Gallery of Light and Shadow

On Assignment

Special note on the images on this page:All of the images on this page were taken by me, Bill McKee, while employed with one or more news agencies. (The image of me strapped into the FA-18 was taken by Chris Taylor while he was employed for the Bristol Herald Courier.) The copyright on each image is owned by that particular agency which published it. I cannot give permission for the use of any of these images. I only place them here for your enjoyment. ornament
 GIF image preview  Opens JPEG image file  Description and information pertaining to the image.
Skydive  OPEN
565 k
360 X 535 pixels
61 k download
   To photograph this I was secured in the doorway at 12,000 feet with the U. S. Army Golden Knights Parachute team over Gray Tennessee for the opening of the Appalachian Fair. The image of the jumpers dropping gracefully earthward and disappearing below will always be alive in my mind.
Agony  OPEN
553 k
504 X 374 pixels
98 k download
   The trill of victory and the agony of defeat. I don't think any photograph I have ever had published generated as many letters as this one. Many questioned how we could run a photo showing such sad emotion. Is it any different than the joyous victory? The other side of the coin perhaps but do not forget what sports can teach those about to become young adults. The world throws many things at us and we learn to cope and grow from our experiences.
Sweaty  OPEN
446 k
324 X 469 pixels
69 k download
   One day when the thermometer was nearing 100* F, my assignment was to find a photograph that said "hot". I came upon a road crew laying asphalt. As I was shooting and looking around I saw this one man wipe the sweat from his brow and I knew I had the image.
Racin'  OPEN
513 k
504 X 347 pixels
88 k download
   Sometimes it just feels right. Call it intuition, sixth sense, whatever you wish. In 1994 as the Morgan-McClure racing team was loading up to head for NASCAR's premier event, the Daytona 500, I knew the moment I took this image that it was a very special car. I was not surprised when they brought home their first Daytona victory ever and followed it up the next year with another victory, making it two in a row.
Kick  OPEN
589 k
363 X 553 pixels
107 k download
   You really need to look at the larger image to get the full effect of this picture. While making a routine visit to a day care center, former Tennessee Governor Ned McWherter shows that it is not always an easy task being Governor. I was quite pleased, a few days after this image was published, when the Governor's office called and requested a reprint.
Dustcloud  OPEN
443 k
468 X 323 pixels
64 k download
   Baseball was never my favorite sport to photograph. However 3rd base could usually provide some form of action shot to take back as long as one team or the other was getting on base. George Stone, Sports Editor at the Bristol Herald Courier, taught me many years ago to always shoot both pitchers. That way, if nothing at all happened during the game, I at least had a photo of the winning pitcher.
Ascending  OPEN
555 k
360 X 526 pixels
60 k download
   Topping off the complete rebuilding of the Belle Meadows Baptist Church in Bristol Virginia following a fire, was this image of the final piece being moved into position. As the cross was being carried to be placed atop the steeple this wonderful moment appeared.
Tortise  OPEN
445 k
468 X 324 pixels
104 k download
   Humor could be found on many assignments. Here is a play on the old tortoise and the hare theme. The man is actually looking under the car in front of him (which is behind me) but appears to be readying to race the cars.
359 k
289 X 424 pixels
63 k download
   Sometimes luck IS. This is not an assignment or experience I will ever forget. My ride; Blue Angel No. 7, a two-seat FA-18 Hornet. My pilot, Capt. Ken Switzer (in 1991), one of the elite graduates of the Navy's Top Gun fighter pilot school. Take off; from Tri Cities Regional Airport to 10,000 feet literally over the end of the runway. Time; 1 hour. From -1 to +7 G's and all manner of maneuvers. You can bet I feel I got my tax dollars back that year!
©Bristol Herald Courier/Chris Taylor
Loop the loop  OPEN
504 k
504 X 341 pixels
82 k download
   OK, so 3 of the 10 involve flying. What can I say. Sometimes it is a tough job but somebody has to do it. Here, coming over the top in a formation loop with the Red Baron Steerman Squadron, it was tough not to lay my cameras down and just enjoy the ride. And yes we are upside down.


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