Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The fun post

 Color balance be damned. I had these photos rotting away on my computer from a party early on in the semester. There have been calls for their posting, and I hate to rob people of some fun photos of themselves.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

BTS Chapter 2: Delving into Multimedia

One of the biggest reasons I returned to school was to improve my video skills. I've always had a love for producing video and at one time was double majoring in film and photography. Long story short, that didn't happen and I've been frustrated by my inability to create video work.

This first semester, I accidentally stumbled into a video producing class. While I'd done some minor dabbling in video on my own during my two years out of school, I hadn't actually assembled anything.

As the end of my first semester of graduate school nears, I've produced four pieces already, soon to be five. It's been a great time of growth for me in that area, as well as others. While I'm in no way amazing, I've learned a lot and continue to do so. I already see myself falling into a little habit that I need to cut out (I won't tell you for the hope of you not noticing), but other than that, I'm fairly happy with where I'm at.

Here's the work in chronological order:



I still have at least one more piece I'll be producing this semester, though it won't run until January of this next year. I've enjoyed diving into this new work and learning how to work in another medium. I look forward to improving on these early attempts.

Thanks for watching... and reading.

Friday, November 14, 2014

John Happel: The classmate project

My first photo project in grad school - the intro experience in my intro class to doing a story. It turned out alright.

John Happel is working on finding his place in his new life at graduate school, separated from his fiancé, the ocean and the all other comforts he had back home in Scituate, MA. The social and mental stresses surrounding school are the biggest hurdles he faces as he pursues his master’s at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.

John waits for a beer at Quinton's while meeting up with fellow graduate students for their weekly get together on Thursdays when they indulge in discounted drinks and food.

The living room in John's apartment is bare. He bought a couch off Craigslist when he first arrived, but ended up returning it after the listing proved a little misleading - the couch smelled of cat urine. Another attempt was made to find a couch during a week when his fiancé visited him, but was also unsuccessful.

John shares a laugh over the phone with his fiancé, whom he talks to daily. The whiteboard on the wall shows traces of Tricia's last visit. Being separated has been hard for the couple, as they haven't spent more than a week apart since they started dating in 2010. Tricia grew up just half a mile down the road from John and "always thought he was cute," though they didn't start dating until after college.

"How did Trish do this?" John beats some frozen chicken in an attempt to speed up the defrosting progress. He was trying to replicate a meal his fiancé had made for him earlier this year. Tricia says John misses her cooking.

John manages a hangover, one from his weekly meetups with his graduate school friends, at Stephen's Lake Park while working on class readings. "Two day hangovers are a real thing."

John holds two of his many handmade flies. Boxes of feathers and other fly tying items fill a plastic shelf unit on the edge of his kitchen. Tying flies relaxes him and John often finds himself lost in the process.

After writing a couple different papers for classes, John went fly fishing at Eagle's Bluff with a friend for some fun on his 32nd birthday. Besides surfing, fishing is one of John's favorite activities, especially when trying to de-stress from school.

John's nightly routine ends with him turning on his T.V. and putting on its sleep timer. Having the T.V. on helps him fall asleep. This night he was watching news of the United States beginning to bomb ISIL in Syria.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Back to school: Chapter 1

Having been buried up to my eyes in life, I've been a bit slow to update the blog with any of my recent work. There's a bit of it, so I'll probably break it up into a few posts to ease your digestion. I've also recently started working at the Jefferson City News Tribune as a photojournalist (yay!), which means I'll have more work to keep on top of posting.

Busy, busy, busy, busy... But I'd rather be busy than bored. Graduate school has been a good experience thus far. Being able to immerse myself in photography and everything else has provided multitudes of opportunity for growth, and with my new job at the JCNT, I think I'll be seeing even more growth.

It's not a bad time to be me, even if it's a little overwhelming at times.

Thanks for reading and looking.

(Forgive the weird layout - I couldn't fix it)

Mary LewisMary trimmed the grass and branches of the red flowered tree planted at Stephen's Lake Park as a memorial to her daughter, Susie, who passed away from cancer last august at the age of 42. Mary's hands were blistered from using ordinary scissors, as opposed to trimmers. Her daughter fought cancer for three years before succumbing to it. She told Mary that she wasn't ready to die. Mary told her she'd do her best to help take care of her children. She still laments not being able to do more. Mary's other daughter lost her husband last Mother's Day. "You never know when the good Lord is gonna call."

