Moments

I am in the process of trying to reboot my exhibition career. In the past I have participated in five exhibitions and am hoping to participate in a two man show this autumn with a friend in the Pittsburgh area. I am thinking of limiting my part of the exhibition to display work that was captured at a decisive moment. This is a slide show of some of the current candidates. Of course this could be entirely different by show time.

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To see other images and buy apparel or prints, please visit my commercial gallery.

Momens

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Being a Photojournalist

I first posted this a couple of years ago. Somebody clicked on it yesterday and I read it again and thought it was worthy of a repost.

Being a Photojournalist

Photojournalism usually refers to a type of journalism where the picture is used to tell a story or express a position. When I first started in Photography it was the only thing I really wanted to do. Even back then it was hard to make a living as a photojournalist, so I learned how to do other things but my love of Photojournalism never left me. To this day I keep taking photojournalistic images even though nobody is paying me to do it. To see other images and buy apparel or prints, please visit my commercial gallery.

This one was taken in Paris France last summer.

Warm up for Pari Roller

You don’t really need Press Credentials to be a photojournalist, but it sure helps. Since the assassinations of the 1960’s it is more difficult to get close to people and stages. Even in the 1970’s, I could never have gotten close enough to get this photograph of Senator’s McGovern and Kennedy at a Pittsburgh presidential campaign rally without Press Credentials.

George McGovern and Ted Kennedy 1972

To be a photojournalist you need to be able to work strange and long hours. Like a news reporter you have to be willing to do anything for a story. In 1978, film director George Romero made “Dawn of the Dead” in a local Pittsburgh Shopping Mall. I was assigned to cover the story for Pittsburgh Magazine. Since it was being shot at a shopping mall, it was filmed from 9 PM until 8 AM. I would shoot at night and develop the film and make the prints during the day to be able to make the magazine deadline. This is a shot of George Romero listening to one of the movie’s Producers and trying to stifle a laugh.

George Romero on the Set of Dawn of the Dead

Sometimes the story is not right in front of you. I was assigned to cover the One World Festival of Music in 1972 in Pittsburgh. I was sitting in the stands trying to figure out how to sneak on to the stage. I noticed some people sitting behind me and figured out it was Dino Valente and Gary Duncan from Quicksilver Messenger Service. The band was one of the headline acts that would perform later. I clicked this picture of Dino Valente kissing some unknown blonde which was the best image of the day.

Dino Valenti of Quicksilver Messenger Service

Caught in The Act

Capture the moment. Henri Cartier-Bresson was the famous French Photojournalist which developed the idea that for each image there is one correct moment of capture and only one. This picture was taken at a high school football championship game and I think illustrates that point. The facial expressions all have the one pure moment of victorious joy and the pat on the derriere offers the exclamation point on the moment. Bracket your exposures and take multiple exposures to make sure you capture the defining moment.

WPIAL Championship 1974

Always take pictures of the weird stuff you may see. One might think that this is some sort of worker in a radiation suit involved in some nuclear or chemical accident. The reality is quite different. This person was participating in a race that used to happen every spring at Penn State University. People would have to run a mile and drink six beers at six different bars along the run. Participants would dress in weird costumes and the money was donated to charity. The event was eventually cancelled because the University and the town councils thought in promoted public drunkenness

Smoke Break

I am always amazed when traveling through Europe to see how many people smoke cigarettes. It is hard to find restaurants that are non smoking although there are more of them in Paris than during my visit in the 1990’s. This was taken on the streets of Paris as a young man takes a break from his shop job to grab a smoke. You can see other photojournalistic pieces and more scenic work form my european portfolio by clicking here.

Smoke break in Paris France

Smoke break in Paris France

The Taste Buds

Penn State University had a fraternity fund raiser called the Phi Si 500. It was a race, where runners had to run a mile and stop and drink a beer at a number of bars along the way. They would frequently do so in costume. This is Bud Man leading the Taste Buds to the next bar in State College PA during the 1980’s. The University and the City finally agreed to prohibit the race and the Fraternity created a more standard fun raising event. You can purchase a copy of this print by clicking here.

The Taste Buds State College, PA

Becoming a Photojournalist

Photojournalism usually refers to a type of journalism where the picture is used to tell a story or express a position. Photojournalists frequently work with writers who are assigned to a “story” by a media editor. Sometimes the journalist writes both the story and takes the pictures to support the story. Photojournalism is different then celebrity paparazzi photography. Paparazzi and other celebrity street photography are a subset of photojournalism but are more about celebrity than photography.

You don’t really need Press Credentials to be a photojournalist, but it sure helps. Since the assassinations of the 1960’s it is more difficult to get close to people and stages. Even in the 1970’s, I could never have gotten close enough to get this photograph of Senator’s McGovern and Kennedy at a Pittsburgh presidential campaign rally without Press Credentials. Today you can use a camera on a tripod with a telephoto lens to take pictures like this from further away. However, you will need Press Credentials to be able to set up a tripod and gain access the to pool area where photographers are allowed. You will need to develop a Photographic Portfolio to show to editors to get them to put you on their freelance staff. You will need to be able to work at first as an Independent Contractor and if you are lucky, you may some day get a full time job at very low pay. In the old days, freelance photographers were called “stringers”, today they are called underemployed. You may be required to have a background and security check before getting Press Credentials.

McGovern Kennedy in Pittsburgh

To be a photojournalist you need to be able to work strange and long hours. Like a news reporter you have to be willing to do anything for a story. In 1978, film director George Romero made “Dawn of the Dead” in a local Pittsburgh Shopping Mall. I was assigned to cover the story for Pittsburgh Magazine. Since it was being shot at a shopping mall, it was filmed from 9 PM until 8 AM. I would shoot at night and develop the film and make the prints during the day to be able to make the magazine deadline. This is a shot of George Romero listening to one of the movie’s Producers and trying to stifle a laugh.

George Romero on the Set of Dawn of the Dead

Sometimes the story is not right in front of you. I was assigned to cover the One World Festival of Music in 1972 in Pittsburgh. I was sitting in the stands trying to figure out how to sneak on to the stage. I noticed some people sitting behind me and figured out it was Dino Valente and Gary Duncan from Quicksilver Messenger Service. The band was one of the headline acts that would perform later. I clicked this picture of Dino Valente kissing some unknown blonde which was the best image of the day.

Dino Valenti of Quicksilver Messenger Service

Caught in The Act

Capture the moment. Henri Cartier-Bresson was the famous French Photojournalist which developed the idea that for each image there is one correct moment of capture and only one. This picture illustrates the point, a moment earlier he was standing, a moment later he had fallen. I call this image Stop the World! and it is the title of my first book. It is available on iTunes by clicking here.

Stop the World!

Finally, always take pictures of the weird stuff you may see. One might think that this is some sort of worker in a radiation suit involved in some nuclear or chemical accident. The reality is quite different. This person was participating in a race that used to happen every spring at Penn State University. People would have to run a mile and drink six beers at six different bars along the run. Participants would dress in weird costumes and the money was donated to charity. The event was eventually cancelled because the University and the town councils thought in promoted public drunkenness.

Ewwww!

I love the art of street photography. I think I like it because if you do it right, the photographer is only recording and not impacting the emotion or action of a scene. Ever since I learned about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle I felt an obligation as a photographer to minimize the observer effect when shoot on the street. This was taken while waiting for my family while they were shopping in Chicago. Had the young lady seen me, I doubt if she would have reacted so strongly to the Wicked Advertisement. You can buy a print of this image on my commercial site by clicking here.

Ewwww!