Addie Wallace Reports on Yardbird

Check out my final project video:

The final project for this course required me to find an event or environment that was interesting and conducive to photography and story telling. To fulfill the requirements of the assignment, I had to take 15 to 20 good photographs of the environment, which not only showcased the space, but told a story, and obtain a minute and a half to two minutes of audio describing what was in my photographs. After collecting these aspects of the project, I would have to put them all together in an MP4 video format.

For this assignment I elected to cover a restaurant as I am a nutrition and food science minor and I felt as if it was an appropriate topic. It also lent itself to being visually interesting and had audio that I could easily obtain.

A family friend of mine mentioned that she knew the owners of a restaurant by the name of Yardbird and could get me access to the back kitchen and an interview with the owner.

When I arrived at Yardbird, I immediately began taking pictures of the restaurant itself where people were eating. They had a ton of decorations and interesting things to capture. When I first arrived I had to set the settings of my camera to appropriately capture the room given the lighting that was available. After doing this, taking the pictures went relatively quickly. I tried to capture both the areas where guest sit and take notice of when they come into the restaurant, but also the artier aspects that those dining may not notice.

After I took as many pictures as I felt I needed, I began to look for individuals to interview and get sound bites from. I began with Ryleigh Gorham who was working at the reception desk. I explained to her what my assignment was and asked if I could ask her a few questions, to which she agreed.

After interviewing her, she introduced me to some of the other individuals who work there and the owner, who knew I was coming. After interviewing each of them, I took their photograph. They also gave me access to the kitchen to take a few photos as well.

Overall, collecting the photos and the audio was fun! It was cool to be able to go into an environment that I normally wouldn’t be allowed in, the kitchen. As I left I felt confident in the photos I had taken.

When I arrived to class on Thursday, I began to put my project together. This proved to be more of a challenge than collecting the pictures and audio was. I first uploaded my photos and chose those I felt best represented the restaurant. After doing this, I began to edit all of the photos, and then proceeded to write the captions. Once I finished this, I began to edit my audio.

I had never before worked with audio and found there to be a slight learning curve in figuring out how to edit it. However, once I figured out how to do so, the process went rather quickly. I learned however, that I need to start recording about five seconds before I ask the person I am interviewing the question so that none of what they are saying is cut off.

After editing the audio, I was able to pull the whole project together. When I completed it, I was incredibly proud of myself. I had never worked on anything remotely close to this project before so everything was new to me and I was very pleased with how it turned out.



Addie Wallace Takes Sports Photos

Fans pay to shoot baskets at halftime during a basketball game at Clarenceville High School on Tuesday
Sacred Heart’s Kelleigh Keating runs down the court with the ball during a basketball game at Clarenceville High School on Tuesday


Sacred Hearts head coach George Miller talks to his team at halftime during a basketball game at Clarenceville High School on Tuesday

This week’s photojournalism assignment was to find a sporting event and cover it. One of the initial challenges this assignment presented was actually finding the sports event to attend. I don’t frequently attend sports events and for this project I needed to attend an event in which I would have fairly good access to the players, fans and coaches. One of my first thoughts when I was thinking of what event I might be able to get this type of access at was one of my sisters swim meets. However, they have very strict rules about what and where photography can take place. I ruled this option on early on. My next idea was to look at the different events that my old high school, The Academy of the Sacred Heart, had going on. Unfortunately, it seemed as if all of their sports were in-between seasons. The first sports event that I saw taking place was a girl’s basketball game two days before the assignment was due. This was perfect.

I made sure the night before that my camera was completely charged and that there was enough room on my memory card to take a lot of photos. The game was an away game, at Clarenceville High School, and was to begin at 7pm. I had never been there before and my GPS said the school was located a half hour from my house. I left an hour a head of time just to be sure that I would be able to arrive on time. After driving for 30 minutes, my GPS told me that I had arrived but I was in the middle of a neighborhood. I pulled over and began to try and figure out what had gone wrong. As it turns out, my phone had sent me to the general area known as the Clarenceville School District. So I pulled up the address of the game again and drove five minutes to that building. However, no cars were in the parking lot. I circled the building, parked my car and walked to the door. It was locked. As I began to walk back to my car, a police drove by very slowly. Again I got on my GPS and realized I was at the Clarenceville Middle School, and not the high school. Luckily, the high school was just two minutes away.

