Turns out, though, that it wasn't me. I was using a camera with a long zoom lens, and I eventually learned that, if you zoomed all the way in or all the way out, the photos were slightly out of focus. I also learned that they weren't that great somewhere in the middle. It wasn't a great camera (or lens), period.
Then one of the news reporters moved to another newspaper, and for a day I inherited the Nikon that she'd been using to take mug shots at town meetings.
My first time out, I did a story on a rodeo school, and I used the Nikon. The result? The photos were so sharp that our artist cut a bull's tail into the Lifestyle logo, and the page was beautiful. The page won the South Carolina Press Association's award for best lifestyle page that year, and my photography skills got a reprieve.
But I don't remember using the Nikon again. Rats!
More blog entries by Tom Gillispie
• Advice for be and would-be novelists
Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie
Entries from The Dog Blog
Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)