TOP PICKS: Our favourite photos
AS WE prepare for The Observer to go digital only, the team decided to reflect on the past year and pick their top five photos.
The Gladstone community has continually welcomed our journalists into businesses, homes and sporting events to capture these precious moments, and will continue to do so as we continue to cover Gladstone’s biggest stories.
Here’s what our team has to say about their top picks:
Chris Gilmore, Editor
Rodney Hammond – I love the pride etched into Mr Hammond’s expression. There’s an air of cheekiness that Sam captured perfectly in this photo. It made for a great page one.
Restop – The way Ms Fletcher is standing invitingly beside the ‘Restop’ echoes the story behind the seat, which was made to offer walkers relief on their way up a notorious hill.
The Last Post – Rod captured the sense of unity brought together by Anzac Day, despite this photo being taken during the height of the pandemic lockdown, making it particularly striking.
Father Andrew Chase – Nick did a great job showing the parish priest still clearly very connected to his church, despite the pandemic forcing its doors to close.
A picture tells a thousand words, and these ones are more than just the people in the photo, they are the story behind them and the experience of telling that story.
The Bakers – It was a privilege to listen to the Bakers’ talk about their life as they prepared to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary.
Divalashes – Citra was forced to close her beauty business when coronavirus restrictions took hold, but saw it in a positive light. She said it meant she could spend more time with her sons.
Queensland Reds – This was the first major event I photographed and it was awesome to experience the joy of the crowd (and see the Reds thrash the Rebels).
New citizens – I got goosebumps during the Citizenship Ceremony on Australia Day and was absolutely moved to talk to families like the Nguyens.
The people behind the stories are what make them and putting a face to a voice helps bring the authenticity to those stories. These are some of the faces behind some of the most important stories.
Karen Bargenquast and Brett Bowman – This photo is one of my favourites because seeing local businesses adapt and overcome challenges they have faced to then thrive is something which is very important to me.
Jayd McKenzie – Jayd McKenzie’s online gigs polarised a region which missed the night life. Coming from a music background it was a pleasure to interview him and get an insight on the everchanging live music scene.
Janette, Riley and Tiarna Reid – The resilience of Riley and Tiarna Reid, to persevere through the bone disease they are living with, and the strength of their Mum Janette means this photo is a favourite of mine.
Marlu Fur babies and friends – Another one of my favourites is the Marlu Fur babies and friends pic with Jaimee Kerfoot, Sue Patroni and Bianca Gardner. This was my first immersive wildlife story and I loved every second of it.
Michael Cahill – When news broke of the pubs being allowed to reopen, it was a very happy day for me. To take photos of an experienced bar owner like Michael Cahill pouring a schooner means it is up there with my favourites.
Posing for a photo isn’t the most natural thing in the world, particularly for people who aren’t used to having their picture taken. The people in these shots had fun with it which usually makes for a good result.
My favourite photos were for my first front page at The Observer.
Last November I was tasked to cover a house fire at Philip St. It was by chance I met the family of Bill Spangen outside of the house and he agreed to an interview and photos.
He welcomed me into his home during what would have been a devastating day, to tell me about what he had lost. The fire had torn through the upper storey of the home, damaging most of his belongings.
While it was devastating to see the remnants of this poor bloke’s home, the resulting photos were powerful. Fire is truly destructive. I took photos as Bill recovered some of his antique coin collection and old family photos, which somehow were spared from the flames.
I’ve taken some other photos during my time here but the Philip St fire photos will always remain my favourite.
Central Coast Car Club Khanacross – Arnold Schafer gets the back wheel off the ground in a Mazda 323 Astina that was formerly the Sotiris family car until it was retired to use as a track car. To have a former family car being pushed so hard it lifted the back wheel off the ground into a corner was a sight to see.
Central Coast Car Club Khanacross – Ben Barnes of Rockhampton had is VY SS V8 Ute screaming as smoke billowed off the tyres around the whole course. I’m a bit of a rev head so It brought back great memories.
Calliope Cattle Truck Crash – My first major crash at The Observer after covering too many others, fortunately it wasn’t a fatality. I was corresponding with the editor, Chris Gilmore and was going to leave the scene until he said the rescue chopper was on its way and I was fortunate enough to grab this cracking shot.
Gladstone Food Centre new Freezer – Gladstone’s Sunrise Rotary Club got Gladstone Regional Council to purchase a commercial freezer for the food centre. One of the reasons I became a journalist was to help the community and the feedback from this was great, as many people benefit in the Gladstone community.
Spinnaker Park Sunrise – It was quite cold but the stunning sunrise captured on my DJI Mavic Air 2 drone over Port Curtis Harbour made up for my frozen fingers
Do you have a fond memory of a time your photo was in The Observer? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.