Journalism is, to put it simply, a discipline of many required talents. One such talent is the ability to use a camera. Up until this point in my journalism career, I’ve had very few instances where I was tasked with shooting. That all changed when I got my first assignment for Dr. Collins’ Multimedia Reporting class. Albeit being a relatively easy beginning endeavor, tasking me with just taking a variety of different shots in the hopes of becoming acquainted with my camera.
I waited a few days after the first class to even fiddle with the camera, as I wanted to settle in to my other classes first. Finally, the weekend came, and I set out to capture all that I needed for the assignment. Now, mind you, I’ve never been known for having steady hands. Last summer, at my internship (working as a reporter for my hometown’s newspaper), I had to take action shots at a rodeo. Needless to say, the high energy sport coupled with my less than stellar motor skills made for some mediocre photographs.
Flash forward to this past weekend. There I was, camera in hand, tripod at the ready. Let me tell you, I was geared up and ready to rumble. However, that all changed the moment I flipped the switch and brought the camera to life. My confidence very quickly turned into panic as I realized I had no idea what I was doing. After a bit, I calmed myself down, and set about trying to photograph my surroundings.
As I went about my work, I realized something spectacular. The more stills I took, the more I learned how to find the right angle. The more times I practiced zooming in and out for video, the easier it became to control my speed. Before long, I was enjoying myself, taking numerous shots, deleting the ones I didn’t want and marveling over those I was proud of. The majority of my shots were taken in and around my humble abode of Nugent Hall. My pride and joy was the photo I took of the Ikenberry Dining Hall at night (featured above, check it out). Once the ball got rolling, the first part of my assignment was a piece of cake.
Then class rolled around, and I was nervous all over again. I didn’t have much experience editing either, and I was very intimidated by how intense and fast paced everything seemed. Nonetheless, I did my very best to keep up, and I have to say, I’m very satisfied with the finished product. Once all the pieces fell in place and I had a good understanding of what I was supposed to be doing, I felt a lot better. I put all my best shots together in a video, edited it down, and put it up on YouTube.
I’m sure someday I’ll look back at this work and cringe at how simple and lacking it is. Right now, though, I’m proud of what I accomplished. I know I have a long way to go, but everybody has to start somewhere. Now is the time for me to hone my skills, make my connections, and forge my own identity in the media landscape. I’m eager to see what heights I reach in this class and beyond.