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Of light and shade

by Bryan Terry and Jim Beckel Modified: April 18, 2013 at 12:24 pm •  Published: August 16, 2010
Zach Truett, a sophomore, practices with the trumpet section during marching band practice at Edmond North High School in Edmond, Okla., on Monday, August 9, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
Zach Truett, a sophomore, practices with the trumpet section during marching band practice at Edmond North High School in Edmond, Okla., on Monday, August 9, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

If it was possible, we’d only take pictures at dawn or at dusk when the light and the sky are perfect. Every building would have windows on all sides so that the perfect amount of sunlight could pour in and light up our subjects. But we work for a newspaper, so all too often we’re standing under ugly, noon light trying to figure out how to get a nice portrait of a high school athlete, or we’re sent out in total darkness to photograph a train derailment or, more likely, when the sun is setting, we’re inside a steel building with no windows photographing an event. Often, the challenge for news photographers is to either bring our own lights or try to find that perfect light where you wouldn’t expect to see it.

April Lott (left) dances with her daughter Cati Hill at the beginning of  the city's second annual Gay Prom at Epworth United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City on Thursday, May 11, 2006. By John Clanton, The Oklahoman
April Lott (left) dances with her daughter Cati Hill at the beginning of the city's second annual Gay Prom at Epworth United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City on Thursday, May 11, 2006. By John Clanton, The Oklahoman

Every once and awhile, though, an assignment or a self-generated project happens at just the right time or in just the right room (above) and we’re taking pictures in perfect light. I was thinking about this while I photographed high school band practice at Edmond North last week. The photo-geek in me got very excited about finding pretty pictures in those fleeting moments before the sunset.

Visitors to the fair enjoy midway rides at the Oklahoma State Fair  Thursday night, Sept. 24, 2009.   Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
Visitors to the fair enjoy midway rides at the Oklahoma State Fair Thursday night, Sept. 24, 2009. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

Speaking of pretty light, staff photographer Jim Beckel photographed a scene at the fair last year that won an award at the Great Plains Journalism Awards a few weeks ago. Here’s what the judges said about Jim’s picture:

“A very unique depiction of an ‘ordinary’
carnival ride. The black-and-white silhouette treatment makes this a stunning and very interesting image. Good eye!”

CHILD / CHILDREN / KIDS: Maddy Kinder, 3, plays inside a moon walk during National Night Out at Park Lane Estates in Edmond, Okla., Tuesday, August 3, 2010.  Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
CHILD / CHILDREN / KIDS: Maddy Kinder, 3, plays inside a moon walk during National Night Out at Park Lane Estates in Edmond, Okla., Tuesday, August 3, 2010. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

Maddy Kinder, 3, plays inside a moon walk during National Night Out at Park Lane Estates in Edmond, Okla., Tuesday, August 3, 2010. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

-John Clanton

by Bryan Terry
Photographer
Bryan Terry is a native of Oklahoma and is a graduate of Yukon High School. He first picked up a camera while attending the University of Central Oklahoma. After working for the school newspaper, The Vista, he interned at The Oklahoman. He...
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by Jim Beckel
Photographer
Jim Beckel been a member of The Oklahoman's photo staff for 25 years. During that time, he and his cameras have covered virtually every type of news and feature story imaginable, traveling to all regions of Oklahoma to document events and provide...
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