Archive Page 2


After the Storm

So here’s a smattering of what I’ve been up to the last three days that Mizzou has canceled classes (the first time in the school’s 172 years it has been closed for three consecutive days due to weather).

First we’ll start off with some before & after diptychs (and one triptych – before, during & after). Then some photos of the beauty of the snowstorm. And finally some pictures of Columbians (Missouri, not the nation state 😉 enjoying the white stuff. (This should actually be three separate posts but since my mom will be the only one reading this … I don’t think she’ll mind.)

Since my house is near a big park in CoMo (local abbreviation), and I haven’t been able to get out, I’ve been on the natural beauty/recreation angle of this storm. I’ve been emailing my best into the office. Go to the Columbia Missourian to see what they’ve published and the work of the other staff members. I have no idea what has made it in to he print edition.

I’ll find out tomorrow when I walk, 2 miles uphill both ways in the snow (no joke), for Friday’s classes.

Path to Reichmann Pavilion in Stephens Lake Park, Jan. 31 & Feb. 2, 2011

Boone Hospital Center from Stephens Lake Park, Jan. 31 & Feb. 2, 2001

Intersection of East Broadway and Old Highway 63, Jan. 31, Feb. 1, Feb. 2, 2011

A crack in the ice of Stephens Lake Park mimics a plant hanging over the lake Mon., Jan. 31, 2011. This storm started with a layering of ice on Monday night followed by about 18 inches of snow.

The sun lights up the freshly fallen snow Wednesday just after dawn casting long shadows in Stephens Lake Park.

Early morning light illuminates an edge of a snow drift near Reichmann Pavilion in Stephens Lake Park, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011. The highlight on the right side of the drift is sunlight reflecting off one of the windows of the pavilion.

Evidence of high winds is shown in the ridges of snow in Stephens Lake Park on Wednesday morning, Feb. 2, 2011.

The harsh beauty of winter is echoed in the silhouetted thorns of a tree against freshly fallen snow Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011.

Young trees stand out against the snow near Reichmann Pavilion Wednesday morning, Feb. 2, 2011.

The sun sets over Stephens Lake Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011.

Some folks made it out on Wed. following the storm to play, more on Thurs., but still fewer than I had imagined. I guess everyone was still stuck in their neighborhoods. Residential streets have the lowest priority for plowing.

Michael Lising takes of photo of his wife Danielle Eldred and their two dogs, Hugo a golden retriever and Mugen a whippet, as they walk around Stephens Lake Park Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011.

Two sledders walk toward the sledding hill through Stephens Lake Park Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 3, 2011.

Clara Strathausen, 8, takes off down the sledding hill at Stephens Lake Park after a push from her neighbor Scott Southwick Wednesday afternoon. Clara was at the hill with the Southwick-Rymph family including Catherine Rymph and their children Polly, 8, and Linus, 6, Southwick.

Haley Dingfelder throws a frisbee for her yellow lab, Bear, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 in Stephens Lake Park. The dog waited eagerly for each through, charging down the hill - sometimes avoiding sledders, sometimes plowing into them - and dutifully racing back up the hill. The two played fetch for almost the entire time they were at the park, more than and hour and a half.

Grace Uptergrove (white hat) and cousin Taylor Huhmann get a push down the sledding hill from Grace's mother, Verlin Uptergrove, while fellow sledders, and brothers Brett Meers (from right) and Craig Meers make their way up the hill for another run Wednesday afternoon at Stephens Lake Park.

Cameron Hall gets some air off a sledding jump and clears Lance Billion lying in the snow Wednesday afternoon, February 2, 2011 at Stephens Lake Park. The two had brought shovels to the hill to construct the jump.

Rusty Fox drags his two-year-old son Dexter back up the sledding hill after one of their several runs Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011.

A surprising number of sledders brought out "vintage" sleds to the hill at Stephens Lake Park.

Brice La Fond bails out after a hitting a large jump, realizing he won't land it, during a run at Stephens Lake Park.

