At our paper we have pages dedicated to certain areas. Crawford County East pages run M,W,F and Crawford County West pages run T,Th,Sat.. The photographers are tasked with providing what are called stand alone features for these pages. We get these by looking for stories or events or by going out 'feature hunting' or by getting pictures while we're at other events covering a story of things off to the side. I photograph a sporting event almost every day and I often just look for people on the sidelines or other groups like the band or the cheers and get them doing their jobs at the event. This picture was a result of noticing this father and son interacting with one another. I probably took 30 frames of them together and then when they both cheered an important point I was already watching them and got this moment during peak action. These are fun because they show a little slice of life--not newsworthy really--except for the things we do in life that are documented allow us a chance to examine who we are, what we enjoy and what we need to spend more time thinking about. One picture like tis might not do this, but string together the 300 or more pictures we put in the pages of the Tribune each year and you get a sense of community, a sense of who we are. Thats cool stuff! Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer.
I don't always know when I make a truly good photograph. For the most part it is instinctual. It is sort of like cooking. You start out to make a good dish, then to add a pinch of this and a pinch of that and sometimes you create a masterpiece. I love this about the creative process. If you seek to create a masterpiece when you begin a project you're doomed to fail---this was something i learned along the way. But if you work to improve your skills--not simply rely on what had worked in the past--then you have a chance at a masterpiece. I have yet to make my masterpiece---perhaps I never will. But if I continue to believe it is possible through hard work and determination--then maybe it will come. This is why I want to photograph more people everyday and try different things--maybe I'll find my masterpiece....if not....well I still find enjoyment in trying. SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer.
Sometimes it is just plain fun to straight up document. As I was photographing the pow wow yesterday at Custaloga town I was interested in including the native part of the pow wow with their interest in paying respect on Memorial Day weekend. So I got down low and tried to include the American flag in the background to symbolize the weekend(the picture below ran in todays paper featuring a man wearing regalia and a head dress that is local- something that would have been worn by the Seneca). As the dancers went around the circle I snapped away concentrating and a half-dozen or so people. The problem was, at the end, getting names of them all as they all headed back to the camps in opposite directions. I knew I wanted the gentleman below because of the flag and it took me more than a half hour and help from many volunteers to find him. But I forgot to find the gentleman above who I never did get a very good photograph of with the flag. But his dress and face painting was interesting and i liked the simplicity of this shot. Straight documentation. The one thing 'photographically' I did to make the picture more interesting was shot it low to clean up the background. All of my shots from knee high and standing had very busy backgrounds of the pavilion and tents and campers in the background -- all of which were visually distracting. I really enjoy covering this event--not so much photographically because its--strangely enough--kinda difficult to get really nice pictures that tell stories, but because I always learn something. Mikes headdress below is called a gastoweh and everything - including the number of feathers is symbolic. Mike has 7 feathers to represent the 7 directions of prayer which includes the 4 directions, sky, and earth and inside the self. It is also a great place to meet very kind people including a man named Dan who comes here every year from Monterey to help announce the dancers and run the pow wow. A few years ago the Tribune did a story and Pete Chiodo came up with the description of the announcers as kind of 'primitive disc jockeys.' They got a kick out of it and actually had hats made up with the words on them
When I showed up to photograph Maplewood High School band practice the other day I got a little nervous. They weren't where they usually practice. And the school looked pretty quiet. I thought maybe I had either bad information or I missed it. Luckily, I was just a little early. The assignment time wasn't the best time for me to be there. But I was told this was needed for a Page 1 feature story. This means the photograph had to be an impact story teller. If you pay attention to this sort of thing you'll know that the photography department at the paper has taken this pretty seriously for years. We pride ourselves with producing the best possible photographs we can and when we see our paper not holding up to this principle we get pretty upset about it. So I made sure I hung out long enough to get a picture of the band performing what they would be performing this Monday in Washington D.C. and I tried to find a way to make a picture that would demonstrate this work they were doing to prepare in the best way I could. When I heard that this story was then going to be not centerpieced on page 1 I took my case to our editor and explained that this picture would do more for page one than the picture and photograph of a first day at Conneaut Lake Park that was hampered by weathered on a Friday which traditionally isn't its strongest day of the opening weekend. He agreed and this picture appeared on the front page with a story about this small school in north western Pa. preparing to march in the Memorial Day parade in Washington D.C. in front of an estimated quarter of a million people and televised. It really is a pretty neat story and I was pretty happy that there was this little puddle of rain water in the parking lot to turn an otherwise standard picture of kids marching in their street clothes after school into something visually exciting. I liked this picture over others that took of more close up pictures of band members because it spoke about the whole marching band process and not just one or two people....which is one of the hardest pictures to get and still have it be a good photo. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer.
Local sports is great to cover. We don't root for one team over the other--we're unbiased journalists who know people from both teams and like them equally. So I was concentrating on the story. When Saegertown won the match I went about recording their reactions and I realized, I know these kids--I photographed their team photo this year, I made their memory mates and individual pictures. As I looked at them happy I was glad for them. They are playing their best volleyball at the best time to do so and if they win Tuesday night--they will go to states in Penn state. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer.
So this afternoon I travelled to Cleveland, Ohio, not to see the Cleveland Indians but to rest my eyes on the lovely Boston Red Sox. Oh it was delicious! The Sox spanked them 14-2. I snapped this photo of my favorite player #2 Jacoby Ellsbury after the game had ended. He had just given Big Poppy a high-five and everybody was feeling good. I had the opportunity to meet Jacoby in the Spring of 2008 after the Boston Red Sox had recently won the World Series. He was at a Dunkin Donuts in Westbrook, Maine signing autographs. I asked him to sign my baseball and he did. I still have that little ball and I hold it to be one of my most prized possessions.
Photo By: Harmony Motter-Red Sox Fan!
Above is a photo of me standing next to the 2007 Boston Red Sox World Series Championship trophy and a photo that I snapped of Jacoby waving to a crowd.
The Allegro Dance Arts Advanced Intermediate Tumbling class rehearses for their upcoming recital. The routine is choreographed by Jenna Williams. Allegro Dance Arts will present "Disney Princesses and Disney Dreams" at Allegheny College, Shafer Auditorium. Performances are Friday May 27 at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 28 at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $8 and are available online at www.allegrodancearts.com
Meadville Tribune Photo By: Harmony Motter
A few years back Harmony Motter and I had two hundred feet of film and an idea. Lets each take 100 feet--roughly 12-14 rolls of film--and have fun shooting it. When we're done we'll each make 10 prints and find a small venue and have a show. That was a blast. Last year we were asked if we'd jury a new photo show for the Meadville Council on the Arts and the idea was that we would have a show along with the juried show. We had been discussing having another show somewhere, and though this didn't exactly fit that bill, we wanted to do this anyway. We love photography and want to promote it whenever we can. So on June 3rd we will have our second show opening along with the talented photographers whose work we were impressed by and included in the exhibition. The council wanted to change the concept of the 'Local Color' contest they held each year and this is the first of what they hope is a growing show each year. They just released the posters and more information will follow.
Meet Riley! He is a super friendly guy! He is a male Cockatiel that I recently adopted. We don't know how old he is. But, we do know that he is very social and loves to have his head rubbed. He would rather be out walking around the apartment than in his house playing with his bird toys. I am certain that he will grow to know John Lennon and the Beatles as any respectable young lad should. I am currently working on teaching him Beatle's songs. The first on the list is 'Here comes the sun.' He enjoys watching television as well. The other day he hung out with me and watched Law and Order.
Photo By: Harmony Motter