Heidi and Brandon’s wedding was in the small northern Minnesota town of Clearbrook. Clear skies, good weather and a fun group of people. Enjoy this small slice of their day!
Ok, this cold is getting on my nerves! Are tired of being cooped up inside and looking for an excuse to get out? I’m offering another round of speedy photo sessions on Saturday, February 8 at the studio. Kids, pets, grandparents, significant other – drag ‘em on in for a quick and painless photo session.
This is a great chance for a nice Valentine keepsake, a winter birthday or maybe you just didn’t get your holiday photos last fall.
Call or email for more information or to reserve your time slot today!
Yesterday I showed you some of the newspapers and magazines that my Casselton derailment photos appeared in and today I thought I’d act like the MSUM photo instructor I am and explain how I was able to get the photos.
The first rule in breaking news photojournalism is you have to get a photo of something – anything at all. The Big Thing just might be over by the time you get there so if you even catch a glimpse you need to take a photo. So on my drive to Casselton I stopped and made some images with my cell phone and DSLR of the smoke rising off in the distance just so I at least had these images.
Ok … got ‘em. I tweeted the photo on the right and carried on.
Now I needed to start getting something interesting. The smoke is impressive but we can’t see the source and there really isn’t anything to give us a sense of scale so I begin to use what’s around me.
People and cars! We know how big they are so now we can get an idea of the size of the smoke plume. The highway patrol officer in the foreground is an added bonus because showing emergency personnel means this is serious, right?
The situation was serious enough that the West Fargo Police Department even dispatched officers to assist. After I made the above photo a West Fargo officer arrived on scene and asked me (and everyone else) to move back. I didn’t argue because as you can tell I can only see the smoke rising above the trees and it’s not a terribly compelling situation at this point. You have to pick your battles in journalism and need to respect the fact that law enforcement has their own job to do so I willingly cooperated.
At this point I had already missed one explosion – it occurred right as I was getting out of my car. Great. Now as I drove north of town to try and find another location that might show the actual train a second fireball lit up the sky. In a way this wasn’t a bad thing as it made me believe that as the fire spread it was causing new tank cars to explode – translation: there would be more.
I drive back into town to get south of the tracks where I assume I’ll have the best view (and I’m right) because legendary ND photojournalist Bruce Crummy has already found this spot on the west edge of town. Soon a firefighter shows up to take his own photos of the fire! Good, now we have another emergency responder to add some interest. I photograph him two ways: with the fire in focus and him out of focus and then the opposite.
As Bruce and I keep making images I notice the fire creeping higher and higher – another explosion soon? Yup.
This is at the beginning of the fireball – pretty good but can it get better? Yes it can. The two images below are my images that were published the most in the last week.
Other than being in the right place at the right time and simply clicking the shutter, what else helps set Bruce’s and my images apart from the hundreds of images on social media? We both know how to expose images properly so there is plenty of detail not only in the fireball but the rest of the scene as well.
This is the photo the Star Tribune ran three columns wide on their region front page.
Isn’t the updraft below the fireballs amazing? Those are the sort of details I don’t see when I’m shooting because worrying about focus and composition so they are the happy little things I see after the fact.
As I said yesterday, this would be a lot less interesting to talk about if BNSF or emergency personnel had been injured so I’m thankful that wasn’t the case.
Now I can get back to the oh-so-less-stressful act of photographing weddings.
Wow, this is an exciting first post for 2014.
When I worked as a full-time photojournalist listening to a police scanner was an important part of the job and it’s still a habit of mine (when I’m not around others to be annoyed by the chatter). Last Monday a Cass County Sheriff dispatcher sent deputies and the Casselton Fire Department to the scene of a train derailment where tank cars were already on fire.
That’s all I need to hear … I was out the door.
I’ll post some of the better photos tomorrow with some more explanations but for now I thought I’d share the crazy life some of these pics have taken on. I send my news photos (usually flooding!) to ZUMA Press, a wire service and within an hour of submitting my images a picture editor emailed me that they made one of my images one of their Pictures of the Day. Pretty cool!
The next day my images started showing up all over the world:
Thankfully there were no injuries to any train crews or emergency responders – that would make this a far less exciting post to write.
Tomorrow I’ll share more of the photos and explain how I was able to capture the images.
Whether you have a new camera or want to learn how to get more from the one you have, here’s an opportunity for you expand your knowledge of photography. These workshops for the new photographer with a DSLR who is intimidated by or wants to learn more about how their camera and lens works, how to properly measure exposure so you can be free of the automatic mode and how to better compose images.
*A workshop is a great Christmas gift for the photographer in your life!
Topics we’ll cover include:
We’ll cover these topics in a class setting, go out with our cameras and apply what we’ve learned, and then review the photos we’ve made. And don’t be afraid! I’m not here to talk down to you, I’m here to talk with you to give you the confidence to take chances and make photographs you’ll be proud of.
What won’t we do? This class isn’t for somebody who wants to learn how to take photos just like Milestones Photography. Instead, my goal is to teach you to be a better photographer so you can find your own visual voice. Your perspective is unique and you should express it!
Saturday, January 25
10am–4pm, lunch provided
Saturday, March 1
10am–4pm, lunch provided
405 West Main Ave. Suite 4F
Payment must be made in full prior to the workshop to reserve seat. Reservations made on a first-come basis. No cancellations or refunds.
What do you need?
A DSLR camera (no point and shoots, please) that you’ll bring to the workshop. If you plan on buying any new lenses prior to the workshop please contact me and I’ll help you select the best lens for your budget.
Want to know more or reserve a spot?
Get in touch with us through the web site, call 701-371-7363 or register online.