Today an assignment surfaced to photograph the Lebanon community swimming pool for the Valley News guide and perhaps a standalone picture for the paper. I joked “I have swim trunks and a towel… Do we have a housing?”
My editor Geoff replied, nope, but we have a fish tank…
So I found the fish tank in our photo equipment room, per my editor suggestion I used the paper’s Nikon D2H and a 12-24mm f/4 in case I got the gear flooded. Luckily that did not happen. After getting my swim trunks out, I put a beach towel in the bottom of the tank to keep a dry space between the camera and the bottom as water would splash in eventually. This worked quite well. One of the lifeguards was also kind enough to give me two foam noodles to sit on and a kick board to place on top of the tank – bright yellow – it helped keep the water out, but also made my location clear to any divers so I would not get hit. The tank was also made of plastic – so the risk of breaking or shattering and hurting someone was reduced.
Spending the day in the pool was not a bad way to start the summer. It was a lot of fun, especially with the kids all asking me, “Is this going to be in the Valley News?,” “am I going to be in the newspaper?” – proof community journalism isn’t dead, at least not in the Upper Valley. People still read and know the paper, even the youngest generation of text messaging kids.