Archive for the photojournalism Category

Kickin’ it with Smooth

Posted in basketball, Kernel, Photo lesson, photography, photojournalism, University of Kentucky on April 2, 2008 by lenscapremoved

It was one of those assignments that you see and instantly call dibs.

Beat writer Travis Waldron told me he would be hanging out with UK basketball star Ramel Bradley while he polished off his single before releasing it and I knew this was an assignment I wanted. I spent all of my days in high school recording music and I still love music studios. The whole process is very similar to writing a story in that you take time fixing all the little details until it’s as far as you can take it.

I ‘m also a Ramel fan. He plays with a lot of heart and I admire that about him. Also, if you have ever seen his news conferences then you know how well he handles himself. So the chance to combine music, Ramel and photography was an obvious choice.

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The challenging part of assignments like this one is to find a shot that is different from what everyone else is going to have. Everyone you see in the photo above besides Ramel is with the media. I shot this frame only to show the setting. Former Kernel photo adviser Dave LaBelle always told me not to just get caught up in the subject, but to take a step back and look at the media madness your subject draws. I think that’s good advice.

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The only problem with some of the photos you pull from one of these shoots is that they’re basically completely staged for the media. I doubt Ramel would have been in this situation if it weren’t for the half a dozen media outlets who were covering this one song recording. But that’s part of what our audience wants to see with this story, Ramel off the court. I just try to keep in mind what my goals are. To show the audience a true representation of a scenario they can’t get to themselves.

Please check out the mixed media piece to get the full experience.

While the opinions on this blog are the best, they do not represent that of the Kentucky Kernel. All photos are property of the Kentucky Kernel. If you’re interested in purchasing photos comment and let me know.

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.

Yes it was

Posted in Kernel, Louisville, Photo lesson, photography, photojournalism on March 30, 2008 by lenscapremoved

Blogger Note: I’m not going to keep going for so long without posting. I don’t learn as much when I’m not blogging. You guys teach me so much about my own work and what it should be. I promise to resume my blog full speed this week. If I don’t let me know. I will be letting you know.

This was the best assignment I have gotten to shoot in a long time.

Hillary Clinton came to Louisville yesterday to pick up where her husband and former president, Bill Clinton, had left off last week. Instead of a thoughtful essay that’s written well about what I learned, I thought I would just bullet it so you don’t have to pick through all of my b.s. ideas.

  • An apparent local photographer grossed me out yesterday. He walked down from the media platform and into the pit where all of the supporters were cheering and throwing signs in the air. He asked a supporter to move from one side to the other so he could get his shot. He told the guy he was in the way of the media.This is unacceptable folks! The media are there because this matters to the people we’re communicating to. The supporters are not there to make our pictures better. We are documenting this event. If you can’t see because of a supporter, that’s your fault. You shouldn’t have picked that spot.
  • Julie and I were talking and we both agree we would love to follow a campaign across the country. It would be so great to be a campaign photographer or reporter. The challenge of trying to find what makes each speech different, or where the new photo is would be tremendous. If I ever get this opportunity I will surely jump on it.
  • Another broadcast photographer was kind enough to move his whole set up about a foot to the right so I would have room to stand on the press area. In no way did he need to do that, because he had spent an hour and a half setting up and I hadn’t. This was all too kind, and he is the guy that keeps me from being pissed off at the entire broadcast media.
  • In general I have found through three years of shooting events where media flock that newspaper photographers in Kentucky have a similar outlook to the one that I have. Let’s help each other out and not be jerks about the information we have. Mark Cornelison and the rest of the H-L staff prove that idea every time I see them. That’s appreciated.

Anyways, here are the photos. Which of these first two do you like more?
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The opinions expressed on this blog are not necessarily those of the Kentucky Kernel. What is that of the Kernel are the photos on here, so don’t take them.

Tyler takes it

Posted in Kernel, lexington, photography, photojournalism, University of Kentucky on March 28, 2008 by lenscapremoved

In Keith’s case, he got a portfolio, award-winning photograph out of an SG election.

