Monday, May 25, 2009

A quick little redirection...

Well, everyone, I've finally moved up in the world and established myself in the real world... for the most part.

Yeah, its still a blog, but its quite a bit different. Its still the Fledgling Photographer... same stories. All of it is still there from archives, too...

...just a little fancier and a little more streamlined... and white.

I'm still working a bit ironing the kinks out, but take a look.

Thank you guys for staying tuned for so long. This blog will still be around for a long long time to remind you and redirect people if you haven't updated your bookmarks.

Stay tuned... just here:
-Noah D.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Still one more year till my time comes...

I graduated high school in 2004... and I'm still in college. It is kinda what I get for changing schools (3 times) and changing majors (umm... too many to count).

But, had I not taken so long, I don't think I ever would have found and done the things that I do now... and love. And want to do for the rest of my life.

Its really hilarious to me when I get to shoot jobs of specific types of people. But, honestly, I'm not stereotyping at all... but when it comes to shooting a function of business majors (marketing, management, etc.) they act and look... well... like business people!

So what about the other majors? When I get to see a cross-section of my university at a massive event like graduation... I find it really amusing.

Fashion design/merchandising? Absolutely.

Alright, all of that was just pre-game... My boss shot the "official" picture of the hand-shake-diploma-grab thing.

I roamed.

The real thing begins. I think it was something like 601 graduates.

Its also funny to see "graduation shoes." Nursing students all wear red.

With all those black robes, how else can you make yourself an "individual."

...and enough of that.

Okay, one more...

Nursing student? Yep.

Or, just throw up the deuce...

...or just be so happy you're actually graduating.

That'll be me.

The dean of the business department Dr. Burks... and in the background is our university President Dr. Burks...

...yeah? Father and son.

Then, the Alma Mater.

Strangely enough, after four (or five or six) years at this school, hardly anyone knows. Honestly, I wouldn't know it if it were not for the work I did with student publications this year.

But then, within two hours it was all over!

And they all go out... this...

...and this...

...but mostly this...

...because when 7,000 people and 600-something graduates and teachers all pour out of an arena - I guess it must be hard to find one specific person.

Saying goodbye to their friends...

...and teachers that have made a bit of a difference over the past few years.

And lots of family photos...

It'll be fascinating this next year... when I take my turn across that stage. A year from now. You KNOW there will be photos from that. But they'll be from the other side.

Everything is a learning experience.


Stay tuned,
-Noah D.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What have YOU been doing recently?

In the midst of rain...

...every day.

And while trying to close down the semester...

...and saying goodbye for the summer.

I tried to grow a plant...

...but its a little browner now... and not much bigger. Oops.

Alright, enough failed plant raisings for a moment.

I shot a ceremony for the Arkansas National Guard...

It was a nice thing.

There were quite few soldiers (like 500) and each and every one was called up on the stage and shook hands with a bunch of officers and the mayor of their hometown.

I followed one company outside in the drizzling rain...

I love to see the stuff before and after the things everybody else sees.

It normally encourages unique photos. I like unique photos.

Sometimes when you hear "look for the unique angle" don't think that just means for you to turn the camera 45degrees to the left or right like half of what's on Flickr these days.

Anyways... moving along.

We also closed the year out with a few organizational parties. Like... the student publications final dinner.

...and Ashton's gonna hurt me.

Olive Garden = perquisites of the job.

But not to brag. Just saying.

So, stay tuned for more.
-Noah D.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It is good to stretch yourself...

It seems as though I have been shooting a lot of portraits lately... which, honestly, is a great great thing. I love stretching my comfort level with various equipment.

My heart lies with natural, ambient light...

...but I could get used to this flash thing.

I think the select was this one:

My friend Philip needed a portrait for the book jacket of his almost-out photojournalism book on his time he spent in Haiti.

I'm a fan of the cinematographic crop.

I did football portraits the other day, too...

100-something of this:

Also, the incoming Student Association... (I still call it SGA. Is there a difference without the "government" part?) Very simple, semi-corporate photo... minus the corporate duds.

I enjoy the challenge of making all the lighting different. Different light-shaping, different poses, interacting with different people in different ways.

Maybe its because I'm just not good enough to duplicate a set yet... things are able to be random and still look like I know what I'm doing.

Hence the "Fledgling Photographer" continues...


Stay tuned,
-Noah D.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

David Cook @ HU

Just a quick slideshow.

Here's the full version: click here.

There is probably plenty I could say about it... but there are far more fun things to talk about.

Concert. Dave Cook. American Idol or something like that... done.

Stay tuned,
-Noah D.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Other Side of a large production...

For those of you on the cast/crew who wondered, "Why is that dude still here? Does he really need that many photos?" maybe here's a bit of an explanation:

Shooting backstage at a concert is a unique experience. But, shooting backstage during all parts of a production is, what I would honestly call, somewhat of an honor.

I did the studio work for the program recently and truly enjoyed it. I was working with all the lights and equipment and I shot about a hundred standard and full-length portraits that went into the program.

Since I was on staff for that they asked me back to shoot some extra stuff during practices. On top of that my work for the Public Relations department got me in front of the stage, too. This was literally all sides... and I loved it.

Still, the aspect I enjoyed the most was being behind the scenes. I mean, suspension of disbelief aside, a production does not start and end with the performance. Song-and-dance numbers do not just happen like they do in musicals where everyone knows the songs and choreography. And neither do they end with the final bow...

So, here it is. A little look at what happens everywhere else...

And if you'd like to see it a bit larger and no distractions: Click here.

So, I hope you enjoy the new format. It prevents me from posting 50 photos in an epic post. If you didn't notice, you can click the little box in the bottom right and view it at full screen... it just takes a little while to load.

