Friday, March 30, 2007

Mall cop

It is very difficult to get approval to photograph in the Mall in Columbia. Today, my editor Ben somehow convinced the PR department that it's ok to photograph in there and sent me over for an assignment. This picture is not a part of the 30 day project.Security officer Kyle Richardson takes a short break from guarding the door during his shift, Friday, Mar. 30, 2007.

Day 7

Diabetes transportationMichelle Howell (right) helps Alma Richardson get in her wheelchair, before her dialysis appointment in Boonville, Missouri, Friday, Mar. 30, 2007.

Howell runs a medical transportation company that serves diabetics who live in rural areas.


Two really good photographers' links that someone has just passed on to me.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Day 6

Dumpster diving

Freegans are people that do not buy food because they believe in consuming some of the world's waste. They claim that the American society is wasting way too much food and lacks a sense of responsibility.Leo takes a break outside his favourite pizza place in Columbia, where he managed to get a lot of leftovers, Thursday, Mar. 29, 2007. Though he has a job and a place to stay, Leo goes dumpster diving at least three times a week, to support the cause. He considers himself an anarchist.

Day 5

John McKenzie (center), his wife Misty McKenzie (right) and their longtime friend Sarah Myers hang out in Woody's Pub in Ashland, Missouri, Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2007. "You could have been in her place, but you just missed the boat" says John. "No, motherfucker! You missed the boat!" Sarah replies.

The McKenzies have been married for eight years and have been together for eleven. Sarah and John knew each other way before John met his wife.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Day 4

Muslim communities have become a part of small towns in Missouri.Eman Abdelhadi gestures as she shares a laugh with her friends on a terrace downtown Columbia, Tuesday, Mar. 27, 2007.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Day 3

A family business.
Mike Menser and his son Mills check out a ring in their jewelry shop in Columbia, Monday, Mar. 26, 2007. Mike is the owner and president of Buchroeder's Jewelry, while Mills is the vicepresident of the company.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Day 2

I attended a meeting of a car club. It wasn't exactly what I had expected. Nothing good came out of it. This is today's picture.

Gary Hamilton parks his 1966 Ford Mustang during a meeting of the Old Wheels Collector Car Club in Columbia, Mar. 25, 2007.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Day 1

I have started the small-town project today, Saturday, Mar. 24. It'll go on for two weeks, when I will take my late spring break. I'll resume the project at the end of April.

Larry Schubert poses for a portrait after his company won eight prizes in the Gourmet Sausage competition during the Wurstfest in Hermann, Missouri.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Pe dati un click pe Lucian Read.

Small town USA

Sometimes this week I will start working on a self-assigned little project that I will turn in as a graduate component for one of my classes. Every single day, for 30 days, I will post one picture of what I see as small town USA. I will not be taking just one picture. However, I will only post one. The reason behind this is to force myself to go out every day and look for a picture. I want to focus on various aspects of this community.

I could use your help. My American friends, if you have any suggestions of concepts/topics/symbols such as religion, entertainment, socializing and so on, please post them here. My beloved Romanians, please tell me what you have in mind when you hear USA. Anything. The first thing that comes to mind.

At some point during these 30 days, I will be in Chicago for a couple of days. I will still be photographing for this project. Maybe I'll try to seek some sort of difference or similarity with small town life.

If this works out well, I will probably run into a few stories on the way. I do not plan to limit this project to those 30 days. That is just what I will turn in for class, as an exercise. I am most likely going to continue photographing for this project, hoping that by the end of my stay in this country, I will have 10 to 15 decent images to put together a photo essay.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Colour bball

A sharp face and a bunch of colours.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Yeah, right, I know. It's been done before. But I wanted to try it.

Mizzou's Kyle Gibson pitches against Cleveland State.

Cage fighting

This is how some people around here spend their Saturday afternoons.

Friday, March 16, 2007


First time shooting softball. It was sad, I need to work on it.

