Whew! What a month. Between the start of my 2012 wedding season and the workload of being the only photographer at the newspaper, things have been go go go here on my end. But I’ve never been happier. Here are some of my favorites from the past couple of weeks.
So one of my favorite things about my new staff photographer gig at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle is that the newspaper also publishes 20 or so magazines and tabloid papers throughout the year. This is awesome because they often times present an opportunity for me to think of cool concepts for portraits or dive into a long term photo story about whatever featured topic we are covering. It feels like working at a big metro newspaper except our photo department has more of a say with how the photos are laid out. In the latest issue of Balance, I had the opportunity to photograph a local writer here in town for the release of her new book. The editors and I were kicking around ideas for conveying that she is a humor writer (and sometimes columnist for our paper) and that her first book was like launching into a new direction for her career. I came up with an idea of using paper airplanes made of newsprint. With the help of my sister Katie, we folded over 300 airplanes. They gave the desired effect. With me lucking out with the writer’s beautiful home and window light, I made numerous images I was really happy with. Below is how we ended up running the story. Thanks for looking. -M
I love Montana! I’ve been having a blast this past month exploring the Bozeman area. Here are some of my latest images I made at my new staff photographer gig at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. The snow is melting and spring is slowly settling in. I’m looking forward to what’s around the corner. Thanks for looking, -M
I recently completed my first multimedia piece since starting at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. My reporter Amanda and I had heard a rumor that there was this goose and donkey at a nearby farm who had developed a friendship. Sure enough, we found just that when we visited Barbara Kurk on her farm. My editors were pushing for a multimedia piece about the pair so I brought along an old handicam video camera. Time was short to produce this video. In all I had about three busy days to collect the footage and then put it all together in one 13 hour day. I was happy with how it turned out. Thanks for looking! -M
One of the cool things The Bozeman Daily Chronicle does is have a weekend page dedicated solely to photography. They call it there “Viewfinder” section and it serves as a blank canvas to fill with pictures of whatever the photo department wants. This past weekend was my first time being in charge of it and I decided to head over to a local foundry here in town where my friend Ty works. Tucked away in Bear Canyon just outside of Bozeman, Montana, a small handful of metalworkers and artists make up one of the top bronze foundries in the country. The Northwest Art Casting Company has quickly become a go to destination for high end artists across the country looking to have their sculptures enlarged and casts in bronze. I decided to spend the day doing a visual study of the place and to document the process of making bronze statues. It was pretty awesome. Here are some of my favorite images from the day. For more information about their process or to take a tour of their facilities, visit there website at www.nwartcasting.com
This was a cool story I worked on last week. I got the opportunity to head out to Moonlight Basin Ski Area to document inventor/skier Bob Kolesar along with his wife Ellyn Murphy and their concept Ski Bikes. Basically ski bikes are a high end mountain bike design with modified skis instead of wheels. Bob started making them after Ellyn sufferred a severe head injury back in the 1980’s when the cliff she was hiking on collapsed and she fell 35 feet. The injury has left her having servere weakness on her right side which makes it near impossible for her to enjoy one of her favorite pasttimes of skiing. As a remedy, Bob starting making these awesome bikes for disabled individuals so that they could enjoy the slopes together again. My reporter Jodi and I spent the afternoon trying these things out and had an absolute blast with them. They are awesome. For the full story check out the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. -M
In the blink an eye, I’ve realized that it has been almost a month now since I’ve been living and working in Bozeman, Montana. I’ve been settling into my new position at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle here quite nicely. My transition from the busy world of California into the calm wild openess of Montana has been a surprisingly quick and painless journey for me. It’s a place that already feels like home. Like all newspaper gigs, I’ve had a gamut of different things to photograph lately. The one major difference has been the change in temperature. Where in California I would consistantly be shooting out in 100 degree heat, I was quickly re-introduced to the polar opposite of Montana’s winter and trying to operate my camera and my numb fingers in the daily snow storms here. In all, I’ve been having a great time photographing in a place and culture that fuels my soul. I feel like I’m just racing out of the starting gates. I can’t wait to see what awaits around the corner. Here some of my work from the last couple of weeks. -M
Note: I’m trying to figure out why my work computers are making my images look all flat when I save them for web. I’ll work on the annoyance. Thanks for looking.
