Form submitted successfully, thank you.

Error submitting form, please try again.

Golub Photo Blog bio picture

Welcome to my blog!

Hello!  My name is Al Golub and I am based near Yosemite National Park.  I have been a working photographer for 50 years.  As a dedicated photojournalist, I spent most of my career at newspapers.  I also consulted for Eastman Kodak for 10 years and did commercial photography as well.  Now, I teach photojournalism at the local junior college, assist and mentor up-and-coming photographers, and do as much freelance photography as I can.

The blog is a way to share my images and the stories behind each of them.  I hope you find that my photographs speak to you.  I also hope to hear from you so please feel free to leave comments!

You can see more of my portfolio here.

You can see my ever-growing archive here, where images are available for purchase and licensing.

Photo by Adm Golub

John V. Tunney California Senatorial Campaign 1970

Last week I blogged my 1968 experience with national politics and campaign trains in my blog “Robert F. Kennedy 1968.”  A little more than two years later, I got the opportunity to put into action what I had learned when I was given the assignment to cover 1970 U.S. Senatorial candidate John V. Tunney.   The press arrangements required reporter Fred Youmans and me to meet the train twelve miles south of Modesto in Turlock.  We identified ourselves to Tunney’s campaign staff and security and got on board the historic observation car known as the “El Dorado” — built in 1924 by Union Pacific and previously used by President Franklin D Roosevelt.  I quickly got to work photographing candidate Tunney and actor Burt Lancaster.  All too soon, we were in Modesto.  Photoshelter The minute I jumped off the “El Dorado,” I hurried to get close under the observation deck.  Tunney was rousing the crowd with a rip-roaring speech and they were responding with enthusiastic cheers. Tunney’s security guards were out in force because there were demonstrators from opponent Senator George Murphy’s campaign.  For me, the guards were easy to deal with because I followed their rules and checked in with Tunney’s staff on the train.

While on the ground, I used my newly acquired Nikkor 20mm f3.5 lens to get good images from the east side of the train.

Burt Lancaster, 1960 Oscar winner for “Elmer Gantry” and politically-ahead-of-his-time Hollywood star, was easy to photograph in the “El Dorado.”  I also spotted Rafer Johnson in the “El Dorado” but didn’t get to photograph him before I had to go. (for more on Rafer Johnson, see last week’s blog “Robert F. Kennedy 1968.”)

Before I left the “El Dorado,” I got a chance to shoot behind the candidate.  This 105mm shot into the audience shows the face of Stanislaus County in 1970.

Took this basic talking head shot of Tunney talking to Fred Youmans.  You should always shoot lots of portraits and talking head images.  These images or mugs always become more important later.

I jumped up on the step below the observation deck and held on with one hand while photographing the crowd with the other.

The protesters and the supporters seem to be having a little pushing match with their campaign signs.

By the time I got over to the west side of the train, Burt Lancaster was speaking.  According to the briefing, this meant the train was going to pull out of the station soon.

While I was behind Tunney on the observation deck, I used the old hands-over-my-head with the 20mm to make this image.

As planned, Ted Benson picked me up at the train station and gave me a ride south to Turlock to pick up my car.  This image was taken a couple years later of the two of us walking together after a similar campaign event.  Can’t remember who gave us this transparency.  The photographer documented our appearance.  Need I say more?

 

 

Robert F. Kennedy 1968

In March of 1968 I had been on the Modesto Bee photo staff just under two years and had long since earned my stripes with the editors and photographers, so I was given my first big assignment of national importance: to photograph Robert F. Kennedy at the Senate Hearings in Stockton, California.  As a lifelong Democrat, getting to photograph RFK was a dream comes true. The Photo Assignment appeared simple and straightforward, “Old Stockton High School Auditorium, Stockton, Senate Hearings, Robert Kennedy, 1:00 p.m.”  Chuck Rodgers, the chief photographer at the time, called out to me with a big grin as I went out the door, “Screw on your objectivity glasses!”  I knew what he meant.

