Sports Photography Assignment

The sports photography assignment has been my favorite so far.  I love how it’s fast-paced and action-packed, and it helps that I love watching most sports.  I still struggle with getting my target in focus, but I suppose that comes with practice.  Another thing I struggled with was getting pictures of the players’ faces rather than their backs.  Overall, this was my favorite picture.

Leanna Baldner vs Danielle Au

I felt like this picture really captured what I was trying to accomplish for most of the game.  It’s an in-focus action shot centered on the conflict.  The two players are battling for the ball.  Cropping the photo to focus more on the two players might improve the photo.

Kayla Grimsley celebrates a goal with Elizabeth Sinclair

This was my favorite celebration shot.  I saw it coming and was really exciting when I managed to get a picture of it.  My biggest complaint is that it isn’t as sharp as it could be, which I need to work on in every aspect of my photography, not just sports.  I seem to have a problem keeping the subject in focus.


October 5, 2010 at 11:12 PM Leave a comment

The Colorful Streets of Cartagena

This week I wanted to discuss a photo essay I came across.  I thought it was unique enough to share.

The Colorful Streets of Cartagena

I’ve never seen a photo essay where the entire focus was on color before, but I think they did a fantastic job because that’s obviously what stands out in these photos the most.  This essay was shot in Cartagena, Colombia, and it really catches your eye.  I love the bright colors in everything from the vibrant buildings down to even watermelons.  Most photo essays I’ve seen tell a story often through the emotion in the pictures and even take the color out of photos to convey this emotion, but this one doesn’t have a political message.  It just seems like a guy having fun telling a story with color.  The composition in many of the photographs isn’t even really all that striking, but I don’t think it needs to be.  I just thought this neat and might be something I want to focus on in my own photography.

September 29, 2010 at 7:30 AM Leave a comment

Steve Liss

For this post, I wanted to write about a photographer, but to be honest, I don’t keep up with who’s good, who’s famous, and whatnot.  Hopefully that will change, especially since I found a link to this guy, Steve Liss.

Check out his webpage here.

Check out this guy’s photo-essays.  The topics range from teenage runaways to poverty to the trials of being a parent in the modern age.  What struck me in particular was how he used color.  He seems to often set the tone with color but isn’t restricted by it.  He can have a happy photo in black and white.  At first I thought he used black and white to set a more serious, depressed tone, and in most cases he does, but there are several photographs that have a happy, hopeful tone even though they are in black and white, like the ending of A Second Chance for Santos.   He has some amazing pictures in color, especially under his American Scene tab.  I love the picture of the city and the baseball field under American Scene.  The colors are so vibrant and striking in both pictures, and they both have a unique angle.  His photographs have been on the cover of Time Magazine 43 times.

September 21, 2010 at 7:28 PM Leave a comment

The Wedding Photo

This is probably my favorite picture that I took this past summer.  It was in May, and I was in Michigan for my friends’ wedding (What’s better than two people you care for marrying each other?).  Of course the couple already had a professional photographer, but many of our friends couldn’t make it to the wedding since we’re spread out across the country, so I was taking pictures to record this joyous occasion for them.  I snapped this photo when the bride and groom were coming into the reception, and it was a candid shot.  This picture means a lot to me since I think it captured the bride’s beauty and happiness really well.

The original picture was a wider shot, but I cropped this in Photoshop to focus on the bride and made it black and white.  I thought it made her look more elegant.  I wish I had gotten even less depth of field on this one, but I do think the picture as it is focuses on the bride nicely.  I think the strongest element in this photo is the content.  The composition and lighting are decent.  Normally I wouldn’t place someone in the middle of the photograph like I did with the bride, but I cropped it that way rather than using the Rule of Thirds because there’s too much action going on in the rest of the photograph when I wanted all the attention on the bride.  I think the light coming in from the background actually enhanced the white theme going on in this photograph.  What really makes this photo for me is the look on the bride’s face and how obviously happy she is.  You can imagine how honored I felt when she came back from her honeymoon and made this her profile picture on Facebook.

September 14, 2010 at 6:12 AM Leave a comment

Good afternoon, JOUR 537


My name is Traci Lawrimore.  This year, I am a senior Visual Communications major with a minor in Japanese.  I am from Johnsonville, South Carolina, which is about two hours from Columbia towards Myrtle Beach.  I have a lot of interest in Japan (especially ninja), and I spent five weeks in Tokyo last year on a mission trip.  My blogs from that time are further down the page if you are interested in reading them.  I have a basset hound named Daisy, and I love to take pictures of her, though it can be difficult seeing that she’s a little camera shy.  I am crazy about Gamecock sports, and I have been going to football games with my parents for as long as I remember.

