"About ten or twelve years ago, I was asked by the school's very fine and creative staff photographer, and good friend, if I would like to take pictures of a few sports events. I said I would, and what started as just a few, has turned into a full-time venture." – Harold E. Summers
Harold E. Summers, better known at Grossmont College as Hal, is our griffin sports' photographer. His images embellish our athletics website, and capture the essence of competition at Grossmont College.
Hal bought his first real pro model camera while on tour in Vietnam in 1967. From 1967 until his retirement in 2002, photography was just a fun hobby for him. Photography has never been Hal's true passion; it runs a close second to his lifelong enjoyment of playing music.
Hal grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. At his mother's insistence, Hal began playing the tenor sax. As he improved, the tenor sax became Hal's path to passion.
He joined the Navy in 1958 as a musician, and for the next 20 years Hal toured the world playing the tenor sax.
His first duty was in Hawaii. While in Hawaii, Hal traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and Samoa. He even met his wife of 55 years there, Pat.
Hal's second duty was in San Diego, where he toured twice through Asia on aircraft carriers the USS Bennington and the USS Coral, while playing music.
He held duty in Seattle, Long Beach, Hawaii and again in San Diego. Hal participated in a seven piece rock band on the USS Dixie (San Diego) that toured the Philippines, Hong Kong, Okinawa and Taiwan, and in 1973, Hal was back in San Diego as part of a seventeen piece stage band, the Navy Show Band West.
During the Nixon and bi-centennial years (1974-77), Hal held his final station in Washington, D.C. There, he played the tenor sax for the last time within the Navy; he played for the Ceremonial Unit of the Navy band until 1977.
Then in 1982, Hal attended San Diego City College. He earned a degree in woodworking and became a cabinetmaker eventually owning his own shop. He retired in 2002, and has continued photography as a hobby.
"I especially love Hal's action shots. He has an eye for it, and he's able to anticipate what happens next, like a slide or slam-dunk. He has a real understanding of sports photography," states Associate Dean of Athletics at Grossmont College, Thomas Armstrong.
Hal is very appreciative for the opportunity to photograph at Grossmont. He states,
"I would like to thank the athletic department, the athletic trainers and the photo department for being so helpful and accepting to a rookie photographer for so many years, and hopefully a few years more."
Hal currently resides in San Carlos, California and enjoys golf in addition to photography.
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