Favorite Images: Photojournalism

My girlfriend (later, wife) Abby made this image of me in 2003, showing an assortment of cameras I use in my photojournalism.
My girlfriend (later, wife) Abby made this image of me in 2003, showing an assortment of cameras I use in my photojournalism.

In previous entries I talked about some of my favorite portraits and some of my favorite travel images. Initially I wanted to cull them down to five top all-time images, but found I was unable because so many of my favorite images presented themselves for my consideration. Compared to that, this project is much more difficult: reducing my entire career in photojournalism to just a few dozen images.

When I started working on this post, I culled a number of images from over the years and put them in a folder called “Best of PJ.” When I opened the folder I found 128 images in it, so I made a folder called “Best of best of PJ,” and moved what seemed like my best images to it. I somehow managed to get that folder down to just 40 images. Most of them are from my time at The Ada News and Ada Magazine, since most of my career has been here. Many of the images in this entry won awards from organizations like the Associated Press and the Oklahoma Press Association.

The Oklahoma Daily and The Sooner Yearbook, Norman, Oklahoma, 1983-1985

When I was with Oklahoma University Student Publications, I focused more attention on the yearbook, since I believed, correctly so, that the quality of reproduction of my images in the yearbook would be higher. As the years passed at OU, however, I saw more opportunity to get into print from the daily. Once when I was in college, I was in Tulsa to see a couple of friends and I had a few extra minutes. I had some images with me, so I decided to run them past an editor at the Tulsa World. Not only was he impressed, he kept asking me, “You’re a student?” I have to admit, that was pretty flattering.

A woman links up with other students for a "Hands Across Campus" art project, 1984
A woman links up with other students for a "Hands Across Campus" art project, 1984
"Pie in the Face" event, 1984
"Pie in the Face" event, 1984
A student takes a hit in a snowball fight, 1985
A student takes a hit in a snowball fight, 1985

The Shawnee News-Star, Shawnee, Oklahoma, 1985-1988

An Associated Press photographer for whom I had been freelancing called me one morning in the fall of 1985 and said, “Get your butt over to the Shawnee paper and get that job,” and hung up. I started on the evening shift at the News-Star in November of 1985, where I was partnered with day-shift photographer Ed Blochowiak.

Two children watch as their grandmother is taken to a hospital after a traffic collision, 1986
Two children watch as their grandmother is taken to a hospital after a traffic collision, 1986
Dancers rehearse for a performance, 1987
Dancers rehearse for a performance, 1987
An injured Shawnee firefighter grapples with a leaky monitor during a major downtown fire, 1988
An injured Shawnee firefighter grapples with a leaky monitor during a major downtown fire, 1988
A cowboy leaps from his horse during steer wrestling competition, 1987
A cowboy leaps from his horse during steer wrestling competition, 1987
A girl plays in a Shawnee park, 1988
A girl plays in a Shawnee park, 1988

The Daily Times, Ottawa, Illinois, 1988

I was only in Illinois for a short time, but I was paired with a talented young photographer named Harold Krewer, and Harold and I often challenged each other to various “shoot-outs.” Harold is no longer in the news business, as last I heard he was following his dream of being curator at a railroad museum.

A woman tries to contain herself after an injury accident, 1988
A woman tries to contain herself after an injury accident, 1988
A police officer and a woman rush the woman's son to an ambulance after the child was found in an abandoned refrigerator, 1988
A police officer and a woman rush the woman's son to an ambulance after the child was found in an abandoned refrigerator, 1988
A child plays on a concrete dolphin, 1988
A child plays on a concrete dolphin, 1988
Water skiers race past the crowd at the annual Riverfront Festival, 1988
Water skiers race past the crowd at the annual Riverfront Festival, 1988

Ada Evening News, The Ada News, Ada Magazine, Ada, Oklahoma, 1988 to Present

In October of 1988 I returned to Oklahoma to work at my current newspaper, the Ada Evening News, which has since become The Ada News. Since I am the sole photographer, by default I am the Chief Photographer. A few of the significant milestones at our newspaper include the ability to produce our own color separations in 1991, our first use of digital imaging using a film scanner in 1998, and my first digital camera in 2001. In 2007 we started Ada Magazine, and I was named its editor.

