Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Sunday, September 30, 2012

What Fries Beneath

Billy Dry
Chance may favor the prepared mind, but sometimes you gotta plunge headlong into The Suck. Okay, you don't have to, but if there's a certain groove in your shoulder, you probably will. Just ask Billy Dry. That's him in the cargo shorts, looking strangely out of place amid a forest of turn-out gear. Is it proper attire? Depends on who you ask. Some news shooters I know won't so much as sit in the sun without a Nomex Snuggie. Others chase hurricanes in flip-flops. Me, I'm somewhere in between. I got hip-waders in the car in case of flash-flooding, but I once covered a mud-slide in deck shoes and Dockers. I'm kidding, I don't wear deck shoes and Dockers. As far as you know, anyway. But, hey, this isn't about me! It's about Billy Dry and how he ended up at a forest fire dressed like a third-grader...
As any photog would do I was following the action, this shot led to the next, to the next and next thing I knew I was in the middle of some of the hardest working volunteer fire fighters. I really wanted to show folks at home what these guys did and how they did it because no one EVER sees what goes on inside a grass fire. They see the helicopters dropping water, they see the pumper trucks going in...but inside that wall of brush and thorns, is the story...
See what I mean: passion over planning. It's that kind of fire in the belly that can lead to indigestion, not to mention a life devoid of leg hair. There are worse things, I guess - provide you get the shot. Billy did, as evidenced by the outstanding clip he enclosed. I don't know about you, but from where I safely sit, that shot at 1:15 is worth a singed shinbone or two... 

Provided they're not mine, of course.

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