Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mizzou vs. Illinois Basketball Game Photos

Game: University of Missouri vs. University of Illinois
Location: Scottrade Center - St. Louis, Mo.
Date: Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Title: Busch Braggin' Rights
Final: Missouri 81, Illinois 68

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ice Hockey - CBC vs. SLUH

Only having been a college graduate for three whole days, I figured what better for a self-assignment than a classic rivalry between St. Louis prep schools Christian Brothers College and St. Louis University High. The game took place Monday, December 21 at Afton Ice Rink in Afton, Mo. CBC had lost the earlier season match-up with a score of 2-1. However, that result was reversed with the Cadets winning 2-1 against SLUH for their second meeting of the season.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Understanding: 29 and Autistic

At 29 years of age, most adults are married, have been married, have children, own a home or have a stable, self-supporting income. While this may be the norm, and certainly there are exceptions to the norm with people choosing to stay single, travel the world or do other expectation-breaking things, it is most certainly not the norm for Chris Atkinson. At the age of three in 1980, Chris' parents Nancy and Terry were told that the son they thought they would have was "dead." He in fact, was not dead, though he was diagnosed with autism, a developmental disorder that affects normal social and communication development in the brain.

Fast forward to present day, in which the disorder has become increasingly common, researched and treated, we go beyond the childhood that Nancy Atkinson fought for Chris to have in the public school system of Hallsville, Mo. Today, Chris functions primarily in a child’s state of mind, but no one can tell how much he truly understands. Though he can do things for himself, like brush his teeth, shower, change clothes and buckle his seat-belt, he cannot drive, cook a meal, write out a grocery list or most importantly communicate his needs or feelings. With few services available in the community for adults with autism, the 29-year-old Chris Atkinson spends most of his time in front of his TV and in his childhood home.

In the front yard of the Atkinson’s rural home, Chris paces an
exact route along the gravel driveway. He passes a dog that
doesn’t respond to his presence, the house he has lived in for
the past 29 years, and a basketball hoop that has never been
an after-school activity for him.

Though to an outsider’s eye Chris’ room might be messy,
but to him it is exactly and perfectly organized. He has a
place for everything, and if a stack of hats falls off the door
hangers or papers off the dresser, he places them back in the
exact same place they were before. His room is adorned with
Disney characters, posters of TV characters from the 80s and
90s, stickers, and ribbons he’s earned at horseback riding for
the developmentally disabled.

Despite the fact that he is overwhelmed by loud noises,
Chris turns his radio on at low volume, even if the TV is
also on. Be it radio or TV stations, Chris has the ability to
remember what time and channel, call letters included, a specifi
c show will be on. However, he does not have the ability
to express whether the show is still on the air, as is the
case with several older television game shows and TV series.

People with autism suffer from sensory overloads. Essentially,
the sounds or lights that are normal to everyone else
are terribly bothersome. Chris is sensitive especially to sound
but also to light. To combat this, he wears sound canceling
headphones and leaves the lights off as much as possible.

Before going on an early December morning walk for exercise,
Chris helps his grandmother put on her gloves
right after she tied his hood tight. Though the weather
was cold, walking is essential as Chris and Helen
have few opportunities for exercise throughout the day.

Chris and his grandmother Helen Lee walk the block of her
home early one morning. Chris has spent nearly every weekend
since birth at his grandmother’s house. While there, he
helps her with dishes, sweeps the floor and does other simple
chores as Lee’s health problems limit her mobility.

While apple cider is cooking, Chris socializes with staffers
at TouchPoint Autism Services. He attends a weekly cooking
class for the developmentally disabled, in which simple
snacks or foods are made during the hour long class. During
the class, Chris keeps track of the time to make sure he
leaves as soon as the hour session has expired.

Apprehensive and worried, Chris watches his older brother
Curtis attempt to figure out what is wrong with the VCR after
two tapes had been destroyed. Chris’ main vice is watching
TV and old movies, and at the time of the movies breaking
Chris’ mother Nancy was worried a meltdown was on the way.
Though the problem was solved with a new VCR, Nancy explains
the meltdowns as unpredictable screaming fits in which
Chris claws at his own skin. They can last up to 15 minutes.

