This was 2014.
A three-year tradition for this four-year-old blog. (Whoops. Sorry, 2011.)
Today, I end 2014 with, oddly enough, a few words about 2013.
Only over the distance of a year can I feel that I fully understand how transformative 2013 was. I started out the year thinking I would spend my life as a photographer, covering weddings & newspaper assignments and flying a kite with a GoPro for fun. I ended the year heading into a second semester of pre-med classes and becoming ever more convinced that I would spend my life, not as a photographer, but as a doctor. There was such a hairpin turn in the middle of that year, and I could feel the turn as I drove through it, but only now can I look back and see how sharp the turn was.
I also see how much happier I am after that turn. There are many reasons for this contentment, some of which appear in great detail in my INPA post, so I won't recapitulate everything here. I'll simply say that returning full-time to my love of science has been an awe-filled, fulfilling, and oddly goal-oriented experience (what with the requirements that medical schools place before their applicants). At the same time, a part of me will always miss pizza in the newsroom and telling a good story on deadline, and that part of me will always live vicariously through my reporter friends. I'm really glad that I have friends who do journalism as their way to make the world a better place, and I'm extremely lucky to have friends like Ryan Dorgan who use great photos to tell an even greater story. I will be watching those friends from afar, appreciating their work, awed by their skill, and confident they will improve the world.
This year doesn't feel quite as transformative as did 2013. At least, any transformation that occurred was nowhere near as sudden or cataclysmic. The theme this year is progress. I finished my medical school requirements (while bumping my GPA past 3.8!), I earned a good score on the MCAT, I got a job in medicine as a scribe for ScribeAmerica, and I scheduled interviews for January with the IU School of Medicine and the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. There were many other small improvements this year, as well, like taking more high school basketball assignments and finding a better way to capture stars trailing through the night sky. Each improvement, small and large, assures me that I chose wisely to make that hairpin turn. There will be hills and mountains and further sharp turns to come, but now that I've lived to tell the tale of that consequential turn, I'm more and more confident that I can make it through those, as well.
But let's leave tomorrow for next year. (ba-DUM, tish.) Today, let's look back at the year that was. Have a good night, and I hope to see you here next year.Continued...
The second missed wedding entry (for my third wedding of 2014) began as a shameless plug.
During the first week of my summer organic chemistry lab at IUPUI, I overheard a comment from a TA named Callie. She wasn't my TA, but the two lab sections were combined in the computer lab that day, so I heard her say she was about to buy her wedding dress. I rolled my chair over and, slightly brazenly, asked when she was getting married and if she had a photographer. She said no, she didn't have a photographer. I pulled a business card out of my pocket and handed it to her, admitting to the shameless plug but offering to help.
Wouldn't you know it, the self-promotion worked. Her fiance sent me an email, and we scheduled an engagement photo session for downtown on a summer Sunday (the same Sunday as the Fray concert I was covering). After a productive session came the lakeside wedding in October, and holy hell was that fun.Continued...
"I'll have two more entries up later this week."
-Alex Farris, July 21, 2014
I'm rather silly, thinking I would post two more wedding-related blog entries as my organic chemistry class was finishing and my MCAT studying was about to start. Just before the end of this year, let's correct that myopia.
The first missed entry was the Kaiser/Rhoderick wedding. Kayleigh Kaiser is the oldest sister of a good friend from middle school and high school, and as he is stationed in Puerto Rico, seeing him was a great bonus on top of the good times, money, and photos. The ceremony was held at the gorgeous Holy Rosary Catholic Church just south of downtown Indy, and the reception was... decidedly not downtown, at a reception hall in Plainfield. I eventually drove from my home to the groom's Plainfield home, to Holy Rosary, to a downtown Arby's to wait out the rain, to a park in Plainfield, to the reception hall, to my home. Lots of driving, but no matter: I enjoyed the day. And finally, the photos get their time in the blog spotlight (they were already posted to the shop.
Next up: the wedding of a TA from this summer's organic chemistry class.Continued...
or I missed posting 11 photo assignments
or Let's use this ketchup before it expires
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.Continued...
Partial Solar Eclipse of 2014
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.Continued...
This is most of October.
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.Continued...
This is September.
