A Press Democrat Blog


A how-to photographic guide from sports to food styling

Ring Flashes, Tiny Rooms and Adaptations: The 49ers D

You’ve seen thousands of creative, dramatic photographs of actors and models in magazines. Actors know the photographs will present their image. They approach a shoot as an opportunity and work with the photographer. Now picture in your mind the photos you’ve seen of athletes. Yup, arms crossed, looking tough, not smiling, stand tall and straight. When athletes hear the shoot is for Sports Illustrated for Kids, I can usually convince them to put the macho aside and have some fun.… Read More »

49ers vs. Giants: NFC Championship

Anthony Dixon was one of the few 49ers showing their emotion after the game.

What to write about the NFC Championship game? It sounds so glamorous, but my editor wanted me to describe the real scene: kneeling in the rain for 3 hours, cameras soaked and covered in sideline paint, joints creaking, wrestling on the field for the shot of the quarterbacks shaking hands after the game, then crowded into a cold, a wet, cold work area under the bleachers frantically sending photos back.  We arrived back in Santa Rosa about 11:30 p.m. and… Read More »

Photojournalist: A photographer’s blog

Welcome to the Photojournalist blog. I’m John Burgess, a Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, CA) photographer for the past 20 years. When I’m not shooting for the paper, you’ll find me on the pages of the Sports Illustrated magazines, where I’ve photographed over 300 assignments the last two decades. This blog will cover everything I cover on the job, and newspaper photojournalists must be able to shoot anything. From the Press Democrat you’ll find stories on portraits, police actions, parades and… Read More »

Sleeping in the Clouds: Creating Illustrations

I can’t sleep so why not write about creating the illustration for the story about how to get a good night’s sleep. Our features pages are created nearly a week before publication. A story about getting a good night’s sleep was just an idea when I was tasked by the features department, so we needed an iconic idea that would work with anything the writer discovered. I love shooting illustrations. With Photoshop your only limit is your imagination. I like… Read More »

Casting Shadows on a Tuskegee Airman

Today’s blog is about using remote strobe lights. It’s a bit technical and if that’s not your thing, keep checking back for more photo hints: I’m a lighting guy. I usually working on location with no advanced scouting, so knowing how to light saves me when the natural light and backgrounds aren’t ideal. Today’s front page of the Press Democrat featured a story about former Tuskegee Airman James Goodwin. My favorite part of the job is the people I meet.… Read More »