Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat?

Spent Halloween with a family I photographed last year for a Christmas Tree Cutting.  I chose this family for Halloween because there is four boys in the family.  Three of them went out to trick or treat in the neighborhood.

Carving pumpkins before going out and trick or treating

Getting ready

Standing in line to receive candy

Waiting for candy


Sorting all the candy out

The boys had a market set up were they traded candy between each other

One of my favorites from the night

Halloween Party

Yesterday afternoon I photographed a Halloween party with 20 little kids running around.  I really liked the shots outdoors rather than the stuff indoors.  Here is what I liked.

Donut Eating Contest

Playing Red Rover

Duck Duck Goose

Friday, October 29, 2010

Night Riders

Last night I photographed a local group of mountain bikers who like to ride late at night.  The guys go to different parks, ride with lights, and have a good time.  Here are two of my favorites from last night.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Thoughts on Mountain Workshop 2010

My experience from the Mountain Workshops was exciting.  This workshop was hosted in Elizabethtown, KY this year and over fifty people participated in the workshop.  I was part of the twenty multimedia students who had to collect video footage and audio to put together a story in a few days.  I learned through the little amounts of sleep last week the importance of getting to know your subject, technical things in Final Cut Pro, and producing a  short story within a few days.  

Like the Eddie Adams Workshop, I learned for a second time, the importance of getting to the know the subject before shooting anything.  The story I shot at the Mountain Workshops was about Matthew Pinkham.  I went into the story thinking about Matthew as just a child who got lucky with guitar and is making it big.  What I found through talking before I even started, Matthew has a bone disease which bound him to a wheelchair in his early childhood.  Through his disability, he had time to learn the guitar and become what he is today.  He found it fascinating to watch professional country singers perform live on stage and wanted to copy them.  After being exposed to the guitar, he continued to practice, eventually landing gigs in the area around him.  His mother, Rebecca Pinkham, is very supportive of him.  She takes many hours out of her day to drive him to guitar practice, various gigs, and to keep nagging him to practice every once in awhile.  I learned from Matthew that life isn’t always what you thought it was going to be and by doing what you love you realize everything will be for the better.

Without further ado, I introduce you to Matthew Pinkham and his story.

In the process of telling Matthew’s story, I found myself learning little things about story-telling and Final Cut Pro.  I found out how to professionally set up Final Cut Pro and to use special capture features like ProRes for video.  I also learned little things from Chad Stevens (my multimedia coach) like mixing audio, storyboarding, and polishing a piece.  The amount of effort I put into this two minute piece shows in the final video.  I spent around twenty hours of production time putting together the elements of the story, mixing the interview and ambient sound, and polishing the whole piece.  I feel after spending twenty hours of production time, the piece looks better visually and sounds better.  Focusing on the little details leaves the viewer to focus on the story and not my own mistakes.  

Overall, this workshop taught me things I never learned at RIT and helped me grow into what I am today.  I will plan on pursuing more multimedia projects in the near future as the itch for telling stories through multimedia won’t give up anytime soon.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Some thoughts on the past few weeks...

After digesting everything I learned on the RIT PJ Washington D.C. Trip and at the Eddie Adams Workshop XXIII, I noticed the passion and devotion everyone has for the industry.  The development of digital media is changing very quickly and I saw everyone mention this new medium during some point of conversation throughout the past two weeks.    

Passion is essential for succeeding in this industry.  Over the past two weeks, I have noticed different types of passion throughout the people I saw and met.  Each photographer would talk about their work and what they are doing now.  I noticed each photographer would talk about their work ethic and how they got to be what they are today.  During each conversation, there never seemed to be a dull moment in their lives.  They always pushed the envelope and never took no for an answer.  Evan Vucci, a photographer in the AP Washington Bureau, constantly bugged the AP for work and freelanced while building up a portfolio.  His motivation and devotion to becoming a successful photographer was inspiring.  He never said no to an assignment and shot everything he was given.  That attitude creates a dynamic to produce good work and constantly push yourself to become better.  I learned from this, there is no room for quitting if I want it. 

Everyone is talking about what is next for media and how the audience will view the material in the future.  People seem interested in multimedia but are unsure of a business model for the new media.  Brian Storm mentioned at Eddie Adams Workshop this past weekend, “It is an exciting time right now, there is lots of opportunity.”  What Brian is talking about is the possibilities of multimedia and how this new media will shape the future of publications and story-telling.  Mobile devices become a way for people to access news anywhere in the world, moving farther away from traditional newspapers or magazines.  Mobile devices bring a new audience to the stage and the industry must meet their needs.  The future is unclear but I am aware of the challenges I have to face to become a better photographer and the multimedia skills I will need to acquire to succeed. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Portfolio reviews at EAW

Tonight I wanted to focus on an important aspect of the workshop, the 11:30 club.  The 11:30 club is the gathering of all of the students and editors and students have the opportunity to show their portfolio.  I found this aspect of the workshop to be the most rewarding right now.  I get the ability to see top-notch industry professionals right in front of me and I get to hear their thoughts on my portfolio.  I found most people where reacting to my story I did on my father about his unemployment.  People reacted to the issue of unemployment because it is very current in our society right now and stories need to be told about it.  I need to look out for some things next time but everyone was interested in the story and wanting to see more.

I found I need to figure out what I want to do when I graduate because I got asked that a million times and couldn't answer it!

Editors enjoyed feeling prints and being able to hold a book.  I think my presentation was successful these past two nights.

