Fun with Photojournalism (Blog Post #3)

For me, this assignment turned out to be surprisingly daunting. I’m naturally a very shy person, so it was difficult for me to overcome my social anxieties and talk to these strangers. However, now that I have these pictures, I feel that I have gained some valuable experience and confidence when it comes to this sort of thing. Although I struggled a bit with the focus on my phone’s camera, I think these photos turned out fairly good for the most part.

Precision Shot – Chelsea Bateman playing a friendly game of pool in the University of Wyoming Union

This turned out to be my best sports photo, in my opinion. This is a sports-action photo of a woman in the Union playing a recreational game of pool with some friends. I was fortunate to walk into this area of the Union when there were only three people there playing pool together. I explained the nature of this assignment and asked if I could take a few pictures, and they agreed. I moved around and took a lot of pictures, and asked for their names, and they were very kind and friendly throughout the interaction. I like this photo for a lot of reasons. I like the balance and symmetry at work in this photo, with the subject, pool table, pillar, game room sign, and pool balls all in a satisfying spatial configuration within the frame. There’s also a great leading line diagonally across this photo, from the orange pool ball on the bottom left, through the cue ball and the subject, to the unattended pool tables in the background. Although the experience of photographing these strangers playing pool felt a bit odd to me, it was generally a positive experience.

Campus Stroll – Two people taking an evening walk on the University of Wyoming Campus

I stumbled upon the opportunity for this picture while I was walking around campus looking for interesting subjects. I was far away from these subjects, but I really liked the shot of them walking away in the distance, so I stopped to take a few photos. This was intended as a kind of feature photo, although I was unfortunately unable to get the names of the subjects, or talk to them to ascertain who they were or what they were doing. Regarding composition, I actually took this photo horizontally, and with quite a bit more in the frame, but I decided that it would be more striking if it were cropped vertically. This way, there is less clutter in the frame, and I was able to use the rule of thirds more effectively to frame the subjects with the sidewalk on the bottom and the trees in the sky above. I also like the two leading lines that form a triangle with the subjects near its point. The bicycle, trees, and buildings serve as great balancing elements as well.

Studying by the Windows – Students sit at desks in Coe Library on the University of Wyoming Campus

I took this photo on the patio up the stairs outside of the Union, and it shows eight windows into Coe Library, where students are studying. The intention with this photo was to show a normal activity like studying from a unique and visually intriguing perspective. As such, this is another feature photo wherein I was unable to talk to the subjects. In any case, their distance from the camera and from each other makes the photo more interesting in my opinion. I like the way the light from the windows looks so warm and welcoming, and I like how the trees, exterior lights, and architectural variations act as balancing elements to contrast the symmetry and rigidity of the rectangular array of windows.

Heated Competition – David Romero (right) watches while Sam Perkins (left) lines up a pool shot in the University of Wyoming Union.

I took this shortly after my first sports photo, with the group I mentioned earlier. As such, my experience was, as I described earlier, very friendly and open. With that being said, this is a good time to mention that I should have spoken to these people a bit more, so as to understand more about them and their situation. This photo turned out pretty good, with the predominant absence of other people in the frame helping keep the picture focused. I like the lighting in this picture, and I like the balance between the subjects. There are also some satisfying parallel lines that help frame everything symmetrically. With that being said, I think there is a bit too much going on in the background, so this wasn’t quite my favorite sports photo.

Slow Hours – Suyasha Pradhanang (right) and Ahmed Eltoukhy (left) chatting near closing time at CJ’s in the University of Wyoming Union.

This is another feature photo. As I walked around campus looking for interesting photo opportunities, I saw these two. I liked the moment of these friends talking and hanging out, so I explained the assignment and asked if I could take some pictures. Another person respectfully declined, but the these two seemed happy to help. At first they posed, but I asked them to just continue to act naturally as they had before I arrived. I spent a while moving around and taking photos and eventually got this shot. I like the moment of conversation, with the subjects each occupying a third of the frame and smiling at each other. The wall helps break the photo into two thirds, and the background behind Ahmed, as well as the clock and cash register, help make the photo more visually interesting. I am a bit disappointed with the clarity of this photo, though, as it came out a little blurrier than I hoped.

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