Category: Feature Picture

It ‘s funny how many feature pictures I have come across just driving down my block on 22nd Ave. in Spokane, Wash. I just had to stop when I saw my neighbor Theresa Burgess raking out the undercoat of her dog Chester in the middle of her front lawn Sunday. I first started taking photos of the scene with a wide-angle lens, but switched to my 300mm telephoto to see what a compressed, soft background would look like. What sold me on this frame is the fur on Theresa’s legs and her body language.


Looking for a feature photo Tuesday, I spent an hour or so watching four people lazily skate around the Riverfront Park Ice Palace rink. About to give up, a dad with his young daughter showed up. He told me it was the four-year old’s first time on skates. The minute they stepped on the ice, a look of terror flashed across her face. Moment captured. The best part was a email I received from a reader who saw the published snap today: ” Thank you for the cute and hysterically funny picture on the front-page of today’s newspaper…it’s brought a smile to me all during this cloudy day.”


Today was one of those get in the car and cruise for a feature picture kind of day. I’m burnt out on shooting fall color photos, so when I spotted this flock of House Sparrows attacking a bird feeder in West Central, I knew I  could make decent snap for tomorrow’s paper. I used a high shutter speed –1/4000 of a second, which froze the birds in flight without any blur. Nikon D4, Nikkor 300mm f/4 lens

House Sparrows

I have been shooting a lot of prep football these days. My newspaper has built a new website  called NWprepsnow in collaboration with a local TV station (owned by the same family.) KHQ supplies highlight video of all the games and the newspaper provides the game summaries and still photography. It’s working out swell and the response from high school sports fans has been positive. It used to be when I went to a high school football game, I just needed to produce one or two decent snaps for the newspaper sports section. Now with the Web, I have to come up with eight to ten decent shots for a online gallery. One of the things I try to do is show some of the action that is not on the field. The fans, the sidelines, and cheerleaders. Last night at the Ferris vs. Gonzaga Prep game, I was sitting in the stands waiting for the game to start. In front of me, the Ferris High School cheerleaders were stretching and preparing for the game. Then the glitter hairspray came out.  How they applied to each other is what caught my eye. One  cheerleader would hold the can and spray and the other  would spin around and around to get and even coat of glitter on their hair. This photo is just a small moment from a big game, but it was my favorite picture of the night.

All that glitters

During a strong gust of wind, Michele Purkey’s umbrella flips back as she crosses the intersection of First Avenue and Wall Street on Monday, Nov.19, 2012, in downtown Spokane, Wash.

I’ve been been waiting forever to capture this proverbial wind-blown umbrella photo. I got my chance when a woman flipped her umbrella in a huge gust of wind, and then fought to keep control of it it as she crossed the street. I stood with the wind at my back for 20 minutes while I waited for some kind of wind moment to happen. When it happened, I was all over it. I’m just glad  she was willing to give me her name  for the caption. I sent the photo to the Associated Press, where, much to my surprise, it was used by dozens of newspaper websites to illustrate the wind and rain storm that hit the Pacific Northwest on Monday. Nikon D3s, Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 Colin Mulvany © The Spokesman-Review



November 12th, 2012 Permalink

 Rob Roose and his daughters Lena, age 5, front, and Robin, age 10, in back, sled down Manito Hill in Manito Park, Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, in Spokane, Wash.

With three inches of fresh snow on the ground, I decided to crank out a quick feature picture of people sledding in Manito Park Monday morning. With my trusty 24-120mm lens, I shot at a slow shutter speed, while panning the camera. It is a technique that usually doesn’t work for me. This time I turned on the built-in vibration reduction in the lens, and it made a big difference in sharpness of many of my photos. The key in every pan shot is to pick the slowest shutter speed that will yield the best chance for a sharp photo, then match perfectly the speed of the subject as you pan the camera. In this case, a 30th of a second worked best. Out of all my shots, this one, with the fun expressions stood out. There was one better snap, but it just wasn’t sharp enough. I don’t dwell on all my missed shots. If I did, I would be a very depressed Photographer. Nikon D3s, Nikkor 24-120mm Colin Mulvany/© The Spokesman-Review


As a wind storm arrives on campus, Whitworth University students Eli Deitz, 19, left, and Elisabeth Spencer, 20, watch the pine needles fly from the window ledge of Deitz’s McMillan Hall dorm room Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012.  Today I was trying to shoot a feature photo of students walking through a cascade of pine needles during a wind storm when I spotted these two perched up high in dorm room window. What caught my eye was the light and shadows. I fired one frame and reviewing the image. At first I thought it was under-exposed. Looking closer I decided that it looked more dramatic just exposing for the highlights while letting the shadow go dark. When the woman turned her headI know  that would be my best snap. Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review Nikon D3s, Nikkor 300mm f/4 lens

Andrew LaVoie with Jung Kim’s Martial Arts, breaks two boards with a double split kick during a tae kwon do exhibition at Valleyfest Saturday in Mirabeau Point Park. This is one of those snaps you just have to spray and pray. In other words, hit the shutter and fire off a blast of frames hoping you’ve captured the moment. I like the sawdust coming off the board on the right. I used my 85 mm  f/1.4  lens wide open to soften the background up and make the subject pop. With  only a few inches in focus, I caught the moment just as Andrew passed through the plane of focus. With many DSLR cameras having fast motor drives these days, it is much easier to shoot a burst of frames while letting your subject pass through a point of focus. You should get a least one useable image sharp like I did. Whew! Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review Nikon D700 Nikkor 85mm f/1.4

Tyson Ross passes time watching an episode of  “Friends” on his iPad in front of the RiverPark Square Apple Store Thursday while waiting for the release of the Apple iPhone 5 on Friday Morning. Ross said this is the seventh time he has waited in line for an Apple product, but this is the first time he has been at the front of the in line. “It a lot better experience than buying online,” said Ross who said he was ready for a long chilly night. “I have a couple of sweatshirts, he said.” Nikon D3s, Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 lens. Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review

At the Spokane Falls Northwest Indian Pow Wow Friday in Riverfront Park, I spotted Colville Tribe member Tarah Loer,16, preparing for the grand entry. The car interior was dark and the background was backlit, so I used that to my advantage. I shot the photo wide-open with my 85 mm f/1.4 lens, which softened the background and isolated the my subject. I like the mix of warm and cool light and the intimacy the moment holds. Nikon D 700.