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Dirk Shadd - Photographer

Photographer

My mom says I was 5 years old, and for weeks, I’d been devising my plan. I would sleep behind the couch in the living room, the blue and white one with the plastic furniture protector. The one directly across from the Christmas tree. I remember it like it was yesterday. I clutched my dad's old Polaroid, intent on getting a photo of Santa arriving with presents. That is the earliest memory I have of wanting to be a photographer. Now in my 21st year at the Tampa Bay Times, I cover things that move a lot faster than jolly old St. Nick. Lightning hockey players, Grand Prix race car drivers and NCAA athletes. My favorites, though, are everyday people and daily life. That also moves pretty fast, come to think of it. And yes, there is usually a Santa assignment mixed in there once a year, too.

  1. Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn works the Dunkin drive through on Kennedy Boulevard as part of the Lightning Strikes of Kindness promotion on Tuesday in Tampa. The NHL gave the Lightning $100,000 for winning the Presidents Trophy. The Lightning are giving that and much more away in a day-long multi-site giveaway involving players, coaches and executives.
    Lightning players, coaches, alumni and staff “striking” 40 Tampa Bay sites with giveaways and charitable contributions.
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Matt Gay (9) waves to the fans as he heads off the field after kicking the game winning field goal in the final seconds as the Bucs win 13-12 beating the Cleveland Browns at Raymond James Stadium on Friday, Aug. 23, 2019 in Tampa. DIRK SHADD   |   Times
    The Buccaneers inched out a 13-12 win over the Cleveland Browns in their second home preseason game in Tampa. The Bucs will open the regular season against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 8.
  3. Jason Evans, left, along with his father, Buddy Evans, at the controls in the tower of the Laurel Street Bridge in Tampa. Buddy is now retired, but Jason carries on the family business. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Jason Evans, left, along with his father, Buddy Evans, at the controls in the tower of the Laurel Street Bridge in Tampa. Buddy is now retired, but Jason carries on the family business. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  5. ampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) heads down he tunnel to hit the the ice for warm ups on opening night. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
  6. Like darts, the scoring in axe throwing rewards people who get nearest the bull\u2019s-eye.
  7. Like darts, the scoring in axe throwing rewards people who get nearest the bullseye. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  8. DIRK SHADD   |   Times   Roger Newell, 75, from Valrico, holds a bald eagle with a hood over his eyes to help him remain calm before he is released at Upper Tampa Bay Park 8001 Double Branch Rd in Tampa on Friday afternoon August 31st, 2018. Newell is a volunteer with Tampa Bay Raptor Rescue and Florida Audubon Eagle Watch. "I'm so happy that he was released into the wild now where he belongs and not in captivity," Newell said. "The captivity part was an essential part of his maturation process but now he's wild and he's where he belongs. I'm super happy to see him fly like he did." Newell had been monitoring an eagle nest before the baby eagle was born. The eagle left the nest too early and was on the ground below the nest. Newell rescued the eagle on June 13th and believes it was born around April 1st. The bird had been through rehab and was now ready to go, Newell said.