I arrived at the school an hour early and was greeted by some of my fellow photojournalist friends who asked me, “Why weren’t you on the tour?”  There was a tour?  I didn’t know about any tour.  They quickly informed me that since the hearing was about poverty in America, RFK had taken a tour into Stockton’s poorest areas for several hours that morning.  One of the more blowhard photographers gloated about the great photos he got, as Bobby talked one-on-one with kids.  Immediately, I realized the missed chance to get great classic images of Bobby in the midst of real poverty and real people in the Delta.

This first lesson was one of those hard experiences that have made me a better photojournalist.  I never again left so much to the assignment editor.  When I finally talked to him later that day, I found out that his priorities were different from mine.  He knew about the tour but dismissed it because he didn’t think it would contribute to the written piece he planned (even though it would have).  From that point forward, I did my own research so I wouldn’t miss a morning tour or whatever extras might enrich an assignment beyond what the assigning editor had envisioned.  I also learned that it was essential to discuss with my editors what factors they believed were visually important to a story—not only so that I would capture the images they wanted, but also so that I could anticipate what they had overlooked.

This image of Bobby is my favorite.  Using a clunky Nikkor 300mm f4.0, wide open at 1/60th of a second, I squeezed off a handful of images from the press area.  To see my images on Photoshelter click here.

Before the hearing, a good-sized group surrounded RFK and greeted him with smiles and outreached hands.

This image was taken from stage left on the steps leading to backstage.  I went through a side door that I calculated would get me backstage.  This is where Rafer Johnson, 1960 Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon and RFK bodyguard, taught me the second lesson of the day by knocking me into the stage rigging as he demanded, “Where is your pin?”  He then explained the credentialing process as I apologized.  He said he would have hit me harder if he had really thought I was a threat.  It was a memorable introduction to the importance of credentialing.

The crowd was cheerful and excited except for this nun who caught my eye.  She started crying when Bobby came close.

I haven’t done much with these portraits of RFK.  At the time, the Modesto Bee ran only the photo of the crowd greeting him as he arrived at the school.

Members of the Mexican American Political Association greet the Senator on his arrival at Stagg High School.

Stagg students get their chance to shake Kennedy’s hand.

By May of 1968, Robert F. Kennedy had declared his candidacy for the presidency and was in the thick of the California primary.  On May 30, 1968, Kennedy and his wife were traveling up the Central Valley on a train doing whistle stop campaign speeches.  AP and the bigger papers were on the train the full trip, but we were told a photographer and reporter could get on the train in Turlock and ride as far as Modesto.  I wanted that assignment, but it went to Chuck, the chief photographer.  I would be on the ground at the rail station in Modesto.  So I set out to make the best images from the vantage point I was given.  At first I was disappointed that the Los Angeles AP photographer was in my frame, but now I like the whole feeling of a hectic campaign stop.

The train arrived in Modesto late in the afternoon and most of the activities were in the backlight.  Golub’s Corollary to Murphy’s Law states that the best possible image comes in the worst possible light.  I knew before I got there that I wanted to shoot from the left, from the right, and from the center.  I was so inexperienced I didn’t know that capturing all these angles should be standard.  Photographers often take too many shots from one side because crowds can be difficult.  This crowd certainly turned out to be hard to move through, but I stuck to my plan.  First, I worked my way to the East side of the observation deck and got as close as possible to the candidate.  Next, I pulled back and cut a path to the other side where I saw Ethel Kennedy waving to the crowd.  Finally, as the train pulled out of the station I moved to the rear of the crowd and got images of the spectators and candidate’s party as they left.

Ethel Kennedy waving to the spectators with full sun on her.

My back-up camera was my Rolieflex twin lens reflex, so I used it to get all of the images of the crowd as the train left the station.

I learned a lot from these two assignments, although it was also clear that at the age of 25 I still had more to learn.

