Sunday, May 8, 2011

Staying on Track: Beneficial to Success

Surviving this course wasn't as hard as many might think. Throughout the entire semester, we were continually busy with usually a lot of small assignments. Staying on top of my work from day 1 helped me to survive this course because as the semester went on, I was so busy with my other classes that I began to, for lack of a better word, slack a little in this class. But because I wasn't making up assignments from earlier in the semester, I was still able to get my required work done and some.

My main advice to any future students of PJ 245? Get ahead, stay ahead, pay attention, and listen to what the instructors have to say because without their teaching methods and advice, my knowledge and preparation for future classes and eventually my career would be much more limited. I want to say thank you to Lori King and David Cantor for agreeing to teach this course because if they wouldn't have done it, I would've not only been unprepared but also would've not received my Associate's Degree this year.

Ready to Finish

Since the beginning of my PhotoJournalism class, our final project was a consistent topic. So when it was finally time to create our photo story, I was well prepared for knowing how to shoot, what I was looking for, and everything in between except knowing the subject I was going to shoot. After discussing with my instructor on this debacle, I chose to shoot a boxing event.

Upon my arrival, I wasn't exactly sure what my focus was going to be, until I met a boxer by the name of Robert Easter Jr. He was currently 7th in the nation in his weight class and the fight I was to shoot was going to be a qualifier for the Olympics.

It was a great experience and related to something I enjoyed taking pictures of: sports. In the end, I think I was successful and thought this was the best project to finish up with.

Boxers of all ages practice on Thursday at the Glass City Gym before the big fight on Saturday.

Robert Easter Jr. takes a punch at his opponent en route to an easy victory. The win helps Easter in building up his resume to get him to the Olympics.

After winning the fight, it's back to training for Robert Easter Jr. Training hard is a must if he wants to make it to the Olympics.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Feature This!

As some of you may begin to realize I am an avid sports fan, and by avid, I mean obsessed. So when shooting sports, I was pretty comfortable and did not have many problems. Now on to the current assignment, the feature shooting, which gave me problems and also put me WAY out of my comfort zone!

In shooting the feature assignment, we needed to take pictures of a scheduled event and a rover. A rover is described as driving around and taking a picture of something that is going on that may be interesting, such as construction on the new roads or a person walking their pet snake.
For the planned event, I thought going the circus on March 27 at the Seagate Centre, which I thought was a success. The lighting was a very dim which caused a problem but I believe I was over to overcome that for the most part. One thing I did notice with my pictures, as in the sports assignment, is that if I want to get better pictures, I need to purchase a bigger lens so I can get more detail.

During the entire experience, I not only was treated as a professional photographer by being treated kindly by everyone I encountered but I also was able to get some decent pictures.
Carlos, the tiger trainer, tries to tame one of the six 'big cats' before it tames him. Although the tigers were obedient, they were times like this one where they challenged their trainer.

Martine, left, puts on a blindfold while his partner Edgar holds the wheel in place. Martine was able to do a complete circle on the wheel while blindfolded.

The Preciado family works together to succeed in catching each other while they fly through the air. The flying trapeze artists were a big hit at the circus and performed flawlessly.
Kevin Whitmore, 26, takes a rather large branch out to the street. Says Kevin, "now that it's warm out, I can finally clean up the ruins that the winter left in my yard."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fast Times at Anderson Arena

I went to Anderson Arena on March 5th to take pictures of the Bowling Green State University men's basketball game, which happened to be the final scheduled game there before they begin play at the new Stroh Center next fall.  Shooting the "final" game at Anderson Arena was the ideal event for my first sports photography experience.  There was an extreme amount of activity available to get those pictures I wanted and  it would've been much harder to get them at a more normal sporting event.

Overall, I was very pleased with the way the pictures turned out but did realize that in order to get better sports shots, I will need to buy a better lens.  Small lens or not, I felt like I was treated like a professional photographer, sitting, standing, and "intruding" in the same places every other photographer, including my instructor, was.  It was a very exciting adventure and I even was able to meet a few former professional basketball players, like Nate Thurmond, and one of my favorite sports columnists, Dave Hackenberg, in the process.

BGSU player Mike Dabney, left, leaps to get to the ball before the Buffalo defender can. Dabney was one of three seniors on the team playing in their final game of their college careers.

BGSU head coach Louis Orr argues a call made by the refs in the 1st half of the game. He didn't have much to argue about in the 2nd half as his team rolled to a 73-63 win over Buffalo.

Head coach Louis Orr explains the teams strategy, specifically to Scott Thomas, #10.

Nate Thurmond, a 14-year NBA player and considered the greatest BGSU basketball player in its rich history, gives a speech following the final scheduled game at "the house that roars." Thurmond was joined by many former and current BG men's basketball players who starred at the university throughout its existence.

A jubilant BG fan celebrates following the win over Buffalo. Fittingly so, he held a sign up saying "THANKS FOR EVERYTHING SENIORS!"

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Findlay Flood

Road blocks were set up in Findlay, Ohio on March 1, 2011 to prevent drivers from entering flooded streets. The Blanchard River flooded many roads and was one of the worst floods in Findlay's history.
A Findlay sheriff investigates the damage done to a car that tried to make it across the flooded street on March 1, 2011. All he could do was observe as the car sat in the deep overflowed waters. 
A driver tried to brave the high waters in Findlay, Ohio on March 1, 2011. Clearly, he had no success in the attempt and became one of many vehicles to stall in the water during the catastrophic flood.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Captions Have Feelings Too!

When reading the newspaper, I look at the photos before reading the actual article. Captions are written to get a better idea of what the photo is about and are brief statements that explain the photo. What some people might not understand, though, is how difficult a task it is to write a caption that not only conveys the information of the photo to the reader in a sentence or two, but also is accurate with the information it presents and how it presents it.

Consider a photograph of three women sitting at a coffee shop. In the photo the middle woman is a teacher who is about to be laid off because of budget cuts, but the other two ladies own a computer hardware business. You want to only name the middle lady because the story is about the proposed lay offs of teachers, so you write, "Jane Smith, a teacher at ......." What does the reader get from this? First of all, they'll wonder why the teacher's friends don't just allow her to join in on their business. But more importantly, the readers will not know who the teacher is and will end up guessing. In turn, you're putting these ladies in a false light if the reader guesses wrong. It's a little frustrating to the reader.

To fix this, you would instead say, "Jane Smith, center, a teacher at....." By stating she's in the center, readers can easily figure out who the teacher is. This small detail in writing captions is just one of many tweaks that, if used correctly, will allow you to write a very concise and accurate caption, which is extremely important in helping you become the best photojournalist you could be.

Monday, February 7, 2011

How Important is 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.”

Without the First Amendment, journalism would be very limited in the content that is exposed to the general population.  Although journalism does involve conveying factual information to the public, it also deals with expresses expressing opinions on controversial issues and other material, sometimes criticizing the government and other high authority figures.  If the First Amendment ceased to exist, expressing one’s opinion would not be as easy as it is, if allowed at all.
            As seen above, the First Amendment protects us in many ways while also allowing us to express our opinion openly, including questioning and criticizing authority whenever we want when we have to.  There are some lines that should not be crossed and if done, could cause a heap of trouble for the trespasser. 
            For example, stating, “President Obama is a communist” when it’s not true would fall in the area of statements that should not be said.  Although saying this and other false accusations may get you attention, it will also get you into trouble, and if you’re working for a respected company, termination.  
            Beyond making outrageous statements like this, the First Amendment protects opinions made by journalists and is very beneficial to the state of journalism.