Thursday, September 30, 2010

Washington D.C. PJ Trip: Day 4

Today we visited USA Today and Education Week.  USA Today was an inspiring place to visit.  We got to meet different photo editors from each section of the paper.  They talked to us about the qualifications freelance photographers need to get hired at USA Today.  I became really interested in the work they put into new dynamic content on their website for bigger events like Hurricane Katerina.  One of the managers on the online team showed us some of the projects she has worked on at USA Today.  I have always been interested in creating new web content myself, so when I found out the amount of code and design they put into each large term story, the investment was worth it.  Check out the Hurricane Katerina page!

After USA Today we went over and visited Charlie and Chris at Education Week.  Both of these editors are fellow RIT alumni and have worked on many different teams and projects.  At Education Week, they hire freelancers to photograph different types of pictures that relate to education.  This could range from a portrait of a school official all the way to documenting classroom behavior of minorities.  I had the chance to sit down with Chris for a portfolio review at the end of the meeting.  He remarked about my Starting Over story I did on my father when he lost his job.  He became interested in the content of the story and recommended I continue to tell the stories of other Americans who are going through similar situations.  I took interest to this idea and will start doing research in the Rochester area looking for people and more employment stories.  

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Washington D.C. PJ Trip: Day 3

Today our class got the opportunity to visit the McClathy-Tribune and The Associated Press.  This day was one of the better days of the week and was based on photographic wire services.  At the McClathy-Tribune, I learned about their business plan.  MCT is a wire service and operates 20+ newspapers in the US.  I am interested in MCT because I want to freelance and possibly shoot for the wires.  

In the afternoon we arrived at the Associated Press Washington D.C. headquarters.  David Ake, Director of Photography in Washington D.C. gave us a grand tour of the offices and sat us down to talk about the AP and answer questions.  One of the main concerns for the AP, especially for David, is finding photographers who are “hungry” and have the desire to become the best they can be, no matter what.  David put the emphasis on a photographer to be driven and always pushing the limits.  He doesn’t want photographers to take no for an answer.  It was inspiring to hear such encouraging words about becoming successful and it got me really excited.

After the Associated Press we got the chance to hang out with Carol Guzy in her home tonight.  She talked to us about the process of finding stories, what it is like to work constantly, and how she deals with mental strains of the job.  I found it inspiring to hear her thoughts about photojournalism and the passion she has for story-telling.  She mentioned, “Every time I photograph, even if it is a small assignment, I try to make a photo story every time, because I think in terms of a photo story.”  The idea of constructing a story is essential in photojournalism, our class has heard it countless times on the trip, but to photograph each assignment as a photo story seems compelling and above and beyond.  Her work clearly shows her passion for story-telling.

After talking with us, she had the chance to review my portfolio tonight.  My singles need to be stronger and my shooting style on stories needs to change.  I need to use more variety in my lens choices and cropping while shooting a story.  I got the chance to show her a small edit of my Horse Show Mom story I am working on and she gave me some good insights for the future.  I need to dig deeper into the story and show Beth at home interacting with her children and her horses.  I need to photograph the family in a different environment like at home and find important details that relates back to showing, like a trophy room.  Overall, she was happy with my work and told me to keep working hard.  

During these last couple of days, I have noticed my love for photography is growing.  I have become hungry and desire more in my work and studies.  I want to become better.  I want to dive into multimedia and work more with audio and video.  I want to become a better story-teller!  I have the rest of fall quarter to kick ass and polish my portfolio.  I will spend winter quarter applying to summer internships so I have a job when I leave school!  Here is to the beginning of a new, exciting life ahead of me in photography.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Washington D.C. PJ Trip: Day 2

Today we visited National Geographic and The White House Photo Office.  In the morning, we went to the National Geographic.  We met Ken Geiger, Photo Editor at the National Geographic Magazine and he took us around the office and talked about what National Geographic does day to day.  It was interesting to learn about the tedious process photographers, editors, and designers go through for each issue.  In a nutshell, photographer submits story, spends time shooting it, editor reviews the work, talks to designer, then back to photographer for input, then back to designing and then final print.  The process to get a story printed by National Geographic seems really tough, but rewarding once printed for the amount of input you receive.  The amount of work each photo editor puts into their stories is immense, long reviews and countless changes to the story seem endless to perfect the story for each issue.  After going over the process and seeing all the offices, we went downstairs to the photo tech lab.  One of the photo engineers was building a remote control car to mount a camera on the car to photograph tigers in the wild in their natural habit.  It sounds really cool to go to work each day and build cool photo tools to enable photographers to take better images and better access.  I should do that on the side! :)

