Friday, December 1, 2017

Photo J Assignment #9: Photo Story

Isaac Newton (Right), Director of the student run production of
"The Acor's Nightmare" consults with actor Jake Tudor before
a dress rehearsal on Friday, Nov. 10. The play opened on
Nov. 16 and ran through Nov. 18.
Makeup artist Jasmine Ramirez (Left) applies stage makeup to
Sophia Brown before a dress rehearsal on Monday, Nov. 13.
Jake Tudor (Left) and Matthew Shelton during a dress rehearsal
on Tuesday Nov. 14. "The Actor's Nightmare" is about an accountant
named George Spelvin who is mistaken for an actor's understudy
when he mysteriously appears backstage on a play that he doesn't know
 any of the lines for.
The cast of "The Actor's Nightmare" listening to notes from
 director Isaac Newton (Right) after their third run-through of the play
that day on Tuesday Nov. 14.
(From Left) Aislin Goldrick, Matthew Shelton, Breonna North,
and Sophia Brown.
The cast after their final dress rehearsal on Wednesday Nov. 15.
(From Left) Jake Tudor, Sophia Brown, Matthew Shelton, Breonna North,
and Aislin Goldrick.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Week 10 Blog Forum

Topic 1:

I consider this my best photo because it kind of blends everything I learned about the class together. It's well focused, the cropping is good, the lighting is interesting, I'm stopping the action of his free throw, and it acts as a pretty good candid portrait. It's also one of those photos I consider lucky to have gotten because shooting at night is near impossible and this one turned out pretty good. I think I have improved greatly in photo journalism. I'm less timid about getting closer to the subject or asking for names, than the nervous blob I was beforehand. I feel like all phases of my photography has improved, because if you look at my first few assignments you can tell I wasn't doing that great, compare that to some of my most recent assignments and I feel there is obvious improvement, though there is always room for more. 

Topic 2

  1. I want to have 5-10 photos featured in the Commuter.
  2. I want to have a better understanding of photography terminology and how to apply them to my photography.
  3. I want to get a cover photo for the Commuter

  1. I'd have to go through and check but I think I came pretty damn close to 10 photos published and easily eclipsed 5 photos. That mainly came from the fact that I work at the Commuter and I would shoot photos to accompany my writing pieces.
  2. I feel like through the classes and working with my camera I better developed my understanding of depth of field and doing most of the editing in the camera. I still have much more to learn though and I'm excited to keep shooting for the Commuter. 
  3. I was not able to get a cover photo for the commuter but I came close when I was shooting for the play "The Actor's Nightmare." I'm convinced that if I had a telephoto lens when I was shooting for that story, instead of a wide angle lens, I would've been able to capture a much more effective photo that would've been featured on the cover. Although Angela Scott's photo that made the cover was incredible so, maybe not. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Book Report: Lynsey Addario

Specialist Carl Vandeberge, center, and Sargeant Kevin Rice, behind, are assisted as
they walk to a medevac helicopter minutes after they were both shot in the stomach
during a Taliban ambush, which killed one soldier, and wounded both of them.
Spc. Carl Vandeberge and Sgt. Kevin Rice, were flown out immediately for surgery.
October 23, 2007.
(Photo by Lynsey Addario)
Photo Courtesy of:
After finishing "It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War" by Lynsey Addario I was once again reinforced with inspiration for the commitment Addario has put into her coverage of conflict zones. Every chapter gives you another story that illustrates just how admirable and just how crazy she is to continue her passion. Yet, as the book's title says "It's What I Do," this field is Addario's calling, she feels bound to it and as a result couldn't see herself doing anything else. I found this to be incredibly inspiring and while I myself may not relate to this sense of duty in this capacity, it does show a different perspective and also reinforces just how important journalism, specifically photo journalism, is.

 In an excerpt towards the end of the book on pages 340 and 341, Addario talks about her return to the Syrian border and reminisces about how she has changed through the book.

"As we raced toward the Syrian border, my mind slipped back to 2003, to who I was then: a young woman who wanted nothing more than to travel the world and to document the stories of people and their hardships. I was insatiable to my quest to document the truth with my photographs and threw myself into the midst of any situation without regard for consequences, believing that if my intentions were pure and I focused on my work, I would be OK. Though I still work with the same dedication, I have grown more cautious with every brush with death, with every friend lost. Somewhere along the way my mortality began to matter."

This quote resonates with me the most because it encapsulates the overall journey she has talked about throughout the book. The line "Somewhere along the way my mortality began to matter," is absolutely crazy to me. It implies that her mortality and own life didn't matter beforehand. That she was so committed to her craft that everything else, including her own life, was secondary.

Addario's ability to capture the human experience in some of the most high conflict areas around the globe provides some of the most moving photographs I've seen. Pages 4 & 5, page 62, and page 189 have some of my favorite examples of this.