In the dining room of his home, Chris focuses on his lunch
as his family socializes around him. The extent of Chris’
interactions at such family gatherings consists of responding
to simple questions, shaking hands and saying hello.
During social situations, people with autism act in one of
three different ways; avoidant, indifferent or awkward.

Chris is awake at 4:00 in the morning, out of bed at 4:30 and
in bed for the night at 9:00 or 9:01. The rigidity of his schedule
is an aspect of Autism in which every thing has a specific
place and every event has a specific time.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Guptill Wedding - November 13, 2009

Congrats to my cousin Amy and her new husband John. Here are some photos from the wedding I took while not operating the video camera. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bordom fosters wacky photos

Two things about this post:
1. For the past couple of days I've decided to shoot only with my 10-22mm lens.
2. For the past couple of days I've spent almost 7 hours a day in a dark room looking at photos. The reason: College Pictures of the Year. It is a contest for college photographers and not only do I have entries, but I am also volunteering my time as a blog/web/audio assistant. To check out what has been going on, who's been winning and other things check it out at CPOY.

This is Matt. He has large eyes.

This is Chris. She is scared of what I do.

This is the Josh, otherwise known as the Hulk (from here on out, that is).

This is Mito after a sneak attack. She considered it very ninja-like.

This is Chelsea. She smiles a lot and likes to photograph head balls at soccer games.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Joe McNally comes to Campus

Today photographer Joe McNally graced us with his words of wisdom, however depressing some of them may have been. One thing is for sure though, his humor translates far better in person than on his blog. Although his blog (you can find it on the right side column on this page) is still funny, he had everyone in the classroom this morning and the lecture hall tonight bursting with laughter. Good thing too, as some of the life experiences he spoke of were not as glamorous as some would think, even after photographing for National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, and Time among many others. Additionally, in the photo world he is known for his ability to imagine and then create amazing images with the help of sophisticated lighting set ups. Here are some snap shots from tonight's lecture:

(Pardon the grain here, but that is at 12800 ISO)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mizzou vs Colorado game pictures

The game between the Missouri Tigers and the Colorado Buffaloes took place in Boulder, Colorado on October 31, 2009. Halloween day proved frightening for Buffalo fans, as the Tigers were victorious with a score of 36-17. An outstanding one-handed reception by MU sophomore Jarrell Jackson tops the highlight reel. Click the arrows below to see more.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

News video link for Picture Story

Here's a link of a video job profile. We are entering into our next assignment in which we will use video to tell the story of someone's job. We were asked to search for examples and I found this:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shy in the Rain

This Claire Rash, 3, waits to be helped into her parent's car downtown at the Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival. Rain interrupted the festival but many attendees took cover in shelter or under umbrellas and waited out the rain.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

One Day Story

Also known as the Five Points of View assignment in my capstone class, this one challenges us to create a viable photo story in a 24 hour time span.


Household Hazardous Waste Collection

Environmentally hazardous materials are those considered to be flammable, explosive or reactive, corrosive or toxic. Such properties are found in easily accessible materials like cleaning products, paints, oils and batteries among others. To combat pollution through improper disposal of such materials, the City of Columbia conducts a Household Hazardous Waste collection. Employees, like Eric Vann, take products out of participant vehicles and organize them for recycling.

Pat Danner and her dog Frosty wait patiently as Columbia Public Works employees remove items from her trunk. Danner said some of the items she dropped off had been sitting around her home for nearly 30 years. Improper disposal of hazardous materials is considered as pollution and poses a threat to human, animal and plant health.

Waste products are categorically separated: cleaning products, pesticides and paint find either wooden pallets or plastic containers. Due to the toxic nature of items collected, employees must wear nitrile or chemical resistant gloves to protect themselves.

In a storage room for toxic materials like batteries, lead, and mercury, bins line the walls for specific separation by employee Anthony Brown. Mercury, which can be found in thermostats for example, can produce severe lung, gastrointestinal and nervous system damage, according to the EPA.

