November 17, 2013 · 7:12 pm
I agonized about submitting this photo that I thought summed up the recent hotly contested and contentious mayoral debate in Lewiston.
Lewiston mayor Robert Macdonald, and many of his supporters, react after receiving a call from Larry Gilbert, congratulating him on his victory Tuesday night at Tim Horton’s on Sabattus Street in Lewiston.
I thought it was the best photo as it displayed emotion, evoked emotion, and there was some good action. After a few weeks of thinking about it, I am not sure I made the right decision. The photo IS an eye catcher. However, it does not show the mayor in a positive light. Should I be concerned with that? Often times we take photos of athletes with strange or weird facial expressions in the midst of a crucial play that tells the story of the game. Victims at accident scenes, fires or other mishaps often find subjects in a non flattering, even compromising situations.
I had other photos. However, I did not think there were powerful enough to anchor the front page as this was the biggest story of the night. I was caught up in the fact that I was able to capture this moment. When the mayor was caught up in the emotion of the election. Relieved that it was over, and beaming with the fact that the victory was nearly a 2-1 margin.
The reaction in the newsroom was mixed. Some thought it was a good photo and represented the mood of the night and the culmination of the controversial campaign.
Others were luke warm about it and asked if I might not have something that showed Mayor Macdonald in a more favorable light. I argued that I had others, but they were pretty static or posed, like the group photo. After receiving numerous letters and emails damning me for publishing the photo I have come to the realization that it may have not been the right move to push for this photo. Not because I did not want to offend the mayor, not because of the backlash from our readers, but after looking back at numerous other photos I have taken over the year, I noticed that Mr. Macdonald has a tendency to stick his tongue out when nervous. This was nagging me from the moment I got back and started editing my images. Was this really a reaction to the phone call, that is, was he sticking his tongue out because; nah nah nah nah “I just kicked your butt,” or was it a tic, or nervous habit. Should this change the decision making process?
One last hypothetical scenario to make the point. I am at an accident scene where a car is upside down in the middle of the street. Nobody is hurt, the driver is walking around, actually joking. A gust of wind blows some sand in his face and he brings his hands to his face. It makes for a dramatic photo with the car upside down, looming in the background and the victim looking anguished. But does it misrepresent the situation. Hell yeah. But it is so much more powerful that him just walking around. Do I run with that dramatic photo. Compelling. Or is it the wrong decision. Just what I am grappling with in the mayoral victory photo debate. If I would have just worked the assignment a little harder, stayed a little longer, perhaps I would have got a better photo that would not caused such an uproar. Or was it the correct call. A conundrum for sure.
November 17, 2013 · 6:16 pm
Despite my promise to blog more, I am guilty of letting the entire summer pass without punching a single key. Shame on me!
I’ll try to recap some of my favorite photos. The balloon festival was fabulous this year. It was extra nice for me as this was the first time in several years I was not scheduled to work the morning launches. Despite the beautiful weather, I did not get up for a single morning launch. I did go out to my porch and watch them float past one morning, but after so many years of covering it night and day, I was more interested in getting extra sleep than getting up to see the balloons. I did get one of my favorite balloon photos ever when local pilot Jim Rodrigue took off in his single seat “cloud hopper” the night before the festival kicked off. The artwork on his legs dangling down made the photo!
Niko Potter of Lewiston swings at Lakeview Fields off Gracelawn Road in Auburn. “I like coming here because the parks department keeps it so clean and nice. I enjoy swinging because you can sit and still be in motion. It helps me think better and calms me down.”
With a shrinking newsroom staff, vacations, and long term projects, we often struggle to find stories that lend themselves to photos. So, we cruise for features more days that I wish. But it does get us out of the office and we get to find some slices of life.
Lewiston Recreation Dept. Camp Smiles Program Director Josh Daigle gets splashed by one of his campers, Ryan Verrill, during Field Day at Marcotte Park in Lewiston. Camp Smiles and the YWCA summer camp teamed up for a day of games, music and food during the last week of summer camp.
saiah Michaud of Lewiston flies off a pipe in the Lewiston Skatepark. The park was filled with skaters trying to get the last bit of skateboarding in before snow fills the bowls.
The headlights of a car streak up Pine Street in Lewiston in this time exposure of Lewiston City Hall all lit up with recently installed lights.
- Josh Goodman of Lewiston is illuminated by the flash of his friend, Corey McKenna as the lights of Festival Plaza in Auburn are blurred in this time exposure. They hope to get some of their photos into a Portland skate magazine. McKenna has a website, maineproject.com where he displays his work.
Turner Elementary School 4th grader, Aidan Murray, watches dry ice react with liquids in a tube he was given to hold by “Lightning Lucy”, from the Mad Science program.
Passengers on Raspberry Ripple hang on as they brush through trees on the edge of a field on Pagoma Lane in Lewiston Thursday morning. Derald Young, the pilot from Damn Yankee Balloons of Dixfield, Maine, didn’t have to worry about the field he landed in, it is owned by a fellow pilot.
Matt Miller of Hornell, New York flies out of the bowl at the Norway Skate Park. He and his friend and photogrpher, Nate Woodruff, are “hitting all the parks we can and shooting photos and video.”
A jet streaks across the sky above the spires of St. Louis Church in Auburn Monday evening.
A cormorant flies down the Androscoggin River at sunset Monday night with the spires of St. Louis Church in Auburn looms in the background.
I waited and waited for a flock of birds to fly past. After about a half hour, all I got was a single bird here and there. I liked the contrail from the jet. Who knew the comments it generated from the crowd that think the government is putting toxins in the fuel that is poisoning us. Who knew? Not sure I am ready to believe that one.
A crow flies between the spires of the former Saint Patrick’s Church in Lewiston.