Revised Job Profile: The Tuning Spot

Here is my revised job profile of Stuart Cunningham, the owner of The Tuning Spot.


For this revision, I mainly have lightened the photographs up, eliminated some redundant photographs, and slowed down the pace of Mr. Cunningham’s talking.

We Are Family Progress 2

After photographing the family walking dogs at the dog park and setting up bunk beds, I spend a few occasions to photograph their daily life.

Last Wednesday afternoon, the kids had some fun with their friends from the playgroup. The playgroup has about five or six families and about seven or eight children together having some fun.

The afternoon light was great to take photograph, and I think I got better at photographing a group of kids.

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Last Thursday morning, they went to the Columbia Public Library. The family visits the library quite often and they check out a lot of children’s books with them every time. The kids played the computers, picked the books that they liked, Ms. Mullin read to the kids, and the kids met a new friend and played together at the library.

The reason that I particularly want to photograph them in the library is that they were treated rudely at the library by a librarian a few months ago. Ms. Mullin was standing next to the sister and brother and watching the two getting water at the water fountain. The kids were getting along with each other when a librarian walked towards them. The librarian walked pass Ms. Mullin and the sister, then stopped by the brother and asked him where is his mother and why is he wondering around by himself. After Ms. Mullin told the librarian that these are her kids, the librarian just said “Oh” and walked away. Both of the kids had a break down that night. The librarian had the preconceived notion that because of their racial differences, they must be different families and the little boy must belonged to a Black family. So, for this part, I focused on photographing them as a family being together at the library and the little boy interacting with other kids.

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I also went to their school to photograph Ms. Mullin picking the kids up yesterday. The kids go to the First Baptist Children Development Center three days a week and get off at 1 p.m. each day. I photographed them playing at the school playground with their friend.

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My story is rolling, and everything goes well with the family. I know that I do not have too much details but I don’t think it’s necessary for this story and I think my main problems right now is to get a lede photograph. Also, I am not sure what are some other occasions that is good to add to the story.

Job Profile: The Tuning Spot

I’ve decided to do a job profile on Stuart Cunningham for this assignment because his The Tuning Spot is a Do-It-Yourself auto repair shop. It sounds very cool because it is the first time that I’ve heard this kind of business actually exist. And, in fact, it is the only one in Missouri, according to Mr. Cunningham. In this story, I want to show the unique characteristics of this shop, that this place is from other auto repair shop, and try to establish the relationship between The Tuning Spot, Mr. Cunningham and his customers.

The shooting and interviewing process were pretty smooth. Mr. Cunningham is a really good talker and shares a lot of things with me and gives me 100% access to photograph in his shop. The customers were also nice to me and were willing to let me photograph them and talking to me, too. I was able to get variety of people working on different stuff, and I was particularly fortunate to photograph the same group fixing the same car twice without any arrangement.

The major challenge was the lighting situation in the shop. First, it is not possible to nail the white balance. I will get yellow, green, and red colors from the same setting on my camera and my strobe. This is also the main reason that I chose to make my photographs black and white. The other problem with lighting is that since cars are made out of metal, everything in the frame could reflect back to the camera. I have to test many times before I am sure where I should position my strobe before started shooting. Second, I really wanted to show the bottom part of the car  when somebody was working on their cars from the bottom because I think that’s the side of the car that people do not see often. But I only did an OK job with using a strobe for my first and second attempt. It was a bit hard to manage how to bounce the light, too, because the it is a large space in the shop and it was a bit hard to control how to bounce the light. I brought the infrared remote set with me the third time, and was ready to do multiple flash, but it turned out that I did not use them because I figured that I could handle the situations with my off-camera strobe.

The audio was tougher. I thought it would be really nice to gather natural sound since people are working on their cars and there must be talking and sounds going on. However, I forgot that it will be three or four groups of people working on three or four cars at the same time in the same space, so the natural sound would sound very messy. As a result, it is not a natural-sound-rich story. Also, the interview condition was not very good as well. We could only do the interview in his office, and his office has both the A/C and also a refrigerator…so, even I’ve used wireless microphone and hooked the microphone close to him, there is still the hum noise. I had to minimize that during post production.

Review: The Mount Taylor Shadows-The TT Hagaman Southwest Collections

I went to the Mount Taylor Shadows-The TT Hagaman Southwest Collections at the Acoma City Cultural Center & Haak’u Museum in New Mexico. This exhibition presents many formats of text to tell the early stories of the Southwest of the U.S. It was an eye-opening exhibition to me because I did not have much background knowledge of the Southwest as well as the Native Americans living in the Southwest region.

The exhibition provides old maps of the U.S. and also the Southwest region; the rare and collections such as historical books and newspapers and the Acoma Lincoln Cane; drawings of the old world and the legendary people, such as Billy the Kid, that provide the historical context; vintage items such as weaving of the Native Americans and sculptures and pistols; and documentary photographs of the Native Americans from the Acoma Pueblo and other Native American tribes in the region.

I like this exhibition because I have learned a lot of the history of the Southwest from this exhibition. I think this is a really nice exhibition for both local and non-local visitors to learn the historical stories of this particular region while visiting this historical pueblo. I like the way they organized the exhibited items and texts. They started with using old maps and vintage collections to tell the history of the Southwest territory and the history of how the Native Americans built connections with the Lincoln government back in the late 1800s. Then, the exhibition used other texts, such as sculptures and photographs and drawings, to guide the audiences to look at the ways of the living of the Native American tribes. Besides the Native Americans living, the exhibition also provides the collections to tell the story of the old West, including the cowboys, the famous ranchers and the legendary outlaws.

The captions are really important to this exhibition because they tell a lot of the stories beyond what the items could show. These captions provide important context to these items. For instance, a single page of a vintage book in a display case does not tell the complex story of the early European Americans’ exploration to the land of the Native Americans; however, by adding a caption aside could tell the details behind the book page. Also, I like how they position the captions. They place the captions on a separate plate next to the exhibited items. This way, the captions do not compete with the exhibited items, which I think is convenient for the audiences to look at the exhibited items. I have discussed about how to position the captions of the photographs for our exhibition, and I think we could adopt this method.

I like that they have chosen the correct ways to display these items. For instance, they use display cases to present pistols and books while they frame a Native American woven blanket and hang on the wall. I also like they use display cases to present some items, including books and the Lincoln Cane, and some rare vintage collections, in this exhibition, since it is a good way to protect these valuable collections.

This is a good exhibition to learn about the history of the Southwestern U.S., and it is really nice to look at different formats of the texts. Although, it provides rich context of this geographic region, I think the introduction of the exhibition is too ambivalent. The exhibition pamphlet and the poster of the exhibition do not give audiences enough information to tell the audiences what is the main purpose of this exhibition. Is it displaying the personal collection of TT Hagaman? If so, what is the exhibition about? Or is it an exhibition of Mountain Taylor? It does not give enough information to the audiences up front, so the audiences have to figure out by themselves after they have looked at the entire exhibition. We should remember to present the central idea/purpose of our exhibition affront, so the audiences are clear about what we are doing when they begin viewing the exhibition.

POYi Multimedia Reaction

The Picture of the Year International multimedia judging sessions that I went to were not good timings. Continue reading “POYi Multimedia Reaction”