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Journalism doesn’t work without knowing your story, and knowing your story involves knowing your place. Since most of my class is new to Phoenix (and a lot of us are technically new to journalism) many of our first assignments were designed to get us moving through the community and building new skills – double travel. And of course, I got pictures out of experience.

Abstracts & Details

Many of my POP examples from Phoenix came out of class assignments, like the first one I mentioned in the earlier post. What was that first photo assignment for my media class? Abstracts. And how does that fit into pictures of pictures? Well, a few came out as micro POP examples.

From Abstracts
From Abstracts

Going Historical

One of our ongoing assignments this semester is researching historical neighborhoods. This project took me to the Historic Preservation Offfice which is located in City Hall – it’s an fantastic office with truly stellar staff. The two pictures below, the vertical ones, are from a 1915 Sanborn Map company book of insurance maps of Phoenix.

Shoot First

Another is called “shoot first” where we capture images that are interesting, then find out what’s behind them. The first set is from a downtown sculpture called “Release the Fear,” built out of weapons turned in by the community.

There’s local graffiti which turned out to be notices for a well-known visual artist and a local music movement.

And there’s this mural just east of Roosevelt Street, whose story I don’t know yet. (If you do, tell me in the comments!)

From Phoenix (2009)

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“Pictures of pictures” is my attempt at a catchy name for photos of artwork. In other words, any image I’m taking a picture of – a painting, a sculpture, a document, stained glass – sometimes even another photo. One reason to do this is to remember the information, though usually it’s to remember the image itself. This is probably the one I plan the least – often, I don’t realize what I’ve done till afterward. Plus, it’s not quite as clear cut a category as, say, people, or planes. At the time, I’m thinking, “Oh, wow – I want to see this again!” or “That is so cool, I want to remember it!” Some trips generate crazy amounts of “pix of pix” or POP photos; other trips, just a handful or none at all. Museums are great for this, and also graffiti, billboards, and even advertisements.

Surprisingly, I’ve already turned up a number of pictures from Phoenix, partly due to my summer photography class and partly to researching historical neighborhoods for class. There was even enough for a whole post just on Rosita’s. Many of the remaining POP photos fell into two categories – ones I’d taken for my summer photography class and ones I’d taken for class assignments in the journalism program.

Photography class

First, playing with a borrowed DSLR at night. I took an awesome online photography class from Karen Russell. I needed a DSLR to take the class, difficult on a student budget. In a deeply generous move that made taking the class possible, I was loaned a Canon Rebel. The experience was amazing. I learned so much from the class, the camera, and the combination. There’s a whole new photographic world out there I knew nothing about which now fascinates me! This is a downtown building, Trinity Cathedral, which lights up nearly every evening for at least a few hours. I wanted to try to capture the windows.

Another lesson of photography class (which also bled neatly into journalism) was to notice the details. That lesson had me taking a few pictures like these before I knew our first photo assignment for our media class.

From Abstracts
From Abstracts

Now, for me, photography’s a learning experience, one I’ve far from mastered! But that’s the thing about learning – it’s a journey itself, and for this case, the picture to remember it by are built right in.

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