My experience with photography has been strictly for pleasure up until this point.  I like design more than photography, but I think that is mostly because I do not have much practice in photography while I have been playing around with Photoshop for years.  I have a Canon Rebel XS, and I usually edit photos in Adobe Photoshop, though I also have iPhoto.  I have used iMovie and Garageband to make a podcast before as well as just fiddling around for fun.

Who wants flattering pictures on their blog anyway?

September 7, 2010 at 3:54 AM Leave a comment


So, at Midtown Baptist Church, every year around Christmas for a few weeks they have something called the  | giv |  campaign.  Every year it’s something different, though that might change, since we’re so young.  The church is quite young in several ways.  This company of believers has only come together for a few years, and more than 2/3 of the congregation is made of college students, which means not  only are we young, but we don’t have a lot of money.

That makes this a little more awesome.  The  | giv |  project this year was to fund a halfway house for ten girls for one year in India.  In India, almost 1 million children are exploited in the sex slave industry.  Little girls are raped daily many times, and often their parents sell them into this torment.  We got the opportunity to watch God work and be a part of saving 10 little girls.  Obviously, I was elated.  To do this, we had to raise $20,000.  This was a step above last year, but if everyone who was registered as a member gave $35, we would make it.

There were a lot of informative and tough sermons over the past few weeks.  You know the ones, where they say stuff that we like to forget, like how Jesus said to sell your things and give them to those in need.  As in, sell your stuff.  Give up what you have.  Naturally, they encouraged us to do this, and they said they knew there was one thing each of us thought of that we didn’t need but were still holding onto, and before he even said that, I had something in mind to sell.

I was debating with myself over even telling this story since I really don’t want to sound like I’m bragging.  This wasn’t as much of a sacrifice for me as it might sound, but the ending of it is funny, so I’ll clue you guys in.  The thing that I decided to sell was my Nintendo Wii and all the accessories and games that I collected over the past two years to go with it.  INTERLUDE:  Word to the wise, if you’re ever looking to sell your video games at Gamestop, DON’T DO IT.  They’ll rip you off.  I’m still a little miffed at how little I got for how much I sold.  It ended up being only $150, but I was still happy to give my share.  I just wish I could have gotten more so I could have given more.

Anyway, the week before the pastor who was speaking had been ripping on guys who play video games too much (he told them to get jobs rather than level up their character on World of Warcraft).  I remember him saying specifically that he really wanted to get a note from someone saying they sold their Xbox and that they don’t miss it, so as I was putting the money into the envelope, I decided to give him a little treat and wrote “Sold my Wii.  Don’t miss it.”  I was in a hurry, so it really wasn’t my best handwriting.  I even wrote it upside down, but I figured it didn’t matter.

Turns out the pastors loved it and even pinned the envelope up on the bulletin board, but that’s not what makes this story funny.  One of them decided to mention in his message my little envelope and how the campaign was going.  He ended up saying, “I say ‘he” because the handwriting was awful and I figured it had to be a guy.”  So my face is turning red and my sister’s trying so hard not to crack up she’s almost crying, but I thought it was all in good fun.  My sister is friend’s with the pastor so naturally she told him it was me, and he was completely embarrassed and had to mention it again this week.  I should probably tell him in person that it’s really OK, it makes for a funny story.  I’ve known for a long time that I don’t have handwriting as pretty as most girls seem to have, but now it’s confirmed that I write like a dude.

Anyway, here comes the grand finale.  Toni and I came back to Columbia this week for the Christmas gathering, and I was really anticipating it because they would announce how much money we raised.  I really wanted us to reach our goal because this issue really touches my heart.  We act like slavery doesn’t exist anymore, but it does.  It’s not legal, but it still exists around the world, and it kills me because we can stop it but we don’t.

It turns out that we reached our goal within one week, specifically $24,000.  Over three weeks, we raised more than $64,000.  I’ll let that sink in for a minute.  600 people raised almost $65,000!!!  That’s more than $100 per person!  This is a group that’s mainly made up of college students, who, whether or not they actually are, think they’re broke!  THIS IS GOD, PEOPLE.  Showing pictures of starving children can’t inspire this kind of giving.  There’s nothing in us so good to do this.  I’ll say it over and over again, praise God, King of Kings, Lord of Lords!  We get the privilege of seeing Jesus do work, and it’s amazing even just to watch.  To be included in it is just awe-inspiring.

