Tuesday, July 17, 2018
News Roundup

All Eyes Gallery, Jim Damaske's favorite photos of 2016

Each year, Times photographers choose their favorite photos from the past 12 months. These are from Jim Damaske.

Jim Damaske

After several days of gloomy skies beach goers flocked to take in the sunset off Clearwater Beach January 18, 2016.

Jim Damaske

Is this what they mean by wishbone offense? - Bronco's Derek Wolfe (95) sacks Bucs Jameis Winston (3) during the 3rd qtr of the Bucs home game against the Broncos at Raymond James Stadium October 2, 2016.

Jim Damaske

Special Guest Speaker Brian Anderson speaks with his service dog "Hero" by his side during Curlew Hills Memory Gardens' 29th annual Veterans Day Services Friday morning November 11th 2016 in Palm Harbor. Special Guest Speaker Brian Anderson, Co-Founder and Director of the Veterans Alternative. Brian retired from the United States Army after 14 years of service as both a journalist and a Green Beret. He Joined because of the events on September 11, 2001. Brian served 33 months in direct Combat and earned 3 bronze stars, one with Valor for his actions deployed as a Green Beret. Brian left Active Duty in 2012 and joined the National Guard. As a citizen soldier, Brian started to identify the gaps in services for many of our Veterans returning home. He helped form the Pasco County Stand Down, now known as the One Community Now Stand Down. He also co-founded the Veterans Alternative, a nonprofit , helping Combat Veterans using alternative modalities focused on Mindfulness and Resiliency. Live music was provided by Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and the Westlake Children's Choirand the Westlake Middle School Band.

Jim Damaske

Pasco Sheriff K9 "Titan" chomps down on a bite suit clad deputy who was playing the part of a bad guy during a training session. Local funeral home owner Thomas Dobies is being honored for his support to area police and sheriff's offices. He's donated about 12 dogs around Tampa Bay, which comes to about $120,000 in total spent on K-9 police dogs. He's also donated other equipment such as bite suits for training and special equipment for police cars. Many of the dogs are named after him as "Dobies."

Jim Damaske

Susan Miller, a volunteer rescuer with Owls Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife, releases a rehabilitated Bald Eagle at Lake Chautauqua Park that had been injured when it was struck by a car in Clearwater nearly two months ago. The eagle got a lot of attention when first discovered standing in the middle of Countryside Blvd. and was protected by Clearwater Police and Fire Dept. until Miller arrived to catch it and take it to Dr. Peter Black at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay who performed surgery on its injured right wing.

Jim Damaske

Sometimes when I see birds or other animals, I give them human characteristics. This couple reminded me of some elderly tourists having a discussion about where to go next as rain clouds loom over Clearwater Beach and Pier 60.

Jim Damaske

While on assignment for our Bay Magazine at the Carlouel Yacht Club for a story about the club and it's history my eyes wandered over to the distant lightning storm as did the eyes of some children playing on the families fishing boat.

Jim Damaske

Photographic lesson: You never know till you get there. I needed to get a picture of the old Redington Long Pier and I was hoping for a nice ball of sun setting behind ( a cliche I know ) but as evening approached rain came and never left. I decided to go just in case and I was rewarded with a brief gap in the clouds to give me a little color and a skim boarder happened by. - Code violations at the Redington Long Pier have been accumulating and the city of Redington Shores and the owner have been arguing whether it is safe. It has still not been resolved, and fines are still accumulating. Also, several state agencies have gotten involved, levied fines of their own and apparently have worked out some sort of "mitigate plan" for the pier to be made safe for visitors.

Jim Damaske

If you go to seewinter.com you can follow this turtles journey which is really cool. - Complete with her satellite tracking device, a sub-adult, loggerhead sea turtle, named Xenophilius (Xeno) by biologists at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, swims away into the gulf after she was released on Clearwater Beach Thursday morning 10/27/2016. "Xeno" arrived at Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) on September 17th 2016 after being found about 15 miles offshore, floating and unable to dive, by CMA dive coordinator Brian Mahardy. Xeno arrived with slight edema (puffiness) and moderate epibiota on her carapace. Taken to Morton Plant Hospital for an x-ray the same day she arrived at CMA, it revealed an extensive amount of shell-like material in her GI tract that likely caused her buoyancy problem. Xeno was able to pass the shell material rather quickly (about 5 pounds worth). Xeno weighs approximately 130 lbs, and was given a series of vitamin injections and daily glucose checks and fluids. After completing her round of antibiotics and being dewormed she was cleared for release by the CMA team. For only CMA's third time, with assistance from the Sea Turtle Conservancy, CMA fitted Xeno with a satellite tag, allowing CMA to track her for a number of months to monitor her release success. Interested people can also find out where she is by looking at www.seewinter.com.

Times Archive

Jim started part time at the Times in the late 70's while in college at USF. He also freelanced for United Press International while. Then he moved over to the Clearwater Sun as his first full time job as a photographer after graduating. He then returned to the Times where he has been a photographer, picture editor and chief photographer in the Clearwater bureau for the last 28 years. He has spent his entire career based in the Clearwater area.

My year wasn't particularly productive. I started out breaking my back ("you don't want to break your back," said my spine doctor) in February while on a media boat covering a sailboat race off Clearwater Beach. The driver excelerated at the wrong time and when the boat smacked down in the trough a vertebrae went crunch. I was laid up for several months and just now am getting more active. Though now I do the night picture editor job two nights a week so I don't get to make pictures as much. Random thought; I'm afraid of falling down. I did a lot more sports coverage last year and was a little rusty when I covered a Bucs game awhile back. I just now feel like i'm getting back my sense of timing and being in the right place at the right time.

The first picture in my collection I shot before I was injured. I imagined myself launching my imaginary kayak from that opening in the mangroves and quietly gliding out into the rising sun. I like photos that viewers can imagine being in. The next photo was a sunset and I remember it had been so cloudy for so many days that when the sun broke through it was like people busted out too. You could feel the energy of the previously cooped up tourist masses. The eagle looks a little scraggly but was getting his wings after healing from a meeting with a car. Symbolic?

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