Thursday, June 27, 2013

A photo assignment taken on the fly, completed the same way

MONTEREY, New York - The email from my editor at the Elmira Star-Gazette came Wednesday night. She needed a simple exterior building shot of a volunteer fire department's digs in a nearby town.

I believe she called it a 'building mug' and needed it Thursday afternoon for a weekend story/feature layout.

Sounded pretty simple, though getting it to her by 5 p.m. or so was going to be a stretch. I was in Rochester, NY at a medical appointment at noon when I committed to getting the photo. Rochester is  several hours north - plus I had several stops to make on the way back home. When you get close to a Trader Joe's in central New York, you stop, no question about it.

Building mug shot
The timing worked out so that I was in front of the firehouse - in a heavy rainstorm - by 5 p.m. And for this assignment, I was carrying the trusty Canon camera that went to Tonga last fall. But I was also carrying my newly acquired iPhone, the camera in which is excellent.

Slick, I thought. I'll shoot and send the photos from right on the spot - no need to roll all the way home.

I took three quick shots on the iPhone, cropped them and sent them. Well, I thought I sent them. If you have an iPhone you are familiar with that clever whooshing sound when a photo heads off through the ether. All three whooshed great.

Except when I went to call the editor to confirm they had arrived, I discovered I didn't have a cell signal down there in the little town of Monterey hollow - whoosh or no whoosh.

Santo Crappo!

Phone takes great photos, in rain or shine
I pulled out the Canon camera and rapped off some backup photos, then roared out of the little town, holding my cell phone in front of me like an actor in a really awful movie being chased by the bad guys. After zooming around a few hairpin-like turns, the cell phone signal popped up near the Watkins Glen race track. By the time I pulled over, the editor had already received the pix and chosen one.

Assignment completed. Editor happy. Photographer to get paid.