Archive for the ‘Missouri’ Category

One of the projects in David’s capstone class is the one-day/five-points-of-view story. This is a picture story that must be told in five pictures and that happened over a relatively short period of time (no more than a few days).

As you might have gathered from my blog, I chose to do a light exploration of backyard chickens in Columbia as a result of the recently-passed “chicken ordinance.” But now I’ll let the photos — and their captions — tell the story.

The chickens have escaped from their greenhouse home on St. Joseph Road, and it's up to Adam Saunders to chase them back inside. Saunders and other members of the non-profit Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture own six hens, which is the maximum number allowed by a Columbia city ordinance that permits urban residents to keep chickens in their backyard.

Five of CCUA's six hens stare each other down inside the greenhouse on Feb. 17. CCUA owns three Rhode Island Reds, one Buff Orpington, one Australorp-Rhode Island Red mix and one Dominic. Roosters are not allowed under the city ordinance, largely because of their crowing.


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Today, I have been sick and went to only one class. I’ve spent the rest of the day sleeping, consuming the healthiest foods I have in my meager pantry and watching the Olympics.

That is why I have no photo for today.

Yesterday, I had classes, work and a group project nearly back-to-back-to-back.

But when I left work at 5:45 p.m., I saw something unexpected: Daylight.

I don't remember the last time I saw natural light while walking home from work.

Then the group project. For our photo-editing class, Laura, Jessica and I were to edit a short video using raw clips provided by the Columbia Missourian director of photography.

It was… an interesting exercise.

The best part is, this was near the beginning of our working together on the group project.

Fortunately, we know Final Cut reasonably well and completed work more quickly than we'd anticipated.

Anyway. It’s been a long 48 hours, and I’m not quite feeling better yet.

But I have good news: the data recovery company was able to recover all but about 1 percent of my data, and I’ll have everything back by Friday!

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This afternoon, I returned to the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture‘s office/house to make more pictures for my one-day/five-points-of-view story.

Adam talks about how CCUA is keeping its six hens in a greenhouse until the weather is warmer and the coop is built.

Another photographer was taking photos of the hens inside the greenhouse while everyone was out in back to look at CCUA’s chicken tractor. The photographer must have left, because a few minutes later, someone said, “Hey — are the chickens supposed to be outside?”

The chickens were on the run!

And they almost made it to the road.

Adam herds the chickens away from the road and back toward the greenhouse.

So why did the chickens (almost) cross the road? — Because they were tired of being cooped up!

Ha. Ha. Ha?

I’m really loving how I can milk all these old chicken jokes and references. And I think I’m good for my one-day/five-points-of-view story for capstone… I think.

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It has been a long week.

That's 10:15ish p.m., mind you.

I spent my entire last weekend photo-editing for The Columbia Missourian — Friday night, all day Saturday and then Sunday morning at the rec center for the Missouri Grand Prix, and then Sunday afternoon and night in the newsroom for a regular shift.

Then there was my regular shift on Tuesday afternoon. Which lasted until almost midnight.

And now there’s today, which has turned into late tonight.

All told, it’s about 47 hours of photo-editing, from last Friday afternoon through this Friday night.

That’s a lot.

But now it’s time to go home, drink a Woodchuck and veg in front of the Olympic ice-dancing reruns.

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Chickens are really funny animals. And they are, surprisingly, pretty fun to photograph.

The way they strut around and interact with each other (there’s a reason why it’s called “pecking order”) is totally erratic and unpredictable. At least, that’s how it seemed to me — your everyday girl from suburbia — when I visited the chickens owned by the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture.

Columbia recently passed a city ordinance that allows residents to keep up to six hens in their backyards, with some restrictions on coops, waste management and etc. CCUA and its members currently keep six hens — three Rhode Island Reds, one Buff Orpington, one Australorp-Rhode Island Red mix and one Dominic — in a greenhouse across the street from its office/house, at least until they finish constructing the coop in the backyard.

Flight of the... chicken.


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This is where I work:

David and I serve our fellow photojournalism students by manning the department’s equipment locker, which houses more than $100,000 worth of photo, video and audio equipment (much of it is donated). It’s fun to help other students get acquainted with and appreciate quality gear, and it’s just as fun to tease those who are already gearheads when they come with a shopping list of exactly what they need to work on a project for a few days.

It’s also a bit stressful at times. Especially Mondays. This semester, I’m the only one working on Mondays, which means I get to check in and reshelf all the gear that was checked out over the weekends.

Today — as you can see by the photo — it got a bit out of hand. Students kept coming around to check in more gear or make reservations, so I didn’t get a chance to remove and charge batteries, detach lenses from cameras, replace back lens caps and camera body caps, or anything… until thirty minutes remained in my shift.

