These days photographers need to be well versed in more than just photography, which is why I ended up with more gear than I could carry at the ballpark on Saturday night. I had my camera, three lenses, two flashes, a light stand, an umbrella, my tripod, a large fill card, two super clamps, a sound recorder and a wireless microphone. What I really needed was an assistant, but I digress.
I was at McCrary Park in Asheboro to tell the story of Fang, the Copperhead’s mascot, for my final project in Small Format. I needed still pictures, ambient sound, and an interview with my subject to put together the video. As I have found over and over this semester, people are so willing to help me with projects, and the Copperheads are no exception!
After gathering the sound and images on Saturday, I spent Sunday putting my video together. It’s no masterpiece, but I really enjoyed the process and I can’t wait to make more videos! Below are some of my favorite pictures from Saturday.
Many thanks to Dakota Patterson, Fang himself, for being such a willing subject.
The objective of the industry assignment is to put you in a challenging shooting environment. Don’t I know it. I went back to Natty Greene’s Brewing Company in Greensboro, NC three times until I got pictures I was proud of. The folks at Natty Greene’s were happy to have me, and so kind to let me set up and take pictures around them as they worked.
The day I visited they were just finishing up bottling their seasonal Freedom IPA. You should try it. Natty’s beers are delicious.
Baseball, one of the major assignments for Small Format, is due today. I attended 11 games over more than a month! That’s hundreds upon hundreds of baseball pictures, all in search of peak action. At one point during the weeks leading up to this due date, our teacher said that when there are no base runners he will focus his lens on the batter. And with that little piece of advice I was able to capture this intimate moment between the catcher and the unsuspecting batter. I didn’t submit this for my assignment, but I did print a copy for my teacher at his request.
My first major project for Small Format is called Up Close and Personal and it involves taking pictures of strangers and recording information about each subject. We are required to have 36 pictures in all – 12 outdoors in natural light, 12 indoors with flash, and 12 outdoors with flash. I have less than 2 weeks left before the assignment is due and I’m about 2/3 of the way done finding subjects for the photos.
The project is challenging in different ways for all of us who are working on it. For me, I find the toughest part is getting the courage up to talk to the first stranger, not wanting to bother them. Once I get over that first hurdle, then I feel more comfortable the rest of the time I’m out shooting. Another challenge is getting a good picture, and quickly. I still feel less than comfortable with my flash, and as I struggle with nailing the exposure, I forget to make it a good picture. Or I rush so that I don’t take up too much of my subject’s time.
But even with all the challenges, the best part of this project has been meeting and learning about the subject of each picture. There’s a really exhilarating moment as you walk away from a person who has just shared not only their time, but a little part of their story.
When I took my family outside near dusk on Saturday night, I had no plan for how I was going to execute my light painting assignment. I had Jerry and Maggie play with matches for a while (Mom of the Year!). I asked my husband, Gerald, if we had fireworks. I had Maggie catch fireflies. But nothing was really working and it was all pretty lame.
Then I happened to pop Jerry with my flash twice while the shutter was open for a long exposure and suddenly I had my vision. What started as a weird, creepy head thing turned in to a highly choreographed 30-second exposure starring the whole family (less the cat).
As you can see, there was a lot of trial and error with this set-up, and we worked on it over two nights. None of them are exactly right technically, but for me, as a mom and wife, they are perfect. I am going to print a few of them big because I love them so much. The kids loved it so much they want to do it erryday.
Here’s the one I handed in for the assignment.
There is little time for reflection this semester, and yet I have let the road assignment above haunt me. Great picture/bad grade. But without any other choice, I moved on to the next weekly assignment.
This week’s theme was Framed, and before I know my grade or get feedback from the teacher, I present it here.