Painting with Light

Our painting with light lab had to be one of the coolest assignments we’ve done so far. After a cookout with good food and good company, we packed up our gear and traveled to the eerie Katy Trail tunnel in Rocheport, Mo. We divided into two groups and took turns being the photographers and the artists.

These techniques were accomplished by setting the shutter speed down to bulb and keeping the ISO low as well. Our classmates posed, threw balloons, and played with light while we left the shutter open. The end result was very playful!

Then we had to turn in a “real” assignment we completed with our final group team. Here’s ours.

No photoshop

With photoshop


Lighting diagram



Getting famous?

Curious why I was in the middle of a corn field? Keep reading!

Here is some blatant evidence of a drought, even if you’ve never seen a field: deep cracks in the earth.

Even though I grew accustomed to seeing my name online or in the paper at the Missourian, the feeling never wears off.

I’m not trying to sound full of myself– but whenever I see my own work actually published it gets me all excited.

The first mention I received was from the story I published about the Amish community nearby.

This story, in the entire process, took almost two weeks to finally get published. It was also bittersweet, as it was the last story I published for the Missourian.

By some stroke of lunch, my story was found by a blogger from Ohio who specializes in Amish cooking! Oxymoron, I understand, but you can read his “about” page to figure it out. Not only did he tweet about my story, but he also featured it on his blog! You can read his humbling remarks about my story here.

Now that the Missourian class is over, I’m back to work at Cooperative Media, full-time until school starts up again.

On Monday we got a random call from Rob Wile, a writer for the Business Insider, a community-styled website.

He was doing a short story about the terrible drought in the Midwest and asked if we had any photos of dried up corn fields, etc. We didn’t, but I drove over to Bradford Research Center and Tim Reinbott, the superintendent there, helped me find what I needed.

I shipped over around 30 photos to Rob, and here’s how it turned out! It was thrilling to see my name on a decently trafficked website!

(It also gave me a very good reason to get back in the habit of updating my blog!)

Quidditch… in real life

My group is doing our final project on the Mizzou Quidditch team. Today I photographed their first-ever home match.

How awesome is that?! A real life quidditch team? I love Harry Potter and watching them play the wizarding sport made me want to go home and have a Harry Potter marathon. Even though it seems hard to take the idea seriously, the game was anything but lighthearted. Just like any other sport, the team was serious about competing, working together, and gaining possession of the quaffle. It takes a lot of energy– I was out of breath just watching them! Mizzou won all three rounds of their match, even when they traded some players with Webster. The game was complete with seekers and a Snitch– of course, there is no such thing as a flying ball with its own personality.The Snitch has to be played by a very fit person, because they spend most of the game running away from the seekers. Just like in Harry Potter, catching the Snitch ends the game.

Covering a quidditch match has to be one of the most fun things I have ever done at Mizzou. I wasn’t the only one- several other photographers and videographers were there, along with broadcasters from the MU TV channel. One of them even put on a British accent during his coverage to make the game that much more legitimate.

Over all, it was a great way for this Muggle to spend a Saturday afternoon.

The future is in focus

So, I can’t remember where I heard about this. But there’s a new camera in development called a Lytro, and you can change the focus of a picture after you take it.

Watch the video and read a quick article about it here.

Is this crazy or what?! I guess this post goes along with my last one about advancements in technology, but this one had a little more impact on me as a photographer. At first I thought, there’s no way this will work. But after watching the video, I knew I had to come to terms with the possibility.

As our speaker Keith mentioned, older journalists are scared to death of all the new developments. Not to sound like one of those people, but when I watched the video, it scared me to death. Yes, Lytro is in its baby stage but it will definitely get better. To sound like a traditionalist, I feel like more will be lost than gained with this new device. Where is the skill? The art? The taste? If you can change and tweak everything after the fact, then does it really take any skills to be a photographer after these hit the market?

With that said, I’m sure that’s what old photographers thought about Photoshop.

Bruce Martin cuts bridle reins from a side of leather.

After my first two project ideas fell through, I was scrambling for another story. Luckily, I remembered seeing a tack saddle repair shop between Ashland and Hartsburg this past year! I called Mr. Martin and he agreed to let me pester him for the rest of the year with photos, interviews, audio, and video.

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Guitar Lessons

Here’s a heads-up for what we’ll be going into during class. I found a wonderful example of the marriage of audio and photography in soundslides.

The story is an 80 year old woman who decided she finally had the time to take guitar lessons. She is adorable, especially since the whole group of people is mostly older women. The slideshow is easy to listen and watch, if maybe a little slower than normal. It is a good tempo for the audio and subject matter.

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Always on duty

Many times, as a budding journalist, sometimes finding a story seems to be a constant struggle. Sometimes I agonize over talking to people, trying to dredge up a story, or narrowing down my topic. However, after lecture this week I realized that I’m probably making it too hard on myself.

The video we watched in lecture arose from an off-duty journalist who happened to overhear a conversation between a Walmart shopper and a greeter. From that conversation, he heard a tidbit that made him want to learn more. From that grew an award winning story.

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