Thursday, November 16, 2006

Alternative Campaigning for Election Day

LPAC Supports Peaceful Positions

Louisville Peace Action Community holds candle light vigil and election day eve demonstrations supporting election of leaders promoting peace and end of Iraq war.

Looking on, LPAC activist Susan Covey stands on the corner of Eastern Parkway and Bardstown Road on Nov. 6.


Guarding herself from the rain, Ellen Schagene sits in front of Heine Brothers’ Coffee shop on Eastern Parkway. On the eve of election day this intersection was one of four LPAC demonstration areas as well as locations in West, South, and North Louisville, according to Schagene. “We are here to support peace [in the upcoming election], not a specific candidate,” she said.


Long time activist and LPAC coordinator, Judy Monro-Leighton, stands on the corner of Douglass Boulevard and Bardstown Road on Nov. 5. “LPAC holds a candle-lit vigil on the first Sunday of each month since the [Iraq] War began,” fellow demonstrator Gerald Heath commented.


Holding a sign on the corner of Bardstown Road and Douglass Boulevard, George Edwards supports LPAC’s cause on Nov. 5.


Standing in front of the Heine Brothers’ Coffee shop on Bardstown Road Nov. 5, Ellen Schagene promotes peace. According to Schagene the monthly vigils are a great way to promote peace in a highly traveled area.


“We are here to get people out and [worked] up. We used to get more publicity, but people are getting tired of hearing about the war. But, it’s not going away,” said Retried Air Force Officer, Harold Trainer on Nov. 6.


Walkers overlook a sign placed at the corner of Bardstown Road and Eastern Parkway.


Two LPAC activists show their appreciation for passing cars honking in support of the call for peace in government.

Photos by Michelle Haas

Thursday, May 04, 2006

challeges for traditional media

Personalized media is a growing trend as previous readers are taking on the role of writer and journalist. This switch has traditional journalists choosing whether to try to continue with the print publication or change their ways to keep up with the growing technological revolution of the “citizen journalist.” There are a few aspects of personalized journalism, or specifically web logging, that should have traditional journalists a little scared. Since the major shift to online media, traditional or large media companies have dropped the ball in creating a more effective vehicle.

Blogging has created a user-friendly, convenient, discussion style medium that attracts the online readers that should be hitting the larger news companies’ online sites instead of amateur bloggers reporting what they see. What has the journalists worried is that these bloggers have little experience and are still able to steal a lot of hits through their first hand accounts and up to the minute reporting. One of the biggest problems these traditional journalists see is the hits or visits to their site drifting away and taking the advertising dollars with them. Along with losing money and readership, bloggers may also be competing with the traditional journalists for jobs.

More media companies are jumping on the bandwagon everyway they know how to try and cut off this filtering of readers away from their sites. The news companies are beginning to host their own blogging forums as an answer to the bloggers. But in order to get the ball rolling they need help with online experience, and who better to fill that void than the original bloggers. Bloggers are making money becoming freelancers. The big media are paying more writers to create blogs and the print journalists job may be easily replaceable. If those two things aren’t challenging enough, bloggers are becoming the online watchdog of all the print journalists as well as of each other.

Blogging creates a discussion of sorts that eventually would help create a whole news picture. But what if the information isn’t completely accurate? Since the big media are trying to get in the mix they, as well as other bloggers, are subject to the whole web critiquing their work by checking things such as spelling, correctness, and accuracy. Then real-time comments are posted directly to the blog so that everyone can see where the carelessness or mistake occurred. The real-time, vast audience nature of blogging puts writers constantly under supervision to tell the whole true story, all of the time.

Although these challenges of losing readership, jobs and credibility may be difficult for the current journalist to swallow; these changes will ultimately provide for a better, more accurate, more complete news story. A story that for once may be telling the unbiased story rather than whatever the father corporation wants to publish for everyone to believe.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Why Not?