This has been a big month, especially on the medical school front. I've been working on secondary applications, and last week I received my scores on the MCAT (which were quite good!). The work for the Star, of course, continues, and I did six assignments for the paper this month: the front-page community clean-up, a reunion for children who had spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit, two different beer festivals, the IUPUI Regatta, and a charity event called Dancing with the Johnson County Stars. And since the last entry, my photos have wormed their way into five editions of the dead-tree newspaper.
So, uh, September has been pretty good. Let's see what good things October brings.Continued...
Georgia Reese's and community clean-up
or Two batches of color on dead trees
I lucked out with my previous two assignments for the Star. The first was a private dinner event and de facto debut on Aug. 30 of a new restaurant on the Northwestside, Georgia Reese's Southern Table & Bar. The restaurant, owned by former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Gary Brackett, is named for his daughter and aims for a casual dining experience focused on soul food, which meant the kitchen smelled AWESOME. I lucked out immensely with the last picture; I was driving away, realized I didn't get a photo of the front of the restaurant, drove back to get it just in case, and caught Brackett walking out the door. Superb.
The second assignment was arguably a more important affair. The Near Westside of Indianapolis is not the best of places to live. It's full of abandoned homes and crime and a lack of the economic & social stability found in many other Indianapolis neighborhoods. Good people live there, though, and with the help of good organizations such as Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, residents spent Saturday sprucing up Elder Street south of Washington Street. They cut down trees, cleared out weeds, swept the sidewalks, picked up trash, and generally made the street a safer place for kids to play. These "cosmetic" changes are important, not least because it brings neighbors together for a common cause and shows hope for a better future.
Plus, the kids were kids. When they weren't dragging branches to the trash bin or raking weeds, they were running up and down the street yelling about being famous. You can't help but see some promise in that enthusiasm.
Both sets of photos were paired with a story, and both showed up in the front section of the paper. The restaurant played out in color on A3 and A4 on Sept. 3, and the clean-up was the A1 centerpiece on Monday with a jump color photo on A11. This is my second centerpiece for the Star.
On a sadder note, as part of Gannett's "Newsroom of the Future" plans, five good Star photographers are on the staff no longer,. They're all good people, and it will be hard to imagine the Star "photo phamily" without them. Best wishes to Greg Griffo, Brent Drinkut, Danese Kenon, Rob Goebel, and Joe Vitti.Continued...
Kiss and Def Leppard do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
I've never been to a KISS concert, and neither had another photographer shooting last night at Klipsch Music Center. He had started out following John Mellencamp, got into photographing Farm Aid in 2009, and has since covered so many acts, but not KISS. We had also heard that KISS was quite friendly to photographers, doing their thing so close to us in the pit and, of course, providing pyrotechnics and painted faces. He was excited, jumping up and down a bit before the show started, and he made me excited, too.
After our two songs were up, on our walk back to the holding room, we were kids in a candy store. We were looking through our photos, gaping and hollering and yelling, "I got it!" and throwing awesomes every which way. It was so much fun.
And that was before KISS and Def Leppard did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
This is the sort of assignment that gets you excited about the whole idea of photography. This is like a hole-in-one in golf; you don't get many assignments like this, but you do your best to get them, and the promise of one in the future keeps you going.
In other news: I took the MCAT on Thursday. I can now return from the life of a studious hermit to a relatively normal existence.
(There are no photos of Def Leppard, even though what I heard of their pre-KISS concert was face-melting, because they didn't approve any photographers. They were out for the challenge, though, so there's that.)Continued...
Walk for Water and Tri-Indy Triathlon
This past weekend's assignments both involved a lot of walking around downtown. The first was Saturday's Walk for Water, an event I covered last year. I wasn't worried about taking a test later the same day, so I was able to be mentally present at the event a lot more completely than I was last summer. So, I tried something outside the box and rented a paddleboat to cover the water-retrieval part. I didn't get the photo I envisioned (the water fetchers didn't throw the buckets out into the canal, so there wasn't a chance to get a photo of one of the buckets hurtling toward the camera just above the water), but it did force me to think differently, which is always good in a photo assignment. The photos went here on the IndyStar website, and two of them got into the paper.
The second assignment, early on Sunday morning, was a triathlon that started in the canal. The Tri-Indy Triathlon snaked up to the Northwestside, but it was centered in White River State Park, where all three segments converged. I found a parking spot in time to cover the start of the sprint-distance race, and really, what part of the race would be better than people jumping into and swimming in the canal? These photos also went up to the IndyStar website, but there was a very unfortunate crop done on photo 4 in that gallery (probably by the website's CMS), so ignore that version of it. Photo 7 here is the full version; it has the all-important walking-on-water aspect that the cropped version lacks.Continued...
