SEATTLE, WA – Howard Ramaley, 84, a pioneering Seattle television news photographer for KOMO-TV and an NPPA Life Member who joined the organization in 1964, died October 30 according to his son, Stephen, who also works for KOMO-TV.
“He was very happy to get the letter from NPPA designating him s Life Member when he retired in 1986,” Stephen Ramaley said. His father helped start news operations at two television stations in the Seattle area, including shooting news on a 4x5 Speed Graphic for KOMO-TV in December 1953 when that station began broadcasting. From that he saw KOMO-TV through the adaptation of 16mm film (developed at the station), to videotape, to news helicopters, to microwave and satellite live truck shots. In much of the days the equipment television news photographers needed was not available “off the shelf,” and Ramaley was known for spending many hours inventing and building the gear that made TV news photography possible, like the “bodypod” to hold the first heavy sound film cameras on the shoulder, and light battery packs for night photography.
He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Barbara, and two adult children, Stephen and Jane, both of Seattle.