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2014 Wrap Up

2014 was quite the adventure. I went to the Olympics, and added two new countries to my list in the process. I completely totaled my first car. I spent spring break 2014 with some amazing people. Some have left. Some became a bigger part of my life. I successfully raised some fish from eggs through adulthood. (Pretty proud of that one.) I spent an excruciating amount of time at Indiana fairs. Actually, I spent every day of the Indiana State Fair in a tiny trailer with 20ish other young journalists. I even stalked the State Fair queen for two days. I photographed almost all of Ball State’s home football games. I’ve gathered some of my favorite images from the year, with some of the most important things I learned from them. Student enjoys fall sunset

There’s nothing wrong with cell phones. The best camera in this case was an IPhone, considering it was with me. I also realized I want to carry a DSLR more often.

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Midterms are excruciating when it’s 30 degrees and raining in an area that already doesn’t vote much.

Zombies takeover Ball State during food drive

Moment over makeup. I was waiting for the people with more impressive costume to show up when I spotted this really sweet hug between a grandmother and her grandson.

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My self portrait work needs help. That’s a sad Rembrandt. Also, I should take more notes about failed lighting schemes. I tend to struggle to remember what went wrong. That’s valuable, I suppose.

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You really, really have to go with the flow when blue meanie looking Russian band members almost roll you over at the Olympic Park. This was also a lesson in how much I’m terrible at self editing. I didn’t start loving this photo until three different masters of photography plucked it out.

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Rodeos apparently have sort of a nice color palette? Sports shot this year included rodeo, cheerleading, band competition, football, and poi. They were all a blast.

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Consider every angle. Always look for something new.

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Light. Light. Light. Light. Light. Light. Light. Light.

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Knowing the game is as valuable as knowing the camera.

I’m glad I can look back at this blog and realize the mistakes I’ve made and things I’ve learned in the past year. It’s enjoyable to see the holes in my work and be able to make a plan for the upcoming year.

I’m gearing up to do some more serious video in 2015 and I hope to do some documentary type work.  In March, it’s pretty certain I’ll be heading to Cuba to do some photography. I’m currently adding content to a website that will be launching. I’ll be working to improve my brand, as well as my lighting skills. I’m really excited to get started! Thank you for being on the journey.

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Winner! Winner!

One of the assignments for BSU at the Fair was to shoot a photo series. I find people who work carnival games to be entertaining and mysterious, so I thought I’d turn the camera to them. Here’s just a few from my complete series. After a week of classes, I’m really starting to miss my daily lemon shake ups and the midway sunsets.Irby 16148Carnival Workers

 

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Miss Indiana State Fair

I spent roughly two days with the queen of the Indiana State Fair. Her name is Alyssa Garnett. She’s a college student, a sorority sister, a small town girl and the representative for the Indiana State Fair. These photos are a glimpse into her daily activities at the fair. I’ve kept the photos in the same order I originally presented them, as well as the same captions.

 

Miss State Fair Queen Alyssa Garnett waits backstage for the introduction of the county queens. Garnett has a schedule of mandatory events she must attend daily during the State Fair. Garnett is a college student from Pulaski County, Ind.

Miss State Fair Queen Alyssa Garnett waits backstage for the introduction of the county queens. Garnett has a schedule of mandatory events she must attend daily during the State Fair. Garnett is a college student from Pulaski County, Ind.

 

Garnett reapplies her makeup throughout the day to keep up her appearance. She regularly wears her hair in a bun to keep it looking nice in the heat.

Garnett reapplies her makeup throughout the day to keep up her appearance. She regularly wears her hair in a bun to keep it looking nice in the heat.

 

Garnett talks to the calf she helped deliver at the Indiana State Fair. She says the calf is very sweet and likes to be played with.

Garnett talks to the calf she helped deliver at the Indiana State Fair. She says the calf is very sweet and likes to be played with.

 

Employees from Roche Diagnostics pose for a photo with Garnett. It wasn't until later that she realized that their excitement to see her may have been because she was a scavenger hunt item. She was.

Employees from Roche Diagnostics pose for a photo with Garnett. It wasn’t until later that she realized that their excitement to see her may have been because she was a scavenger hunt item. She was.

 

Garnett helps thresh wheat in the Pioneer Village at the State Fair. Her duties in the Pioneer Village include blacksmith, wheat threshing, and cutting lard.

Garnett helps thresh wheat in the Pioneer Village at the State Fair. Her duties in the Pioneer Village include blacksmith, wheat threshing, and cutting lard.

