Archive for the friends Category

I could do that for a while

Posted in Diary, friends, Kernel, Photo lesson, photography, photojournalism on March 31, 2008 by lenscapremoved

New technology

For the past month I have been putting much of my photography emphasis on learning video.

To some I suppose it’s not even the same thing, but I see them to be very similar. What I’m quickly learning though is all the ways they are not similar, and possibly why many photojournalists are not happy with trying to do both.

On Saturday when Hillary Clinton came to Louisville, I new this was a great opportunity to truly test out my new found abilities. I was very excited to use all of the Kernel’s new gear. What I had only thought about for a few short moments was how hard it would be to carry all of this gear.

Walking into the high school gymnasium, I looked at Juliann, the reporter for the story, and said, “It’s really here. That whole convergence thing is real. A newspaper photographer looks just like a broadcast cameraman.” It was a feeling I thought I wouldn’t experience for several years. But after only a few seconds of the feeling of awe, I was back into storytelling mode and not caring what my appearance was.

I am not ashamed to admit that most of my video did not turn out nearly as good as I had hoped. I felt like a new photographer when I was having focusing problems. But I toughed it out and managed to get enough to make a three minute mixed media piece for us out of what I shot.

Being in the presence of a presidential candidate

I was actually surprised at the liberty the media had at this event. After going through a security checkpoint that is only a bit tighter than what I go through to get into Rupp Arena, we basically had free reign. For the three hours I was in the gym waiting for Hillary to come out, I was beginning to feel as anxious as the crowd. Not because I just wanted to shoot the assignment, but because I realized the significance of the event I was covering.

I enjoy the challenge of trying to make a photograph that is different from the one everyone else is going to make. I really worked this situation below, but just didn’t have a long enough lens to get the moment. I thought the younger child’s facial expression was so great and his body language was screaming that he was uninterested. I also really wanted to catch Hillary’s feet at the perfect moment when you could tell that this speaker was a woman. I think it’s even better that you can see the mom making eye contact with Hillary. But this is generally the type of photograph that just doesn’t work with the story, and never makes it to print. It did make it to our slideshow though. Check it out at the mixed media page.

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Thinking about the future

If I ever worked for a bureau and was asked to follow a political campaign across the country, I decided yesterday that it’s something I would like to do. Maybe it’s because I have only recently truly started caring about politics, but I saw so many photographs that I wanted to take and think I could work better, now knowing what one of these events can be. This was so different from governor and mayor elections.

I think being behind-the-curtain with such a big name as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or John McCain could produce some really great photographs that you only get the chance to do if you’re assigned to that candidate. Pete Souza’s photographs of Ronald Reagan are fantastic.

I just can’t see myself being able to turn an opportunity like that down.

Dear (existing and aspiring) Kernelites

Posted in Also removing lens caps (or pen caps), friends, Kernel, photojournalism on January 13, 2008 by lenscapremoved

Don’t be frightened.

With all of this talk of multimedia, technology you’ve never used and weekend-long workshops, it may seem overwhelmingly and obvious that you are going to get in over your head. You’re not.

Thursday kicks off our first multimedia workshop for the Kernel. We will be creating campus related multimedia and learning the process. Many of you have said you don’t know where to even start, but we’re all together in not knowing much of anything, this guy included.

Reporters, you’re not that far behind. Despite being up on camera technology, the photographers have just as much to learn. This is a great opportunity to be able to screw up. If by Sunday, you haven’t created a cohesive piece, it’s OK. It wasn’t an assigned story for the paper, and at the least you’ve learned the basics.

All of our productions will go onto our new multimedia site, kernelmixedmedia.com. As the semester goes on I’ll be working and tweaking this site to perform as smoothly as possible, and we’ll all be working to produce excellence journalism to upload to it.

The beavers will be out soon

Posted in Also removing lens caps (or pen caps), friends, Hess, lexington, photography, photojournalism, UKPJ on January 8, 2008 by lenscapremoved

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I’m just going to assume you guys are reading Jim and Elliott’s blogs.