Adrienne Luther, 18
Adrienne Luther, 18, is a Strategic Communications and Art major at the University of Missouri. She hopes to one day earn a job as an art director. One of her biggest struggles right now is coming to terms with how being a member of the workforce works and with what she's being taught in school. "It's preparation instead of enlightenment," she said of her schooling.

Andrew Weiss, 19Andrew Weiss, 19, of Long Island, New York, is a Broadcast Journalism major at the University of Missouri. Andrew was in New York when Hurricane Sandy hit. "You felt like you were in a war zone," he said, speaking of the humvees in the streets as aid was provided after the storm. One of his most vivid memories is of Tom Petty's "The Waiting" repeatedly playing on the radio in the week following the storm. "I got really sick of that song."

Daniel Stokes, III, 54Daniel Stokes opens his mouth to show his missing teeth Wednesday, September 10, 2014. Stokes, a homeless resident of Columbia, lost his teeth during a stint in jail, though he wouldn't say how. He also suffers from bipolar disorder and schitzophrenia. Speaking of his mood swings, Stokes said "I scare myself, sometimes." He tries to keep a positive mood. "I talk to every girl I see... I can flirt with them, then they love me and then I turn my pretty head and walk away."

Keith Willcoxon, 52Keith Willcoxon walked his daughter's one-year-old Labrador-Border Collie mix dog, Louie, at Twin Lake's dog park in Columbai, Mo. Monday, September 1, 2014. Keith said "I've had dogs all my life, but this is the smartest one." Keith's family adopted the dog from a shelter in Jefferson City and named it after the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.

DeQuan Maxwell, 22DeQuan Maxwell takes a smoke break during his shift at Shotgun Pete's. Maxwell hopes to make it in the fashion industry, constantly working to create new clothing designs with friends. He previously had a design company with a friend named Envy Dimensions, but when his friend went back to school it fell to the wayside. "I just want to be known for something."
Erica Eisenberg, 20
Erica Eisenberg, 20, of St. Louis, is majoring in Communication and Art at the University of Missouri. Her goal is to work for a not-for-profit group, maybe in South America, where she'll focus on bringing a community together and helping it grow. Erica struggles with the demand of that job and the ideal American life of having a steady income, a house in a suburb and a family.

Isaac Rucker, 21Isaac Rucker has been skateboarding for seven years. When asked why he likes it, he said, "It creates freedom." Rucker skates a couple times a week at the Cosmo Park skatepark with friends, driving about 20 minutes from Centrailia.

Keerthi Bhav, 22Keerthi Bhav came to Columbia two years ago from southern India to study electrical engineering, hoping to earn a job doing chip design. The hardest part of being here has been the separation from her family. When asked what one of her biggest dreams is, she said she's always dreamed of being a model. "I just want to be on some page at some time in my life."

James Stockton, 65James Stockton, 65, sat at a picnic table playing Civilization II on his laptop while waiting for his daughter, Ellen, to finish her Bocce game Thursday night, September 4, 2014. Stockton left the army in 1975, earning a degree in computer science and math before teaching at the University of Central Missouri. "I worked my dream job for three years," Stockton said, speaking of his three years teaching at UCM. The low pay made Stockton seek out other work, resulting in him landing at McDonalds, where he has worked for 20 years. Stockton said both his age and additional education has hurt him in the job market, being either too old or too educated for most of the jobs he's applied for.
Paul Mossine embraces his girlfriend Chandra Heartland as Kurt Heine plays the guitar. Friends of Paul gathered for a block party on Melbourne street Saturday, September 13, 2014 to celebrate Paul's 26th birthday. Live music, ping pong, beer, chalk drawings and giant soap bubbles were all enjoyed while the block was closed down for the party.

Joe Dames' puff of his cigarette is interrupted by a laugh as the nearby guitarist, Kurt Heine, cracks a joke at his expense. Friends of Paul Mossine gathered for a block party on Melbourne street Saturday, September 13, 2014 to celebrate Paul's 26th birthday. Live music, ping pong, beer, chalk drawings and giant soap bubbles were all enjoyed while the block was closed down for the party.
Maurice Lee, 24, poses for a portrait in front of Smokin' Pete's BBQ in downtown Columbia, Mo. Lee was in the process of moving back to St. Louis where he was set to attend school and start a new job at a car factory.

This is a shortened collection, but it's at least something. I have another post that'll go live at noon tomorrow as well.

Now I can feel a little better - the blog has fresh content.