Brice La Fond signals to fellow sledders that he is OK after a crash landing at the park sledding hill. (*** OK, this was a different run than the previous photo. I can't change lenses that fast and I only have one camera body. But it is the same kid and they pair together nicely, don't they? ***)

Jason Reuster (from left), Phillip Donnelly and Valentina Bezmelnitsyna react to a fellow sledders crash landing at the sledding hill Thurs., Feb. 3, 2011 in Stephens Lake Park.

Michael Effinger, 8, rests on his innertube after an exhausting afternoon of sledding Thurs., Feb. 3, 2011.

I’m tired.

I’m sure you’re tired of looking too. There may be a multimedia piece coming put out by the Missourian but I’ll have to post that link later. It’s not done yet.


Snowpocalypse: Day 1

So here’s the best of my take from the first day of this potentially historic winter storm. I am shooting for the Columbia Missourian as part of a class and covering my neighborhood. To see the best coverage from the entire staff go to the Columbia Missourian.

I’m located right next to a huge park in Columbia, so I’ve got the natural beauty/recreation aspect to cover from this storm. No one was out today, predictably. It was nasty – officially 17 inches so far at the Columbia Airport. It is expected to let up by morning and once it warms from the single digit temperatures I’m guessing then people will come out to play. Tomorrow will be a busy day.

I’ve got more. Lots of “before” pictures that I will pair with the “after” pictures I shoot tomorrow. I’ll post those later as diptychs, once they’re done.

A long exposure makes the headlights and taillights of cars into streaks of light as vehicles make their way up and down the hill near Boone Hospital Center Monday night, January 31, 2011 at the intersection of East Broadway and Old 63 in Columbia. Due to icy conditions before the expected snow storm authorities warned motorists to stay off the roads as much as possible. © Clayton Stalter, 2011

Manual Harvey walks back home from the grocery store during Tuesday's snow storm while cars pass through the intersection of East Broadway and Old 63. Harvey said he enjoys the quiet snowstorm days and like to get out and think and praise God. Harvey just took the walk to Easgate Foods for "a little bit of candy," he said. *** Same intersection and view, looking west down Broadway as above picture. *** © Clayton Stalter, 2011

Buoys in Stephens Lake signal that the lake is frozen and quickly piling up with snow Tuesday afternoon in Stephens Lake Park. © Clayton Stalter, 2011

Visibility in the Stephens Lake Park, and throughout the Columbia, is limited as the snowstorm continues Tuesday morning. © Clayton Stalter, 2011

© Clayton Stalter, 2011


Readings reflection for Jan. 28

I have thought since the beginning of my photography adventure (way back in undergrad – the late 1990s) that there was a correlation between the amount of images one shoots and their development as a photographer. How well they interpret and communicate the world through their photographs. This concept was what stood out most from this week’s readings/listenings.

The 10,000 Hours podcast from Lenswork reinforces and confirms my belief. I don’t believe there is a magic number that one must hit and then BAM you’re a superstar. But I do see in my own career a progression, attributable to many things, but definitely helped just by the shear number of frames I have put through a camera.

I started in photography on film. This was a limiting factor to me during the beginning. Often I could not drop $12-$15 per roll of 36 exposures (cost of film & developing) just to go out and practice. That is a poor excuse I realize and I wish I could go back and work harder and shoot more then perhaps I would be farther along in my career.

I look back and realize now that the friends who could shoot for themselves, and did so, are now much better photographers than I am. I had friends who would wander around and just shoot frames constantly – not taking pictures of friends. They would wander around the streets of a new city – usually San Francisco – and practice “street photography.” They were unencumbered with the burdens of photojournalism – getting names and telling stories. Their only goal was to photograph life on the street and make interesting compositions, watch the light, play and learn. This is a valuable exercise I now realize. I wish I had done more of it.

The beauty of digital is that the expense limitation of shooting is removed (aside from the large, initial expense of the camera of course).

Now it is a matter of will. Willing myself to make time to do this and not focus on the end use of the image. It doesn’t have to publishable, it just has to be fun and I have to push my eye to new ways of seeing.

This is where the idea of “sketching” comes in to play. I think it was Cartier-Bresson (?), and several photographers since him, that would approach making images as sketching as an artist would. No painter, illustrator or any visual communicator goes out and paints a masterpiece right off the bat. They begin with a study of the subject matter or scene they wish to focus on and then build upon that.