I went with them to get information about their picture stories, the Woodsmen and Old man and the sea. In Jim’s whip, we blazed through back roads, while testing out his new Tomtom. I basically mooched off their last picture story, the Old man and the sea.  This guy was awesome. I didn’t get great pictures, but I’m OK with them considering I just hung out for half an hour.

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Music City Bowl – (Re)action

Posted in Also removing lens caps (or pen caps), Diary, Football, friends, Kernel, Music City Bowl, Nashville, Photo lesson, photography, photojournalism, sports, travel on January 6, 2008 by lenscapremoved

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Just as they win and it’s over, we begin.

I’ve blogged about a big win before so I thought I would take a different angle this time.

Straight forward, things I learned or was reminded of:

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  • When you’re in the front row of about 30 photographers, you have the best view of what’s going on but end up looking up people’s noses. So when you throw a hail-Mary up to get even with the subjects, don’t be surprised when everyone in the photo workroom is mad at you. But hey, I got my pics from it. Survival of the fittest.

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  • Never, ever, ever forget about the Gatoraide bath. It’s going to happen. Don’t be one of the 29 photographers in the workroom without it while David Stephenson shows off his perfect shot.

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  • Don’t waste time on the coach if you know you have your shot of him. I didn’t follow Brooks beyond the celebration of stage. If I had, I would have had 15 solid pictures of him, but none as good as the ones from him receiving the trophy.

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  • Security and cops will most likely push you around. They’re just doing their job: protecting the coaches. You can see a fella yelling at me to get out of the way so Andre’ Woodson can get through. That’s going to happen. Get your shots, but be conscious that it’s not uncommon for people to get arrested at football games. A friend recalled hearing a cop say, “I can’t wait to topple some of these punks,” right before fans rushed the field. Journalist are not exempt.

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  • There are show-boats amongst the players. You don’t have to shoot them. They’re just showing off for the media. Sometimes this is OK, sometimes it’s not. Generally I wont shoot it. find the real celebrations. The ones that they forget you’re watching.

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  • Always, always, always be ready to run to the middle of the field at the end of the game. If the clock is out and no one else is going, who cares? Get out there and get your shot.

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  • A big part of what we do is anticipation. Elliott is very good at this. It’s actually a big part of what he is better than you are. Anticipation separates the pros from the amateurs. While Elliott technically isn’t a professional, he still out shoots them at football games. Before the game he spent nearly an hour looking for Andre’ Woodson’s mom. All that just so that in four hours when the game was over, he would know where to be. He wanted a shot like the one above (he already has one that is better from earlier this season). You should check his blog to see if he got it.While we’re on anticipation, you should apply that to the action. What? You can’t anticipate action? I disagree. This is a whole other topic though. Just think about it.

I hope you like them and have enjoyed my Music City Bowl coverage. Please comment and make fun of my photos.

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But as always with UKphotojournalism photos, you do not have permission to take these down from the site. They’re the property of the Kentuckian and myself. If you’re interested, email bradluttrell@gmail.com. Also, while my opinions are the best ones, the Kentuckian would probably not step out to say that they are with me on basically anything I say. So don’t call them complaining because I made a subtle joke about Dicky Lyons Jr. being a showboat.

Always challenging

Posted in friends, Louisville, Mary Margaret, photography, Photos for sale, travel on January 4, 2008 by lenscapremoved

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For as long as I can remember, I have turned mindless tasks into games.

When I was younger and would help my dad do work around the yard I would do my best to keep it from being boring. If I were helping carry pieces of a tree he had chopped up with a chainsaw, I would see how far I could throw each one into the pile. Or maybe pick out a log already in the pile and try to hit it with the one in my hand. I would imagine it being a competition, and I was to be the best contender.