And the story isn’t even over.  Apparently someone in Delhi, India, where our money was going to go, actually paid the full $20,000 before we could.  Yeah, they beat us out in our generosity, whatever, but now this organization has so much money, and they know exactly what they’re going to do with it.  The original $20,000 is going to setting up an outreach building in the Red Light district that they desperately needed.  Our money goes to funding the 10 girls as well as going into a fund to help build a permanent halfway house-type building that will house 18 girls, which they also desperately need.  I think two of the leaders of this project are going to visit us in May to give us an update on their goings on and such, and they’re looking into making our relationship an ongoing thing.

I don’t even know what to say.  This is just too amazing.  I almost started crying on the spot.  God is beyond wonderful, beyond description.  There’s so much sin and suffering in the world that gets ignored, and it makes me so angry at the injustice and brokenness and how even in a recession, we all have so much more than we need.  But it’s things like this that remind me that God cares for he broken and the needy and the suffering, and He’s doing work and will continue to do work.  Nothing gets past Him, He’s almighty.  He’s setting the captives free, literally and figuratively.  No, not even figuratively, sin is slavery.  Jesus doesn’t just change our actions but our hearts.  What else can cause a family to decide that they were too excessive in their wealth and give up a car to the church to give it to someone who needs it, who gave it to a single mom?  Yeah, that happened too.

OMG GOD’S SO GOOD.  Just thought y’all should know.

Also, The Princess and the Frog is a great movie.  You should see it.

December 21, 2009 at 12:48 PM Leave a comment

Last Japan Post. Also, Tom Selleck.

So friends, a little less than two months after my return to America and in the middle of the night, I decide to write my last blog post on my adventures in Japan.  A month after that, I actually finish said blog post.  Sorry it took so long, but be grateful that it’s even coming at all.  I was planning on it when I got home, but I got hit with a major bout of Post-Project Depression.  I decided to finish it BECAUSE I MISS MY PROJECT BUDDIES! 😦

I left off with Disney Sea, which was AWESOME.  The week after that was our last week on campus, which was more emotional than I thought it would be, but I’ll get to that later.  We had our American Sayonara Party, which was basically where we dressed up in the most “American” way possible and had a lot of fun games.  I played Apples to Apples Japanese edition, but I don’t think the students really understood the concept of picking the opposite of the adjective because it’s funny (or maybe I wasn’t getting it…).  Either way, I think everyone had a lot of fun.  We had a dance contest and pie eating contest, neither of which I think the students had really seen before, so there were a lot of laughs to be had.

Apples to Apples Japanese cards!  They had English, but if you turn them upside, they have it in Japanese.  Lovely!

Apples to Apples Japanese cards! They had English, but if you turn them upside, they have it in Japanese. Lovely!

We had a costume contest.  I'm sad because I'm not American enough.

We had a costume contest. I'm sad because I'm not American enough.

Pie eating contest!

Pie eating contest!

Normally in projects, the group goes on a mid-project retreat to recuperate after challenge week, but that didn’t work out this year.  Instead, we went on an end-project retreat to Hakone, a town near Tokyo famous for its onsen, or natural hot springs.  Heather and Gen were being very hush-hush about it beforehand and keeping it a secret, but one of the Student Impact leaders accidentally let it slip to me at the Sayonara Party.  I liked the idea of being surprised, but this time I didn’t mind being spoiled since I was so excited that I had actually heard of Hakone before in my Japanese class.

The ride over there was one of the times I least appreciated bringing two bags.  Lugging all of that all over the trains and up hills and on buses was MISERABLE.  UGH, I don’t know how my project buddies put up with me.  We finally made it to our little hotel, which was an experience in itself.  THERE ARE BETTER THINGS TO FILL YOUR PILLOWS WITH THAN BEANS, JAPAN! The rooms had three small beds and complimentary slippers (you still take your shoes off entering the room).  There were hall restrooms and showers as well as the hotel’s private hot spring.

Ah, the hot spring.  It was basically like a jacuzzi, but the water is pumped from an actual hot spring, so it’s naturally heated.  OK, the way this works is that in this particular hotel (and I would assume most places), there were separate hot springs for men and women, mainly because clothing was prohibited.  That’s right, they had signs in English and Japanese specifically saying do not wear underwear, do not wear a bathing suit, do not pass go, do not collect $200.  Knowing this made me extremely uncomfortable to say the least, but I decided that this was an experience that I wasn’t going to pass up.  Besides, it was girl bonding time.

