The Sights and Sounds of Laramie: Photojournalism


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.


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.


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.


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.


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