My favorite photos, however, come from the chapter 9 section of the book in Korengal Valley, Afghanistan on pages 233-235. For me, living in a country that can sometimes like to glorify war through media like movies and video games, these photos are raw depictions of what war really is. Addario's ability to capture the action is crazy to me because if I put myself in that situation I don't know how I could do that. It showcases her courage in the face of danger and the photos are examples of what good photojournalism is.

The main lesson that I learned from this book is to be fearless when you're doing photo journalism. Addario was shot at for god's sake why shouldn't I be able to get a little closer to my subject when I'm covering a clothing drive or a debate.

I think this is a good book for anyone who is passionate about something, not just journalism. It's inspiring to read about just how intense Addario is about photojournalism and it shows exactly what someone can accomplish when they love what they do.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Week 8 Blog Forum

Topic: Addario

Choosing only two chapters from the last two parts of the book was incredibly difficult. All of them showcase the hardships that a photojournalist has to deal with in conflict zones. Since I have to choose I think that chapter nine is the most compelling with chapter 12 coming in second.

 Chapter nine puts addario in the center of an ambush in Korengal Valley. There she's forced to scramble and take photos of the active combat and capture some truly horrifying photos including the photo that most intrigued me in this chapter of the two soldiers carrying away their bloody ally. Along with the quote in chapter nine that states: "As we neared the medevac point, I saw Captain Kearny running at top speed down the mountain toward us from his overwatch position. His gun was lung over his shoulder, and tears ran down his face. 'Rice!' Kearney wrapped his arms around him, and they all stood there and wept, soaking up the incredibleness of the ambush."

Both the image and the quote are incredibly powerful and they show just how horrifying war is, and as a result how important it is to document it.

Week 5 Blog Forum

Topic: Lynsey Addario Book

At the end of chapters 6 and 7 I can say with certainty that Lynsey Addario has to be one of the most crazy people I have ever read about. Chapter 6 sees Addario get kidnapped in the Sunny Triangle. After the traumatic experience she realizes that what she does as a photographer impacts the ones she loves back home as well. This does not deter her though as she hops right back into the line of duty as a photographer. This commitment and dedication to her craft, the central theme of the book, is incredibly inspiring and the lengths in which she is willing to go to document these situations is a great read. The quote "I needed to branch out beyond the daily demands of breaking-news photography... "I wanted to see what else I could do, and for that I needed to try a different region. It was time to move on from Iraq and from the destructive love affairs of my youth." The reason I find this so interesting is because while she does move on from Iraq she goes immediately into covering another high tension region in Africa. For Addario, that was considered a less stressful situation and that is just completely insane to me that that is her idea of a breather. My favorite photo is in chapter seven, with the skeleton rotting with a low angle and Addario capturing the soldiers above it. The lesson that Addario continually teaches me is to be unafraid to be tenacious and willing to risk everything for the sake of good journalism. 

Photographer of the Week: Neil Leifer

Muhammed Ali after knocking out Sonny Liston
Photo by Neil Leifer
Photo Courtesy of
Neil Leifer's photographs are some of the most iconic in sports history. He took off in the golden era of sports when sports were really starting to stand out as a huge entertainment industry and as a result Leifer has photos of some of the most iconic figures in sports. From Muhammed Ali, to Pele, to Secretariat, if you've seen a sports picture from this era, it's a good chance it's one of Leifer's. His ability to really capture the moment, include the environment, and let the subject sit as the focal point of the picture is truly awe inspiring. His countless photos of iconic athletes almost put together a tapestry of the world of sports throughout his tenure.

Leifer was first introduced to photography when he was 13-years-old when he took classes at the Henry Street Settlement House. Since he loved sports, he began taking sports photos and as a result, Leifer started his his career as a freelance photographer. As a teen, he worked at New York Giant's games and would push wheelchairs for handicapped patrons for free admission to the games. He took photos of the games that he was allowed into and on his 16th birthday he took photo's of the NFL title game between the Giants and the Colts, a game that would later be known as "The Greatest Game Ever Played." Leifer sold his photos for Sports Illustrated and they brought him aboard, he would go on to be a prodigy for the magazine and Leifer earned his first cover photo at the age of 19. Leifer would go on to have over 200 cover stories for the magazine throughout his life and was well known for his photographs of Boxing legend Muhammad Ali. One might argue that the photo of Ali knocking out Sonny Liston is the most iconic sports photo of all time and because of that and countless other examples of phenomenal photographs, Neil Leifer is also talked about as one of the greatest sports photographers of all time. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Photo J Assignment #8: Action Photos

Jack Cotterman returns serve during a recreational Pickle Ball
match on Wednesday Nov. 15. Pickle Ball is held every weekday
from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. through the Albany Parks and Recreation Sports
Pam Harris (Right) prepares to volley off of a return
 as Mal Bellafronto winds up to serve. 
Cotterman sneaks in a point on Bellafronto as Harris and Grant
Steinbrink (Left) look on. 

Photo J Assignment #9: Photo Story

Isaac Newton (Right),  Director of the student run production of "The Acor's Nightmare" consults with actor Jake T...