/video)

Service dogs, including police dogs and seeing eye dogs among others, will receive free eye exams during the month of May at BluePearl Veterinary Partners, in Tampa.

MONICA HERNDON | Times

Service dogs, including police dogs and seeing eye dogs among others, will receive free eye exams during the month of May at BluePearl Veterinary Partners, in Tampa.

   Service dogs, including police dogs and seeing eye dogs among others, will receive free eye exams during the month of May at BluePearl Veterinary Partners, in Tampa.

   Tammy Miller Michau, a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist, provides the exams to pre-registered dogs.

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All Eyes photo gallery: Service animals remembered at police dog memorial

Eight-year-old Jacob Spitaleri, center, places a tennis ball on the grave of his dog, "Major," a German shepherd K-9 police dog which served with Clearwater Police Officer Michael Spitaleri, right, before retiring in 2014. Major eventually passed away in 2016. Spitaleri wrote a letter to his dog that the department published on their Facebook page.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Eight-year-old Jacob Spitaleri, center, places a tennis ball on the grave of his dog, "Major," a German shepherd K-9 police dog which served with Clearwater Police Officer Michael Spitaleri, right, before retiring in 2014. Major eventually passed away in 2016. Spitaleri wrote a letter to his dog that the department published on their Facebook page.

 Deceased service dogs from the Clearwater Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office were remembered during the Curlew Hills 10th Annual K-9 Police Dog Memorial on Tuesday, May 2, 2017.
  At this year’s memorial, the nearly 60 dogs that are currently interred at the Memory Gardens were remembered and reflected upon as well as two new dogs being memorialized.
  Included were Clearwater Police K-9 Sgt. Michael Spitaleri's retired K-9, Major. Spitaleri wrote a letter to his K-9 after his passing that is posted on the department’s Facebook page.
  Spitaleri wrote, “Today has been the most difficult day of my career. I made the decision to end your pain and suffering, however I’m hurting far more than I anticipated. I already miss you, buddy.
  “As a team, we had immediate success on the road. During our first week together that March, you successfully tracked and located a man who threatened his wife with a knife. Our skills and ability got better day in and day out from that point. Throughout the years, we located dozens of criminals, illegal narcotics, firearms, and other items of evidentiary value. These arrests and finds wouldn’t have been possible without you. You made me look like a superstar at times; truth be told, I was nothing more than the guy who held your leash.
  “Major, I love you and I will always remember our time together. Please go find the nearest police officer when you get to heaven and tell them you are a police dog and you are reporting for duty. Until I see you again…”
 Curlew Hills Memory Gardens features one of Florida’s only authentic pet cemeteries. The company donates burial plots in the pet cemetery to all service animals of area law enforcement agencies. Without this donation, the handler would typically pay out of his own pocket for the burial of the animal upon his death.

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Testing

 In this April 5, 2017, file photo, Ivanka Trump waits for a news conference with President Donald Trump and Jordan's King Abdullah II to begin in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington. Ivanka Trump has turned from sassy to serious with her second book, an exploration of women and the workplace. The book, “Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success,” comes out May 2. President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser offers earnest advice for women on advancing in the workplace, balancing family and professional life, and seeking personal fulfilment

AP

In this April 5, 2017, file photo, Ivanka Trump waits for a news conference with President Donald Trump and Jordan's King Abdullah II to begin in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington. Ivanka Trump has turned from sassy to serious with her second book, an exploration of women and the workplace. The book, “Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success,” comes out May 2. President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser offers earnest advice for women on advancing in the workplace, balancing family and professional life, and seeking personal fulfilment

testing

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All-Eyes Photo Gallery: Photographing the St. Anthony’s Triathlon

Becky Howarth prepares for the start of the annual St. Anthony's Triathlon in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Sunday, April 30, 2017. She competed in the Olympic race.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Becky Howarth prepares for the start of the annual St. Anthony's Triathlon in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Sunday, April 30, 2017. She competed in the Olympic race.

Beautiful light and great action make for a sports photographer’s dream. That’s what I reminded myself when my alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. on Sunday morning. Exactly two hours later, I was knee-deep in Tampa Bay, looking back at Spa Beach and the first wave of triathletes waiting to splash past me. As the rising sun dipped in and out of cloud cover, the light changed from flat and gray to golden.

While sports photography often means shooting with a long lens like a 400mm, because photographers aren’t permitted close to the action, my favorite pictures are the ones shot up close to the athletes with a wider angle. When access permits, shooting action from up close with a wider lens gives the viewer the feeling they’re right there in the thick of it. The wider perspective also allows for more background context. Wading as close to the swimmers’ path as I could reasonably be without getting in the way, I crouched in the water and waited.

