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2006/12/28

Search Warrants

The phone rang a few minutes before 5 pm. So much for knocking off a little early and spending time at home with my son.

I arrived at the scene to find only a few uniformed officers, and a bunch of narcotic task force members. Most of the task force guys know me by name, and are known to work undercover. That limited what I could make images from, not legally, but from a personal ethics point. So I hung out on the edge of the sidewalk and found out that the task force was executing a search warrant. Not a lot was going on that I could see, the action was inside the shed/workshop behind the house. I could see in a small section of the doorway, and saw when Wayne was going through some things near the window. So I looked at my options and decided that one way to shoot it was to show how hard it was to tell what was going on - make the photo a bit mysterious and try to get the viewer to look closer. The shot works and I was even able to keep Wayne's face pretty obscured in the process.
In case you can't guess, the light was awful. Just after dusk. I was glad that the shop area had that light over the door, even if the lights inside are fluorescent and make some weird color casts. To make the second image look decent I used a couple of layer masks, correcting color for different sections - one for the open doorway, one for the white car (looked blue in the original out of camera file) and a third mask for the workshop front. I didn't alter the content of the frame at all, just got rid of color shifts that the camera could not overcome.

The third frame was early on when I arrived. I had a lot of the undercover officers moving around the scene, so when they finally were out of site the only image that I saw with activity was two of the Gallup officers walking past the shed and back to the main house.

In the end, two women were cited and released, and the home's owner/renter (?) was picked up for possession of two pounds of marijuana.


My final image for the day was actually shot around lunch time. Weather forecasters have been saying we are going to get a big storm through here. So when the snow started to fall I decided to get some lunch and let it pile up a bit before working on some weather images. Crossing the railroad tracks near my house I saw these crows on the tracks and stopped for a couple of quick frames. For me the contrast of black and white was interesting, though not exactly an award winning image, I still like the shot for personal reasons.

After lunch the snow had all but stopped. I waited the rest of the afternoon and even after the search warrant was served and still no snow. So much for the weather guys knowing what they are talking about...
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