2011-09-19 Washington, DC Day 1

(09/19/2011) Linda Epstein recalls experiencing the August 23 earthquake in Washington, DC. Rochester Institute of Technology photojournalism students visit Linda Epstein, Senior Photo Editor at MCT Photo Service. The students visited Epstein on day one of a week long trip, in Washington, DC, visiting photojournalism professionals.

Monday marked the beginning of an incredible, packed week. I’m in Washington, DC this week for a photojournalism field trip with a class from RIT. We’ll be visiting a bunch of places this week. Monday we started off at the McClatchy Tribune where we met with Linda Epstein, the Senior Photo Editor at MCT Photo Service. Epstein talked about how she works with photographers. When she isn’t sending assignments to McClatchy papers, she sends freelance photographers to assignments. She was quite open to people emailing her about being a freelancer. She obviously said she wanted to see good work on their website, but she said the key test was their first assignment. This was her determining factor in using photographers again. When she has no one in a particular area, she’ll check the NPPA website. Note to self, renew that membership.

One of the special aspects of MCT is that they almost always package stories. The text and the photographers (or other visuals) match up. However, this means that photographers trying enterprise stories most likely won’t find a place for them with MCT.

I asked about her use of photo editors (a position I’m leaning toward more and more), especially with regards to big events, but she said she rarely uses outside editors because they have to learn a specific processing workflow.

We started Monday off with a bang, but it sounds like the week will just keep getting better and better.

(09/19/2011) The Lincoln Memorial is seen beyond the grounds of the reflecting pool, which is undergoing renovations.

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2011-09-03 Granddad

I’ve been back to Rochester for close to two weeks now. Last night I drove down to Mansfield, Ohio to visit my granddad who is 92 years old. My parents met me at his house as well. I had photographed the last time I visited my granddad and made a couple decent photographs.

Driving down here I had a quiet red sliver of the moon for company, as well as the obligatory radio playing country for a while, then stopped on a Christian station for a while. Dude knew how to preach.

I arrived at my granddad’s house and my parents’ car was already there. I looked up and saw stars that were too numerous to count. Then I went inside.

Granddad was in the same spot he is always at, and Dad had already fallen asleep on another recliner; everyone else might have been sleeping as well when I arrived. We talked for a while, and Granddad told his story of eating a meal with the Amish for the dozenth time. He used to drive buses and he would sometimes drive the Amish to different places. This particular occasion was for a wedding, but he also drove them to raise barns. Granddad always speaks fondly of their meals. He’s quite precise with the details, and those details don’t seem to change too much over time. And, he hasn’t called me David in a while. He’s one of my other cousins, but Granddad would often call me his name.


Update 1: Posting (trying) this from the back porch in the middle of the country. The crickets and cicadas are so loud, I would like to turn the volume down a tad. It’s been way too long since I’ve seen this many stars. Incredible.

Update 2: WordPress was updating something and wasn’t allowing uploads last night. #bummer

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2011-07-11 Lights out in part of Harlem

(7/11/2011) Lights went out on part of the West 114th Street block in upper Manhattan, Monday night. Some residents said they smelled smoke. Other also claimed that their had been an underground electrical fire.

Power went out for part of W 114th street in the upper west part of Manhattan tonight. While people certainly go outside in New York City, it seems that most quite frequently people live most of their lives inside. Power outages change this quite quickly. I noticed the lights in the bathroom were flickering when I walked in it. I thought it must just be the light bulb, but hardly a minute later I start hearing people opening up their windows and coming out their doors. The lights in neighboring apartments were flickering as well. Not long after many people were out on the steps of their apartment buildings. Fire trucks showed up. One lady said there was apparently an electrical fire underground or that wires had overheated (or both). I actually got to meet some neighbors, which was nice. I should have a great opportunity to practice my spanish as well.

It’s interesting watching people, something which is much easier than photographing them. Especially since I have not photographed lately, it’s become much harder to get over that little (large) mental obstacle that says this is awkward or weird. What’s the worst that could happen? A kid telling me I’m weird? Phew, a young girl, maybe around 5, came up to me and whispered to me that I was weird. Glad I got that out of the way. There also is the fact that this is Harlem at night, and the plainclothes police officers were wearing bullet proof vests under their shirts. Minor details.

