"Burn, Baby, Burn!"

Several weeks ago on a warm evening I was sitting on my condo unit balcony reading the D70 manual, camera beside me. I'd only had the thing a week or so. I heard fire sirens, looked up and saw the engines approaching on an adjacent street. I suddenly realized that I was smelling smoke and then saw smoke wafting around the corner of the poolhouse, which is next to my building. Immediately I jumped up, grabbed the camera, ran out the door, and once outside saw my neighbors standing in the street staring ahead at the road....

A van had caught on fire and was merrily blazing away. I popped the lens cap off, stuck it into my pocket, got as close as I dared, and started shooting... As it happened, I had the Tamron 18-200 lens on the camera, which gave me a lot of zoom flexibility, but in retrospect I wish that I'd had the 70-200 VR on. No time for changing lenses, though!

Anyone interested can have a look at http://photos.talihar.net/gallery/479661

The good news is: no injuries. The young guy who was about to start off driving the truck wasted no time in jumping out when he saw the first flickering flames coming from under the hood, and he ran to the pay phone in our poolhouse complex and called 911 immediately. Interestingly enough, most of the damage was in the front of the truck: the cleaning supplies and pool chemicals that they had in the rear were fine, just a bit soggy from the firemen's hoses.

I've always been interested in photojournalism -- an event like this brings that out in me!
May 1, 2005
Warwick, N.Y.
Real Name
John DeSanto
Great shots, Connie

Certainly good enough for the local newspaper to use. If I were you, I'd make a point of contacting the local daily and/or weekly and asking if they're interested. The next time a photojournalism opportunity presents ifself, give 'em a call. You'd be surprised at how accomodating they can be.

Oh, and keep up the good work!
Thanks, John! Unfortunately I didn't think of that until it was a bit too late and by that time it would've been old news. Actually, my "local" paper is the Washington POST, which usually doesn't print stuff like that, and even if I had contacted the local county/suburban paper, it still was too late. I *did* contact the pool service company (it was a truck being used by their employees) but they weren't interested, either, which sort of surprised me. Anyway, next time I shoot something of this sort I won't fiddle around about processing the images and contacting people!

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