In this year full of pre-med classes and the MCAT (which is exactly one month away!), I've managed to fit in two weddings, an engagement photo session, and a stealth gig of a proposal. They've been nice fiscal supplements to the Star assignments, but they've also been welcome changes of pace from getting names of strangers and editing on a tight deadline (and devising chemical reaction schemes!).
The first wedding I covered this summer was of an old high-school friend, Kateri Fites. She married Ben Gilliland-Sauer on June 7 at St. Thomas on the Purdue University campus, which meant I was taking photos in West Lafayette for the first time since my stint at the Journal & Courier. I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, and I got what may be my favorite pre-ceremony photo of a bride. The expression and the veil really make it.
Enjoy! I'll have two more entries up later this week.Continued...
Zac Brown Band at Klipsch Music Center
Last night was my first gig of the year at Klipsch Music Center, after months of assignments at Old National Centre and other venues not plagued by long lines of traffic on I-69. I evaded the traffic, though, by driving up to the area early and watching the World Cup final with friends at Hamilton Town Center. (The concert made for an interesting mix at the bar, where soccer fans were mingling with guys in boots and cowboy hats by the end of the match.)
I felt about Zac Brown Band the same way I felt about Rascal Flatts in 2012: They were listenable, but as I'm not much into country, I didn't pay them a lot of heed. (Unlike with Rascal Flatts, the photographers were stuffed into a small corner stage left of the thrust, as opposed to, uh, being able to move.) Two things stuck out, though. First, three band members played a bit before the main show, and their cover of "Blackbird" was quite inspired; second, as I filed the photos, I could hear Zac Brown covering Led Zeppelin, and I wished they had played it during their photographable first three songs. (Also, I found myself singing along with their rendition of "Piano Man" as I walked back to my car.) You can find all 14 photos from the event on the Star's website.
If this week fares well enough, I'll post a blog entry on the two weddings I've done this summer. I'll at least get to talking about the engagement photos I took last weekend around downtown. Keep your eyes peeled. ...That's an odd phrase.Continued...
Fourth of July, taken slowly
Earlier in my journalism career, I learned how to be very good on deadline. I learned, through the crucible of the IDS, how to be quick, yet thorough, and it is because of those skills that I first got the privilege to work with the Star. By now, I've sent off a great many assignments with tight deadlines, enough that I don't bother to count them anymore.
While editing photos of a wedding I covered last month, though, I was reminded of how much good work can come out of the absence of a tight deadline. (I'm also reminded of this in my studying for organic chemistry; you cannot quickly learn and memorize how an alkene reacts with a peroxy acid to create an epoxide!) The most effective lesson came from an assignment ten days ago, when I had my eyes so focused on the deadline that I didn't send my favorite photo (4). If I had been taking things slower, focusing on the photos more than on the time I had remaining to send them, I would have thought more clearly, and I definitely would have selected that photo for submission.
Anyway, here are photos I've taken over the last two weekends, chosen outside of the fog of deadline-induced blindness. They include Greenwood's pre-Fourth of July Freedom Festival, a concert on Georgia Street on the Fourth (with high-school friends in the crowd!), and a concert by The Fray, one of my favorite bands from high school. Side note: This is the first concert I've covered where I found myself singing while taking pictures. I think the other photographers (and some audience members) might have heard me sing "You Found Me." Whoops.
As for those wedding photos I mentioned earlier: I sent the couple a CD yesterday, and a few of the best will be up on the weddings part of the website before the week is out. That is, if studying for an organic chemistry exam allows it.
One more thing: I was fortunate enough to not be directly affected by the multiple shootings in Indy this weekend. Unfortunately, seven people in Broad Ripple and the family of IMPD officer Perry Renn weren't. While Chicago had a much more violent weekend than we did, this should still be a wake-up call for the city, a time when we can discuss what can make us better. The Star, through its news coverage and commentary, is fostering that important discussion, one in which everyone in Indianapolis should take part.Continued...
Indiana Fever vs. Tulsa Shock
I'm still editing photos from a high school friend's wedding, so those will probably go up this weekend. Before that, two bits of news: The first session of summer classes is over, and I got A's in both of them; and I covered my first Indiana Fever game for the Star.
