Month: October 2014

All About Water Polo with Nick Robinson

For this assignment, I had the privilege of interviewing classmate Nick Robinson.  Nick talked about his experience with water polo at UW and how he became involved in it.  This assignment gave me a chance to get to know one of my classmates and discuss something he enjoys.

The interviewing experience was really interesting.  I have interviewed several people in the past, but really got hands-on experience this semester.  For my COJO 4110 class, we deal with feature stories, and often have to interview various people in order to get our stories solidified.  I began using a digital recorder as a way to make sure what I was asking and the answers I was getting were accurate.  I used my iPhone and the voice memo mechanism as a way to record sound.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a high quality recorder at the moment, so my iPhone is sufficing for the time being.  The interview with Nick was just an informal, relaxed sit-down conversation about a topic he wanted to discuss.  I noticed that I sputtered during some questions just trying to gather my thoughts, but I did my best to come up with them on the spot.

I have really never been an interviewee, and I’ll admit that I felt famous.  The one thing that I had to be careful about was that I was on the record.  I didn’t want to say anything damaging, and I didn’t want to bring up specific names.  I tried to avoid it as much as possible while still conveying my story.  I also noticed that I was rambling, or so it seemed.  It was difficult for me to fit so much of my experience into such a small time frame.  I noticed too that my interview with him was much higher quality sound-wise than his was with me.  I would attribute that to the fact that he had a better sound recorder than me.

I enjoyed getting to know Nick and getting to interview him.  I liked that I was able to ask quite a few questions and get in-depth answers from him.  I felt that it made the interview go smoothly.  The interview gave me a chance to understand one of Nick’s passions, and I thought it was really cool.

Next time, I will invest in a better audio recorder.  When I played the track back on my phone, I really didn’t notice anything wrong.  Once I uploaded it on my computer, I noticed a high pitch frequency playing in the background.  I think it was my phone because I listened to what Nick recorded for me, and that noise wasn’t there.  It wasn’t an ambient noise because we were in a quiet place (the philosophy stacks in the library).  Also, I need to be better at forming my thoughts without saying “uh” every now and then.  If I can fix that, it will make me seem like a more articulate journalist.  All in all, it was a pleasure interviewing Nick!

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The Sights and Sounds of Laramie: Photojournalism

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Susan Weidel of Home on the Range looks on as members of the UW community volunteer their mornings for The Big Event on Saturday.

This picture is titled “Country Living,” and is an example of a feature.  I captured this picture on Saturday when I was volunteering for The Big Event.  At first, I was a little hesitant going all the way to South Laramie, but I met Susan.  Susan volunteers her time for Home on the Range, a non-profit animal sanctuary.  There were over 50 animals who had been rescued, and now call this place their home.

I like this picture because I caught a candid moment with Susan.  The look on her face wasn’t one that was stern.  Rather, it was one of excitement and peace of mind.  She told me how happy she was to have some help, whether it was building a fence or cleaning the stable.

I used framing as a creative device.  I know we say not to center the photo, but I think that having her as the centerpiece accentuates the fact that she is the main story.

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Colin Gilbert, Evan Giusto, Jake Schiffner, and Matt Eagan all gather outside Fraternity Mall to play a friendly game of croquet Tuesday.

This picture is titled “Game Point.”  I was walking back to my place after class and saw some students playing croquet.  I thought it was a little weird that they didn’t pick a clearer location to play.  When I approached one of them and asked about it, they responded that it adds a little difficulty to the game.

I would classify this picture as a sports action shot.  If you look at the face of the individual who is second from left, you notice that it’s pure concentration.  Concentration and calculating your next move are two important factors to this game.

They continually asked if they could pose for this picture, to which I said no.  I took quite a few pictures in order to get a usable one.  This was the most natural one of the nearly 15 I took.  I also believe it captured the essence of the game the best.

Texture is the one creative device that comes to mind when this photo was taken.  The leaves and twigs in the foreground create a perceived difficulty for the game.

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John Fritz took some time out of his busy day to destress and walk around the track at Half Acre.

This picture is titled “Cool Down.”  This is another sports action feature, albeit more subdued than the previous picture.  I captured this picture while I was running.  He and I were the only ones on the track at the time.  While I was on my cool-down walking lap, I got behind him and captured this picture.

The atmosphere was calm.  I caught up to him when I let him know I got a picture of him.  We talked about our day, and I found out that he had a German test and another midterm he had been studying for.  He came to the track to simply get his mind off studying.

This wasn’t too terribly difficult.  I felt like a creep following so close to him to get the shot.  I had my smartphone with me at the time, and I don’t like how pixelated the picture becomes when you zoom in.

I used the rule of thirds and leading lines for this picture.  The lines on the track guide your eyes, while the subject is in the right third of the picture.  You can track his movement and where he will be going.

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Molly Duncan and Jessica Johnson prepare crafts for homecoming week activities, including Homecoming Sing and the homecoming parade.

