|Posted on December 6, 2011 at 1:45 AM||comments (0)|
There are some things technology can't touch, photography is one of them. While the gadgets and software programs have evolved, the technique and expertise hasn't. So far, there isn't a program that can tell you what to shoot and if that photo is worth keeping. (I imagine there'll be a day...eventually.) My ideas are safe for now. It's the gadgets that are changing.
Recently, I bought myself a grown-up phone (and along with it, a grown-up cell phone bill). I purchased an iPhone 4S which included a 8-megapixel camera and a slew of other goodies. While I was excited about having the Internet on my phone and Twitter with me 24/7, the one thing I was most excited about was that small camera on the back of the phone.
The images from this phone are crisp and sharp. The colors are vivid and rich. The images are comparable to my DSLR, but not better. From capturing breaking news to holiday events, this phone is definitely a more socially-accpeted item to have. Ever try taking a picture of yourself with a friend using a DSLR? Not easy.
While the camera phone does give me flexibility, it hasn't separated me from my bread and butter camera. Something about tapping a screen just doesn't give me the same satisfaction. The ability to view my light meter, adjust my ISO and work with the focus allows me to be more active in the picture-taking process. The camera allows for my whole body to be part of the action. My hands work the shutter, my eyes zero in on the subject and my feet are postioned just right. With a camera phone, all the action you're getting is with your finger. Where's the love?
I'm wondering where I fit in. Team cell phone or team DSLR? Can I belong to both? Below are some of the photos I took using my cell phone using the popular photo application Instagram.
|Posted on July 28, 2011 at 9:34 PM||comments (0)|
Ever since U2 came to town and brought their octopus (OK, octopus-shapped stage) to Busch Stadium, I had one question nagging me everyday as I came into work. Where did St. Louis’ coveted grass go?
Checking around, I found out that while most of the sod went to a landfill, about half of the good stuff was hauled on a truck, transported down I-64 and arranged at Westminster Christian Academy in Town and Country. The new $70 million school now has a bit of Cardinal DNA tucked away at its softball field.
Belleville-based Perfect Play Fields and Links managed the sod movement . The timing was what sealed the deal, said Charles Waldron, Westminster owners’ representative.
“We have been under construction since June of last year,” Waldron said. “None of this was known until the last minute.”
The whole process took about 12 hours to complete. Workers laid the sod in the early morning and watered the grass as soon as they could. The move was a challenge and the 100-degree temp didn’t help matters, said Mike Munie, president of Perfect Play Fields and Links. “The simpler thing to do would be to move it to a landfill.”
According to the Cardinals, the approximately 110,000 square feet of sod cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace.
|Posted on May 26, 2011 at 4:08 PM||comments (0)|
Since my graduation, I have been all over the place (literally). Now that it seems like everything is slowly coming to a summer vacation pace, I've had some time to reflect on the chapter of my life I just closed.
It's funny and a little strange that I don't feel a sense of loss or drastic change in my life. I don't feel like my life just got a little bit more real. I am numb to the fact that summer vacations, exams, snow days and even backpacks are a thing of the past.
My four years at Mizzou have been amazing. I have learned so much about journalism, people and life in general.
I am fortunate enough to belong to a university that is rooted so deeply in tradition. The pride I carried for four years is bound to get even stronger. I am proud to call the Missouri School of Journalism my stomping ground. I am proud and will always be proud to call myself a true Missouri tiger.
|Posted on April 5, 2011 at 8:53 PM||comments (0)|
Broken. Shattered. Injustice. Welcome to St. Louis! These aren’t the words many expect to find in a travel brochure, yet these words describe the reality, the unreported truth of a divided city.
I spent my Spring Break volunteering in St. Louis for an organization called Citylights. The organization hammers in the importance of bringing back justice to the poorest neighborhoods in St. Louis. Through a variety of work projects, Citylights hopes to “mend cultural and ethnic divisions” through reconciliation, love and servanthood.
I have lived in St. Louis for about 17 years. During this week though, I felt like I was learning about the city as if I was stepping off a plane for the first time. I knew St. Louis was divided physically (St. Louis City and St. Louis County) and racially, but I never knew the extent of that divide. According to Business Insider, St. Louis is the #6 most segregated city in the United States.
On our first day, we drove throughout St. Louis learning about its history and the decline from the glory days of the 1904 World’s Fair. We visited the St. Louis Basilica, Soulard Market and drove past several abandoned buildings and factories near the riverfront and throughout St. Louis’ northside. One particular abandoned factory, the former site of Carter Carburetor, impacted me the most during that tour.
The factory shut its doors in 1984 leaving toxic waste and other pollutants to seep into the ground and across the street. The Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club is one building that is across the street. The EPA is working towards demolishing the plant, costing the federal government an estimated $27 million.
But this site and many other areas around St. Louis have been slow to gain any significant progress. The white population has escaped westward leaving the aftermath (crime and abandon buildings) to the predominately poor African American population. The spotlight on these neighbourhoods has been dimmed.
