It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been a year since the tragic Deep Water Horizon platform explosion and the oil spill that followed. It seems like photos of oiled pelicans and the underwater video feed of the lead were all over our news just yesterday. So what is really happening now? I connected with one of my friends Rick Jervis, a colleague great reporter who works for USA TODAY, to ask him that question. This is what I learned on my trip to New Orleans early April.
Read the USA TODAY story here. As it turns out April 20 is also the date of the tragic Columbine school shooting rampage and one day after the Oklahoma City bombing. An ugly time of the year it seems–save Easter which is glorious.
“WASHINGTON — Army 1st Sgt. William “Mike” Leonard found himself mourning the left leg that he had agonized for months about keeping. It was in December, just weeks before he would have doctors cut it off. ” -Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY. Read the rest of the story here.
I had no idea wounded soldiers were electing amputation over rehabilitation. Great story by Zoroya and I’m glad I got to work on it with him. USA TODAY put the story on the front page, with the bottom photo in color.
I’ve had a blast covering some of March Madness and spending a few days with Mike Nuzzo, the man behind the mask of Roc, the Pittsburgh Panther’s team mascot. The photo below got some nice play on the cover of the Sports section when the Erik Brady’s masterfully written story ran on March 22. Sorry for the delay!
Catheryn makes some adjustments to Roc’s costume during game two of the NCAA playoffs at the Verizon Center March 19, 2011. Butler beat Pittsburgh in the last moments of the game after a series of controversial calls by the referees. Garrett Hubbard/USA TODAY
I had so much fun telling this story and getting to know Mike, his mother who is the cheer coach, and some of the cheer team. Really a great group of people so dedicated to cheer, their team, and their school. Mike is a great guy, huge Pitt sports fan, dedicated, and a smart dude too. He’s in the nursing program at Pitt. This guy is going places.
Did I mention that I was court-side for both games? As in kneeling on the floor. Ouch! That wood is hard on the knees for what it’s worth. I need to do take a cue from my colleague at Jack Gruber at USA TODAY and bring a padded chair and earplugs. I’d be happy to share more about the how’s of this story if anyone is interested. Check out my video story “Man behind the mascot” which I edited on last Monday.
The most maddening thing about this NCAA tourney has been the continuous Butler upsets and, well, of course my attempt to park anywhere near the Verizon center during the first round. I had to tip a guy $15 just to get in a garage three blocks away! But back to Butler. Who would have thought they would be in the final four?
Any predictions for a national champion? Will Butler go all the way?
Anxious testimony, indignant recoils, and false bravado could only mean one thing–politics on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. This is a peak into the life of what it’s like being a photographer on “The Hill.” I don’t go there a lot, but Every time I do, it is a little like this. Lots of waiting, lots of time spent on my knees, and lots of great photographers like Chip Somodevilla and Melina Mara to admire and learn from.
Have you ever met someone who just wanted to help you? I have. His name is Bob.
Last year I met Bob Carey. I had come to Texas to be a faculty speaker at the Southwestern Photojournalism Conference. From the moment I met him he began to encourage me. It started in the Stockyards in Ft. Worth, Texas during the student workshop for the conference. Unbeknownst to me, he was observing me working with my students for the day. He approached me and told me he loved how I was working with and challenging the students to focus on storytelling. Then he invited me to be a faculty speaker at one of his conferences. Now, at that time, Bob was the President of the National Press Photographers Association. Needless to say I was quite honored and accepted his invitation almost immediately. We soon began to swap stories about photojournalism, changing storytelling technology, and about life. Four-months later I was teaching three classes at NPPA’s annual Convergence conference in Charleston, SC. Now, one year later I’m hanging out with Bob again at the SWPJC in Texas. I am grateful to have met Bob.
I watched the equity markets rally today, had a Thai salad in the cafeteria and I thought I had a normal day at the office on my hands. Then I started seeing parts of my city on Live TV throughout the TV banks in the newsroom at USA TODAY. Hostages in my hometown. Scary stuff. Normalcy gone. I emailed our director of video and director of photography to see if they wanted me to go. nothing. so I packed up a few of my items. waited a few more minutes, then went over to the news photo desk and Kate was all about it. I told her I didn’t have any glass (photographers speak for lenses) over 400mm. She said she’d get me into the pool locker and get me some gear. I must admit it’s pretty fun walking in and saying “I’d like one of these, and these, oh, yes, and one of those. Especially when the these and those includes a 600mm lens with a $7500 price tag.
Turns out this guy who took three people hostage at the Discovery Networks HQ in Silver Spring, MD has been arrested on-site in the past. Evidently he cared deeply about the environment and deceived himself about how he should act upon his convictions. There are a lot more details about his past protests throwing cash in the air and even his manifesto. I’m not going to go into all of that and give him the pedestal to share his disturbing ideas. What I will share is a photo from the day. And I only took a few photos really. I arrived just in time for the 5 p.m. presser (new photographers speak for press conference) only to learn that they shot and killed the guy 12 minutes earlier. bittersweet news in my opinion. I’m so thankful no innocent people were hurt but also saddened that this guy had so isolated himself from his family, community, that he found it OK to behave this way. Deception always starts subtly. Read more of the story on USATODAY.com here.
Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger confirms that police took out James Lee just before 5 p.m. and the three hostages are safe at the Discovery building in Silver Spring, MD. P.S. Don’t call it a press conference if you’re not going to answer any of the news media’s questions! 🙂 Photo by Garrett Hubbard ©USA TODAY 2010
Wow, talk about a catch-22. I hope you understand their lives and their story better having watched this. I just finished this @ 3 a.m. and I’m finally pleased with how this story unfolds.
Garrett Hubbard is a visual storyteller. He utilizes both video & still photography to connect his clients with their audience. He has spent the past four years with USA TODAY—taking him to the White House, the Olympics, The Royal Wedding, and many other places around the world.
Garrett is thankful for the trust he receives from those who invite him to tell their stories and is grateful for mentors and friends who have invested in his life story.