Also, I am really tired now and that is a good thing.  I worked my butt off this weekend and learned a great deal.  Tomorrow (or when day breaks in a few hours!) the workshop will be entering its final day.  We will hear a few more speakers and get to see the work everyone produced this weekend.  Pretty excited to see the stories and what everyone got to shoot.

I will be writing a blog post tomorrow dedicated to the story and what photos where chosen for the final edit.

This morning I came across a gorgeous scenic lake on my way to the temple.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make a landscape.  It felt good to just walk by the lake and photograph the fall colors.  This part of New York is gorgeous.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I am running on something.

Being at this workshop is awesome.  I just finished up the second day at the Eddie Adams Workshop.  Today was a big day for us because we all had the chance to go out and actually shoot some stuff.  I spent my afternoon talking with Buddhist nuns and monks.  I spent a good hour just talking to different nuns to get a feel for how things are at the temple and what kind of relationships are already built.  I found it interesting that this form of Buddhism, Kadampa, is very open to strangers.  Kadampa is a form of Buddhism that relies on peace with yourself and peace with others.  Through helping others, these Buddhist nuns and monks can find peace with themselves.  My focus of the story is going to be on the act of helping others and what that means to the nuns and monks at the temple.  This evening, I got the chance to witness one of the Kadampa Buddhist prayers and photograph it.  That is it right now for the story, I will know more tomorrow after I see the success of tomorrow's shoot.

Another really really cool aspect of the workshop is the 11:30 club.  This gives the students a chance to talk to the professionals who are teaching at the workshop, work around the farm, or just came out to talk to us at this club.  I had the chance to meet with a few people and had some wide varieties of responses.  I really enjoy hearing different extremes on my work because it gives me a chance to hear from everyone in the industry.  After tomorrow night, I will have a good idea of what I need to better and what ideas I need to work on.

I wanted to leave you a picture I took of the temple tonight.  It is really a gorgeous temple.  I plan on posting some more images tomorrow when I get a chance.  Late night blogging is always fun :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hello from Eddie Adams Workshop!

Today was the first day of the Eddie Adams Workshop and I am beat already.  I got up early, got into the car, and drove four hours southeast of Rochester to Liberty, NY.  The first day has been quite extraordinary!  We listened to some speakers that introduced the workshop and talked about their work.  I was really interested in listening to Brian Storm pick apart past pieces and how he builds multimedia pieces at the workshop.  I really want to improve my multimedia this year and any chances I have to learn from him, I am going to take them.

After the speakers, we got back to hotels for our meetings with our team.  For my story, I am photographing Buddhist Nuns in Glen Spey, NY.  While at the temple, I am going to look for different relationships and interactions these nuns have during the day and the rituals they go through while I am there.  I am really excited to get out tomorrow and actually shoot some stuff.  I find my story to be interesting because I haven't experienced Buddhism or any sort of community/ritual religions for that matter.  This will not only be a photographically learning experience, but I hope to take away a story about the meaning of Buddhism and why these nuns practice this religion.  

One thing I wanted to write about that I noticed here at the workshop is the bond these people have for each other.  It is starting to feel like I am becoming a part of a family here, part of the Adams family and the workshop's family.  It really is a honor to be part of this year's family and part of the ever-growing family at large.  I keep hearing from everyone, the relationships I will build this weekend will last a lifetime.  This workshop will change my life.  

It is getting late and I gotta be up at 6:30 AM tomorrow!  So here comes the first night of little sleep.  I wanted to leave an interesting quote for everyone regarding the workshop and the impact it will instill in everyone attending this year.

Tom Bol said in his leader introduction, "The Eddie Adams Workshop is a rite of passage."  I know going into this workshop I will not be the same photographer I was coming out of it.  


Monday, October 4, 2010

End of the PJ Washington D.C. trip

We spent most of the day at the Newsuem on Friday.  I got the chance to look at all the exhibits but found the Pulitzer photographs to be the most interesting.  I went throughout the gallery and watched a few minutes of the video Newsuem put together of some of the photographers.  I was absolutely moved by the power of these images and the abilities of the photographers in the gallery.  After going through the gallery I realized I am going to cover and see many people and hear many stories.  I found the experiences of the photographers on the video to be moving and inspiring.  The sights they saw and the moments they captured.  They became a part of history and recorded that moment in time.  The power of journalism is to become story-tellers and most importantly to become people who witness history in the making.

Later that day, we headed over to the Hawk n' Dove and got together with a group of professionals in the industry.  I noticed a trend in the conversations and also the review of my portfolio.  These people where talking to me about the industry and the passion one must have for this profession.  It moved me to talk to people one on one who are as excited about photography as I am.  The reviews of my portfolio remained constant and I still have some improving to do on my part.  A bunch of people where suggesting to me to continue my Starting Over story with my dad as a multiple story project with other people who are affected by this decline in the economy.  The project would consist of other people who are losing their job or have lost it in the past few years due to economic downturns.  All of the insights gathered at the networking dinner where very helpful and I passed out some business cards in the process!

I attended the One Nation Working Together rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.  This is my first rally/march and I was eager to photograph it.  When I started walking around, I noticed many people seemed bored and uninterested.  It was really hard to make photographs in these situations when half of the rally isn't even caring.  I looked around at different parts of the rally and found ways of telling the story of the rally with different aspects.  I walked towards the Lincoln Memorial to get people yelling and cheering for each of the speakers.  As I moved back out towards the World War II memorial, I tried to find individuals who where doing something interesting or different groups who where interested in the rally.  All in all, it was very difficult to photograph.  Here is an image from the rally that I liked.