Economic Chaos

When the editor from the Burlington Free Press called to ask if I was available for Friday morning, I immediately accepted the assignment. Sounded like fun. When I told my girlfriend what I was up to she immediately said she wanted to go along for the ride. Yup, We where there at Wal Mart at 4:30am along with the thousands of other crazy people to wait for the holiday shopping season to begin. I knew there would be people there but I never imagined it would be that many. The line was more than a quarter of a mile long and people had been waiting all night for the store to open.

I didn't really sleep very well the night before so It was a chore to drag myself out of bed at 3:45am. I probably should have gotten out of bed a little earlier but that is easier said than done. On my way there I was thinking about what the scene was going to be like and trying to visualize different ideas I had in my mind for photos I wanted to get (and if I had time to stop and get some coffee). To be honest, I had no idea what to expect.

(Nikon D300, iso 2000, 1/30 @f2:8, 17-35 at 17mm)
In the car on the way to Wal Mart.

The Wal Mart in Williston is in a shopping plaza with many other box stores like Home Depot, Circuit City, Toys R Us, etc. We had to pass most of them to get to the parking lot of Wal Mart and every store we passed had a huge line. When we got to the lot I was blown away at the amount of people waiting in line to get into Wal Mart. The line stretched for more than a quarter of a mile. There were thousands of people waiting in line to have first crack at the holiday deals. Cars were still streaming in when we left at 6. We parked the car and I immediately got out and went to work.

© 2008 Brian Jenkins/Burlington Free Press
(Nikon D300, iso 2000, 1/30 @ f2:8, 17-35 at 17mm)

© 2008 Brian Jenkins/Burlington Free Press
(Nikon D300, iso 2000, 1/25 @f2:8, 17-35 at 17mm)

© 2008 Brian Jenkins/Burlington Free Press
(Nikon D300, iso 1600, 1/10 @ f2:8, 17-35 at 35mm)

I have heard stories of the media and photographers getting kicked out of the parking lot (it is technically private property) so I was prepared to deal with the powers that be if I had to. There were plenty of police and employees on hand to help keep the crowd under some sort of control. I was never questioned or asked to leave and every cop or Wal Mart employee I encountered was really nice. I was not able to take photos from inside the store so I just stuck to the parking lot. With in a half an hour the line was gone and shoppers were leaving the store with full carts.

I was amazed at how unruley the crowd was. People were yelling and pushing at each other and saying some pretty nasty things. So much for the Holiday Spirit.

© 2008 Brian Jenkins/Burlington Free Press
Matt, a Wal Mart employee, watches holiday shoppers
enter the store after waiting in line for hours in the cold.

(Nikon D300, iso 2000, 1/13 @ f5.6, 17-35 at 17mm)

© 2008 Brian Jenkins/Burlington Free Press
David Stantillan, from Montreal, Quebec, leaves Wal Mart with a shopping cart full

of Holiday gifts on Friday morning November 28, 2008 in Williston, VT. Daivd was
the first person in line, waiting more than ten hours to enter the store.
(Nikon D300, iso 1600, 1/60 @ f5.6, 17-35 at 17mm)

It is pretty ridiculous to me that with the state of affairs in the country and world today, that we still pile into stores on the Friday morning after Thanksgiving to save a few bucks on already jacked up holiday prices for "things". It is insane to me that people will wait in line for hours and even go so far as to bust down the door and trample a Wal Mart employee to Death like that poor guy in New York. Is it really worth it? With the economy in the shitter, I was really hoping that I would show up and no would be waiting in line. Not this time, oh well, mabye there is hope next year. (but I doubt it).

Photo of the Week

Every Monday I send out a photo of the week email to various people I know. I have about 95 people on the list made up of friends, family, editors, and client so far. Everyone seems to really enjoy the photos and it gets my work out there on a regular basis. I haven't been offered an assignment from it yet but it is a good way for me to stay in the minds of clients I have worked for in the past. Below is the photo of the week I sent out for the week of Thanksgiving.