I’ve been settling into my new surroundings quite nicely here in Bozeman. I’ve been surprised how quickly I’ve adapted into this new mountain lifestyle. After my first full week at my new staff photographer job at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, I decided to take up an offer from a new friend to cross country ski in Yellowstone National Park this past weekend. Not having XC skis of my own, I opted to rent some from the local Chalet Sports in downtown Bozeman and then met up with a new buddy Megan and made the 1 1/2 hour drive south towards Gardiner and the Mammoth Hot Springs for a day out in the mountains. We never made it to the ski trail. Megan had heard from a fellow park ranger that some wolves had been seen in a couple areas of the park recently and that we would have a good chance of seeing them. We decided to check out one of the sights on our way to the trail. Pay dirt. The first spot we saw about 5 wolves laying on a hillside and then stumbled across 10 more at a second location. We ended up scraping the skiing idea and spending the whole day watching the pack through the viewing scopes from the hardcore watchers who were helping out the resident wolf researchers. I have never seen wolves in the wild before. In one day we watched them play, breed, watched how they responded to the alpha males and females, and watched them cross a road in front of us to feast on a fresh buffalo carcass in a field. It was a surreal, fascinating day to watch how these often shy animals think and operate. It was rare treat. Kicking myself for not bringing a larger lenses, I had to settle to photograph them with a 200mm lens. Here are a couple that I liked including a lone bull buffalo cruising along the road. Loving Montana! -M
Well the final hours of my last day as a Daily Republic staff photographer have come and gone. I’ve had a great 3 1/2 year run covering the Solano County community here near the San Francisco Bay Area. I did a lot of growth here as a shooter and now I look to the horizon towards my new staff photographer gig at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle working in the mountainous paradise of Bozeman, Montana. Four words: Epic Fly Fishing Country! I’m pretty excited about it. Montana is where I began my journalism career and I’m looking forward to returning to it with lots of experience under my belt and excitement to document the culture that I love so much. I’m already thinking of some great story ideas to tackle out there. Here’s to new beginnings! -Greener
The final hours are counting down for 2011. What a year. For me it was a rebuilding year both professionally and physically. I started out the year with being hit by a car while out on assignment for my newspaper and the result has been an intensive year of doctors visits, pain management and rehabilitation. I’m finally starting to feel better but my recovery is far from over. The car accident was a pretty derailing experience for my year and it has taken me a while to get back on the tracks. My priorities this year have been to heal my body and continue to form the foundation for my future in the business of photography. Right around the time of my accident, I had a series of pretty intense/ego bruising photo edits from some very talented and respected editors in the journalism industry. It’s always good to have that reality check to put you in your place and make you re-evaluate what you are doing with your craft. It forced me to do a lot of soul searching with how I approach my photography and my maneuvering through the rapidly changing journalism industry. It was good for me to hear and I think down the road I will be a stronger photographer for it. I still haven’t quite figured it all out but I can say confidently that I made some progress this past year and that I have high hopes for 2012. I’m looking forward to it. Happy New Year everyone! -M
Man where did the year go? To tell the truth I’m glad to be over with it. It has been a long year of doctor visits and general soreness with my injuries from my Christmas 2010 car accident. I’m looking forward to the new year. Looking back on my work for December I feel like I got enough good photos to end on a high note for the year. I’ve been shooting a lot of “Day in the Life” mini photo stories that are slated to run throughout the holiday weekend. The concept for them is that I follow around a person in the community for a couple hours and try to show what it’s like to live a day in their shoes. It’s been a lot of fun for me. So far I’ve spent time with a cab driver, a preschool teacher, a specialty cake maker and a special needs school bus driver. They have been a nice change from the avalanche of holiday stories that tend to come with the December month. Overall its been an enjoyable month. -M
Yesterday evening I covered a tear jerker of a story for my newspaper. We found out late in the day that a Travis Air Force Base military dad was going to be surprising his 4-year-old daughter and wife by coming home early and show up at the daughter’s dance recital here in downtown Fairfield. His plan was to sneak into her recital and then once she finished, he would walk out from the crowd and go to her on stage. I decided to camp out behind the curtains stage left and then when the moment came, rush out onto the stage to make my frame. It was pretty special to watch the daughter finish dancing then see her eyes grow big and tear up as she yelled out “Daddy!” and ran to hug him. Soon after, wife came up on stage too and there was a great family moment with the crowd applauding. I knew going into it what side of the stage he would likely walk up so I set up a strobe on the overhead balcony shooting down to the steps. I was thinking the moment could happen either on stage or down in the crowd. I compensated by aiming my flash so it would hit both. I got lucky that they were facing away from the audience and towards me. I think it worked out pretty well. I like how I can see the crowd in this image. The first image in this post is from when the daughter stopped her initial hug to look her father in the eyes. I think she was a bit stunned. Rightly so. It ran big on the front page of our paper this morning. You can read the accompanying article here. The local broadcast stations covered it as well. The rest are some other images from the event that I liked. It’s times like this that I feel really lucky to be working as a journalist. It warms the soul to see a young military family like this getting to spend Christmas together. Happy Holidays everyone! -M
