Hoboken, New Jersey
By Gary Hershorn
For thirty-four years I have been a photojournalist covering events the world over, but never have I had to live within a news event in my hometown. Too many times to count in my 28 years with Reuters, I have packed my bags and flown off to cover the news but never have I looked out my window and seen a story unfold before me. It is an indescribable feeling watching waters rage and rise in the street below, feeling as helpless as one can be.
It was a perfectly normal day in Hoboken, New Jersey. I was out and about knowing that forecasters were calling for Hurricane Sandy to come ashore somewhere between Cape May and New York late Monday night. By mid-afternoon I walked to a pier that juts out into the Hudson River to see if I could get some pictures of Lower Manhattan with gray clouds looming in the sky. I was fortunate to have some newlyweds walk out to the pier to have their wedding pictures taken using the New York skyline as a backdrop. The contrast of the white dress and the dark gray skies made for a nice photograph.
For the second year in a row, I find myself writing about covering an event after a 30 year wait. A year ago I wrote about photographing a match at center court at the Wimbledon tennis championships, 30 years after the start of my career. This time I write about seeing my first shuttle launch, 30 years after Columbia the first shuttle lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center.
It almost feels like yesterday, sitting in the United Press Canada photo office in Toronto in April 1981 watching that first launch. I was a young freelance photographer about to be hired into my first staff job at the news agency when Columbia blasted off on mission STS-1.
The following is a note to staff from News Editor, Pictures America, Gary Hershorn following the tragic death of Montreal based Reuters photographer Shaun Best.
“By now you have all woken up Monday morning having dealt with the news on Sunday that our colleague and friend Shaun Best has passed away.
Wednesday finally saw the culmination of a 30 year dream of mine to shoot a match on the famed center court at Wimbledon. After 30 years of being a photographer, 25 of those spent with Reuters covering every conceivable sports championship around the world, there were still two things I always wanted to photograph, but for one reason or another never had the opportunity to do so. One was shooting a match on center court and the other, covering a British Open golf championship at St. Andrews.
This year is not my first at Wimbledon, I have been here a number of times editing the great pictures our photographers take during the fortnight of tennis. There is no tennis tournament that produces the beautiful images that Wimbledon does. From the simple white clothes that the competitors must wear, to the light that seems to illuminate the court in a magical way, to the darkish backgrounds of spectators the perfect distance away from the player and to the history that has played out on the grass year after year, one can only describe the chance to be here as special.