The Free Lance-Star Photography Department shares the stories behind the photos.
Struggling for a picture
For a variety of reasons, sometimes there is a hole in the paper that needs to be filled – a story fell through, there are no pictures to accompany the stories or it is a really slow news day. This often results in a photographer being dispatched for ‘enterprise art,’ more commonly known as the dreaded weather feature. It can be tied to weather as in, "News Flash! It rained yesterday!" Or it could be a nice slice-of-life if you are lucky. if you have time, you can cruise the community calendar and see what’s going on in town. Otherwise, this is a last minute event so there is no planning and means the photog in question will just cruise and hope serendipity slaps him upside the head! I detest these assignments if only because Serendipity and I don’t often meet. I do, however, have a mental rolodex of Places Where Things Might Happen and usually try to hit them on a feature hunt.
Yesterday was such a day – it was rainy, we were short on art for today’s paper so I went downtown to see what I might see. I tend to have two competing urges – one is to cruise around and cover as much ground as possible, hoping I will crash into Serendipity and the other is to pick a spot and wait, hoping Serendipity will hit me first. I went with the latter plan and came up dry (In the photographic sense. I was wet as I was standing around downtown in the rain.) I then cruised a bit but again struck out. I returned to the office and was about to go inside with a giant red F (for failure) painted on my forehead when I was struck – Eureka! Of course -the weather feature cliché! I hopped back in the truck and drove to the Purina Tower, a decidedly Fredericskburg icon and broke out my 60mm micro lens:
This sort of picture is the proverbial dead horse though you often see it with American flags. I did take small comfort in the fact that I had personally never taken this picture before. That being said, I can now never take this picture again! But it served its purpose – it filled some newsprint – and hopefully a reader or two stopped and thought, "Hey, neat picture!"