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.

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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