I really enjoyed the week as I worked in the photography section to learn the basics of photojournalism.
It was a coincidence that the started on Memorial Day. Although it was holiday, I chose to work that day to hang out with our senior photographer Darell Sapp who took me McKeesport to photograph Memorial Day parade. It was for the first time in my life that I, while shadowing Darell, was taking photographs like a professional photographer going to different corners as the formal salute was in proceed. We took photos of the war veterans, salute and then the parade.
A good photographer keeps his eyes open to other things taking place around: it's a lesson. We took photos of people sitting and standing on both sides of the road the parade was scheduled to march by. I also noted down details of people who I photographed.
I learned and practiced was paying attention to individuals while en event is on.
"A good photographer never concentrates only on his assignment, he always searches for something more on his way," he said as he took me to a bike trail near Boston Park area. Parking our car, we walked a little bit along the trail, photographed several bikers and talked with an elderly man who was riding a bike with a hood which he made himself.
Darell would use the photos for feature.
Then Darell took me to Homestead to show me a closed Carnegie steel mill, which has been turned as a museum, with a history of the steelworkers' movement. An address to the public by the advisory committee, the Knights of Labor and the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steelworkers is put up right there.
On Tuesday, we went to McAnnulty Elementary School to photograph Debbie Simeone, who served 24 years Baldwin Whiteball School District and started program to recognize students for good manners three years ago.
We went to photograph her because she is retiring. The school board will continue the program and name it after her and the next year's certificate will bear her name. I learnt how to do portrait photography in an working environment. Like Darell, I took her photos with the kids taking their lunch behind.
It was another good day when I went to the Market Square at the PPG to photograph book reading for kids as part of "Fridays! KidsPlay Market Square" program.
I learned how to take photographs of kids without spoiling letting them do what they're doing. "You do not go very close to them, it may draw their attention too much," Darell said. He was using a pretty tele lens.
Here also I learned to pay attention to get individual details while I also take photos of the entire event. Kids are always good subject and you'll always find some of them brighter, smarter, more curious and brave than others and that's the moment you wait for. "Let them do it unhindered and press the shutter timely," Darell told me.
Shadowing Darell, I also went to Southside to photograph geese in the Monongahela river as a reporter was writing a story on geese's laying eggs in the river.
As photography always remained a subject of much interest to me, I was eager to work in the photo section. It made me confident to shoot any event as I learned the basic rules. Before starting the week, I did a short online course on language of the image.
While working with Darell, I also learned when to use the zoom, when tele lens, when to take a close-up and when not to use flash.