Jessica Rigas of Northwestern University swings against the Mizzou Tigers in Columbia, Mo.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Travis Fox a terminat facultatea aici. Lucreaza la Washington Post de cativa ani. Aici e un link cu unul dintre ultimele lui proiecte video: Travis/Chad

Ce cadre!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Nazi rally

Columbia, Missouri, March 10, 2007 - Approximately twenty members of the National Socialist Movement (aka neo-Nazi) marched downtown to protest against what they claim is the University of Missouri's Marxist approach.

Here is how I saw it.

A policeman drives by through downtown Columbia.

The Nazis march downtown Columbia.

A Nazi salutes Hilter style.

Two women watch the rally from inside a barbershop.

A Nazi tears apart a Mexican flag, before wiping his behind with it.

Nazis confront anti-protestors.

Men express their feelings towards the rally from inside a bar.

A young man refuses to shake the hand of a Nazi.

An anti-protester shouts at the Nazis.

Police officers push anti-protestors.

Police officers arrest anti-protesters.

Mounted police officers try to guard a perimeter in which other officers arrest anti-protesters.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Cateva poze pe care le-am facut luna trecuta.

Josh Palliser shows off his skills in the Cosmopolitan Park in Columbia, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2006. Daylight saving will give skaters and rollerbladers another hour to enjoy the weather.

Six-year-old Paige Lafferty gets a haircut from Najma Qureshi at Goldilocks salon, which provides grown-up pampering for pint-sized clientele. Services include highlights, perms, up-dos and manicures.
Visitor Sue Bader reads the information posted underneath an Egyptian statuette of godess Isis in the MU Museum of Art in Columbia, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2006.
Customer Wayne Fenton gets a haircut from Mike McCann at the Tiger Barber Shop in Columbia, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2006. McCann is one of the Columbia residents who oppose the recent smokeban.

Peter Schwepker, a POYi judge for the newspaper division, takes a short break during a busy judging day, Friday, February 23, 2007, at the University of Missouri.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Niste mailuri

Acu' cateva zile le-am scris lui Stamatin si Baraghin niste e-mail-uri in care vorbeam putin despre niste chestii pe care mi le-au spus aici niste editori. Sunt doar cateva idei, care, prin perseverenta, ar putea imbunatati munca noastra (la mine functioneaza). Initial, ma gandisem sa le scriu doar lor, sa nu creada careva ca ma apuc sa dau lectii. Intre timp, m-am gandit ca mailurile alea ar fi de folos si altora.

"Uite aici un exercitiu care mi se pare al dracu' de util, pe care ar fi bine sa-l facem toti cat mai des. Cand ai juma' de zi, ia o foaie de hartie si fa un tabel. Pe tabel treci niste caracteristici care fac, dupa parerea ta, o imagine buna. Spre exemplu, moment, culoare, regula treimilor (sau cand bagi punctul de atractie al imaginii in colt sau pe langa colt - a la Mihai Barbu:)), lumina, emotie, cadre largi, medii, prim-plan, obiective 70-200, 16-35 si asa mai departe. Apoi uita-te pe imaginile tale de pe site (si din selectiile tale, daca ai ceva ce ti-a placut si n-a intrat pe site) si trage cate un x in tabel, in dreptul categoriei. Rezultatul o sa fie o analiza foarte la rece a muncii tale. O sa vezi imediat la ce tre' sa muncesti mai mult, ce iti lipseste, de care tehnica abuzezi. Ar fi tare bine sa bagi la cap si sa-ti propui, metodic, sa lucrezi saptamanal pe ceea ce iti lipsteste. De dragul meu, fa exercitiul asta o luna de zile. O data pe saptamana, treci prin poze. In fiecare dimineata aminteste-ti si lucreaza pe categoriile la care o sa iesi in minus. O sa fii din ce in ce mai bun.

