For Fivessakes!

August 16, 2013 

Holy crap. Behind the Fold just turned 5. It seems like I was just posting single-image blogs with a few sentences yesterday and a quick peek at my first entry shows that I've come a long way.

Emphasis on "long."

What started as a platform to educate the masses about the goals and quirks of newspaper photojournalism has evolved into a bloated monster that feeds off my narcissism. Well, I guess some of my readers have learned some things along the way and while my readership never expanded to the levels I had hoped, the kudos from the BtF faithful have kept me going long after I figured I'd be out of things to write about.

And because people so often ask me about my favorite photos and assignments, I'll actually take a look back and come up with my top five faves in a few selected categories.


Last year's football preview realized a four-year goal and gained me a little widespread recognition.

Stumbling into the Burgess family's story was a joy to cover. I only wish I could have had more skill, time and drive to tell their story better.

Getting to see the Korotkov family return to America after seeing their struggles before I wrapped my internship was a particularly powerful treat.

While I don't handle roller coasters particularly well, the opportunity to take off with stunt pilot Will Allen a few weeks ago was a privilege and well worth the accompanying nausea.

And cue the groans, but it's been fun to be a part of the Chocolate story. Sure, I roll my eyes every time I see we're doing another story, but I always have a great time on a Chocolate assignment.


On crutches

The Ballad of David Webster

Court room beat down

The Scuffle

Swingin' Tri-Citians


Beth Greene's new 'do:

Fly with Will Allen:

How to play basketball with one hand:

Brad Barton works magic at River View:

A Columbia Cup Minute:


This is still one of my favorite photos. I tried to use the visual chaos to convey a sense of the noisy, fun atmosphere of the midway at the fair. It's never won any awards and didn't make the cut on my most recent portfolio edit, but I still dig it.

On the flip side, this is perhaps my most popular photo. It always gets a good reaction when I give a live presentation and it even netted me my first Best of Photojournalism win.

This is another crowd-pleaser that just felt like a good photo as soon as I clicked the shutter.

Here was one of the first times that my execution of a lit portrait exceeded my expectations. It's a pretty simple three-light setup that doesn't look overly lit. One is on her face, another on the cranes and the third to fake a sunset that hides extraneous background elements. Thankfully, I haven't dipped into the fake-sunset well too much since then.

Maybe I just like it because I'm gross, but this is my favorite feature find for a couple other reasons. First, it was a great reminder that even the most-mined feature hunting spots can always yield gems, and secondly because the kids never hammed it up for the camera, nor did their mother tell them to say "cheese!"

It was tough to narrow those five down from the more-than-3,300 photos I've shared on Behind the Fold, and while they aren't necessarily my five best photos, they are still my favorites. It was fun to take a glance back further than just the previous week's assignments, and since the archive page on our website doesn't go back very far, I figured now would be a good chance to update the actual archive of all my posts throughout the five years.

Math whizzes and the OCD-afflicted may note there are more than the weekly total of five years, but that's because I started the blog with four short posts. And since coming up with punny headlines is often our favorite part of editing BtF, I had Kristina Lord help me pick out our five favorites, which are in bold below:

