Thursday, June 10, 2010

The excitement of covering spot news

To some news photographers there’s nothing like getting the blood pumping than having to jump up and rush off to photograph a spot news event. Spot news photographs are pictures of unscheduled events for which no advance planning was possible. These news situations are normally spontaneous photos of a fire, traffic accident or a rescue. This type of event puts pressure on the photographer to produce while working under trying conditions, even through a little humor can be found near the end once those emergency personnel on the scene deems the situation isn’t life threatening and a lighter type of photo can be taken. So, if you don’t make it on time to photograph the trauma situation, a story telling photo can always be made.

I’ve found while out covering spot news events, stay out of the way of police, fire or medical personnel. A long lens helps so that you can move in closer to make photos that might show emotion.

Most of the time it’s often difficult to gather caption information at spot news events, so I try get the names and contact phone number of an police officer, firefighter or paramedics and what fire station they belong to, so that I can later phone and get more details.

Here are some details of the posted photos:

A SWAT team member and his dog provides cover for the rest of the team as they search house to house for a suspect in the after a Seattle Police Officer was shot in his car about 9:30 this morning. Since the scene was still active, I was forced to use my 400mm lens and stand back across the street behind a police line.

South Kitsap fireman knocks back a house fire in Port Orchard. While working for the Port Orchard Independent I got to know most of the local emergency personnel well and actually able to move in closer to a fire, emergency situation using a variety of lenses, ranging from a wide angle to a telephoto.

Emergency personnel stabilize an injured woman after an accident.  While covering this accident I was told to get back by a Washington State Patrol Trooper, but the Fireman Lieutenant informed the officer that I knew what I was doing and wouldn't be In the way. I guess all those times I dropped off containers of ice cream at the fire station paid off.

A fireman carried a 50-pound English bulldog up a steer embankment after his owner lost control on an icy road.

A sanitation worker pours coffee from a thermos after turning over his garbage truck while traveling through a roundabout.

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