Saturday, December 3, 2011

Photojournalism 1 - My Thoughts on this Class

   You may have noticed I called the class Photojournalism 1.  I am desperately hoping for a Photojournalism 2.  This class has opened up a whole new world with Twitter and blogging.  Our class Twitter account has drawn many professional photographers with interesting links to tons of photojournalism related articles and ideas.
   We have been able to go out on shoots and learn how to talk to complete strangers and ask if we could photograph them.  My favorite shoot was at a high school football game.  I was required to have a field pass to be down with the team and the TV crews and the professional photographers.  I felt so cool!  I got some great shots and to really complete the whole sport photography experience, I got whacked in the head with a football!!  I consider that a form of initiation!  I would do it again in a heartbeat, but I could do without the football in the head.
   This has been the best photography class ever.  You feel like a part of something much bigger than what goes on in the classroom.  It sort of gives you a small taste of what it must be like to be a real photojournalist.  We get assignment, go out into the real world and shoot, come back to class and choose our pictures and caption them the way they would be in a newspaper.
   Our instructor, Lori King, is the best.  She brings in other photojournalists to show us their work. Lori is always there for us when we need help, she totally makes this class very interesting.  Anyone will be lucky to have her as an instructor.
   I have learned a lot about the news industry.  Most of all, First Amendment Rights and ethics and do not change the photo.
   I will definitely continue following PHO245 Twitter.  It is informative and a way to keep in touch with everyone.  It's fun.
   I am not so patiently waiting to hear that there is a Photojournalism 2 class being offered, as I will be the first to sign up for it. I hope that tells you how I feel about this class.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Thoughts After Visiting the Cherry Street Mission

   I have to admit that this blog post was emotionally difficult for me to write because the people I met at the Cherry St. Mission reminded me of others I know.
   I have no right to an opinion on everyone the Mission helps. I only spoke with a few of the men.  Only one of those men demonstrated the motivation needed to want to better himself and get out of there as soon as possible.
   I have to wonder if the long-term homeless are that way by choice or lifestyle.   There are so many people on the streets that are drug users and alcoholics.  They are so deep into that life that any money they do get goes straight into their habit.  I know one guy that even has his food card sold months in advance to his drug dealer for half price for drugs.
   There are organizations that offer housing for low to no income people.  Lucas County Metropolitan Housing Authority (LMHA) has separate housing specifically for disabled, elderly and families.  Job and Family Services offers low income and the elderly welfare money, and anyone below a certain income may qualify for food card benefits.
   I know this because I live in a LMHA community.  I lost a job and used up two years of unemployment looking for a job, and when that didn't happen I went back to school and am living on student loan money.  Hopefully, I will find a position as a photographer after school.
   I give the volunteers at the Mission's locations a lot of credit. They seem very dedicated to their work and happy doing it.
   I have a feeling that a lot of the people that go to the Madison Street Food Service go not only to eat, but to socialize. Many may live alone and this may be the only chance they get to see their friends.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sports photography -- beginner's luck

Whitmer High School's Bryce Larkin and Mark Meyers celebrate as the game begins.
     The assignment; shoot a sporting event.  Of course I went big, a football game, at night, an undefeated team.   No pressure here.  So there I was feeling really cool with my very own field pass hanging around my neck, walking around in pass land only with a camera hanging around my neck.  Yeah I'm cool.
Whitmer Coach Palka argues with the referee
    Well, I got a crash course in football photography.  A really nice guy with two big Canons hanging around his neck took me under his wing and started asking me what I had all of my settings at and if they weren't right he told me what to set them at.  He told me where the best light was on the field and proper etiquette while on the sidelines.

Whitmer fans watch the action
    I liked shooting the game for a while, but after second quarter was starting, I thought it was at least 3rd quarter.  It got really boring.  I couldn't imagine doing this week after week, I would go nuts.  I did learn a lot though.  I learned a lot about shooting at night with available lighting.  I learned how to follow fast action and capture important moments.  Most of the photos I got, I am happy with.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Portrait of your paper carrier

Carl Ohler, Holland, Ohio is a rural Toledo Blade carrier.
   I chose Mr. Ohler as a subject because he has an occupation that is widely taken for granted by people.  He works 365 days a year delivering The Blade and other papers.  The wear and tear on his vehicles is astronomical.  Mr. Ohler has two autos, one of which is usually in the shop for brakes and/or something else.  This can be an expensive job that does not pay very well.

   I am not a shy person, so photographing people is not hard for me, especially when it is a subject that I feel passionate about.  Give me an animal assignment and I will cut right through it.  The only problem with that would be trying to stay objective so maybe that wouldn't be such a great idea.  I do like to learn about different people, places and things.
   I like to be challenged, not football games though,  I don't think I'm cut out to be a sports photographer.
   I enjoy exploring people's lives and families.  People and animals interest me. 
Causes and fundraisers would be fun, too.
   I like taking portraits of people, especially with an edge to them.  I like to take things out of the box a bit.

Mr. Ohler's job involves 365 workdays and a lot of paperwork.
Carl Ohler

   When shooting Carl, I could have made him dress better and comb his hair, but I wanted to capture him as he really is, with all of his character intact, because this is how he always looks!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Telling the story

Holland, Ohio resident Carl Ohler rakes his yard Oct. 11.  Ohler said his raking will be nonstop until winter.
Ciara Peace, a volunteer at the Toledo Area Humane Society, is hanging out with some of the cats that are up for adoption.  This picture was taken Oct.11. October is "Adopt a Shelter Dog or Cat Month", with special pricing on most of the pets .
  Feature photography turned out to be confusing for me.  I tried to be "creative" and shoot things related to weather, like coats and Christmas stuff. Not a good idea. I guess when my  instructor says shoot weather with a person in it, that's what they mean.
    I understand that photojournalism is a detail specific aspect of photography. This means that we are telling a story about a subject.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Camera Controls and Lighting

   I just finished reading chapters 8 and 9 about camera controls and lighting.  I have been toying with the idea of updating my DSLR.  It is a 10 megapixel Nikon.  I learned while reading that 10 megapixels is a good starting point.  I'm thinking of putting money into a good strobe and telephoto lens, and wait for the camera body.  It seems that the bodies themselves are upgraded on a regular basis.  You buy the latest and greatest today and tomorrow it will be obsolete!
   I would like to find a camera with more on camera controls.  I don't like going into the camera menu to change settings, such as white balance and ISO.
   I like to use natural light as often as possible.  It seems to bring in such beautiful softness (unless it is high noon!) and the colors can be phenomenal.  I only have the pop-up strobe at this time.  I am not a fan because you cannot do anything with it.

My First Amendment rights

My First Amendment Rights

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.

   The First Amendment insures our rights as photographers.  Photography has the ability to tell stories.  In photojournalism, these photos are important to the story being told by providing a visual aspect to the story.
   If our rights were not protected by the First Amendment, we as photographers could easily be censored, our photos destroyed because someone may be offended by them and lawsuits against the publication could ensue.  The FA guarantees our rights and allows us to continue telling stories.