The contents within my photo for today represents probably half of the photo inventory and a third of the entire locker’s invenory.

It is a good job.

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I’m spending this weekend at the Student Recreation Complex, where swimmers have gathered to compete in the fourth annual Missouri Grand Prix.

The Columbia Missourian photographers are photographing. I’m there to edit — but between card dumps and transmissions to the photo desk, I have the opportunity to roam and make pictures, too.

So that’s what I did tonight.

I’ve shot dual-team meets at the rec center before, but never a full-blown, multi-day tournament whose roster includes Olympic swimmers. Tonight, I fiddled around a bit and tried not to resort to just the “one swimmer per frame” kind of shooting. Tomorrow and Sunday morning, because I know what to expect and where I can go, I’ll do better with this.

That’s right. I volunteered to live-edit during almost my entire weekend. But I made a point not to volunteer for the Sunday evening shift — because I’m sure as hell not missing the pairs short program for the Winter Olympics.

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DAY 9: Thaw

Columbia is supposed to get some snowfall again tomorrow evening, but right now, everything is generally thawing out a bit. Although, some big fat flakes were falling earlier while the sun was out.

I caught at least a dozen snowflakes on my tongue. I almost choked on one of them.

Anyway. Earlier, I wrote in two tweets:

  1. It’s only Day 9 of the 30-day challenge, and I’m already bored with my life / staggered over how boring my life is.
  2. I need to break my routine and get out more, or I need to examine more closely that same routine. Or – I need to do both. #visualagony

I decided to break my routine. So Jeff and I went to the Green Valley Drive bridge over Hinkson Creek — just off of Broadway near Old 63 — and took some photos there.

Hinkson Creek. That overpass bridge is Broadway.

Detail of the icemelt on top of the creekwater's surface.

Then, as Jeff and I were walking from my apartment building to the journalism school, we both spotted this pipe at about the same time:


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Walking downtown.

Today, my Business Practices in Photojournalism class visited L.G. Patterson‘s studio in downtown. (His Web site either is down or won’t load on my computer, which is why I linked to his Twitter.)

L.G. — whom I’ve seen at various MU athletic events — is an Associated Press photographer who also does a lot of commercial and portraiture work. Among the tips he gave us:

  1. Meet people, and make it meaningful. Don’t just sit in front of a computer screen or hand out business cards because…
  2. …The business of photography — like many others — is often more about whom you know.
  3. We as students often undersell ourselves.

In other news, today was my last day with the 14-24/2.8, at least for a while. I shot the above image on our way back to the journalism school. Here’s an outtake:


On our way out of L.G.’s studio, Jason kinda popped out at me and I snapped this frame. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have cut off his fingers or foot. If not for that, and if Jessica weren’t in the background, I think this would have been my designated photo for today.

Oh well.

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Who doesn’t love a little distortion in photos?

The stairs/amphitheatre outside of the Reynolds Journalism Institute.

I’ve checked out a 14-24/2.8 lens for a few days, and it’s a lot of fun to use on a full-frame camera body like the D700.

I remember David telling us in Fundamentals — the first photojournalism course in the sequence — that we should distort our photos only when distortion enhances or adds to the photos’ quality or storytelling ability. So I’ve been keeping this in mind, and am on the lookout for scenarios and environments where warping the image via the lens would contribute to the image.

Here’s another one:

Some gnarly little tree near Middlebush.

And one more, which I took last night:

Some poor abandoned sweater in a tree next to the Manor House graduate apartments.

I have this lens until tomorrow evening. I’m bound and determined to have fun with it until then.

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Patrick T. Fallon has way too much time on his hands.

Patrick, a junior photojournalism student here at MU, is known by all and beloved by many. It’s prudent, accurate and inoffensive to say simply that he is a character.

Patrick (center, in Mizzou sweatshirt) shares his newest Facebook album with MU photojournalism chair David Rees (center right, with glasses). From left to right, fellow photo-j students Grant, Sam, Nick and Jeff gather around. I shot this photo with a D700 and a 14-24/2.8, which explains the distortion.

Patrick’s latest Facebook album consists of diptychs of two Joels: Joel Kowsky and Joel Hawksley.

Joel Kowsky is a fellow photojournalism senior at MU. He photographs for the university’s athletic department and is generally a gearhead.

Joel Hawksley is a photojournalism sophomore at Ohio. He photographs for the university’s athletic department and seems to be a gearhead.

I’m not sure what Patrick was thinking, but he went through photos of the two Joels on Facebook and found seven uncannily similar photos of the two, who, it’s safe to assume, have never met.

Here’s an example of one of Patrick’s diptychs:

Click the image above for more diptychs of Joel and Joel.

