PHOTO BLOG: Reiss' Top Photos from June

PHOTO BLOG: Reiss' Top Photos from June

Rookie firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management and Sawtooth National Forest build a fire line around a prescribed burn during Basic Fire School Field Day on Thursday, June 4, 2015 at the Methodist Camp north of Fairfield. 

Seeing these rookie firefighters experience a fire outside of the classroom for the first time was a unique experience. 

Staff photojournalist Stephen Reiss chooses his favorite photographs from June. 

July 09, 2015 10:00 am Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Nash's Top 10 from June

PHOTO BLOG: Nash's Top 10 from June

With a bag of ice water on his head, Minico's Pedro Villicana watches his teammates workout during the Southern Idaho Football Camp Wednesday, June 10, 2015, at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Idaho.

NOTE: While I don't know the players on the Minico football team, I can tell you they have one awesome coach. These guys did their best to ignore me and for that I give them props.

Chief photographer Drew Nash shares 10 of his strongest images from June. Share your favorite photos at Magicvalley.com/submit.

July 03, 2015 3:00 pm Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Reiss' Top 10 from May

PHOTO BLOG: Reiss' Top 10 from May

Dr. Douglas Smith, past medical director and current board member of the Walker Center, and pioneer in addictionology, at the Walker Center in Gooding on Friday, May 8, 2015. I photographed Dr. Smith in front of words used in therapy for patients. 

Staff Photojournalist Stephen Reiss picks his best 10 photos from May 2015.

June 13, 2015 9:00 am Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Nash's Top 10 from May 2015

PHOTO BLOG: Nash's Top 10 from May 2015

Benny Coffin finished putting whiskers on his daughter Leyla Coffin during the 5th annual cardboard box derby and parade Wednesday, May 20, 2015, at Lighthouse Christian School in Twin Falls, Idaho.

NOTE: I love when a behind-the-scenes shot comes together.

Times-News Chief Photographer Drew Nash shares his strongest images from May. 

June 11, 2015 1:00 am Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Spelunking with the Silver Sage Grotto

PHOTO BLOG: Spelunking with the Silver Sage Grotto

Jeremy Callen, top, and Shon Gerard pause for a photo during an expedition into Gypsum Cave on Friday, May 15, 2015, near Shoshone.

The Assignment

It was going to be dark, dusty and dingy and I couldn’t wait to get my hands dirty doing it. That’s right, I got to go spelunking with the Silver Sage Grotto recently and photograph two marquee caves, the Gypsum and the Jawdropper. Both caves were stunning, posing different challenges (physically and photographically) for me all along the way.

The Approach I did quite a bit of reading the night before the expedition about cave photography. From what I could tell there were mainly two schools of thought on how to do it. One was to set up a tripod for long exposures and paint the cave with light using headlamps and flashlights. The other was to set up remote slaves (flashes) along with existing light from caver’s headlamps. With this being my first time out I decided against trying to lug around my heavy 3221W Bogen legs and a 3030 head. I needed to keep it light and allow myself to be nimble. Plus, I already had two perfectly good slave units along with a set of remote triggers I could use.

Gypsum Cave I was geared up from head to toe. Armed with three head lamps, a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, gloves, caving suit, camera pack and boots. I was about to use every bit of it as I scuttled down some rocks and waited for the guys to unlock a gate leading into the darkness. I left my main camera body and lenses packed securely in my backpack. I wanted to know what I was getting myself into before attempting any photography. I pulled out my Pentax WG-2 (a rugged, waterproof point and shoot) and started making pictures. The plan we had decided on was to get to the end of our route as quickly as possible and then I, as the photographer, would know what options I wanted to shoot on our way back out. We soon encountered break down piles of lava debris. I also found myself inching my way across ledges of rock as we came to a section of the lava tube with multiple levels. It felt like I was climbing parts of Mt. Borah again, only this time it was much, much darker.

I let the dust settle and pulled out my Mark IV body and a 16-35mm f2.8 lens. Also known as the cocaine cave, gypsum is a fine white powder that gets on everything. I was not thrilled about trying to keep my sensor clean but I had a job to do. I turned on the slaves and handed them out to two of the cavers who would be closest to me. The rest would have to light each other up (or silhouette) using their headlamps. I directed the light as best I could and was somewhat impressed with how layered the images were turning out.

May 28, 2015 10:00 am Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Nash's Top 10 from April

PHOTO BLOG: Nash's Top 10 from April

A young girl helps load boxes Tuesday, April 21, 2015, at Mountain View Christian Center in Burley.

NOTE: This little girl was so much fun to photograph while she helped her mom pack boxes. I got her name but for some reason my voice recorder on the back of my Mark IV didn't turn on. I'm sure it was user error, but darn the bad luck.

Chief photographer Drew Nash shares his thoughts on what he believes to be his strongest images from April 2015.

May 20, 2015 12:00 pm Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Photographing a Remarkable Mom

PHOTO BLOG: Photographing a Remarkable Mom

JoAnne Hollenbeck-Schenk plays Monopoly with grandson Benjamin Pero, 11, on April 28 at their home in Rupert.

