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Photog. Ends 40-Yr. News Stint
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania)

Assigned to take a picture of a flock of turkeys, he returned in a matter of hours with a photo of turkeys strolling across a country highway. The same occurred when assigned to get a photo of a deer. Having a knack for finding ideal locations to take difficult photographs, he traveled ridge tops, walked through forests and went into streams to find the best angle.

Over his 40-year career, Mr. Pavuchak did routine shots with extraordinary skill, be it elected officials, breaking news stories, suspects walking to or from courtrooms, fires and highway accidents.

Washington County Commissioner J. Bracken Burns turned the tables on him in August, when Mr. Burns took a photograph of Mr. Pavuchak, who was busy taking photographs of senior Olympians in Peters. Mr. Burns said he liked taking photos of photographers because they're always on the other side of the camera and never in the picture.

Mr. Burns said he always found Mr. Pavuchak "to be a gentleman."

"I've known Bob for years, and he always comes up to introduce himself and make a point of saying who he is," Mr. Burns said. "When we chat, he's always a human first and professional second."

What Mr. Pavuchak reveled in most was documenting everyday life in Washington County. He enjoyed snapping photographs of people working and playing, being happy and sad, experiencing success and failure. He captured unusual moments in usual lives.

Photographing the American flag and religious experiences were favorite topics. But he was expert in photographing cows and even took to mooing to attract their attention.

Mr. Pavuchak's gift was timing. But he always credited "the photo angel" for creating the magical moments he enjoyed capturing for readers.

With that, let's celebrate his career with a photo finish.

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