At a recent conference on photojournalism, a photography student asked: "What, in your opinion, makes a good photograph?"
My answer was that my opinion didn’t count. What counts is the opinion of the reader.
It’s a matter of perspective.
As a journalist, my goal with a photograph is to tell the story — as simply and as directly as possible. The photograph should capture the moment.
More often that not, that moment is fleeting and capturing it is more luck than skill. Sometimes a moment comes not from an assignment but from happenstance.
The photograph above is a good example. On Sept. 15, 2001, four days after the 9/11 attacks, we were still living in Northern Virginia and I dropped Amy off at her doctor at Kaiser Permanente in Falls Church. I noticed the flag hanging from the marquee of the State Theater. So I parked our car, grabbed my Nikon D1 and headed up the street to capture the image. As I approached, I heard the unmistakable sound of Harleys coming up the street. I had just enough time to raise the camera and fire off three frames as this biker roared by with his tattered flag on the back of the bike.