Otu Henshow records a woman dancing in the streets. The woman is called "Brooklyn" by residents since that is where she is from. Moments later she jumped onto the front of a fire truck.

There was also this woman that the people on the streets were calling Brooklyn. One of the guys recording her said that “every neighborhood has their crackhead. I guess this is her territory.” People were encouraging her antics as she was dancing in the middle of the streets, directing the fire trucks as they were leaving. She came around to people standing on sidewalks to make sure they were all right. She also had a very firm grip on my camera, then my arm, and for a moment I thought I was going to be out in the middle of a street dancing with a crackhead at night. But I quickly wrenched my arm free since I didn’t have my dancing shoes.



When I went back to the apartment, I decided to take up one lady’s advice and try sleeping on the fire escape. It only lasted about an hour and a half. Turns out steel slats aren’t the most comfortable, to sleep on, especially when there is a knob right where you are trying to lay. Generators do have a way of droning out street noise. One of my roommates actually came out of his room and decided to sleep in the living room, since that was one of the few rooms that had electricity.

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2011-05-21 Current Portfolio

My big project for last photo class was to create a cohesive portfolio of my best work to date, not just of the quarter. The idea of the class was to examine specific weaknesses and strengthen those areas of my portfolio. I continued my story that I had worked on during the fall quarter. I had gotten much more positive feedback on this story than I had on any of the other stories I had worked on all year. Revisiting this story was a lot of fun. I ended up spending very little time shooting it this quarter, but the time I did spend was very concentrated. I was able to produce results that complemented my earlier photographs from the fall. In the end, the images came together to tell a better story than they did in the fall.


Felipe Torres is a sixteen year old who is consumed by skateboarding. He was first introduced to the sport around two years ago. He is always skateboarding, or, at the very least, he is thinking about it. Days are ruined when it is raining because he cannot go out and ride. He and his friends were recently sponsored by the local skate shop. Felipe has dreams of going pro and owning his own shop someday, but, for now, he and his small group of friends wander around Rochester finding different places to hang out and do tricks.

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2011-05-14 a thing about wide lenses…

A little thing about wide angle lenses. Sometimes you forget just how close you are to something. This was shot with a 24mm on a full frame. The board ended up going into the grass about a foot, maybe two, away from me. It’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings whenever shooting.

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2011-05-14 Sneak peak

Photo by Andrea Hickerson. I’m on the far left at the iMac, Profs Snyder and Rea are in the center standing, and Prisca is in the center at the iMac.

Way too long since I’ve posted. I definitely haven’t been shooting as much this quarter as I have earlier in the year. But that’s okay. I’m really looking into mainly editing rather than solely shooting. I was a part of an experiment called Rise Above the Crowd during Imagine RIT. We had about 25 shooters and Prisca Edwards and I were editors for the day. The shooters would file their photos either in the field or in the newsroom. They would send us their selects, and we would then comb through them to pick out the best images. We worked with Professors William Snyder and Doug Rea a lot on this part. After we had selected images that were fit for publication, we would tone them and give them to the designers who were laying out the print publication. There were certainly tense moments throughout the day because a lot of things went wrong, but, at the end of the day, it was quite a rewarding experience.

I actually left feeling refreshed (And maybe still a little hungry. I only left the windowless room twice to go to the bathroom, so I had to enjoy the beautiful day vicariously through everyone’s images.) and went downtown to shoot my story. I photographed both that Saturday and Sunday. Here’s a sneak peak. I’ll put more up after crit on Tuesday.

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2011-04-08–Taking a break

I photographed the Breezeway Battle of the Bands tonight for a class assignment. We were testing a content system for ImagineRIT. I went outside to see what else was going on in the surrounding area, and found some pledges of the sponsoring fraternity cooling off outside. I started talking to the guys and one of them decided he wanted to do a backflip.

(4/08/2011) Corey Marfione-Ludwig performs a backflip outside of Clark Gym at RIT. Ludwig was taking a break with his fellow Phi Kappa Tau pledges at their Breezeway Battle of the Bands benefit concert at RIT. The Gamma Nu Chapter of Phi Kappa Tau hosted the third annual contest which benefits Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Camps. Last year, the contest raised over $1500.

(4/08/2011) Corey Marfione-Ludwig jumps after he performed a backflip. He said the trick got him pumped up.

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