As a newspaper photographer, I covered a lot of local news – forest fires, floods, protests – as well as international news such as the tsunami off the coast of Indonesia and Hurricane Katrina. But I never thought of myself as a news photographer. I think that's because news, as it is usually defined, is bad. Someone died or suffered horrible injuries; property got destroyed; violence raged. I get no personal satisfaction from being there at such moments, though I don’t dispute the value of being a witness. Mostly, I see news as a catalyst. Something unpredictable happens and it dislodges an issue that deserves to be explored, explained, brought home.

©The Oregonian.