JoAnne Hollenbeck-Schenk lost two daughters — one a toddler and one a young mother. She then opened her home and adopted three girls, new siblings for her second daughter, Jodie. Susan Koestner, Esther Rogers and Mary Hollenbeck joined the family right after their births. When JoAnne’s daughter Jodie died, she left behind a son, Benjamin, who she is raising. 

It was a real pleasure to spend some time with JoAnne and her family one evening last month. Photographing them at dinner, walking in their yard and playing Monopoly together, it was clear the strong bond they have has kept them together through a series of tragedies. (STEPHEN REISS, TIMES-NEWS)

May 20, 2015 10:00 am Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Reiss' Top Ten for April

PHOTO BLOG: Reiss' Top Ten for April

While photographing a memorial for the Armenian Genocide of 1915, Alla Bagramyan told me the story of how she fled persecution in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 1993 and settled in Twin Falls. It's a reminder of how America is a country of immigrants, and how Twin Falls has opened its community to refugee populations from all over the world.

Staff Photojournalist Stephen Reiss picks his best 10 photos from April.

May 19, 2015 2:00 pm Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Walking in Bisbee's Footsteps

PHOTO BLOG: Walking in Bisbee's Footsteps

Long time storyteller Mychel Matthews stands at Milner Dam which began construction in 1903. The Dam's primary purpose is irrigation but it also produces hydroelectricity. It is 73 feet high and measures 2160 feet long. Ira Burton Perrine brought in several investors to build it including Stanley Milner, Frank Buhl and Peter Kimberly. Photo taken in April, 2015.

The Pitch

A few months ago Shawn Barigar, president and CEO of the Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, approached me about a freelance gig re-creating a few of early Twin Falls photographer Clarence E. Bisbee’s photographs.

I was well aware of Bisbee’s photography and had recently voted to try to get his name on one of our upcoming elementary schools. I have looked over thousands of his images and listened to local historians talk about how he and his wife, Jessie, helped record the history of the fledgling Magic Valley during the early 20th century.

This was my chance to add to what he had started in 1906.

April 30, 2015 12:00 pm Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Dorothy Custer, Having the Time of Her Life

PHOTO BLOG: Dorothy Custer, Having the Time of Her Life

Dorothy Custer plays her harmonica as she celebrates turning 100 years old at her home with her daughters Wednesday afternoon in Twin Falls.

It was 4 p.m. June 1, 2011, when I met a little lady with a booming laugh and a heart of gold. Her name was Dorothy Custer, and she was about to turn 100 years old.

On my way there I remember missing the driveway and having to turn around. I was greeted by a large banner of Dorothy in her younger days doing the splits; it appeared she had been quite the performer. Once inside, I found that Dorothy very much still had that spirit of the performer. She put on a fancy hat and started playing her harmonica.

I attempted to hold my off-camera flash steady as I began chuckling. Here I was, standing before the most adorable little centenarian while she played one helluva harmonica wearing a hat that probably hadn't been in style in more than 70 years. I was beside myself and having the time of my life. You see, that's what Dorothy embodied. The time of your life.

In June 2013, I met up with Dorothy again. It was an absolute circus this time ... seriously, it was a circus. "Idaho's Grandma" was about to check off another item on her bucket list and ride an elephant. I jockeyed for position and began making pictures. She carried a small American flag while she patted an elephant that dwarfed her already tiny frame. Spectators roared with delight as she made a lap around the arena. Just like before, everyone around her was full of joy.

April 28, 2015 11:45 am Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Reiss' Top 10 for March

PHOTO BLOG: Reiss' Top 10 for March

People rally in favor of a bill that would allow people to carry concealed guns anywhere without a permit on Friday, Mar. 6, 2015, on the north side of the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls.

Note: While the bill never passed it was interesting to meet the people rallying for its favor and hear their different viewpoints on concealed carry law.

Photographer Stephen Reiss picks his best 10 photos from last month.

April 09, 2015 8:30 pm Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Nash's Top 10 for March

PHOTO BLOG: Nash's Top 10 for March

Twin Falls' fans get loud during introductions against Bishop Kelly during their game Friday, March 6, 2015, at Borah High School in Boise.

NOTE: There's always at least one in the crowd isn't there? This guy was great and I think he'd make his predecessors proud. I rarely take my time with crowd shots, I shoot them when I have a few seconds during a free throw or a timeout. Looks like I lucked out with this one.

Chief Photographer Drew Nash shares his strongest 10 images from his shoots in March. 

April 06, 2015 1:30 pm Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Reiss' Top 10 from February

PHOTO BLOG: Reiss' Top 10 from February

Members of the Kimberly High School girls' basketball team on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, in Kimberly.

Note: This was a simple one-light portrait shoot to illustrate the Kimberly-Filer rivalry.

A look back: Times-News staff photojournalist Stephen Reiss' top 10 images from February.

March 12, 2015 1:00 pm Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Nash's Top 10 from Februrary

PHOTO BLOG: Nash's Top 10 from Februrary

Third-grader Xavier Villicana plays the role of Jesus Christ during rehearsal for 'The Week That Was' at St. Nicholas Catholic Church on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, in Rupert.