Ca fotoreporter nu te compari cu altii. Te compari doar cu tine si asta e cel mai greu. Stiu ca suna de cacat, da' asa este. Vorbeam cu Stamatin despre dialogul pe care ar trebui sa-l avem cu noi insine. Mi-am zis de o suta de ori "e frig, e tarziu, imi bag picioarele, nu mai astept momentul magic, o tai acasa, la caldurica." Ei, bine, atunci cand am reusit sa-mi spun: "Ba, ce putoare ordinara esti" si sa trag de mine inca putin, mi-a iesit ceva cat de cat. Si chiar daca nu mi-a iesit, tot e o mica victorie, ca am devenit putin mai bun, doar pentru ca am reusit sa-mi inving putin lenea.

Acu' mi-am amintit o alta tehnica pe care mi-a bagat-o in cap nenea Ben Reed, care e un foarte iscusit fotograf care mi-e mie editor la ziar acum.

Step 1.

S-a tot uitat pe imaginile mele, vreo doua saptamani, dupa care imi zice: "Tu vezi momente bune, dar le ratezi fiindca n-ai disciplina." Adica: mi s-a intamplat de o mie de ori acasa si de zeci de ori aici, sa vad un moment dragut, sa-i trag doua poze, sa ma gudur in sinea mea ce moment dragut am prins si gata, viteza in redactie. Ei, bine, am invatat de la nenea asta sa incerc ca atunci cand vad o situatie cu potential, sa o pozez strans, mediu, larg. Adica 16-35, 50 sau 70-200. Ma rog, nu tine de obiectiv. Cu 16le poti sa faci si un cadru larg, si unul strans, daca te misti mai aproape. Oricum, ideea era sa nu trag o rafala scurta si gata, pa.

Step 2.

Apoi, orice eveniment, da' ORICE eveniment trebuie pozat ca un picture story (adica imagini care iti dea o senzatie de inceput si sfarsit, mijloc, detalii). Orice eveniment, dar ORICE eveniment, trebuie sa aiba cadre stranse, medii, largi si, foarte important, detalii. Ei, bine, dupa faza asta, am venit de la doua trei actiuni si i-am aratat strans, mediu, larg. "Cacat! Ce strans, mediu, larg?" mi-a zis el in limba lui. Nu e suficient sa stii ca ai incadrari diferite. "Ca sa stii ca poti sa stai linistit, incadrezi larg, da' nu aiurea, la intamplare, ci incadrezi larg si incerci sa tragi de tine, sa pozezi pana stii ca ai un cadru' larg bun. La fel cu celelalte incadrari. Stii ca ai cadru larg foarte bun, te gandesti imediat la mediu, strans si apoi detalii. Si nu-mi vii cu orice cacat mediu si strans sau cu detalii de doi lei. YOU WORK IT TILL YOU GET IT!" Pe cuvantul meu ca mi-am notat pe carnetel o parte dintre astea si mi-am amintit de ele in teren. Chiar daca o mare parte dintre imagini s-au dus dracului si-au ramas intr-un folder obosit, metoda asta ticaloasa te lasa cu cel putin o imagine buna la sfarsitul unei actiuni. E mult mai usor apoi, daca tu aduci toate astea, pentru editor, pentru designer etc.

Step 3.

Si sigur ati mai auzit chestia asta. Astia ii spun aici Personal Vision. Suna frumos:)) Adica dupa ce ti-ai facut toate alea de mai sus si ai imagini acceptabile in incadrari variate (da' variate, nu ca ai trecut de la 20mm la 34mm) te apuci sa faci chestii ALTFEL. Adica incercari. Timp lung de expunere, miscate, te urci in copac, te bagi in canal sa pozezi masina care trece pe deasupra, reflexie in luna, nu stiu, orice iti trece prin cap. Da' nu ca unii care, cand ajung la o actiune, incearca ce le trece prin cap, se termina actiunea si n-au nici o poza. Intai trebuie sa pozezi cadrele alea clasice, de siguranta. Oricum, daca mai e timp, trebuie sa incercati si astea. Orice va trece prin cap. Asta e partea care functioneaza ca un fel de flotari pentru creativitatea si sensibilitatea voastra.

