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On Assignment: 5 years of capturing moments

President Judge Thomas King Kistler paddles through the water during the boat float at the Save Colyer Lake fundraiser in 2013.
President Judge Thomas King Kistler paddles through the water during the boat float at the Save Colyer Lake fundraiser in 2013. Centre Daily Times, file

Five years sounds like such a long time.

This week marked my five-year anniversary at the Centre Daily Times, and it doesn’t seem like that long at all. As I venture into my sixth year, I reflect on all of the experiences I had that I wouldn’t have had outside of the CDT.

I’ve covered some things that were big news — multiple coaching changes with Penn State football, a nationally watched trial, the building of a multimillion-dollar ice rink. Others were small on the scale of publicity but memorable to me.

In the dead of winter, through an ice storm, I rode on an ATV for the first time on the rails to trails in Snow Shoe. I canoed in Colyer Lake with President Judge Thomas King Kistler. I rock climbed, indoors and outdoors, camera in tow.

I’ve seen gay marriage become legal in Pennsylvania and the happiness it brings to couples. I’ve been to countless free community events for all ages. Each year I’ve watched a youngster and Santa use those magical jingle bells to turn on the State College holiday tree.

On my trip to Jacksonville, Fla., for the TaxSlayer Bowl, I sat next to a woman on the plane who was amazed when I said I was a newspaper photographer. She said she never really thought of the person behind all the images that she sees day in and day out. The rest of the flight I noticed her closely looking for the tiny line of photo credits in the crease of a magazine.

There are a lot of us behind the lens around the world working to capture and share history. It’s not an all-fluff job, and I’ve definitely learned that over the years.

Some days come with long hours and the constant turning on of a scanner when you hear sirens.

I’ve hurt my hearing photographing concerts. I’ve been drenched on the sidelines of sporting events. I haven’t been able to feel my legs and feet after being at crash scenes in the bitter cold. And I’m constantly jumping out of the way of foul balls.

But I wouldn’t trade it. I love what I get to do every day and that it is different every day. I enjoy chatting with you all and hearing your stories. I laugh when people seem to know who I am when I say I’m with the CDT and appreciate the feedback on my images.

So thank you for looking for my photo byline. Here we go, Centre County — time to photograph another year.