Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Describe a recent moment of happiness"

                      My first photojournalism assignment gave me a reality check.  As much as I am getting attached to my SLR 20D camera, using a disposable one gave me a sneak peek on my photo skills and experience. And that sneak peek wasn’t looking so exhilarating. I learned my lesson.  Our second assignment was called the Icebreaker. My class was told to photograph six people as a headshot and ask them an ice breaker question: describe your most recent moment of happiness.
                     With a mocha in my system, I decided to tackle Fairhaven district and started with Boulevard Park and the waterfront’s boardwalk. I planned to ask people about their dogs first, then go from there. I even struck up conversation with one man but lost my nerve.
                I started at one end of Boulevard park and went to the other. The first person I asked was a young man, Kyle Lane, and I awkwardly introduced my photo project after taking pictures of the bay. After speaking to Kyle I felt more confident since my pictures of him had turned out well. I braved the Woods crowd and saw two little boys trying to pet a dog. I was nervous but found their parents at the order window and asked if I could photograph them and they accepted.
                  I eventually felt more at ease and started feeling more natural about asking people a icebreaker question then taking their headshot. I felt more comfortable as I saw others with their own cameras taking nature shots which is what I was also doing on the side. I had fun feeding some sea gulls with Steve Pinello.
                    A few hours later I was tired and extremely cold. After Steve I had talked to one Western student and a bicyclist. I got to experiment using different angles when photographing people and stepped out of my comfort zone with close headshots. I wandered around Fairhaven to no avail. I almost gone one man, a film producer tossing a football with his son behind Village Books, to participate but he was weary after asking about my blog and any release forms. I still needed one more person.
                    Thankfully I found two at the Hohls Feed/Pet Store on Railroad. I was originally looking for Laina, the woman behind Whatcom Voice for Animals for a headshot but started chatting with two women instead. One of them was adopting a cat next week and I took their picture outside. The gorgeous sun worked to my favor. I had many issues figuring out how to make the camera work but after much frustration I found the right ISO, aperture and shutter speed.
             There might be some hope for me afterall.
How my day started: Bellingham Waterfront boardwalk

Christine Campbell, 37, waited for her order at Woods Coffee Jan. 22 as her husband, Dwayne, watched their two sons Owen and Ian, ages 4 and 2. Dwayne switched spots with her as she calmed Owen down after he spilled hot chocolate. "Our family’s first visit to the Railroad Museum last weekend."

Steve Pinello, 68, was on Bellingham’s waterfront boardwalk Jan 22. “I enjoy feeding seagulls pieces of bread and watching them go for it up from up high.”

Ian Coeman, a 20-year-old Western student, likes to come to the covered bench areas along the waterfront’s boardwalk on weekends. He likes to admire the plaques on each of the benches. “They made me see life in a holistic sense, like a gateway to my own life.”

Dan Stapish, 38, was enjoying the sailboats on the bay's horizon with his daughter. “Bike riding together and going through the trails.”

Kyle Lane, 25, waited for his sister to meet him by the Woods Coffee at Boulevard Park Jan. 22. He "Snowshoeing near Mt. Baker for the first time on Jan. 21. I got to take my coworker’s dog and we had fun.”

Katie Dunn, 33 and Ellie Wylie, 17, were visiting Whatcom Voice for Animals at Hohl’s Feed in downtown Bellingham Jan 22. Katie has recently moved from Colorado and had to put her dog down. “Knowing in a week I’ll be able to get one of the cats; I’ve missed talking to a pet.”
Cristina Roock, 21, Western student. "When I get a chance to explore and take pictures like this."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

                Disposable Image
                                Ironically enough I have yet to own any kind of camera, whether it be a digital camera or not. My friends always made fun of me because whenever we hung out I used disposable cameras to take pictures. I used my cell phone as well but for important occasions a disposable camera was my preferred choice.
                                Imagine my shock when the first assignment I receive in my photojournalism class involves a disposable camera. I was okay with it, until I was told we could not use a flash. And then when I found out exactly how important lighting is when it comes to taking pictures. Lastly I had to take a picture of a stranger, preferably with some kind of story or context behind it.
                                By this point, excitement was replaced with fear. My photo knowledge and experience is pretty limited so far. I had obviously misused the flash function too much in my past. I went to Rite Aid and purchased two disposable cameras, one with a 800 ISO and one with a 400 ISO. In my several years of disposable camera usage I had never noticed or cared for those numbers. Now those numbers controlled how well my pictures would turn out in regards to film speed and lighting.
                                During the holiday weekend I decided to visit downtown Bellingham. I knew I would have many photo opportunities. I could take a picture or anything but I wanted to make sure it atleast somewhat interesting. I got my chance at O’Donnell’s Bellingham Flea Market, next to the Public Market. I was surrounded by great picture opportunities. A man was playing his guitar for customers. All kinds of old and unusual items were being looked at my locals. Many customers came in with their dogs.  I thought my best shot was of Orion Misciagria, 28, sketching while he sat at his  portrait stand.  $10 Portraits $5 for kids, Takes 10-15, Minutes “Not a signature” caught my attention. It reminded me of going to the fair but it seemed more quaint and fitting with a flea market. I thought I had good light. I was clearly wrong. My first picture assignment came out grainy, dark and overall crappy.  I wish I had taken a picture of the musicians. Not only were they by the entrance but also by the windows which equals better lighting.
                I’ve learned from my mistake. If anything I know how a disposable camera works now, even better than I did before. I’m glad I got the guts to talk to the man and get his contact information. I’m sure I scared him atleast a tiny bit but he contributed to making my learning experience even better.  I even went back a second time to get more information.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Will post pretty picture tomorrow when I get on a school computer that one saved, haha.

I shall be using this more for journalism purposes than personal. If you are up for reading about my photo assignments, weird journalism ramblings and so forth by all means go ahead. And if not, I won't hold it against you but you will be missing out on some laughs and maybe a musing or two.