Monday, April 30, 2007


So I previewed a post I just wrote, then realized I spelled commitments wrong (two t's), tried to go back and change it, and I lost the whole post.

I'll try to remember what I had written, and add some more.

It's been really busy around here lately. I thought I would be able to update this space more frequently. But between working at the paper, finishing a year-long research project (What an undertaking!) and various other commitments, I haven't had the time.

Last week was heavy with spot news. I shot a fatal car wreck, a large fire in an unoccupied, low-income housing complex and covered a truency sweep. Two women were killed after leaving a bar and driving south in the northbound lanes of a highway. It goes without saying, but drinking and driving is stupid.

Access to the fire was a little hard to get. When I first arrived, a cop wouldn't let me get within 500 yards of the housing complex, which has been closed for several years after a similar fire exposed major flaws with the facility's infrastructure.

Then I was allowed to stand in the street at the gate and shoot the fire trucks. Yay. A few minutes later I was told to go back to the edge where I was before. Boo. Finally, one of the deputy fire chiefs fetched the reporter and me and took us to the blaze. He explained why firefighters were in a defensive mode and how the fire had moved through a wing of the complex.

He gets it. The cops, not so much this time.

The next morning I spent a few hours with a deputy sheriff on a truency sweep. It was interesting, but we only made two stops. In a way, it was better than my night with undercover detectives in St. Louis. Yet it lacked the excitement - no one threatened to shoot us this time.

The week ended with a profile on a local artist who creates his own pottery glazes. They're irridescent, too!

Be safe.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

What The Duck?

For some time now, a Home Depot retention pond has been home to a flock of Muscovy ducks. They aren't the most attractive creatures, but I had fun trying to make a good picture this afternoon. While driving to the Home Depot, I saw a few hundred pinwheels planted in front of North Florida Regional Medical Center.

I shot the quackers, called my editor to tell him I got some nice pictures, and returned to the hospital. When I first saw the colorful toys, some were spinning in the breeze and others were not. But then when I returned later in the afternoon, I had to wait a few minutes for the wind to return. Each pinwheel represented an abused child in Alachua County.

Friday, April 13, 2007

On The Fences

Have you ever wondered what it's like to shoot a gatefold image for SI or National Geographic? Joe McNally has some interesting stories about getting the picture on his Web site. Click on "Special Projects" and then click on the image with the hand-written notes.

On a similar note, have you wondered if those chain-link fence backstops at recreational baseball fields would support a person? Yesterday I found out they do. It's a bit shaky at the top. And climbing up was a little more exciting then climbing down.
The view wasn't too bad. I've wanted to climb one of these fences for a long time to shoot baseball, but never had the time or will to do it. I found a Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department maintenance worker readying the field for play while cruising for features, and it was the opportunity I've been waiting for. Maybe I'll go back and set up a remote.

We had a hard time deciding which image to publish. Which do you prefer?

If you're wondering, the second one was published.