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Photograph By: Harmony Motter
Harmony Motter Photography
Richard Sayer Photography
I couldn't help it. It was a force bigger than myself....One of the many reasons that I love photography is that I am able to capture real life moments and save them forever. Here is one of those real life moments. I was hanging out backstage during the recent Miss Meadville Area Pageant and came across Miss Crawford County. She was getting ready to take to the stage and I surprised her.
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Photograph By: Harmony Motter
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One of the neat things about this year's Miss Meadville Area Pageant was the use of projected images on stage as the girls went by. This years winner of the Miss Outstanding Teen crown, Abby Phillips walks into the path of the projected image of herself, taken a month earlier in a photoshoot, during the competition on 11/28. In my early day of photography I often project slides on people and photographed that. It was mostly black and white work and some of the affects were nice, but never anything special. Then years later I tried it again only with color slide film and got better, but still only ok results. This, being a live event where you capture just what you can, was a little more successful(though I'm sure not commercially so) with the queen hopefuls moving in and out of the light. Certain slides worked better than others. Some created a moody light like the one of Abby above, while others created patterns that were interesting like the ones in the slideshow at http://sayermotterphotography.weebly.com/miss-meadville-area-pageant-112809.html. or the one of Brooke Cozzens below. Photographs by Richard Sayer
As I've stated before, I try a lot of things. I've been trying to find a way to combine some of my more deeply rooted ideas in painting and layering of images with some of the commercial work I do with portraits and model portfolios. So I start out looking for this sort of combining of aesthetics, and am never sure where it will end up. Tonight I had an idea that didn't come through, but I never gave up and just let it take me where it willed and this was the result. I'm sure tomorrow it will be another thing that I made and will move on as a nice attempt, but not quite there, but I learned some more and hopefully will find a way to use this know-how to inform future works. This certainly isn't what I intended it to be when I started. I wanted to share it with you on thanksgiving. I give thanks to being guided by creative thoughts and making new things daily - even things that may not work as well as others. Image by Richard Sayer
It reminded me a little of the Steve Martin gag with the arrow through his head, only this was really and arrow through the back ridge of a 600 pound 1 year old Holstein steer. The animal probably had the arrow in his back for more than a day when its owners finally saw what was going on. Strange enough right, finding a steer walking around with an arrow in its back. Well it got stranger when the owners tried to report it and found out that no one was sure who needed to take of this. The game commission didn't think it looked or seemed like a hunting accident so they deferred to the State Police who finally agreed to send a trooper out to investigate. The owners left the arrow in the animal until the authorities got a chance to see it for their reports. The owner did take the arrow out and got medicine into the animal as quickly as they could after that.
I was thinking as I rode away from this story, how many people will be able to say they saw what I did today and to see a part of life that goes on, like a farmer having to care for their animal and know what to do to clean the wound and be sure the animal has the best shot at recovery he can. Also the hardships they have to encounter because of either an accident or purposeful wrong doing. Meadville Tribune photos by Richard Sayer
Charlie Schmidz says he has never seen anything like it in his 17 years as a hunter. "I've hunted a lot of pheasant," he said as he walked along his property in Richmond Township. "Hey big bird." He called to the pheasant who walks along with him like a pet dog. Almost two weeks ago he started being followed by this Ring-necked pheasant and thought it was odd for a wild bird to act this way. The bird then seemed to nest behind his barn and every time Charlie goes out to do something in the yard or in the woods, there is the pheasant that Charlie calls Romeo. "I think he thinks I'm the best looking pheasant he's ever seen!" Charlie said with a smile. This sort of thing is why I love my job. Meadville Tribune photographs by Richard Sayer
The judges said it was a weak category. Well thats not what one wants to read when receiving an award. But they are right. This picture won a third place in the October monthly clip contest in the NPPA Region 3 contest. Like the picture that won a first place for me in Feb. (See yesterday's entry). This photograph is all about timing. This girl picked up her flaming baton and without looking around just started to twirl it. A girl walking up behind got caught in the path of the baton and it caught her in the chest under her chin. No one was hurt in the mishap, though the girl was a little shaken briefly.
This winning a contest shows us a few things. 1. Always enter pictures because you never know what might win. 2. News photography is struggling in general in this day and age. For this picture to win, for the judges to call the category weak and seem reluctant to award the mandatory three awards, means less photographers are out getting the photographs that are meaningful to our communities. I've noticed that this is true as I pick up newspapers on road trips(a hazard among journalists, spending money at each stop on a handful of the local papers). Less news makes it in and many of the lead stories are either portraits or illustrated photographs for a story, not news or documentary work. Its a sad thing if we let solid news reportage go by the wayside in our communities. Honest journalism should always exist. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer
Each month I try to remember to enter the National Press Photographers Association Monthly clip contest. Over the years I've won a handful of Regional awards and one national award. I found out today that I won a 3rd place for a picture taken in October. This picture above won a first place back in February. Tomorrow I'll post the October picture.
The judges said this was a winner based on timing. Thats really what this picture is all about. The composition isn't anything to speak of, the overall action isn't that great, but the moment is what this is all about.
When I took this picture I was taken shots hoping to get some nice moments of people reacting to the cold water. I remember thinking that this spot wasn't at all what I wanted and only took a few frames from this angle. I didn't see this frame until I was in the car ready to head home. I showed it to writer Ryan Smith and said--thats the one. I had other frames that used my eye as a photographer and they were good, in many ways better photographs than this one, but the timing---you just can't beat that in a photograph when you get it - and they are rare. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer