Wednesday, March 30, 2011

NYC: 3/5: Success

The morning of 29 March 2011, Josh Kuckens and Brett Carlsen wait for our class outside of the VII agency at 28 Jay St. Brooklyn, N.Y.

Today was tremendously successful. We started at VII (you really can't go wrong starting a day there!) where we heard about the organisation in their exhibition/lobby. From there we jetted to MediaStorm which is probably the biggest thing in multimedia/video production. They're focus is intense and it is on telling stories. I shot video at MediaStorm of the head honcho Brian Storm speaking but alas... I still don't have Final Cut up and running again so there could be an influx of video from this week at some point. 

Hey, I met Eric Maierson today. He produced Marcus Bleasdale's piece, Rape of a Nation which I've posted on Facebook multiple times and shown everyone. MediaStorm produced something for VII and the Getty guys know them too. 

As you may have guessed, we also went to Getty which was not quite as fantastic as VII. The best part was the multimedia piece at the beginning. They also mentioned Andrew Burton who interned for them who, as you probably do not remember, I met at the Northern Short Course several weeks ago. Click on his name. He's a year older than me and USA Today interviewed him on his work in Japan. 

After Getty, a few of us found our way to B&H Photo/Video where hundreds of people scurried around hundreds of men sporting curls and yamulkes. We then walked a solid 25 blocks to the Apple store only stopping once for cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery (Sugar Mountain in Rochester is better). 

Referring to my professor Owen Butler who tells us to do things (such as getting lost and being by yourself) and not to tell our parents, I think there's something to be said for ignorance. To save my life I couldn't tell you what parts of the city are bad. I travelled a ways on my own figuring if I can travel in Zanzibar and Iringa alone I can handle NYC. Tonight, at least, I was right. Seriously, listen to some of Andrew Burton's discussion on Japan. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

NYC: 2/5: Bushed

 Frank Fournier

I'm bushed! Trying to eek out a blog post while converting some files to throw in here and one Facebook.

We successfully navigated our way to the apartment of Frank Fournier this morning who talked to us for a couple of hours.  From there we got some lunch (Eataly has delish gelato) and met Alan Chin and Anthony Suau at Foto Care on 22nd Street. The Leica man let me run around with an S2! It Retails at just under $30,00. From there we walked with the two guys all the way to Mercer St. for pizza and portfolio reviews. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

NYC: 1/5: Are We Crazy?

 Prisca Edwards

 Prisca Edwards

 Sarah Crosby, Prisca Edwards

Danny Little (whose gesture sums up how we all felt by 11:30PM)

It's a little fantastic that we're all setting out on this week-long journey to meet some of the best in the business. We're a little crazy for attempting this at all when so many have failed. Day one they had our summer transfer class of 10 stand up and all but 2 (or 3) were told to sit. The two was the percentage of us who (masochistically?) would stick with it. Here we are to make it happen captain.  

Well, we made it and found parking around the corner from Hostel 104 on 1st Ave. We've hit some serious roadblocks since arriving but it's night and this is my fourth blog edit. It's not quite right and I keep taking pictures despite vehement protest from Sarah. 

I'm a born and bred New Yorker who's never really been to the city. I skipped and went straight to Africa, you know? My first impression of NYC it's striking similarities to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. It's vast and busy with light and people bouncing all over the place. Occasionally, individuals pass through streams of light that penetrate the skyline and then they vanish into the crowd. Unfortunately, it's not warm here and you cannot sit on the roof and watch the stars above and people below. 

The pizza shop we walked to a few blocks away was like being transported out of the U.S. that I've always known. A few Arab guys operated the place and signs in Arabic were hung on the walls next to greasy signs depicting cheap, greasy food. I'm down for that for a few days. (For anyone in Iringa, can you say Hasty Tasty  New York?)

As I sit , women speak in thick accents down the hall, Prisca does her audio homework for multimedia on the other bunk and the wind tears through the skinny gaps between our building and the adjacent ones, hissing in the window and rattling the crumpled shades. It's good to be here, but it makes me miss Tanzania all the more which leads me to the first time I heard the Bordens at the Blue Heron in Arusha...

This band won't get out of my head!

The wolves inside me they never sleep,
They tear through my bloodstream and they make me weep...
So up the staircase where their bones now creak
Yet, he still makes her their morning tea
They sip the sunrise, they hardly speak
Decisions rekindled with a delicate kiss on her cheek
Just a girl who learned to fly
Just  boy who chased his dreams well
And those bright city lights never matched with the blues and the greens that she'd seen
- Heather's Song, The Way Much

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Atlantic Hockey Tournament

 RIT vs. UConn (to the left, to the left, the frame is just to the left...)

