I’m a little late with getting this good news posted but I was thrilled to learn that a couple of big projects I worked on while at my last newspaper, The Daily Republic, was recently recognized by the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s Better Newspapers Contest. Reporter Barry Eberling and I won first place for our year-long documentary series on the Suisun Marsh which looked at the culture, people and environmental impacts that were going on around the popular outdoor recreation area. In addition, I was stoked to see that I won first place for a multimedia project I did on Bob Waller, a finish carpenter who when the economy tanked took it upon himself to go another direction and tap into his life long love of surfing and skateboarding by blending the two and making his own custom longboard skateboards. I was also recognized in the Art/Nature Photo category for my coverage of a local duck hunting club and our photo department as a whole was honored for our Lifestyles coverage. I did a lot of growth while working at the “DR” and I’m proud to get a non for all the hard work we put into those stories. You can read the article about it on the Daily Republic website here.
My mini vacation/moving road trip has come to an end. Tomorrow I start my new job as a staff photojournalist at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle newspaper in Bozeman, Montana. As I was leaving California, I managed to squeeze in one last steelhead fly fishing trip with my buddies Kara, Allison and Ryan for a two day mission to the Eel River and Redwood Creek. As you can tell from the photos, we did a lot of walking this trip. It was slow on the fish catching front but overall we had a great time in the beautiful northern California scenery of giant redwood trees. Here are some of my favorites.
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
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
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
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
It is a very humbling experience for me when my photography is recognized by my photographic peers. On Sunday evening at Scott’s restaurant in Oakland, California, a couple of images I made last year at my position as a staff photojournalist at the Daily Republic newspaper in Fairfield, California were honored at this year’s San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographer’s Association awards banquet. I won first place in the Spot News category for an image I made from a school shooting, third place for Best Mini-Doc Multimedia Package from a multimedia story I did on a local skateboard maker (I am particularly excited about this one) and I won an award of excellence in General News category from a candlelight vigil earlier last year. This was a pretty cool honor. There is so much photojournalistic talent in the Bay Area from Pulitzer Prize winners to National Photographers of the Year. It was great to have my photography honored in a room filled with such exceptional storytellers. Congrats to all of the winners, congrats and thank you to my colleague Robinson Kuntz and a big thank you to my photo editor Brad Zweerink for all of the support and constructive criticism you’ve given to help further my photographic career. In all, the Daily Republic photo staff took home five awards. It was a great night.
I feel like I am starting to get back into my photo groove at my staff job here at the Daily Republic newspaper. My back has been feeling a lot better and with it I have been going out a lot more on my own to feature hunt and explore the area. I’ve been pretty busy both at work and at home. Wedding season is on the horizon and I have been working with wedding planners and talking to brides no stop. Overall, February has been a lot of fun. If any of you haven’t had a chance to check out my wedding work, I encourage you to do so. Especially if you know of anybody needing a wedding photographer. I travel. Thanks for looking. All the best, -M
Patricia Armet, right, kisses her 9-month-old Blue Nose American Pit Bull Terrier named Precious as she hangs out under a North Texas Street bus stop Monday afternoon. Pictured in the background is Michael Greene, left, and Tom Love.
Vacaville resident and country singer Buck Ford, 21, practices with his band at his Vacaville home Tuesday evening.
Sam and Lydia Katchmar have been married for 21 years and they said the success of their marriage is based off of their shared love of polka dancing.
Rowland and Wanda Spaythe ran away to get married at the age of 16 together and have spent their lives seeking adventure together. For ten years they lived and traveled on a boat sailing around the world.
Employee volunteers from the North Bay Medical Center socialize between video takes of their promotional rap video Friday afternoon in Fairfield. The event was part of the U.S. Department of Health Social Services promotional video aimed at informing women about heart attacks.
Umbrellas were out in full force outside the Solano County Government Center in downtown Fairfield Thursday afternoon as rain continued to pour down most of the day.
Rick Watson practices navigating with his white cane through the upper level of the Westfield Mall Friday morning in Fairfield. Watson has a degenerative eye disease that is quickly causing him to go blind.
The student section at Armijo High School’s Girls Basketball game cheer on their team during their Tuesday night during their Sac-Joaquin Section playoff game against Merced High School in Fairfield.
Armijo High School players Erica Bossett, left, and Chloe Dawkins, right, battle for ball pocession against Merced High School’s Brittany Scott during their Sac-Joaquin Section playoff game in Fairfield Tuesday evening.
Little leaguers Dylan Martin, 6, Joseph Hernandez, 7, Ernest Turner, 6, and Armando Hernandez, 5, left to right, learn how to field a ground ball during their Fairfield Pacific Little League Single A Giants team practice at Woodcreek Park in Fairfield Wednesday afternoon.
Yesterday my assignment was to photograph a wild turkey that was being rehabilitated by our local Suisun Wildlife Center. He had had his wings clipped by someone hoping to have him for a Thanksgiving day dinner. Tom the Turkey, as he is called around the center, somehow escaped and is now healing at the center until he can be released. My job was to make a cool photo of him. Sounds easy enough, right? Not the case. He was constantly running away from me before I could get close. I was set on getting a close up photo of him. The question was how could I achieve this? My answer was to make a camera trap, a remote camera setup that I could fire the camera shutter from a far off distance much like what the guys at National Geographic do to get their photos of evasive snow leopards. Center manager Margie Furco said that Tom hated the color blue and would attack it. She had made a makeshift toy for him to attack/play with from knotting up a blue piece of plastic and shaking it to make noise. That would be how I could bait him into my trap. So all I had to do was get him to do it in front of my camera.
