The science is out there: Your cell phone is ruining your memory… but don’t worry, thinking like a photojournalist when you take pictures can change all that.Read More
I've been to and photographed a lot of graduation ceremonies over the years. High school, college, graduate school, etc. And nine times out of ten, you know what you're getting into — the standard fare of optimistic speeches, "grip and grin" diploma photos, and posing in the cap and gown for family — But earlier this month, my photography brought me to a special graduation unlike any I've attended.
I was contracted by the UW-Madison Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement (DDEEA) to help document the graduation recognition ceremony for a unique group of students, participants in pipeline and recruitment programs such as Posse, First Wave, CEO, PEOPLE, and more. Many of these students are the first in their family to attend or graduate from college. Some never even thought of gaining a college degree as an option. And, to put it simply, the energy, emotion, and positivity at the ceremony was truly something special to be a part of.
As the college had already hired photographers to capture the granting of diplomas and other necessary (but inspiring) imagery, I was free to move throughout Shannon Hall and find moments of happiness and emotion from graduates, parents, speakers, and more. Here are just some of those photos:
After experiencing this ceremony, I've got some much deeper thoughts about mindset and thought process going into assignments. But that's an important topic for another day, another post... Stay tuned.
This may well be my favorite picture I've taken all year — as decidedly unremarkable as it may look. Let me explain.Read More
Ever gone vacationing to a foreign country or new state and had that feeling in your gut. You know the one, right? (No, not gut feelings from unpredictable local cuisine) That unique blend of excitement, mindfulness, unfamiliarity, and panic? Yeah, THAT’S it. It’s the experience of new sights, tastes and smells. It’s our primitive human brains trying to seek out novel situations (but also keep us just a little bit afraid, yet alive, in unfamiliar places).Read More
It’s probably the most common question I get asked when out on assignment. The one that most photographers dread.
“So…what gear are you using?”, generally followed up with an “Oh, I shoot with BRAND X too!”, and capped off with an “Now, I’ve got the [INSERT LENS HERE], how do you like your [LENS ON CAMERA]?”
I know. It sounds snobby and cynical the way that comes across. But I promise that it’s really not.
You wouldn’t ask a writer which brand of pen he prefers, a painter which brush he just purchased, or what kind of cordless drill your carpenter is using. In a strange way, taking photos are some strange amalgamation of all three — the pen, the brush, and the power tool.
Whenever I have the time, I put away the “big guns” and go back to basics and shoot a few rolls of B/W with this little beauty:
One 50mm lens. No meter. Hell, not even a battery (spring loaded shutter is always a winner). Take away the fluff of digital photography and focus on what matters — Composition, tone, balance, story, and emotion.
And that’s where the frustration I mentioned earlier really comes from. People are fascinated with technological “stuff” and forget what I’m really trying to do while I’m out there — tell stories through photographic art.
This isn’t meant to be a rant against photo-gearheads or hating on digital photography. (I’m just as guilty of “lens envy” from time to time myself) Just a thought to remember the next time you pick up your photo bag:
“Never let your camera get in the way of good photography.”