Monday, March 31, 2008

Only in Aspen

Sometimes life cracks me up. I arrived in Aspen this afternoon in the middle of a snowstorm to shoot a couple stories for our life section. I decided to look for a weather feature to help with the daily paper when I ran across this clothing store with bikinis on display. The contrast of summer inside and winter outside made for a good feature possibility so I sat down and waited for the moment. These two women dressed in their winter coats and boots walked by and I had my shot. The story got even better when I chased them down to get their names. The two women, Anna Burns and Nicki Kretchmer, are swimsuit models who have been in previous Hooters calendars and were in Aspen to help with next year's calendar shoot. I couldn't stop laughing.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Remember Cesar Chavez

I covered a march honoring Cesar Chavez today in downtown Colorado Springs. The union activist's birthday is Monday, March 31. He died in 1993 at the age of 66. I followed the group of about 100 people for 30 minutes before the clouds parted. I started shooting low because I really like the texture of the skies with the marchers and their signs. Regina Bell, 15, holding the sign with the picture of Robert Kennedy and Chavez at the end of his fast in 1968, and the other marchers felt the United States should designate a day to recognize Chavez and all the things he did for the migrant workers and unions in our country. I think they have a good point.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Best of Photojournalism 2008

Olivier Douliery of ABACA Press took first place in the News Portrait and Personality category of the 2008 Best of Photojournalism with this photo of the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet during the festivities at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Tibet's spiritual leader received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by U.S. lawmakers. The contest, sponsored by the National Press Photographers Association, is underway. Results can be found at

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Aerial photography

Billings, Mont., Gazette photo editor and pilot Larry Mayer shot this photo of Billings pilot Alan Kasemodel circling over a Rocky Mountain College student who crashed his plane in the Pryor Mountains Tuesday evening. The student can be seen carrying an orange survival blanket in the upper right of the photo. Mayer has shot a lot of interesting pictures from his plane. His aerial landscapes are amazing. Check them out at

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Family's loss

Last week a terrible crime was committed leaving children without their mother and father. Many readers did not agree with our decision to run a photo of the crime scene, but other readers did. News is not always pretty and sanitized, sometimes it is be unsettling. Our job as photojournalists is to try and document our community, both good and bad, in the best way possible.
While Kevin Kreck's first photo is powerful, we published it inside and in black and white. His second is as powerful and shows the effects on those left behind.

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Jonika Winkler visits the memorial she began for her best friend Colleen Dwyer

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Why we ran a disturbing picture

A tragic event struck our community Wednesday. An estranged husband shot his wife then pointed the gun at himself, leaving them both dead and their children without parents. The Gazette ran this photo above shot by Gazette photographer Kevin Kreck with the story. Some readers were upset and responded on our website. One reader said "showing a picture of the bodies was tacky. Real tacky." Another wrote: "The Media in CS (Colorado Springs) disgusts me!" I understand why they were upset. They should be and that's why I feel we made the right decision to run the picture. Kevin's photo showed the tragedy of the event and made readers stop and think about it. Kevin told me today that he waited until the police blocked the view of the husband's head. He didn't want to show the man's disfigured face. It wasn't necessary. But showing the bodies told the reality of the violence. If one woman sees this photo and is inspired to get out of her own bad domestic situation or if this photo encourages people in our community to seek a better way to protect people in similar positions, running the photo was worth it. Maybe our society wouldn't be so numb to events like this if we didn't filter the news as much as we do. Don't get me wrong. Newspapers shouldn't run disturbing photos without a very good reason. But this was a very good reason. Kevin's picture still haunts me and it should because we should all be haunted by this story.
I think some readers were haunted too by their comments on our website. One reader wrote: "I think these pictures are horrific and graphic, but they show the frailty of life, and really makes us think about our own. Perhaps one could even go so far as it COULD be helpful to some abused women reading this, thinking about taking the restraining order off their abusive spouse/boyfriend. Seeing such a graphic picture may get them thinking they don't want to be the next one face-down in the grass."
Another reader wrote: "We live in a retched violent society and if we've any hope of raising the public's desire to force change we must first expose that very society to the truth." I couldn't agree more.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Creative weather feature

