Wednesday, June 05, 2013


"As smoke fills the sky, passerby try to get a better look of a train derailment that caused a major explosion in the Rosedale neighborhood on May 28, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland."

As a freelancer, I often find myself traveling to local spot news events even if I am not assigned to actually document the happening.

Most of the time, I'm either called enroute or when on the scene shooting. If neither of those happen, I try to secure an source for my images quickly afterward.

Recently a train derailed on the border of Baltimore County and Baltimore City in Maryland, not far from my house. So I grabbed my gear and went looking for images that best told the story with no outlet for my images at the time.

Initial reports said that the chemicals burning were toxic, which caused road closures, traffic and slight panic. After making an image from a distance, I ended up parking nearly a mile away and walking close to the scene. Not actually working at the time, I decided to travel extremely light - no computer, no long glass, no media credentials, and only carry one body with a wide angle lens.

Being on foot, I was able to get almost everywhere I wanted to go. Not once was I hassled, other than when I tried to get close when reports were stating dangerous toxins were burning.

Working only a wide angle lens, it forced me to rely on the basic kit I had and use my sense of the surroundings to find images that best told the story visually. While I did get some images of fire crews fighting the blaze and of the train derailed from a vantage not far from the above image, it was this image I liked the best.

These passerby's curiosity, the same thing that led me to where they were standing, kept drawing me back to the image as most in the area could only see the billowing smoke. As they marveled at the wreckage below, it said it all in a non-literal sense.

In the end, my editors at Getty Images called and my pictures were distributed to help tell the story in Baltimore that day.


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