Sunday, December 28, 2008

Year End Favorites

It's that time of the year-- where we go through all we've done and look to see if there's anything worthwhile in those hundreds of folders. The Herald asked us to choose two pictures that have some kind of significance, and below are the two I chose. There are many more that I might include, but I learned something important from each of these experiences. Oh, and, drum roll . . . I'm realizing a dream this summer with an internship at The Dallas Morning News. From my first day at Mizzou, I hoped that someday I'd get a chance to work at a paper that respects the still image, and elevates storytelling through multimedia. I never imagined that I'd actually get a chance to work in Dallas. Shocked. Way excited. What a tremendous year.

The photograph: Exhausted and elated after a win over Jasper in the sectional volleyball match at Heritage Hills High School, Southridge Raider Jordan Reese collapsed on the locker room floor.

Comments: Pictures of victory and defeat are a big part of covering sports, and it is often difficult to find new ways of photographing the intensity of emotions during playoffs. The excitement of winning peaks at the final buzzer, and we as photographers are always looking to capture that essential moment of elation. After making a series of pictures of winning teams this fall, I wanted to find a new way of communicating the range of emotions players feel after a big game. I wanted to catch a team in a private moment of celebration, in the locker room after winning. The Southridge Girls Volleyball team was filled with frenetic energy after their win against Heritage Hills, and no team member more so than Jordan Reese, who sprinted up the bleachers and back down again to hug friends and family after their win against the Patriots. After all the congratulations were shared and photos taken, the team bounded into the locker room and huddled together, chanting their school's fight song and leaping into the air with ebullition. Overwhelmed by the excitement, Reese collapsed on the floor in a moment of pure joy and exhaustion. Standing on one of the benches, I was able to capture a moment that spoke to the sweetness of victory, a feeling that was certainly shared by all of Reese's teammates.

The photograph: As the judges deliberated whose ankles were the skinniest, Corey Goeppner, 3, of Stendal peeked out from under the curtain to see what was going on at the Zoar Mosquito Fest Skinny Legs contest in Zoar, Indiana.

Comments: During the first months of my internship at the Herald, every weekend found me driving down a new county road, getting lost on the way to a town festival. The Zoar Mosquito Festival was one of my favorites, not least because I learned a valuable lesson regarding the importance of patience and perseverance. Like so many July days, it was hot and humid. After a few servings of homemade ice cream and some successful pictures of the egg toss, I decided to climb back into my air-conditioned car and get back to the office, though I knew I'd be missing one of the highlights of the day, the Skinny Legs Contest. Nearly to Huntingburg, I got a nagging feeling that I was missing out on what might be a great picture. I turned the car around and headed back to Zoar. I waited for an hour while the stage was set, and then framed a shot with the first four contestants. Though the crowd was enthusiastic, it was going to be tough to make a picture that captured the unique and playful tradition of the competition. How lucky I was that Corey Goeppner's curiosity got the best of him, and he peeked out from behind the curtain to see what was taking the judges so long. Had I not driven back to Zoar, I would have missed this wonderful moment. Some of the best pictures come from watching and waiting patiently for moments to unfold.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Usual Magic

A quick thirty minute assignment at the local roller skate rink tonight. Yeah, this is the greatest job in the world. Though, my Friday nights are a little lame compared to my past life as a graduate student. Still workin' on that degree. Yikes.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday night

The nativity play at a local church was really crazy, with scenes being performed in all kinds of lighting situations all over the church, inside and out. Whatever anyone says about small-town papers, there are always pictures to be made, even in seemingly boring situations. Mostly natural vignette, yo:

And then, before heading off to basketball, i baked some bread. And ate some:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Spirit

I'm not a huge fan of Christmas, but you can't thumb your nose at kids shopping for presents with cops. I'm beaming. This was a wonderful assignment. Caption: Officer Jesus Monarrez of the Huntingburg Police Department helped Brandon, age 4, of Jasper, decide on his presents during Shop With a Cop on Wednesday. While his first inclination was to find a Spiderman skateboard, Brandon settled on a scooter and Spiderman pajamas and sneakers, among a cartful of other clothes and toys that included a helmet and a winter coat. The shopping trip was funded through donations from local businesses and individuals.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunrise Butchering

Trying out a new way of seeing. Thinking back to the Danny Wilcox Frazier workshop in the spring, where exposures were encouraged to be about the way the light feels. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. This was butchering at sunrise, where actually it was completely dark most of the time. I hope to go out and try it again. Mostly darkness is kind of fun. I'm used to lots of flat fluorescents, and I think the scarcity of light is actually a plus for this subject. It makes it challenging. And I'm having a blast. And it is so wildly cold. I need a new pair of boots.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Night Butchering

This was the sun setting behind the hills as we drove around looking for the farm where they'd be slaughtering and butchering the cows. My heart sank-- no good light to work with! By the time we arrived there was just a hint of moonlight and blue left in the sky. The rest of the light comes from the cliplight they moved around. I want to give a shout out to the D3. I'm not a huge gear nerd-- about the only thing I own of value that I keep in great shape is my camera and associated lenses. And in this situation, where there is barely any light and older cameras would crap out at 800, I was so happy. Also, happy to be working on a story that I love and care about. If you're going to eat it, you should know where it comes from. And the supermarket meat aisle is not the answer.

