Photo By: Harmony Motter
I am having a lot of fun with making these Fall portraits! Fall is my favorite time of year and photography is the love of my life! It's a win-win!
Photo By: Harmony Motter
One of the things I think SayerMotter Photography will eventually bring to studio photography in the county is the ability to photograph sports action. Our training in newspapers have really given us an edge when it comes to sports. We capture action everyday for The Meadville Tribune and when we turn this eye for action into the needs of a client looking for a good photograph of their child on the field, I think we'll be able to provide a valuable service in Crawford County. I'm playing with and will continue to play with designs for poster-prints of athletes. I made this one of Samer Newsome from a picture I took on one of my days off at The Meadville Tribune. Its just one of the ideas I'm developing for future possibilities in our business venture. SayerMotter photograph and design by Richard Sayer.
I feel like I've been discussing ethical journalism a lot lately. And I was thinking about it a great deal today as the head of one of the two main political parties was in town today--two weeks before the election. Republican national chairman Mike Steele stopped by Meadville to rally the local republicans two weeks away fro the fall mid-term elections. As a newspaper, an organization that preaches to be a fair seeker of the truth and report fairly the news, we have to cover and event like this as fairly to the participants as well as the participants opponents. So a picture like the first one wouldn't be appropriate at all. It shows a very awkward moment when candidate for the house Mike Kelley tried to shake hands with Steele and they simply just missed. The picture could be misconstrued as a bumbling Kelley can't even get a handshake right. This sort of thing happens all the time and I laughed when I saw it, but it would be wrong to use this as picture representative of the story--the story of these political figures meeting to exchange ideas and hoo-rahs to motivate their supporters. Also it would be wrong to focus too heavily on the next picture that showed one of only a couple democrat supporters who came to show opposition to Steele and the Republican supporters trying to block her sign. Its important to have this recorded and perhaps even report that she was there in opposition, but if that is all we focussed on we'd be sensationalizing the act of one group trying to suppress the others right to free speech and assembly. We also have to be careful if we use a picture like the third one where it focusses solely on the Republican slogans. This kind of image can be looked upon as being is support especially if it is big and on the front page. It really is a difficult thing to figure out how to tell a story that focusses so heavily on one side or the other. Perhaps the best choice would be the final picture that takes away all slogans, all conflict and simply focusses on the idea that Steele was here in town and talked. I don't really have the answer to what is the right choice, but I think about this alot and if I had to choose I would run several pictures to tell the most rounded story I could and be sure to offer solid commentary on how these pictures document several different aspects of Wednesday's visit. Meadville Tribune photographs by Richard Sayer.
A question we're asked alot in the newspaper business is--'Did you get any good ones?' Usually I get asked this most at sporting events. Maybe because in many people's minds sports is a little harder than most things to photograph. That is somewhat true, but its also not. Sports happens in front of you and you just react to the action and capture what you can. In that sense its kinda easy. Nothing to set up or nothing to try to figure out the elements of the story(more on that later) you just shoot for the action. The difficulty is that most folks don't have the right equipment and their pictures tend to be darker and fuzzier as a result. Equipment is a big thing. It sorta like trying to pound a nail with set of pliers. You can do it, but the results are better if you have a hammer. Inside sports requires fast lenses with a 2.8 aperture, more megapixels and larger sensor size, high ISO settings and or a really good flash. I don't like flash because it gives unnatural light and also creates red-eye. So our 12 megapixel camera and f 2.8 lens allows me to photograph with out the flash and use a very high ISO. The difficulty that we add to our shooting working at a newspaper is that we do need to tell a story. This picture for instance was a good attempt to dig a ball, but it wasn't successful. So this tells a story of good effort but not quite there. And that is how the match went. Saegertown had a good effort, but just fell short against Linesville. It fails to tell the Linesville side of the story so editors would be less inclined to use it--instead option for a picture that shows Linesville somehow being stronger and therefore winning. So when someones asks that question 'Did you get any good ones?" I don't always know how to answer. My standard answer is 'you can tell me tomorrow if I did!' because they see the picture in the paper. And usually I'm not too keen on what I get in volleyball, though I did like this shot tonight. Just not sure it told enough of the story. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer.