I spent the next hour and a half encouraging a wild turkey to chase me while shaking a blue plastic bag to get his attention. Getting him to chase me took some time but soon I was running all over the yard being quickly pursued by this large squawking bird. I’m sure the ladies at the wildlife center were watching me through the windows laughing their heads off watching being chased. When I would run past my camera trap I threw the plastic in front of my camera. Tom would stop short. I must have tried this at least a dozen times. The third picture in was the closest I could get him to my camera trap. Fail. In the end, Tom won and walked off with his plastic. I have a new found respect for the Nat Geo photographers. Sometimes our best efforts don’t work out like we planned. Oh well. Taming the wild is not as easy as it looks. -M
This is Tom attacking the plastic covered box with Center manager Margie Furco watching.
A look into the preparation of of the California Farms Duck Club and their efforts to create habitat to sustain their life-long love of duck hunting in the Suisun Marsh.
For the past couple of months, a reporter from my newspaper and I have started working on a year long documentary project focusing on the Suisun Marsh and the Delta. With water usage being such a hot topic in California, we wanted to explore all of the groups and organizations that are staking their claim for water rights. Our first subjects were members of a local duck club and their year-round dedication and passion for creating habitat for waterfowl. I had a great time hanging out with these guys. Stay tuned over the next year for other installments to this series. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. -M
After a grueling summer long hiatus from fly fishing, I finally remedied the situation. Last weekend I met up with my good buddy Ryan Peterson of The Fly Shop and The Big Pull for a weekend fishing for steelhead along the banks of the Klamath River in Northern California. I spent most of my time with a spey rod in hand but I did manage to pick up my camera for a little bit. Here are a couple shots that caught my eye. Tight lines.
I checked the mail the other day to find that the newest edition of The Flyfish Journal issue #3 has been published. It’s exciting because I had another one of my photographs published as a double truck in the opening spreads. I’ve been with these guys from the beginning and I am anxious to see where they take it next. These guys are rewriting the definition of the fishing magazine at a time when the industry and magazines in general are in a state of flux. The magazine has coffee table quality printing, is well written and has excellent photo play. I have yet to find another venue that displays my photos so well. You can check the magazine out for yourself here or find it at any major publication store like Borders or Barnes and Noble. Sweet.
Well after a long summer, football season has finally arrived. Things are starting to get busy around the paper with the dawn of the new school year. Prep sports are getting underway and my newspaper, like so many others, does an annual prep football preview section to ring in the new season. I was assigned to shoot portraits of the new guys filling in the empty positions on varsity. I have been shooting nothing but portraits all week. Actually a fun change of pace for me. The last two are from another story about die-hard pro football fans. Getting ready for some football. Go Bears!
I recently did a story on my roommate Anna who is doing a study for her University of California Davis ecology grad program on large mouth bass in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It is a pretty cool study aimed at determining what effects the non-native bass are having on the native fish like the endangered delta smelt. This is just a small piece of the puzzle regarding water usage throughout the state. Anna had the fun part. With the help of her assistants, she has been catching these bass, worm and pole style and then performing surgery on them to implant tracking devices. It was a pretty crazy process to watch. It will be interesting to see what happens next when the data will start pouring in.
Another collection of photographs from a very overdue post. August like July was an incredibly slow month for us here at the paper. I have been taking the opportunity to put together a newer version of my Shopping for Dynamite book about the six month journey through South America with my brother Eric. The book is in it’s final stages after countless edits and re designs. I will make an official post when it is completed. So for now here are some images that I have made lately. -M
Ever since landing my job in Fairfield, California I have been hard pressed to get the time to go fly fishing. Regardless of the direction I could head, it would be a solid 2-3 hour drive to get to some decent trout streams. And with that knowledge, there always seemed to be something else occupying my attention. It was maddening. So when a scheduling change up at work allowed me a four day weekend, there was only one thing on my mind. I needed to get my line wet. My brother Eric is a pilot up in Alaska and after one of our weekly phone conversations, the idea of a road trip came up. One of the perks of his job is his ability to fly for free on Alaskan Airlines. I proposed a weekend fishing mission to the greater Yosemite National Park/Eastern Sierra mountains and he jumped at the idea. Weeks went by and all the necessary preparations were made. I picked Eric up at the San Francisco Airport around 11 p.m. and we decided to push on (4 hours) through the night driving all the way to Mammoth Lakes. Having never fished the area before, stopped at one of the local fly shops in the area called The Trout Fly and ended up getting the scoop from Granite, one of the knowledgeable guides in the shop. For the next three days we fished the Upper Owens River, Hot Creek and the Tuolumne River within Yosemite National Park landing countless 10-12 inch rainbows and brookies. Nothing to do cartwheels over, but it was a great opportunity to scratch the fly fishing itch, make some cool night photographs, explore the pretty scenery and catch up on each others lives while sharing a bourbon bottle between us.