 

2008 Telegraph Fire Near Yosemite National Park

Recently, I became a volunteer for Cal Fire.  With my friend Wes Schultz, I will be photographing wildland fires this season.  The last big wildland fire I photographed was the Telegraph Fire in 2008.  Lucky for me there wasn’t much hiking involved because both of my knees were bone on bone.  In May 2009, I had bilateral total knee replacements, so I am ready to go again.

Friday, July 25, 2008, some guys were target shooting and their bullets hit rocks that sparked a fire.  The Telegraph Fire started at 3:15 p.m. near Telegraph and Sherlock roads in the Midpines area.  By 7:00 p.m. that night, my neighbors and I were photographing the first big flames ripping up Telegraph Hill.  I spent seven days photographing the fire working for Getty, Polaris and Associated Press.  I posted most of my images to Photoshelter.  Here are some of the images that tell the story.

July 30, 2008

A Cal Fire bomber drops retardant on Division L at the leading edge of the fire. Division L was threatening Greeley Hill.

July 28, 2008

Horses on Jenkins Ranch off Bull Creek Road are oblivious to a smoke plume from a blow up at Branch Three of the fire.  This part of the fire is on the north side of the Merced River and is heading toward the community of Greeley Hill.

July 28, 2008

Helicopter drops water on a spot fire off Bull Creek Road.

July 26, 2008

On the second day of the fire, a DC-10 tanker drops retardant on Mt. Bullion ridge to protect cell phone towers.  I photographed this image from Highway 49 between Mt. Bullion and Bear Valley.

July 28, 2008

Branch Two of the fire throws a plume of smoke and ash into the sky over the Merced River Canyon near sundown.

July 29, 2008

Guide plane leads retardant bomber on Division M in an attempt to slow down the progression of the fire up Halls Gulch toward the Greeley Hill community.

July 30, 2008

Day begins as a California Department of Corrections fire crew heads out to cut fire line on Division L.

July 28, 2008

Fire rips up a hill in part of Division M on Branch Three.  This part of the fire is on the north side of the Merced River and was heading toward the community of Greeley Hill.

July 30, 2008

Erickson Sky Crane drops water on the leading edge of the Telegraph Fire.

July 30, 2008

Captain Roy Johns of the Union City, California Fire Department watches burn-out on Division N.  When the fire gets too hot, he will have his firefighters use hoses to cool down the fire. Division N was in the northeast portion of the fire in the Stanislaus National Forest.

July 30, 2008

Kern County Hot Shot fire crew returns after a shift of cutting fire line on Division L.

July 30, 2008

Union City firefighters use hose on trees at Division N to cool down fire during burn-out.

July 29, 2008

A Kern County fire truck moves along the firebreak as things heat up in Division M of Branch Three.  In the background, a fire blows up near Halls Gulch and Bull Creek Road.

San Bernardino firefighter takes a moment to get information at Division L on the leading edge of the fire.

July 26, 2008

Standing on Highway 49 between Mt. Bullion and Bear Valley, I use my 10mm lens to capture smoke rising over Mount Bullion and Fremont Ridge.

July 29, 2008

Cal Fire firefighters watch blow-up at Division M of Branch Three as the fire bumps over the line.

July 31, 2008

Bomber drops retardant to pre-treat a hot spot near Bull Creek Road on Division M.

July 30, 2008

California Department of Corrections fire crew takes lunch after cutting fire line on Division L.

 

 

Cattle drive near Yosemite National Park

For over a hundred and twenty years, the Erickson family has been driving their cattle from the Merced Falls area to summer grazing near the border of Yosemite National Park.  The drive takes the same route; of course there are three major highways now not to mention a bridge over the South Fork of the Tuolumne River.  The last six years, I have been following the drive.  If you would like to see more of my images of the Erickson Cattle Company drive click here for my Photoshelter gallery.

October 23, 2008.  Near Lake Don Pedro subdivision a cowboy and his dog move cattle along Highway 132 toward Merced Falls Road and a rock corral.

