Corbett’s Glen

As I was finishing up a shoot for my climate change class yesterday, I decided I wanted to go to Corbett’s Glen. I’m not going anywhere warm for spring break, but there are beautiful places here in Rochester. The videos above are two different edits of what I shot at the Glen yesterday. The first is fast-paced and focuses on the water, the second has more set up and shows some other aspects of the area. I originally included some more human elements but chose to eliminate them. I think this video was for me and I chose to edit it the way I saw it. I might play with it a little bit more at some point but it was really meant to be a little break for me in between work this week. 

Reshoot - Elements of PJ

As part of our elements of photojournalism course, we were given the opportunity to reshoot one of our assignments. I chose to redo my ‘dig’ assignment. For this assignment, we picked a topic out of hat. We had to research that topic, find a subject, and turn in four images, with one that told their story really well. My topic was military families. The things that interested me immediately were resources for families, female veterans, and families with multigenerational military connections. One of the first places I reached out to was the Veteran’s Outreach Center in Rochester. They have housing programs for both male and female veterans. I was specifically interested in Priscilla’s House, which offers housing for women veterans and their children. This process started right before I went to Kentucky for the Mountain Workshops so I knew the timing might be difficult. 

While I was working to get access with Priscilla’s house, I also contacted the EquiCenter, which offers therapeutic equestrian programs for veterans and their families in addition to other populations. While photographing a lesson at the EquiCenter, I met Colleen. She was very open to me photographing her and was involved with the EquiCenter and many other resources for veterans. Although I photographed Colleen three times, I had trouble finding ways to tell her story visually. A lot of the major factors had happened in the past. I photographed her lesson at the EquiCenter, as well as her volunteer shift where she helps with lessons for kids, and went to her house to see what her time is like with family. I made some images that I was happy with, but did not feel like I told her story to the fullest and did not make a clear connection to the theme of military families. 

Earlier in the process, I had met with the Female and Family Outreach Program Manager at the VOC. Marianne is the person in charge of Priscilla’s House and had been open to me working with the women living there. Although we could not make it work in the time of the original Dig assignment, Marianne was able to connect me with Denise, one of the women living at Priscilla’s House. Denise’s story is very complex and I am still working on deciding how to share it. I felt that I had to include her voice in the project, so I ended up doing an audio interview with her. I’m hoping to share a more complete version of this project over break. This reshoot assignment showed me the importance of maintaining the connections you make, even if they don’t work out initially. Because I kept in touch with Marianne, I was able to work on this project an almost two months later. 

Portrait Assignment - Elements of PJ

One of my weakest assignments in elements of PJ was our portrait assignment, six degrees of separation. Our job was to find a subject, make an interesting, well-lit, well-composed portrait, and then use that person to find our next subject. For me, finding subjects was fun. I originally had the idea of trying to go in order of age, from youngest to oldest and trying to get a large range of ages. I had trouble getting my first subject to connect me with anyone so I moved on to my back up plan. I photographed Aurora, who I met while photographing for New Student Orientation.  Aurora started the hooperellas, a hoop performance group. I asked her to connect with people that interested her which worked pretty well. 

The larger challenge for me in this assignment was making portraits I was proud of. I am not super comfortable directing people on how to pose, and it is weird for me to try and think of concepts for environmental portraits. This was also one of my first experiences using flash, which was a challenge in itself. By the end of the assignment, I felt more confident in my ability to use flash, and I have continued to practice this skill. I was not surprised to learn that I made better portraits when I was more comfortable with my subject and they were comfortable with me. The people I took more time to get to know and more time to photograph were able to work with me better. This was really important for me to notice, as I took more time with subjects as I realized this. Over break, I am going to practice making better environmental portraits and using flash with better control. 

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