It tends to be that the colder months are the quieter months when it comes to spot news. However, this past December and January kept me busy. Fires. Accidents. Murders. The whole lot.
Here is a take of some of what I was chasing these last two months.
December started off with an accident between a freight train and a semi truck. The cab of the truck was pushed about 100 yards down the tracks. The drive of the truck was killed in the accident.
The following week, after responding to multiple accident calls on the scanner that ended up being nothing serious, we rushed to a call of a school bus on fire. Nobody was injured.
A few days later, we heard a call regarding a police chase that ended in a crash on a bridge. It involved the U.S. Marshals chasing a fugitive.
I was called in early on my day off after we learned of a quadruple murder that happened late the night before. There wasn’t much left to photograph when I arrived on scene.
The family held a memorial service and funeral after the holidays.
While waiting for the funeral to begin, I fired a frame on my backup camera, a Canon 1D Mark II N, so I could use the Eye-Fi card (the 1DX doesn’t have an SD card slot) and send an image to the newspaper instantly. I popped on a 300mm lens with a 1.4x converter to give me a 420mm f/4 lens. This camera maxes out at 3200 ISO and images appear very grainy at that setting. This was shot at 1/40th sec.
My colleague and I collaborated on a video from the service.
Shortly after the new year, we went to a homicide in the neighboring town of Belvidere.
A few hours later, there was a call for a possible person in the Rock River that may have jumped off a bridge. The river was mostly frozen. The fire department lowered a sonar device into the water to see if they could find anyone. They were unsuccessful. Later reports suggested that the suspect from the Belvidere murder that morning may have jumped in the river, however, these are unconfirmed.
That night, a teenage girl was shot to death. I wasn’t at that scene. However, we caught up with her family a few days later.
That was an instance where I was very happy to have the low light capabilities of the 1DX. This image was shot at 1/100th sec at f/2.8 at ISO 25,600. I didn’t want to use any additional light than the little bit of daylight that was spilling between the curtains. Shortly after I took this frame, another family member entered the room and turned on the lights.
The next morning, I was called out of bed to go to the scene of a large warehouse fire. The sun wasn’t up when I went out and the temperature was a few degrees below zero (plus windchill).
I also put together a somewhat raw video from the scene.
Before I could finish editing the pictures from the fire, I was sent out to the interstate for a fatal semi truck crash.
The next day, firefighters were still on the scene of the warehouse fire. I went back out to get aftermath shots. Firefighters still hadn’t gone inside the building as it was still smoldering.
A week after the blaze broke out, the building was still smoldering. Firefighters went in to hose down hot spots.
A few days later, I was called in to get photos after a double homicide happened late the previous night. There were a few police officers on scene by the time I arrived but again, I was pretty late getting there as I wasn’t called in until the morning.
Spot news seems to have calmed down for now, but there is still plenty keeping me busy.
[…] early January, I was called out of bed to cover what became one of Rockford’s largest fires ever. In between pictures, I shot video to capture the scene. I didn’t have a microphone or […]