The latest edition of The Southern Ute Drum hit stands today, with coverage of almost a half dozen cultural performances in celebration of Native American Heritage Month as recognized in the State of Colorado.
This image of a young dancer named Greg was immediately one of my favorites, but I ultimately chose another equally striking image that conveyed the sense of place and action more effectively. See the front page lead into our photo spread.
Still, I keep coming back to this image for it’s composition, and the angle of the feathered bustle, as the dancer turns, catching a nice profile. This is conversely a fairly tight shot, which works to eliminate distraction from the background in this school auditorium. I used a few post production tools in Lightroom3 to make the dancer pop.
In short I think this is a rather quite image, that still captures the motion and vibrancy of the Fancy Feather Dancer in his regalia.
To view the DRUM online click HERE.
Visit the official website for the soon to be dedicated Southern Ute Cultural Center & Museum in Ignacio, Colorado.
The website can be found HERE.
The Southern Ute Drum has played a significant role in the contribution of editorial images for use on the website, and many more which will be on display in the museums permanent gallery when it opens the door to its state of the art facility this spring!
Celebrating over two years with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe as a full time staffer for The Southern Ute Drum Newspaper. We recently sent the first issue of 2011 to press, covering a year of editorial content, highlighting news stories and photography from 2010 at its best…please take a moment to visit The Southern Ute Drum online.
Photograph Jeremy Wade Shockley/SU DRUM
I posted two very similar images which I shot a few days ago. In this I thought it would be a great time to open up the conversation on editing. Most often we take a series of images where each photograph tells its own story, especially early on. I think that as one develops their own style, they become aware of elements and composition on a level that goes beyond the average photograph. As a photographer, I find myself lining up the elements, and often the layers, shooting similar pictures in an effort to bring the concert together, or simply all the elements. They must work together visually, while also adding interest to the situation, and if done right the photograph will also capture the moment as the artist/photographer intended it to be.
This is certainly not the most complex photo, but simple and beautiful for its own reasons. Each of the two images speaks differently against an almost unchanging background- which is the point of this post. While I love the lighting and emotion of the painters profile, there is also some attraction to the brush working canvas in the second shot-no personification needed.
As photographers and journalist, we will always be editing our own work, even before we click the shutter. Most often we will be editing a number of similar images post capture, making decisions that will be final. It is in my opinion the pictures that are closest to each other, that will present the hardest edit. Photographs that are arguably beautiful, and even timeless, but subtly different. You of course must make the decision. One will be published, while the others fade into the archive, perhaps resurfacing in years to come.
Please lend your opinion here, is one of these two images clearly more meaningful, or attractive than the other? If so why?
Chance favors the prepared mind. -Louis Pasteur
The perfect light rarely comes to me on assignment for the newspaper, simple fact is, around town events are not scheduled with the warm tones of sunset in mind. As a matter of fact, getting outside is half the battle, and a prayer for good window light when I am forced to shoot inside. All these factors present there own challenges, challenges that have pushed me as a photographer on deadline, sans assistant. Action happens fast, some events last less than a few minutes, and it often those shots that make the font page for no other reason than precedence.
What I have learned is invaluable, the opportunities to shoot outside in the golden hours of the day are often times a luxury of the freelance photographer, or dedicated artist. A long term project, or all day event will lend itself to those opportunities, weather permitting.
One such assignment came across my desk recently, an art gallery opening, on just such a beautiful summer afternoon that leaves you wanting more. Samba singers set up against a freshly painted fence, a belly dancer in full regalia, spins through the courtyard literally catching the last rays of light! Memorable landscapes, portraits and everyday scene from across the world often become timeless because of a quality of light that helps to define the moment.
The greatest lesson here is that as photographers, we must be able, willing and creative under any given circumstance, creating powerful images regardless. Understanding the value of the good light as an element working in our favor, but never a given.
Patience, preparation and perseverance are the ingredients to the images that astound, this often requires shooting well before and beyond the average sunrise, sunset!
Enjoy the images….Jeremy
Working for the Tribal Newspaper, The Southern Ute Drum, takes me into the field quite often, and sometimes literally. This image was taken during an annual highway cleanup on reservation lands, this morning was spent covering a short piece on spring cleanup. The idea here is that while not all news is packed with glamour or even excitement- the art of capturing the moment and creating a nice image is still at the heart of reportage and photojournalism. I think these images have a wonderful quality to them.
Do you find yourself taking the mundane and creating beauty that might not otherwise be recognized when you approach certain subjects with a camera and an artistic intent?