Thursday, January 29, 2009

Request for a Spokane Ghost photographer

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Former scenes of madness and crime, in Spokane

I have three short term goals, and to take advantage of the early darkness, I need to get the goals completed soon. Goal one involves Spokane Night Scenes photography in Hillyard. Next, I want to shoot around the neighborhood in Spokane’s South Perry business district. My third goal was to get out in the fog, which I did a week or two ago in Spokane's Riverfront Park.

Hillyard has a history with me, although I am sure it is not of any official historical value. Each time I drive through Hillyard, I think of two things. First, was the madness of a street fight I responded to one night. I was working graveyard shift in my early police career (Spokane PD), and patrons from a bar emptied into the street at Queen and Market. A fight commenced that required just about every police officer in the city, as well as many Spokane County Deputies. We arrested 16 people, and a couple of our SPD guys had to make stops at Holy Family ER, before heading in to the jail to book in prisoners. That was one of my early police experiences with total and complete madness, and will not be one ever forgotten.

Another Hillyard memory is also police related. It involves the former US Bank location. I did a lot of robbery training for the staff at this former bank branch, with a very good friend and mentor Richard “Dick” Long who was the security director for ONB and later US Bank. Dick was such a good friend, that when he passed away, police department photographs of he and I doing training in Hillyard, became a much better memory than the total madness of the huge street fight at Queen and Market.

Since there is some historical value, generally, I am going to have to visit Hillyard after sunset, and see what things look like. I’ll have to deal with some parked cars, and considerable northbound traffic, but if I don’t like what I capture, it does not have to make it onto the web.

South Perry also has car parking and traffic flow, but there is something about what has transformed that small area into something very attractive, at least in daylight. To be sure, there are some police memories of mine in this area, too. The south Perry district was always good for an armed robbery or two, at the same locations (still is). Over the years, some really strange things happened in this area, but armed robberies seemed to be the bulk of my memories up there.

Today might be the day I can visit the South Perry district. I have a visit to the area on an unrelated issue, so maybe bringing some camera gear might give me the opportunity (if there is one) of capturing the South Perry district after dark.


How many individual parts equal one camera?

How many individual parts equal one camera?

That is a question being asked by a photographer I ran into last week in Riverfront Park. I was out one evening to get some fog shots, and I was approached by two people sporting a new Canon camera that they had gotten for Christmas. Although I am not exactly sure, it looked like one of the fairly new XSI models. It also looked like it had a 28 X 135 lens on this camera.

The couple initially asked questions about shooting images after dark, and as I conversed with them, I began to get the almost overpowering odor of beer breath. In my old job I used to smell that all the time, and to be sure, I was getting it again. In this process, I changed locations a couple of times, and they followed me around, with the camera carrier staggering from one side to the other on the wide pathway inside the northwest gate to the Park. I actually had tried to recruit this couple to the Spokane Camera Club, so I began to wonder what would happen if they ever showed up.

The two interested photographers stayed with me for a while longer, and were shooting something in the dark, about 50 feet east of where I had my tripod set up. I heard some yelling, and I saw one of them fall on the ice. There were the usual crashing noises, breaking glass, and swearing. Then silence.

The person who had been carrying the camera, got up and wiped all of the snow off, Then it looked like he was searching for something. The search went on for about 5 minutes, and then when I saw them pick up several different things it dawned on me that their new camera was now trashed. I know of three separate parts that were retrieved, and the lens was now a separate piece, and it was rattling when the guy shook it. The camera body (or what was left of it) was also rattling quite a bit.

Is there a moral to the story? Beats me, but maybe a little less liquor before a shoot might be a starter. Also, wearing shoes that can provide traction, and having a flashlight when shooting at night.

So, anyhow, maybe all of the pieces of this camera system will be put back together, although I doubt it can be saved. So, if a couple shows up to a Spokane Camera Club meeting with duct tape all over their camera, they might have an interesting story to tell you.

One other thing. Things have begun to slow down for the Moore family, so our night shooters will be back out shooting once again. I want you guys to shoot some motion shots, and if we have time next trip out we will do some panoramas after dark.

I’ll let you night shooters know the next targets, and locations. Likely in a week or two.