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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Yeah, But Its A Dry Heat

I have taken many trips to Death Valley National Park, but the Summer weather assignment takes heat to yet another level. At 125 degrees and a hot wind that makes it worse, eight hours of driving to get there and back and an hour out at Bad Water (282 feet below sea level)to photo tourists that are from anywhere but the U.S., beats a day in the office.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

So You Think Its Hot?

Here in the Inland Empire, along with everywhere else, it has been "Africa Hot." I have actually been entertained by reading the weather page of how miserable everyone else is as well... So Cal temps included the record breaking 119 in Woodland Hills, 114 in San Bernardino and 121 in Palm Spring. Palm Springs is near where these three fires (Sawtooth Complex, Covington at Joshua Tree National Park, and Crafton Hills) were taken from. Take that 108 degrees in the shade add long sleeves and long pants, add full Nomex fire protection gear, helmet. Carry lots of cameras, water and a fire shelter then hike a couple of miles in rugged terrain in the sand at 4000 feet elevation of Joshua Tree NP. Then when you reach the fire, get real close to the burning stuff at 1800 degrees. If you have any extra ambition try running along with the firefighters as they drag hose lines, because I like to photograph fire with a 14 mm lens. Needless to say I soaked the clothes as if I jumped into one of those back yard pools the fire was threatening and I have it easy because I can stop or leave if I've had enough. That IS what I call a good time. It tends to make up for the other stuff that is not so cool.

The slide show: Fire Weather
PS. I have been photographing wildland fires for 20 years (my first published image was of an Orange County canyon fire in 1986... dont try this at home kids;)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

An extra special message, massage

Rialto Police and narcotics officers raided two massage and tanning parlors for prostitution after months of undercover investigation.

I think this image above is my favorite because a raid can be action packed like the one below but this image makes a quiet visual statement to an emotional state, a mood, a social statement on the condition these people may be in. The girl shrunken at the bottom of a well of looming parental like officers, dark clothing and shapes. A trapped social condition.
Again, the use of the wide angle lens and natural light helps me capture what is there, unlike the use of flash and drag of the shutter to create a completely different feel of the event (the arrest blur photo). I believe how one chooses to photograph a scene conveys a layer of information not literal and always easy to explain.