Allow me to introduce myself
Truly candid
Hurry up and wait
Pondering the "Cheerios Test"
Doing justice
Don't fear the repro
You can't win them all
Fly on the wall
Fair better or fair worse
No child was injured in the making of this photo
Signs of the times
Those are the rules
Election night madness
Where'd my golden light go?
Chocolate suprise
Open Wide
Size matters
Generous access
Year in review
Making friends
Back to the action
Portraits aplenty
Super Bowl XLKAI
Found fun
You down with B.O.D.?
You don't need photos of that
Snow blown
Pre-March madness
Better late than never
Work ethics
Access denied
Photoshop of horrors
Blahs of summer
TEA for me
Meeting Jodi DeCola
Rescue mew
Waste water of time
In the details
Size still matters
Oh, the places you'll go! Again...and again...and again...
You can't always get what you want
Back to the feature
Pool party
Korotkovs come home
Spot mews
Last minute shopping
Follies leftovers
A mother's grief
Happy Birthday, BtF
whaChu talkin' 'bout, Steven?
The Ballad of David Webster
Crossing paths
Photo controversies: debates worth having
Extra innings
The Scuffle
Floated and bloated
On the spot
Shot in the dark
Back to the Feature Part II
Duck redux
Workin' it
XC baby boom
Volleyball smackdown
'Tis the season
FAQ (Frequently Annoying Questions)
Plan B
Lights, Camera, Wrestle
My problems with the wassail
2009 wrapup
Dancing in the street
Hunting for weather
Wild ride
Oh, the power we wield!
Soul shearing
Back to the Feature Part III
Capturing Death
Photos on the half-shill
Time lapse
The err up there
Freeing and damning
What's your name?
Rooting for conclusion
Cleaning up the white noise
A little luck
Paying for news
Getting lit
Slow shutters
Tracking focus
Walking the line
Swingin' Tri-Citians
Keepin' it real
Silly send-off
What a drag
Let's get physical
Life isn't always faire
Wish in one hand, shoot in the other
Wading through grief
Terrible Twos
Tripping the poop fantastic
Back to the Feature Part IV
Rodeo mojo
A smashing success
Gravel, sweat and cheers
Strong secondaries
Uh-peeling layers
Scenically anemic
Daily grind press
In the out pile
XC your own limits
Making it click
Chasing the championship
TournaMental Games
Crawling toward the light
Lost in translation
From lame to luminary: a retrospective
The curse is broken
Blog sloggin'
MLK another way
Walk the light
Hat tricked
From the gutter
Formula for adequacy
Lifting the blog
Puck off
Warm-up stretches
Conservation of greatness
On crutches
Homeless photos
Whine spectator
From balls to bin Laden
Time, well, spent
On the edge
Crowd pleaza
Ad nauseam
Kai's graduation pic(k)s
Danger douse
Portrait sure
Passéd gas
Read, whine and boo-hoo
Identity crisis
Bad news bears sad views
Fifth follies fun
A flock of seagulls' eyes
These boots were made for poop
Derby development
Splash photography
Diamond in the rough
Sun rise and fall
Nasty noon de-light
Construction, struction. What's your function?
Slight or flight
Avoiding Peeved.R.
The mourning after
About face
Stat infection
Pigskin pontificating
Dejection letter
Lighting the way
Cliché bells ring
Feel-good Christmas story No. 2,120
BtF 360
SWAT you talkin' 'bout?
Ball play
Animal hows
Food for thought
Take my picture!
KISS and tell
Arrested development
Progress report: showing improvement
Dodge and burned
Stopping the man in the mirror
Luck of the iris
Failed background check
Meeting Emilia
Shoot for the moon
Over-it time
7th Heaven
I-got-a-pitcher! Not-a-better-picture!
Playground shenanigans
Home is where the heartburn is
False start
Video killed the mental list star
Worst-degree mortar
Vidiots on parade
Portrait play time
Trials and squarer
Egged on by grand slams
Frequency delinquency
Be still my art
No jollies at Follies
Ground Breaking Bad
Stop the presses
Demotivation derby
On the campaign trail
End zone to end moan
Surprise spots
Creative hangover
Tick tock you don't stop
Gridiron Gov-tale
Melts in your heart, not in your mind
Toast of the frown
Video beetdown
Ditch and moan
Flail Mary Quarterfinals full of fun Semisweet sucking
Keeping it in perspective
Stillborn videos
Childish photos
Resolution pollution: Here's my 30
Holiday jeer
First oil check in five years
Drop (almost) everything
Shot in the dark
Shooting grief
Unplanned portraithood
Hanford (de)tour
Ethical fowls
Parks and blechreation
Hanford (re)tour
Sports shorts
Eyeball hunter
Not with a puck but a whimper
Clicking against the wind
Put me in cold
Mold check
Boring bookends
A snowball's chance in Hell
Game of Groans
Background and 'round
Tassel wrasslin'
iReport too!
Dressed to still
Color study
Funeral duty
Court room beat down
Shoot before you dye
Fire and rhinestone
Friendly Follies frenzy
Mud 'n' fun in the sun
EDIT: I figured I might as well keep the running list going here.
For Fivessakes!
Back to the Feature Part V
MMMBoppin' at the fair
Grid Iron Man
Amateur Hour/Blurred Lines
Fogged in the glass
Photo Ice Capades
Pride and Prejudice
Friday night blights
Write on, man!
Star-crossed blubbers
Naturally, I'm disinterested
Democracy inaction
Veterans Day reflections
Back to the Feature Part VI
Ending with a whimper
Craig's Lust
Plucky number 13
Bulled over
Imagine the Paws-abilities!
Room with no view
Book 'em, Heisler
Bowled over it

Thanks for reading and offering feedback throughout the years. It really does mean a lot when people mention they've read the blog and I've been surprised by the reach. Just a couple weeks ago, I ran into Mark Layman, who said he enjoyed being the "good guy" in this post from over a year ago. I had forgotten about this minor incident until then, and though I always wanted Behind the Fold to be more than just an online diary, it serves that function for me in a job where you're always pressing forward toward the next assignment.

It's hard to see what other ground I've left uncovered in my weekly ramblings, but that uncertainty is exactly what makes this job exciting. Here's hoping I continue to be wrong in my fear of running out of material.

What...281 links isn't enough for you?!

Check out these impressively heartbreaking photos of ocean litter, including a shot of a surfer riding through a tide of trash.

Vice's matter-of-fact headline Moscow's real-life fight club looks insane is apt and worth a look.

Even more insane are the pictures from Rabaa al-Awadiya mosque in Cairo after a crackdown on demonstrators.

Michael Nichols has some lovely photos of serengeti lions.

Photoshelter shares some handy, non-camera apps for photographers.

And Slate has a funny little piece about groan-inducing sunset photos dominating Instagram, featuring some sage advice from Robert Caplin.

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