Some ask why I do what I do. I ask why not? I love this job and although it may not make millions and I will definitely get phone calls in the middle of the night, or move around to catch the big game. I wouldn't give it up for anything because I have a passion and an eye for capturing life in still shots, eternally. This blogging experience has given me a chance to experiment with a completely different medium than I'm used to. If this is where the future is going, I'm there. I love this stuff and what could be better than having a passion for two things and being able to intertwine them together all while acting like you are just trying to keep up with technology.

I have been a bit of a nerd most of my life, but this gives me a reason to sit at my computer a lot more even though I can usually be found behind a camera. Blogging helps me post my photos much more quickly and I can interview people right on my phone without worrying about capturing the exact quote or the tape recorder malfunctioning. There are aspects of photojournalism that I don't know and hope to become much better at it with time and education, but I feel this is a great interactive way to display accomplishments, new ideas and questions others might have some insight on. This has been a worthwhile hands-on experience and I feel my familiarity with this aspect of media has put me in front of the curve on a breaking topic that many people are constantly interested in. Photography will probably make up a big part of my life, and it is nice to know that I can combine journalist with photographer and keep a pretty good record and audience.

Kentucky Derby Festival

this is an audio post - click to play


  • Kentucky Derby Festival Official Website











  • (Photos provided by Google Images)

    (photo by the Courier-Journal)

    Wednesday, April 19, 2006

    lacrosse captured

  • CSTV Video Showcasing Bellarmine University on College Lacrosse in Kentucky
  • Lacrosse Magazine Article Previewing the Spring 2007 season


  • JC Hutchins, starting goalie for the Bellarmine Knights commenting on the new team (photo provided by BU Athletics)

    this is an audio post - click to play


    A new game is on the rise in the region. That brings the school students, the stores customers and me a job. I am a college photojournalist/sports reporter for Bellarmine University. Men's lacrosse is new to Bellarmine, the state of Kentucky and most of the region outside of the New England states. Along with the new sport, we, in only the second year of play and the first with division I competition, are building a state-of-the-art $4 million stadium. But I have found myself enjoying a new scene through the view-finder. I have enjoyed the fast-paced game and found it is a challenge to keep up with the movement of the small ball and quick players. There are a few tips I find useful when shooting pictures of lacrosse.

    "I have a better shot at gettong people to read my sports pages if there are fascinating pictures on the pages to catch their eye before they turn the page," Rita Dixon, Sports Editor for the Concord said. First of all with any sport you shoot, you should be at least moderately aware of the rules of the game. It helps to know what the objective is to the game in order to determine which way the players may be going. For instance, know where the goal is, who can shoot and where from. Also who is on defense and when are they most likely to get the ball or action.
    (photo by me)
    Keep your eyes open. Both of them. It makes it much easier to follow the ball with all the movement away from and with the small white object. It is difficult at first, especially if you are using a zoom lens because it creates such a difference in the size of the players between your two eyes’ views. But it will help you see more of the field at once and follow the action if it is moving too fast for your camera to find or if there is action away from a specific shot you want. Basically, it just takes a little getting used to and a lot of zooming out to replace the ball in the frame. "I think the most important thing I have learned about getting the perfect shot is to NEVER STOP SHOOTING," Dixon suggested.
    (photo by me)
    Many outdoor field sports are similar in their shooting techniques. For example, soccer, field hockey and even ice hockey are very similar to shooting lacrosse in that there is an objective to shoot the ball at the net, the two teams are constantly intermingled together in play, they fields are set up alike and basically each team progresses toward the opponents goal for a good percentage of the game.

