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A Press Democrat Blog

One Stop Under

Weather and photography, the perfect marriage

What a Difference a Year makes

It was only a year ago that the North Coast was pummeled by vicious wind and  driving rain.  Santa Rosa had recorded nearly a foot of precipitation for the water year, a half-foot above normal.  As many remember, the atmospheric pineapple connection shut down after that. The remaining calendar year has been one of the driest in recorded history.  Those that watch the states reservoirs were confident with the large amount  of water northern California received.  All at once, the… Read More »

That was excessively oppressive

I’m a big fan of hot weather.  I know there are others out there just like me. Last week proved that too much of a good thing is not all that great. At least we don’t live in Phoenix or Las Vegas or anywhere in a desert. Death Valley recorded an all-time high at 129 degrees, the highest June temperature ever recorded in the United States. In Phoenix  the mercury topped out at 119 degrees on the 29th of June.… Read More »

Bikes, Snakes, Parades and More

This is not your typical 9 to 5 job.  I’ll prove it. I texted my wife and told her I was on call to photograph snakes.  ”Ewwww!”  she texted back.  She doesn’t like snakes.  Can you count the number of snakes in the photo?  No, there isn’t a prize if you guess correctly. I asked Al Wolf of  Sonoma County Reptile Rescue if the rattlesnake (below) could strike while in the tongs. He said no.  Even so, I shot the photo… Read More »

Reality Check in the Lower Ninth Ward

After five days of continuous Super Bowl coverage, I wanted to get away from the hype of the French Quarter, television cameras, large crowds and commercialism that surrounds an event like the Super Bowl.  I’m sure the festivities were good for the city and brought in a much needed boost of revenue, but there’s more to life than just sports.  On Monday I headed to the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. As category five Hurricane Katrina roared in to… Read More »

A Break in the Rain

True to form, the third in a series of powerful Pacific storms clobbered the North Coast early Sunday morning.  The up-side to the storm was the less than predicted rainfall amounts.  Good news if you live on the Russian River which is forecast to now hit 29.2 feet in Guerneville early Monday, nearly three feet below flood stage Oddly enough, the Climate Prediction Center has placed Northern California in a long term, abnormally dry category.  Hmm. The graphic was published… Read More »

TG it’s Friday Or Maybe Not

After emerging from a food coma Thursday, I was assigned to shoot shoppers tearing through the aisles at Toys “R” Us in Santa Rosa.  In years past, it was a different story.  Black Friday started on FRIDAY and usually started around eight in the morning.  In fact, I’m not sure when the term Black Friday was coined but I do know that it’s much more difficult to fall out of bed at midnight to photograph the event.  Hence, everybody is… Read More »

Fire Light

It’s a given.  Our job as news photographers is to cover news both good and bad.  It’s what we do; what we are good at.  I would stink at selling real estate, building furniture  (the wood bowl I made in high school wood shop didn’t look anything like a bowl) or anything that takes more than a few minutes to master.  This is not to say I don’t have other talents. Does fishing count? It’s been a busy fire season.… Read More »

Final Flight of the Endeavour

This can be a strange and unusual job.  One day it’s a wildfire, maybe a county Supervisor’s meeting.  The next could be a football game or a black tie event.  It really never gets boring. That’s why I jumped at the chance to photograph the final flight of the Shuttle Endeavour.  Although I knew it meant breaking the old sleep through the night routine, I’ve always wanted to photograph a launch of the space shuttle.  Since that never happened,  the… Read More »

Code 1,000

Code one thousand.  What?  Among the duties we have at the Press Democrat is to listen to police and fire dispatches on scanners while going about our daily tasks.  When a code 1,000 toned out last Thursday some of us in photo uttered a collective “Huh?” Turns out that several reporters know what the code stands for; which is a call for airplane down.  The last couple of plane accidents I’ve covered have been minor injuries only.  Whats’s the old… Read More »

Garbage on Fire

From time to time we hear these calls on our police scanners and just happen to be in the area.  Just another day in Sonoma County.   -Kent Porter