After National Geographic, we walked over to the White House.  Had a review of recent work by the photographers at the White House, talked about the job, and the grand story of Barack Obama and what they want to accomplish in his administration.  I found it interesting how difficult photographers jobs must be to photograph the same man for a whole presidential term, things would start to repeat themselves pretty quickly.  It would become a long-term story of finite details of the struggles and happiness the president would go through serving his term, those moments would separate themselves out to show his character.  After the meeting, we got to see the West Wing of the White House.  Nothing exciting but still cool nonetheless.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Washington D.C. PJ Trip: Day 1

Today was the first day of the RIT Photojournalism Washington D.C. Trip.  This gives the RIT PJ students on the trip the opportunity to see certain publications and services up close and personal.  Professionals from each organization give us a tour of the building, go over what they do at the organization, and if we have time, look over our stuff.

For our first day, we visited the National Public Radio (NPR) in the morning and The Washington Post in the afternoon.  At NPR, we got a grand tour of the whole building and saw studios, offices, and control rooms.  I learned about the importance of audio in telling a story.  Audio creates a new dynamic to the photo story and gives the viewer a sense of place and a feeling of being with the subject.  In my future work, I want to put more emphasis on audio and work on my craft in becoming a better story-teller by using audio.  

After NPR, we visited The Washington Post.  RIT alum, Megan Rossman took us around the building and showed us the photo desk.  After we got the tour, we went inside a conference room and she told us about her work as a multimedia producer.  Megan produced a really nice piece with Carol Guzy on maternal morality.  The images in the slideshow where strong and the audio made the piece even better.  Having the audio intertwined with the images created a new dynamic that was mentioned while at NPR earlier in the morning.  

Coming away from today, I learned the importance of audio and video in this developing new market for photographers.  What will I be doing in five years?  The question remains unanswered but I am interested in working with video and audio to create more dynamic stories.  Having the viewer being immersed with visuals and sound is something I am interested in creating for my own work.  I want to spend the rest of the year at RIT working with video and audio in my stories and finding the best way to tell a story.

Tomorrow we will be heading to the White House and National Geographic!  So excited.  

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mud Tug

Phi Kappa Psi and Zeta Tau Alpha hosted their annual Mud Tug at RIT today.  I was photographing for Reporter Magazine for next weeks issue.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Humans vs. Zombies Day 1

Tonight was my first experience of Humans vs. Zombies.  I am photographing for a feature article Reporter Magazine is doing on the club.  During the Fall and Spring quarters, students around campus come together for some good ole shooting and game of tag.  The game starts in the beginning of the week and runs till the end of the week.  The objective for the humans is shooting the zombies and tagging them.  By what I saw tonight, the zombies are stunned and cannot attack for 15 minutes.  If a human is tagged by a zombie, they join the zombie force and fight against the humans.  The game ends either when there is no more humans or time runs out and only a few survive.

My coverage of this sport will span throughout the week as I encounter daily night missions, campus activity in between classes, and then the final mission on Friday.  Although many RIT students complain about this event every time it comes around each season, I found the mission tonight to be exciting to photograph and looking forward to tomorrows mission and the rest of the week.  I find this game to be enjoyable to watch and document.

A group of humans create a formation to prepare for a horde of zombies gathering in the distance.  The humans objective in Monday's night mission was to escort VIPs around campus as they gather important information for future missions.

One small group of humans sing and march proudly as they walk back to base camp.

A group of humans is ambushed by a horde of zombies and is surrounded.  Every human was tagged by a zombie and no one escaped.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

RIT Cycling Whiteface White-Knuckle Mountain Bike Season Opener

This past weekend I followed the RIT Cycling team as they hosted their first mountain bike race.  Racers from colleges across the east coast came out to race in the season opener.   Here are a few images from the weekend.