The rest of the day was a blur of sprinting in swim shorts and sandals through the shallows of the Tampa, along the cycling and running legs, and finally to the finish line. My day ended photographing the very last finisher of the triathlon making her way under the arch approximately six hours after the first competitors jumped into the bay. Triathlons are a rare opportunity in sports photography to shoot three different sports, with athletes ranging from novice to professional, all in one day. I hope to be back next year.

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All-eyes photo gallery: Meek and Mighty Triathlon

Hudson McCain, 9, left, and Karrington Hansen, 9, both of St. Petersburg, tuck in their hair before entering the pool to swim 100 yards in the St. Anthony's Meek and Mighty Triathlon Saturday, April 29, 2017.

LARA CERRI | Times

Hudson McCain, 9, left, and Karrington Hansen, 9, both of St. Petersburg, tuck in their hair before entering the pool to swim 100 yards in the St. Anthony's Meek and Mighty Triathlon Saturday, April 29, 2017.

View a gallery of images from Saturday, April 29, 2017 of young athletes competing in the Meek and Mighty Triathlon. Children ranging in ages from 7-11 and some older competed in a swim of 100-200 yards, biked 3.6-5.4 miles and a run from half a mile to a mile.

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Gilly the Grouper goes over the edge for Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraiser (w/video)

Jay Cabral, a graphic designer for Frenchy's, descended 19 stories from Priatek Plaza dressed as "Gilly the Grouper" in downtown St. Petersburg Friday, April 28. T

LARA CERRI | Times

Jay Cabral, a graphic designer for Frenchy's, descended 19 stories from Priatek Plaza dressed as "Gilly the Grouper" in downtown St. Petersburg Friday, April 28. T

Jay Cabral, a graphic designer for Frenchy's, descended 19 stories from Priatek Plaza dressed as "Gilly the Grouper" in downtown St. Petersburg Friday, April 28.

The stunt was part of a preview to Saturday's annual Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay fundraiser, where two St. Petersburg city council members, a St. Pete policeman, and the Lightning and Rowdies mascots are among the participants in this year’s VIP Over The Edge fundraising event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay.

Saturday's main event will include "Sweet Alice" Young, 76, who founded the Big Sisters program in Pinellas County in 1968.

"I feel like it's a worthy cause, and I'm not afraid to do it," said Alice, who has recruited three of her friends to join her for the unique experience. Alice, who plans to wear a Super Girl costume, says she is not afraid of heights. At least 50 others will join in the rappelling Saturday.

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All Eyes photo gallery: Police agencies combine forces for Special Olympics torch run

Paul B. Stephens ESE Center student Nick Dimeo leads the group of law enforcement officers to the finish line at his school Wednesday afternoon 4/26/17 in the Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. The schools students lined the bus circle to cheer as the runners arrived. Dimeo was given the torch to carry in the schools parking lot.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Paul B. Stephens ESE Center student Nick Dimeo leads the group of law enforcement officers to the finish line at his school Wednesday afternoon 4/26/17 in the Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. The schools students lined the bus circle to cheer as the runners arrived. Dimeo was given the torch to carry in the schools parking lot.

Law enforcement agencies from all over Pinellas County participated In the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Wednesday, April 26th. They ran the Torch for Special Olympics to bring attention to the many sports programs available to the intellectually disabled. The run started at the St. Petersburg Police Department at 8:15 am and ended at Paul B. Stephens ESE Center in Clearwater at 1:30. The Torch Run is an annual event that has been held in Pinellas County for over 25 years. Officers from different agencies ran different legs of the relay style 21.6 mile event that passed by several schools with Special Ed students.

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Following All-American Kevin Knox

The state of Florida is seen on the jersey of Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox at the Powerade Jam Fest, a McDonald's All-American week event, at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Ill., on Monday, March 27, 2017. Knox will participate in the McDonald's All-American game at the United Center on Wednesday.

Loren Elliott | Times

The state of Florida is seen on the jersey of Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox at the Powerade Jam Fest, a McDonald's All-American week event, at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Ill., on Monday, March 27, 2017. Knox will participate in the McDonald's All-American game at the United Center on Wednesday.

Kevin Knox, a student at Tampa Catholic High School, is considered one of the top basketball recruits in the nation. His versatile skill set earned him a spot on the McDonald's All-American team. I had the chance to follow Knox during All-American week in Chicago, photographing practices, community events, a dunk contest and the big game itself.