And if you liked this installment, just wait until tomorrow. Sunrise butchering. With a 5 am breakfast at Deb's Truckstop. Jenn Whitney, that one will be for you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Best night

Out with the local meat story, butchering at night. Thank you D3. Thank you. more on that later. And the boots are for Katie Barnes.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Santa Claus Campground

We're working an a Saturday Feature about the volunteers at the United Methodist Santa Claus Campground in, you guessed it, Santa Claus, Ind. Today was an appreciation breakfast, where those who had volunteered for twenty years (!) were recognized. Here, someone worked out the dollar value of that volunteering-- over $3.2 million. What a tremendous gift. These men build houses, cut down trees, plane the wood and install floors in the cabins at this summer camp on a lake. If you're looking for a place to go in Southwest Indiana, this is it. This is a tough story visually, but I love it all the same. And did I mention they're all in their eighties?

Monday, December 8, 2008


After a freezing cold few hours of assignments (and outdoor nativity) it was a welcome change to board the Spirit of Jasper, a renovated train car, for a short ride around town. What an experience-- to be paid to do this. Here's to small newspapers and the people who continue to read and advertise with them. Perhaps the focus on communities in larger papers will pay off, as they transition to what might eventually be an online readership. Recently, there was this remarkable series of portraits from Rob Finch of The Oregonian. And The Seattle Times has seen some great community coverage over the last few months. I love to see it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Saturday

Always begin a blog post with pictures of the boots. New story. Family meat processing. More to come.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why I love my job

On the back of another 4-wheeler, this time at a Christmas tree farm on a perfect winter afternoon. Just feature hunting, and came upon this family and ended up hanging out for a while. I was sad to leave Seattle, and then there are little moments like this, happy and simple, and I love Indiana all over again.

Thanksgiving, Seattle

Moving back to Seattle would be a dream. We spent a perfect Thanksgiving on Camano, and island north of Seattle, with the dog (top) and Wylie's family.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Military Homecoming. The best kind of assignment, as far as I'm concerned. Minus the travel. Two long drives in the dark to Indianapolis, some black ice on the way coming home, and staying up until the early morning to process the pictures. These are a few that I liked.
Top: A hunting trip and a lasagna dinner were at the top of the list of things Trey T., 14, of French Lick, couldn’t wait to share with his father, Staff Sgt. Shawn T., who was among the 145 soldiers from the Indiana National Guard’s 76th Brigade who returned from the Mideast on Thursday. Children of returning soldiers took turns looking out of the single window of a building at Stout Field where they waited for the buses carrying the soldiers from the airport.
Center:Jolene M., of Jasper, anxiously awaited the arrival of her boyfriend, Sean S.. Members of the 76th Brigade, arriving in Indianapolis from a tour of duty in Iraq, spent an hour with family and friends before heading off to Camp Atterbury for five days.
Bottom: When the announcer warned families of the 1/151 that they had only five minutes left together, First Lt. David B. kissed son Trevor T., 7, goodnight. B., of Franklin, will spend a few days at Camp Atterbury for debriefing before returning home.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

News Time

It's been an exciting few days, and since I have no new photos to share, I thought I'd share some news instead. First:

It's a small world. Tim Hussin, my fellow hot pink team member at Eddie Adams was named College Photographer of the Year, with this amazing portfolio. I was first runner-up. And Lane Christiansen, my fellow Herald intern and former roommate, got the bronze with this killer portfolio. What an exciting day for the Herald. And to top it off, this month's News Photographer magazine:

has a great story about the 30th Anniversary of the Saturday Feature, the engine that keeps us going and makes for a fascinating and challenging internship. Have I mentioned too that I'm the luckiest intern in the world? I was offered a second term as intern here, and I'll be here until June. Watching some of the CPOY judging with my dear friend Katie Barnes (multiple multimedia award winner) got me excited about turning some of my election series stories into multimedia. That's the next step. And along the way there's the turnip kraut canning, basketball season starting (a sport I've never shot . . . but it was the same with football this season, and I loved it), and some more Saturday features to track down. And that pile of internship applications to finish. Whew. Congrats to the other Missouri students who won awards in CPOY this year: Ben Fredman, Joon Hyoung Kim and August Kryger.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rain and Loss

Another football season, over. This is the sport l enjoy shooting the most. lt's still raining now, and l'm drying out my gear for another game tonight.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Election Series

I've posted three of the five layouts from the election series on my website. Now that I'll be in Jasper for another seven and a half months, I have no excuse but to finish my Master's project. This series was the photographic part of the project. Now I'll be working on the multimedia. Yikes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


The cure for dark days? A heavy-handed tone job and some photos of a wonderful day.