Spring Break through iPhone Polaroids

For some reason, I always forget that I have this cool little application on my iPhone called “Shake It Photo” .  Basically, it turns your iPhone’s camera into an old-school Polaroid-style camera and it only costs $0.99!  You take the photo like you normally would on your iPhone and the image is then cropped to a square and the colors are messed with.  Even cooler, it shows up undeveloped on the screen and you get to shake your phone like you would a Polaroid to help it develop faster.  The end product actually looks pretty authentic right down to the realistic border.

Anyway, I decided way too late into my Spring Break trip down to Dallas that I wanted to document the trip with iPhone Polaroids.  I wish I would have done it the whole trip, but I was probably too brain dead from all the driving to remember.  Here are a few of the favorites that I did get.  These are all straight out of the phone…  Sometimes it is just fun to play:

Robotic Lady Liberty “waver” outside a tax prep store in Joplin, Missouri

Gentoo penguin swimming at the St. Louis Zoo

The skyline of Dallas, Big D.  I kind of miss it.  But I don’t miss its traffic…which I was sitting in when I took this photo….

Easter brunch at Whataburger.  Oh how I love Whataburger. Contrary to their marketing slogan, there is NOT one near me.  But,  I make a point to stop there every single time I go back to Texas.

I am always amazed at how big Dallas’ overpasses are.  This is the “High Five” where 75 and 635 intersect.  It is apparently the first 5-layered interchange in Dallas and the highest ramp is 120 feet in the air.  They were building this monstrosity when I was a Junior in high school and I first saw it when I went down to visit SMU.  I don’t think they completely  finished it until my Senior year in COLLEGE at SMU.

The Charitable Collector: Final Edit

This is my final edit for my character profile assignment in my Picture Story class.  I had other ideas for this assignment, but my main subject backed out at the last minute and send me scrambling for other story ideas.  I found Harry at the last minute and only had a day to photograph him.  Luckily, I was able to make the story materialize in a short amount of time.  Click on the picture below to go to the slide show:

Harry Weitkemper will turn 90 in April but he certainly doesn’t sit around feeling sorry for himself.  Instead, he spends his free time helping others.

Twice a week, Harry attends a local auction in Columbia looking for items he can fix up and donate to local charities.  On the days when he doesn’t attend the auction, he is repairing these items in the basement of his Columbia, Mo. Home.  “This is my recreation,” he says. “This gives me something to do… I can’t just sit around all day.”

While Harry mainly looks for old wheelchairs, walkers, and sewing machines, he is always keeping an eye out for other items, such as soup bowls, which can also be donated.  ““I buy whatever I think I can give to somebody,” he says.

“My body is old, but I think my mind is as active as it was when I was 47 years old,” says Harry.  “I enjoy what I do and if I die tonight, I’ve enjoyed it all.”

The Charitable Collector

One of the pictures from my character profile assignment.  More to come tomorrow… Too tired to post more…

4 Peaks in 5 Days

I haven’t posted too much lately mainly because the photo class I am taking this semester requires more long-term stories.  And, POYi judging has just ended after 3 weeks.

So, I am digging back into the archives and posting a couple of the panoramas I took while driving home from Reno this summer.  In 5 days, I made it to the top of 4 peaks in 3 different states.  Although I have to admit I cheated with one peak– Mt. Evans– and was able to actually drive my car all the way to the top and hike the last 100 yards…  Anyway, I took a panorama at the top of each peak I made it to and this is the result (Click on the images to see them bigger):

Mt. Tallac, 9,735 feet, South Lake Tahoe, CA

Mt. Wheeler, 13,063 feet, Great Basin National Park, NV

Top of Mt. Wheeler, 13,063 feet, Great Basin National Park, NV

Mt. Evans, 14,264 feet, Clear Creek County, CO

Mt. Democrat, 14,148 feet, Lake County, CO

POYi Judging Deja Vu

It is that time of year again… time for the Pictures of the Year International (POYi) judging.  Once again, I am a coordinator for the contest and I will be spending the next three weeks in a very dark room watching some of the best photos in the world flash before my eyes.  This year, we have moved the judging to the swanky, new, and very modern Fred W. Smith Auditorium.  It’s nice, but I will always miss the old Tucker Auditorium where we have had the judging since the late 70’s / early 80’s.  I probably won’t be blogging much as I will be spending most of my time at POYi.  But, here are a couple of pictures from the first week of judging…

If you want to get in on the judging, you can watch it from anywhere in the world via our live judging link!  And, you can see the winners which are updated daily on our website

POYi director Rick Shaw (white shirt) prepares the judges for another round of judging.  This will be my view for the next 3 weeks…

It takes 5 computers to run the Pictures of the Year judging process– 1 computer to run the  slide show, 1 computer to mark the votes, 1 computer for the caption reader, 1 for moderating the live viewing online, and 1 for the In/Out machine.

This little box decides the fate of tens of thousands of photos every year.  Originally designed in the 1970’s, the voting machine received a complete makeover this year.  But, we kept the very non-ergometric design.  I think these things could have launched nuclear missiles in the cold war…

Left to Right, week 1  judges Scott Strazzante (Chicago Tribune), Kathy Anderson (formerly New Orleans Times-Picayune, now freelance), Scott Mc Kiernan (founder ZUMA Press), and Pedro Ugarte (Agence France-Presse) do the “cool band” pose in the lobby of the Reynolds Journalism Institute.

Chicago Tribune photographer Scott Strazzante bathes himself in brilliant golden hour light during a break in the judging as ZUMA Press founder Scott Mc Kiernan adds an award-winning silhouette.

New Website

Last semester, I built a new website for myself in my Electronic Photo J class and I finally decided to make the link live.  I have been using for my portfolio, but that costs about $100 a year.  I figure I can use that money for other purposes and this new website was a good enough replacement.  I am in the process of redesigning my logo as well.  Any constructive criticism is appreciated on the website.