The Chicago trip was part of a larger profile on Knox, for which I also attended local events around Tampa and spent time at the Knox home. Photographing an athlete away from the court or field is a challenge I'm always up for. While I love shooting sports action, getting behind the scenes and shadowing an athlete like Knox for an extended period of time allows for a more holistic visual understanding of the subject. An image of Knox on the court in Chicago competing with the best high school players in the country only speaks to part of his life. Seeing him at home, relaxing with family, is also integral to the young man he is.

This gallery provides an overview of my time working on our Kevin Knox profile, including images not seen in the story.

Twitter: @LelliottPhoto Instagram: @LorenElliottPhoto

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St. Petersburg Recreation gets it kicks

Base runner Ripley Brown, 9, of St. Petersburg, a kickball player for J.W. Cate Recreation Center, right, gets back to third base as third baseman Donnie Summers, 9, St. Petersburg of Campbell Park Recreation Center, awaits the throw, left, Friday, 4/14/17 at Woodlawn Park. 130 children, ages 6-11 representing 10 City of St. Petersburg recreation centers participate in the St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation Department kickball games each Friday. The season concludes with playoff gamers in May. J.W. Cate defeated Campbell Park 7-2.

SCOTT KEELER | Times

Base runner Ripley Brown, 9, of St. Petersburg, a kickball player for J.W. Cate Recreation Center, right, gets back to third base as third baseman Donnie Summers, 9, St. Petersburg of Campbell Park Recreation Center, awaits the throw, left, Friday, 4/14/17 at Woodlawn Park. 130 children, ages 6-11 representing 10 City of St. Petersburg recreation centers participate in the St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation Department kickball games each Friday. The season concludes with playoff gamers in May. J.W. Cate defeated Campbell Park 7-2.

130 children, ages 6-11, representing 10 city recreation centers, are currently participating in the City of St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation Kickball League at Woodlawn Park, St. Petersburg each Friday. The season began with games in March and runs through May when it concludes with a playoff series.

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Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation takes senior veterans on biplane tours of Clearwater Beach

From left: Darryl Fisher, President of Mission Senior Living and Founder/President/pilot of Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, Philip Brandies, US Airforce veteran and resident of Arbor Terrace in Citrus Park, and Stephanique Gilbert, staff member with Arbor Terrace, visit moments after Fisher and Brandies landed after a 20-minute flight in Fisher's vintage 1940 Boing Stearman 220 horse-powered training biplane at Clearwater Air Park on Tuesday (4/11/17). Fisher flew Brandies out to Clearwater Beach and back courtesy of the Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a non-profit organization established and dedicated to honoring seniors and United States military veterans. The primary focus is on individuals living in long-term care communities, providing the plane rides to “give back to those who have given," according to Fischer.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

From left: Darryl Fisher, President of Mission Senior Living and Founder/President/pilot of Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, Philip Brandies, US Airforce veteran and resident of Arbor Terrace in Citrus Park, and Stephanique Gilbert, staff member with Arbor Terrace, visit moments after Fisher and Brandies landed after a 20-minute flight in Fisher's vintage 1940 Boing Stearman 220 horse-powered training biplane at Clearwater Air Park on Tuesday (4/11/17). Fisher flew Brandies out to Clearwater Beach and back courtesy of the Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a non-profit organization established and dedicated to honoring seniors and United States military veterans. The primary focus is on individuals living in long-term care communities, providing the plane rides to “give back to those who have given," according to Fischer.

Darryl Fisher, president of Mission Senior Living and the founder and president of Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, takes residents (and military veterans) of the Arbor Terrace assisted living facility in Citrus Park on 20-minute flights over Clearwater Beach on Tuesday in Fisher's vintage 1940 Boing Stearman 220 horse-powered training biplane. The non-profit foundation was established and dedicated to honor seniors and United States military veterans. The primary focus is on individuals living in long-term care communities, providing the plane rides to “give back to those who have given," according to Fisher.

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Behind the scenes with Times photographer Will Vragovic at Rays media day(w/video)

Staff photographer Will Vragovic captured these GIFs while photographing Rays media day early on in spring training. To see them live, visit tampabay.com. Evan Longoria

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Staff photographer Will Vragovic captured these GIFs while photographing Rays media day early on in spring training. To see them live, visit tampabay.com. Evan Longoria

Most professional (and some college) sports teams host a media day each year. It's an opportunity to have new faces and veterans run through a gauntlet of quick tv interviews, radio hits, and photo sessions to kick off a new season.

Last fall, I saw the gifs that former Dallas Morning News photographer Gerry McCarthy did at Mavericks photo day and knew it was something I wanted to try. I did some research, and Gerry was kind enough to spend some time on the phone with me explaining his process, and some technical pitfalls to avoid.

(VIEW WILL VRAGOVIC'S GALLERY OF ANIMATED RAYS GIFS) …

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