Photojournalism: A Trial by Fire

This was probably my hardest assignment yet. I had a very difficult time taking pictures of random people I didn’t know. It didn’t help that I am very involved on campus so I had to go out of my way to find places and events where I could take pictures of people that I didn’t know. I felt really awkward asking people if I could take pictures of them. It was also difficult to get them to not tense up and not look awkward while I took their picture. Thanks to my efforts though, I was able to take some awesome pictures and get some cool stories because of it.

Men from the University of Wyoming Swimming & Diving team, competing at the home Brown and Gold meet.

I took this photo at the Brown and Gold swim meet which was between the Swimming and Diving Team for the University of Wyoming. The Brown and Gold swim meet for those of you who don’t know what that is, is a coed race between two teams from the UW Swimming and Diving team. I went to the meet to time the events with my Triathlon team to raise funds for our team. I thought that it was awesome to see the two teams, Brown Squad and Gold Team, to get competitive whilst also encouraging their fellow teammates regardless of what team they were on. It was a very loud event due to the spectators and teammates cheering on their teammates who were competing during different events.

Josh Botkin, checking-in for Service Saturday, listens to a SLCE member as they give him papers to sign for the volunteering that he will be partaking in that day.

I took this picture at the Service Saturday that the Service Leadership and Community Engagement office, SLCE, hosted for National Public Lands Day. SLCE had volunteers go out and help build, clean, and preserve trails in the national parks as a way to keep our public lands clean.

Everyone was a little quiet at first because it was so cold that morning and the event started so early that Saturday. As more and more people walked into the Outdoor Program’s facility, the temperature rose due to the body heat of everyone and it got a little more comfortable. Soon after this photo, donuts and coffee arrived which helped a ton with people’s moods and people started to talk before the volunteering had begun.

Dan McCoy, Degree Coordinator at the HAUB School of ENR, thanks everyone for volunteering for Public Lands Day and give the volunteers options for where the volunteers can go work.

I took this photo around a half hour after the previous photo. People were beginning to pack up and more jackets and hats were being applied. The warm space in the Outdoor Program would soon have to be left for the windy cold weather that awaited the volunteers in the next few minutes. People were anxious to get started and get on the road to begin what everyone had come to do that day, volunteer and help keep our public lands clean.

After the Degree Coordinator, Dan McCoy, finished a welcoming speech and thanked the volunteers for being there that day, McCoy sent the volunteers off into the different UW vans to go to their respective locations.

Jade, center, and Lily, right, decorate a cupcake during phases one of the Cupcake Wars. The event was hosted by RHA and the President and his wife appeared as guest judges for the event.

This photo was taken during the Cupcake Wars which was hosted by RHA. The entire Shoshone room was packed to the brim with first year students and RAs. The groups were in fierce competition and many had designed cupcakes that I had never thought would be possible by anyone but participants on the Great British Baking Show. I was very impressed with many of the creative designs and not only that, the creative frosting flavors that people were making.

The room was packed and you would think that it would have been really loud. This was not the case to my surprise. Many of the groups were determined to win the grand prize, AJR tickets, among other prizes. At times, it did get very heated at the topping table because different groups were trying to get an upper hand in the competition by any means necessary. At the end of the day though, it was all in good fun.

Students, intently focusing of the curriculum at hand, get help from STEP tutors on how finish the homework and understand the content for their classes.

I took this photo after walking by the STEP Tutoring Center a few times. I know it isn’t that great of quality (I blame my phone and the lighting), but I think that it is important to shine a light on something very important in the basement of Washakie.

The STEP Tutoring Center is almost constantly used by first year students as a resource to succeed in college. Many times, I felt embarrassed in high school over the fact that I got tutoring for math but I really appreciated in college how open and encouraging everyone was about tutoring resources and why it is important to use them.

As I have with all the past assignments in this class, I have learned a ton. I have so much more respect for photojournalists and I understand now, the work that is put into making a good photo journalistic piece good. I am not going to say that I am a pro at photojournalism, one, because that is silly and I have only just started to do it and two, I am still learning the basics, but I will confidently say that if need be, I can identify what photojournalism is and how to help create a good photo journalistic piece. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.


The Perfect Picture Is Easy If You’re A Professional Photographer (Unlike Me)

I would like to begin today’s blog with by stating how much harder it is to take photos that I originally thought. Not only, did I feel like a complete goof taking pictures of plants and the world around me, I also got poked by a cactus trying to take a cool picture. This experience at the conservatory however, changed my perspective on what it is like to take pictures. I had absolutely no idea there were so many different ways someone could take a picture. I learned a ton from this experience and I would like to share with you my five best pictures taken from being at the conservatory.

