Posts Tagged ‘fort gordon


Veterans Day

Members of the Westside High School marching band perform during the Veterans Day parade, Thursday, November 11, 2010, in Augusta, Ga.

The weather was perfect, the light was nice, and the long shadows created by buildings and trees made for some different and exciting photos of an otherwise, and this by no means I don’t like them, completely overshot event in the photojournalism world: parades.

At first glance, anyone with a visual tendency will recognize that parades offer a range of things to shoot, no matter what it’s about – Veterans Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s, whatever.  People are dressed up, there’s usually floats, cars, happy onlookers, etc.  The list is pretty long.  Photojournalists take pictures of people doing things, and there is a lot of that going on at parades. 

So I guess that’s why parades remain probably the single most covered (in terms of photography) community events in the U.S.  And as a result, original images are very hard to come by.  Ask any photographer and he or she can give you a list of parade pictures they’ve shot or seen shot: candy throwing, Shriners doing donuts in go-karts, troops marching, bands playing, onlookers waving, parade walkers waving,  drunk Irishmen waving, floats with people waving and in the case of Christmas, Santa waving.  Done and done.  Such is a pj’s life.

So, I went into yesterday’s Veterans Day parade expecting to find cliches and a mission to avoid them as much as possible.  Luckily, the weather cooperated and the low humidity provided crisp sunlight and very blue skies – two factors that truly improve photos.  This simultaneously energized me to find some new angles or moments, and made those cliche shots bearable to shoot, knowing they were at least well lit and purdy-like.

So there you have it.  Another Veterans Day parade in the books.


Children from Curtis Baptist daycare wave small American flags during the Veterans Day parade, Thursday, November 11, 2010, in Augusta, Ga.


Members of the military march during the Veterans Day parade, Thursday, November 11, 2010, in Augusta, Ga.

Patricia Haley holds a photograph of her father, who was a World War II veteran, during the Veterans Day parade, Thursday, November 11, 2010, in Augusta, Ga.

Students from Curtis Baptist Elementary watch the Veterans Day parade, Thursday, November 11, 2010, in Augusta, Ga.


balloon release

Jahsaan Bryant, 10, releases baloons with friends during activities to celebrate the Army's 235th birthday, at the Child, Youth and School Services at Fort Gordon, Friday, June 18, 2010, in Augusta, Ga. RAINIER EHRHARDT/STAFF

Last Friday was a busy day for me.  I spent the day at Fort Gordon, for the 3rd time that week, to shoot the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders (and a few players too, but who was paying attention to them, I mean lets be honest).  Since Fort Gordon is considered a bit of a haul for us, not to mention dealing with the security that goes with a federal Army base, we like to consolidate assignments on whatever day the photographer is present so that we minimize how many times we have to go out there.  This meant I had something else to shoot, only minutes after the cheerleaders were scheduled to land in Blackhawk helicopters.

Long story short, after waiting for an hour in the sun at Engineer Field, I quickly grabbed a few shots of the cheerleaders.  Then, the public affairs specialist, Siobhan, escorted me to the Child, Youth and School Services where they were conducting events for the children to celebrate the Army’s 235th birthday.  We thought we were late, but luckily, upon our arrival, the kids were just finishing up their hand-made decorated kites and waiting for the balloon release.  This was something I had previsualized.  I knew I wanted hands, balloons and sky.  It ended up better than I could have hoped, since the floating balloons created a nice background for the kids and hands.  The layering really invites the eye to move around the frame.

Now, about those cheerleaders.  Here’s a link to the photo gallery on the Augusta Chronicle website:

There’s just something inherently funny about primping cheerleaders and loud Blackhawk choppers.



National Day of Prayer

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a sucker for silhouettes.  Some would argue it’s cliché, or it’s just something photographers use from their “bag of tricks.” But what a tool it can be.

When it’s used correctly and in the right setting, it can be so effective in conveying a situation.  It also makes the image instantly readable without the “clutter” of having faces, or things to draw the viewer’s eyes away from the moment.  Plus, it’s striking. More impactful.  I don’t know. It’s one of those aesthetic things.  Soft early morning light never hurts either.

Members of the military and civilans bow their heads in prayer this morning during the Fort Gordon National Day of Prayer Observance Ceremony, Thursday, May 6, 2010, in Augusta, Ga. RAINIER EHRHARDT/STAFF

Before the ceremony, I saw the flags and the soldiers congregating nearby.  A bit of previsualization and it turned out pretty nicely.

For astute readers of this blog, you’ll notice this is reminiscent of the JROTC photo I posted in April here.  Is it just the nature of those two assignments, or am I already a broken record? Oops, I’ll get on that.

For more photos of my two assignments for National Day of Prayer, see the slideshow on the Augusta Chronicle’s website.


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