Long ago and far away I lived in Kansas and where I worked for the Salina Journal. It was my first full-time newspaper gig and in many ways a proving ground of sorts. I got there in 2002 and left at the end of 2003. It seems like a lifetime ago.
While at the Journal I worked with two very talented photographers, Tom Dorsey, the chief photographer, and Ryan Soderlin. This was fairly early in my life as a professional photographer and I feel that I learned so much from working with these guys.

Ryan is the person who introduced me to the idea of the “37th frame” a concept strictly digital photographers would have no connection to. It goes back to the days when photographers bulk loaded their own rolls of film. A roll of bulk loaded film is 36 shots. But sometimes you would have an extra frame. That 37th frame became a shot that a photographer takes just for themselves. Not for the paper, not for any audience, it’s a chance to reconnect to the art of photography. When I started in all this, I began on film and sometimes I still miss it. I have bulk loaded my own film (who could ever forget the days of T-Max and Tri-X). Even though I’m well into the digital age (and glad to be there) I still try to make time for those personal shots. Without them, I think I would get all too jaded.

From Tom I learned about Photoshop and color. He’s the person who really helped me understand the value of quality toning and editing. Tom always had such a sense of wonder in his photographs. I don’t know exactly how long Tom has been with the Journal, but it’s got to be going on decades plural by now. And even though he’s in the same place, looking at the same subjects day after day and year after year, Tom still manages to keep his eyes open and see the beauty around him.

Today as I was surfing the Associated Press TOPIX (top pictures from around the world) I saw this lovely sunrise of barn out in Kansas. Wouldn’t you know it, it’s a Tom Dorsey photo. It’s been years since I’ve had the chance to visit Kansas. Seeing that photo seemed like Life presenting me the perfect excuse to call up an old friend just send well wishes. I’ve already told Tom congrats on the phone, but he gave me permission to share this photo on my blog so here it is…

Congrats to Tom Dorsey for winning the attention of the AP and subsequently the world with his beautiful photo.