This can easily be translated to documentary photography where instead of arranging things in a frame to achieve the “perfect” composition – that would not be documentary – one would think of a concept they are trying to convey and then move themselves, change perspective, camera lensing, etc. to achieve that.

Everything that doesn’t work, doesn’t matter. No one has to see it!

Then refine camera “sketches” and work toward better documentary photographs.

This is what Lamott writes about in the Bird by Bird readings. The idea of doing a “shitty” first draft. Just to get it out, just to get it down!

I have also noticed this in my career. Whether I was shooting film or digital frames. When I came across a scene I wanted to photograph while feature hunting or when I arrived to an assignment for the newspaper, the first frames that I took were almost always horrible! It wasn’t until I took those frames and CYA [Covered Your (My) Ass] that I began to see new ways to interpret what was going on – more interesting photographs! But I always had to get the junk out of the way first. Rarely was a photo edited for publication from the beginning of a take.

One of my obstacles is not letting perfectionism get in my way. I have always been a perfectionist. (My mother says she would hear me practicing the pronunciation of a word, alone in my room when I was a child learning to talk, before every attempting the word in conversation with anyone.) So I know I have to not let the “perfect” be the enemy of the “good.” – another of Lamott’s points.

Practice, sketch, play, stretch and don’t worry about the outcome so much. No one has to see them. That is what photo editing is for.


Simple stories told well

I’ve surfed and surfed and I keep coming back to one video:

I find this to be amazing. It is the simplest story but the creators have incredible access and trust of their subject in the most difficult of times. It is a touching story and very compelling storytelling. I feel for the subject, which should be the goal of visual storytelling in my opinion.


EPJ Final Project Update

Mired in Flash! (Not quite Flash hell, but I can feel the heat.)


EPJ Critique: Lauren Greenfield’s “Fashion Show”

In a word – OUTSTANDING!

I wouldn’t necessary call it “objective journalism.” It is not journalism in the sense that it explains much for the viewer. It gives a glimpse to the viewer of what it is to be a high fashion model and that environment – from the media circus to the behind the scenes at the shows. It is journalism in the same way that an op-ed piece is journalism. It has a point of view and expresses it clearly and effectively although through visuals and music, not words.

The audio is a character in this piece. Stills and video are segmented and sequenced to the beat of the audio track. The effect on the viewer is one of a machine. A global beauty industry churning out the next hottest fashion, no matter the toll that it takes on the models or the practicality of wearing such “garments.”

This fits right in line with the scope of Greenfield’s work. Greenfield has been examining pop culture and the effect on the population for her entire career (as I know it). I was introduced to her work with the Fast Forward project – kids growing up in wealth and how that plays out for a pre-teen. She has delved deeper into the issue with her books/work Girl Culture and Thin. Fashion Show falls right in line with all that work and examines the root of the fashion industry.

As for production, I didn’t really have many issues. There were 1-2 pictures I wish were held a little longer. Photos that I wanted to explore more. However, I think keeping the pace was more important and fits with the theme of a high-powered, fast-paced environment that high fashion is.

This is what multimedia storytelling can be. Whether or not there is an economic model to support it is another matter.


EPJ Final Project Update

So this is ridiculously overdue but here it is.

I had several things fall through on me since my first proposal at the beginning of the semester. I am now focusing my project on Crystal City, MO and the ongoing story between a proposed iron smelter and the development of a massive underground recreational facility in a former sand mine.

This is obviously too large a project to finish in this semester for EPJ but I will bite off two parts as Dr. Greenwood suggested. I will be building on some of the work I did last semester for MPW and building a history of the area slide show (or possibly interactive map). And I will be focusing on the former mine that the owner is trying to develop into this recreational center.

Not too much happens in the mine at this point, a little construction and minimal use by various community organizations. However, on the Saturday before Easter the owner opened it up for a day long open house. Of course there were Easter egg hunts, but also an air soft tournament (similar to paintball but with little plastic beads), and a bunch of other activities. I also got an on-camera interview with the owner that day.

Here are a few photos from one of the egg hunts. The kids turned in the plastic eggs for prizes at the end.

June 2018
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