 RIT vs. UConn

RIT vs. UConn 

RIT vs. UConn 

 RIT vs. UConn

 RIT vs. UConn

RIT vs. UConn (RIT's Saracino gets his finger bandaged)

 Air Force vs. Holy Cross

Air Force vs. Holy Cross  

Friday night I was able to get into the Blue Cross Arena (with a little help from my classmate Hyun Woo Suk) and photograph both games semi-final games of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament. Press passes? Pshaw, who needs those? My classmates and I were all over the place, hunting people like cheetah on impala. Never having photographed hockey before (or even been to a single hockey game) I myself was all over the place. Not a lot of good action shots so, as always, there's tremendous room for improvement. 

Things to improve:
- bring 2 bodies
- better action shots
 - a longer ass lens
- variety

All doable. 

Canon 5D Mark II
24-70mm 2.8 & 70-200mm 2.8

*P.S. Both of the work involved in my major sounds to be of questionable intent. For example: 
"Hey guys, I'm going to make pot...s (or throw them)"
"After shooting people at the game all day, I was exhausted."

Monday, March 14, 2011


Tonight I photographed the Rochester fencing club Thescorre held on Monday nights at the Adams St. Community Recreation Center. Yet another rough edit but a post is a post. These guys make a lot of the equipment themselves. Page has skills in blacksmithing and Pat made the shingle-like arm pieces out of a road sign. There was a mix tonight of fencing with rapiers and daggers with the other half that had armor and clubs.   You just never know what you'll find around here. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Flogging Molly

(special guests The Drowning Men) 

On 26 February, at long last, my brother and packed into the mosh pit with a lot of rather large, sweaty men and jammed all night. 

I'd called before hand about cameras (lest they pull an RIT and let you get all the way to the security before sending you packing to get rid of your camera) and she said, "no professional cameras". According to the Armory "professional" means the body requires interchangeable lenses. I bet your great uncle Harold the retired banker has a professional camera. But, I decided I'd argue another night and accept the challenge of using my Blackberry Bold. 

Unfortunately, I passed on photographing the vomit that filled the sink in the remains of the women's bathroom. Oh, the carnage. It would have been a great addition in a story. 

Northern Short Course

Jonathan Sanger, Jonathan Foster, Theophil Syslo

Theophil Syslo, Emily Solo, Prisca Edwards

First of all, every aspiring photojournalist should bite the bullet, pay the money and go. I wasn't going to until I was chatting with Loret Steinburg about my future plans and she said I had to go and meet the hilarious and intense Jamie Rose (who works for Momenta Workshops) and talk to her about international non-profit and NGO work.

I almost missed the best photographer I had the privilege of seeing because he was last but you know what they say about the best. David Gilkey is a photo/video journalist who works for NPR (National Public Radio). He showed us work from Haiti, Afghanistan, and the Ukraine and stole my photographic heart.  

People to Look Up
Young Pros
 Tucker Walsh (Washington Post video intern)
Andrew Burton (freelance Syracuse grad who left in the middle of the course to cover the tsunami in Japan)

Not-As-Young Pros
Marvin Joseph did a kick-ass job on a man with traumatic brain injury for the Washington Post here
Chris Capozziello (RIT grad)
Jesse Neider (good work and I hear he's a cool guy)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Maha Shivarathri

From 7:30PM last night until 8AM this morning I was photographing the Sri Vidya Temple Society's Maha Shivarathri Festival. That's a mouthful. It was beautiful, long, and I had almost no idea what was going on. There were large periods of time where I heard nothing but chants in Sanskrit but I know it had to do with the faithful seeking lord Shiva's blessing. They came from hundreds of miles away, many from Toronto, to worship and celebrate together. These selects don't tell the best story but they're my favourites. 

This is actually my favourite post so far. I was technically limited since I opted to go without flash and all I own is a 5D Mark II (which is so nice) and my first lens that I got when I was 16. The autofocus is busted so it was fun to shoot old school. By the end my eye for quick focusing had drastically improved and I was grateful to have such excellent vision. It was just a lens, a body and my eyeballs reddened from the incense and smoke. Plus, they had some really good finger food. 

Canon 5D Mark II, 50mm 1:8