This is not an exit

Let’s start taking photos together

In Uncategorized on January 13, 2012 at 9:00 am

This has been a week of many firsts. It’s the first full week I’ve dedicated to the blog, first week of my tenure at Flux magazine and my first week as a bonafide journalism major at the University of Oregon. It’s also the first week of this photo column.

Taking pictures has always been something I’ve loved doing. As I’ll discuss in another post later — or part of a post scheduled for Monday I’ll publish later today — I’m a pretty nostalgic person. I love chronicling moments, especially those between the people who matter most to me. There’s also something about a burst of color confined within a frame that’s difficult to put into words. I guess that’s why they say a picture is worth a thousand of them.

An ever-present goal of mine is to get better acclimated to my Canon Rebel. I bought the thing for $500 in June of 2010 before I started at The News-Register and it earned me a great deal of assignments I wouldn’t have been given had I not been able to report, write and shoot. I think I owe it to this little camera to give it a bit of love. And since this blog is meant to chronicle my growth as a journalist, what better place to show off my progress?

I’m also a firm believer in knowing where you came from, so I’m going to fill this first column with a bunch of photos I took with an old film camera I got from my roommate’s mom.

Okay, so this first shot wasn’t taken with the film camera. But I included it because 1) I miss my friend Martin like all hell and 2) I miss my iPhone Fox McCloud like all hell. What’s that? You want me to explain what each photo means? Okay, but I’m cutting into my weekend for this, you know. And I’m only doing it for a few of ’em. You’ll have to check the gallery at the bottom if you want to see them all. Consider it a tl;dr.

Following that amazing portrait of Martin are three photos I took with my first roll of film. The first is a church just off 11th Avenue in Eugene next to the CD/Game Exchange where I buy a lot of used video games for decent prices. My mom is a devout Catholic and she dragged me to church every Sunday for about 11 years until I convinced her it wasn’t worth her trouble. But the imagery I was exposed to before I stopped attending has left me with a sense of wonder when it comes to religious imagery. That’s probably why I took to snapping so many photos of this church. This is one of the best of them. The next photo (found in the gallery along with the third in this mini-set) might be familiar to anyone who’s visited my Twitter profile page. It was my first crack at toying with light and this was the end result. It’s not the greatest, but I’m attached to it nonetheless. Finally, the last is one of my favorite photos of my friend Patrick (whose mom gave me that camera, by the way.) He was a good enough sport to help me out by posing in this alley just south of the CD/Game Exchange. And whaddya know? There’s that church again.

The next two photos I pulled from a shoot with my friends Jenny and Sarah. Oh, and Jenny’s Great Dane, Brutus, came along for the ride (He was actually the whole reason for us going there in the first place.) That first shot of Jenny and Brutus is absolutely priceless. I called it “Brutus Doesn’t Listen” because that seemed to be a theme that day. Jenny would try to coerce him with a tennis ball or get him to stay out of puddles at Alton Baker Park but, as the title suggests, he wouldn’t have any of it. That second shot of those two — seen exclusively in the gallery at the bottom of this post — has always been one of my favorite photos.

The last four photos in this set I took during my first trip to Mexico. I was born there, but my family moved to Oregon in 1989. It took more than 18 years before we made it back. That first shot is of my mom while we were visiting one of my cousins. The girl was home alone and my mother was hoping to see the whole family. Not one to lose a trip over something as trivial as nobody being home, Mom asked to see the house. During the tour she kept interrupting my cousin during her stories, this being one of those instances.

This next shot is of my uncle Angel, who lives in Oregon eight months out of the year and Mexico the other four. While he’s here he works at a nursery to earn money. He sends as much cash as he can to his wife and three kids.

Mexico Photo Number 3 gives you an idea of the way everyone felt about my camera and me after the first day of the trip (I’m sure photographers can relate to this.)

The final photo in this set is a shot of the sun rising over the room I called home for those two weeks. I snapped it on the second-to-last day on the trip.

So this was more or less where I started. I’ve always heard that the camera isn’t nearly as important as the photographer. I agree wholeheartedly. I’d also say that given interesting subjects and the right perspective, anyone can be a photog. As far as these photos go, I’d say I knew what I was doing approximately 5 percent of the time. The rest was sheer luck and naturally great subjects. As the year goes on, I hope the ratio of skill to luck evens out a bit. Now check them all out in the gallery below. And if you’re so inclined, feel free to share the link to your own Flickr page or other gallery in the comments or shoot me an email. Don’t be shy about giving me tips, either. That’s why I’m starting this column!

But what do YOU think?

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