I haven’t had to take a feature photo in nearly two years. Finding moments to capture and share on social media was one of my top priorities in my days at Wayne State University’s student newspaper, The South End.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling nostalgic when I was out on assignment taking this shot above.
Battling the early stages of a cold, I was heading back to my car after class when I saw flashing lights race next to me and stop at the exit from northbound M-10 to westbound I-94.
I thought this would be a good opportunity to grab a couple shots for the assignment so I drove up to the top level of the parking garage and snapped a few photos.
It’s always a challenge trying to set camera settings in the cold. With gloves it’s hard to have dexterity and tactile feel for the buttons. Without them, you get better feel for the camera, but risk getting frostbite after only a few minutes.
The other challenge I faced while shooting was choosing the correct lens to shoot with. Starting off I chose to use my 12mm wide-angle lens to capture as much of the highway as possible and show how the closure was impacting traffic. I quickly found this to be too wide. I was letting the concrete barrier of the parking garage into the frame and there just wasn’t enough detail to make out what was going on in front of me.
I switched to my 16-55mm lens and zoomed in a little closer, this time making the police car the main subject. After a few minutes I noticed motorists were trying to go around the police barricade. A line began to form behind the police car and the officer had to keep moving around to block vehicles, get back into position and repeat.
This led to my choosing of the photo above. It not only tells the story that the exit ramp was closed, but also the immediate affect that it had on traffic.
Part two of the feature photo assignment was going to take photos of an event of our choice. This part of the assignment was a major lesson in planning ahead and not waiting until the last minute to complete a task.
This assignment was given on February 28 and is due March 21; I had nearly an entire month to take four photos of any event.
Originally I wanted to attend a Wayne State sporting event because they were my favorite thing to shoot with The South End, but that ship sailed when I completely forgot about the assignment over spring break.
This week came and I was left scrambling to find something to shoot. I had work and school all day Monday and Tuesday which left Wednesday as my only day to shoot something, which also happened to be my brother’s birthday.
I had to come to school early to get extra assistance for a film production class and my second class ran almost a half hour over. Frantically, I scrolled through Wayne State’s event calendar looking for something, anything, that was coverable. I was fortunate enough to see there was a dance night in the lower level of the student center.
Only a few students attended, but the ones that did seemed to be having a good time, swinging and swaying back and forth as music played from a speaker in the corner.
Admittedly, I rushed to get these shots so I could get home and spend time with my brother and family so we could celebrate his birthday and the image quality and quantity suffered accordingly.
Like I mentioned earlier, this was a lesson in planning ahead and being thorough when shooting an event. In my rush to get out, I forgot to get names of the attendees and didn’t cover enough of the event to tell a good story of what happened.
I look forward to correcting these mistakes during the next assignment when I get back to shooting sports.