Most people have toyed around with the camera by taking pictures of family and friends or maybe a sporting event. However, one man in Waynesboro is taking it to a whole new level, because he spends all of his free time taking pictures of house fires, car crashes and crime scenes.
Nathan Combs is a reporter, but not for any newspaper, magazine, radio station or TV station. Combs reports for his blog, "The Photograph."
"On a relatively small budget, you can get this going," says Combs. "You've just got to figure out what your strengths are and mine happens to be photography."
On days when there is a lot happening, such as during last week's ice storm, Combs works overtime. He spent the day walking around Waynesboro streets, snapping dozens of pictures to share with his readers.
Combs doesn't just cover weather. He often goes out to the scene of breaking news, whether it be a house fire, car accident, or criminal investigation. He posts several news stories a week, complete with photographs, on his blog.
He also sends his pictures to WHSV-TV3 to be used on the air.
"It does feel like I accomplish something," says Combs. "Somebody likes it!"
Being on the crime scene puts Combs in contact with law enforcement agencies all over Augusta County.
"We work with him just like we work with any other member of the press," says First Sgt. Scott VanLear, State Police. "What we allow other members of the press to photograph and get close access to, we also allow him."
VanLear says they grant this access because Combs got press credentials from the State Police office in Richmond.
"State police are wonderful to work with," says Combs. "Fire departments in the area are wonderful to work with, rescue crews, you know, are wonderful to work with."
Combs is not the only resident who does some of his own investigating.
"We've found here in Augusta County that a large majority of the people have scanners," says VanLear.
Even though many people are listening, few take news chasing as seriously as Combs. He has a full-time job as a nursing assistant in Waynesboro to help pay the bills. However, he says he eventually wants his blog to be his career.
"I'd like to hire a staff," says Combs. "That way I can cover more news and be more dynamic."
Viewers like Combs can submit pictures to WHSV.com and they may be used on a newscast.