Saturday, April 11, 2015

Portraits, parks, patience

Andrew and Annabel pose before sliding into a puddle.
  This assignment was probably one of my favorite assignments. The first thought that came to mind when we were given this assignment was the park. What better place to get pictures of someone happy and in their environment. Of course, I had to find someone who would allow me to boss around their children. This person came in the form of a constantly tired cousin who was more than happy to hand off her children to me.
  This assignment, although not as challenging as previous assignments, was a challenge in and of itself. I of course had to wait for the perfect moment to snap a picture because these kids would not stop swinging for anyone.
  The most difficult aspect of this assignment was the waiting. Through this assignment, I learned that I need to work on being patient. Had I not been patient, I would not have gotten some of the pictures that I got.
  I also learned that allowing your subject to just do their thing will result in better and more natural pictures. This assignment was hands down my favorite assignment.

Andrew smiles despite all the rocks that have made their way into his shoes.
Bonus picture: Annabel soaks in the sun before wreaking havoc.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sports with a side of frustration

Hazel Park Junior High School's team captain, Ronnel Best,
(Dressed in red, white and blue) put up enough fight to quickly
take down his opponent.
  This assignment, to say the least, ranks on the lower half of the list of assignments that I enjoyed. Going into this wrestling tournament, I assumed that it would be very easy to get good pictures because wrestling is very low on the movement scale what with all the writhing on the ground. Of course, I was wrong. Again.
  Even with very little movement going on in the "ring," there was still a fair amount of people that would not stop getting in my way, especially the referee. No matter which side of the gym I ran to, I could count on the referee to give me a good shot of his rear end. I must have taken at least twenty pictures of one match alone and of those twenty, I got maybe two decent pictures.
  As for the crowd, I was highly disappointed. This wasn't a regular wrestling meet, this was a tournament. With eight teams competing, I thought I would get amazing pictures of parents cheering their children on, instead I got one too many pictures of stone faced parents that could barely keep their eyes open.
  Fortunately, the coaches were far easier to shoot, even though many of the coaches were either flailing in anger or jumping with joy. It was nice to finally shoot someone with an emotion other than tired.
  With this assignment, I learned that I need to work on shooting sporting events. I became frustrated with this assignment very quickly. Sporting events are so much more unique than I thought. Everything at a sporting event plays a part in the quality of a picture, The environment is in constant motion, the crowd, the athletes, and the coaches.
  It is very important for the photographer to also be constantly moving. When one angle doesn't work, it's time to move. Sports are a lot trickier than one is lead to believe. It'll definitely take me a lot of practice to get a handle on sports photography.

Coach Oz of Hazel Park Junior High grew frustrated quickly with each
call the referee made.
The crowd looked on as the matches ensued.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My right to report, the first amendment

  Amendment I "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

  I will be the first to admit that I never gave my first amendment rights a second thought until recently. Of course, I knew my rights, I could say what I want and post what I want. But my first amendment rights go way beyond that.
  Through reading many different articles about ethics and the First Amendment I learned that these things should mean a lot to me as a journalism student. Being able to speak freely and write what I would like is what the First Amendment is all about. As well as being honest with the what I present and putting out work that is ethical through and through.
  In this day and age, there are a million and one ways to not only alter or change facts, but pictures as well. That is why it is important for me as a journalist to put out my best work possible without compromising my credibility as a professional. Yes, changing a quote could make my article more interesting or altering a picture could make it more appealing, but it is never worth losing my credibility.
  Nothing will make a journalist more credible than honoring both aspects.

