Monday, November 21, 2016


I got very lucky soon after I had graduated from high school in that I met up with a great mentor at the start of my photography career. During the summer of 1976, my father thought I should try and see if there was any photographic work at the weekly newspaper, the Goldstream Gazette, the paper had just started publishing in March of 1976 and was co-owned by two experienced journalists, one of them was Mike Crossman, a photographer with extensive experience in both freelancing and working on at daily newspapers. The Gazette office was not far form the auto body shop that my dad worked at, so one day soon after I walked down to the Gazette office and asked to see Mike.

 I think Mike told me to come back with some prints that I could show him, and return I did with a stack of prints tucked under my arm. As I sat in the Gazette office in a nice oak office chair, Mike sitting opposite from me in a similar oak chair leaning back as he gazed over my prints. I don't remember all the things he said, but I recall he picked up a orange grease marker pencil and started marking up all my prints. I guess I was little surprised but hey they weren't any good anyway! at the end of our meeting he went over to a filing cabinet, pulled out a few rolls of 35mm film, ( Kodak Tri-X ) and told me to go shoot something. Which is what I did, that led to a photo assignment and many more one on one mentorship sessions in the Gazette office. I learned a lot in those years which gave me a solid foundation to build my career in the years ahead. The picture posted was one of the prints where Mike where gave me some helpful advice, on the print he wrote: "Shutter speed 40% important" ( so I wouldn't forget ). The photo was not very sharp because I shot it at too low of a shutter speed.

The picture is of the E & N Railway Dayliner Budd car #9103 that derailed not far from our family home, I think it happened in the early summer of 1976, the picture was never published as I had not started work at the Gazette at that point, but I recall that the train event caused quite a bit of commotion with people going to have a look at the derailed Dayliner and gave me an opportunity to photograph my first "spot" news event.

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