Thursday, October 29, 2009


First I would like to say what I say in the post did not effect this weeks paper nor will it effect next weeks because the photos I published have already been chosen. Secondly I am very proud of the papers we have been putting out this year especially this weeks and last weeks. I would like to mention Matthew Wheaton who is doing a great job at pushing himself to produce a better sports section each week. It looks better every week. Also a big shout out to Evan Temchin who does so much work (some that goes unnoticed) each week. Without him we would have a crappy paper.

Now to the story that brought so much stress last night to the whole staff. Very late Monday night/Tuesday morning I e-mailed a director of a play that is showing this weekend if I could come take photos of a dress rehearsal to publish in the paper. He quickly replied that I could come either Tuesday or Wednesday. I sent him back an e-mail saying that I would be coming on Tuesday. I did, and I took pictures. I was told during the run through not to run photos of certain scenes. I listened but still took photos for the review since his reasoning was that he didn't want the play spoiled. Then a few hours later after I left the play when I was leaving the building after a jazz combo practice he stopped me and asked if I could e-mail all the pictures. I kindly asked him what for. He said to have (later I learned that he wanted to use them for his own promotion on Facebook and elsewhere. Also so he could chose the photos that we ran). I said no because I did not want to give him the rights to my photos and because of previous actions of this director last year with other photos for the paper.

He came into the publications office on Wednesday night. This part of the story is extremely long. It boils down some long arguments with him. We offered some concessions, but he refused. We talked it over with our advisor and decided to run my photo. I would like to publish a photo on my blog, but because of the controversy I will withhold to prevent him trying to press legal actions against me.

I love this photo though. I am sorry my good friend Alex Rauland who will most likely disagree with the quality of this photo. She did save the goal. This is a great picture because the focus is sharp on her and the Monmouth player is out of focus. This is good for our paper because we focus on Knox sports and don't have to have an unbiased photo to go along with the story. Theres a tiny bit of motion blur in the Monmouth player, but thats not a big deal since she is already out of focus. The fall foliage provides a wonderful backdrop to this photo. It shows that it is near the end of the season. I can think where some people would want a different angle to this photo, but I disagree because there is some unnoticeable space between the two players and you wouldn't have the goal net in the background.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

School has started

School has started three days ago and I have had my first meeting to discuss the creation of my self directed major of Visual Communications. I have a lot of work ahead of me this term and that is why I decided to only take 2.5 credits instead of the normal 3. All my new lenses are giving me some good pictures. Next in line is an upgrade of my camera body. My Tokina 12-24mm is giving me a little problem when switching between manual and automatic focus, but I will send in the lens at some point to get that fixed. I just got home from the football game that we lost. I got some good photos from that with my 70-200mm Tamron. I have figured out that TKS is going to be a major time commitment and I'm going to try my best to keep up the quality of photos in the paper. I will try to keep posting on this blog during the year even during busy times.

This week's photo is from a soccer game last week against Benedictine University. This photo is strong and shows motion, effort and action. The only small problem is there is almost a bit too much motion blur in the players' hands. This is because this was shot near the end of the game and the sun was setting. The bodies and heads of the players are still for the most part so this is still a good photo.

Update: This photo actually wont be used since the game was from before the freshman issue of the paper and its now 3 weeks old. I hope to get it into the paper some time as an archived photo.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Book

I just purchased a book from Half Price Books Called Photographer's Market 2008 edition. And it is full of freelance jobs and other places to make money with photography. This will hopefully help me pay for college with jobs I enjoy and help me further my skills during the times of the year when I am not working for the Knox Student. I haven't found anything yet in the book, but I found some interesting possibilities for next summer. Also in the same stream I helped an old high school friend with her senior photos on Sunday. It was fun, but I found it challenging to keep ideas on different spots and different poses coming. I like candid photography more, but I was still able to produce some nice pictures. She had planed, before I offered myself, to take pictures by herself with her point and shoot and the self timer. For the sake of her parents having nice photos to keep for a long time I volunteered to help. They turned out well and if they had a photo journalistic element I would put them up here but instead I have another picture from my farm project.

This weeks photo is of Kevin working on Kevin and his father's farm. In this photo he is checking the grain levels in the planter and deciding if he needs to add more. This picture shows an amazing blue sky that I just love about this photo. I wish I had my wide angle lens (which most likely I'll be getting for my birthday (Thank you Parents!)) for this picture. This picture has a very wide angle feeling to it. with the lid of the planter running from the top of the photo to the center. The one problem I would see with this photo is that the subject is very small. Nothing is blown out white or completely black in the shot which is a nice part ascetically.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


This weeks photo comes from me from the Knox-Monmouth rivalry football game. This year it was at Monmouth, but we still covered it because of its importance and because Monmouth is not that far away. It was a very cold day and actually started snowing during the game. Bring good gloves when shooting outdoors. cold weather freezes your hands very fast when taking photos. I struggled to keep taking photos during this game because my hands were close to being frozen. Also being on away turf you have to be able to take some verbal abuse. I was wearing purple gloves and the opposing fans quickly spotted me as being from Knox. Most of the time I just laughed at what they were saying, but it's important to stay focused on the assignment. In this photo you can see the struggle in the player's face. Also you see both motion with some blur, but also a sharp focus on most of the subject. Its a strong photo and has no noticeable issues to it.

