Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thank You for the Window Light

Pictures today with some lovely window light, which seems to be the gift I've been getting these days, in lieu of other things. Just a sketch, from Secret Life of Children, which will sadly end soon as I've sold nearly all my belongings (bed, bike, chairs) and I've got a map for Jasper. I've been acting crazy, too: impulsive, especially. How to leave everything behind?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I spent all day with Clarence White, 66, in his apartment in the Paquin Towers as a part of a workshop with Danny Wilcox Frazier. What an amazing, heartbreaking day. Clarence waited all day for his girlfriend to show up, so he and I spent hours watching TV and talking and then sometimes just sitting in silence. She never showed. He never left the apartment.
I loved Frazier's advice to me midday when I came back from the first hours of sitting: to shoot darker, if it felt right. Now, exhausted and a little sad, I look forward to making it back to Clarence (most people call him Dan) to see if there isn't some facet of his life that brings him some joy. The above are images taken in a day, inside his apartment.

I'll post links soon to other people's work as a part of this workshop.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Back from POY I got right in the car and drove out to Sturgeon, since I only have a few weeks left with the Furlong families. POY was three days of intense work and frenetic activity, topped off with a long night out and then a few days of hanging around D.C. Aside from the major, but temporary anxiety, of introducing the Newspaper Photographer of the Year at National Geographic, there were the portfolio reviews. Instead of spending too much time on my singles and past stories (they are what they are, and I’m sure Jasper will change lots of them) I talked about this story with Scott Strazzante, John Freidah and Susan Smith. What tremendous help and inspiration. For those of you in my Picture Story class, I’ll post more about those conversations as I shoot more. Susan Smith suggested I consider the relationships of the kids to the adults in their lives, so I did a bit of that last night at the flag football game in Harrisburg.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Something Different

and some Multimedia

I've learned a lot about how hard it is to be a picture editor this semester at the Missourian.

How hard is it? It's really hard.

Sometimes you have few advocates in the newsroom, and you have to fight to get good pictures in print. This fight is sometimes exhausting, even for someone as optimistic as I am. As a photographer, you just want to go out and shoot, but you recognize how important it is to have a good editor who really cares about visual journalism. It is possible that this lone voice at budget will be the only person who cares about pictures. This experience at the Missourian typifies part of the Missouri experience-- maddening, extremely difficult, and rewarding beyond measure.

For a break from the daily struggle with enterprising, thin requests and rabid desire for video, I tried to shake up our normal election coverage with a feature portrait shoot. Instead of focusing on the issues, which were covered in spades in print and graphics, we shot lit portraits and put together this slideshow, which may not be the most amazing multimedia in the world, but gives a little taste of Columbia and who votes. It was my day off, but I was happy to work with our photographer, Catalin, and one of our ADOPs, Alycia Lewis. It was harder than I expected to get people in and interview them. The turnout was pretty low. In any case, this is what we came up with. I also made this slideshow, as a kind of homage to Scott Strazzante, though it's a little on the slow side. That's an interesting part of daily, deadline work as an editor. You do the best you can and then at a certain time, it must be done.

I've also learned from editing other people's work about what I need to bring back as a shooter to make my editor happy. Or, to do the job right. And that's a lot more complicated than tight, medium and wide. As frustrating as the Missourian can be, I'm glad I have the experience.

I'll be out tomorrow, back to shooting the secret lives of children. I really miss hanging out with the Furlong families.