The Fever lost to the Tulsa Shock, 107-102, but it was an exciting game, stretching into overtime. It matched well with the other exciting development of the day, as U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young ruled that Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. It's a big deal, given that earlier this year, the legislature was debating whether to send a ban codified as a constitutional amendment to voters. The Star, of course, was all over it, covering the licenses granted and ceremonies performed in the Marion County clerk's office shortly after noon.
All in all, a big day.Continued...
This was (the rest of) May.
I had a record ten assignments for the Star this past month. Some of those assignments have already been posted, but here are a few that happened after the Tegan & Sara concert. They include a preview party for the Broad Ripple Art Fair, The Wanted concert (and all the fans!) at the Egyptian Room, the Sectional 13 softball championship game, and maybe the most surreal photo assignment I've ever had, a very intense Rock Paper Scissors tournament at White Rabbit Cabaret. Enjoy the photos!
Tomorrow starts the first weekend of wedding photos this season, as I will be covering the marriage rites of a good high school friend in West Lafayette. If my past wedding work is any indication, it should be a lot of fun.Continued...
CA-me-lo-PAR-da-lids meteor shower
The Camelopardalids meteor shower, a new shower born of a comet that will pass by Earth on the 29th, was expected to be either awesome or a bit of a dud. In my viewing it was a dud, at least as far as the meteors were concerned. I did catch more meteors with my camera than I ever had before, but given that I was taking photos of meteors for a full hour on Saturday morning, it wasn't that impressive. I'll have to do this again during the Perseids in August. Those should be grand; they always are.
Below, I have several composite shots from the shindig, in which I took 186 15-second exposures between 2:32 a.m. and 3:27 a.m. from my house on the outskirts of Indianapolis. In all the photos, you can find the Big Dipper near or in the middle of the frame, its two stars at the end of the ladle pointing toward Polaris, the North Star and the tip of the Little Dipper.
The first is a mix of three exposures showing off three (probable) meteors on one set of stars (the meteors are circled in the second photo). Then there are the three original meteor-containing photos. Two of the meteors (just below Polaris) appear as dots instead of streaks; I'm guessing that's because the streak part of it wasn't bright enough to trip any pixels, while the ending burst was bright enough. The final meteor (near the tree line) did leave a streak.
The sixth picture isn't a meteor at all; it's the body of a rocket called Cosmos 2263, launched by Russia in September 1993. I captured it in 11 exposures, and when I first saw it I thought it could have been the International Space Station, which I've captured before. Alas, if I had stayed out for ten more minutes, I would have caught it.
The seventh photo is the crown jewel of the evening. Using some Photoshop CS6 magic, I combined all 186 photos, and I got long star trails. Quite deservedly, it's my new desktop background.
One more thing: Today is Memorial Day. It's set aside to remember veterans lost both in and out of wars, but it's also a good time to remember all people we loved, but who left us too soon. In the spirit of that, I recommend to you a poignant story from the Story Collider science podcast: Sara Seager: A New Search for Life. I rediscovered it today, and it shares at least two good messages that might help you deal with grief and, just maybe, help you live a fulfilling life.Continued...
Four concerts and a train
I've neglected to post an entry since the Little 500, and while this hasn't been my longest drought, it does come with the best reason so far: finals. Four science classes tend to swallow up most of a student's time, but now that my spring-semester classes are over, I can finally post a bit more frequently.
I got five assignments between May 2 and May 10, including four in as many days. Along with National Train Day celebrations at Union Station on Saturday, I covered four concerts: Amy Ray of The Indigo Girls, Nickel Creek, John Legend, and Tegan and Sara. The concerts were four unique experiences: Amy Ray was at Radio Radio, meaning I was among the crowd; Nickel Creek had me shoot from the wings at Old National Centre about ten rows back; John Legend had me shoot from waaaay back at the Old National Centre soundboard; and Tegan and Sara were the best, allowing photographers to shoot from the pit in the Centre's Egyptian Room. The train photos got onto the local front on Sunday, thanks to the enthusiasm so refreshingly typical of five-year-olds, so that's another noteworthy appearance of my photos in the Star's dead-tree edition.