Garnett lets Cora Shaw, 2, of Southport Ind. try on her crown. Garnett says she is often stopped my kids and parents wanting to take photos.

Garnett lets Cora Shaw, 2, of Southport Ind. try on her crown. Garnett says she is often stopped my kids and parents wanting to take photos.

Garnett rests in the office where she goes to reapply makeup and occasionally take naps. She says in the office she can relax because she must smile at all times while in the public eye.

Garnett rests in the office where she goes to reapply makeup and occasionally take naps. She says in the office she can relax because she must smile at all times while in the public eye.

Garnett participates in the daily parade every day of the fair. She says she's doesn't get bored with it because it could be the last parade she'll ever be featured in.

Garnett participates in the daily parade every day of the fair. She says she’s doesn’t get bored with it because it could be the last parade she’ll ever be featured in.

Taking to the Skies

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I spent about three days shooting at the Porter County Fair to prepare for a mobile newsroom I’ll be apart of via Ball State come the Indiana State Fair. I came away with quite a few photos, and I was able to use my GoPro for the first time, which I’m sure I’ll use more later on.

My favorite images came from the Kiwanis Balloon Launch. I’ve included them with some of my other photos. I’ve been to a few hot air balloon events with my family through the years, but never was able to see them so close.

My time spent at the fair made me realize how many opportunities for photos I’ll have. I covered 4-H events ranging from animal judgings to smaller projects, the events going on, interesting people, sunsets, people setting up, and interesting light.

I’m interested in pushing myself for the full 17 days of the fair to produce quality content and different photos each day.

Friend and photographer Jonathan Miksanek will also be working the fair, so we shot together. You can check out his images from the fair here.

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Rust and Growth

Here’s a photo from my backyard. I’ve never actually just shot around in my neighborhood, so I thought a good place to start was my own house.

Today and tomorrow I’ll be heading out to the parks and stuff around my town to work on my personal symmetry project.

Reflection

 

Junior special education major Sam Hebe gets her head shaved to raise money for Riley Children's Hospital at Ball State's Dance Marathon on Feb. 22.

Junior special education major Sam Hebe gets her head shaved to raise money for Riley Children’s Hospital at Ball State’s Dance Marathon on Feb. 22.

 

Every story has a person. That’s right. For each and every tale you can tell, there is at least one human at the heart of it. Helping it grow and live on. One of the most important lessons for me this semester was that every story is so much more interesting when you let a a living, breathing, passionate person tell it. I realized recently that I’m in photography to discuss the human experience. This experience ranges from small victories, to big decisions, to little candid smiles. When I’m shooting events for the newspaper, I look for photos that capture a moment of time, a human emotion. I feel like this small collection of photos show my journey through other people’s moments and stories.

 

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A Day at the Shedd

Over spring break, I visited the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. While I was there, I noticed the the way the light filtered in off the tanks. I was looking for an image that would show people interacting with the Shedd. I found these little girls playing with each other and admiring the fish.

Finally!

My friend Kourtney upon seeing the Olympic Rings in Sochi for the first time.

 

We finally arrived in Sochi, Russia yesterday. I could not be happier. It was a pretty simple day including a flight from Moscow to Sochi, a very long check-in process for the cruise ship, exploring this HUGE cruise ship, and eventually heading out to check out the area around us.

It's alllll Coke, guys. Get me out of Coke country.

It’s alllll Coke, guys. Get me out of Coke country.

 

This is the view from one of the decks on the ship!

This is the view from one of the decks on the ship!

Kayla Eiler shoots a life preserver on our cruise ship. She's apart of our documentary team.

Kayla Eiler shoots a life preserver on our cruise ship. She’s apart of our documentary team.

We went to dinner at a place called Schwarma House. I got a chicken kebab and it was awesome and totally different from American kebabs.

We went to dinner at a place called Schwarma House. I got a chicken kebab and it was awesome and totally different from American kebabs.

I’m really kind of upset about yesterday because I never got tickets for the Opening Ceremony because the weather was making our travel plans different everyday, and the tickets were expensive for something I may not have been in town for. The Opening Ceremony has always been my absolutely favorite part of the Olympics.  I wouldn’t worry about not going, except for the fact that I got to watch the fireworks at the venue from a few hundred feet away. Oh well. There’s always another Olympics, right?

Fireworks outside of the Olympic Ceremony! It hurt a lot to watch them from so far away.

Fireworks outside of the Olympic Ceremony! It hurt a lot to watch them from so far away.