Editor’s note: At the beginning of every month, Wenatchee World Photo Editor Don Seabrook reflects on his best photos published the previous month.
The journey for this photograph started after Managing Editor Russ Hemphill left a Douglas County Empire Press article on my desk with a story by Gloria Bond about the Farmer Cemetery and its volunteer caretaker Jim Danielson. After reaching out to Bond, I was able to contact Danielson and find out that he, and his fiancee’ Jenna Dixon, would be at the cemetery at the end of May putting up fencing.
When I arrived at the pioneer cemetery that sits on a knoll surrounded by wheat fields east of Waterville, I was struck by the cracking of the soil and that one small marker was Danielson’s only family connection to the place.
I hung around both of them as they worked and every time they walked by that one gravestone I ran ahead to capture them as they went by. I liked this image best of all of the ones I gathered because of the dust Dixon kicked up while walking by.
I noticed on Wenatchee elementary school’s calendars that fourth graders were scheduled to visit Rocky Reach Dam’s Discovery Center. On May 26, I went there and followed a group as they learned about hydroelectric energy production, noticing at one point students looking down through a skylight.
I was curious what it looked like from below and when I went to look I knew there was a good image if another group came by. I kept checking for kids looking down while keeping an eye on the fish viewing windows for a photograph there. Eventually another class came by and I got what I was hoping for.
Expecting to come back with a photograph of high school seniors parading down rows of elementary school children, the tables were turned at Cascade Elementary School when the high schoolers formed two lines and kindergartners, in their own caps and gowns, went through the human tunnel.
In Wenatchee, I arrived early to the annual scooter parade to find Chloe Johnson on her horse Pokie waiting to travel the mile to the school. I like this photograph because my eye doesn’t see the horse or its cap right away — I just notice something out of the ordinary.
Heading to a youth swim meet at the city pool, I received a list of local athletes to focus on and waited for their turns to compete. They were racing in the freestyle competition while I was there, and my only hope was they would come out of the water to breathe while facing my direction. When Benat Escure showed his face, his goggles had slipped down so far that the bridge was in his mouth.
Photographing my first AppleSox game of the season, it became a blowout win for the home team. I knew I needed a reaction photograph to tell the story and when Brandham Ponce hit a grand slam, I focused on his reaction when he reached home plate.
Also at the game, Carson Lydon hustled to try to catch a foul ball before it went out of play. It was a great effort but his glove was empty at the end of the play.
End of the school year activities included field days and I went to Clovis Elementary School because it was the finish of their first school year after transitioning from an intermediate school. I spent most of my time photographing kids bouncing on a giant ball but I liked this shot at the tug of war the best because of the children’s expressions.
We published a Yakima Herald-Republic story earlier about a program for scent dogs to detect Little Cherry disease. I reached out to our local club to arrange to photograph a training session for their animals. With the late season this year, it wasn’t until June 13 that I could meet up with them at a local orchard where they had hidden bags of diseased leaves among specific trees in a row.
They each took a turn going down a row and I knelt among the dogs and owners as they waited for their chance to train.
I found a bag in a tree and tried to be inconspicuous while I waited for a dog to also find it. Cubby sniffed it out while standing on its hind legs.
Later in the morning, we went to the indoor training site where the dogs were tested for the first time to see if they could located a canister with the tainted leaves. Shelby points to the can it thinks has leaves with Little Cherry disease.
Looking for a different angle to a basketball camp, I focused on the reactions of children as they watched their peers try to make as many baskets that they could in a minute.
Before covering the Washington Junior Golf Association's tournament at Three Lakes, I looked at the entries to find and follow local golfers. Taylor Babst was on my list and I noticed whenever she missed a putt or hit a bad shot, she would cover her mouth with her gloved hand. I tagged along with her group and waited for the lighting on her face to be right and for some separation from the background.
I was in the office working on the golf photographs when I heard on the scanner that a car had run into a building and ended up at the Chelan County Courthouse. When I arrived, I found a car on the courthouse steps. I hung out a while, waiting for the owner to show up, knowing that he or she would be surprised to see where their car ended up.
It was about 15 minutes when the owner came on the scene and put her hands together in a prayerful pose.