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What to photograph?

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Arriving at the Salmon festival Thursday, I was looking for something new to shoot, having covered the event multiple times in the past. I remembered back to a presentation I had given at the Bellingham Visual Journalism Conference in July about sustaining as a photojournalist in the same area for 25+ years. I talked about trying to find new angles, fresh subjects, and differentiating one year from another.

I walked the grounds of the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery in search of something new. I noticed more informational booths this year but visually, those are pretty static. I attempted a photograph at a snowshoe course set up on straw.

And caught a subject in midair. But I don't like the shadows and the kid's tongue sticking out.

I walked past the large aquarium set up and waited for some kids to come by but it was lunch time and it wasn't garnering much interest so I told the folks running it that I'd come back.

I headed for the Indian encampment thinking I could get a snack of smoked salmon (it would help my creative juices) but before I could make it there, I found some young Indian dancers to photograph and came up with this shot.

I liked the lighting on him and his colorful outfit and the dark background so thought it was a keeper. Before I could continue to the salmon, I noticed a crowd forming at the fish tank so I headed back that way. My original idea was to use a telephoto lens at a low angle to isolate fish, kids and sky since the clear, sunny weather was part of the story too.

I thought the image would be okay but I was missing the interaction that the kids were having with the fish. I started using my wide angle lens and caught this moment as a child pointed to one of the fish.

And that's what I was really after. It was graphic, told an accurate story, and was visually interesting. I never made it over for that smoked salmon but "settled" for a pastrami sandwich for lunch in Leavenworth.

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