Photographers challenge themselves during DC Shoot-out

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class favorite
CLASS FAVORITE Mari Woodmansee, California State University Bakersfield (Jennifer Burger), [email protected]. Activist Phillipos Melaku-Bello pretends to be an angry protester hitting someone with his sign. He said, “Activist can be passionate this is a good picture to have.”

College Media Convention showcases student photojournalists

By Bradley Wilson, CMR Managing Editor

I made it. With one minute to spare. I was supposed to be at the opening session for the Photo Shoot-out three hours early. American Airlines had other plans. However, thanks to people like Meredith Taylor, CMA’s executive director, Kevin Kleine of Berry College and Sam Oldenburg of Western Kentucky University, I really didn’t need to be there. It was in good hands.

It’s always fun meeting with the photographers, discussing the assignment and possible interpretations of it and the challenges they’ll face in the next couple days. The reasons for NOT putting metadata in each image they want to submit have gotten down right clever. But, yes, they have to find a way to put the metadata with any image they submit.

So, we showed some past entries when the hotel’s technology cooperated and we sent the ban of some 50 college photojournalists on their merry way.

THE ASSIGNMENT: You need to find a person who lives or works in Washington, D.C. or the area — not a tourist. Tell that person’s story. Have some fun along the way and be prepared to explain what you were thinking at the critique. In the metadata File Info, include the following information in the following format. full name, school (adviser’s name); your e-mail address; caption that includes the names of all identifiable people in the image.

SECOND CLASS FAVORITE Jack Rodgers, University of Minnesota (Charlie Weaver); Korean War Veteran Mack Pitts surveys the entrance to the World War II Memorial in downtown Washington D.C. on Saturday, Nov. 2. Dozens of World War II, Korea and Vietnam veterans traveled from Texas to be honored by active duty service members during a brief ceremony just after sunrise.

ON-SITE CRITIQUERS: Bradley Wilson, Kevin Kleine, Robert Muilenburg, Sam Oldenburg

“I enjoyed participating in a critique outside of my normal environment,” Andrea Clunie said. “While I did suspect much of what was said, it’s helpful to hear criticism and (suggestions for) improvements from industry professionals. I find great joy in being given feedback for growth.”

THE RESULTS: When we meet for the group critique, the last thing we do is go through a series of multiple eliminations finding coming upon a class favorite.

  • FIRST: Mari Woodmansee, California State University Bakersfield (Jennifer Burger, adviser).
  • SECOND: Jack Rodgers, University of Minnesota (Charlie Weaver, adviser)

“For the second picture laid down on the ground to get a different outlook,” said Woodmansee. “We were trying to get different shots and angles. Just his expression in the photo made me choose this one. I took a lot of photos that day and this one just spoke to me and stood out”

Jack Rodgers said, “My favorite part of the shootout was definitely just getting out and exploring D.C. While I knew I wanted to take a fair amount of photos over the course of the conference, I also made sure as much as I had my camera out, I also just kept it in my bag. This lead to exploring for the sake of exploring, seeing new things, talking to people and overall learning what the city was like. All skills that are crucial to being able to make good pictures when you do have a camera in hand.”

Zahn Schultz agreed that getting to view the city in a new way was exhilarating.

“What I like about the shoot out is it is the most interactive of all the sessions at the conference,” Schultz said. “Getting to go out and shoot a new city is the ultimate adventure. It’s challenging and pushes you outside your comfort zone. It’s like a treasure hunt to find the story and capture it as you run around a new city for the first time.”

Logan Bilk also agreed with Rodgers.

“The Photo Shoot-out was a fun way to get to know the city of Washington, D.C.,” Bilk said. “Given that it was my first time visiting the nation’s capital, I was a bit hesitant about where to start looking for a portrait. However, the Shoot-out made me get out of my comfort zone and find out what makes the city unique.”

After I get home and can get things organized, I send out the link to the Flickr gallery to a bunch of photojournalism friends. Everyone is busy, so all they have to do is give me their top three. Then I work to figure out the top placing images.

  • FIRST AND BEST OF SHOW: Mari Woodmansee, California State University Bakersfield (Jennifer Burger, adviser).
  • SECOND: Yuki Smith, Montgomery College (Steve Thurston, adviser)
  • THIRD: Zahn Schultz, Central Washington University (Jennifer Green, adviser)
  • HONORABLE MENTION: Andrea Clunie, Milwaukee Area Technical College (O. Ricardo Pimentel, adviser)
  • HONORABLE MENTION: Logan Bik, California State University Northridge

Rodgers said that the Shoot-out also reinforced that you don’t have to be doing something wildly interesting or be in the perfect light to make good photos.

“My favorite interaction of the weekend came from a subject who I talked to for a good while at a coffee shop,” Rodgers said. “Before I even took a photo, we just talked about life for a good 45 minutes. This part of the process is quickly becoming my favorite aspect of photojournalism.”

JUDGES: Alison Strelitz, Bernadette Cranmer, Eric Thomas, Gary Lundgren, Gina Claus, Jason Weingart, Jed Palmer, Jennifer Green, Jessica Kemnitz, Jim McNay, John Beale, Judy Babb, Kelly Furnas, Laura Widmer, Laurie Hansen, Leah Waters, Leslie Shipp, Margaret Sorrows, Matt Stamey, Michael Reeves, Michael Simons, Mindy Wiedebusch, Mitchell Franz, Nicole Gravlin, Sam Oldenburg, Steven Dearinger, Tim Morley and Tom Winski.

DC Portrait 19
Shoot-out images

Due to lack of planning on behalf of the Washington Nationals, the parade celebrating their World Series championship was scheduled at the same time as the critique for the Shoot-out. (Notice that I used passive voice. If I knew who scheduled the parade, I’d give them a piece of my mind.)

Realizing that many photographers were going to want to shoot images of this parade that would be making international news only a few blocks from the hotel, we made the critique option — if they also submitted pictures of the parade.

READ Logan Bik’s story about the parade.

Washington Nationals Parade