the horror!!!! oooh the horror!!!!

TRAGEDY!!!! ABSOLUTE TRAGEDY!!!!! While I was home for Easter last weekend, Dewey, my golden retriever, found my hat while I was in the shower and proceeded to do what he does best– chew.  After a half hour of chewing, the hat was ruined!!  For those of you that see me every single day, you know […]

Advanced Techniques: Fill and Balancing

In this episode of Advanced Techniques in photojournalism, we had to use flash for “fill and balancing.”  Basically, this is the perfect technique for a sunny day when your subject is wearing a hat.  Or, if you are trying to shoot people in shadow with a bright background.  It sort of evens things out. I […]

Good Audio Slideshow

We had to go out and find a good example of an audio slideshow for class.  This slideshow, titled “Dharavi: Mumbai’s Hidden Heart,” was shot by Michael Robinson Chavez of the Los Angeles Times.  I am not always a fan of narration, but I thought he did an amazing job of collecting ambient audio and […]

2,600 miles later … a few pictures…

Spring Break is over and that could only mean one thing– spring break blog posts by everyone, especially the photojournalists.  So, if you can stand one more spring break blog post, read on… Below is a map of our road trip. You can even interact with it!  Coooooooool. We drove a total of over 2,600 […]

Flash Color Correction Assignment

This is the photo I am turning in for our flash color correction assignment.  Basically, every type of light bulb emits a different colorcast.  Flourescent lights have a green cast, a normal light bulb has a orange cast and daylight / my flash has a blue cast.  In this assignment we had to put the […]

A Walk in the Woods

I found these two photos the other day and forgot that I had taken them.  They were shot during another random nighttime photo adventure last November  just north of Columbia.  It was a really eerie, foggy, full moon kind of night and I really liked the surreal feel of the photos.  I think they portray […]

Direct Flash / Bounce Flash Assignment

These are the two photos I am turning in for my single flash assignment.  One photo had to use direct flash and the other had to use a flash bounced off of a surface. Last night, I went to the Laws Observatory on campus and took some photos while bouncing the flash off the dome.  […]

Classmate Project Part 2: Video Interview

This video was the second part of my classmate project for Advanced Techniques in Photojournalism.  We all had to ask each other the same question– “What is the weirdest food you have ever eaten?”  The point was to get people comfortable with video cameras, video lighting and editing.  Enjoy this brilliant piece of cinematic art: […]

Dog Days of Early March

So my next assignment in Advanced Techniques is the single flash assignment.  Normally, I avoid using a flash at all costs.  I like using ambient light and I think a flash is distracting and I usually prefer blending into the background.  But, since I don’t really have a choice with this assignment, I headed out […]

POYi Judging Concludes; Winners Announced; John's Social Life Returns

Photo Credit: Uriel Sinai / Getty Images Well, its has been a fun 3 weeks but the Pictures of the Year International (POYi) judging is finally over.  This means my life is back to a normal schedule and I no longer am spending 8 hours a day in a dark room updating the website.  It […]

Advanced Techniques Class: Spicing Things Up

This is the last studio assignment for my Advanced Techniques in Photojournalism class. The assignment was to shoot metal and glass because both of these surfaces are shiny and reflect light in all directions (and teachers like to torment us).  I would like to reiterate that I am a bit on the unexperienced side when […]

Advanced Techniques Class: Classmate Portrait

The second assignment in my Advanced Techniques was the classmate portrait.  My partner was fellow grad student Michelle Peltier. I think the studio is big and scary because until last week, my studio experience was a bit lacking.  It was fun to experiment with different lighting setups (see diagrams below).  It is very hard to […]

66th POYi Judging Begins! My Social Life Ends!

If you want to know why I am not answering my phone, answering emails or seeing the light of day, it is because I am sitting in a dark room for the next 3 weeks updating the Pictures of the Year website during judging.  That sounds like a terrible thing, but it definitely isn’t.  I […]


UnBELIZEable… Haha, funny title, look at me.  I only wish I could have made that up.  However, that phrase is printed on every t-shirt, bumper sticker, key chain, coffee mug and trinket in Belize.  Its good for gift shop business when your country’s name can be used as wordplay. Anyway, it is about 16°F here […]

A different view of the inauguration

This is really amazing. Photographer David Bergman took a 220 image, 1,474 megapixel image of Barack Obama’s inauguration last week using a cool device called the ‘Gigapan.’ Basically, you put your favorite point-and-shoot camera onto this robot, play with some buttons, and it automatically takes a grid of photos that can be stitched together into […]

New Years in Munich

I was lucky enough to spend New Year’s Eve in Munich, Germany at the Hofbrauhaus and then the Marienplatz/ town center at midnight. I can only describe it as being in Times Square…. with the added element of fireworks being shot at you from all angles.  Sure, you could spend New Year’s Eve watching the […]

Merry Chrismakwanzika!

To get you in the holiday spirit, here are some photos from the “Magic Tree” in Columbia. Get ready for a blast of color.  For some reason, my camera survived and didn’t explode from sensory overload. Clark W. Griswold has nothing on this guy. This crab apple tree has over 75,000 lights lining every branch, […]

Final Photo Story– DONE

I completed the final edit of my photo story on Marvin Sapp.  I posted it to my main website because WordPress doesn’t let me post Soundslides. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FINAL EDIT It is done and turned in, but the story will probably continue.  There are still photos that I want to get, but […]

Marvin the Great

I have had the great pleasure of following around Marvin Sapp for the last 2 1/2 months during the corn and soybean harvest. At 76, an age when most people would be comfortably retired, Marvin is still active as ever in the day-to-day operations of his farm in McBaine, Missouri.  In his own words, “It’s […]

McBaine Burr Oak at Night… Again

What did I do last night instead of study for Comm Law??  I went back to the big Burr Oak Tree in McBaine to take some more photos.  The tree is lit with one of those police style MagLites and the road is lit with a little LED flashlight. It is amazing how quickly the […]

Kansas City Adventure

In all the years I have lived in Missouri, I have never visited Kansas City– only driven through it.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had there. In a day, I went to Arthur Bryants BBQ, the Power & Light district, The Plaza, Kansas City Star, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art […]

Nighttime Photo Fun

I was bored the last couple of nights and decided to entertain myself by running around the countryside taking night photos.  There has been a pretty full moon lately which provided some nice fill light. The photos were lit with a big MagLite as well as an LED headlamp that I normally use for camping.  […]

McBaine Farmers

A few shots from my final project in Fundamentals of Photo J class.  I am following 2 farmers in McBaine, MO during the fall corn and soybean harvest.  More info to come later when I feel more in a typing mood:

Rounding out the political coverage….

Barack Obama came to town last night and I got to shoot it (along with every other journalist in this town/school).  I have always said that Mizzou is sort of a mixed blessing.  Sure, it is one of the best journalism schools in the country.  But, that also means when something big happens in this […]