Editor's note: At the beginning of every month, Wenatchee World Photo Editor Don Seabrook reflects on his best photos published the previous month.
On the first day of September, I went with our GO! Editor to do a story at the Music & Arts Center (MAC) Gallery on the Wenatchee Valley College campus. I’d never been there before and when we arrived, Ellen Bruex and Nik Penny were busy carefully hanging art pieces in the room. I stepped back to look through the door and the light coming from inside the gallery glowed through the dark door. It was a matter of waiting for the two installers to be in the right place with at least one actively hanging artwork for the image to work.
Also on Sept. 1, I had been looking for stories in Cashmere and heard about a truckload of pears spilled on the highway just out of town. I like this image because of the snowplow used to move the pears off the highway and also the wrecked truck and trailer in the background.
County fairs are a joy to photograph and good pictures can result if I’m patient and looking for the unusual. I’d been concentrating on a group of girls washing down one of their pigs when I turned around and saw a lineup of children playing in the wastewater as it ran toward a drain in the floor. There was only an instant before the children went off to find other fun.
I usually shy away from portraits, but I noticed Finley admiring her flower she had entered in the flower competition. I asked her what her favorite flower was in the barn and she was quick to answer it was her dahlia she liked the most. Her mother said Finley loves to grow flowers and vegetables. I missed the candid moment of her flower admiration and instead decided on a portrait moving her toward the door of the barn, where the light backlit her face and her dahlia.
Volleyball is one of the most emotional sports to photograph and I often wonder if the girls expend too much of their energy in the celebrations of their winning points. What it makes for is opportunities like this one of players screaming into each other’s faces.
I was at the Numerica Performing Arts Center waiting to photograph children listening to Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage. In the balcony, I struck up a quick conversation with teacher Chelsea DeRuwe, who in between talking to me, was keeping an eye on her students. I thought this photograph represented the situation perfectly as part of the experience was for the youth to learn how to behave before, during, and after a performance.
Wenatchee’s soccer match with Eastmont was close throughout and when it went to a shootout, I concentrated on each goalie diving to keep their opponent’s shots from getting past them. When it was still tied 3-3 with one Wenatchee shot left, I turned my camera toward the rest of the team to catch their reactions to what could and was their winning goal.
At this year’s Wenatchee River Salmon Festival, the location was at Rocky Reach Dam and I went from one activity to another looking for a story-telling image. Talking to The Wenatchee World’s former sports writer and editor Nick Babcock and photographing him pinning art to a line, I noticed a child’s shadow as she pointed out her gyotaku to a teacher. The image was there and gone in an instant.
Friends of mine mentioned their children were in soccer, so on a free evening before covering a high school sporting event, I went to Lewis and Clark Park to see if a game was going on. I was focused on finding something photographically interesting when little Obi Dunn turned toward the fans on the sideline and started yelling to get his team fired up.
Driving along Grant Road on Sept. 21, I saw white pumpkins lined up in a field, ready for harvest. A person nearby told me they belonged to Annie’s Fun Farm and a check with them led me to another field, where the picking was in full force. I wanted to photograph a pumpkin in the air as one worker flung it to another on the trailer. Having done that, my next challenge was to wait for a time when two pumpkins were in the air together. The moment happened one time.
I went to a brush fire near the entrance to Swakane Canyon on Sept. 22, but the fire was quite a distance from the road and I was unable to get close to firefighters working on it. I did; however, watch as two helicopters would disappear from my location with full buckets of water and then reappear after dropping them on the fire line. I looked around for a spot where I could see their dump and found it at a viewpoint along Highway 97A.
Photographing the Sunshine Bowling League has been on my list of ideas for years — before COVID-19, when they stopped the program. When they began bowling again in September, and then on a Saturday that I was working, I was able to cover the fun time. With bowling, I’m constantly looking out for a great reaction from a bowler to what the ball is doing when it hits the pins. I saw Mark Lee from a distance through my telephoto lens as he tried to get his pins to drop.