Shortly after making the last post, about the crushingly not-much-happening protest I had a reflection upon the state of mind of someone who gets excited to make photos of things such as protests. Ya see, news guys and gals aren’t right in the head. We don’t spend our time trying to find the perfect face and find a way to light it angelically to produce an etherial and other worldly image that sells stuff. Nope. We aren’t interested in creating any sort of fantasy. Just the opposite. We are obsessed with showing things that are real and happening underfoot in many cases especially because it’s not pleasant. News-ies want to make you stop and pay attention to things that we think are important.
Paul, one of my news shooter friends, and I decided that there is something completely wrong with us. We aren’t wired normally. He noted some time ago while musing on the patio of a local coffeehouse that if out of the blue someone came running down the street screaming in a panicked voice “Look out! He’s got a gun!” everyone would duck and run away from the source of the danger while he and I would grab our cameras and run towards the maniac in order to get a good image of the chaos. Who with a fully working brain does that?
Back when I was getting started I contacted my local Associated Press office to try and become a stringer for them. The head photog was out on vacation and so I had to wait a few weeks to see him. However the guy I was talking to told me to keep up the good work so to speak. “Oh,” he said, “in the mean time if you get anything good: barricaded gunman, jumper with flames, send that in.” Jumper WITH flames became stuck in my head for years to come. Get a shot of a dude in mid air while jumping from a building? Meh. Shot of a dude in mid air while jumping from a building that is engulfed in fire? Score!
So as a result even when I’m headed to an assignment with the car loaded with lighting gear for a complicated portrait of some head of industry I still have my gas mask stowed away next to the spare tire. You never know when you will need it to get “the shot”.
Ugh, there is something wrong with us!
On a lighter note, here is a shot from the Ferret Cam.