Nenea asta de la care am invatat chestia asta e cam de-o varsta cu noi, face poze de 3 ani si deja a castigat ditamai premiile la CPOY ( sau M-am uitat in server la pozele lui, de pe vremea de cand era fotograf la ziar - acu' e editor pentru ca e parte dintr-un curs pe care il face. E foarte destept baiatu' asta. Si nu era mare fotograf cand a lucrat la ziar aici pentru cursul de Staff, pe care il fac eu acum. Diferenta e ca el era foarte constient de chestia asta si a vrut sa schimbe ceva. A intrerupt scoala si a facut un an si ceva de internshipuri si workshopuri pe unde a invatat o groaza de chestii din astea, care, de fapt, nu fac altceva decat sa te faca sa-ti dai seama unde stai si, prin vointa, sa te faca sa ajungi cat mai bun. E foarte bune acu'. E dovada vie ca e doar o chestie de exercitiu si disciplina."

Si al doilea mail.

"Mi-am amintit inca ceva ce am uitat sa-ti spun in mailul de ieri. Am un prieten (ma rog, un coleg) care e foarte bun. Semestrul trecut a lucrat la ziar, semestrul asta e editor si face, in acelasi timp, Boone Life, care e o rubrica aparte in ziar. Pentru sectiunea asta din ziar, are doua saptamani sa faca cate un reportaj despre "judetul" Boone, in care suntem noi. Da' cu deadline, nu in gluma. Adica daca nu are reportajul gata, a incurcat-o. Da' nu prea merge aici cu scuze, asa ca omu' isi face planul cam asa: o saptamana sa gaseasca poveste, contacte, bla, bla, si a doua saptamana sa o pozeze si sa o editeze (de cele mai multe ori face si slide, adica inregistreaza si sunet). L-am intrebat cum ma-sa face toate chestiile astea, pentru ca nu e chiar usor. Adica nu toti oamenii sunt de cuvant, unii te lasa balta etc. Mi-a zis ca se asteapta la asta si ca nu se poate prezenta cu scuze cand are deadline. Atunci, are tot timpul 8-9 povesti de rezerva. Sa-mi cada fata! Opt, noua???? Cum?

Simplu. De trei, patru ori pe saptamana, in fiecare saptamana, conduce juma' de ora pana in cel mai apropiat orasel (care ar fi cam cat un sat de la noi), unde se duce fie la benzinarie, fie la biblioteca, fie la barul local si cauta o persoana vorbareata. Se prezinta, zice ce vrea sa faca si intreaba chestii de genul: cine sunt oamenii cei mai interesanti de la voi din oras si de ce? Si apoi sa vezi cum umple omul un carnetel in juma' de ora. Apoi ii suna pe aia care ii suna lui a povesti bune, le face o mica vizita etc. Si, uite asa, are povesti in buzunar oricand. Daca acum pun mana pe telefon si il sun, fac pariu pe orice ca are cel putin 4 povesti de rezerva. Acu' doua saptamani, 4 povesti la rand s-au dus dracului. PATRU! S-a imbolnavit unu', celalalt n-a mai raspuns la telefon etc. Io cred ca mi-as fi bagat picioarele. Ei, bine, el nu! A gasit a cincea poveste, care a mers. Mi-a zis ca daca si aia se ducea, mai avea vreo trei rezerve. Pe baiatul asta il cheama Adam si are 23 de ani. In fiecare semestru, cineva face chestia asta aici la ziar. Si asta e doar una din zecile de scoli de fotojurnalism de aici. In acelasi timp, cam toti fotografii de ziare cu tiraj de 20 000 pana la 500 000 fac cam acelasi lucru, cand nu sunt trimisi undeva, saptamana de saptamana. Ei, cum dracu' sa mai zica romanu' ca e fotojurnalist, cand sta cu sumaru-nfipt in cur? Si dup-aia mai auzi alea gen "sigur, daca eram acolo, faceam si io".

Sigur. Da' n-ai fost."