Patrick shared with me the public link to the Facebook album where you can view more eery diptychs of these two photographers doing very photographer-y things (like taking photos of themselves in mirrors). You can view this album either by clicking on the image above or here.

My photo for today in the 30-day challenge is the first photo, which shows Patrick showing the album to photojournalism chair David Rees. I daresay David enjoyed Patrick’s efforts, as has hopefully everyone else who knows either Joel.

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I love the Food Network‘s competition shows.

Chopped“? It’s great when I don’t mind a slightly higher blood pressure. (For me, it’s stressful to watch. But enjoyable.)

Food Network Challenge“? Entertaining, but even more so when non-pros take on a challenge.

Worst Cooks in America“? I’ve only seen a few episodes, but Chef Anne’s voice is sometimes a bit too grating. That said, I have to admit that watching it makes me feel that much better about myself as a cook.

Iron Chef America“? …best show on the Food Network. Period. My favorite, by far.

That said, Bobby Flay is not my favorite Iron Chef. That said, I don’t have a favorite Iron Chef. But if I did, it wouldn’t be Bobby Flay.

Jeff decided to make Bobby Flay’s chili recipe for our Super Bowl XLIV enjoyment, as well as some traditional corn-and-bean salad.

Suffice it to say, it was delicious and boasted a deep, hearty flavor. It was also beyond my tolerance for spiciness. Admittedly, my threshold is fairly low, and Jeff claims he added only half the amount of spices in the recipe.

The recipe also called for a “toasted cumin crema” and “avocado relish,” which Jeff made and said would help cool my palate after some bites of chili.

Well. As a born-and-raised Texan, I don’t want any of that creamy silliness in my chili, spicy or not.

So thank you, Bobby Flay, for publishing an over-spiced recipe and then having the gall to suggest that we should truss it up with creamy silliness.

Here are a few more photos of our Super Bowl menu lineup:


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Saw these while at the register at Hy-Vee.

Apparently these balloons sing.

If I were younger and had been dragged to the grocery store by my mother, I probably would have found some way to pull one of these balloons down and make it sing for the sole purpose of annoying my mother.

But I haven’t. And I didn’t.

Not today.

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Answer: “Who is Lindsay Eanet?”

Yes, I took a photo of a CRT TV screen.

Lindsay and I met while working at The Maneater student newspaper in our freshman year. I don’t remember exactly how we met, but we became friends when we worked together on a fashion story for MOVE, which is The Maneater‘s biweekly arts and entertainment magazine. The next year, when everyone was moving off-campus, we became roommates.

Linds tried out for the College Championship series in Jeopardy! that year as well as the next. She didn’t make it until this year — and earlier this evening, a large group of us all gathered at The Heidelberg for a watch party to see Lindsay win $22,100, triumph in her first round and sail into the semifinals.

At the "Jeo-party." This is THE photo for Day 3 of the 30-day challenge.

Lindsay’s semifinal round airs on Wednesday, so check your local listings to see when Jeopardy! is played wherever you are. For those of you in Columbia, be sure to tune to ABC/KMIZ-17 at 5 p.m. on Wednesday the 10th.

On an unrelated note, I carried a camera around with me all day to see what I could get. Here are a few more photos that almost made the cut:


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Last night, I was disappointed it wasn’t snowing when I got out of work.

But it was snowing on my way to work this morning.

Outside my apartment building this morning. The vignetting is natural.

And it’s going to keep snowing.

And I’m glad that the weather gods don’t hate me too much after all.

P.S. This is not my entry for the 30-day challenge — I have a few more photo opportunities to milk before I blog again today!

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The weather gods hate me.

The chance of snow was 30 percent this evening, and while I was at work, several people were tweeting about flurries in Columbia. I was excited to take snow photos once I got out of work, but whatever snow had been falling was reduced to a very light mist when I left the building. Undeterred, I took a gander around downtown anyway.

Once, while staying at my roommate Chelsea’s house in St. Louis for a few days, her father pointed out the wet pavement in a movie we were watching. I asked him what he meant. He explained that art directors tend to wet the pavement before a nighttime shoot — regardless of whether the weather is supposed to be clear — for aesthetic purposes.

To this day, every time I see wet pavement during a nighttime scene in a movie or in real life, I remember what Chelsea’s dad said.

So tonight, I set about looking for wet pavement.

Wet pavement in an alley in downtown Columbia. The door is the employees' back entrance to Sycamore Restaurant.

I was crouching down and snapping some photos in this alley for a few minutes before a car drove up halfway. (You can still see its headlights in the righthand side of the photo.) I stayed put and noticed a figure approaching. All I could hope was that the person would enter the big orange-lit door — and, sure enough, she did.

