Archive for June, 2009


iPhone was on fire (and so was some brush)

The first “significant” wildfire of the season was last Thursday.  Of course, we went rushing out to cover it.  For me it was an interesting experiment in convergence journalism and journalism for the web.

The newspaper wanted a photo as quick as possible to throw up on the web.  Quality didn’t really matter– they just wanted a photo that gave some sort of overview of the scene.  So, within 30 seconds of getting to the fire, I took this picture with my iPhone and emailed it back to the newsroom.  Within minutes, it was up on the web.  By no means is it a good photo.  It actually sucks.  But, it gets the general point across:


So, with this photo sent in, I put on my fire gear and actually covered the fire with a real camera.  After about an hour or so, the paper wanted some more images.  Without internet or a wireless cell card, I had no way to transmit the images.  But, wait, what about that trusty iPhone? I edited all the photos on my computer and then synced the picture folder with the phone.  Then, from my phone, I emailed all the images back to the photo editor from a person’s driveway.  I never had to leave the scene of the fire.  If I had to leave, I wouldn’t have been able to get back in since the police had set up roadblocks.

Thanks to the trusty phone, all was well in the journalism world.

But, as wildfires go, this one was pretty small (only about 14 acres).  Then, Michael Jackson died so nobody really cared about the fire once I got back to the newsroom…

WashoeFire_03_blogA helicopter drops fire retardant on a brush fire burning near New Washoe City, NV Thursday, June 25, 2009.  Two helicopters and two single engine air tankers (SEATs) were on scene to help contain the blaze that was burning near homes. (© John Schreiber/Reno Gazette-Journal)

East Lake FireA firefighter works to contain a brush fire burning near homes on South Jumbo Way near New Washoe City, NV  Thursday, June 25, 2009.  Firefighters were able to contain the flames and no homes were lost in the fire. (© John Schreiber/Reno Gazette-Journal)

East Lake FireA helicopter drops water on a brush fire nearing a home on South Jumbo Way near New Washoe City, NV Thursday, June 25, 2009.  Firefighters were able to contain the blaze that was accidentally started by NV Energy crews working on power lines nearby. (John Schreiber/Reno Gazette-Journal)

Washoefire_06_blogA single engine air tanker (SEAT) drops fire retardant near a home to protect from a brush fire burning near New Washoe City, NV Thursday, June 25, 2009.  No homes were lost in the 14-acre blaze. (© John Schreiber/Reno Gazette-Journal)


Dustiest. Assignment. Ever. — The Reno Rodeo Cattle Drive

Also the coolest assignment ever!  This week, the famous Reno Rodeo, billed as the “Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West,” will begin and last for a week.  Each year, before the rodeo, they have the Reno Rodeo Cattle Drive.  Guess which lucky intern got to go?  I think I am destined to shoot 18th century reenactment events as this was the third one in 2 months…

This is the authentic thing.  Paying guests from around the country (and sometimes world) get on horses for five days and drive 300 head of cattle almost 100 miles across the high desert just northeast of Reno.  Eventually, they will pull into town and drive the cattle down city streets into the Livestock Events Center where the rodeo is held.  ESPN did an article on it a few months ago that is interesting

I was lucky enough to join them for a couple of days and take pictures for the paper.  I was given a horse and pretty much free reign over where I wanted to go.  As with every other 1800’s-themed event I have been to, the staff and guests could not have been more accommodating and friendly to me.

I gave up on trying to keep the dust off of my camera about 30 seconds into the ride.  I just accepted my camera’s fate, didn’t change lenses, and booked a date with a box of Q-Tips and rubbing alcohol later this week.  As you will see from the photos below, it was DAMN dusty.  At least when we got to camp, we had basically a gourmet meal and showers.

I also learned that it is pretty hard to control a horse AND take pictures AND gather audio all at the same time.  Especially a horse that has a herd mentality firmly ingrained in its mind and won’t turn in the opposite direction so I could easily take photos.  Below is the audio slideshow I put together for the paper and a few of my favorite images.  If I had more time, I probably would have done a few things differently with the slideshow, but I am happy with the way it turned out on a short turnaround time.

After riding 20 miles on a horse, my body hurts in ways I never knew it could.  Time to make friends with a bottle of Tylenol.

And a couple of pictures….

Reno Rodeo Cattle DriveCattle drive guests work in teams to help move a herd of about 300 cattle over a hill in the high desert northeast of Reno, NV Tuesday, June 16, 2009. The approximately 60 mile journey will eventually take the guests and cattle down Sutro Street and into the Reno Livestock Events Center on Thursday.

Reno Rodeo Cattle DriveReno Rodeo Cattle Drive guests make the final push down the hill into camp at Hungry Valley northeast of Reno Tuesday, June 16, 2009.

