Looking back at 2015

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*this post was written in January, but an error while upgrading WordPress corrupted my blog. after much trial and error, I was finally able to resurrect the blog and hope to keep it going now thats its back.

I returned to The News Journal at the beginning of 2015, after a brief hiatus while working as a multimedia specialist at Rowan’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, New Jersey. In my five years at The News Journal, I’ve always been pleasantly surprised with the passion with which our executive editor pursues stories that matter, and 2015 was no different.

In April, a 7.8M earthquake struck Nepal 50 miles northwest of the capital Kathmandu. Two weeks later, myself and a reporter were on a plane headed to Kathmandu with a group of doctors and nurses to help assist with medical aid efforts.

Workers salvage a desk from a collapsed building in Kathmandu, Nepal Monday, May 11, 2015.

The year also saw the vice president’s son, Beau Biden, die of cancer, the Pope visit Philadelphia, local football player turned cancer advocate Devon Still and his daughter Leah use their story to inspire people across the country and the usual assortment of local flavor, high school sports and quick and dirty portraits.

The Biden family arrive for the funeral service for Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III at St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington Saturday.

Priests travel down the parkway to give communion to the faithful lining the streets to witness Pope Francis' mass Sunday.

DIY Speedlight Grid

Back when I was attending San Jose State, one of my favorite workshops was the lighting workshop that alum Glenn Matsumura would hold once a year. In the journalism department, and without any photographic background, I was never exposed to any lighting specific classes (my own fault for not taking one through the art department). When the lighting workshop rolled around, it gave me a chance to play around with toys that were unfamiliar; grids, ring flashes, dynalite kits that weren’t broken…

One of my favorite tools to play with was the grid spot. Unfortunately, now that I am out of school, I no longer have the access to the kits there, and I can’t afford my own kit. Luckily, there are some great DIY photoblogs out there, and more than a few ways to build your own grid for your strobe.

I ended up following a post on DIYPhotography.net which utilized corrugated plastic for the grid.

ricebowl

diy_grid1

I ended up making two versions, one that was 3cm in length, and another that was 6cm in length. Though the light that was coming out of the grid was definitely more controlled, for some reason I could not achieve the nice circle shape seen in a test using a grid made from black straws. Instead, when shot against a wall, there was a definite rectangular pattern with half-circles coming out of each side. Below are the photos from both the 3 inch and 6 inch versions.

diy_3ingrid diy_6cmgrid

Other DIY grid tutorials:

cardboard
black straws
honeycomb grid

The honeycomb grid is actually an air straightener from a company called saxonpc. They have since realized that there is a market in the photo world for their product and sell grid kits.

Drum Circle @ Green School

Posted below is the latest multimedia I have completed for Green School. It is the third flipbook style audio slideshow I have done (and I think my favorite so far), with photos and sound from a drum circle held at school for the Year 1 – 2 and Year 3 – 4 classes.

My photography has been getting noticeably stagnant (at least in my eyes) in the past couple of months and I know that I need to push myself to do more creative pieces, hopefully starting with the one below. Being out of journalism, and not being surrounded by a talented group of motivated visual artists, has definitely forced me to become much more self-motivated, and so far I have responded by going to the beach.