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Stepping into the action

I stepped into the brightness and saw this scene. I had just spent the morning photographing inside a historic theater in Boston undergoing renovation. I exited the stage door to find firefighters preparing to connect hoses to their pumper truck and a nearby hydrant.

It is a blessing to work at the Monitor. I don't sit next to a police scanner listening for accidents to cover. I don't prey on victims. Having covered riots in South Korea and accompanied antigang cops on patrol, however, I know the excitement that accompanies a brush with potential – or ongoing – violence and calamity. The trick to covering such events is to contain your excitement, keep your wits about you, and keep shooting no matter what pops up.

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Juggling the competing demands of setting the camera, capturing the action, staying safe, and remaining unobtrusive, I snapped several frames of these men hurriedly going about their business.

Unlike firefighters, I don't face danger daily. But just like firefighters, people in my profession must always be on the alert and ready for action.


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