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Category Archives: Photography

Combining Audio and Visual: Islam Awareness Week

For this post I worked with a partner to cover an event both with audio and visuals, putting both together in a single slideshow presentation using Soundslides. The goal was to prove that we could combine the two media effectively. The finished project can be viewed here. (Be aware that for some reason the slideshow only seems to play in Internet Explorer).

Poster for the Awareness week on the University of Wyoming Campus. Picture taken by Chris Anselmo.

Poster for the Awareness week on the University of Wyoming Campus. Picture taken by Chris Anselmo.


My partner and I chose to cover Islam Awareness Week at our University. In order to do so, he and I attended events for much of the week, snapping pictures and taking interviews. My partner did the first interview, and the second we conducted after a panel discussion on “Misconceptions of Islam” on April 2.

We spent a lot of time listening to people speak and taking pictures when we got the chance. We took photos at a tent that the Muslim Student Association (MSA) put up the pasture in the middle of campus as a cultural display, during their panel discussion, and at the Arab-American Night the MSA put together on Thursday, April 4.

My partner and I worked together on a lot of the project. I took most of the pictures because I had a better camera, but he recorded the interviews and in fact did one of the interviews on his own when I couldn’t make it. We both edited audio, spliced it together, and then collaborated on the creation of the slideshow, including where the audio went and in what order to put the pictures.

Once we started working with Soundslides things were a breeze. The most difficult part of the assignment was collecting audio and relevant pictures; the software itself was user friendly and largely intuitive. Attending so many events was both trying and helpful. We had plenty of audio and plenty of opportunities for pictures, but it made for a long week of gathering info.

The story we put together finally became about what the awareness week was meant to inform about. Our interviewees talked a lot about how Islam and Muslims had gotten a bad rap from Western and American media. The week was about inclusiveness and releasing ourselves from ignorance, and so that’s what we included in the audio of the slideshow.

For the photographs, we took pictures of people participating in the week, and of the diversity of the MSA and the University. This was definitely the most difficult part of the assignment. Much of what our subjects talked about was hard to put into a picture, and while our story was [i]about[/i] the awareness week, it really came to be about what the Awareness week could and was meant to do, which was a little hard to capture in photographs.

Had I more time, I would have liked to work with the Soundslides software more and polished our slideshow. I still think the slideshow is pretty good, but there were a few things that could have been smoother. I also realized I forgot to put a full identification in the “voice of” parts of the pictures. Instead all I included was a name, and if I could go back I’d make sure to fix that; it was a really lame thing to forget.

Most of the audio is pretty good, though it would have been nice if we had had more opportunities to get ambient noise. I am satisfied with ambient noise that we got, but more could have been used to improve the project.

I enjoyed doing this project. Especially, again, I enjoyed the audio editing process.

Signing off,

Joshua Geiger

 
 

A Day in the life of A Photojournalist

Over the past week and a half, I took on the role of a photojournalist, taking pictures at University sport events and around Laramie.

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Cowgirl Marquelle Dent, 18, tries to pass around Chelsea Hopkins, 22, of the Sand Diego Aztecs. The Aztecs defeated the Cowgirls 57-51 in Laramie on February 20.

This photo, titled “Around the Block”, was taken at the women’s basketball game at Arena-Auditorium on February 20. There were signs around campus encouraging people to attend, and I decided it was a perfect opportunity for some photographs. Without a press pass, I could only get so close to the court, and it was hard for my camera to capture the action while zoomed. Still, some of the photos came out clear.

The crowd was loud at this game, but I did take a lot of pictures. For this photo, I kept my subject (Marquelle Dent) in one third of the photograph, and had her act toward the rest of the picture. The relatively uniform and clean background of the basketball court also helps to make this shot interesting.

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A University of Wyoming student on a rock dances above a crowd of students in Simpson Plaza on February 21. The students were participating in a “Harlem Shake” video put together by the University Store.

I titled this photo “Neon Dancer”. Walking to the Union from class on February 21, I stumbled upon people in odd costumes unfit for the Laramie winter gathering in Simpson Plaza. Curious, confused, and seeing an opportunity, I pulled out my camera. With all of the movement, it was hard to get a good, still picture, but not impossible.

I later learned that this was being filmed and put together by the University Store as part of the latest internet fad, the “Harlem Shake”.  I used viewpoint and color as creative devices in this photo.

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Conroy Stout, 22, uses his phone while waiting for some friends in a computer lab in the Engineering building on February 19.

This photo is titled “Computer Lab”, and was taken in the Engineering building on campus. I was on the other side of the room, and as I sat down at the computer I realized that from table level, I could just see Conroy Stout through the chairs and monitors. It took me several tries to get the picture right.

This photo was taken with the camera sitting on the table. This is an example of using viewpoint to take an interesting picture, and to some extent, framing. I think the photo would be better if I could have gotten something framing him from above, too, but the computer monitors do frame him on either side.

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Ashley Sickles, 22, a senior playing forward for the Cowgirls, looks down the court during the game on February 20. The Cowgirls lost to the San Diego State Aztecs 57-51.