October 26, 2006.  After the herd spent the night at Uglow Ranch on Penon Blanco Road, Chuck Shepard watches cattle carefully to make sure the cows stay together while they move though the Lake Don Pedro subdivision.

May 12, 2008.  Cowboy moves cattle up Cuneo Road after leaving Boneyard Creek corral.

October 23, 2007.  After coming over Dante Pass Road from Kassabaum Meadow cows move down Cuneo Road.

May 09, 2008.  Cowboy moves cattle down Merced Falls Road heading to Uglow’s Ranch on Penon Blanco Road.

May 08, 2008.  Jack Kiernan works quickly to keep cows together on an open part of Merced Falls Road.

May 09, 2008.  Dan Erickson and his dogs keep cattle organized along Merced Falls Road.

May 31, 2007.  Cowboys move cattle down dusty Forest Service road to Lumsden Bridge to cross the Tuolumne River.

June 9, 2005.  Erickson Cattle Company drives cattle on the Highway 120 bridge over the South Fork of the Tuolumne River near Buck Meadows, California.

October 26, 2006.  After the herd spent the night at Uglow Ranch on Penon Blanco Road, cattle come to Granite Springs Road intersection before going through the Don Pedro subdivision.

October 24, 2006.  Les Weidman works cows along Hell’s Hollow Road after herd crossed Highway 120 from Kassabaum Meadow.

October 25, 2007.  Jeff Prosser moves cow back to herd along Penon Blanco Road.

October 25, 2006.  While Barbara Silva holds traffic, cows cross Highway 49 at Penon Blanco Road.

June 15, 2005.  Traveling from Buck Meadows to Packard Canyon, cowboys move cattle over bridge on Highway 120.

May 30, 2007.  Cowboys move cattle on Cuneo Road

October 26, 2006.  Jeff Prosser controls traffic while moving cattle through Lake Don Pedro subdivision.

May 11, 2011.  In springtime, calves want to stay with their mothers on Merced Falls Road.

May 09, 2008.  Cowboy Jim Short takes a break before chuck wagon style lunch is served at the Uglow Ranch.

 

 

Coyote Howl, Coulterville, California

Living in Greeley Hill, we have to travel six miles downhill to an 1850s gold rush town, Coulterville, California for our Post Office.  Twenty-six years ago town folks were looking for an excuse to have a community party.  They created the Coyote Howl.  The story of the birth of the Howl is a little murky.  The story is that there was some drinking going on in the Magnolia Room of the Jeffery Hotel (not a surprise, the Mag Room is a saloon) and someone joked that with all the coyotes in the area and everybody imitating them there ought to be a contest.  Now, coyotes don’t make just one sound when they howl, so people have different ideas of what they should sound like. If you would like to hear what the contest sounds like, click here for a multi media clip that we recorded in 2007.  The rest of my images are stored on Photoshelter, so give a click if you want to see more.

Kids in groups compete as Pup Packs.  These boys came in second in 2011.

This Piney Creek resident was the adult winner in 2001.

This year, as always, the parade is lots of fun for families.

This adult contestant had won in the past but didn’t make it in 2011.

The calliope is a treat for everybody.  It isn’t my favorite type of music but it seems to fit in with the parade.

Master of ceremonies Silverman gives a young pup a chance to test out his howl for next year.

Everybody has an opinion and some express theirs more colorfully.

This year’s adult winner wore a little hair of the dog while howling.

Capt. Henry Love shoots his 12 gauge at the bad guys.  Historically speaking, Capt. Love was the Marshall who captured Joaquin Murrieta.

During the gunfight, the bad guys always get to die.

In 2005, the Magnolia was hopping.  It will reopen June 15 of this year.

This pup uses his hands to make his howl.

Panama Red shoots his way out of the saloon.

During the gunfight, the Lady Sheriff shot a couple bad guys.

