I ran into Juneau Empire photographer Michael Penn at a party recently and told him there was a photo of his that I liked a lot but couldn't remember which one. He replied, "The one with the jumping fish? That one got a lot of attention." Yes, that was it (front page, Oct. 7). What an excellent shot. A lot is going on there and it is all perfectly composed.
Penn said a moment like that doesn't come often, even if he patiently waits around. Mostly he leaves with nothing, all the while feeling the paper's insatiable need for images from him. More recently, Penn took another wonderful nature image of a black bear jumping into a creek (front page, Oct. 21), and a very creative view of traffic through a wet car window (Neighbors page Oct. 24).
Penn is no stranger to accolades for his work; his photo of three firemen near the burning Episcopal Church on Gold Street was justly awarded Alaska image of the year for 2006. It is one of my all time favorite pictures. The Empire is lucky to have him, as are we.