This picture is titled “Crafting.”  This fits the general news category, as this week is homecoming week.  Several groups around campus are preparing to celebrate homecoming as the Wyoming Cowboys take on the San Jose State Spartans.  These women were making decorations for their float.

This shot was easy to get, although it was difficult to get the right angle.  The light coming from the window made it difficult to get a decent picture.  I found that moving around to different angles made things a little better.  The atmosphere was really fun and exciting.  All the women who were making things for the float were excited for the weekend, and were happy to be making things that will make an impression in the community.

I used framing in the picture.  There were other things going on in the room.  For example, one group was constructing a PVC pipe football goal.  I liked this picture because I was able to focus on what these two were doing.

Brad Sharpski reads to preschoolers at Basic Beginnings.

Teacher Brad Sharpski reads to preschoolers at Basic Beginnings.

This picture is called “Knowledge is Power.”  Members of our fraternity went to help out at Basic Beginnings and as historian, I was responsible for taking pictures.  One I went off on my own and found a group of children huddled up to teacher Brad Sharpski.  The kids were intrigued with the story, and paid no attention to me.  I got around, and took this picture from the perspective that I was another student in the group.

I would classify this as a spot news story.  I didn’t anticipate taking this picture, but it just happened.  I was covering something else for a different purpose, but this picture stood out.

The creative device I would classify this as is creating depth.  I took this picture from the vantage point of another student.  I was able to get one student in the foreground, while capturing the teacher in the background.

 

One thing I noticed about this assignment was that anything, any event could be made into a news story.  I had some troubles going up to people and asking them if I could take their picture.  It’s just the standard anxiety that comes with the assignment.  After a while, things became easier.  The one thing I wish I could have changed was taking more pictures from more angles.  It’s difficult to go where nobody else is going.  Certain pictures required a certain viewpoint, and I think that was the biggest issue.

Out and About Around Laramie: A Collection of Moments

For this assignment, I had the privilege of going around Laramie and the southeastern portion of Wyoming to take some pictures.  During my 100-mile journey, I collected several pictures, but these ones stood out the most.

A sunny day along the Front Range near Vedauwoo.

A sunny day along the Front Range near Vedauwoo.

This picture is titled “Tranquility.”  The creative device used in this photo was the rule of thirds.  The two fence posts provide markers of thirds in this picture, while the mountain range in the background provides a midpoint indicator.  Another device used in this picture is symmetry.  The peak of the mountain provides balance, while the fence posts and clouds provide equity.

Shooting downstream in the middle of the Little Laramie River in the Snowy Range.

Shooting downstream in the middle of the Little Laramie River in the Snowy Range.

This picture is titled “Let ‘er Buck.”  While this isn’t the “Powder River,” I managed to find a way to get to the middle of the Little Laramie River and capture this moment.  I would argue that texture is the dominant creative device.  The leaves in the forefront, combined with the evergreens in the background, provide texture when compared to the river.  The boulders also add texture to the picture.  Color is also present in this picture.  The green and the yellow contrast with the white water.

The noon sun shines down on the Arts and Sciences building on the University of Wyoming campus.

The noon sun shines down on the Arts and Sciences building on the University of Wyoming campus.

This picture is titled “Spencer.”  Viewpoint is the creative device used in this picture.  This picture was taken from a bench in front of the building.  The sunlight and angle at which the picture was taken demonstrates an interesting viewpoint.  The distance at which the picture was taken was meant to emphasize a grandiose appearance.

An empty stable along Herrick Lane (Wyoming Highway 12) west of Laramie.

An abandoned stable along Herrick Lane (Wyoming State Highway 12) west of Laramie.

This picture is titled “The Road Less Traveled.”  Leading lines, as shown in this example, proved to be one of my favorites to capture.  There were no cars coming from either direction for the solid two minutes I was standing in the middle of the road.  I experimented with different angles and perspectives, but this take was one of my favorites.  Your eyes follow the solid white lines on either side of the road until it disappears into the picture.  You may also follow the dashed yellow line to the end of the road.  The stable in the foreground gives a sense of depth to the the picture as well.

Close-up of a block calendar.

Close-up of a block calendar.

This picture is titled “Photo of the Day.”  I woke up one morning and decided to take a picture of the block calendar in my room.  The result was a good example of focus in photography.  My iPhone decided to auto-zoom on the forefront of the picture (in this case, the blocks).  This blurred out the background, giving a good representation of focus.  In an essence, the wall provides tonal contrast.  The wall progressively gets a darker shade of the same color as you go down.

It was so hard to pick just five pictures.  So many turned out well, but I found myself repeating certain creative devices.  For example, I felt that I had many pictures that illustrated rule of thirds and leading lines.  It’s a good thing the assignment suggested taking 100 pictures or more.  There were some that, when reviewing them all, really didn’t turn out well.  I will be posting the rest of the good pictures on a later date.