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I would like to take another photography course, however i would enjoy a workshop format over lecture and readings. I am a hands on learner and prefer to take direction and advice with device in hand and instant commentary.

BUT, i was doing some research looking up photography workshops for amateurs and hobbyists; i cant afford these things, but some interesting tips and exercises were helpful.

The first is the idea of a photo walk, where you grab your camera and just walk around. Im sure this is not news to you or any other avid photographer; however, i am not either of those things. I find myself enjoying taking photos when i get into the “groove”, but its not my top choice of an activity. I often see things that i would like to take a photo of, for example the moon and pink and purple clouds right over the downtown skyline yesterday around 5pm. It was beautiful. (that would have made for an awesome panoramic…. if i had had my camera handy!) I think walking with the purpose of taking photos would be better for me to get into the habit of carrying a camera with me at all times; if i plan to go somewhere and photograph, i find myself in the same situation as when i shot the volleyball game: i get engaged in the event itself rather than photographing it.

I suppose photographing the fair was an exception to this usually correct observation, but that has more to do with the fact that the fair is disgusting than anything else.

A few tips for the department/class:

-include a card reader with the camera equipment

-get larger memory cards for the cameras

-buy more audio recorders

-in class, spend more time doing work with the camera; i think many people go into this class believing it will be more like a workshop than a lecture.

-i think a class photography walk once a month would be helpful; this would give students a chance to use their cameras in a variety of locations and under the guidance of the professor. Also, this will provide an opportunity for the professor to provide tips on how to compose images, properly expose outdoor settings, etc. (I think this could become an assignment as well. The photography walks could serve as a quiz grade)

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I love children; they are innovative, creative and expressive beyond the capabilities of most adults. I think that is what attracted me to the subjects of my audio visual slideshow.

I have come across many websites providing tips for photographing children, of course, after my photographing endeavors to capture the Salisbury way of life.

What i found most interesting about these tips is that they are a reinterpretation of the portrait and interviewing tips found in the book; it makes complete sense, because children are people too.

In viewing examples of commercial children’s photography, i noticed a distinct difference between my own images and the ones on the web. The most obvious is the lighting and tone; my lighting is not the greatest in many of my photographs. These photos, however, im sure were created using studio light setups and are shot to convey a sense of innocence, fragileness, and preciousness. The lighting is soft, halo-like around the children; most of the photographs remind me of images shot in the first sunlight of the day during the hour or so when the sun casts long shaddows with hazy light.

My purposes for photographing the children were different from those of the above; i was hoping for the gritty, raw and unplanned nature of children rather than images of the romanticised ideals.

A few of my classmates posted their audio slideshows online and i was able to see them before class.

I found Amanda’s video entitled “Twins” to be captivating in its conciseness. There is no question of what her story is about: the inseparability of two brothers facing a split at due to different graduation dates. I think she captured the inseparability of the two well: especially with the opening scene that cuts back and forth between the brothers playing a word association game. This opening sequence provides a clear sense of shared knowledge between the two brothers, adding to the inseparability of the twins. Also, Amanda’s audio quality was AWESOME! there was almost no noise in the background, and the voices were crystal clear. I appreciated the way she placed a photo of each speaker at the beginning of their audio segment; although, as they were twins i couldnt really tell them apart anyway.

I found Courtney’s video to be well done, but unoriginal. When the video first began, i thought i was watching a posting of Sarah McClaughlin’s “save the animals” video from television; Courtney used the same song and similar images of sad-looking cats and dogs as her opening sequence. Also, i found that the interview and story itself lent itself toward an advertisement rather than an exploration of a person’s story. I would have liked to hear more about the adoption process, or an interview from someone adopting a pet that day. Some of the animal photos are very appealing, as photos of animals are. I felt that there were not enough of photos displaying interaction between people and animals or staff and visitors to the Pets Inc shelter. Her message comes across in the emotional sense;  i felt supremely guilty and wanted to go rescue about 12 puppies at the end of the presentation.

( I’ve tried to upload the video to here, but it will not work… )

I tried to do something that we did not see in examples of work in class. I was so interested in Karen k. Salisbury’s dichotomy of her life; she was a 100% working woman for most of her adult life, only to embark on an unexpected trip into motherhood late in the game. As such, i divided the presentation into three parts. The first part begins with her past; she mentions briefly how/why she became a successful businesswoman after being an exchange student in Sweden. I placed the title page about a minute into the presentation; her words at the beginning of the presentation allude to the happiness felt by success but also the sense of incompleteness her life held during that period. She did not have a family of her own, no children, no husband; she also had no hopes of having children as she was told that was an impossibility in her youth.

Following this realization, and a repetition of her statement “i never thought i would have children”, I have Karen introduce herself in swedish, followed bya  translation and an introduction of her children. I tried to keep as much of her own personality in the audio as possible; there are a few things that caused her to laugh in the interview and i wanted to include these to show additional depth to her perceptions on motherhood and the way it has consumed her daily life.

There are a few series of photos that i used to show motion: one set is making pancakes, and the other set is getting into the car. I used this technique because these are things that she does EVERY DAY. They are small moments in the day, pancakes taking only a few minutes to make, but they are important nonetheless. i think including the series of photos to show the progression of these two events gives viewers an idea of the repetitive nature of the activities. They are practised, predictable. (however, getting two children out to the car happily is probably not the norm, as it is shown in my photos).

The final segment of the presentation contains the final sentiments she expressed in the interview: “in some ways, having children is the best thing ive ever done.”

She makes an interesting comment that she had her life of partying, travelling, working successfully, socializing, and shopping; and thus has no deeply felt regrets about staying home with her children every day. By having children so late in life, she was able to have all of the experiences that often go unhad for stay at home moms.

I think the project turned out well; i think the photos related to the story, and i think the story itself is very appealing.

i am particularly fond of a series of photos i took when Karen and her son are washing their hands together. It is a small moment, but important in his education on cleanliness and health. The light coming from above the sink shines down directly on their hands, making them the focus of the images as they are the lightest hue. The boys face is framed inbetween Karen’s arms, adding to the intimacy of the moment.

My goal for this shoot was to catch small moments that may be taken for granted or otherwise unacknowledged. I think i accomplished that goal with a variety of scenarios, settings and tones. Also, i took on many different vantage points; sometimes i was on the floor below the children, sometimes at their eye level looking up, at their eye level looking directly ahead, and other times at karen’s level or above (it was very nice of her to let me stand on the couch and chairs).

The 3 hours in the life assignment delt with the same subjects, however i met up with Karen and her children in the afternoon, thus missing many important hours in the day.
For this additional shooting, i carried my laptop and camera and recorder to the house at 7 am. As such, iw as able to photograph some of their first moments of the day together, the chore of making breakfast, getting ready for school, and lugging Emma and her baby things everywhere Karen went.

I think everyone, including myself, was very comfortable during this shoot. Even more so than the first time. There were  afew moments in which i morphed from fly on the wall photographer to “here can you hold her for a second?” and “its breakfast time. have a pancake!”

I was very glad to have my computer handy as i took a LOT of photos; it was easy to transfer the photos and edit them during periods of downtime when the baby was sleeping and the little boy was entertaining himself or at school.

The little boy was so excited to be in the photographs; if i had had more time to get a good interview out of him, i could have easily made a second audio slideshow just of him!

-I neglected to obtain natural sound… of interactions between Karen and her children, of the activities she describes

-At some point in the interview, the baby is brought up into the room with us. She coos and whines a little bit, sometimes it is distracting from what Karen is saying.

-I have a cough, and cough in the middle of a few sentences

-it is 45 minutes long and will take a LONG time to edit.

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