We present our annual Year in Pictures this month. This year’s gallery is the biggest yet — 26 images from Statesman photographers Katherine Jones, Darin Oswald and Kyle Green.
When it comes to photography, business begins at a disadvantage. Business assignments usually lack the beauty of the natural world or the drama of sports. How do you make a picture of a worker at a computer interesting?
Good photographers try to find an angle, a background, a facial expression, a hand gesture to bring a dull image to life.
“Whenever possible, we try to get people doing what they normally would be doing,” Oswald says. “We don’t try to set up the photos. That’s the challenge — trying to find a situation where they’re forgetting about the camera and just doing their jobs.
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“When you do that, you get moments. You get expressions on people’s faces that they would never do for the camera. It’s real and genuine.”
Sometimes it is not practical to photograph people doing what they normally do. One solution is a portrait. One of Oswald’s Year in Pictures images shows Curt Bowen, founder of a nonprofit that works in Guatemala, who made Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. Bowen is a Boise State University graduate, so when he was available to be photographed locally, Oswald looked for a place on campus. He chose a cast-metal sculpture. It frames Bowen. The sun touches the top of it. The effect is striking.
Even when an assignment provides naturally visual raw material, a photographer can add something original. Kyle Green’s photo of people making recreational vehicles in a Caldwell plant would have been interesting enough showing them at work. But Green framed his image by looking through an RV window. “It really tells more of a story,” Oswald says.
Different photographers have different talents. Katherine Jones, for example, has a knack for getting people to be themselves. Several of Jones’ pictures in this collection “just show great personality,” Oswald says.
The Statesman’s photographers help us see our state and its people in imaginative ways. We Idahoans are lucky to have them.