1n 1985 we only had a short break for Thanksgiving at the Rhode Island School of Photography so my friends from a distance away weren't going home. So my mom was nice enough to say yes when I asked if U could invite them to our house for dinner. We had a preyyu big get together anyway—so a couple more really wasn't an issue and we always had left overs for days. So Dan DeLong and Craig Walker came over. Afterwards I went back to their apartment in Providence and we had coffee and all sorts of things including about a thousand laughs. We made pictures, looked through News Photographer magazines and made more pictures. We tried long exposures, short exposures and I pretty sure exposures that just didn't work. But we had a few keepers. This ghost image was my favorite from the night. I remember we thought it was funny putting the donut out on Thanksgiving. We drank a bunch of coffee that night and I think we even devoloped out fim(note the bottles in the background—yes they had their photo chemicals in the kitchen—we just simply lived that way!) Anyway. These two guys are photographers....I mean really good photographers and Craig is speaking here at Allegheny College tomorrow night at 7 p.m. in the campus center about his project following a young man named Ian Fischer from high school graduation all the way to patrolling around inside a hostile Iraq and back home that won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. Public is invited, it is free.
These are the kind of family portraits that I like to make! It is much more worthwhile to me to capture feelings of love and tenderness than to snap smile and say "cheese" kinda pictures.
Above is a portrait I made yesterday of Carmen, Ian and their daughter Meadow. They really love this baby girl and I wanted to show it.
Photo By: Harmony Motter
This week I have the extreme pleasure of bringing a very good friend of mine to Allegheny College to talk and show his work. I took this picture of Craig Walker in mid 1980's when we were both at Rhode Island School of Photography. I remember thinking that his approach to photography and the images he made were some of the work that inspired me most in photography. We have maintained contact over the years and he has shared with me many of his his stories from the Berkshire Eagle to the Denver Post. Over his two years plus working on the story that became the Pulitzer Prize winner we talked for hours at a time about the struggles of the long term project. When I saw the finished product I was blown away. Still inspiring me! He is a true journalist and a great guy. He'll be at Allegheny College to speak at 7 p.m. on Wed. night. Though he might look a little different from this picture(I hope he doesn't have pictures of me from this time!) he is every bit as enthusiastic about what photography means to society as he was then in the 80's when we were shooting film with manual cameras! Old photo from photo school by Richard Sayer.
Since it is Superbowl Sunday we're not expecting many visits to our website, but for those of you who do venture on, this is appropriate to the day. A couple weeks ago a "news" story came out about the most popular NLF Jersey's among women. Not too surprisingly it was Troy Polumalu's #43 Pittsburgh steeler jersey. The girls dig Troy--hell big tough Steeler loving construction worker bad-asses love Troy! I read this article a day or two after photographing Jessica in her Polumalu shirt. Seems these are the perfect pictures to post today(if I lived in Wis.--maybe not!). Since my team can't be in it, I'm glad the Steelers are because it makes the game more fun to watch with buddy Jim--who is a Steelers fan--though I worry about him when the Steelers aren't doing well in the game--I can't repeat all the words this very nice and usually quite calm man says when the steelers fail to score or fumble or when the other team scores--lets just say back in the day--the phrase 'If I hear that again I'll wash your youth out with soap.' keeps ringing in my ears. SayerMotter P
One of the parts of the job at a small town newspaper is to look up 'file photos,' photos taken in the past to be used in a story about something that is coming up to show an example of what has taken place in previous years. This is almost a daily part of the job. As I'm doing this I end up remembering the event and it is always interesting seeing which pictures I chose to edit the year or two before and which ones I like now---they are not always the same! This past week I had to find file photos of a couple of events and found the one above from the 'Go jump in the lake incident' that I took two years ago. This was one of those shots that you just don't know you got until you look later. With out the head actually in the water creating a splash, but looking as though it is just touching makes this a surreal sort of image--there is visual tension. This is one of the decisive moments that Cartier-Bresson talked about. I felt lucky to have gotten it. Below was one I didn't remember getting because we didn't put it in the paper. But it made me chuckle. It also made my nose feel itchy for some reason. Meadville Tribune file photos by Richard Sayer.
In the first couple weeks of class I've been talking about pictorial devices and moments and composition and looking for light and blah blah blah.... Its all important stuff to discuss, but seeing photographs and capturing moments is really something that you feel more than you know. Believe me, we all have to learn things and know things to become better photographers, but its that connection with what is in front of us as we hold that camera in our hand that fills us with energy when we see something--we use that stuff we know to make sure that we capture what we feel when we see it. I always look for that one thing that grabs me whether it is a moment or a visual. I was thinking how long these practices were to put on a concert and as I was thinking this these two girls began to yawn and one went into a very very deep yawn. I felt the photo I was setting up to take told the story but was a tad dull, until the yawn. Now I had something that told the story over 90 % of the picture, and the one area told another part of the story. After I shot a few frames of the performers they took a break and I began looking into the dark auditorium for spots of light that I could make more pictures. I kept hoping for someone with an instrument to walk into the light or allow me silhouette them against the light. but they left their instruments on the stage. I felt the picture below--if there was an instrument, would've been my frame for the day, but it never happened.