All my procrastination in posting blog entries, both throughout the semester and in the past two weeks, seems to have paid off. I'm still waiting on official word on what looks like an A- in my second general chemistry lab, but I have straight A's (all vowels, no dashes!) in second-semester physics, second-semester biology, and first-semester organic chemistry lecture. An A in that last class, historically the bane of most pre-med students, is by itself an accomplishment worthy of a run up the steps of the Indiana War Memorial with the Rocky theme running through my head.
...That's a great idea. I'll be right back.Continued...
2014 Little 500
There are some things in life that just make me smile. The profundity of seeing the million-year-old light of stars in the night sky. The connection I make between something I learned in organic chemistry and something I've observed and wondered about throughout my life. The friends I made in Madrid, and the fortune I've had in seeing them many times since we studied together.
On Friday, what made me smile was the exit off State Road 37 into Bloomington. At 1:45pm that day, an hour after finishing my physics lab in Indy, the exit meant I was that close to the Little 500, an experience that is simultaneously just a pair of bicycle races and so much more than just a pair of bicycle races. It's spring, it's college, it's athleticism, it's determination, it's the pinnacle of life in a great many ways. For me, it's the memory of good times at the IDS, it's where I first earned a photojournalism award, and it's a reminder of how vivacious life is and can be.
That's how I describe it when I'm away from the race. When I'm there, though, the only words I can say are "Wow" and "Woo hoo!" and "This is the best!" I have neither the time nor the presence of mind to put those emotions into words; I'm living the emotions, and there are photos to make! And make them I did, including my first good crash photo and the winning moments in both the women's and men's races. The sound I made when I saw that I got Brenna McGinn of Kappa Alpha Theta crossing the finish line, hand over her mouth in jubilant realization, is something hard to replicate. If you see me in person, ask me about it, and I'll try my best to make it. It was some sort of squeal.
I was covering the race for the Star, and they posted photo galleries, of course. Their gallery-posting system is still a bit off, though, and it resulted in crops I didn't make (to be fair, I'm certain the photo editors didn't make them, either). So, here are galleries of the women's and men's races, but original versions of 32 photos (16 women's, 16 men's) appear below.
Happy Little 5, everyone, and happy spring!Continued...
It is finally obviously spring!
or This entry is finally posted!
If you don't recall seeing this post on April 24, that's because nobody saw it. When I uploaded it the first time, some of the photos didn't show up, and there was just a blank 770x511 space where each one should have been. This included the main photo, so I resolved to get things straightened out before the Little 500. I didn't, and then finals came along, so there was, um, a delay. But it's here now, on May 12th! Enjoy, finally!
There was snow one day last week (snow! can you believe it?!), so I was quite pleased to see none of it last weekend. I was even more pleased with all the trappings, normal and unorthodox, of spring: bright midday light, dogs sniffing for Easter eggs, the usual 4/20 celebration through music, and (a first for me) stealth proposal photos. Also, I finally feel comfortable wearing shorts every day, and every year, I feel like the first day of braving an unexpectedly strong and cold wind with bare shins should be a holiday. I'm a fan of the first days of spring.
Tune in next week for photos from another hallowed marking of the time of blooming flowers and outdoor exercise: the Little 500! Just like two years ago, I'll be covering it for the Star and reliving the good days of the Indiana Daily Student. I wonder how different it's gonna feel, now that I'm three years removed from my senior year and going for medicine instead of journalism. I'm sure there will still be a rush.Continued...
IU School of Medicine Evening of the Arts
I had an interesting assignment on Saturday. Every assignment is interesting in its own way, but this one felt a bit like I was looking into my future.
Every year for 23 years now, IU School of Medicine students put on an Evening of the Arts. Medical students with added performance acumen do skits, play music, sing, and dance, and the proceeds from the event assist four free clinics in the Indianapolis area. It's a good cause, and it ensures future doctors know how they can positively impact their communities through more than just doing medicine. It was held at the Madame Walker Theatre Center, another place in Indy that I knew of, but had never been to without a photo assignment as an excuse. It reminded me of Bloomington's Buskirk-Chumley Theatre, and if something reminds me of Bloomington, that's usually a great sign.
The event felt like the future because a) I plan on going to medical school for an M.D./Ph.D. and b) I might feel, at whatever school I attend, the need to flex the muscles I built up in high school on the speech team and as Major General Stanley. That was a cool feeling, and I hope one day to be a part of that. If this sort of program isn't at the school I attend, maybe I'll start it...Continued...
What have I been up to lately?