Leaders of Citylights and their associated churches, most notably New City Fellowship, are trying to combat this exodus and return to the city. They bring with them education, opportunity, diversity and most importantly hope.
The glimpse of hope is small, but it has the potential to grow into something amazing. We can change St. Louis and repair the shattered glass. It won’t happen over night and money won’t fix the problem. But knowledge is the first step into getting through the door. Now, we just need to keep moving forward.
|Posted on March 22, 2011 at 9:48 PM||comments (1)|
The iPad 2 has been attached to my hip for a full week now and I can’t put it down. When I got the device, I knew I was going to enjoy it. I probably should put it down every once in a while, but I feel like the more I use it, the more I discover new and exciting things about it.
The first thing I noticed when I turned on the iPad is its stunning display. The screen is big, full of color and is easy to read. Now, I haven’t read extensively on it yet, but as far as screen fatigue goes I’m wide awake.
The new iPad 2 comes with the second camera in the front, a thinner construction and a faster processor. But as exciting as those new features are, the best thing about having this device is the app store.
So far I have bought only free apps. I got all the well-know applications right off the bat. I downloaded Words With Friends, Angry Birds, Weather Bug and of course Newsy (represent). But there is one app in particular that I can’t stop saying good things about.
The news app Flipboard is amazing. It pulls in all the “news” from your social networks and displays them in such away that is both engaging, addictive and fun all at the same time. You can physically flip through news stories, tweet them if you find them interesting and send links to friends via email.
It took me a while to finally make the decision to purchase an iPad. Let’s be honest, a $499 price tag isn’t something you spend on a rainy day. It definitely fills a niche market and tenders to the traveller, the die-heart reader and well…the college kid who can’t resist the latest gadget.
I probably know a quarter of what this iPad can do and that’s fine. I see it as investing in the future. Some genius will come along and invent an app that will change the world and who is going to have the device to run that app? This guy.
|Posted on January 22, 2011 at 2:18 PM||comments (3)|
It’s strange to tell people that this semester will be my last semester of my college career. My mind starts to flash back to the days when I was a freshman just four years ago. Back then, I was starting fresh and exploring my newfound independence. Now, I'm taking risks, choosing adventures and finally growing up.
But I’m not going to let this semester just slip away. No, I’m planning on sucking all the life out of these last few months of college. My first order of business, learn to fine-tine my photography skills.
With the help of professor Karen Mitchell (visit her blog here), I will hopefully learn the techniques of photography and all that my camera has to offer. In the end, I hope that by learning the mechanics behind the camera I can provide better images in the future.
My first assignment was learning how to shoot a photo using the manual setting. This setting allows you to manipulate the ISO, aperture and shutter speed. At first, all of these settings were overwhelming and the photos I took weren’t very good. But after reading my light meter and discovering a balance, I began to see an improvement.
The photo above is just one result from that exercise. The focus is good. I was able to capture the warm light sliding off the snow and I avoided overexposure for the most part.
Like my willingness to switch into the manual setting on my camera, I am eager to take risks this semester and soak in as much as I can. I’ll worry about finding a job later, for now I’m living each day one step at a time.
|Posted on January 4, 2011 at 7:03 PM||comments (2)|
“The physics of movement when shooting is always compared to where you are at, not the actual movement of the subject. So shooting a car moving towards you or away from you will illustrate less movement than something that is moving parallel to you.”
|Posted on December 27, 2010 at 11:24 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted on December 21, 2010 at 2:22 PM||comments (0)|
If you think about it, there’s a lot to learn around the dinner table. It’s a place where one is taught how to socialize, a place to unwind and a part of growing up. But the dinner table is not a place for everyone. Looking back, I am very fortunate that my family was able to provide those times in my life.
For someone who has lived in a middle-class white family for 22 years, I sometimes take for granted the little things like family dinners. My parents were strong supporters of the three square meal lifestyle and for a while I thought that’s how every American family did it. But when I entered college, I quickly learned my family was in the minority.
When I worked in the factory over the summer I understood why family dinners might not be attainable for everyone. The working class put in long hours everyday and come home tired and exhausted. The last thing they want to think abut is more work. For most families, a microwave dinner in front of the television is the closest thing to a family dinner. But what kind of impact does this have on the future of America?
Stouffer’s, the food company famous for making those microwave dinners, set out to “fix dinner” and in the process highlight some of the important impacts dinner has on a family. According to the Stouffer’s website, kids who eat five or more family meals a week are: more likely to get As and Bs in school, more likely to think their parents are proud of them, more than 50 percent less likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or try marijuana and are less likely to feel depressed or suicidal.
Whether those numbers mean anything to you or not, it’s the context that matters the most. For most families, I would believe they would do anything to provide a time for dinner if it weren’t for their odd hours at work. Let’s face it, if there’s no job, there’s no money for food.
But as difficult as it is for some families, sharing even a small snack could make a difference. A meal brings a sense of solidarity to the home and a routine that becomes not just expected but appreciated.
|Posted on November 29, 2010 at 2:07 PM||comments (0)|