In all colors and amounts, the most common item dropped off is paint. Reusable products like paint are collected, condensed and made available to the public for free pickup the following Monday. On a previous Household Hazardous Waste collection, an estimated 60-70 gallons of latex paint was dropped off by participants.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mizzou vs Illinois Football

Game date - September 5, 2009

For the first game of the football season, I had the opportunity to travel to the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis for the annual Missouri v. Illinois match up. With the new semester, I am currently a photo editor at the Columbia Missourian, so my shooting is limited as I have other tasks to take care of. That said, I was able to shoot the first half of the game and maybe six or so minutes of the fourth quarter - these are the results. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An Emphasis In Enology

Starting fall semester 2009, MU students will have the opportunity to earn a food science degree with an emphasis in enology. The program will have a required internship at any one of the numerous Missouri wineries in addition to structured classwork. The class will consist of two essential parts, viticulture and enology. Viticulture is the growing of grapes where as enology is the making of wine from those grapes.

This was the final story I produced for KBIA. I only gathered a bit of ambient audio for this but edited all the audio (of course, the photos are all mine).

You can view the story HERE.

Let me know what you think.

Prison Story

Pardon the lack of updates. To make up for it, HERE is the completed "Life of a Prison, After Prison" story. This was my second to last published story for KBIA.

The Missouri State Penitentiary opened its doors in 1836 and closed in September of 2004. Older and capable of holding more prisoners than Alcatraz, the prison has since been abandoned and only tour groups, rodents and animals walk the grounds.

Here are a few more pictures:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

If I could paint..

It would look something like this:

The above was derived from this photo:

Thanks Photoshop filters.

Old Parts, New Life

We all know about recycling soda cans, milk jugs and cardboard, but one company in Columbia, Mo, is extending that idea into the needs of the twenty-first century. At Mid-Mo Recycling, computers, monitors, cell phones, TV's and just about any other electronic devices can be recycled.

Here are a few photos from this multimedia piece I created for KBIA. Take a look-see and maybe you'll learn something new.

On a personal note, I had my wisdom teeth taken out this morning so I've got a nice opportunity to catch up on blogging. Enjoy.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nice Light

So here are two outtakes from a story I shot last night. I like the lighting but they have little impact on the story of the assignment. It was an 80's run, with participants fully decked out in retro attire and attitude. I'll be putting together a slide show tomorrow so be on the lookout for that.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Play rehearsal

These are from an assignment about a local musical that was written, directed, choreographed, performed (music and actors) by all Mid-Missouri residents. The play is called "Gumbo Bottoms" and goes on tomorrow night in Jefferson City.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Gaseous Nebula

This gaseous nebula was seen in the Webster Groves district of greater St. Louis cluster on the 4th of July. Joking aside, I'm excited about my astronomy class this upcoming fall.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Prison Preview

Here's a peak at a slide show I am currently working on. The piece explores the life after prison, of a prison. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mud volleyball

Playing in the mud isn’t just for children, and participants of this year’s Mudball proved it. Mudball, or volleyball in the mud, was put on not only as a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri but also to generate awareness of the program. The event took place Saturday in three ankle-deep mud pits. Though the court sizes and nets were regulation standard, the playing surface was anything but.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fair Tax Rally Man & PrideFest

Just an average Joe, but not Joe the plumber, from the Fair Tax Rally last Saturday.

Also, check out my first slideshow for - PrideFest - this too took place on Saturday, June 13. KBIA is the local NPR radio station and I am there this summer as a multimedia reporter. Stay tuned for more news from yours truely.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Air Show

Crowds gathered at Columbia Regional Airport to see the 2009 Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Air Show. The show consisted of several aviation acrobatics, high speed jet-fighter passes, sky-diving acrobatics and many on-ground plane displays for all to enjoy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rival Tennis

Hickman and Rock Bridge are the two major high schools here in Columbia. Yesterday I shot their tennis teams' last matches of the season.

This first shot, I was trying to show the two schools coming together for the matches. As it turns out, I get a very "east vs. west,"Capulets v.s Montagues" feel from this photo. I love it. Unfortunately, out of context, I don't know how successful it is.

Number two here, well, it's just a type of shot I enjoy looking at and making.