Posts Tagged ‘news


fire escape & tragedy…

I have never been on a fire escape. I take them for granted. For some reason, I took this shot of a fire escape in Seattle. This prompted me to dig a bit about the history of fire escapes. That lead to a 1975 Boston tragedy/miracle involving a rubbish burn pile, building fire, attempt rescue and collapse of a fire escape. A reporter captured the attempt rescue and fire escape collapse.

Below, a firefighter stands on the fire escape with a woman and her god daughter. Moments latter the fire ladder is raised and the firefighter gets onto the ladder in preparation of assisting the woman/child off the fire escape.

Boston firefighter Robert O'Neill is seen with Diana Bryant and Tiara Jones, age 2 years, and helicopter pilot Joe Green, above, prior to the fire escape collapse that would kill Bryant, at 129 Marlborough St. on July 22, 1975. Photo Stanley Forman

Boston firefighter Robert O’Neill is seen with Diana Bryant and Tiare Jones, age 2 years, and helicopter pilot Joe Green, above, prior to the fire escape collapse that would kill Bryant, at 129 Marlborough St. on July 22, 1975. Photo Stanley Forman

Then Boston Herald photographer, Stanley Forman captures the heart wrenching tragedy of the collapse. Forman received a Pulitzer for the images


Diana Bryant died from her sustained injuries after falling five stories. Little Tiare Jones landed atop Bryant and survived, although injured. Below, a firefighter performs mouth to mouth on the girl.



Christmas Moon…

Christmas Moon 2015 SwittersB Oregon


A Hug in Portland


A Hug in Portland, Oregon by freelance photographer Johnny Nguyen during demonstration


Blood Moon Blunder

Browsing the net last night, I noticed a piece about the Blood Moon, which was to occur in the wee hours of the next morning. Hmmm? Was I prepared to get up at 2:00 am for this two hour event? But the moon would turn red! An eclipse. A rare event. So, I did some prep, in advance: tripod, lens, settings (for normal lunar shots), set my alarm for 0145 hrs. and dozed off. 

It came quickly, the alarm, and the anticipation. I got up. I even got my wife to join me, bundled up on a lawn chair to take in the view. 

Blood Moon C1 10-8-14 SwittersB

It started off well enough. Normal moon shots. I was using my 75-300 lens. Just adequate, but does alright. I snapped away and then something happened with the lens. Not sure what yet, but a malfunction in the midst of a holy Blood Moon for crying out loud! I swapped lens to an 18-200 lens. Less adequate, but my tried and true lens I use most often.

Blood Moon C2 10-8-14 SwittersB

The moon was changing and there was, indeed, a subtle red-pinkish glow to the moon. I continued to shoot. BUT as the moon grew darker…I never changed my settings to allow for the drastic decrease in light. I started with ISO 100, f 11, 1/200 settings.

Blood Moon C3 10-8-14 SwittersB

To my eye, I thought the camera was displaying what I was seeing. But, eventually, I realized I was losing the most important part of the whole show: the blood red tone to the eclipsed moon! Live and learn. There will be two more chances (next April and again in September) to get it right. Then not for 20 more years.


Making the News

Our granddaughter, Desirae, while with family at a park in Portland, was asked by a local news crew if she would like to participate in a segment on back to school thoughts. She readily agreed and the rest was a fun experience for the family…and especially Desi.



Nature: Late in the Day…………

Mt. Hood Late SwittersB

Mt. Hood (Oregon) late in the day

I was doing research re Nature here and there. I was trying to come up with something unique, interesting and thought provoking. I read about Death by Prolific Sex amongst Rodents; Aquaculture in Norway and new concerns over unexplained stains in the meat; there were new weeds cropping up in the mid-west out of the South (Palmer amaranth), and other pieces about sea creatures, earthquakes and lions disappearing somewhere in Africa. None of it really grabbed me.

So, I thought I will simply recount what I see and hear out my open back window at 5:45pm on a Saturday early evening: The Sapsucker that troubled my tree last Winter has returned; I can hear other birds chirping in the distance; there is a gentle falling of orange and yellow leaves from Maples and Alders into the wetland out back; there is nary a breeze blowing as the leaves fall; Penny the Cat is chortling over the Hummingbirds that are visiting the mostly empty feeders (better get them filled); I can hear a freight train in the distance; the temperature is 57 degrees (13 Celsius); the roses and ferns need a final pruning; the grass may not be mowed again this Fall. It really is a lovely evening and much better to contemplate this evening than all the sky is falling news out there.

one seed took hold Bucky

A single seed took hold……


Fire Rescue: What Would You Do?

apartment-fire-rescue_31-421x620Watch the slowly developing tension build across the way. Listen to those filming the incident as it unfolds in New York City. Video Here

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