(Nikon D300, 10.5mm lens, iso800, 1/400 @f:2.8)

Catamount forward Marcus Blakely #23, a junior from Metuchen, New Jersey,
makes a lay up during the George Mason Patriots win in overtime 80-79 over
the Vermont Catamounts at Patrick Gym on Saturday afternoon November 15,
2008 in Burlington, Vermont. © 2008 Brian Jenkins

The Catamounts hosted George Mason on the 15th of November and they almost pulled out the win against a team that is thirty months removed from the NCAA Basketball Tournament's Final Four. Vermont looks pretty good so far this year taking George Mason and Maryland into over time and seemed to have done a great job recruiting in the off season. I think they are definitely the team to beat in the America East. It would be nice if they can pull out the AE Championship and return to the NCAA Tournament this year. Go Cats!

If you would like to be added to the Photo of the Week email list please send me an email at:

First NHL Game and I Almost Missed It!

(Nikon D300, iso 1000, 1/500 @f2:8, 14-24 @14mm)

I got to photograph my first NHL game on Wednesday night and it almost never happened. I totally forgot what the date was and thought the game was on Thursday night. A call by a friend of mine reminded me of the correct date and I had to scramble to get home, get my gear and drive to Boston. I ended up leaving town around 3:00pm. I live in Jericho, Vermont so it is about a 3ish hour drive to the Wellington train station. I usually show up to sporting events at least an hour before the start of the game especially if it is my first time at the location. It is always a good idea to get to a game early, you never know what problems might arise and you can usually get some good stock shots before game time. I got to the TD Banknorth Garden about a half hour before game time. With a little walking around and a few questions later I found my way to the media entrance and then to the ice.

(Nikon D300, iso 1000, 1/500 @f2.8, 14mm lens)

With about fifteen minutes to go before game time I settled into a shooting position in one of the corners of the ice. I got my camera's out and took some test shots to get the exposure for the night. As I was looking at a photo on my computer another photographer who was assigned that position came and booted me (nicely) from my spot. After that I decided to go to the balcony to get a over view of the Garden during the player introductions and then I would find another place to shoot from as the game started.

(Nikon D300, iso1600, 1/13 @ f2:8, 10.5mm)

I took a about 20 shots from the balcony, but it was hard for me to just pick one because I liked most of them. Each had some different lighting so I ended up transmitting a few of the images.

After I was done with that I made my way back down to the ice and found a position on one of the corners of the ice to shoot from. I liked it because it had I nice view of both benches. The holes in the glass to shoot from at the Garden are a little smaller than the ones I am use to at Gutterson Fieldhouse for the Vermont games. It was a little harder to maneuver around but after awhile I got the hang of it.

It was a good game right from the start. Tons of action and lots of goal scoring. The Sabres lead the game 3-2 within the first five minutes of the game.

(Nikon D300, iso 1250, 1/500 @f2:8, 80-200mm @ 165mm)

It was nice shooting a hockey game that was so bright. Here at Gutterson on the University of Vermont campus, I'm shooting at iso 3200 with 1/320 @2:8. Check out my sportsshooter page to see what I am talking about. It is tough to get some good quality photos out of that place. Good thing the new Nikon's high iso kicks ass.

A friend of mine loaned me a couple of his lens, the 10.5 and the 14-24. I ended up using the 14-24 a lot. I really love the wide angle shots in Hockey. It really gets you right into the action.

(Nikon D300, iso1600, 1/640 @f2:8, 14-24 @14mm)

I've been to many NHL games as a spectator, but I was surprised by the lack of big hits in the game. This was one of them but the funny thing is that Jaroslav Spacek #6 falls down after trying to lay a hit on Michael Ryder #73.

(Nikon D300, iso 1250, 1/500 @f2:8, 80-200 @200mm)

The Bruins ended up beating the Sabres by a score of 7-4. I had a blast at the game and I got some decent images but I can't wait until my next Bruins game.

(Nikon D300, iso 1250, 1/500 @f2:8, 80-200 @86mm)

Brian Jenkins Photography

Brian Jenkins Photography is based in Vermont specializing in music, sports and portrait photography and video production. Brian is the chief photographer for the University of Vermont athletic department, photographing all of the Vermont Catamounts sports events. Brian's dynamic photography can be seen in some of the largest local and national editorial publications such as the Burlington Free Press, and Sports Illustrated, among many others. Brian Jenkins Photography is capable of producing high quality imagery for your sports, portrait, editorial, or concert projects. Brian Jenkins photography also directs and produces high quality video production for editorial, promotional and music clients. Contact Brian Jenkins Photography at for more information.

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