2012 OWH Year in Pictures – Chris Machian

See the entire photo showcase: 2012 OWH Year in Pictures – Chris Machian

The past year seemed to fly by for me. It feels like I just did my 2011 Year in Pictures post. I always panic that I don’t have any photos to make a slideshow worthwhile. I always feel like I accomplished something in the year if I can look back at last year’s slideshow and feel like I have improved.

One of my more memorable moments was a Guard unit homecoming from Afghanistan.  These events can be difficult and very rewarding. When the troops get off the bus. you have such a short time frame to capture the moment while competing with other photographers and TV camera crews, and trying not to get in the way of the families.

Read: Nebraska Guard team gets warm welcome

Seven-year old Layla Kinnett hugs her father, Sgt. Sam Kinnett, as his Nebraska National Guard unit returned home after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan on April 6, 2012, in Lincoln. The Kinnett family lives in Norfolk, Neb.

 

Not all of the moments I cover are joyous. I was in Benson shooting photos of a child who was hit by a car when I heard of another car accident nearby where a person was pinned. I arrived to find a horrible scene with family members dazed and scattered. There was a van on its side with firefighters working to free a passenger trapped underneath. The van had been rushing to the hospital because of another child who had been hit by a car.

Out of that terrible series of events, I found a few moments of beautiful humanity. Nearby residents gathered the survivors and comforted those who before a series of tragic events were complete strangers.

Read: Strangers rushed to help at crash scene

Bystanders comfort Sharon Matthews, the mother of Delaine Harris, who was killed in a crash at 49th and Decatur Streets, at the scene of an accident on April 28, 2012. Garold Storm, 68, comforts 9-year-old Jamarkuist Brown.

 

Another moment that sticks out for me is standing in the bedroom that belonged to 16-year-old Eriana Carr with her mother, Shavon Carr, the day after Eriana was shot and killed.

Read: Omaha teen shot, killed ‘like she was nobody,’ mom says

Shavon Carr looks around the room of her daughter Eriana Carr, who was shot and killed outside the family home near 35th Street and Redick Avenue on Oct. 30. Eriana shared the room with her 12-year-old sister Dede. Eriana hung all her achievements and certificates she earned above her bed on the right.

 

Weather dominated the news again this year. The drought left a huge mark in the region, while tornadoes earlier in the year changed entire towns.

Read: Thurman: Starting from scratch

Eric Reeves, with the Iowa National Guard 168th Bravo Company, carries items out of  the house of his father, Kyle Reeves, on April 15, 2012. A tornado hit the town of Thurman, Iowa, the previous evening.
Reeves was allowed time by the Guard to help clean up.

 

Not all of my 2012 moments involved sharing in people’s best and worst experiences. Some were just random moments that they might not even remember.

Several fans throw a football on the berm beyond right center field as Omaha took on Reno during Game 3 of the Pacific League Championship Series at Werner Park on Sept. 14, 2012. The boy on the left had a little trouble throwing the ball – it landed on his own head.

 

The  job really comes down to telling the stories of people, such as the story of Sgt. Josh Echtinaw.

Read: Returning troops spared death but bearing scars of war

Sgt. Josh Echtinaw poses for a portrait in Omaha on July 11, 2012. He was wounded during his second tour in Afghanistan.

 

My past Year in Pictures slideshows: 2009 Year in Pictures • 2010 Year in Pictures • 2011 Year in Pictures

Other World-Herald photo staff members’ photos:
2012 OWH Year in Pictures — James R. Burnett
2012 OWH Year in Pictures — Mark Davis
2012 OWH Year in Pictures — Rebecca S. Gratz
2012 OWH Year in Pictures — Matt Miller
2012 OWH Year in Pictures — Alyssa Schukar
2012 OWH Year in Pictures — Kent Sievers
2012 OWH Year in Pictures — Ryan Soderlin

Chris Machian

About Chris Machian

I was born in Omaha, graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a journalism degree in 2004 and have spent most of my life here. I was a photo intern with the Omaha World-Herald in 2003 and had various roles with the company before becoming a staff photographer. I love to shoot UNO hockey and last year placed video and still cameras inside the goal to provide our readers with another unique perspective. My goal is to use available technology in ways that help our readers understand the stories we cover. For instance, in 2011 I used Gigapan technology to provide a wide view of flooded areas while allowing users to zoom in on the smaller details. My love of this job extends beyond disasters and sporting events; I also enjoy covering the events that help define Omaha's cultural landscape.
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