When I arrived, the game was just beginning. I paid my $5 to get in and took a seat on the bleachers. I was able to get great action shots of the players from where I was sitting, as well as of the fans. However, the coaches were further away, on the other side of the gym, and the individuals announcing were very strict about fans staying on the correct side of the gym. Therefore, I found it a great deal harder than I thought it was going to be to get good shots of the coaches. I really liked getting the action shots and during halftime, fans were able to pay a dollar to take a shot with the basketball. This allowed me to get fun and unique fan photos. These aspects were easier than I thought they were going to be and were enjoyable. Talking to the other fans and telling them about what I was doing was also very fun. Trying to get a good photo of the coaches however was extremely frustrating.

On a side note, I was able to obtain a roster for the Sacred Heart team before the game began, but not for Clarenceville. I asked at half time a number of people, including the woman charging for admission at the door, and no one was able to provide me with a roaster for their team. This was even after I explained my assignment. Therefore for the action photos, I am only able to choose from those featuring Sacred Heart players. This is extremely limiting and an aspect that I did not foresee and that makes this assignment harder.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this assignment and would love to do it again. I found that by this point in the semester I am a lot more familiar with my camera and its controls so it was a lot easier than I thought it would be to get great photos. I found that its really important to be familiar with your camera when shooting sports because things happen so quickly. You cannot be messing with your camera trying to figure out the setting because you will miss some great action photos. In thinking about this, I am thankful I picked a sporting event that was inside with consistent lighting. Had I been able to attend a game such as football, which happens outside with changing lighting, I feel this assignment would have been much harder for me and I would have struggled more with my camera operations. However, because it was inside, I was really able to focus on getting the best action, coach and fan photos that I could.

I enjoyed this assignment, felt very comfortable with my camera skills and would love to shoot another sports event.

Addie Wallace takes Portrait Photos

Stephen Jones works on creating a Wayne State University recruitment video on WSU’s campus, Monday, November 7. I decided Jones creating a recruitment video was an interesting subject to photograph as he was mastering video and photography skills, as I am in this course.
Stephen Jones
Stephen Jones

For this week’s photojournalism assignment, I focused on mastering two different types of portraits. The first type of portrait was the classic head and shoulders photo of an individual against a white background. The second photo was of the same individual, however, this second picture is an environmental portrait. To qualify as an environmental portrait, the subject has to be out in the world posing for the photo.

When I was first given this assignment, I felt that the classic portrait was most likely going to be easier to take than the environmental portrait. I thought this was going to be the case because I knew what I needed the classic portrait to look like and I did not know what I wanted the environmental portrait to look like. However I knew I needed it to be creative and reflective of my subjects personality.

Another difficult aspect of this assignment was to find someone who would be willing to pose for two portraits, yet had interesting and creative props that could be used for the environmental photo. I did not know where to begin searching for a subject to photograph. I begin carrying my camera around with me while I was out-and-about during the day in case I saw anyone who looked as if they were doing something interesting and would be willing to pose for a photo.

I had a prearranged meeting with Stephen Jones who is a peer mentor, deans delegate and is putting together a recruitment campaign video for the communications department where he interviews students and puts together a film for prospective students to see what life is like for a student on the campus.

When I saw him with his camera, it felt like a very fitting and interesting scene to photograph for this class as this class is all about photography and here we have someone currently working with video and photography to make a video for out university.

When I asked him if he would be willing to take the photos, he was more than happy to. Taking the classic portrait was pretty easy. It took a few tries to get the lighting right, which could have been awkward if he was not as understanding, but after setting the gears on the camera to the correct settings, I was able to get my photo taken relatively quickly. For the environmental portrait, I posed my subject in the heart of the campus with his camera because he is making a video about students and campus life. I was very happy how this environmental portrait came out as it communicates his hardworking and dedicated personality as he poses with his camera. It also communicates what he is working on as he is surrounded by Wayne State students.

In looking back on this assignment, I think that portrait photography is easier then I expected. If you are taking someone portrait, they have agreed to the picture and are working with you, which makes it go faster. It can also be fun to be creative and pose your subjects. I really think that I am getting used to photographing people and getting their information as well. At first I did not like the aspect of having to talk to those we photograph and get their story, but now that I have been doing it for a while, I can not imagine photographing people and not talking to them. Getting the stories of the people is such an important part of telling the whole story of the photo. It also makes photography not as lonely and adds a human aspect.

