Saturday, May 2, 2015

May I have this dance???

       This assignment challenged me in a way that the others did not. In order to catch all the poignant moments of a girl's first dance, I had to be quick on my feet and quick with the camera.  I am still learning about the controls of the camera during manual mode which made shooting the dance extremely difficult since the dance was so dark, not that you can tell from the pictures. 

We used Audacity to edit the audio that we used to put together on Adobe Premier Pro to form a movie consisting of pictures with audio in the background. 

I am not happy with the final product but I am going to redo the whole thing and I will repost it. A couple of the pictures were so big that you can only see part of it. But I tried!!! I sure did! 

I have loved taking this class and learned a crazy amount of information. I am in awe of how talented the instructors are at Wayne State University in Midtown, Detroit. 

Thank you Lori King for everything!!! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

USA gymnastics 2015 Men's State Meet Level 6 & 7 - Michigan

 As you can imagine, sports photography would be challenging even if you knew what you were doing and comfortable with your camera. Am I either one of those? No. But, I do know about gymnastics and feel a lot more comfortable with my camera than I did even a few weeks ago. Of course I had to pick one of the most difficult sports to photograph but as a gymnastics coach how could I not! 
         We arrived early, well before the meet started to get our bearings and figure out where we thought we would want to start. My fellow student, Angelique Harrison, was so kind to come with me and this was a first for both of us. I used those first minutes trying to get the ISO adjusted since once that is correct, you don't have to mess with that again. 
          Once the gymnasts started to warm up, that was my chance to work with shutter speed and f-stop. Thank goodness I had time to practice since these routines are very very quick and they move even quicker. I set the camera on continuous mode so that all I had to do at the beginning of a tumbling pass was focus, point the camera, press that little button and pray. Yes, I coined a phrase for that day. Point and pray. But I was amazed at how many were actually in focus. The lighting was adequate in the gym, so setting the ISO was not a nightmare.  It was amazing how the adrenalin pumps trying to get that perfect shot. 

USAG Men's State Meet hosted by FlipSpot Competitve Club at Oxford High School in Oxford, MI. Dylan Kasin from Olympia Gymnastics Club on the mushroom which for Level 6 is the step before the pommel horse.

Frank Rhoades, level 6, from Olympia Gymnastics Club on the mushroom.

Coach Brandan Ulewicz from Olympia Gymnastics Club comforts level 6 gymnast Gage Gjorgje after a not so spectacular performance.

Helen Larson watches her son Owen Larson, level 6, on the floor exercise with her youngest son Brendan Larson from Troy Gymnastics.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Crazy/Beautiful.....The price of being an Actor and the artistic mind

        Being an actor and stepping into your role is not always easy and the mind of the actor is often chaotic with unshed tears and emotions. The best actors pull from these emotions and even better actors push those emotions deep down to transform into their role. Happy to sad. Sad to happy. Happy, sad to crazy and back again. No wonder actors crack at astounding rates.

        What is even harder is to photograph this transformation in 3 pictures or less. One day, I will catalog the whole process. The night before, Chloe Blake and I stayed up late, talking through some of these emotions and she was gracious enough to let me in. We each sat in an easy chair across from each other and I snapped away through the pauses in our conversation about our anxiety and depression. Who wants the world to see your inner demons through the lens? She did and I will always be grateful.

April 8, 2015. April Chloe Hite deep in thought about the different struggles of Depression and how it affects her life as a mother, daughter and actor. This was shot at The Inn at The Hampstead in Glen Arbor, Michigan 

April 9, 2015. Even though the environment was posed, the struggle is real for April Chloe Hite. With depression and anxiety comes medication, coffee to combat the bone-deep tiredness from the medication. The life of an actor can be a series of generic hotel rooms that only serve as a place to read lines and sleep until the next scene.  

April 9, 2015. Always multitasking, one-half of her face is done, interrupted by the phone. A metaphor for her life.

April 8, 2015 April is never without her lashes.

April 8, 2015. The transformation is complete, but which picture is the most beautiful?
The headshot is taken outside next to the ski-lift machine house at The Hampstead in Glen Arbor, Michigan.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Do you know your 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.

As American citizens, we tend to take our First Amendment rights for granted. The only time we think about it is when someone is trying to take them away. 

How lucky are we that we live in a country where we do have the freedom of speech, the right to PEACEFULLY assemble and protest if that is what we want? I confess that I didn't have to truly worry about those precious rights until I started my journalism career. When you write, there are many people who will want to silence you. 

Not the best example but last year for a class I had to write on a meeting at the Birmingham Historical Museum. During that meeting, a shouting match ensued. A very heated shouting match that could have turned into fisticuffs if the median age wasn't over 60-years-old. Now, this is very minor but afterwards, I was politely asked not to publish what happened. WHAT????? Over a squabble? 

Now, this is not even close to being censored by the government, but these are things that you will encounter as a journalist/photojournalist. There is not one person/organization/government or business who wants anything negative made privy to the public. I wouldn't want it. 