    Therefore, the best places to take lacrosse or any of these shots would be as always as close as possible. In most cases, in order to get close and capture players faces, the best place to be is on the end line or the line behind each goal. However, it is very dangerous in lacrosse because the ball is so small and shot very hard, if it were to miss, which most teams do often, that ball would not feel good. So the sideline or a good distance away from the field behind the goal would be a safer choice. If there is ever any doubt where the dangerous spots on the field might be, one of the officials would be able to tell you exactly where you can and should stand. I traveled to the Bellarmine v. Duke lacrosse game earlier this spring and was told by the athletic director to stay out of the corners. That is where a lot of the missed shots taken from the side of the goal end up and I’m glad he told me that.
    (photo by me)
    Lastly, remember all of the previous tips for sports photography and any photography for that matter.
    "Obviously you want to get great action shots. Sometimes the typical shot can be the good one, but it's fun to look for something a bit more surprising or unexpected," Dixon said. Interest is very important so the closer and more expression you get the better. Get the action moving into the picture. Rule of thirds helps any picture. And don’t forget about those lines on the field to help lead the viewer. "Photojournalism continues to become a more important aspect of print media so it's important that the photos tell an accurate amd intriguing story. Many times it is the only story told because people don't take the time to read the written version," Dixon said. Good luck with future sports endeavors and stay posted.

    Tuesday, April 18, 2006

    good shot bad shot

    I wanted to take this opportunity to show some good and bad examples of sports photos in terms of composition and interest. These are photos taken in both amateur and professional levels, which shows that anyone with a good eye, a quick shutter finger and a little luck can take some amazing pictures.

    Here are some good examples of the various traits I discussed in the previous post.
    (Associated Press)

    This shows a great level of interest in that they set the frame around the subject and the words printed on the door. It shows a good part of the story that otherwise it would just look like two men walking. Instead, you can see that it is a man leading a younger man that by the story you would find out is involved in a scandal involving a well-known college. Plus there is great framing with the use of the doorframe.

    (Google Images)

    This shows great interest of the subject. The head and ball line up in the right places so that the picture is very interesting and shows where the player intends to hit the ball.

    (http://www.topix.net/photos/ncaa/lsu-basketball)

    This is a great angle. The players' faces are not visible but the action is very interesting and exciting from the low point of view that the photographer took from almost under the players.

    (Photo by me)

    This is another picture with great interest. The subjects are lined up well and the picture is balanced with the action in the play and expressions behind. I would have faded the background out a bit more to make it a more simple shot.

    (http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/galleries/220-13.html?SITE=KYLOU&SECTION=SPORTS&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT)

    This picture is a good example of what I was taking about on the previous picture only by fading out the main subject, this photographer is highlighting the fans behind the normal interest of the action of the subject, in this case, the runners.

    (http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/galleries/220-11.html?SITE=KYLOU&SECTION=SPORTS&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT)

    Interest and emotion portray a lot of what is happening in the world of the picture. This captures the subject's expression and it is obvious without words that this is a runner who is exhausted.



    And some great examples of how the aspects I have considered could have been used better.

    (By Sam Upshaw Jr., The Courier-Journal)

    This picture would have been better and a lot more interesting if the cropping would have included more of her body. It could have been the photographer who zoomed in too much, but I believe this to be an editing mistake. It just cuts the body off too short and make the picture seem incomplete with the pitcher floating somewhere in mid air. Also the subject should be placed on an intersection of point demonstrated by the rule of thirds.

    (http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/galleries/220-62.html?SITE=KYLOU&SECTION=SPORTS&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT)

    This picture should have been great. It is very expressive and yet the movement and interest s taken away because the runner is positioned in the middle of the picture. It shows that this person is no longer moving, which may help showing that the runner is finished, but normally the rule of thirds makes the picture much better.

    (Google Images)

    Again, this is a very interesting shot but it would be helped by the rule of thirds or maybe even by using the field lines to lead into the action.

    (Google Images)

    This picture is okay but too blurry and neither the bull nor the man is completely visible in the shot. There should be a definite subject and here it is difficult to tell exactly what is being portrayed.

    "There are two major pieces of advise I can give: good equipment and experience are the best things to invest in," Michael Malbacher, Photo Editor of Bellarmine University's Concord commented.