While county music is playing in the park, folks are dancing in front of a booth that seems to fry everything you could think of.  No fried stuff for me.

 

 

Raiders 2010-11 Season

Still hoping the National Football League and the Players Association will come to an agreement so they can play football this year.  I have been photographing the Raiders almost as long as I have been covering the 49ers.  The drive is shorter and it is easier to get in and out of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum than Candlestick Park.  The Silver and Black had a little better season than the Niners.  But 8 and 8 wasn’t good enough to save Tom Cable’s job.  Check out my gallery on Photoshelter, if you would like to see more images.  Raider fans have lots of enthusiasm.

November 07, 2010

Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles #25 stiff arms Oakland Raiders safety Mike Mitchell #34.  Raiders beat the Chiefs 23-20 in overtime.

September 19, 2010

Oakland Raiders defensive tackle John Henderson #79 and linebacker Rolando McClain #55 tackle St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson #39.  Raiders defeat Rams 16 to 14.

October 10, 2010

Oakland Raiders punter Shane Lechler #9 on the sidelines.   Raiders lose to Dolphins 17-33

November 07, 2010

Oakland Raiders defensive end Matt Shaughnessy #77 sacks Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel #7.  Raiders beat the Chiefs 23-20 in overtime.

October 17, 2010

Oakland Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell #8 attempts to pass the ball while San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks #55 and linebacker Parys Haralson #98 tackle him.  49ers beat Raiders 17-9.

October 31, 2010

Raider fans love to dress up.  Every game is like Halloween.  Raiders win over Seahawks 33 to 3.

September 19, 2010

Oakland Raiders quarterback Bruce Gradkowski #5 scrambles to avoid defenders. Raiders defeat Rams 16 to 14.

December 19, 2010

With Oakland Raiders defensive end Matt Shaughnessy #77 bearing down on Denver Broncos quarterback, Tim Tebow #15 makes pass during game.  Raiders beat Broncos 39-23.

December 26, 2010

Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Fili Moala #95 finally pulls down Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden #20.  Raiders lose to Colts 26 to 31.

September 19, 2010

Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden #20 breaks tackle from St. Louis Rams linebacker Larry Grant.  Raiders defeat Rams 16 to 14.

 

October 10, 2010

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Davone Bess #15.  Raiders lose to Dolphins 33-17.

 

 

Spring Branding

I figured that before I blogged the Erickson Cattle Company’s cattle drive this year, I should show some of the work cowboys do before the drive.  First, they round up the cattle from the ranch, and then separate the calves to brand.

Catching the calves is just like team roping at the Rodeo.  If you would like to see more of my branding images check out Photoshelter and click here.

 

After the header leads the calf out of the corral, the heeler ropes the back legs to pull the calf down for branding.

Branding is done to show ownership.  These cattle graze in the mountains where proof of ownership is needed.

Branding is done quickly.  Cowboys say it is done to mark the cattle not to hurt them.

When you are born into a cattle family, you learn to be a cowboy by firsthand experience.

Some doctoring is done at this time of year.  Here the foreman puts a parasite spray on a calf that was skipped in the usual process.

Cowboys often have to lay the calf down.

Young cowboys have lots of time to practice their roping skills.

Moving calves around is a constant job.

Cattle ranchers always start early to make use of the sunlight.

Traffic control is an important safety factor.

 

 

49ers 2010-11 Season

In 1982 I became the Chief Photographer at The Modesto Bee and took on the extra job of covering the 49er games.  The sports department told me the Niners weren’t very good but obliged me by helping me get credentials.  Who knew that Bill Walsh and Joe Montana would take the team to the Superbowl that very year. It was a heck of a ride and I am still photographing games.  Two years ago in late May I had both of my knees replaced.  I didn’t miss any games, but it wasn’t easy getting back to kneeling at Candlestick Park.  This past year, at 6-10 the 49ers were even shakier than my knees.  If you would like to see the rest of my 49er images click here.