Be truthful in your reporting, do not write with malice in your heart. IF you are not credible, what good are you? We are here to protect the public, to inform. If it were not for journalists/photojournalists, the government's of the world could do whatever they wanted. 

Captions.... A picture is NOT worth a thousand words

     Photojournalism is not just about taking pretty pictures. If you take this word apart, it is photo.. journalism. JOURNALISM!!! A photojournalist must have great writing skills and nowadays, journalists must have good photography skills.  

     An example of A well written caption from Life Magazine 1963.

Larry Burrows—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
"A captured Viet Cong kneels in terror as Vietnamese guard threatens him with bayonet. The guard demanded to know where arms were hidden. No reply. The guard let him go to a prison camp unharmed. In interrogating prisoners each side in the Vietnam war occasionally resorts to terror."

     Read more about this picture series at :Vietnam 1963: LIFE Magazine Color Photos From a Deepening Conflict |

     The popular saying "A picture is worth a thousand words" is, well, technically not true. Use this picture for an example.  You see the man on his knees with anguish on his face and fear in his eyes. IT looks like he is saying no, but we wouldn't know without the caption. What about the man with the knife? WHO is he? WHERE is he? WHAT is going on? WHEN was this picture taken.

     Research has shown that pictures and graphics attracted the most attention and were looked at first. Then headlines and advertising and then text. Now you know why captions are so important.

     Captions can be one word or a mini-article if it is not accompanied by a article. Check your facts, this is journalism and if you get the names etc. wrong, you are in big big trouble. Quotes can be used as a caption but please do not use humor unless it is definitely warranted. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featuring the not so featureable....

     Can I tell you a secret? I might be a closet narcissist.  Before taking the photojournalism class at Wayne State University, I knew, just knew that I was a good photographer. I was wrong. The problem is manual mode and I freaked out on this feature assignment and I was not alone.

     When using your camera on manual there are three things you have to worry about. F-Stop, aperture and shutter speed are a must to master and unless you are using a program or the automatic setting, there is no way that you can take an in focus, well-lighted picture without them.  Consequently, these are not amazing but they are the best I could do with the tools I have at this time. 

Melissa Malfroid teaches the basics of painting during Painting with WSU at the Majestic Cafe in Midtown Detroit.

Derett Guyton, a sophomore media arts major and Jada Johnson, a sophomore theater arts major, attends Painting with WSU at the Majestic Cafe in Midtown Detroit.

William Alexander is Parlimentarian in the WSU student senate and is pursuing departmental honors in secondary Spanish and English as a second language education in the College of Education. Budget cuts was the main topic concerning the different schools and the meeting was held at the Undergraduate Library. 

Sophomore Joe Fresard, representing the law school for WSU's student senate meeting at WSU's Undergraduate Library. He is a law student at Wayne State University and is from St. Clair Shores. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Camera operations

This assignment on camera operations was extremely challenging. I have never used my camera on the manual setting and always used the automatic focus. I realized that I had been “cheating” this whole time and yes, I knew how to frame and take a pretty picture but I had no idea how to truly take pictures or even how to use my camera.

There is a pretty sizable learning curve when it comes to using a digital camera on manual. The three main things you have to think about when it comes to making sure the object you are shooting is in focus and properly lighted is the shutter speed, f-stop and ISO.

These are very simplified answers to what shutter speed, f-stop and ISO are. A fast shutter speed can freeze action at the point in time you take the picture with the background blurred, an example is a picture of a moving car with the background blurred. A slow shutter speed can be used to take a picture of a waterfall, making the water look blurred and the background in focus.  The f-stop or aperture determines whether the whole shot will be in focus or just the front or background. The ISO determines how much light is let into the camera. For example, if you are in a very dim room and do not want to you a flash you would use 800+ ISO and if you are outside and it is very bright you would use a 200 or so ISO.

I took quite a lot of pictures and was not very satisfied with most of them, this process is very much trial and error. The key is to not get frustrated and give up; there is definitely a learning curve. 

Table scape with 90 year old black ostrich feather, design books, turquoise cruet and mercury glass candle holders.

The tablescape is an example of natural window lighting. The shutter speed was 1/25 with a f-stop of 5.6 and the ISO was 800. The blues, pinks and purple are offset by the black ostrich feather which gives great contrast.

Markanique Moody Wilding reclining on a cut velvet vintage couch.

This perspective shot of the gentleman was taken at 800 ISO with a shutter speed of 1/200 and f-stop of 6.3 The focus of the picture is on the hand jutting from the picture that looks like it could reach out and touch you.

Seascape highlighted by the tole chandelier with damask fabric in the background.

This shot of the seascape and chandelier draws you in with the quality of light. The light from the chandelier highlights the the sunlight in the painting while giving the overall picture a sense of moodiness.  The painting was taken with a shutter speed of 1/200, a f-stop of 6.3 and a ISO of 800.