Sunday, June 29, 2008

Playing the blonde card

Being blonde isn't always a bad thing.

Two nights ago, our photographer had left for the night and we just heard over the police scanner that a bad accident had happened. I sent our Torrington reporter out with the point-and-shoot newsroom camera.

A few minutes later, we got more details. Some guy in a pick-up truck had taken down two utility poles and was trapped in his car because the wires were still live and nobody could go near him.

I ran into the photo room, grabbed the camera bag and rushed out.

Once I got to the scene - it was almost 8 p.m. - I struggled to get the bag over my shoulder and half-ran towards the roped-off area with the bag dangling against my knees (our photographer is really tall). I pulled the Nikon out, fiddled with some buttons to get it on, and then started shooting.

Right next to me was a bearded man with a similar camera but a longer lens. I looked in the bag and found a telephoto lens, bent down on the ground to disassemble the camera, then tried to screw the bigger lens on.

Oh, you have the same camera as I do," the competitor noted.
"Uh, ok," I said. "But I don't know how to use it!"

The lens finally snapped on. I tried taking another couple of photos. They were better - closer - but still really dark.

"They're too dark!" I whined. "I'm not a photographer. I don't know what I'm doing!"

The beardman calmly hung his Nikon over his left shoulder and reached out to grab mine. As he started setting the shutter speed, I waived my arms in the air.
"Our photographer left!" I said, with a slight degree of desperation.

"Here you go," he said and handed me back the camera. "You're all set."

I got my shots and went back to the paper. Then, I got a call about the murder. Luckily, it was too dark to even try to get anymore photos.

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