2007: The year in pictures
For the third consecutive year, we’re publishing our favorite pictures of the year in a special edition of the Aspen Times Weekly. We do this to recognize the good work of our staff photographers, and to evoke memories and thoughts of the past year ” that certain storm, that certain view, that ongoing news story, or that particular photograph.
This is not designed to be a comprehensive review of everything that happened locally in 2007, or even the big stories of the year. (Last week’s Newsmakers of the Year issue was more of a 2007 news summary.) After all, some of the year’s most important stories and events weren’t photographable or, for whatever reason, didn’t yield memorable images.
This is simply a collection of some of our favorite pictures ” most of them from staff photographers Paul Conrad and Jordan Curet, and a few from other members of the staff, including Arts Editor Stewart Oksenhorn and reporter Charles Agar.
Also featured are Paul’s and Jordan’s personal favorite shots of the year, with a short description from them about how they got the shots.
Our chosen images have been grouped into several categories, but it’s not possible to publish them all in our online format. Online readers can see the collection in the E-edition ” look for the E-edition link at the top of the Times Weekly home page.
Or, pick up the print edition of this week’s Times Weekly.
A good news photo is simple to define ” it must have impact, immediacy and intimacy.
To me, photography is not just a job, it’s an adventure. Every day I try something new. Most of the time, I fail. But when I succeed, it really stands out.
A photo I took of a bear cub being captured on the Hyman Avenue mall in downtown Aspen is just such a photo.
During the havoc of the capture, I tried something new. I didn’t stand back and shoot from a distance; rather, I became involved.
One cub was quite vocal. While he was being caught, he just kept on screaming. As Aspen firefighters and Colordo Division of Wildlife officers wrestled with the little bruin, I dropped my camera into the foray and fired off a few frames.
I didn’t know what I had shot. Looking at the display screen, I wondered if I had even one good photo. Back at the Times, I was surprised ” one photo was in focus, exposed well, tight, intimate and screamed “I need help.”
Impact, immediacy and intimacy ” a moment well-captured that defined the plight of the bears this year.
The Winter X Games were like a playground to me as a photographer ” running up Buttermilk, exploring the courses, badgering the volunteers to let me get closer, marveling at the magnitude and skill of the athletes.
The thrill was apparent in my photos, especially one shot on the slopestyle course.
The course comprised an enormous jump with a gap cut out at the center; mats were set up on the far side of the gap to cushion the fall for skiers that fell short. As soon as I got a chance, I darted out and crouched down, with my back against the wall on the far side of the gap. The only problem was I couldn’t see the skiers until they were already over the lip of the gap.
So I sat there, huddled against the mat, and I listened for the swishing sound of the skiers as they approached the jump. And as soon as I heard one coming, I fired the trigger at nine frames per second until a pair of skis flew overhead, gone in the blink of an eye. I wiggled back and forth along the wall trying to decide whether or not I liked the sun glaring down. I finally settled on staring right into the sun, hoping to create a silhouette. I dialed my aperture as wide as I could, at f2.8, and fired away at 1/8000 of a second.
I wanted to catch a skier sailing by, right in front of the sun. I succeeded.
Moisture in the air created a beautiful halo, and the skier seemed to arc right around it. Had he been a foot over, he would have been completely dark against the sun. As soon as I saw the shutter click through the viewfinder, I knew I had found exactly what I was looking for ” the exact moment, the right angle and the perfect pose of the skier soaring 20 feet above me.
Nothing has stuck with me over the past year quite like this photo. I have a poster-size print of it on my wall to remind me to keep looking for that angle, that exact moment which makes a photo stand out to readers as much as this one did for me.
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