It is just a bit over a month till I return to school and help work on the freshman issue of the Knox Student ( I am super excited about it. I am struggling to figure out what 70-200mm lens to buy, but I'll solve it one way or another.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Future

The future of photojournalism is not the brightest star in the sky. Print news is struggling at best. Many media sources are using viewer submitted photos. But we must keep professional photojournalism a thriving career because once we go all news print will die, online news will lose something and even news on the TV will be hurt. I know I've stated similar thing in the past, but this is an important topic.

This week's picture posed many difficulties. It was of a concert of two choirs and the Galesburg symphony. In a concert situation you can't take as many pictures as you want. You have to aim for loud moments so your camera's shutter isn't heard by the concert goers. I have only started to figure that out at this concert and will try my best to do the same in future assignments where my camera might cause a major distraction to attendees. Also the spot I was located required me to be on my knees for the whole concert. As you can see by the picture lighting was also an issue for this picture. There were spots of brightness and spots of dark. this was also amplified by the men wearing white and the women wearing black. You can see the top left corner is a spot of blown out white while only a row down you have a singer who is under exposed because she does not have a light on her. Also It was difficult to crop this picture to minimize the amount of head chopped in half. The cropping I did on this only has one head chopped in half. There are some hands that don't have bodies to go with them, but that is less of a problem. I remember that the cropping done to this picture for the paper removed the two trombones at the bottom of the picture. This frustrated me a bit because it helps show that it wasn't just a choir concert, but there was also a symphony.

The school year starts up in less than two months for almost everyone. I am excited to see that I have already found a few incoming freshman interested in taking photos for the paper. Next year will be busy with me trying to join my co photo editor and the managing editor with the creation of my own major similar to theirs. Also I will be applying for an internships at newspapers for next summer. The time in between will be filled with Jazz band, editing photos, and homework. It will be a busy year, but it will be filled with what I love.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Importance of Photographers

Yes I know I will give a bias opinion on this subject because I am a photographer, but it is also a personal blog where I am allowed to share my opinion. When you go on assignment for a newspaper you can't have a bias towards or against the event. You must lock it away or better let someone without a bias take that assignment.

To get back on the topic. We must always have photographers because they record the history and are able to show that moment quicker than reading a story. Also for a newspaper they are important because they add to a story and many people lack the time or attention span to read full stories and just skim over pictures. With a good picture they should be able to see a story.

The photo this week has many issues. It is blurry mainly, but it tells a strong story and has a strange connection. It was a co-founder of Food Not Bombs speaking at Knox college. You can see he is speaking unfortunately lighting was very poor and he was moving. but the Che poster and Malcolm X poster add to this photo. The speaker is seen as a leftist and Che is a very popular communist revolutionary. Malcolm X is an extremist and the speaker has been seen by many in government as an extremist. I do not believe this photo was published, but I hopefully will be able to take pictures in lower light situations next year and will be able to produce pictures like this, but with less motion blur.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Search

I am currently looking to buy 3 new lenses this summer to help improve my ability to take pictures in situations that limit me (light mainly). I am trying to get a 70-200mm which is looking like I might have to get the canon one at F/2.8 this will be a huge investment for me. Someone suggested to me that I go to a camera store and test out all my lenses for focus speed because I do a large amount of sports photography. I also want to replace my kit lens with a lens that has a fixed f-stop of 2.8. And lastly if I have money a lens that is almost a fish eye lens (around 12mm, 10mm is the point that it can be called fish eye). It a big investment, but it will be worth it.

This weeks picture was from winter term at Knox. There is a group who makes bread for the poor in Galesburg and I was on assignment to take pictures of them making bread. Everyone there was extremely friendly. They made this assignment very fun. One should try to get to know the subjects because then you will be better able to portray their emotion in the photo. They made me help make some of the bread and they also gave me bread to try. Also this assignment taught me to be understanding of people who don't want to be in the paper. There was one student who didn't want to be pictured and it was difficult to produce a picture without him since he was leading the group. I was still able to produce this picture. I enjoy this picture because it shows motion in the hand in rolling the bread but the face is sharp and still. The one minor issue is the blown out white in the window, but it doesn't effect the rest of the picture. Also you can see the flour on her clothing and face after the leader of this group and herself got into a playful fight with the flour.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Denied Access

Yesterday I was denied access to the photographers' area at my high school's graduation. I was accepting and didn't put up a fight. This has unfortunately happened to me a few times. I was denied access to the rail yard in Galesburg recently also because I was seen as an average citizen instead of part of the press corps. This is a crappy feeling, but you can't get in fights because you are representing both the paper you are working for and yourself. You want to gain a positive representation of yourself.
This weeks photo is from a speaker who helped with Obama's campaign. This shows the need to always bring back a photo even if it's not the most interesting photo. I stayed at this speech the whole time to make sure I got a good photo. Sometimes you can't definitely if you are working for a big time paper and have many photo assignments to do. If you are allowed the time to be at an event don't leave it after you think you have a photo. Stay because you don't know what might happen that might create a strong photo or tell something that the written story didn't tell. This picture shows emotion, thought and it shows that he is giving a speech. Also at times you will be given photo assignments where the lighting may be poor or the conditions may be complete crap, but you must still bring back a photo.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

First Post

I'm learning photojournalism at Knox College and the newest photo editor for The Knox Student. I love photography and I love taking pictures. I hope to put pictures on this blog once I figure out how to make a water mark on them or create it so people can't steal them. I will also talk about photojournalism issues to help improve others' abilities.
The photo this week is from a farm story project I did for my photojournalist class. This is a strong photo because it shows emotion in the cow, effort from the farmers, and the baby cow laying behind. You can see all the faces and there are no color or light issues. Focus, which is one of the most important parts in the eyes of my boss, is sharp.