Boy Scouts present the colors, Ada Cougar football game, 1988
Boy Scouts present the colors, Ada Cougar football game, 1988
Girls play on a swing set at Hayes School, 1988
Girls play on a swing set at Hayes School, 1988
Clockmaker Noisy Quiett shows his craft to school children, 1989
Clockmaker Noisy Quiett shows his craft to school children, 1989
Ribbon cutting and balloon release, 1989
Ribbon cutting and balloon release, 1989
An Ada couple relaxes on their front porch, 1990
An Ada couple relaxes on their front porch, 1990
An army reserve soldier demonstrates the value of camouflage, 1990
An army reserve soldier demonstrates the value of camouflage, 1990
An Ada Lady Cougar basketballer dodges another player and a cheerleader, 1991
An Ada Lady Cougar basketballer dodges another player and a cheerleader, 1991
The Ada Cougars celebrate their 1991 state championship, one of five football championships for Ada I have covered.
The Ada Cougars celebrate their 1991 state championship, one of five football championships for Ada I have covered.
Relatives in a funeral procession grieve after the line of cars was struck head on by another vehicle, killing all of its occupants, 1992
Relatives in a funeral procession grieve after the line of cars was struck head on by another vehicle, killing all of its occupants, 1992
A man prays for his dying wife after a head-on collision, 1992
A man prays for his dying wife after a head-on collision, 1992
The Vanoss Lady Wolves celebrate winning the state basketball championship, 1992
The Vanoss Lady Wolves celebrate winning the state basketball championship, 1992
A neighbor comforts a boy after the boy's mother was involved in an injury accident, 1994
A neighbor comforts a boy after the boy's mother was involved in an injury accident, 1994
Boys play in mud on Ada's east side, 1997
Boys play in mud on Ada's east side, 1997
A severe thunderstorm forms an inflow boundary south of Ada, 1998
A severe thunderstorm forms an inflow boundary south of Ada, 1998
Candlelight vigil for 9/11 victims, 2001
Candlelight vigil for 9/11 victims, 2001
A soldier says goodbye to his child, 2006
A soldier says goodbye to his child, 2006
Firefighters attempt to extinguish a wildfire, 2006
Firefighters attempt to extinguish a wildfire, 2006
A junior high school burns, caused by an arsonist, 2007
A junior high school burns, caused by an arsonist, 2007
Fatality crash near Allen, Oklahoma, 2009
Fatality crash near Allen, Oklahoma, 2009
Stratford roundballers celebrate a playoff victory, 2009
Stratford roundballers celebrate a playoff victory, 2009
Ada Cougar football players celebrate a victory in the last seconds of a game, 2009
Ada Cougar football players celebrate a victory in the last seconds of a game, 2009
A firefighter waits for water at a fatality house fire northwest of Ada, 2010
A firefighter waits for water at a fatality house fire northwest of Ada, 2010
Ada Lady Cougars sotfballers celebrate an extra-inning home run, 2010
Ada Lady Cougars sotfballers celebrate an extra-inning home run, 2010
The Roff Tigers pile on at the mound after winning a third consecutive state championship, 2010
The Roff Tigers pile on at the mound after winning a third consecutive state championship, 2010
Coalgate football fans make a self-portrait, 2011
Coalgate football fans make a self-portrait, 2011
Ada firefighters work to extinguish a blaze, 2011
Ada firefighters work to extinguish a blaze, 2011
The Roff Lady Tigers feel the loss of a state championship game, 2011
The Roff Lady Tigers feel the loss of a state championship game, 2011

Without a doubt I have omitted many great images, but hopefully these represent the character of my work. My photojournalism is a work in progress, so I intend to create a post similar to this at the end of 2012, and annually after that.

You can see a much larger collection of my photojournalism here.

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3 Comments

  1. No way to select a favorite! The American Gothic couple, praying paint man, funeral crash? I love them all. So proud!

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  2. Everyone of these images is a masterpiece of timing and composition telling us more in combined strength than either skill could separately.

    Photographers know one can only get these results by honest work and driven artisty. Here Richard amply demonstrates.

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