My First Experience Shooting Feature Photos

Susan Rogers, of Bloomfield Hills, hugs her dog Cody Thursday in Shain Park in Birmingham, Michigan.

This past week my assignment was to create a package of three feature photos and an enterprise photo. The three feature photos were to be event photos, taken at an event of my choice. For the enterprise photo, the requirements were to go into the community and observe what people were doing in hopes of finding an inspiring or interesting scene and capturing it.

After receiving the requirements for this assignment, I was excited to get out into the community and attempt to take inspiring photos. After hearing the specifics, I was taken aback by how broad the guidelines were. This encouraged me. I had the opportunity to cover anything!

The first photo I thought about was the enterprise photo. I did not know where the best location would be to find a random, yet compelling moment, but I concluded that the best thing that I could do would be to walk around my community and try and find something that captured my attention.

Luckily enough, in the park by my house, I spotted a woman with what seemed to be an older Rottweiler. When I spotted them, the dog was smelling flowers as the owner looked on admiringly. I followed the pair at a distance for a while snapping photos as they walked through the park and eventually sat down to rest.

As soon as I was confident that I had taken enough good enterprise photos of them, I went up and introduced myself to the woman, asked for her name and explained what I had been doing.

Shooting an enterprise photo was more fun and easy then I thought it was going to be. However, I can see how I could get into jams if I were to be unable to find an interesting scene and was in a time crunch.

For the event photos, I initially was at a loss for what event I should attend and take photos of. But just a day and a half after receiving this assignment, the law firm which I interned at over the summer emailed me and asked if on Monday I would be willing to attend a ceremony which they would be receiving an award at and take some photos of their representative receiving the award.

My event had found me.

I arrived at the Southfield Civics Center at 4:30 on Monday ready to shoot photos of the City of Southfield 2016 Community Pride Awards, which was to begin at 5. While taking photos of the audience, those receiving awards and the community leaders presenting the awards, I found the majority of people to be very kind and willing to give their information if I had taken a photo of them. I found it a little difficult to keep the right amount of light in the photo while I was shooting, however, as the lighting was constantly changing in the room. With the exception of that, however, the event was fun to cover and the lighting challenge was good experience for me having to master changing the camera controls while actively shooting.

What I Have Learned About the First Amendment

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, and the rights it bestows upon U.S. citizens, is truly something that sets America apart from many other countries in the world.

For myself, as a collegiate photojournalism student, the First Amendment is what allows me to be able to not only major in journalism, but study and learn about it, and take courses such as photojournalism.

The First Amendment allows me as a student of photojournalism to be able to go out into the world and report what I see and learn without having to be worried about reporting what I observe.

I always knew that it was because of the First Amendment that I had the freedom of expression, including the right to write and communicate publicly my thoughts and beliefs.

However, it was not until this week when I was studying and reading about the First Amendment that I took the time to truly understand the totality of what rights I take for granted daily. I learned that the First Amendment has five parts.

  • The first is the freedom of religion. This allows us as citizens of the United States the  ability to practice any religion of our choice. 
  • The next is the right to the freedom of speech. This is pertinent to journalism and      reporting, as it is what allows news to be able to ethically report to the population, along with protecting a number of other activates. Without this right, photojournalists would have difficult time talking to and reporting about the individuals and events we photograph. 
  • The third is the right to the freedom of press. For myself, currently pursuing a career in journalism, this freedom is extremely important to me. Without this right, I would not be able to become a journalist, or ethically carry out the duties of what is means to be a journalist. 
  • The fourth right is the freedom of assembly. This right is essential to citizens right to protest and make their opinion know. Also, without it, a lot of events would not be able to occur in the first place, leaving us as photojournalists nothing to report on. 
  • And the fifth right is the freedom to petition. This right is important to us as citizens and journalists as it allows individuals to have a say in the governement and legal processes, and as journalists it allows us to be able to fight for and help report on a cause. 

Along with learning specifically what the First Amendment guarantees, I also learned more about whom the First Amendment applies to. When I was in high school, I wrote for and eventually edited my school newspaper. However, I never once thought about what it was that gave my fellow students and me the right to have a school paper. I now know that it is the same First Amendment, which protects large news stations such as FOX, that also protected the rights of my high school paper.