Quickly, I refocused the lens and snapped the photo right when she was framed in the rectangle of light.

Here’s my runner-up for the day:

The Tiger Hotel entrance, shown from the stairwell of the parking garage on Eighth and Cherry Streets.

As I wrote in my previous post, I’m hoping not to have to resort to nighttime photography for every day of this 30-day challenge.

That said, I have reached several conclusions:


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I’m furious.

Today in Picture Story class, we watched a video chronicling photographer Jim Brandenburg’s self-challenge to take one photograph a day for 90 days in his extensive backyard near Ely, Minn. He undertook this project in 1994 — an age predating digital technology and 16GB memory cards, but photographers of his pedigree were unfazed by shooting thousands of frames per day while on assignment. I encourage you to check out the gallery. Each photo is technically and aesthetically wonderful, and the visual variety is stunning.

I’m not sure exactly what prompted him, but David suddenly proposed a challenge: Each of us should post a new photo to our blogs every day for 30 days. We accepted this challenge.

That’s not why I’m furious.

I’m furious because I have to read this book:

"Money-Driven Medicine" by Maggie Mahar

I’m in my final undergraduate semester, and only now am I taking my first-ever political science course. The class is Public Policy, and for our first paper, we are to read this entire book and write a book review.

That’s not (exactly) why I’m furious.

I’m furious because I’m learning, in detail, about the failures of the American health care system according to one author-journalist.

I’m furious because I procrastinated in starting this book, which has prevented me from going out and making pictures and blogging a real photo for my first entry in this 30-day series.

I’m furious because, although I’m far more interested in being a photographer than in being a student, my academics and work schedule this semester are severely limiting the time and opportunities I could have to pursue better photography.

My weekly schedule, not including my occasional photo-editing shifts on Fridays, Saturdays, and/or Sundays. The purple are classes; the green are worktime or photo-editing duties.

I’m excited about this 30-day challenge. I want to incorporate a theme or motif — and soon, so I can pursue that for the remainder of the challenge. I just hope I can find enough time to make good pictures to blog every day.

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David challenged us to find another sequence for Picture Story for today. I hoped to emulate my earlier sequence and to expand on the Columbia nightlife. When work ran late on both Friday and Saturday nights, I was left with only Sunday.

So, Jeff and I went to Rocheport.

Along the Katy Trail.

My plan was to photograph the sun setting over the Missouri River, along the Katy Trail. Using the D3’s intervalometer, I did photograph the sunset at one frame every 20 seconds, but because I had been in such a hurry to set up my tripod, my framing was off.

This is one of the photos in the sequence, but after I straightened and cropped it according to the horizon line.

So I quickly switched up my tripod and exposure settings and shot another sequence as the sun’s light faded away. I shot on manual exposure at ISO 320, f/5 and 1/250, and took one frame every 20 seconds for almost 20 minutes.

The frames below were shot three minutes apart and do well to represent the passage of time.


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According to Columbia College, a real estate agency, the city’s Chamber of Commerce and other very biased parties, Columbia is known as “Collegetown, U.S.A.”

I can’t find any vaguely objective sources for this factoid. But there’s little question in my mind that Columbia is a good college town, especially with downtown on the doorstep of three higher education institutes.

Yesterday was Thursday, which means last night in every college town and most bars was “thirsty Thursday.” Usually on weeknights, I stay in, but last night when I was out and about, I saw that thirsty Thursday also means the cops are on standby in case things get a little rough.

Thursday night.

Friday morning. Or any typical morning.

Is it strange that, for me, it was somewhat disarming to see two police cars (one is out of the frame) simply idling outside of downtown establishments?

Maybe I just don’t get out enough.

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Three years ago, I was a freshman staff photographer for The Maneater student newspaper, and I was in enemy territory to cover the 2007 Border Showdown basketball game.

With former Maneater photo editor Ryan beside me, I was shooting only my second basketball game ever. Hell, it was also only my second sports event to cover as a photographer. I’d long overcome my timidity as a student photojournalist, but at that point, I had no confidence in my ability as a sports photographer.

But I came out of that game all right. And I captured this moment, which has remained in my portfolio:

Missouri forward Leo Lyons tries to hold onto the ball as Kansas guards Sherron Collins and Brandon Rush grab at Lyons' forearm on Jan. 15, 2007, at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan. The Tigers attempted a failed three-point play in the game's final 11 seconds and lost the Border Showdown 80-77 to the Jayhawks.

Missouri lost that game. And the Tigers have lost every Border Showdown basketball game since, with the exception of one in Feb. 2009. And the Tigers will probably lose tonight’s game against No. 2 Kansas.

But, even though Jeff has turned the TV off with the Tigers down 20 points at halftime, I’m sure it’s at least a good game to shoot.

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