August 28, 2010 San Francisco 49ers quarterback David Carr (#5) gets caught by Oakland Raiders defensive tackle William Joseph (#94).

December 12, 2010 San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Josh Morgan (#84) stiff-arms Seattle Seahawks safety Jordan Babineaux (#27).

August 22, 2010 San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis (#52) sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre (#4).

September 20, 2010 San Francisco 49ers running back Anthony Dixon (#24) celebrates making a touchdown.

December 12, 2010 San Francisco 49ers linebacker Travis LaBoy (#54) strips the ball from Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (#8).

September 02, 2010 San Francisco 49ers linebacker Matt Wilhelm (#57) sacks San Diego Chargers quarterback Billy Volek (#7).

September 20, 2010 San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Josh Morgan (#84) attempts to break away from New Orleans Saints cornerback Tracy Porter (#22).

August 22, 2010 49er and Viking fans team up to cheer.

November 21, 2010 San Francisco 49ers cornerback Nate Clements (#22) sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (#5).

 

 

Cowboy Photographic Workshop 2010

August 14, 2010, I participated as a teacher for the Erickson Cattle Company Photography Workshop in Ackerson Meadow near Yosemite National Park.  I love to share my knowledge with others plus get an opportunity to make a couple images at the same time.  A good part of my career was motivating, coaching, helping, and problem solving with photographers, so a workshop is a good match for me.  I have known the Erickson family cowboys since the late sixties, which is just a drop in the bucket when you consider their family has been moving cattle every summer to graze in the Yosemite National Park area for over 120 years.

Cowboys start at sunrise; Dan Erickson is moving cows along a fence line so photographers can get a good image.  We are going to have two dates this year for the Erickson Cattle Company Photography workshops July 16th – 17th and August 13th – 14th.  This workshop is a great opportunity for photographers of all levels to photograph real working cowboys in their natural environment so that you’ll be sure to make images that will enhance your portfolio.  I’ll be there for hands-on photo coaching to help with all technical questions as well as any creative guidance, and I’ll provide one-on-one editing after our shoot.  If you are interested, email me at al@golubphoto.com for more information.

Safety is always a consideration.  We organize shooting positions so we don’t interfere with other photographers.  After the early morning shooting, a chuck wagon style lunch is served.  We work with photographers to edit their work and plan the upcoming sessions.

During the day, cowboys do their normal duties.  These activities are close enough for photographers to photograph.  The cowboys do everything from roping and herding cattle to running horses and saddling them.  The scenery is beautiful and the cowboys are the real thing.  If you would like to see more of my cowboy images click here to view them on PhotoShelter.

California National Guard training with Cal Fire

April 16, 2011: Recently I became a Cal Fire Volunteer and was fortunate to be invited to photograph a joint Cal Fire, Army, and Air Guard training at the Cal Fire Academy near Ione, California. I want to give a big thanks to Wes Schultz, a photographer, retired firefighter, and fellow Cal Fire Volunteer, for helping to make this opportunity possible. The training centered around Guard helicopters practicing water drops for the upcoming fire season under Cal Fire direction. The most exciting part of the day for me was my first flight in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. I got to ride in the gunner’s seat on the right side. Wow, what fun! First, we chased a CH-47 Chinook around. The following image is of the Chinook making a drop with Lake Pardee in the background. If you would like to see more photographs just click here to go to my Photoshelter gallery.

Being able to hover near this UH-60 Black Hawk while they dip the bucket in the lake made an interesting image.  The wave effect and the rainbow were cool.  During the fire season you just don’t get this close.  Safety comes first during active missions so even if you have a helicopter you need to steer clear of the drop zone.

While we were hovering to make our images, I photographed this army sergeant watching the activities.  He was sitting in the big seat in the back so Wes and I could use the gunner’s seat to photograph from.

I’m also excitedly awaiting the next issue of Grizzly News Magazine, a monthly publication of the California National Guard, which will publish some of these images.  I’ll be sure to share the final product as soon as it comes out.