Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Rest of the Rest of the Story

Wow! We are still getting feedback on the Jazz photo of Henry. Some good, some bad. That info that I pulled into the previous post about it was from an email that I got, and later realized was going into a columnists piece in the Sunday paper. Since then we have had replies online and a letter to the editor in today's paper. If you are interested in checking it out, here are the sites:
The Reader Advocate (The Columnist's piece):

Responses to the Reader Advocate:

Letter to the Editor:

I have been talking to Kohl a lot about the situation. (He is phenomenal at seeing things as a whole and in different perspectives.) We talked about how out of a 140,000 daily and 210,000 Sunday circulation there was only two (at the time) negative responses, and how people never write or call when they like a picture.
Well, wouldn't you know it, last week I received two emails and a thank you card giving me kudos and wanting to know where they could buy my photos.
Its funny how things work out. And there is nothing like a handwritten thank you card to warm your heart.

Someone's Been Sleeping In My Bed

So you wouldn't peg this adorable mug as the face of satan... but evil is known for its deception! Ah, yes, so I have been house-sitting for one of the photographers at the T-U, and along with it came this cute mutt, Maggie and an awesome cat named, Smokey. Smokey is this fantastic sherbet and grey cat that will easily have a conversation with you. Seriously! She meows, you meow, she meows in response, you meow back not to be rude, and this cycle goes on for hours.... with a side of chin scratches, of course!
Maggie, well this pup's hobbies are as follows: squirrel chasing, window scratching, barking, a fantastic "I gotta go" dance... when she really doesn't need to go, staring while you eat, always following you room to room, etc. But I think my favorite thus far (one week into a two week gig) is when I took her out for a walk, and after my shower she jumped in, and once her feet were nice and saturated she dodged out of the bathroom, leaving a trail of two-by-two foot prints which lead to my bed, and the sneaky pup dug her way under my covers just to leave a dozen doggy mud prints in my sheets.... as I was about to get into bed. Sigh. Does Elmer's need any volunteers?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Make New Friends, But Keep The Old

My friends from the paper called me today to go to the beach, so I finally found an opportunity to use the ewa bag. Not being the brightest crayon in the box, it took a nose full of saltwater for me to learn to not keep my face plastered to the viewfinder.
The weather could have been a little more kind, but we had fun while we could. The stunning gal in red is Anna from graphics and scruffy gentleman with her is one of our reporters, David.
I want to add a picture of my roommate, Ally. She is one of my favorite new people. Unfortunately for us, she was went back home for a wedding this weekend so she couldn't be there to hangout. I miss you roomie!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away

The Jacksonville Suns gave dads and kids who came out to the stadium on Father's day free baseball mitts and balls, luckily soft balls! Due to rain, the game was postponed for three hours so families, and players had to find ways to pass the time.

Snakes, Spiders and Students, Oh My!

Story time! I am going to make this an ASF, and narrate it to you bullet style.
* Arrive at the gate to Betz Tiger Point Preserve.
* Call contact to let me in gate.
* No Answer.
* Wait five minutes.
* Call again.
* No Answer.
* Pick up cameras.
* Start walking.
* Notice Sign: Beware of Wild Hogs
* Call FJ
* Learn that wild hogs don't attack unless they have to, but will mess you up if they do. If a hog starts to attack, climb a tree.
* Walk down dirt road.
* Size up trees.
* Walk.
* Jump at every grass shuffle noise made by lizards.
* Walk.
* Size up tress.
* Call contact.
* Leave message on her voicemail that if she sees two cameras and a fat pig, to not worry about me showing up to the site.
* See cars.
* Excited to see a hint of life.
* Notice that cars have University of North Florida parking passes.
* Take smaller path that veers off by UNF cars.
* Be proud of myself for being an observant individual.
* Walk.
* Walk.
* Ooh, a spider.
* Walk.
* Size up trees.
* Walk.
* Notice there is a path up ahead.
* Rationalize out that my story is on a archeological dig on shell mounds.
* Take path closest to water.
* Again, proud of myself.
* Walk.
* Notice a dark log with dark winding branches fallen over by path.
* Notice one of those dark branches slithers across the path approximately five feet in front of my toes.
* Turn back.
* Take other path.
* Walk.
* Carefully, cut through two threads of a spider web taking up the path.
* Slide under web, not disturbing the spider.
* Walk.
* See another path.
* Realize that path is in fact the main dirt road that I was once on.
* Turn around.
* Walk back to snake path.
* Take snake path.
* Watch brush like a hawk.
* Walk.
* See two yellow canoes out on the lake.
* See fishing boat further ahead.
* Walk.
* Reach fishing boat.
* Ask the man and the young boy if they know anything about about an archeology dig.
* Learn that the site is two miles up the main road.
* Walk back.
* Get to main road.
* Walk.
* Call contact as one last act of desperation.
* Contact answers.
* Learn that she has been working out and didn't have her phone on her.
* Quit my journey towards the site.
* Walk back to UNF cars.
* Wait by tree.
* Ooh, another spider.
* Gold SUV flies from down the dirt path, spins around and old man with a white beard and khaki on looks at me.
* No doubt, this is an archeology guy.
* Get in SUV.
* Drive to site.
* Walk.
* Size up trees.
* Meet students.
* Take pictures.
* Take pictures.
* See another snake.
* Glad to see this one is an eighth of the size.
* Take pictures.
* Drive to next site.
* Park.
* Walk.
* Size up trees.
* Ask about wild hogs.
* Learn that in all his time he has not seen a wild hog.
* Walk.
* Walk on deep sand path.
* Walk in field.
* Walk through tall bushes.
* Scold myself for wearing shorts, makeup and doing my hair, all of which were pointless at this time.
* Search for snakes in bushes.
* Find no snakes.
* See clearing by the lake.
* Start walking by the lake.
* Notice all those two inch creatures dodging from under our feet are in fact crabs.
* Imagine one of those crabs getting kicked back into shoe.
* Walk more carefully.
* Get to site.
* Meet people.
* Take pictures.
* Wipe sweat off of forehead.
* Take more pictures.
* Journey back to SUV.
* Drive to gate.
* Get in car.
* Turn on air conditioning.
* Drive away from locked gate.
* Be glad that I went.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

