Weld County Oil and Gas

Weld County Oil and Gas© Prairie Mountain Publishing 2015.

A couple of weeks ago I drove out to Weld County to shoot some of the many oil and gas drilling operations, wells and machinery that has sprung up across the front range. I was looking to create some iconic images that could be used to illustrate upcoming stories about the industry and issues surrounding it. I also wanted to include a piece of the geography that would link it to my coverage area. Enjoy.

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Death Race Competitor Portrait

© Matthew Jonas 2012/Evergreen Newspapers 2012

Yes. You read that correctly. There is an actual event called “The Death Race.” It’s a 24-48 hour endurance race that features some unique challenges. These can range from carrying a 20 lbs stump for several miles, crawling through mud under barbed wire or memorizing and reciting bible verses after climbing up a mountain. Yeah. I’m dead serious about that last one. (Get it? You’re so smart!) If you are looking for more info on the race, check out www.youmaydie.com.

Chatfield Senior High School Swimmer

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

I meant to post this last week but I never got around to it. I cover a fair amount of swimming during the winter sports season. Its always a challenge to come up with strong swimming pictures when you are limited to what you can see above the water. I think this one is fairly successful for 2 reasons. The first is the drama of the water splashing around the swimmer. The second is the red digital display of the time clock reflected in the swimmers goggles. I almost chose another picture over this one until I saw that small detail.

The Gallery Owner and the Speedlights

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

I shoot a lot of environmental portraits and have written about it before. Generally I choose to light a portrait and not include the gear that I use to do it with in the actual picture. I’m not sure where I got the idea or what I was looking at that gave me the inspiration but this time I decided to leave it in. I’m still not sure if I like it or not but think I am going to run it this week as the main photo in a supplemental publication we have called Upslope.

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Don’t Fight the Light

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

“Don’t fight the light,” was a phrase that I heard many times from my photojournalism instructors in college. It is a constant battle for photojournalists. We are forced to make pictures in situations that send CCDs scrambling for brighter fields. The picture above is from a situation many will face. Go to the local rec center and make pictures of a high school swimmer for a sports feature. Seems like a simple assignment. However, it quickly turns from simple to complicated.

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Time Off, Year in Photos, Odds and Ends

Around this time of year you start to see a lot of “Best Of” galleries and “Year in Review” stories. I too will soon post a couple of galleries of my “Best Of” and probably post a “Year in Review” story or two. In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been posting as much as I had been earlier this year. It’s not that I haven’t had much to say or write about. The truth is that I have been incredibly busy with my work at the paper, freelancing and my personal life. Updating the blog was a huge priority for me when I started this and it still is. I had a ton of goals to accomplish this year and I admit that I may have fallen short of some of them as well as lost track of my blogging schedule (when is the last time I had a photo of the week anyway?). I did finally launch a personal web site earlier this year and some of what I used to post here now ends up at www.matthewjonas.com. A lot has changed for me in the last couple of months. I have a feeling that I haven’t seen the last of the changes. Looking towards next year, I have some new goals for the blog and will have another blog project that I hope will help promote the work of a lot of aspiring photojournalists. But as for this week, I am taking some much needed time off to eat, drink and play hockey. Thanks for reading and look for some “Best Of” galleries in the near future.