My first trip my freshman year failed me, as I think it was the first time I had ever used a flash. I got a crash course from Keith during the three minute walk to the presidential announcement. This year, when I’m comfortable with my gear and completely prepared, there wasn’t much of a celebration. Tyler was the only candidate running, so the photo below was about as much celebration as I could ask for.

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The photo below has more emotion. This girl has tears in her eyes, but I’m not sure if she lost a senate position, won it or is just happy. I have her information and could look it up but I really don’t think this picture is worth the caption info.

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15 seconds of swirls

Posted in Mary Margaret, Photo lesson, photography, photojournalism, PJ class on March 17, 2008 by lenscapremoved

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I didn’t want to just do a lame portrait. By a portrait’s nature they are easily simple. But I wanted to add depth.

This is a technique I have tried before when I first started to explore when I got into photography. It’s fun, and can add a mysterious layer to your photo that makes people think. It’s the same technique that Sprint is using to make its commercials. The top photo was one of the first that I shot and I like it the most.

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Mary Margaret thankfully complied to letting me shoot photos of her in the dark for nearly half an hour. I just sat a camera on the top of my TV, composed and exposed for what I thought the exposure would be. With no lights in the room, I bounced a flash and then used a flashlight to draw the lines. A normal flashlight gives way more size to the light, so I taped it down to a small hole about as wide as a pen.

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These aren’t amazing. They’re just kind of fun to shoot and learn how light works. I was covering the strobe with a blue shirt, when the shirt fell off and the flash fired full blast into the room, giving me the terrible photograph below. But it does show you how it was shot, so I threw it in.

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Camera settings:

Shutter: 15 seconds
Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 80
Off Camera flash: 430 EX @ 1/32 on first photo, 1/1 on others
Orange light source: Mag-Lite w/ gaffers
Top it all off: Camera – Canon G9

I do baseball too

Posted in Kernel, Kernel Mixed Media, photography, photojournalism, sports on March 6, 2008 by lenscapremoved

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I shot baseball in the first time in possibly forever. I did a little mixed media on it, and the video wasn’t as good as I wanted. It’s a bit shaky and the quality isn’t as good as I have achieved in the past. Overall though I think this piece works well. Sorry for an over sized thumbnail. I didn’t feel like resizing it.

View the site. It’s coming along every day.

In other news, I will have professional video at my disposal at the end of the week.

 KERNEL MIXED FREAKING MEDIA!

Cats survive last minute scare

Posted in basketball, photography, photojournalism on February 28, 2008 by lenscapremoved

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Last night I shot the Ole Miss game. I did much, much better than I did at the last game, Arkansas.

I think I’m coming a long as a shooter from working with mixed media so much. I think differently simply because you have to. I’m finally starting to realize how much of this art is just within your brain.

I was telling Emily and Kristin that I used to shoot really old school, like Dave, because he was all I had been exposed to. The guy sees features, you know, the moments, better than any one I have ever shot with. He truly is one of the best in the country at finding a picture. I was all about that when I first started shooting and didn’t put all of my efforts into the rest. But that’s not a good plan.

Then, I think I became a little consumed with building a picture. “Oh, I can layer. Ooh boy look at all of that repetition. Wait, if I expose for the highlights I can make it look like that cool shot by whoever.” For a long time I was doing what Jim calls trying to be like your favorite photographer. You’re copying that person’s style so hard that it gets in the way of your own.

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In Evarts, during the workshop, Britney told me that all the pictures I shot were like what she thinks my portfolio should look like, but it doesn’t. I think I’m finally starting to match my pictures to where my heart is. I am starting to find my place. I can see it just in my multimedia photos. They’re pushing my boundaries.

I’m trying to out think the guy next to me, because that’s when I will get him. Not when I can have a D3 that is capable of 25000 ISO or when I can pull frame grabs or when I can snatch up 10 fps.

All of that is great, but I don’t need that anymore. I hope you’re seeing what I’m finally feeling. I notice it in some of your pictures. Some of my friends who have started to develop their style are Ed, Britney and Elliott.

I’m not worried about “keeping up” with them or anybody anymore. I just want to do what feels right.