Having been at The Examiner for 16 years, I always start this column off with, "I've been doing this newspaper photography thing for a long time now".
And because I've logged another decade or so at other regional papers, it means that there's not a lot that I haven't seen or photographed, or as the case is sometimes, seen and wished I'd photographed in focus with the right shutter speed.
I really enjoyed colleague Paul Scambler's gallery last week that showcased the variation of subjects we come across, and after all this time, there's not much that catches us by surprise.
Last week's snow event in Launceston was a first for me though.
When I woke at 1.30am to see an unusual light shining through the bedroom window, I thought someone must have left the outside spotlight on.
IN OTHER NEWS:
We live just above the power station in Trevallyn and when that outside light is on, we hear another generator start just for us.
Also, given that there's only two of us living in this house and it wasn't me who left the light on, this was a crime against humanity akin to me leaving crumbs on the bench, or even worse, stacking the dishwasher wrong, which would deserve a royal commission of inquiry in the morning.
But it wasn't the outside spotlight, it was the glow of street lights reflecting off low cloud, as practically everybody awake in Launceston realised, it was snowing.
I had a moment's thought about how to cover this event for the newspaper.
If rain set in, the snow might be washed away by morning, therefore it was worth getting out tonight, rather than miss it.
A loud cracking noise signalled a large tree branch coming down in the front yard as I set off on foot on the slippery, steep downhill part of our street.
The plan for pictures was to keep the camera high and dry under the umbrella, with the lens pointed down while walking, opting for a tripod and long shutter speed rather than a high ISO.
At West Tamar Road a car or two went by, clearing a black stripe on the road that was easier to walk on than the icy footpath.
I got a few roadside scenes as the snowflakes turned to rain and the snow on the ground became slushy.
Near the motel, it looked like branches had fallen onto power lines ahead but in the dark it was hard to tell.
I took a wide berth before realizing I was under an even bigger tree where enormous broken branches were lying on the ground, while pondering this, a Nissan Patrol with a big light bar on the roof came spraying along West Tamar Road like it was a speedboat on the Tamar River and as it went by, I did the ice bucket challenge.
Back home, the snow had turned to slush and was less dangerous to drive on.
I cleared the i30's windscreen and carefully made my way into town.
At the mall I found ski marks but no skiers.
Newspaper photos are all about people but on this night I had no luck finding anyone, however, I did end up with a nice collection of Launceston scenes that might get a run in 100 years when we have the next snow event.