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Year-end Catch-up


or I missed posting 11 photo assignments
or Let's use this ketchup before it expires

2014.12.21

There are 10 days left in the year, so now is the perfect time to remember that I am behind on my posts. I picked a good time to accidentally stop posting; I could focus on a new job with ScribeAmerica and on my biochemistry class, and that photo illustration of the partial solar eclipse is quite pretty, isn't it? Alas, it is time to knock it down the list of most recent posts and upload some new photos.

This first batch of catch-up is just that: the first. I also neglected to post photos from two weddings, one in the summer and one in the fall. Those deserve their own entries, and they'll go up before the year-end recap.

Unlike what I've done with most previous entries, I'll select only one photo from each assignment. It's an exercise I've grown away from, given the focus of my Star assignments on filling pageview-greedy photo galleries, but choosing only one photo from these assignments is refreshing. I hope you like it.

One more thing: Last week, Michel du Cille died at the age of 58 while covering the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. He was a three-time Pulitzer Prize winning photographer who worked for the Miami Herald and The Washington Post, but before all of that, he was a photographer for the Indiana Daily Student and a graduate of Indiana University. I had the fortune of being in the same room as him on three separate occasions: a lecture and after-lecture photos during centennial celebrations of the IU School of Journalism; a lecture with two other Pulitzer-winning IU alumni; and possibly my most helpful (and most humbling) photo critique. I'll never forget how good he was at seeing the ordinariness in photos I, the day after taking them, thought made up a great set of breaking-news work, and his ability to pick out a set of photos that most effectively told a story. It's palpable in both his images and his words from Liberia.

You were a good guy, Michel. I hope people remember your work for years and years.

Adil Majid (far right), a member of the Muslim Student Association at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, leads a prayer of supplication for slain aid worker Abdul-Rahman (Peter) Kassig during a memorial service for Kassig at the Indiana Interchurch Center in Indianapolis, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014.
Adil Majid (far right), a member of the Muslim Student Association at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, leads a prayer of supplication for slain aid worker Abdul-Rahman (Peter) Kassig during a memorial service for Kassig at the Indiana Interchurch Center in Indianapolis, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014.

Continued...

Partial Solar Eclipse of 2014


2014.10.23

Yesterday, there was a partial solar eclipse visible to pretty much the entire United States. I really wanted to see it; I missed the nine previous times a partial eclipse was visible in Indianapolis in my lifetime, and I have to wait until 2017 for my next opportunity (but first chance I get, I'm booking a hotel room in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, to see totality).

To watch this eclipse safely, I found a piece of welder's glass left over from the transit of Venus in 2012. I wanted to do better than take photos of a green sun, though, and Roberts had what I needed: a neutral density filter (the test of which captured the first of the four suns shown below). It makes everything about 10 stops darker, so it's not feasible for anything but taking photos of really bright objects. It was worth the money, both because this was my first eclipse and because I could use it in the future to take photos of sunspots. I'm a nerd.

I then found a spot along Eagle Creek Reservoir, called a friend over to see the show with me, waited until 5:32pm, and... watched clouds cover the Sun. They were patchy enough at first, so I shot until a solid wall of cloud completely blocked the view half an hour before sunset. I was a bit disappointed...

...but only a small bit. Every time I could fire a clear-ish shot, I looked at the back of my camera and saw something I had never seen in person before: Earth's nearest celestial neighbor casting a shadow onto me, blocking out at least a little bit of the light that Earthly life has depended on for five billion years. I said, "This is so cool!" at least five times in the hour I spent shooting.

Composite of four photos taken at 2:12pm, 5:56pm, 6:02pm, and 6:12pm. Used 80-200mm lens with 77mm ND1000 filter.
Composite of four photos taken at 2:12pm, 5:56pm, 6:02pm, and 6:12pm. Captured with a Nikon D300, 80-200mm lens, and 77mm ND1000 filter.

Continued...

This is most of October.


2014.10.22

Tomorrow, there's a partial solar eclipse over most of the U.S., so the next blog entry will be all about that magic. Today, though, I have to catch up a bit on my Star photo assignments. Here, you'll find photos of a 150-year-old house being moved half a mile north, a cabaret I covered last year, and one of the more unique shows I've ever seen, Optical Popsicle.

As a bonus, I woke up entirely too early on Oct. 8, then waited half an hour and took a photo of the total lunar eclipse. Together with tomorrow's solar eclipse, you might be seeing a pattern develop. You'd be right.

Cast members travel through a black hole during Optical Popsicle, an annual variety show by the collective Know No Stranger, at The Toby Theatre at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014.
Cast members travel through a black hole during Optical Popsicle, an annual variety show by the collective Know No Stranger, at The Toby Theatre at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014.

Continued...
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I rented a 70-200 from BorrowLenses.com for the Super Bowl before I got my own. I liked them; I think you will, too.