Our guest this week is Kyle Grantham, the National Press Photographers Association clip contest chairman. In addition to giving us an inside look at the monthly clip contest, Kyle weaves some great stories from his days as a photojournalist in Delaware, Indiana and Wyoming. Tune into the podcast and find out what body part freezes first when it is -27 degrees in Casper, Wyoming and much, much more.
During the course of your career you come across those unique characters on assignment that just stick with you. 100-year-old Betty Sample is one of those people for me. This week’s podcast is about Betty and the portrait I shot in honor of her 100th birthday. It’s only 8-minutes, so please take some time to give it a listen.
Talking Pictures Podcast: Betty Sample – My Old Friend
Some of the stories you tell end up sticking with you forever. They echo in your heart. They drift into your consciousness when you don’t expect it. I think this is one of those stories.
One of the keys to being a good photographer is having a never-ending curiosity.
If you lack curiosity you will perish. Obviously, this is a mantra extends far beyond the world of photography but you get my point. If you only see images as they present themselves on the surface, your work will become stale and uninteresting. You need to challenge yourself everyday to be better, look deeper and get out of your comfort zone.
You never know when a visual challenge is going to come your way. I certainly didn’t expect to have one tossed at me while I was off work for a week. So when my friend, and fellow photographer Joe Murphy, tagged me in one of those Facebook ‘Photo A Day’ challenges last week I decided to push all my cards on to the table and try hard to make really good images. The subject of the challenge was “nature.” My only problem seemed to be that I was on a “stay-cation” doing nothing but lawn work, home repairs, running my dogs to the vet and working on organizing my photo archive. I had no real plans to get out into “nature”. But since I love a challenge I had to explore the nature around me with a new set of eyes.
From the first image to the last I think I made 8 pretty decent images. The first two are probably the strongest. They also got the biggest reactions on social media for whatever that is worth.
As part of the challenge I had to nominate another person to do the challenge each day I posted a photo. I ended up picking a nice of mix of professional and amateur photographers/nature lovers. The end result was two weeks of wonderful and relaxing images filling my Facebook feed. For some reason I didn’t see that consequence coming, so it was a very pleasant surprise. And now that the flow of images is starting to slow to a trickle, my feed is back to memes and angry posts about the President.
Who knew that a random photo-challenge on Facebook would result in a sensory vacation for my soul? Thanks Joe.
For years my wife and I travelled to Road America, in Elkhart Lake, WI, during July, to watch her dad, Bob Wismer, race his vintage Triumph TR-4 and Tornado Thunderbolt on the historic track. The race weekends were celebrated much the same way other families come together for Thanksgiving. Truth be told, family attendance for Bob’s July race rivaled only Christmas for family attendance. Unfortunately that family tradition came to an end after Bob raced his last race ever in July 2013 at Road America, a month before being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
Long before Bob started racing his own car, the Wismer family attended races at Road America. Many of my wife’s favorite childhood memories revolve around those family trips to Elkhart Lake. She and her siblings got to watch some of the kings of racing in the late 60’s and 70’s from their blanket on the hill at Corner 5. So the return of IndyCar to Road America, for the first time since 2007, offered some of us an opportunity to start a new/old tradition in the wake of Bob’s passing in 2014.
During Bob’s race weekends I documented the event much the same way I would tell the story for work. But for the new tradition I wanted to take a new visual approach. I brought some DSLR gear to shoot the race but my visual focus, for the Kohler Grand Prix weekend, was to make ‘street photography’ style pictures with my iPhone 6 and the Hipstamatic app. The unique road track and the diverse crowd offered me a target rich environment to stretch myself visually. The following is a collection of my favorite ‘street style’ shots from the race weekend.
But unlike today it always felt like at any minute the game would flip in their favor. 2016 Rose Bowl the Hawkeyes ran into a team which, sans an early season loss to Northwestern, is clearly on par with Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State.
Iowa had a great year. It was a mix of skill, guts and luck. Today, they were out skilled, out toughed and couldn’t catch a break if it was handled to them. The thing that makes me mad about this horrible loss is that they didn’t play like the team we watched all year but then again they didn’t play anyone as good as Stanford all season.
To make matters worse today we had to endure Brent Musburger narrate the entire debacle. In the end the journey to 12-2 was pretty damn good, despite the disappointing final act.
Working on the Talking Pictures Podcast, which I host with co-workers Todd Welvaert and Paul Colletti, is one of the highlights of my week. It is a fantastic way to connect with our readers in addition to photographers from around the globe. So when I watched the YouTube video of student photojournalist Tim Tai trying to hold his ground against advancing protesters my first thought (after my blood pressure subsided) was that we needed to get Tim on the podcast. With the help of mutual friend Leah Klafczynski we were able to score the timely and important interview.
Incase you are unfamiliar with Tim’s story, on Monday November 9, 2015 student photojournalist Tim Tai, of the University of Missouri, accepted a plumb assignment from ESPN to photograph the events surrounding the #ConcernedStudent1950 protests at Mizzou. An hour later the 20-year-old photographer found himself face to face with protesters. The YouTube video of his attempt to stand his ground as protesters pushed him and other journalists back would quickly catapult him into the public eye. The 6:34-minute video went viral and journalists across the country hailed him for keeping his cool while trying to make a case for the First Amendment.
We sat down with Tim a few days after the incident to discuss his experience and the fallout of being part of a viral video. He is a credit to our profession and I am proud we were able to help him tell his story.
Video by Mark Schierbecker