I tend to apply that with everything. It’s always a competition. I’ve been in Louisville since the Music City Bowl and have been shooting the whole time, and all of it has been in completely meaningless situations. Nothing extraordinary. My goal is to make each scene enchanting. Yeah, enchanting. Captivating. Breach the methodical. Capture true character. Conquer beyond what has been conventional.

That’s what I have tried to do with all of these photos taken from the inside of a car. I hope they made you stop and think, “I wouldn’t have thought of that” or at least make you appreciate my eye.

If you don’t, let me know. Because this isn’t an imaginary playing field anymore and I’m certainly not the only player on the stage.

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Alpha dog

Posted in Diary, friends, Mary Margaret, photography on January 3, 2008 by lenscapremoved

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This is not my puppy. This is my camera strap though.

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Clear as black and white – Part I

Posted in Also removing lens caps (or pen caps), friends, Hess, Kernel, Photo lesson, photography, photojournalism, UKPJ on December 27, 2007 by lenscapremoved

Blogger note: Here is 2-part step-back to my photo lessons & discussion, which never really ends in discussion. It’s more like I give my opinion, I get a few hundred hits and 3 comments about pretty pictures. I have talked about this to several people lately and know this is interesting to more than just me, so please give feedback (even if you don’t shoot pictures).

Black and white is no longer mandatory.

We’re not shooting film on Nikon Fs (not that I have ever used anything before a 20D). All in one photo you have the options of color or black and white or really, any color scheme you can pull together in Photoshop. I don’t think it’s a decision to be made very carelessly. Both color and black and white have much to offer.

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This is one of my favorite photos I have taken over the break, and it is definitely IN for color. The multiple layers and colors work really well together, although after some criticism I do believe it should be cropped a bit from the left. But for now, we’re only looking at color. My eye flows well through the photo above. Recently, one of our peer photographers said, “I think that’s what makes a good photograph, is when it just stops you and gets you to look at it.”

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I agree with what my peer was saying, but there are boundaries within what he is saying. The black and white version of this picture grabs you, but it’s only because you’re confused. If confusion is what is capturing your viewer and you aren’t relaying a message, emotion or piece to a story, then what is your picture doing? This photo in black and white is definitely OUT and just simply does not work.

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This photo comes from Britney McIntosh’s blog. She had a few nice frames from a nursing home, which I found it to be interesting that she had them toned in black and white AND color. I can see her reasoning for this frame being color. It has a nice tree and fun color throughout the frame. The lady in the frame has colorful shorts on. It’s not a great frame, but in my opinion – speaking strictly to color, it’s better in color than black and white. So her choice on color for this frame is IN.

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This frame – OUT. If I just try to look at the subject my eyes are burning trying to look at that ugly EXIT sign and the giant red and yellow blocks in the background. This frame is in no way about the EXIT (unless Britney is sending us subliminal messages) or the huge legos at the end of the hallway. They aren’t adding to the picture. Let’s try it out in black and white.

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Much better. This photo is IN. The sign and legos aren’t distracting me at all anymore. I can focus on the subject and work my way through the photo on my own terms, without feeling compelled to relate the EXIT and this lady.

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Elliott Hess loaded up this photo along with others. I have mixed feelings about this picture. I haven’t seen it in color, so all I have is all you see, but I think it would have worked in color pretty well. In this case, I don’t think the red flag would have been distracting, but helped to give life to this picture (which is of a dude scraping a raccoon’s skin off it’s body). Still the same, this photo is IN. I think his decision to make this picture black and white fell more to do with the fact that his others about this subject were black and white. You can’t bounce back and forth at your own free will. Pick your formula and don’t deviate. More on this in part II.

Now, the original thought, or question. Of what guidelines should we go by when deciding if our photos should be in black and white? I wonder if we (WE:me, you, the next guy) are attempting to give weight to our pictures that is lacked in content by toning our pictures in black and white. Are we falling back to a repressed idea that by giving our photos an old fashioned, hard hitting, documentary appeal they will affect people the same way? Yeah, I think so.

Mull that about for a day or so. We’ll see what comes of this tomorrow.