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Our photos are grand windows in to your world

March 17, 2003|by Tony Mulieri

Some news events are better told in photos than in words and I've long thought that The Herald-Mail photography department is one of the best when it comes to telling the story in pictures.

When the area gets two feet of snow in one storm, the paper can write about it, we can get reaction from residents, but you really have to see two feet of snow to appreciate that much at one time.

In the storm of 2003, the photos told the story. First, the pictures showed the magnitude of the storm, then the digging out, and then the more bizarre elements, like the guy climbing out of a storm drain in only his boxers.

There are other events that lend themselves to this kind of photo coverage; the annual Fourth of July event at Antietam; the Mummers' Parade; the Western Maryland BluesFest, to name a few.

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I can remember when the Tour DuPont bicycle race came through Hagerstown. The photos in the paper were spectacular.

There have been some other major news events that have earned such coverage: the day the Super 8 motel exploded on Dual Highway; the Hancock floods; the C-130 plane crash near Berkeley Springs, W.Va., and the most recent Battle of Antietam anniversary re-enactments come to mind.

All photo essays.

We've had some excellent photographers here in the 26 years I've been at The Herald-Mail. Readers might remember photos by Gary Finster, Bill Green and Bob Leverone, to name a few.

The current photography crew consists of chief photographer Kevin Gilbert, Joe Crocetta, Ric Dugan, Rick Meagher, and Yvette May. I'd put them up against any photo crew in the region when it comes to getting the shot.

I think of a good photographer like a good umpire. They do their best work when no one notices them.

But then you pick up the paper the next day, and there's the shot.

Just recently, I picked up The Herald-Mail's Sports section and there was a photo by Joe Crocetta of South High's Jesse Gutekunst strutting off the basketball court after the Rebels won a game to advance to the state semifinals, his hand streched out showing whose team he thought was No. 1. It was a terrific photo.

I followed Jesse when he played Pony League baseball and I felt so good for him after the Rebels won that game.

Sports events lend themselves to potentially great photos and The Herald-Mail sports photos are some of the best.

But it's not just sports photos. Ric Dugan's outstanding photo last year where he captured the American flag reflected in the drops of water on a window was an award winner. Rick Meagher had a priceless shot of a man trying to lasso a steer that had been tranquilized after it got loose from its pen.

The photo department also provides us with a daily snapshot of people in our area going through their daily routines in the many feature pictures that appear in the paper.

They are like a window in to people's lives.

The paper now receives photos in a multitude of ways; prints dropped off by readers, electronically e-mailed photos, photos submitted on disks and photos sent over the wire by The Associated Press.

But the best photos we run are taken by our own photographers.




Tony Mulieri is managing editor of The Daily Mail.

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