Associated Press stringer Nathan Bilow created an interesting weather feature Friday by framing a woman walking along Elk Avenue in Crested butte with icicles in the foreground. The picture tells in a unique way the story of the how the Colorado mountain town has received more than 30 feet of snow this winter.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Associated Press 2007 best pictures

Here are some of the best pictures from 2007 that ran on the Associated Press photo wire as picked by the AP wire service. Above, two acrobatic planes from the Zelazny group collide during a performance at an air show in Radom, Poland, Saturday, Sept. 1. Both pilots died in the crash, but there were no reports of injuries in the crowd. (AP Photo/ Darek Redos)

A worker exhumes a corpse as another stands at left in Guatemala City's main cemetery, Friday, May 25. Cemetery rules establish that six years after burial relatives must pay 180 Quetzales (around $24 U.S.) to renew the grave site for another four years. If cemetery fees are not paid, the skeletons are thrown into a collective graveyard. In 2007 more than 2000 bodies were exhumed due to failed payments. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

A hot air balloon's basket is engulfed in flames shortly after takeoff when it was about 25 feet off the ground in Surrey, British Colombia Friday Aug. 24. Witnesses said passengers screamed and jumped to the ground. The balloon reportedly took off from a grassy field with 12 passengers. The balloon crashed in a trailer park and campground , injuring as many as 11 people, police and local reports said. Two additional people were unaccounted for. (AP Photo/Don Randall)

The severed lower left arm of a Taiwanese veterinarian is seen in the jaws of a crocodile, Wednesday, April 11 at the Shoushan Zoo in Kaohsiung, 350 kilometers (217 miles) south west of Taipei, Taiwan. Chang Po-yu's lower left arm was bitten off by the crocodile when he tried to pull a tranquilizer dart from the reptile's body. Two bullets were shot at the crocodile but it was unharmed. Chang went through emergency surgery to have his limb reattached. (AP Photo/Steve Chen)

Seagulls perch on a giant baseball glove during a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the San Francisco Giants Monday, July 31 in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Iranian police officers and others view the scene as five convicted criminals are hung, in a neighborhood of Mashad, 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) northwest of Tehran, Iran, on Wednesday Aug. 1. In the second round of collective executions in 10 days, Iran publicly hanged 7 criminals convicted on various charges of rape, robbery and kidnapping, according to reports on the official web-site of state broadcasting company. (AP Photo/Halabisaz)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hazardous job


Photographers covering the men's Big 12 conference college basketball tournament find themselves in the middle of the action as Colorado forward Jermyl Jackson-Wilson, top right, flies off the court in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Spring sports

Say "Goodbye" to winter and its inside sports and "Hello" to spring and the outdoor games that come with the warmer weather. Here are two SPRING photos from today's wire to get you excited. Above, Milwaukee Brewers' Rickie Weeks, reflected in sunglasses, signs an autograph for a fan before a spring training baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Chicago Cubs right fielder Kosuke Fukudome, of Japan, leaps at the fence to catch a ball hit by San Diego Padres' Jody Gerut in the third inning of a spring training baseball game in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Featured photos

Here are some fun photos from The Associated Press wire:
Above, men in loincloth jostle each other in the mud water at Mimusubi shrine in Yotsukaido, near Tokyo. Hundreds of local dwellers took part in "the muddy rite" the ceremony to pray for the good harvest for the year and good health for babies. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Visitors take pictures of an angel shark using their mobile phone as it passes above them during the public opening of The Manila Ocean Park, the country's first oceanarium in Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Pat Roque)


Los Angeles Clippers fan Brooke Amblen watches the Clippers play the Portland Trail Blazers as she sits behind an advertising banner during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

And the winners are...



The Gazette photo staff picked up two awards over the weekend. Photographer Kirk Speer earned third place in the feature photo category of the Colorado Associated Press contest Friday night for his picture of the dog playing in the snow. Photographer Christian Murdock earned third place in sports photograph category at the Colorado Press Association awards Saturday for his picture of mountain boarding crashing last summer during the national competition at Snowmass Village.