Tagged: Spokane

As I was driving back to the newspaper after an assignment today, a cloudburst caught pedestrians in downtown Spokane by surprise. I pulled over and jumped out of my car to get my camera from my trunk. I was soaked by the time I crawled back into my front seat. In my rearview mirror, I spotted this woman as she waited for the light to change. I jumped out and hit the motor drive, shooting a sequence of about thirty images as she raced across the street. People sometimes ask me why I shoot so many picture at a time.  I tell them it about capturing a fleeting moment. This photo’s strength is in the woman’ body language. Her stride, with her legs apart and arm swinging back stood out in my edit. Nikon D4, Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review

Soaked

I spotted these cute marmots, or over-sized squirrels as I call them, who were poking their heads out of a drainage hole in a retaining wall. I quickly grabbed my camera and put on a 300mm lens. I thought the critters would quickly fade back into their burrow, but to my delight, they stayed put long enough for me to get down to their level and snap a few frames off.  Marmots live in colonies of up to twenty individuals and spend 80 percent of their life in their burrow, 60 percent of which is spent hibernating.

Yellow belled marmots

Walking in a parking lot today, I spotted this rainbow of colors created from a mixture of leaked car oil and rainwater. It is a photo that most people would step over and not pay much bother. I like to see the beauty in things that are not considered beautiful.

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.”

ice_palacesaf

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

At a public memorial today, I was photographing an honor guard transferring Spokane firefighter John Knighten’s casket from a fire truck to a funeral gurney. Capt. Mike Rose, one of the honor guard firefighters suddenly started to posture in front of the casket then collapsed. I reflexively fired off a burst of about six frames. It looked like the man was having a seizure. Paramedics arrived and quickly transported him to the hospital. The memorial went on without missing a beat. From a photojournalism perspective, this was the best moment I captured today. I’ve shot dozens of memorials in my career, but never witnessed anything like this. This photo did not make the newspaper or online gallery and I am fine with that. The story today was about remembering veteran firefighter John Knighten, 45, who died on June 30, 2013, after a three-year battle with cancer. I think publishing this photo in the newspaper would detract from that. Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review, Nikon D4, Nikkor 24-12mm f/4

Update: Read: Terrifying Collapse in the Spokesman-Review. We interviewed Capt. Mike Rose about his firefighting career with the Spokane Fire Department and found out what happened that day when he collapsed during a funeral for a fellow firefighter.

COLLASPEsaf

Homeless

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

Homeless

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

 

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

 

The family of Staff Sgt. Matthew H. Stiltz, 26, who was killed last week in Afghanistan, watch as his casket is placed into an awaiting hearse by the Washington Army National Guard Honor Guard, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, at XN Air at the Spokane International Airport. Stiltz was about six months into a tour of duty in Afghanistan after serving two tours in Iraq, for the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan. He died of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with artillery fire in Zerok, a town in eastern Afghanistan about 12 miles from the border with Pakistan.

This was a hard photo to take. Even with the invite of the family, shooting someone else’s grief was hard for me. As the casket made its way to the hearse, I keep trying imagine the pain this family was going through. After years of doing this type of photojournalism, some say you can get jaded. I try not to be. By forcing myself to connect to the pain of my subjects, I feel my photography is more honest. I shot this image not because it is a good photo, but because it was a moment when I connected with what I was feeling. After the Transfer Ceremony, I headed off to shoot four more photo assignments. The thoughts of Army Staff Sgt. Stiltz and his family stayed ever-present in my mind. Colin Mulvany/© The Spokesman-Review