Olean SWAT Photos

Heck yeah I took some last minute killer SWAT simulation practice photos today!

It may have looked like the Olean SWAT team was breaking into a house and busting down doors (because they were), but no worries, it was only a routine practice drill meant to perpare them for hostile situations. Also, while the guns aren’t real, they do still shoot in order to remind the officers to remain on the guard, as a fellow officer wouldn’t be too happy to have one of those bebe’s in his side.

It may have been only a practice, and only lasted about 10 minutes – if that – but I loved the intensity of it!

Very brief, but very fun! Hope you enjoyed!

B. Marie

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Save Allegany State Park Rally

So earlier today, Rich Place and I tag teamed an assignment for the Olean Times Herald and The Salamanca Press. Around noon, well over 100 people gathered at the Quaker Lake Bath House to rally against Gov. Patterson decision to cut the Quaker area of Allegany State Park. Both Rich’s story and my photos should be appearing in tomorrow’s Olean Times Herald, and next week’s Salamanca Press.

While we were happy to go for our papers, we were planning on going never-the-less. The turnout was really great, and those that attended were very vocal on their desire to save the park, which made for some pretty sweet photos!

Trishten Brisley from South Dayton

Andrew Pitisi from Depew, NY

Samual Brisley of South Dayton and Rachael Riley of Gowanda

Karlie Putt of Arcade checking out one Mark Baker’s rehab birds from the Eagle Dream Rehabilitation Center.

Joshua Weed of Falconer

Justin Ellesworth of Falconer

Kendra Stuckman of Olean passing out signs for people to hold

Shawn and Miranda McKane of Randolph

Rebecca Schultz of Buffalo

People gathering under the tent to sign the petition

People gathering under the tent to sign the petition

Darin Brentley of Lakewood signing the petition to save Quaker.

Margie Phillips and Trishten Brisley of South Dayton taking a photo of (Back) Chris Phillips (front L to R) Samual Brisley, Rachael Riley and Rebekah Brisley

(Back L to R) Chris and Margie Phillips, (Middle) Samual Brisley, Rachael Riley and Rebekah Brisley (In front) Trishten Brisley

Senator Catherine Young speaking with skiiers

Senator Catherine Young speaking to rally attendants

Miranda McKane of Randolph had one of the best seats in the house!

Senator Catherine Young speaking to ralley attendants

Now, Before you view this photo, prepare yourself for a cuteness overload….

…3 year old William McDonald of Buffalo, NY

He’s so sweet, I got a cavity.

For the accompanying story, please check out tomorrow’s edition of the Olean Times Herald (March 14th) and the next issue of the Salamanca Press (March 18th)

Enjoy!

❤ B.Marie

The Allegany Hindu Society’s Holi Festival

So this past Sunday, February 28th, 2010, I was assigned by the OTH to cover the Allegany Hindu Society’s Holi Festival celebration. Having absolutely no clue what that was, I attempted at a little online research. The official site, http://www.holifestival.org, was rather overwhelming (Though the photos are fabulous), so I checked it out on wiki…

Basically, was the Holi Festival commemorates the harvest of the winter crops as it welcomes the beginning of Spring. But it also has two other purposes: 1. It’s meant to expel any enmities or bad feelings you have for another, and start with a clean slate and 2. To recognized the victory of good over evil.

There’s this mythological story that goes along with it. It tells the tale of an arrogant king who believed he could not be killed. The king’s son, however, does various things to try and help his father see good. His efforts are in vain though, and the king orders to have his son burned. The King has his son sit the in lap of his sister, Holika, who is immune to fire. However, the King’s son lives and Holika does not.

Therefore, the victory of good over evil.

So what do they do to celebrate it? Well, here are some of the photograph I took:

First, they start off with a prayer, and according to one of the attendants I inteviewed, they pray to the God of Fire. Then, they eat, which is apparently also a very important part of the festival. A majority of the dishes are very sweet Hindu dishes, some of which are unique to the event. I did try some – though I have no idea what it was- and honestly I’ve never tasted anything like it.

So after the meal, they then take up an array of colored powders in vibrant pinks, purples, oranges, reds and so forth, and color one another with them.

The energy and life in this ritual is so natural, it’s truly hard to illustrate in words. It really is a very unique festival, and a very special experience. It’s recognized by many faiths, including Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains and others, and is observed in many countries, including India, Nepal, Srilanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and in countries with large Indic populations, such as the USA. This year’s Holi celebration in NYC is this upcoming Sunday, March 7. If it’s a warm day, they are expecting that 25,000 people may join the 2010 parade. Now imagine what India would be like.

The Allegany Hindu Society’s celebration of Holi was only on a small scale, but I certainly got a taste of the Holi festival experience.

It’s also worth mentioning that typically: when I’m shooting I prefer not to be acknowledged (for the most part). Especially for things like this, I’d rather get them doing what they do naturally, but a few of the attendants decided I needed color as well.

Honestly, I had a lot of fun, and I feel like it made them more comfortable as well, rather than having this random chick there photographing and video taping everything.
After which though, I pressed my face to the viewer and when I pulled back, had the imprint of nose on my screen. It all came off pretty easy, but I was cautious after that!

I hope you enjoyed this entry! For the corresponding OTH story (which I had a byline for!) Please click the following link, and scroll all the way to the bottom!

http://www.oleantimesherald.com/articles/2010/03/02/news/doc4b8c0af13316f212204952.txt

In addition, here is the video I put together!

❤ B.Marie

A little bit of Videography!

So here are 3 recent short videos that I put together for the Olean Times Herald website most recently:

This first one is about Casey Marino, a young man that started carving out snow sculptures at Holimont in Ellicotville, NY.

A short piece on a young guitarist from Smethport, PA, Devin Dewyer

BonaResponds and The Christian Youth Corporation working together to assemble hand-made crutches to be shipped out to Haiti.