This is just further proof being a reporter is the coolest job in the universe. I took this shot at a press-only event at the National Capital Air Show, I could feel the heat from Les Shockley’s Shockwave Jet Truck wash over me like I was standing on a giant Zippo lighter. I also got to hang out next to the 60-feet tall Truckasaurus… while it ripped a car apart and set it on fire. Best. Job. Ever.
Technical Stuff: This was mostly an accident. We kind of knew what was going to happen when he started the truck… the three giant jet engines attached to the back of the truck were our first clue. So I aimed my Minolta, framed the shot and allowed the automatic settings to set. Then the flames shot out and up, and the light meter must have just spiked without resetting the f-stop and voilà… one underexposed print of what appears to be someone walking through the burning oilfields of Iraq at the end of the 1991 war. It’s my understanding this is also the technique James Nachtwey uses.
After college a bunch of my friends got jobs at the daily newspapers in Ottawa, while I went to a locally based small-n national technology monthly. After only six weeks just a handful were still working at the dailies, and only two of them were actually reporting. Meanwhile I was on Parliament Hill once a month meeting with Ministers; I hung out backstage when the Ottawa Landmine Ban Treaty was signed; then I got to hang out with the Jet Truck, Truckasauraus and watch the Stealth Bomber do a flyby. I also published ten times more copy than anyone else. Of course my friends made three to four times the money I did… so, yeah, basically I’d trade most of those experiences for a decent couch.
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