F to the Y, A to the B, We are hangin' out with Willy D.

Notice: My roommate, Ally, was the mastermind behind this post's title. Its a little song she made up on Friday night.
My friend Will came into to town to hang out for the weekend. I always get excited when an old friend comes to a new place. Its like the past (PB) and the now (J) coming together to make one awesome good time. PB+J= one scrumptious sandwich! How is that for a metaphor?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Rest of the Story...

Here are a few more pictures from the Jazz Session that I liked.

A Search for Understanding

Its good to know that people are still reading papers... its not so good when the only way you know they are reading them is because they called the paper to complain about your photo.
Jacksonville hosts this really awesome event on every Sunday for a month or so, called the Summer Jazz Sessions. It is outdoors, totally free, you can bring beverages (of your choosing) and get to hear... as you guessed it, great Jazz music. My mission was to shoot people having fun. Easy, right? Eh, a little more challenging than I thought. The area was filled with tons of people sitting in chairs, but I wanted to make something more than a point and shoot crowd shot. I searched around for interesting people, and things that I thought were visually interesting. Halfway into my shoot I got called away for a breaking news piece, so I had to call my shoot short.
One of the really interesting people that I met was Mr. Thompson. He and his friend drove an hour and a half just to come to the Jazz show. In the times of our gas prices, I consider that dedicated! So I chose to take a few frames of him, he was just sitting on the boardwalk to the ocean, where you could still hear the music from the Pavilion from behind... something that I thought was more visual than the sea of fold-out chairs.
Something else that I have had in the back of my mind when I shoot to, is the perception of people. Not that it is my place to edit the world to my liking, but in a way, as editors we do select what we want to show... hopefully because it is something important, visually interesting, and a slice of life in our community.
Also, in case you haven't heard, Jacksonville is the most crime crazy city in Florida... yes, Miami Vice is going to have to go "Jacksonville Vice"... doesn't really ring does it? Unfortunately, a lot of the crime reported often involves someone who is African-American. So when I go out to a shoot fun events, among the things I look for are racial diversity.
To make a long story short, through my narrow edit, and an editors unlucky pick, we caused a minor racial perception uproar.
“An absolutely disgusting photo,” said (removed), a lady originally from California said. This lady felt like we were enforcing the southern stereotype.
“I was shocked to see the main photo representing the festivities was of an older African American man who was missing most of his teeth,” she said. “There were thousands of other people in attendance who better represented the crowd. As an African American, myself, I feel insulted,” (another removed name) said.
So after we received these phone calls, several members of the T-U staff were asked their opinion.
“I think this is another case in which what comes off as original and flavorful to a white person comes off as stereotypical and degrading to black people,” said a columnist who writes about race-related topics.
Sigh. I just don't know what to think. I mean, the columnist is right. I thought Mr. Thompson, was just a cool guy, who drove an hour and a half to come to this show. I didn't mean any disrespect to him, or the community. I feel awful in a way. I just don't know what to think about it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Steak Sauce

I have been a little hesitant to put up my steak sauce pictures, because they really haven't been my best work. I guess I have to show the good, with the.. eh.
It is kind of challenging when you know you have more visually interesting photos, but your "safe" ones run. Does anyone else ever feel like that?

Friday, June 6, 2008


All day I shot the Jacksonville Jaguars mini-camp practice, but this was my favorite picture from the whole day! I was walking out of the practice field when it found me.

Monday, June 2, 2008


We all get set in our ways, but it is so exciting learning something new. Well, exciting with a dash of terrified, ha! In the past week I have learned how to (roughly) shoot and produce video. I have also learned from a few mistakes, one: don't try to shoot why a reporter is reporting, and two: use fill flash. Here are the two pics that helped me learn those lessons:

Small Fish in a Big Lake

So while I wait for Peter Pan to take me to Never-Neverland, I guess I have to do a little growing up. Western's lab, geez, how I miss it. All the inspiration buzzing about, the all-nighters, needing help on an edit at one in the morning and having three peers there to help, friends, professors, and you know what..... those printers you had to tone a hundred times for, and the computers with their little glitches... I miss them too.

Kinkos' computers: 30 cents a minute.
Kinko's 2 sided color prints: $2 a page.
U.S. Postal Service two day delivery (because the town is so small you can't overnight it!): $30
Total spent in three hours: $63
Re-vamping your portfolio in a week and still making deadline for applying to the next internship: Priceless

In all reality, growing up isn't that bad. I am learning sooo much, and I still have more growing to do. Here are a few things I have done while I have been here.