Monday, February 6, 2012

Photo of the day: Ed Troyer

Ed Troyer by The Bacher Family
Ed Troyer, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.

There are those whose job it is to speak about evil.

I serve on the Public Information Team at Mount Rainier National Park, and now and then, I'm called upon to speak to the local press about a tragic accident on the Mountain: someone has gone missing, someone has fallen while climbing, someone was caught out in a blizzard. These events are hard and sad, but they are usually without malice. Mount Rainier, regardless of how it is anthropomorphized, does not seek to kill or injure; it just is. The outcomes of an event on the Mountain may be positive or negative, but they are neither Good nor Evil.

The loss of my co-worker on January 1, 2012 was different. It was a crime. It was evil. Someone came to our park with malice in his heart, and his Evil act took the Good ranger Marget Anderson away from us. This made our jobs as public information officers infinitely more sad and difficult.

Which brings us to this photograph. I took this image of Ed Troyer, detective and spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's office, as he answered reporters' questions at the entrance to the park on January 2nd. I actually like the fact that it's shot over the shoulder of one of those yellow-jacketed reporters, blurred in the foreground -- rather than ruining the shot, it gives it a sense of cinema verite, like when directors use hand-held cameras to convey action and a sense that "you are there" in the scene. But what really makes this shot for me is not the composition but the emotion I caught on Ed's face. He sounds so strong on the radio, but even there, you can often hear the emotion in his voice, the anger at the actions of evil men (it's almost always men), the sadness of an unnecessary loss, the frustration at an unprevented evil. And in this image you can see it on his face: the strength, the concentration, but also the weariness. He does this on a schedule that varies from every day to all too often. I don't know how he does it.

1 comment:

  1. I think over the shoulder improves the shot - it gives it context and depth. Sounds like he was a big help during the whole situation, too.