Behind-the-Camera of Photojournalist Nic Coury in Monterey County, California.

July 17, 2014

Professional Bull Riding at the 2014 California Rodeo Salinas.

Last night, I shot my seventh Professional Bull Riding at the California Rodeo Salinas and it was by far the best set of photos I have made at this event. I think mostly because I consciously thought about the photos I was trying to make and had a vision. Or maybe that I was just tired of shooting the same shot of a bull rider coming out of the chute.

An old colleague said told me once if there are two events I ever have to shoot in my career, it's boxing and rodeo. Even though the rodeo culture isn't me whatsoever, I do really enjoy photographing it.

July 8, 2014

A Victim of a Gang Shooting Speaks Out.

Jose Robles at his home in Seaside, Calif. June 2014.
 A few months ago during a community meeting in Seaside discussing gang violence in the aftermath of a violent April, I met Jose Robles.

On March 20, during a night of many shootings in Monterey CountyJose Robles was doing one last job for the night in Seaside, hauling away old paint from a project site. He called his wife, Bernarda, and said he would be home in 10 minutes to have dinner with her and his two daughters. But the next time she saw her husband, he was lying in the street, shot in the back and may never walk again.

Robles is a family man. He thorough enjoyed life before the devastating shooting and even now, I see a genuine smile on his face. I interviewed him for a story about his life since the shooting. He loves his family and he loves his God. I delivered a copy of the published article, he was genuine and thankful for telling his story. Even in broken English, we communicated easily.

It's funny how such a tragic event can move people and hopefully others can learn and better their own lives from such an event. I talked with a colleague at the Seaside Police Department, Sgt. Nick Borges, who is a really good guy. He told me the Robles shooting haunted him. It was a humanizing comment.

I've never had the chance to talk to a shooting victim before and I wanted to ask Robles if he would ever want to meet the shooter.

He sighed. "No need"
"What would you want to say to him?" I asked.
"I would say he shouldn’t be using guns and that is not the way you fix things in life. You talk out your problems."

Seaside police officers care for Jose Robles shortly after he was shot once in the back on March 20, 2014.

Jose Robles at his home in Seaside, Calif. June 2014.

July 2, 2014

My Ten Favorite Recent Portraits.

Larry Hosford has been playing blues and rock in Monterey County for decades, He is pictured here at his home in Salinas, California.
Portraits are always a mainstay in my photography and I'm constantly trying to up my people shooting game. Here are 10 images I really like and I've even been shooting more film.

More to come as the summer provides a lot of people to photograph and I just finally got some new Alien Bee lights.

Jimmy Welch in a former California state prisoner for drug crimes and now does prison ministry at Salinas Valley State Prison.
Monterey City Councilman Alan Haffa sits on the steps of the city's history Colton Hall.
Jose Robles was a day laborer in Seaside, Calif. and was doing one more job on March 20 when he was shot once in the back in a mistaken identity gang shooting. Due to nerve damage, he is in a wheelchair and may not walk again.

James Scott, 50, was released from a long stint in Monterey County Jail for drug crimes.
Wyatt Miller owns Hellam's Tobacco in Monterey, Calif., the oldest tobacco shop in the state. Shot on Tri-X 400.

Puppeteer Ricki Vincent makes all his own puppets and changed careers from owning a tattoo and piercing shop to pursue puppetry.

Aerialist Jillian Coombs teaches silks at Sanctuary Rock Gym in Sand City, Calif.

Brian Andrews owns Carmel Hat Shop in Carmel, Calif.

Brianne Spiersch is the California director for the Little Bellas, a non-profit program to get young women into cycling,