I'm working on my own end-of-year portfolio, which I'll start posting over the next weeks.
Left the house when it was still dark out for a shoot at the Hamburg Inn in Iowa City. Modern Marvels was filming for an episode on the incredible egg. Of course I stuck around after I was done shooting to eat my own Iowa omelet: cheese, ham and hashbrowns. Perfection.
Why, yes, that is a banana and a penguin waiting for the Iowa football game. I think the penguin is more suited for this chilly day than the banana. "So, what's with the costumes?" I asked. "Oh, well, we wear them to every Marion (high school) game too." Oh, well in that case, okay.
I've taken Chris Morris' 'My America' with me from TX to WA to UT to Iowa's caucus, so I was, needless to say, a bit giddy when I saw him gather with the rest of the media under the wing of the campaign plane. In other photo fangirl news, Todd Heisler was in the pool too, but, having never met him, I didn't realize it until I saw his work in the Times the next day. The pace of the day was so fast, there wasn't really much time for introductions or small talk, and the locals ride in a different van than the national media.
Way underexposed, yes. But it works for an inside photo, and I dig the deep blacks.
The porcelain skin, red lips, and photos of the candidates.. perfection. Oh, and that's McCain to her left.
First thought at seeing the lenses peeking through the curtain: "Hmm.. all eyes on Palin." Second thought: "How do I get up there?" At that point, one of the photogs tapped me on the shoulder (Heisler, I think?) and I followed him backstage, past the Secret Service and up a ladder.
These overall crowd shots are easy enough to get when you have a ladder and a great venue (see, for example, this photo by Damon Winter from NYT of the 100,000-strong Obama rally in StL this weekend). This airplane hangar wasn't so fantastic, but, actually made the crowd look bigger than it was (even though it was impressively huge) because of the overexposed, faded crowed at the top of the frame. The riser in the top right shows you where the rest of the media stood for the rally.
When you're part of a pool, you basically go where you're told to go and stay out of the way of the candidates and their security. We (local freelancer Stephen Mally shooting for Reuters, I think, and I) were pretty much on the stage at the end of the rally when one of the media handlers told us "She's coming your way, move back." She walked right in front of us, and we got the shot that the national guys didn't.
Going into the day, we didn't expect McCain and Palin to tour the flood zones -- in fact, there was a bit of an outcry about it here. So when our handler said, "Just in case you need to get in a van for some reason, you'll be getting into that van," we were pretty certain plans had changed. Sure enough, after the rally, we all piled into the vans and got on the highway. Meanwhile, my editor was calling to find out what I knew (less than him) and where we were going (probably Time Check, maybe Czech Village). Our intern, Amanda, was positioned at the old Dairy Queen in case they headed that direction, and sure enough, we took the exit for Time Check and headed into the neighborhood that I've gotten to know so well in the past four months. We were kept at a distance from the group as they walked up the street, and it was odd, being in a pack of other media as we walked (backwards, slowly, while shooting) through the neighborhood.
However, I'm currently holed up at the coffee shop, attempting to sort of catch up, starting with my favorite stuff from September. While I work on that (expect a TON of updates over the next couple days), enjoy this glimpse into the trunk of my car. Yes, that is a giant pumpkin in my very messy trunk, which, yes, could be lived out of if necessary. (I could eat the pumpkin if I got really hungry, though I think I have a box of granola bars in there somewhere, along with three pairs of rubber boots of varying heights.)
It ain’t the way it used to be, but what is? There’s never been any guarantees, or forgiveness, or for the last 10 or more years, fairness, in this industry. But here’s the thing.
We are out there, in the air, in the world. We don’t go to a cubicle farm everyday and stair at dismaying numbers on a screen. We make pictures. At the end of the day, we create something potentially significant that did not exist at the beginning of the day. We go forward, despite the uncertainty. Because this is an act of love and passion, which defies reason and prudence.
And we make that occasional good frame, the one that sings, the one that lifts our hearts and the hearts of everyone who sees it. That well and truly is as good as it gets.