But if you'd like to see the rest of the show - the on-stage part, too - take a look at this link... 1,300-something photos.

Take a look.

Stay tuned for more. There's been so much going on...
-Noah D.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A quiet walk on a spring morning...

...for everyone except me.

They gave me a golf cart.

(Yep, blow that one up... its kinda cool.)

Yesterday? Gross weather.

Today? Beautiful weather.

My University's golf team was competing in a nearby town. Nearby is an hour away.

Golf is honestly enjoyable to shoot. A little restrictive, but... absolutely enjoyable and relaxing to shoot. Its interesting to be in a place where one single location can make a thousand different photos. Its like 360 degrees of good photos.

And sometimes even vertically, too...

I'm doing these posts backwards, by the way. This is the most recent shoot - only this morning and today. They'll go further back as I get to processing. Lots and lots of photos.

And I feel an epic post coming up...

Stay tuned,
Noah D.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Maybe just a shot or two...

Not too much to say...

...but a photo from this weekend will speak enough.

Stay tuned,
-Noah D.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The absurdly brilliant need to be shared...

"Our pictures are our footprints. It’s the best way to tell people we were here."

I don't know if many of you have ever noticed the long list of links on the side of the page. They are all blogs or links to photographer sites I feel are significant...

...hence the heading "Significant Links".

Well, if you haven't been following any of them or checking them recently, they're quite brilliant sometimes.

Today there were a couple exceptional ones.

Top-shelf professional photographer Joe McNally: he's written a couple books now and has a National Geographic cover and everything... but today he deviated from his usual wit and posted this gem: >>HERE<<

The last section is exceptional. I mean extraordinary. Usually you see quotes from the great photographers like Robert Capa saying things like "if your photographs aren't good enough you're not close enough" and such like that, but Joe McNally struck a chord with his readers today. Here's the quote:

"Our pictures are our footprints. It’s the best way to tell people we were here."

That one's gonna stick around.

Secondly, PixSylated has a series of "Lessons I Didn't Learn in Photo School". Things that nobody tells anybody else but you just have to learn by doing... and making mistakes... and seeing what actually works.

"Ultimately your career as a photographer, amateur or professional, will be defined by the lives you touch through the images you make."

Yeah, its a little more touchy-feely than the McNally quote, but I kinda see how its true just for the little stuff as I, the Fledgling Photographer that I am, seek to emerge in the world of photojournalism.

I co-taught a class today on photography. It was quite an experience, for as relaxed as a thing that it was... few people, no expectations, no requirements...

But in teaching it, I learned that I still have so much to learn. I'm sitting here looking at thousands and thousands of photographs a week from the likes of a host of Joe McNally's, Burn Magazine, VEWD, MJR, a bunch of wedding photojournalist, The Frame, The Big Picture, and I have accounts with a few of the major wire services just to look at photos that pop up each morning on the wire.

In an attempt to train my mind to "see" photographs I consume myself with images ranging from everything to everything else.

And so this is what I've been doing for almost two full years now... but I learn more each day. I've been shooting for myself more these days. Taking advantage of the press access even when its not required.

Practice is invaluable.

I still dwell on that quote:

"Our pictures are our footprints. It’s the best way to tell people we were here."

Oh, and by the way, I'm going through some photos for my parents from their trip to Italy. My mum took the shot of me above. Good Facebook shot, right?

Well, she also took this:

Go mom.

What else these days? Baseball season. Gets a bit repetitive at times... but it is a terrific chance to practice nano-second decisive moments...

Stay tuned,
-Noah D.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Going back to donkeys...

"Maybe we need a little bit of time where we're walking around with a donkey with pots clanging on the sides..."

(More about that later.)

Exactly one year ago (and even within an hour of this blog post) I took this photo:

Forty grown college kids reverting back to the simple pleasures from childhood - playing in mud. Was it significant that this mud was from the Dead Sea and we were up to our waist in it? I dare say it could have been in the local pond - it was simple fun with absolutely NO technology.

I heard somebody talking about phrases they hate these days. They made references to all the fun little cliches imaginable...

...but to me there is one these days that sticks out above the rest:

" these tough economic times..."

Well boy howdy, people... did you drive to school today? Did you have running hot water in your shower? Did you go buy $170 instead of $200 of groceries yesterday because you're "on a budget"?

Maybe we need a little time when things are a bit more difficult. Hey, I don't want to give up my air conditioning and internet on my cell phone any more than the next guy, but would it really be that bad?

Go live in some parts of Europe for a little while. Do without a cell phone and have to take the train or public transit - or perish the thought: WALK - everywhere you go.

I took this photo in Greece a year ago last week. This woman fascinated me because she sat there for hours because she had nothing else to do... so she watched traffic pass.

Oh, wait. I'm pretty sure our parents and grandparents did that quite a bit... and some still do.

Check out this video for a little more comedic spin on things... as well as the quote I referenced in opening this blog:

Take a little time and enjoy something simple today. Nothing lasts forever.

Stay tuned,
-Noah D.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

There was warm spot on the way home...

I hate to say it, but there isn't much more dramatic than a fire...

...but lucky for this occasion, it was intentionally set and being used as training for the local volunteer fire departments.

It was 11:30 at night and I was driving through east of Decatur, Ala., and kinda passed by this thing starting up...

After a quick talk to the chief and firefighters, I found this was just a training fire for a building that was going to be demolished to make room for a church expansion...

Sometimes silhouettes are cliche... but... they're quite dramatic, wouldn't you say?

Half of spot news is luck, I am convinced. And it is why I always have a camera with me.

I think I'm caught up with all my photos... I think. Just a few days left for Spring Break...

Stay tuned,
-Noah D.