My first news photo

oilwell

This is the first news photo I ever shot. It was October 25, 1977. I was 19 and worked part time for the Daily Midway Driller in Taft. An oil well blew out on the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve and killed three workers. Dennis McCall, editor of the paper, shot a photo that showed the three dead workers and ran it in the paper. It generated some, but not an overwhelming amount of protest, as I recall. I worked from a location that gave a view of the whole rig and shot the huge fireballs that raged for hours. The well was eventually capped by the legendary Red Adair. It was my first exposure not only to a news event, but one of national and world-wide interest. My camera was a Minolta SRT-202, that I saved an entire summer to buy with my earnings from working for the newspaper and the Westside Recreation and Park District.