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Picture of the Week

May 16, 2010
Jet unloads a soldier's casket

A casualty of the war in Afghanistan, Goldendale's Mark Coleman returns home. Copyright Mark B. Gibson/The Dalles Chronicle

A somber time, this sort of event is always hard to photograph. Should I join the Oregonian photographer up front and center? (That’s his head, barely showing behind the funeral vehicle.) I’ve done that, and I know that I could capture some emotional shots. Of course, they would look like the Oregonian shots, too. I was trying to find a way to frame the scene, so formal and military, when I noticed a balcony overlooking the crowd.

I felt a bit like a journalistic light-weight, taking an easy way out, but I also felt that I captured something of relevance… the outer circle of the Patriot Guard, local motorcycle riders who provide escort, the army bearers and honor guard, the movement from jet to vehicle… such incredible loss, so much emotion, all cloaked with care and held upright in military precision and protocol.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Clytie permalink
    May 16, 2010 08:34

    What an incredibly moving picture. I can feel the emotion. I love that you caught the motorcycle escort – their uniforms so different from the uniforms of the color guard … Wow.

  2. May 18, 2010 18:53

    stunning. the wide shot allows for the emotion in the group to come through. nice work.

  3. May 25, 2010 04:19

    I like this shot–because of the outer circle–those fellows are obviously feeling something very strong. There is a strength and nobility about those old soldiers. Your shot from afar shows something we don’t normally take into account–all those on the outer edges who show their respect–and in their own turn, are now honored along with their fallen comrade.


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