NOTE: The angles really came together for me on this shoot, and the kids really did a nice job. Have a look at the story and gallery here.

A look back: Times-News Chief Photographer Drew Nash's strongest photography from February. You'll see some great variety here.

March 10, 2015 2:00 pm Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Reiss' Top 10 Photos from January

PHOTO BLOG: Reiss' Top 10 Photos from January

Levi Mitton of Oakley High School, left, and James Anderson of Minico High School face off in the 152 pound weight class finals at the Buhl Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, at Buhl High School.

A quiet moment during what is normally a pretty intense and physical sport.

Staff photojournalist Stephen Reiss' selects from the month of January. 

February 13, 2015 10:30 am Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Nash's Top 10 Photos from January

PHOTO BLOG: Nash's Top 10 Photos from January

Goldsmith and jeweler Mike Nielsen sizes a ring at his store, M&S Goldsmithing Inc., Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Twin Falls, Idaho. Nielsen has been working with gems and metals for 30 years.

NOTE: Nielsen was great to work with. I enjoy this image because of how intimate the moment feels. Think about it, he does this type of work day in and day out and it's probably the first time anyone has really every photographed it. Makes me feel kinda privileged, ya know?

Chief Photographer Drew Nash's favorite selects from the month of January. 

February 10, 2015 12:00 pm Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: My Day Photographing the President

PHOTO BLOG: My Day Photographing the President

President Barack Obama speaks to a capacity crowd Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 21, 2015, at Boise State University in Boise.

An announcement was made, emails were sent and questions were raised. The President of the United States of America was coming to Boise, and I had just assigned myself to cover it.

I started thinking about all the things I would need, such as a press credential, parking pass and the location of the media entrance gate. The clock was ticking.

Eventually I found myself starring at a Media RSVP link from the White House for a press credential. Two days later I was approved. I received a timetable of when and where I could be. Set up between 8 and 9 a.m. No access to gear left inside the facility from 9 to 11:30 a.m. (security sweeps). Security entrance opens 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. President speaks at about 2:45 p.m.

Wanting to set up a remote camera with a 14mm lens near the podium, I called up the logistical and planning liaison; she told me no. I wasn't a pool photographer and I'd have to clear it with White House staff.

January 29, 2015 1:30 am Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: The Environmental Portrait

PHOTO BLOG: The Environmental Portrait

Drug Court graduate Nick Jessen, right, his 15-month-old son, Wyatt, and girlfriend, Jami DeJager, at their home in Rupert on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015.

In my short time in the Magic Valley I've come across some very interesting individuals on a variety of assignments.  I'm beginning to see a sort of character study emerge, a mosaic portrait of this community through photographs. So I decided to compile some of these moments into a gallery with two simple criteria: emotion and light. 

—Stephen Reiss, Times-News staff photojournalist

January 26, 2015 11:00 am Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Reiss' Top 9 from December

PHOTO BLOG: Reiss' Top 9 from December

A SWAT team is involved in a standoff with a suspect in downtown Twin Falls on Dec. 11, 2014, in Twin Falls.

Note: Standing in the same spot for hours, the suspect, later identified as Randy Scott Hill, occasionally popped his head out a broken window. He once ran outside before the police presence forced him back inside. 

Times-News photographer Stephen Reiss shares some of his strongest images from December.

January 07, 2015 12:00 pm Photos

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PHOTO BLOG: Nash's Top 9 Photos from December

PHOTO BLOG: Nash's Top 9 Photos from December

Lillian England, 13, sleds down an embankment Thursday afternoon, Dec. 25, 2014, on the College of Southern Idaho campus in Twin Falls.

NOTE: I like how you can't even see the sled. The expression makes this photo.

Chief Photographer Drew Nash shares some of his strongest images from December. He can be reached at dnash@magicvalley.com.

January 06, 2015 5:00 pm Photos

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RSSBetween The Frames | Idaho Photography Blog

Drew Nash

Drew Nash started to develop into a photographer the moment he saw his first print come to life in the darkroom as a high school freshman. Since then he has watched the photography industry evolve from film to digital, darkrooms to light rooms.

Arriving in the Magic Valley in 2009, Nash has enjoyed covering topics as diverse as BASE jumping, politics, sports and wildfires. In his free time you'll find him rooting for his beloved Kansas City Chiefs or hiking and camping around this magical valley.

Feel free to ask him photography questions at dnash@magicvalley.com.

Stephen Reiss

Stephen Reiss was born in New York City in 1981. He received his undergraduate degrees in English and Biology from Skidmore College in 2003, and worked in the field of medical communications before turning his attention to photography in 2009.

Stephen graduated from the Documentary Studies and Photojournalism Program at the International Center of Photography in 2009, where he was awarded the John and Annamaria Philips Foundation Scholarship for Photojournalism.

He participated in the Eddie Adams WorkshopXXIII, LOOKbetween, and received a Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund Fellowship in 2013 for his long-term work on foster care in the South Bronx. The subsequent body of work has been published by the New York Times and Anthropology Now magazine. His work has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography in New York, Gallery I/D in Miami, The International Photography Awards and LOOKbetween.