    Thursday, April 06, 2006

    composition

    There are certain aspects that make up a well-composed photo that may be obvious or not to the untrained eye. Taking advantage of technical aspects such as the rule of thirds, framing, leading lines, and many others can make a photo eye catching and interesting, or if used incorrectly can make it look set-up or confusing.


    One of the most important rules in good candid photography is to get faces. Michael Mahlbacher, photo editor for Bellarmine Univeristy's Concord suggests zooming in as much as possible.
    "When you zoom in it makes the subject more empasized and background less distracting," Mahlbacher said. Faces of people in the subject show emotion or action. It is very important to catch the emotion of the subjects because it will draw the reader in and make them more a part of the action.
    "If there is only one subject I look for facial expression, but if I'm shooting several subjects, social interaction is more important," Mahlbacher said. This, in turn, makes the photo more interesting because people can relate. Getting close enough to the subject so that the whites of the eyes are visible is one way to make sure to catch the emotion. Getting closer to the subject for the shot puts more emphasis on the subject and will be much more interesting to look at in almost every case. There is also a rule that helps make sure the subject and his or her action is in the correct spots.


    The Rule of Thirds says that if you divide the frame into nine equal boxes, the points of intersection between each third of the picture is where some integral part of the action should go. For example, if a baseball player is hitting the ball, it would be most ideal to have the baseball player on one intersection facing into the picture and the ball or bat on the other dividing line. This is seen as a tactic to make the photo more interesting because it is more interesting and organized. The middle of the picture is thought to be a very boring place to put the main action because of the natural way in which people’s eyes travel over the visual image. Therefore it is thought to be more interesting if the subject and action are set outside the middle of the picture and more towards these points. This technique is necessary in sports photography because it leads the viewer into the frame and leaves space to show where the ball or action will go next.

    (Google Images)

    Framing is another important rule that can be very helpful or harmful to the shot. This aspect can be helpful in the sense that the shot is lined up so that the main object is framed by something in the foreground – something in front of the subject. This is a subtle way to draw the eye in without making it look set-up or phony. This example is a little over exaggerated by it shows the concept. Although it can be a good tool to use it can also be harmful if the viewfinder shows more than is captured in the picture. It leads you to believe that the framing of the whole picture is different than it seems. It is important to keep the action on the intersecting lines as much as possible in order to avoid this problem. However digital photography is helping this problem a great deal.

    (Google Images)

    Lastly, leading lines are a way in which to draw the reader's eyes in to a specific part of the action. Many sports fields have lines on them, which makes it that much easier to draw the viewer into the picture. It also may show where the subject will be going next. Volleyball is a very good example of leading lines as in this example. Not only are there lines on the floor to lead to players if the camera is facing them, there is also several hundred lines included in the net with the top and bottom being much thicker to draw in emphasis toward the players.

    (Google Images)

    Monday, April 03, 2006

    Why?

    Photojournalism has an impact on a huge percentage of the population on a daily, hourly, instant basis. But who really looks at the pictures and wonders who took them or how the shot could possibly make them feel that way. Photojournalists have a job to depict the story and a passion for getting the unique, impressive, breath taking shot that will make everyone look twice. Or stare.
    Photojournalists are necessary for making the public feel more connected and personally affected by the news. If a picture captures an otherwise inconceivable event, one uses the picture as verification and truth. It is necessary that people see news so that they understand the news more fully, are affected by it and live by thinking in a world where the news is taking place.
    I am here in attempts to describe the purpose of getting out on the field in front of a 300lbs linebacker, laying down face down on concrete to fully capture the story of a crouching toddler, taking the uncomfortable shot that shows what people need -but don't want- to see. My purpose is this and because I can't shake those passions for the life of me. Nor do I want to.
    I constantly take the picture not to win awards, but to make the shot that best portrays the event and makes people as excited or enticed to read about what I have experienced and instantly captured, timelessly on a newspaper page.
    Please count on returning.