The hunt for the perfect picture

  For this assignment we were required to step out of comfort zone, which in short means stop taking pictures of buildings and dogs and finally take feature pictures. I was presented with a list of pictures that were needed by my school's newspaper and was left to choose what I would shoot for this assignment. I choose a seemingly easy idea, the Detroit skyline.
  I was required to go beyond the traditional skyline that can be found on Google. After asking around, no one was willing to offer up their rooftop to me. With some motherly help, though, I came up with the idea of taking pictures from the top of a Greektown Casino parking garage. From seven floors above the heart of Detroit, I shot pictures from any and every angle.
  As well as the picture that we had to do for my school's newspaper, we also had to take a feature picture of our choosing. Naturally, my camera-ready brother offered up his wrestling team. Aside from the stench of dirty socks and sweaty unwashed wrestling gear, shooting Hazel Park Junior High's wrestling team was a fun experience.

Detroit skyline from on top of Greektown Casino parking garage, March 5, 2015.
  Of all the pictures that I took from atop the Greektown Casino parking garage, this was one of my favorites.

Wrestling practice ensues despite being relocated to a completely different gym, March 4, 2015.
   Despite the smell of the gym, I really enjoyed taking pictures of the Hazel Park Junior High wrestling team.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The importance of photo captions

  Before this assignment, I believed that captions should be funny or quirky and that it did not take much thought to whip one up quickly. I also believed that captions were the sole responsibility of the photographer, but this week's assignment showed me otherwise.
  Photos are what pull readers in, so it is more likely that the caption will be read before anything in the actual article; the caption is what will make readers want to move onto the article. This fact alone is why the caption has to contain more information than just a cute and quirky caption.
  Every caption should consist of the 5 W's and one H, which are, who, what, when, where, why and how. By including these elements, the reader knows right off the bat what an article will be about and they will know right away if this article is in their range of interests. No matter how great a photo is, it is imperative that there be an informational caption, captions only add to a photo.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Understanding camera operations

  For this assignment we were required to learn various different camera controls through NewsU tutorials and our photojournalism textbook.
  I learned that there are actual names for what I thought were just cool angles or coincidences. I learned a lot about not only how to shoot pictures, but also what types of pictures work better for different situations. With every assignment I always learn more and this assignment was no exception.
  As well as learning a lot, I also enjoyed this assignment quite a bit. I carried my camera around pretty much everywhere I went for a couple of days in hopes that I would capture something worthwhile and indeed I did.

Too cool to pose for pictures.
Stealing hats to stay warm at the dog park.
This man is into oranges and Katy Perry.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Cell phone photography in media

   For this assignment, we were required to take on the Wayne State University campus and capture what we considered to be newsworthy. At first, I thought this would be a super easy point and shoot type of thing. I was far from right. I had to go beyond the point and shoot mindset that I had developed when we received this assignment.
   With the first picture that I took for Twitter, I actually felt like a stalker because of the way that I was trailing a student to get a decent picture. After following this student for at least half a block, I found a semi perfect moment where the sun was not as intense. I felt that this picture provided a bit of insight to the conditions that Wayne State University students deal with during the Winter semester.
   The second picture that I took was for Instagram and my favorite. I really like this picture because it screams picture perfect to me. Originally I had taken a picture of this little girl walking hand in hand with her mother, soon after taking that picture, though the little girl ran off to play in a puddle.
   I have learned so much through the hands on experience as well as the tutorials. I have learned that leaving my comfort zone is essential to getting good pictures and that hashtags play an important role when posting my pictures on social media websites

Students brave the cold to get to their classes.
Fun is to be found everywhere.

Friday, January 30, 2015

I am Ashourina Slewo

   I was born to two extremely Middle Eastern parents in the large city of Detroit, but raised in the tiny city of Hazel Park, Mich.
   Books and CDs are haphazardly strewn all around my room that only seem to grow into mountains as the days go by and a dog bed that my dog isn't smart enough to use.
   My best friend and concert buddy is my sister, Ashley. For whatever reason, my sister and I always end up meeting our favorite band members. It might be the alignment of the planets, I don't know, but I'm not complaining.
   I am currently a sophomore at Wayne State University. I am pursuing a degree in journalism and a minor that is still up in the air.
   After I graduate, I plan to move out of Michigan and get caught up in the whirlwind of the music industry.