I'm a firm believer in working out....so why don't I do it? I know how it hurts and how good it feels to keep your body in real good condition. I did for 30 years of my life. But now I just find my making pictures is such an obsession that I don't take the time for my body. I know it'll kill me far earlier than I should go if I don't start working out again, and I know these little creeks and snaps and pains that I feel and hear now will only get worse. Next week I get to go play a game all-day long in Arizona and that should do me some good in getting back into some sort of physical routine, as long as I lay off the gallons of beer that my brother and I go through on one of these trips. We'll see. Photographing people who are taking great care to lose body fat and build muscle should be inspiration...funny it actually makes my back hurt even more somehow. SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer
Maybe we can pick somebody up and hold them over head. Thats the sort of thing I say to get families to have some fun, which also means they begin to pose less and act more like themselves. They get more natural expressions and their true personalities, at least their more laughing side of their personalities start to show. I've used lines like 'have you ever put you feet in daddy's mouth?" That one actually got one of the best reactions and one of my all-time favorite family portraits. Anything to get something other than the staged and stiff group. They don't always work out but they at least lighten up the mood a little and I hope make the experience a little less grueling on the ones who don't really want any part of having their picture taken. This was one of the shots from todays shoot with the Eisenhooth/Freysinger clan. I've now known these good folks for about a decade having photographed nearly all of them at one time for the New SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer
The season isn't quite going the way Coach Achenbach had hoped I'm sure. They lost two tough close games early on tonight they got blown out by a very very good General McLane football team. I took this shot of the coach tonight after the Lancers had scored again in the first half--I think it was the fourth TD. I wanted to post this not so much for that story, but for a photo observation. One of th hardest, yet most useful 'tricks' a photographer employs is using depth of field. Basically using a wide open aperture or f-stop with a long lens you can blur a background to the point of abstraction. When I looked through the lens the background was bright, but I could make out the scoreboard better than the camera could--or at least in my mind I knew what the scoreboard said. So when it appeared this way in the back of my sensor I was a little surprised even though I knew I was going to get something sorta like this--I didn't think the lights would be so big and blurred. I tried to stop my lens down in order to to get the numbers a little sharper, but the coach moved before I could get a frame. As I was posting this I really wished I had because it would be my demonstration on how depth of field works and can be used in a practical story telling way. I should've worked it a little ha
I'm not even sure I like this photo, at first I thought it was pretty neat, sort of a design image that doesn't have an expression, but it seemed to still have motion. I keep going back and forth on whether its any good. I'm sure my good friend Jim will let me know. The thing with pictures is that that say something--but e need to be in the right frame of mind and thinking in order to get anything out of them. Some pictures I admire now, I didn't at first. It was that second or third(maybe 5th) look that got me. Cartier-Bresson's guy leaping over a puddle was one. Nearly every Robert Frank photo are others. I just didn't like these images at first, but now I really think Frank was quite something and that picture by Cartier-Bresson....well look at all his work and sudden;y you realize why this one is one of the masterpieces of the 20th century. My picture of Maplewood's color guard won't ever be considered a masterpiece, but I hope I look back on it and still think its a good picture--perhaps I'll let you know tomorrow! Meadville Tribune photo by Richard Sayer
I posted this earlier tonight after a problem arose from the files that were imported before, but we have them fixed now so I'll re-post the photos below, but leave this illustration as todays featured photo. Its not a reflection, but just the same picture duplicated and put up-side down. I did this as I was starting to make an illustration and I just ended up liking the way it looked. Its a lot darker on the computer I made it on. Meadville Tribune photo from Ernst Trail by Richard Sayer.