Drumming on the Beach!

It is a sad yet true fact that I haven’t done any multimedia work since my final 30-day project was turned in last December. I was too busy last semester with my thesis to even think about side work, and the Gazette doesn’t publish multimedia on their web site.

I’ve had this lovely Olympus LS-10 recorder that I bought myself for graduation for some time now, though, and I decided it was high time I used it for something other than just doing interviews (besides, I’d rather take notes during an interview. I don’t like transcribing).

I was assigned to do a feature story and photos on Drumming on the Beach last month (it ended up being a section front! Very exciting). It seemed like this was a story that would also lend itself well to audiovisual work, so I went into the shoot with this in mind (for the record, it’s kind of tricky to shoot, report, and gather audio all in one night. But it does get that journalistic adrenaline going…).

I’ve never done any multimedia work where I only had one take’s worth of material to work with—I always go back to reshoot or reinterview. If I were going back, I’d do certain things differently here, of course, but I am okay with how this turned out.

Let me know what you think!

Drafting Details

I know, I know, my last two posts have been livestock photos. But it’s fair season; I can’t really help it. I’m going to post the non-animal photos from the fair in the next couple of days (:


I probably would have photographed this event even if I weren’t covering the fair for the paper. Draft horses are some of the most awesome creatures on earth, as far as I’m concerned. I think this is because I have an idea in my head of what a horse should be—what its proportions are, how big it is, etc, etc—and every time I see a draft horse in person it just blows this concept right out of the water. Every time! You’d think I would have altered the preconception to include draft horses, but I guess things don’t work like that.

On that note, here are some images from the draft horse pull yesterday afternoon. I left when the teams’ load got up to 8800 pounds (EIGHTY EIGHT HUNDRED POUNDS! Unreal).

Ambivalent Piggies

Okay, guys. We all know how cute piglets are, and if you’ve ever seen ‘racing pigs,’ then you know how cute they are, too.

But this just takes it to a whole new level.

I’m the designated ‘Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair’ shooter this weekend, so I was up at the fairgrounds for a while this afternoon. I was about to try getting on the Ferris wheel for an overhead shot when I saw the crowd for the racing pigs, and detoured. This was a good decision.

After a couple of land races, the ante was upped by adding WATER to the course–the piglets had to swim through a little pool before getting to the Oreo treat at the end. The first group, which were Florida hoglets, were totally unbothered by this and just plunged right in.

But the next set, the Yorkshire piglets, didn’t want anything to do with the swimming pool (one of them actually cheated and zipped back to the starting gate before the handler could stop him).

And then…triumph!

Babies Today!

I have a couple weeks’ worth of blogging to do in the next few days…I hope I can get around to it before I get hit by this week’s insanity.

But first!

I’ve been hoping a little alpaca would be born on one of the Junior Discovery class days (preferably when I was there, too…), and this morning I was out cleaning up the pasture with the two girls in the class when one of them pointed at a spot nearby and said “Is that a baby?” And sure enough, there was a tiny wet baby alpaca lying on the ground by its mom and being sniffed at by the OTHER summer babies. Awwwww.

Needless to say, we had to switch up the usual discovery class schedule to help out the baby, who was cold and wet and needed to be toweled off and dried with a hairdryer. She took her first steps within two hours of being born. Not too bad!

Absolutely Engaging

My college roommate Kim got engaged this past weekend! In a truly fantastic turn of events, the proposal happened in Rhode Island, where she and her now-fiancĂ© were visiting his family. I had been planning to do an overnight trip over there for a month or so, because I never get to see Kim anymore due to the fact that I’m no longer in Texas.

I asked Kim and Nate if I could take engagement photos for them while I was visiting; I’d never done that sort of photography before (I didn’t even know such a thing as engagement photos existed until a couple years ago…) and wanted to practice. Portraits have never been my strong suit, but I do tend to do a lot better when I actually know the people!

We really lucked out with the weather, because it was overcast during the morning we took the photos- no harsh shadows to worry about, just beautiful, even lighting. I kept rambling on about this for the rest of the day after the sun finally decided to come out. I’m pretty sure Kim and Nate thought I was crazy

I sent off about 200 photos total (half color, half converted to b&w). These are a few selects, shot with my 20mm and 70-200mm. My 50mm, the obvious choice, decided to act up and refuse to focus on anything (even on manual setting). I’ll be sending it off for repairs soon…

Unintentional “J. Crew models” photo! I doubt it’ll ever make the wedding announcement, but I love the SENSE OF DRAMA.

5 Points of View- Chicken Day at North Tabor Farm

Picture Story class last fall prepared me for a lot of things, but one of the most unexpected benefits of the class was going through desensitivity (is that a word?) training with regard to bloody animals. One of my classmates did a project on the butcher class in the ag school, while another did a long-term project on girls and guns…which included deer and duck hunting.

I’m not particularly bothered by graphic images of carnage to begin with; I don’t eat meat and never have (I do eat seafood, and sometimes fish), so it isn’t as though photos can turn off my appetite- because I never had one to begin with. So I was more interested than disgusted when I got sent to find photographs to go along with a story on the mobile chicken processing plant here on the Island. The chickenmobile (as I like to call it) goes around to farms and provides the equipment for the farmer to safely and cleanly process chickens for sale at the markets here.

I went to the Saturday morning farmer’s market and found the North Tabor Farm people, who were having the chickenmobile come by that afternoon. I think I did a decent job of taking it all in, even though I found that I couldn’t watch when the actual slitting happens. That was a little too much.

This part gets kind of bloody, so it’s under a cut- my five points of view of chicken day.

Continue reading

Little League 101

I did a piece on the Little League All-Star teams this past weekend (I had to file the story from the Falmouth Public Library and the photos from Wickford, RI, which made things, um, interesting)…nothing too in-depth, but it did take a lot of running around and pestering phone calls to make sure all four teams (9, 10, 11, and 12-year-olds) were represented in the article.

The whole process was made infinity times easier by the fact that I now have a CAR! I’m going to blog about this specifically sometime soon, as it truly warrants more attention. I can’t believe I have a car. It’s fantastic.

Anyway. These are all from practices; since the teams are by nature travel squads, all of their games are tournaments on the mainland, and I couldn’t get to any of them (darn it!) to take photos of actual competition…

Nothing like getting up to take a 7:45 boat off-Island for a tournament…

Sometimes I miss the days of non-Facebook birthday party invitations

Not Your Standard Farm

I took a second job a couple weeks ago working part-time at Island Alpaca as a store clerk and general alpaca-care person. Had I ever spent more than a couple hours working on a farm before? Nope…but fortunately, alpacas are about the most low-maintenance livestock animals you can imagine. They don’t have upper teeth, so they can’t bite you; they’re herd animals, so generally if you get one to go a certain way the others will all follow; and they just like to spend their days eating and being lazy (not too shabby).

I also work with the Junior Discovery weekend programs, when kids come to help out with the chores and meet the alpacas up close. These are some photos from last weekend’s Discovery (barn light is the best!).