This photo was taken from the perspective of the little water fall at the entrance of the conservatory.

This is my first photo I present to you today. Looking back at this photo, I observed that the dominant device in this photo is the creation of depth. At first glance, it doesn’t make much sense but where my legs are placed and the focus on the rocks allow for this photo to feel like it was taken at some height. The depiction of different aspects of the photo being stretched creates that sense of depth.

Other devices that can be seen in this photo that are not as dominant as depth is the background. The rocks that the water flows down create a very gritty background and the glean of the water makes the rocks stand out more than the rocks generally would.

Here is a photo I almost went blind for.

This photo demonstrates the device of contrast. It took me at least ten different pictures to line up the sun well enough for it to be covered by the hanging plant. The exuberant amount of light takes away almost all visible color from the hanging plant which demonstrates the contrast in light in this photo.

I can also see the device of viewpoint in this photo due to the photo taking the perspective of someone walking up the stairs and making direct eye contact with the sun as they round the corner.

Remember that cactus from earlier? Here is the culprit.

Other than bringing back bad memories of getting pricked by this stinker, this photo is an excellent example of focus. The little prickly spikes are very detailed and defined whilst everything else in the background is very blurry so your attention is naturally drawn to the cactus.

I had some difficulty thinking of different devices that were also present in this photo but after a while I started to see the creation of depth. The focus of the closer cactus created the feeling that the cacti in the background to be much farther than they are due to the blurred affect of the focus.

At night they say this is one of the entrances to Narnia.

While looking at this photo, I realized the lamp posts divide the photo into thirds. This division creates a clear image of three separate parts of the photo, while the middle and right sections are rather smaller, they divide up the right wing of the conservatory rather nicely.

This photo also is a good example of a viewpoint photo. While I see the dominance of the rule of thirds more, this is easily a viewpoint photo as well because of the ability for anyone to walk by the conservatory, to see these photos and see this exact same image in real life.

Almost dropped my phone off the railing while taking this. That would have been no bueno.

Considering the dominant device in this photo I had difficulty between two different devices, depth and leading lines. I decided upon leading lines due to the railing leading your eyes from the base of the photo toward the entrance of the conservatory. Another reason why I chose the leading lines over the creation of depth, is that the railing almost looks like a path leading towards your journey into the conservatory.

Now discussing the device of depth, the railing also creates the feeling that the the conservatory is much farther away than it really is. The railing in real life is only around 15 feet or so but this photo makes the railing look much longer than 15 feet.

Looking back at my pictures, I know that they aren’t the greatest pictures in the world but that doesn’t bother me. I think they are pretty freaking cool!

Regardless, there is always room for improvement! If I was to go back and take more pictures, I would focus more on the different creative devices I could have used instead of just taking pictures of anything that I thought was cool. I would also be interested in trying to take photos at different times of the day to play with light more.

Anyways, now I have a much greater understanding of photography and I plan on making sure that all the photos I take from now on, have purpose.

Let the Blogs Begin

Probably the best way to begin, would be to start with how excited I am for this class. I expect to gain quite a bit of knowledge on creating reports through different types of media.

I am stoked to learn about how to live tweet specifically. Live tweeting fascinates me because live tweeting is so fast paced to me and I do not understand how people do it. Those people must have ninja fast fingers.

One day I aspire to work for a city government in the communication field. I have always had an interest in politics and it would be fascinating to see how public relations worked at the state or local level.

It would be really cool to report on events happening in Laramie or at the local level somewhere else in Wyoming. That would be very beneficial for helping me get to those future career goals later in life.

If anyone is interested in learning about different events that are going on in Laramie, I recommend visiting the Downtown Laramie website. That is where I get all my information from.

As a member of the Club Triathlon Team here on campus, I want to learn how help with media for the team. If I did a photojournalism article on the Club Triathlon Team, I think that would help with increasing the number of people we get in contact with.

Club Sports as a whole is a group on campus that I am very involved in and would also like to learn how Club Sports as a whole could benefit from a larger media presence here at the University of Wyoming.

It is going to be a semester of a lot of learning and many mistakes along the way. Everything is going to be fine though, I have a lot of duct tape so now I can fix any problem…..right?

Me beyond stoked to be at the salt flats in Utah.
(And to start the semester.)
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