This is not a photo that will win any awards, but, in the 30 minutes it took me to photograph and process it for print in today’s paper, I was reminded of my own experience with 9/11. I was a senior in high school in 2001, and remember hearing from another student before class started about the first tower being hit. Once class started, we all turned on the classroom TVs with their fuzzy reception and watched as history was made before our eyes. Now, it gets a few paragraphs boiled down to bare facts in a high school history textbook, with a brief history of the Middle East and terrorism. Oddly enough, this does tie in with the job I have today: after school I went to my internship at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and remember being astounded at the photos I saw coming across the wire from New York. I was amazed at how powerful even a single image was, and how photos from Ground Zero let us all witness and experience the events of that day, even if to a very small degree.
Dancers line up before the start of the 94th Annual Meskwaki Indian Powwow at the Meskwaki Casino arena in Tama on Thursday, August 7, 2008. The powwow was relocated to the casino due to this year’s flooding, which affected the usual powwow site on the Meskwaki Settlement, and continues through Sunday.
Drake Keahna, 10, of the Meskwaki Settlement near Tama, makes a face as his mother Tia Keahna adjusts his headdress before a ceremonial dance at the 94th Annual Meskwaki Indian Powwow at the Meskwaki Casino arena in Tama on Thursday, August 7, 2008.
Derris Keahna, Jr., 18, of the Meskwaki Settlement near Tama, performs the Shield Dance during the 94th Annual Meskwaki Indian Powwow at the Meskwaki Casino arena in Tama on Thursday, August 7, 2008.
Stephanie Snow holds her son Tenoch Snow, 22 months, both of the Meskwaki Settlement near Tama during the 94th Annual Meskwaki Indian Powwow at the Meskwaki Casino arena in Tama on Thursday, August 7, 2008.
Denny Keahna, 14, of the Meskwaki Settlement near Tama, performs the Buffalo Head dance at the 94th Annual Meskwaki Indian Powwow at the Meskwaki Casino arena in Tama on Thursday, August 7, 2008.
August 30, 2008 - February 22, 2009
In May 2007, the city of Cedar Rapids and Linn County designated 2008 the "Year of the River" to draw attention to the Cedar River, a vital aspect of downtown Cedar Rapids. No one could anticipate the devastating floods of 2008 that ultimately affected so many communities in Eastern Iowa. The power and force of area rivers made themselves known in a manner that had never been witnessed before. It truly was the year of the river.
Throughout all of the events that transpired during the month of June 2008, photographers from The Gazette captured the many moments that made up this monumental event. From Marengo to Vinton, from Palo to Cedar Rapids, and from Coralville to Iowa City, their photographers logged countless hours capturing images of the people and places impacted by the extraordinary flooding that occurred. While some images they shot documented the magnitude of the rising waters, many other photographs sought out the human side of the catastrophe.
This exhibition has been made possible by the generous support of The Gazette, TrueNorth, Hawkeye Ready Mix, Inc., King's Material Inc., PRIMUS Construction, Inc., Ryan Companies US, Inc., and U.S. Bank.
The Detektivbyran EP (new cd coming to my door any day now!) provided the perfect soundtrack for my train ride back to Jaclyn's house, the golden evening light streaming across a big, lush green backyard where a mother pushed her daughter on a swing set. It was absurd how perfectly suburban -- and perfectly gorgeous -- it was. No pictures from that.. I just smiled as we flew past.
Some of you that have been reading this blog for awhile know that I don't crop the photos I put here if they're outtakes, or taken on personal time -- thus, 'full frame madness,' a term used by one of my photo professors. It's a challenge to myself to use every bit of the frame. The only cropped images are photos I took for work -- they're presented here as I turned them in for publication. With that in mind, the photo in this post doesn't use the frame how I wanted -- so here's a crop of that photo, as I wish it could have been taken.
but this approach could create problems for the designer, of possibly having the wrong proportions. So I photographed each herb individually on a white sheet. Still, it wasn't quite right.. there was no texture to the herbs, and I wanted to create a sort of translucence. I remembered a photog at the Deseret News photographing autumn leaves on a light table, so I relocated, spread the herbs out and hit the light. (Mostly untouched) studio photos on the left/top, light table photos on the right/bottom. I think a few of these are destined to hang on my kitchen walls..
The light shone through the cut edge of the chives, giving more texture and translucence, where the studio photo is a little flat.
Basil looks like just another leaf in the studio, but the light table brought out the layers.
Placing the dill on the light table made the difference in color between the two more obvious, and the lack of shadow beneath the leaves made it seem more like an illustration than a photograph.
A few more of my favorites...