I got lucky on this shot. Just as a walked up to the fire engine, the deputy chief started climbing to unwind the large flag that had twisted itself around the ladder in the wind. The firefighter gives the photo scale.  Nikon D4,  Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 lens

Before a public memorial for the three Fairchild Air Force Base personnel, Capt. Mark Tyler Voss, Capt. Victoria Pinckney and Tech. Sgt. Herman “Tre” Mackey III, the patriots who lost their lives onboard a KC-135 that crashed May 3, Spokane Fire Department’s Deputy Chief Bob Hanna unfurls the American flag after it wrapped itself around the fire truck’s ladder it was displayed from, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, near the INB Performing Arts Center in Spokane, Wash. Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review



March 31st, 2013 Permalink

I spotted this cluster of ladybugs in a friend’s yard today. I went back later with my camera and a 60mm macro lens to make this snap. I also used an off-camera Nikon SB-800 strobe with a small soft box to light the insects, which were in deep shadow under a shrub. Lady bugs are the only insects that don’t creep me out. As I was shooting, they were crawling all over me. I guess they must have thought I was just a big aphid.


A plot by two fifth graders at Fort Colville Elementary to kill a student was uncovered last week. The boys had brought a knife and a handgun to school and allegedly planned to carry out the murder of a fellow student. The plot was uncovered after a fourth grader, who witnessed one of the boys handling the knife on the morning school bus, told a school official. The small town of Colville, Wash. was unnerved by what could have happened. Six days later, Spokesman-Review reporter Tom Clouse was able the wrangle the court documents, which detailed the boys plans. Clouse posted the story around 4 p.m. Wednesday. As I read it, my jaw dropped at the details. The story also said that a community meeting to talk about school safety would be held at 6:30 p.m. An hour and a half drive later, I settled in for the meeting. At one point the school official told the crowd: “…that some of you have read the court document details on The Spokesman-Review website.”  That’s when smartphones in the audience raised up in unison, and when parent Christy Gorst caught my eye. I knew what she was about to read. I raised my camera just a she reacted to a chilling part in the story.  She told me later that it was this passage that stopped her cold:  “If I find out who told them about our weapons I’m going to kill them,” one of the boys was overheard by a police detective saying to the other as they waited for transport to a juvenile detention facility in Spokane. “I don’t care when I get out of jail I’m going to come back and kill them.” What I find most interesting about this photo is how the power of mobile is showcased in all its full glory here. It is a wake up call to print publications who still think their audience is waiting for the newspaper to hit the porch in the morning.


I took a Sunday drive with two photographer friends of mine today and these are the snaps I found along the way. In my job as a newspaper photojournalist, I don’t get to experiment with black and white photography much. The day was gray and foggy, so the conversion to B+W seemed natural. I spent the first half of my career shooting Tri-X film and printing my photos in a darkroom. I sometimes miss those days–except for the smell of fixer on my hands and clothes.  All teses photos were shot with my new Nikon D4 and a selection of  Nikkor Lenses (24-120mm f/4, 300mm f/4, and a 60mm macro.)




Palouse farm road



Rarely does my daily newspaper photography stray from the reality of photojournalism. But then there are those accidental times when I bump my camera and it fires randomly. I love these snaps because they are happy accidents that usually produce a blurry frame of abstract colors. I keep a folder of these mistakes and use them as background frames for titles in my video stories. This one snap feels different to me. Because there is a face in the frame, it creates a different mood for the viewer. It’s mysterious in a vague sort of way. It is not a great photo, but I like it for how it makes me feel.

Accidental Snap


December 22nd, 2012 Permalink

I was assigned to illustrate a story on a proposed homeless tent city in Spokane. The reporter’s suggestion was to photograph a holiday dinner for homeless at a local church. I skipped shooting that event after seeing this group gathered in an alley behind the church. I just walked up to them and introduced myself and asked them if I could take their picture. In most cases this could go either way, but I was surprised when the all agreed. At that point they just ignored me as I slowly snapped away. There were technical challenges to overcome with this image. This photograph looks like it was taken during the day. In fact, it was nighttime in a dark alley lit only by an overhead streetlight. I jack my ISO to 3200 and turned on vibration reduction in my lens. I think I was shooting at around a 1/15 of a second. I like this frame because of how authentic it feels. Each expression is different and the guy holding the Elmo doll adds to the mystery of the image.  Nikon D3s, Nikkor 24-120 mm f/4 lens


Coal export opponents, left to right,  Wayne Spitzer, Ginger Hughes and April Beasley show their disapproval of a pro-coal speaker who was giving public testamony on a proposed Cherry Point coal export terminal near Bellingham, Wash., Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. 

This was the first time in my career that I have photographed a public meeting where people were told to use their hands and not their voices to show disapproval of public commentators. At first, I thought the mute rule would blow any chance of getting a decent snap. A large group of people, who were against coal trains rumbling through Spokane, Wash., on their way to a propose coal export terminal in Bellingham, Wash., used their thumbs instead of their voices, which made for a funny and different photo than I was expecting. The light in the building really sucked, but my trusty 85mm f/1.14 lens allowed me to to capture the moment with out a lot of camera shake. Colin Mulvany/© The Spokesman-Review


Before their woman’s basketball game against Gonzaga, Stanford  gathers for a team cheer before taking the court, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, in Spokane, Wash. Colin Mulvany/© The Spokesman-Review

Even though I wasn’t too interesting in shooting the opposing Stanford team before their game with Gonzaga, I shot this snap because the moment happened in front of me. Later, I realized that I had under-exposed all my snaps of the scene. Sometimes in failure, an interesting photo can materialize. In this case, the darkened shadows helped highlight the women’s red sweats. I like how the  ball draws my eye into the picture. Out of all the peak-action photos I shot during the  game, this one creative shot is my favorite. See more of my game snaps in this large-format gallery at Spokesman.com

After displaying a large knife at the STA Plaza, Tedzo C. Baker was tasered by a Spokane Police officer after a short chase that ended on the 100 block of  N. Wall Street in downtown Spokane, Monday Evening. He was arrested on suspicion of felony assault. Spokane Fire Department paramedics checked him out before placing him in a squad car. Colin Mulvany/© The Spokesman-Review

Just as I was leaving work, a call came over the scanner of a police officer chasing a man armed with a knife just a few blocks from the newspaper. I hoofed it over just in time to see paramedics checking the guy out after he’d been tasered by police.  I like the rainbow of colors mixed with the stark flashlight beam on the subject’s face. I’m not totally sure, but I think the paramedics  were taking the Taser prongs out of his chest.  Nikon D700, Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8

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