Entering the female half, there’s a room with shelves with baskets on them for you to put your clothes as well as mirrors and stools to blow dry your hair.  You had to get undressed there and walk stark naked across the room ,which I was expecting to feel like an AWKWARD WALK OF SHAAAAAAME, but it felt a little better when you see that everyone else is as naked as you are and thus isn’t really looking at you that hard.  Still, it was probably the easiest time in my life to make eye contact.

Before getting into the onsen, you have to wash yourself off.  Yep, before taking a bath, you take a shower.  That’s because for the Japanese, bathing is for enjoyment, so you get clean beforehand.  They have this little shower nozzles along the wall in a row, and you sit on stools while you wash.  After that we enjoyed a lovely hot bath.

Our trip to Hakone was a great way to end the project.  We took a gondola ride (not boats) through the mountains, getting a great view of the strip mining, and then we got to ride on a pirate ship.  Yes, that’s right, a tourist pirate ship.  We sailed across a lake where we could have seen Mount Fuji had it not been so cloudy.  For most of the afternoon we explored a shrine and nature walk that was nearby.  It was pretty cool, very relaxing.

See?  This kind of gondola.

See? This kind of gondola.

Japanese pirate ship.  Looks remarkably like Western pirate ships.

Japanese pirate ship. Looks remarkably like Western pirate ships.

So the Japanese write down prayers know what, I don't really know what this is.  I just thought it looked cool and took a pretty awesome picture.

So the Japanese write down prayers know what, I don't really know what this is. I just thought it looked cool and took a pretty awesome picture.

Fuji-chan!  Japan's famous mountain in cuddly stuffed animal form!  The best souvenir ever!  This is probably the most Asian picture I've taken so far.

Fuji-chan! Japan's famous mountain in cuddly stuffed form! This is probably the most Asian picture I've taken so far.

Another sweet outing was to Yunessun, a hot springs resort.  This one was divided into a swimsuit section and naked section, so yeah, we only went to the former.  What made this fun was that there were all different kinds of scented baths.  There was a wine-scented one, green tea-scented one, and, my personal favorite, a coffee-scented one.  It was a resort, so they also had massages and, to my delight, foot rubs.  One particularly interesting attraction was a Turkish foot bath.  In case you don’t know what that is, it’s where you stick your feet in a bath, hence the name, and little fish eat the dead skin off your feet.

After this lovely excursion we flew back to America, but at the airport the security stopped us in the airport for a “random security check.”  Yeah, uh huh, right, you just managed to “randomly” check the group of foreigners with a samurai sword.  They totally thought we were terrorists. We ended up leaving at five in the afternoon and arriving at ten in the morning the same day, so we stayed up at least forty hours, some were awake longer (those lovely ones who had the bright idea of staying up all night the night before).  It was kind of funny, considering it was the first time I had ever stayed up all night.  I remember thinking, “This isn’t that bad.”  Though, that turns out that I’m missing some pretty big chunks of my memory from that day, so yeah, I won’t be doing that again any time soon.

The sunrise was worth staying up the entire plane ride.

The sunrise was worth staying up the entire plane ride.

After debriefing we had some very tearful goodbyes, but a good number of us went to Disneyland in California.  Now all I have to do is go to Paris and my Disney World Tour will be complete.  The trip to Disneyland was a bittersweet experience.  It was mainly fun (DUH, it’s freaking Disneyland), but there was this sad undertone during it all for me.  I had already left some of my friends, and I really didn’t like the idea of leaving the next day.

But we all had a blast, and it was super awesome fun.  I even got a button for it being my first time there, so that was great.  I will treasure it always.  I got to ride the Pirates of the Caribbean ride for the first time, which was really fun.  Turns out there is one in Florida, I didn’t know that….Now I just have the burning question in my mind of which Splash Mountain is bigger?  Because in my mind the one in Disney World is bigger, but I can’t decide whether that’s because I was so small when I went there last or because it really is bigger.  I bet they’re the same height.


Doo dah doo dah.

Doo dah doo dah.


So then I went back home and it was great to see the family but boring because there weren’t any people there.  Back at school it’s a little better because I have the roomies and mah gal pals.  I WANNA MOVE TO CALIIIIIIFOOOORRRNIIIIAAAA!!!!  Or Michigan.  No, Michigan can get really cold, you guys will just have to visit.

Anyway, that’s all for now.  I might update this blog with any random stuff, but that’s a big maybe.  I’m not really that interesting when I’m not in a foreign country.  That said, take care.  Tom Selleck says don’t get swine flu.

Tom Selleck....

Tom Selleck....

....he keep you best.

....he keep you best.

September 30, 2009 at 7:35 AM 6 comments

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