Monday, December 5, 2011

Cherry Street Mission

Kenny Lampkin at the South Side Community Center in Toledo, Ohio.
On Novemeber 16th our class went to the Cherry Street Mission to photograph the services and facilities they provide to the homeless. Cheri Guthrie and I went to the South Side Community Center prior to the class meeting at the Mission. We arrived at 8:00am to take pictures of the free breakfast they serve. I got really nervous as we were going into the place.  I kept thinking that if I  were in that postion I would not want someone taking my picture.
I sat down at a table with my camera in sight. I met Kenny and Domanick. We talked about the breakfast, why I was there, and taking pictures. Kenny was really excited for me to take his picture and smiled every time I told him how good he looked.
I sat with them for a half hour and the time became less about a school assignment and getting pictures. I learned a lot about Kenny and his life. We had a lot of parrells. Pastor Jerry Howard was preaching to a table behind us. Every few minutes Kenny would say "did you hear that?", referring to something that the Pastor had said.  I took a lot of pictures that day along with Kenny's address. He wanted some of the pictures I took and will have them within a week.
This experience was enlightening and life changing for me. I realize how close all of us are just a few bad events away from being in their position.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Shooting a sports assignment

This was the first assignment that I felt very comfortable with. I have been shooting sports for three years, but only teams my son was on. I didn’t realize the difference this makes. I choose to photograph the Girls U14 Eastwood v/s Lake soccer game. This was a tournament game where the winner would move on to State Championships.
I arrived early and found out the game was delayed by one hour. I used the delay time to familiarize myself with both teams. I introduced myself to both coaches, and the referees. I got the rosters for each team so that I could correctly identify players. I also inquired about strong players. The person who gave me the most information was actually the referee, James Sewar. I was surprised that a referee would know the teams so well. He knew which players were strong and which ones he would keep an eye on.
As I began taking pictures I realized that it was very different than photographing my son’s soccer games.  I  didn’t know the strong players by their faces I knew their number. I also didn’t know who was where when they were running toward me. The game was a little disappointing because it was a very unemotional game.  Everyone was just very stone faced and polite!  
Another obstacle I encountered was lighting. There was only one side of the field that was not shooting into direct sunlight. The good thing about a soccer game is that they change sides at half time. This gave me the opportunity to shoot both teams coming for a goal. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Overcoming the fear of approaching people

Tonya Russell in front of one of the eyeglass
displays at the newly remodeled Van Optical in
Sylvania, Ohio
When I walked into my optomitrist office yesterday, I realized this would work perfectly for my profile assignment in photojournalism. The owner of the store, Kim VanTulien, was at the front desk. I asked her if I could photograph the store, her employees and customers. She was very excited, since they were in the final steps of a remodel.
Russell helps customer Miah Ruij who is picking
up her new glasses today.
I was at the back of the store,when I started taking my pictures . The florescent lights and reflections from glasses played havic on my camera. This wasn't something I had taken into consideration. It was dark in some spots and even though I tried to open my lens up as much as possible I still couldn't get a good shot. I had to get more creative and talk to my subjects if I was going to be successful here.

Talking to strangers is always a challenge to me, but I took a deep breath and started chatting with them. I even asked Tonya to move to a desk at the front of the store. This enabled me to get a nice shot of her face in better lighting.  When I looked at the clock I noticed that it had been twenty minutes from the moment I entered the store until the time the photos were done. It's amazing how fast you can complete these assignments once you find your subject and overcome your fears.

A mission to find the picture

My assignment this week was to take pictures that would give the reader a sense of the weather elements. The most intimidating part of this was that it had to have a person in it and I had to talk to them. This was going to be a challenge for me. I put my camera in the car, because I knew this would be something I  come across while driving.
Tonya Lunners rakes leaves in the front
yard of her Millbury townhouse.
Nothing jumped out at me that really expressed what the weather was. I am realizing that it's harder than it sounds to get the pictures for some of these assignments. Photojournalists often have hours, not days, to shoot, and my deadline was soon to be over. I would've already failed if this wasn't for a class.
On Oct.9th I knew I had to get my picture that morning. I went up and down the streets of Millbury searching for someone in a coat, or on their porch, anyone who was outside. I turned off Main Street and saw a woman by a small tree.  She had a rake in her hands! This was my chance. I pulled over, grabbed my camera and got out of the car. I didn't give myself time for my fears to take root. After introducing myself, she was fine with me taking some pictures of her.
Lunners stops for a break.
The pictures seemed posed, at first with an unspoken tension between us. I realized I could change that mood so I started to joke around with her to help her relax. It only took about 15 minutes and I was done. After I got home with my pictures I realized how I had made the assignment harder by freaking out about talking to and photographing a stranger. It really wasn't so scary after all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Millbury isn't always a quiet little town

Paul Fuller and Mike Krause prepare to
begin applying the new roof.
On October 11th I drove through Millbury, Ohio searching for people engaged in an activity for my feature assignment. Millbury is a typical mid western small town, if you blink you might miss it! I wasn't sure that I would find a feature adequate to shoot. I did notice the church was being re roofed when I was driving to the bank.
While I was at the Genoa Bank it was robbed! A woman gave the teller a note and though I didn't know what was going on, I did feel that it wasn't business as usual in there. This was confirmed after she ran out and the employees locked the doors. After talking to detectives I noticed the media arriving and asked if I could take pictures for my photojournalism class. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to. There went my feature assignment! I remember the roofers at the church and headed back down main street.
Holt Roofing tackles the high peaks of the church
as they tear off the old roof.
Holt Roofing supervisor Mike Krause and his foreman Paul Fuller were just hooking their harnesses as I arrived.With my heart in my throat I approached the church. I am usually not good at approaching strangers but after the bank incident I didn't feel it could get worse. During a brief conversation Krause said that it was the first roof in 35 years for the church and a rare opportunity due to the steep peaks and sharp valleys. I walked around the church taking the photographs trying to get an overview as well as close ups that would tell the story. After arriving back home and reviewing the last couple hours I'm reconsidering my theory that Millbury is a sleepy little town. The action is there, even when you're not really looking!
Logan Mann and Rory Trazleu rush
 to rip off the old roof
as their supervisor yells
"ten minutes, guys!" 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Camera Operations

Previous Temple Furniture building in Woodville, Ohio.
Life Flight officers used K9 search and rescue dogs to find victims in Millbury, Ohio after a devastating tornado on June 5, 2010.
 This week we reviewed camera functions and operations. I felt I knew my camera well, though the review certainly reminded me of some very important controls.   
 I have struggled with noisy pictures in low-light situations.  I know how to set my white balance and ISO, but the results are usually not good. After reviewing the course information on lighting, I was able to capture the mood and lighting of the moment on this building in Woodville, Ohio at 3 a.m. I used the same information on exposure for this brightly-lit scene recently at the Millbury, Ohio Ox Roast parade.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The First Amendment

The First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
   As a collegiate journalism student, the freedoms allowed by the First Amendment are important to know. Knowing my rights gives me a legal ground to stand on if I am told I cannot photograph something or not write about a subject.
   I had never given this much thought, until reviewing it in photojournalism class.  This is important to me.  I will look more professional being knowledgeable of my rights as a journalist, rather than saying I have a right to photograph or write something just because  I can.