I knew what the image was going to be for this assignment when it came across my desk. Yeah, right! The assignment was that this family, who live in Sanders (roughly 45 minutes west of Gallup) were going to surprise their daughter at a Gallup gas station. Several family members gathered, along with more than a dozen motorcycle riders (mostly Vietnam veterans who participate in events like the Run for the Wall).
The image I thought I was going to have when I got there was her shaking hands with the riders, and perhaps an image of them escorting her down the highway. But suddenly she was there and her mother was holding this child. As they moved close together I realized I was on the wring side of them to see their faces. They ignored me and the other family members were leaving this open space around them so I could move around freely. I got three frames off and the moment was over. The managing editor was there to write the story, and when he realized that I had this image he suggested that I could go home, as that would be all I needed. I did shoot some more, but nothing worked like this image, and he was right. This was the moment that really told the emotion of her coming home.
Soccer. I have settled into a method of covering it that seems to be working well, using a 300mm and 1.4x tele-converter on one camera for the halfway across the field stuff, and then a 70-200mm zoom lens for the nearby stuff. What did I use here? A lot of luck. I was watching the action across the field with the long glass. Suddenly the ball started coming toward me. I fumbled with cameras and lenses to switch to my other rig. I was set to shoot a horizontal image and the girls were still moving closer. Without even getting my eye to the viewfinder I pointed the camera and hit the auto-focus activation switch and then pressed the shutter.
There is an old saying that comes to mind here:
It is better to be lucky than good.