If you looked at this blog recently, you might think I've done nary a thing related to photos in the past month. That's not true, of course, but non-photo things (namely, pre-med classes) make the consistent updates a little more difficult. When you're thinking of elimination reactions and chirality of molecules and electromagnetism and organ systems and Le Chatelier's principle in a successful attempt (so far!) to get A's, keeping up a blog becomes a secondary priority.
But have no fear: an update is here! This update includes some spring break activities, as well as some work for The Star. Enjoy, and I hope to see you again before May 5!Continued...
Carnaval at Jazz Kitchen and Ghost the Musical
The assignments I did Saturday and Tuesday might seem to be related. Saturday was the Cultural Cannibals Carnaval at the Jazz Kitchen (triumphal return!). The party celebrated the culture Brazil has built around Mardi Gras and the syncretism that helped make it possible for people from Europe, Africa, and South America to form that culture over hundreds of years. Most definitely appropriate for the time of year.
Tuesday was... Well, it was on the day of Mardi Gras. Otherwise, there's no connection. The event was Ghost the Musical at Old National Centre, and I'm sorry to admit it, but I had never heard of the movie Ghost before. My mom set me straight beforehand, so I knew what to look for in the 15 minutes I had at the top of the show to take pictures.
So, no connection here, just two sets of photos. Enjoy! I'm gonna get back to studying chemical reaction mechanisms and how neurons work.Continued...
What I Should Have Entered for INPA CPOY, and Other Insights
(but mostly Other Insights)
I can't express how good the judges for this weekend's Indiana News Photographers Association contests were. You can find out a lot on the Internet about RJ Sangosti, Barbara Perenic, and Carlos Javier Ortiz, and I encourage you to do so. You'll be inspired, and your faith in the power of photojournalism will be strengthened.
Thanks to their comments, and to the awe-inspiring quality of work submitted by dear friends and other college students, I have here a much better compendium of my year's work than what I had submitted for my College Photographer of the Year (CPOY) entry. I can't enter it, of course, because the contest is over, but I also can't improve if I don't take a critical look at my work and continually edit it. The set of images I should have submitted (whether in a portfolio or sprinkled among the singles categories of feature, sports, and news) is at the bottom of the entry.
Before I get to that, though, I have a few other things to say.Continued...
Lots and lots of work in February
A study break amidst four tests this week means I have just enough time to update the blog for the first time in almost a month. Six assignments are smashed into one here, and given the work load required for animal biology, organic chemistry, physics, and general chemistry lab so far, expect these amalgams to be the norm, at least until I finish my pre-med coursework.
I'm not sure when (if?) the Ball State student performance at the Columbia Club Cabaret will be posted online, but the other five assignments have accompanying galleries: the City Moto auction benefiting an animal clinic, Carmel High School's 55-54 victory over Hamilton Southeastern in boys' basketball, the Love Sux anti-Valentine's Day event at Howl at the Moon, and Trey Anastasio Band's performance at the Egyptian Room. I've gotten lots of work this month, and now I finally have time to share it. Enjoy!Continued...
Megan Hilty at the Columbia Club
While most other sane people were staying inside and out of the new snow that came down Saturday evening, I drove downtown to get photos of Megan Hilty. Hilty, who was big on NBC's Smash and played Glinda in the early runs of Wicked, was someone I had never heard of, like most of my recent music photo assignments. I also had never heard Rosemary Clooney's "When October Goes". Hilty sang that song, though, and I thought, "Damn, that was good."
As a symptom of not knowing who Megan Hilty was, I went into the assignment thinking it would be the sort of concert where I could quite easily get pictures of people enjoying the show. This was at The Cabaret at the Columbia Club, though, a place far removed from Radio Radio. This is a ritzy, highfalutin place, and people weren't going to get up from their dinner tables to dance. So, in order to fill out an IndyStar photo gallery, I had to rely on just the performer doing the things performers do. She was definitely evocative, so my job wasn't too hard.Continued...
This is 2014, so far
or Clearing the Traffic Jam, New Year's Edition
In inadvertent callbacks to a previous traffic jam, two things happened at the start of 2014: a governor got in trouble (ba-dum, tish), and I didn't keep up with the blog. I am seven Star photo assignments behind, the fault being a mix of working for three days in Mooresville, the polar vortex, and preparations for the next semester of pre-med classes.Continued...