Thursday, October 25, 2007


Looking back is what I will call post about old photographs I shot: I have been glued to the web and CNN as I edit photos this week looking at images from the California wildfires. SEE PHOTOS HERE. I am a big news junkie even though I don’t do photojournalism work on a daily basis anymore. I am especially amazed and curious about things like wildfires, floods, hurricanes and the like. I really would like to be there covering and photographing the event. Not that I could do a better job or there needs to be another photographer in the area. But, mostly because I have never covered a huge event like the wildfires in California. Could I do it? Could I help tell the story well and document history? Could I find and get images the other photographers were not? I would hope so. And I still have the urge to shoot things like this just not the means and I have small kids at home to think about.

I use to love the challenge of covering breaking news even on a small scale at the papers I worked for over the years. I also liked going places the general public wasn’t aloud to go. To be the eyes for everyone and on a selfish note to experience things other people don’t get to experience.

It sounds bad but there is a thrill side to it. Even though it might be a bad situation for some people involved. How close could I get without getting hurt or kicked out and could I make a nice photograph to tell the story?

But I also think without the thrill aspect of fighting a fire you would not get people to choose to work or volunteer as a firefighter. If parts of the job were not exciting to some people why would a “normal” person go into a burning building or witness death and injury on a daily basis? I think firefighters are great people for what they do and I always enjoyed photographing them doing their jobs so the public could appreciate what they do.

In this old shot, from 1995, I went into a building that still had hot spots burning to photograph firefighters looking for them to try and save some of the house. I had a great relationship with the Novi fire department when I worked for the Novi News. The chief let me get right in the action when he felt is was safe enough. They even gave me a fire pager, helmet and fire jacket. I don’t think they would do that now. The chief was smart and liked photos of his crews in the paper and realized it would always help at funding and millage increase time. Access can be a huge part of newspaper photography. But he did always tell me I was on my own and to be smart and be careful.


Post a Comment

<< Home