In this photo, titled “Looking Out”, Ashley Sickles of the UW women’s basketball team looks down the court. This was taken at the same game as “Around the Block”. I don’t know basketball very well and so had trouble getting into the game, but I did have fun trying to capture good photos.

In this picture, I used the rule of thirds to isolate Sickles. This, combined with the clean background, made for what I think is a visually interesting photograph. It almost looks like she is alone on the court.

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University of Wyoming #23, 20-year-old Chelan Landry, dribbles the ball during the February 20 game against San Diego. Twenty-year-old Ahjalee Harvey of the Aztecs prepares to block her.

The last photo is another Sports-action photo, also taken at the February 20 game against the Aztecs. Like the other photographs at this game, I found my camera and my distance from the court to be problematic.

This one came out fairly clear, and though its background isn’t as clean as the other two I still think it’s an interesting photograph. I think that a balance is created by the two subjects, Landry and Harvey, on either side of the photo. They are both poised to move, and the action all appears to be taking place at the center, between them.

What I learned from this assignment is that photography isn’t easy, and that most photos don’t turn out awesome. The ability to do some minor editing was helpful in making some of the photos better, but I think that in photography equipment is key, and my camera wasn’t really good enough to get photos from very far away.

I was surprised by how many visually interesting moments occur in a typical day, and how hard they are to catch. I wish that I could have gotten much closer for the sports shots.

Thank you for reading,

-Joshua C. Geiger

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2013 10:24 am in Photography

 

Creative Devices and Creative Places: Photography

One thing I realized as I was taking the 120 or so photos that I took for this assignment was that I do not have an eye for photography. That being said, I think some of the photos were decent, and I was thinking about creative devices when I took them.

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The sun sets on Casper Mountain, looking west from Lookout Point.

 

This photograph (above) is titled “Distance”, and the dominant creative device in it is the creation of depth. The depth in this photograph draws attention to the comparatively greater detail of the nearest trees, highlighted by the sun. The sense of infinity that is created as the photo becomes less distinct and fades into the distance is also aesthetically appealing.

This photo also makes use of contrast. The trees in the foreground, accented by the sun, stand out against the darkness of the first curve of the mountain, and dark against the snow in the distance.

 

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A tree is lit by the setting sun while a road winds past Casper Mountain and back toward the city.

 

 

This picture, titled “On the Road Again”, uses leading lines as its primary creative device. The road that cuts through the land helps draw the eye up through the photograph. The road leads twice into the tree that takes up the right-most third of picture, leading the eye up the tree’s length and finally into the distance.

This photo also creates distance by cementing the viewer behind the lit tree and by the way the background becomes indistinct. All of these creative devices serve to make the tree stand out in the photograph.

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A plastic covering shredded by the wind hangs off of a snow-filled grill near a shelter at the Shirley Rim Rest Area between Laramie and Casper.

 

 

 

 

In this photograph (right), titled “Abandoned”, I attempted to use balancing elements.  The grill and the shredded orange plastic are balanced by the presence of the red on the shelter. The dark shelter also serves as an anchor for the photograph against the bright sky and white snow that take up much of the space, helping to balance the grill.

The vivid orange against the black grill grabs the viewer’s attention. The lines between the bricks of the shelter and the grooves in the red roof draw the eye toward the grill as well .

 

 

 

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The sun reflects off of flecks of dirt and water on a car window on Casper Mountain Road, just before dusk.

 

This one (above) is titled “Splatter”, and mostly relies on focus for its appeal. The picture focused on the glass between the camera and the landscape, and in doing so details the many specks of dirt and dried water on the window. In this case, the focus draws the eye to a barrier between the viewer and the outside world.

The sun at the center of the picture becomes a center for a kind of explosion of the defined splotches, where the brightest ones are nearest to the light source. This draws the eye first toward the sun and then away from it, until at the edges the spots are fewer and less distinct. The contrast between the bright spots and the dark mountain also helps the spots to stand out.

 

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This bubble wrap, unceremoniously tossed on the floor of a dorm room, is lit by the light of an open door behind the photographer.

 

The last photo (above) is titled “Poppable”, and the primary creative device in it is texture. The viewer’s eye is drawn to the texture of the bubble wrap in the foreground, where the many bumps and wrinkles of the plastic are defined by the light. The viewer might almost be tempted to reach out and pop one.

The sense of distance created by the point of view of the camera almost lets the bubble wrap take on the appearance of a landscape. It also creates the illusion that the dark, out of focus furniture in the background is farther away than it really is. This sort of “distortion” helps to create a visually appealing photograph.

 

This assignment was a challenging one for me, because as I said at the beginning, I don’t have much of a talent for finding the right shots. I learned, though, that working hard, trying to use the creative elements, and shooting a huge number of photographs can lead to some good pictures. I was surprised at how some pictures would turn out almost independently of me, like “Splatter”, which was taken almost on accident. One thing I wish I could have done differently was take more photos at different times, like at night or during a sunrise or sunset.

That’s all for now,

Josh Geiger

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2013 3:16 pm in Photography