Every year during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, we publish our favorite photographs of the year. Each photographer submits several images and adds the story behind how the photo was made. While looking through my take for the year, I found 98 photos that are worth a second look here in the blog. I have included the story behind the photos I submitted for print this year. If you want to hear the story behind any of the other photos comment at the bottom and I will add the back story to this post.
This composite image, covering a nearly 180-degree view of the Whiteside Theatre’s interior, depicts a scene most Corvallis residents haven’t had a glimpse of for nearly 10 years. That will change on Oct. 29, when the downtown landmark reopens for the Frightside Jam, an all-day concert to raise money for ongoing restoration projects. It will be the first major public event held in the historic theater since it closed in early 2002.
When Bennett Hall told me we would be shooting inside the empty Whiteside Theatre I began brainstorming ideas. I know most Corvallis residents had not seen the ornate interior of the building in a decade and many newcomers had not seen it all. The plan was to shoot a panoramic while Bennett was led on a tour of the building. Using a tripod from home I began shooting exposures at the lowest ISO setting for the highest quality. In the nearly dark building the exposures were over a minute each and then another minute for the camera to write the data to the card. The tour ended and we had to leave the building before I had completed the panorama. Foundation board member Jaime Williams was kind enough to open the builidng for me the next day to re-shoot the panorama. She locked me in the dark and creaky building all alone while she ran some errands. Switching to a higher ISO sped up the shooting process and I was finished within an hour. Back at the office the images stitched together in photoshop creating this image.
Oregon State junior infielder Luke Acosta works on a bunting drill during practice Wednesday afternoon. The Beavers are preparing for their first game on February 19 in Fresno, California.
In February our OSU baseball beat writer, Cliff Kirkpatrick sent me out to shoot a generic baseball photo to go with a story about the season starting. Because of other assignments I arrived late missed the warm ups and coaches talking to large groups of players. Most of the players were working on fielding drills and a couple were working on a bunting drill directly under the third base side grandstands. After shooting a couple players I had the timing down and managed to capture a couple frames with both the long shadow and the ball. I was worried that the photo was too artsy and was pleasantly surprised to see it on the front of the sports section the next morning.
Crescent Valley’s Tanner Sanders sits on the turf as Corvallis High School players and fans celebrate their 24-23 victory over Crescent Valley on the last play of the game Friday night.
High school football has been my favorite assignment since starting my first newspaper job in Coos Bay back in 1989. Having missed the first game of the season while on vacation I was looking forward to shooting my first game of the year. It was strange to be shooting the rivalry game this early in the season, in the past it has been held at the end of the season. Both teams were ranked and I was expecting a close game. It wound up being closer than I expected. Corvallis won on the final play and several Crescent Valley players sunk to the turf in shock. To get a shot of the field goal I had positioned myself on the sideline and then had to run down to the end zone to get the shocked football players on the turf with the celebration in the background. Several had already gotten up and were walking away, I managed to get about five frames before the moment had passed.
Corvallis photographer Dave Bassett demonstrates how he used a helicopter to create a panoramic image of Corvallis.
Last winter Dave Basset, a commercial photographer in Corvallis, stopped by our office with a panoramic image of Corvallis made from a helicopter. Our management decided to print a large version of this photo as a gift to readers., and Bennett Hall and I were sent to get the story of how this image was created. We spent a chilly afternoon flying around Corvallis in a helicopter with no doors. The pilots said that flying in formation around town was one of the more interesting flights they have had in a while. About a week after this shoot the hard drive holding all of images crashed. We were worried that the images from this shoot were lost forever. After several tries with different image recovery software we were able to recover five images, this is my favorite of the five.
Ten-year-old Casey Brooks of Lebanon waits with Oreo, his Angus Short-Horned Cross, before the livestock auction at the Linn County Fair Saturday afternoon. Oreo was the 4-H FFA Market Beef Reserve Champion for 2011 and sold for $3.50 a pound at the auction.
Over the summer I filled in for several weekend shifts in Albany. One of the events we covered was the livestock auction at the the Linn County Fair. One of 4-H volunteers saw me with my cameras and pointed out Casey Brooks and said she thought he had very expressive eyes. When he first saw me he smiled for the camera every time I lifted it to my eye. After a couple minutes he forgot I was there and I made this exposure. He does have expressive eyes and I wish I could thank the volunteer who pointed out this great photo opportunity.