Reno Rodeo Cattle DriveCrew members load bails of alfalfa onto a truck to feed horses and cows Tuesday at the Reno Rodeo Cattle Drive.  The cattle drive requires a crew of over 60 people to cook, set up camp, feed livestock, help guests, and ensure the smooth running of the drive.

Reno Rodeo Cattle DriveWrangler Boss Randy Bell washes off a day’s worth of dust and gets comfortable in a water bin usually reserved for watering livestock.  “This is how cowboys take baths,” he said.

Reno Rodeo Cattle DriveClaire Simpson, a cancer survivor and member of the Reno Rodeo Cattle Drive’s “Team Pink,” sits by the campfire and listens to live music from cowboy entertainer Dave Stamey Tuesday evening, June 16, 2009.  This is Simpson’s second year at the cattle drive and she is already planning on attending next year. “When you experience it, it gets in your blood and you don’t want the drive to end,” she said.

Reno Rodeo Cattle DriveGeno Higman, a camp helper, winds down next to the campfire after a day’s work and listens to live music from Dave Stamey Tuesday evening on the Reno Rodeo Cattle Drive.



I shot the Carson City Rendezvous last week which is sort of a blend of Civil War Reenactment, Old West Reenactment, Frontier Reenactment and a bunch of vendors in the middle of it all.  I followed these guys around for a bit while they pretended to “rob” the little train that runs around the park (if I only had an audio recorder for the terrified screams of kids on the train…)

Carson City Rendezvous

Adam Baker, a member of the Nevada Gunfighters Old West Reenactment Club, plays dead after getting “shot” by a fellow reenactor while pretending to rob a miniature train that runs through Mills Park during the Carson City Rendezvous Friday, June 12, 2009 in Carson City, NV.  The club will act out Old West skits and teach gun safety to children this weekend at the rendezvous. (© John Schreiber/Reno Gazette-Journal)


When CEO’s know how to have fun

I must say, when I am handed an assignment to shoot a CEO for a “Reno’s Most Influential People” article, I am sort of intimidated.  I’m not really sure why, but when I hear CEO, I think of a boring portrait shot of a guy in a suit who barely has time for me.  Luckily, when I shot David LaPlante, CEO of Twelve Horses (a “relationship marketing and messaging company”), I got quite the opposite.  David is definitely not your typical CEO as you will find in the accompanying article.  It was actually his idea to meet at a night club instead of his office and it was his idea to shoot the photo standing under the deer antlers.  I had thought about putting him under the antlers, but I immediately dismissed the idea– what CEO would want to have his picture on the front page of the business section with deer antlers coming out of his head?? The answer– David LaPlante.  Definitely a cool guy:

David LaPlante Captains of Industry

David LaPlante Captains of Industry

David LaPlante Captains of Industry


Sitting through graduation…. five times

This weekend, all the Washoe County public schools graduated.  If you thought sitting through your own graduation was boring, try sitting through FIVE of them.  This is how I spent Friday evening and all day Saturday.  Actually, it wasn’t all that bad.  At least all that time gave me opportunities to explore the gym and the different lighting opportunities:

Reed GraduationReed High School graduate Kacey Fye takes a moment to celebrate on stage after receiving his diploma during graduation ceremonies at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno, NV Friday, June 5, 2009.  Fye then took another moment to celebrate by doing a back flip in the aisle. (© John Schreiber/Reno Gazette-Journal).

Reed GraduationReed High School student Amelia Penton, top, chose to wear a different pair of matching shoes to her graduation Friday.  “Everyone knows I like penguins,” she said.  “I’m wanting to go out with a bang.” (© John Schreiber/ Reno Gazette-Journal)

Graduation_blog_04Galena High School Valedictorian Amanda Hartman, right, peeks out from behind the stage curtain shortly before the start of Saturday’s graduation ceremony at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno, NV June 6, 2009.John Schreiber/ Reno Gazette-Journal)

Wooster High School GraduationA Wooster High School graduate gets a hug from Principal Debra Biersdorff after receiving her diploma during graduation ceremonies Saturday, June 6, 2009 at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno, NV. (© John Schreiber/ Reno Gazette-Journal)

Reed GraduationReed High School graduate Ivor Harvey does a impromptu celebration dance after receiving his diploma during graduation ceremonies at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno Friday.  “I just thought of it last second,” he said. (© John Schreiber/ Reno Gazette-Journal)


Schoooooooool’s Out for the Summer

This picture was for an assignment about the school year winding down in Reno this week and some of the things different schools were doing in the final week.  I went to the Sierra Nevada Academy Charter School, which was holding a student-run end of the year talent show.

End of School Sierra Nevada AcademySierra Nevada Academy seventh grader Florencio Lagunte, top, rehearses his skateboard tricks Monday, June 1, 2009 for a group of students and Principal Kim Regan, right, in preparation for the school’s end-of-year talent show this Wednesday (© John Schreiber/Reno Gazette-Journal)