Upon my return to work recently after my bout with pneumonia, I was given a fun, but hasty assignment by my photo editor. Often times planned scheduled stories won’t work out for some reason or another which leaves the management to scramble to fill the void. Such a time came a week or two ago, when our planned photo package for our Sunday Living section of the newspaper fell through. My boss turned to me to come up with a filler story. We’ve had an exceptional extended fall here in Northern California and my assignment was to go out and document the fall colors through a photo essay within three days. I must say I really enjoyed doing it. Although it was a rushed story, I took the opportunity to slow down and really study the scenery I was photographing. I was pleased with the results. Crazy to think we are just a couple weeks away until Christmas. These warmer California “winters” are messing with this midwesterner’s head. Is it weird that I want to see everything covered in snow for the holidays? Thanks for looking. -M
Here are some of my favorites photographs from November at my newspaper staff job. I had a rough November. For two and a half weeks I was sick at home with pneumonia. I must say it was a well needed rest and I’ve been feeling much better both physically and mentally. I’m incredibly backed up with photo posts and I’m playing a little catch up with them. More to come. Thanks for looking. -M
I’ve been neglecting this blog for a while now but not without good reason. My October has crazy busy and I have been working non stop on my wedding business. Somehow through it all I managed to fit in a couple fishing trips. I’ll post some photos of those adventures soon. Looking back on my October work at the newspaper it was pretty calm. I mostly photographed a lot of portraits. Here are some of the ones I liked from the past month. -M
Last weekend my reporter Nick DeCicco and I got to cover the entire weekend of the Outside Lands Music Festival at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Being a local daily newspaper in Solano County, it’s rare that journalists at our newspaper get an opportunity for press passes at such a big event in the big city. Nick keeps up a well thought out music blog and pitched the idea of covering it to our bosses and in the end were given the green light to go do and cover it. I love being in big crowds and seeing live music. Ever since I was an adolescent, the majority of my pitiful income would go towards summer concerts and band tours. This time it would be different. Our press passes were our golden tickets. One of the things I love most about my job is the doors photojournalism can take you through. In this case, it was the backstage access and photo pit in front of the front row that allowed me to get a new glimpse into the music world I grew up loving. There was not a bad performance to be had. Notable bands worth checking out in no particular order of awesomeness: Joy Formidable, Foster The People, MGMT, Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, Phish, Ok Go, Arctic Monkeys, Old 97’s, The Black Keys, Josh Ritter, John Fogerty, The Decemberists, and Arcade Fire. Here are some of my favorite snaps from the weekend. Keep on rocking people! -M
Yesterday went from a pretty lax assignment day to a full on spot news intensity over a six alarm fire at a plastic factory in Fairfield, California. I wasn’t thinking much about it as I made my way out towards Travis Air Force Base. Nine times out of ten fires around here are small or just smoke from a faulty kitchen appliance. As I made the turn off of Texas Street and headed down Air Base Parkway in Fairfield I immediately saw that this was no ordinary fire. I saw a huge towering cloud of black smoke billowing on the horizon. I’ve never seen a fire so big. I arrived at the scene to see fire crews from Fairfield and surrounding agencies working to put out a massive blaze that was burning stacks of polypropleyne packing bins at Macro Plastics, a local plastic factory located in an industrial area near Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield. It literally blocked out the sun and bore an eerie resemblance to the pictures I saw of burning oil fields inIraq during Desert Storm. I was at the scene for over three hours as emergency crews tried to the contain the blaze. There wasn’t a whole lot that they could do. Here are some of the photos I made during my coverage of the fire. You can read the whole story of the blaze on the Daily Republic’s website here. Crazy day. -M
June has always been a point in the year where change comes about in Fairfield. Schools are letting out for the summer and the daily work at my newspaper shifts from the sports and education reporting into a more laid back summer mode. It’s a chance to divulge more time to long term stories. I welcome it. Lately I’ve found myself shooting a lot of assignments from a high vantage point. I recently accompanied airmen from Travis Air Force Base up into a KC-10 Extender for a military mid air fueling exercise. It was pretty cool to be 40,000 ft up in the air in the tail section of a military jet looking down on a huge cargo plane. Likewise I also had the chance to document a young team of rescue first responders practicing their evacuation of a victim from the view point of their large training towers. This July marks my third year anniversary working at the Daily Republic newspaper in Fairfield. It’s crazy how fast it has all past by me and still to this day I am pleased to find myself still experiencing new situations and covering new stories. It also makes me step back and think about how much I’ve grown both photographically during my time here. I’ve been quite busy developing my wedding photography business. My role documenting weddings has quickly become a huge enjoyment for me. One that has caught me off guard at times. I think some good changes are on the horizon for me.
And I’m back. I took a little break from the blog this month. So much has been going on in my neck of the woods. Here are some of the images I made this month that stood out to me. I felt pretty good about the images I made. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching in my photography this year. The year started out pretty rough for me with beginning it with being in a car accident and then getting some heavy portfolio reviews from my mentor Alex Garcia and legendary photo editor Mike Davis. The result of these encounters is that the first half of this year has been a big period for growth and reflection both mentally and photographically. I feel like I am finally regaining my rhythm and have started making some nicer images. All for the better. Both of those guys opened my eyes to a lot of things and I am very grateful for their honesty and time. I’ve been working really hard at getting my Greener Visuals Wedding Photography business off of the ground and it is starting to bare fruit. I’ve got five weddings lined up this year and am working on securing a couple more. Things are good just incredibly busy. Always a good thing. Thanks for looking. -M