Something completely new that this lesson taught me, which I had been previously ignorant of, is that law officials sometimes violate your right to the First Amendment. I had always thought that in America, the First Amendment rights are always protected. I now know to look out for my First Amendment rights, and make sure that they stay protected, especially when I am working.

Finally, something in this lesson that I found to be very interesting was the discussion of photojournalism ethics and the behavior of photojournalists while they are working. While this was a topic that I had pondered before, I had always thought about it in terms of the photo itself. I knew it was wrong to manipulate any photo or try to present the subject in a way that was different from how it was in reality. However, I had never thought about things, such as not taking food or free handouts while out on assignment. However, it makes complete sense and I am glad that I learned about it as to avoid a mistake in the future.


Learning the Controls of my Canon Camera

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When I enrolled in this photojournalism course, I had no previous experience with photography. Therefore, I had no idea what to expect or what skills I would quickly have to master. And after attending the first two class sessions, I was overwhelmed with information about DSLR cameras that I didn’t even know existed.

Entering the class, I was under the impression that all cameras were automatic. However, as I learned about the various operations photographers have to set in order to take a good picture, my anxiety grew.

By the third week, when our class went out into the campus and took photos using the operations that we had studied, I knew I was in trouble as I had a hard time grasping how the ISO, aperture, and F-stop work. To compound this, my Nikon camera, which had been my dad’s, was not working properly.

So when we received the directions for assignment three, which included shooting 10 different types of photos, I knew I needed to make a change.

On Monday, October 3, I went to Best Buy a purchased a new DSLR camera, a Canon Rebel.

As soon as I got home, I unboxed the camera and began reading the instruction manual it came with. I dedicated hours putting the camera together and reading about the functions that came with it. I was determined to shoot all 10 photos the next day and needed to really get a solid understanding of my new camera and how to set the different manual controls.

On Tuesday afternoon I got my new camera out and looked at the list of different photos I needed to take. The previous day I had made notes to myself as to what I thought that aperture, F-stop, and ISO should be set at for each photo.

As I began shooting, the first thing I was absolutely shocked by was how great the quality of photos was compared to the quality of the photos I took on my old Nikon. Also I was thrilled with my improved understanding of the different controls and how close what I had hypothesized the controls would have to be set at the day before were to what they actually needed to be set at!

Also, I found it fun, almost addicting, changing the various settings to try and make the photo as perfect and visually pleasing as it could be. This project that I had spent hours worrying about was actually enjoyable!

Furthermore, I was shocked that just by changing the equipment I was working with I was about to take something that was a bad experience for me and turn it into something I truly enjoyed doing, was passionate about, and most importantly could take pride in!

In addition, I found that when I came to a specific type of photo that was difficult for me to take, such as panning, it was not frustrating work trying to figure out how to take the photo. Instead it was a fun challenge trying to guess what I needed to change in order to be able to achieve the type of photo I was trying to. I found this trial and error process to be very beneficial to truly learning and understanding how the camera works.

Overall, I came away from this assignment feeling very accomplished. I clearly have a greater understanding of how to work a DSLR camera, along with having photos I took myself and because of dedication and hard work, can really be proud of.

Learning What Photojournalism Is…

What is photojournalism? Who are photojournalists? These are some of the questions I am going to be searching for an answer to as I progress along in my first digital photojournalism class!

My name is Addie Wallace and I am a junior at Wayne State University. As my major is print journalism, I feel that exploring and mastering digital photojournalism is of upmost importance.

On this blog, I will bring readers along on my journey from my opinions on the topics that I read in my textbook, to my real-life experiences out in the field.

As my minor is nutrition and food science, I would imagine that a significant amount of the reporting and photography I do will revolve around the topic of food and nutrition.

For assignment two, I completed two separate readings, one specifically about blogging and one focusing on cross platforms. The most interesting thing I took away from the piece on blogging is that blogs present journalists with a unique platform in which they can go above and beyond their normal reporting and instead discuss things such as interesting facts, or report updates to developing stories. In the piece I read about cross-platform social media, something interesting I learned was that articles, to a certain extent, are being less important as now-a-days sometimes all readers want is just a quick update.

I hope that you find my journey into discovering digital photography as interesting as I have so far and continue to follow along on my blog!