it’s ice to meet you

The number one job of the newspaper photographer is finding weather photos.

Last night, it was my job.

Originally, the latest winter, errr…fall storm was forecast to arrive Thursday around 3pm,. Then it was coming at 7pm. Then it was changed to 9pm. Well, as it got later and later with nary a flake, I drove farther and farther west of the city in hopes of meeting the weather.

I camped out in a Jewel food store parking lot in the far western suburb of Yorkville, which also happens to be where I now live.

With its bright lights and steady stream of people, I figured the Jewel was the best place to shoot as the snow began to fall.

Finally, shortly after 10pm, the first wayward ice pellets began to fall. It wasn’t the big fluffy snowflakes that I had hoped for but it was something.

I staked out the entrance to the store when I saw a 19-year-old girl in her pajama pants, of course, standing outside at a Redbox dvd kiosk trying to figure out what title to rent. With her face illuminated by the kiosk screen and the snow falling behind her, the scene made for a decent image. This photo is somewhere in this weather gallery.

I scurried to my car and transmitted the snap back to the paper. I called the night photo editor to warn him that the weather art was on the way only to find out that I needed to get one more. Ugh!

First, I shot a scenic at the town square but the lack of human element in the frame relegated that photo to the trash bin.

I got back into my car and began the hunt again.

Within seconds, I spied the remnants of a local bowling league scraping ice off their windshields. The most photogenic was Jack Magic of Oswego who was working on his windshield while being illuminated by another car’s headlights.

Magic was a bit surprised that a Chicago Tribune photographer was this far out in the suburbs shooting a weather photo at 11pm but I told him that by time he got home his photo would probably be on the website. I don’t know what time Magic got home but the photo was up in 5 minutes.


4 Responses to “it’s ice to meet you”

  1. I love how you call it ‘The Jewel’ too. That makes me feel like i’m back home.
    And how about that Jack Magic the bowler? He sounds like a character in a quirky novel.

  2. […] almost as if super stud Trib photographer, Scott Strazzante, was trying to give me a sign of things to come in the very near future as a news paper […]

  3. Do readers really plow through 100+ weather pictures? Yours were the best on there, it is too bad they were “buried.”

    • Chris, unfortunately the only objective for Tribune web galleries is to get hits so the thinking is that a 100 picture dumping ground gallery will get 10 times more hits than a quality well-edited 10 image set.
      Another thing that bugs me is the sports galleries that are totally non-chronological with celebration photos coming before the play that is being celebrated.
      But that is what a company gets when they lay off a bunch of workers and the ones left have to do the work of three people.

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