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Setting pictures may seem pretty self-explanatory, but I think it’s good to think about what setting the scene really means. lists several definitions including “the surroundings or environment of anything,” “the mounting in which a jewel is set,” and “the scenery and other properties used in a dramatic performance.” This is where everything – and sometimes nothing – happens. This is what is there before and after. It can influence mood and it can influence action.

Anyway… I thought I’d focus on examples.

New Zealand

The first four are from the Hawkes Bay area on the North Island, the last two are from Milford Sound on the South Island. For more NZ photos, please see the New Zealand link under Picassa.

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Lake Tekapo

This is from the South Island of New Zealand.

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Democratic Republic of Congo

The first three are from Kinshasa, the next five are from outside the capital. The next two are from Bukavu , on the south end of Lake Kivu(except for the middle one, which was taken in Walungu on the way back to Bukavu).

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the drive to Phoenix

This is from the drive down to Phoenix during the Big Move this summer. The first one, I think, is somewhere in Oklahoma. The second is coming down out of Flagstaff.

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These were taken on our quick visit this summer to scope the city and grab an apartment.

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Finally, this is what the crepe shop looks like from the street view.

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Here are links to Nogales, AZ & Nogales, Sonoroa, the two parts of Nogales which lies across the border between the US and Mexico, and has been a trading center since at least the early 1900s. Today it’s one of the busiest points of entry, and the biggest shipping point for produce, with major industry contributing to population growth on the Sonora side. It’s also one of the frontlines in the immigration debate, the drug cartel power struggles, and environmental border issues. It’s a challenging, exciting place to visit, let alone live.

We spent the day meeting with politicians, city directors, and non-governmental workers who deal with issues like health and immigration.

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I’ll be writing more later, but in the meantime, here are the updates I posted via Twitter along the way, under our Bootcamp and News21 hashtags:

bexz24 Nearly ready to walk out the door… first trip to Mexico / first time live Tweeting something… I expect an interesting day :) #bc9 about 17 hours ago from TweetDeck

bexz24 First rest stop, ’bout 25 min from Tucson #news21asu #bc9 about 15 hours ago from Twitterrific

bexz24 En route to Mexican Consulate #news21asu #bc9 about 13 hours ago from Twitterrific

bexz24 Nogales consulate handles most juvenile cases of Mexican consulates #news21asu #bc9 about 11 hours ago from Twitterrific

bexz24 now in Mexico – Mexico’s immunization campaign is national, free; rising obesity/diabetes linked 2 changing lifestyles #news21asu #bc9 about 11 hours ago from Twitterrific

bexz24 Mexican repatriation officials in Nogales receive 300 to 600 deportees, needing food, shelter, medical care, daily by bus #news21asu #bc9 about 6 hours ago from Twitterrific

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Spent part of the evening at this lecture, Visual Storytelling: The Power of Photos, by James Gregg.  Gregg is a photojournalist at the Arizona Daily Star, and the lecture was part of the Cronkite Schools Must See Mondays series.

I felt a lot of Gregg’s advice, which was all fantastic, could be applied to travel as well as photography – and photography plays a huge part of travel anyway. Therefore, I’m double posting my Cronkite Conversation post, and adding the travel twist on it over here along with a photo of my own.

James Gregg was a perfect speaker for this series. Gregg started with his thoughts on incorporating video with his still photographs, which he sees as an enhancement, and pointed out that video and still photos can each do something the other can’t. Specific insights like this and broader advice on photography and journalism made the lecture a valuable experience to aspiring photographers and journalists. But Gregg himself is a valuable lesson. In a time when journalism is shifting and adapting, Gregg talks about standards and challenging himself, finding stories and constantly looking for material, and being his own advocate. Gregg described the exhilaration of “pinch yourself moments” like photographing rodeos up close and personal, to the times people have allowed him to witness intimate moments like his first piece involving illegal immigrants. I was amazed that Gregg says he’s happy if he gets one photo a month that’s up to his standards – and impressed when he said that the more he knows, the higher his standards get. In short, I left the lecture intimidated and inspired – and really ready to get into the field to start learning and practicing and seeing what stories I can find and put together.


“We have an opportunity from one moment to the next to enter into someone else’s world.”

“It’s really important to listen to your gut.”

“I just started asking people, ‘How can I see more?’”

“Take people where hey can’t go themselves…if that means getting on a horse, get on a horse…when you don’t have a horse, take a mule.”

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When taking pictures like these, I’m rarely asked what I’m doing but frequently asked why. The thing about travel is that even the most ordinary things, like making lunch, can be so different.

(Jill took the last two of this set – she caught on to this concept before I did! In fact, looking at her pictures from the trip, sometimes from the same events, helped me realize what I was missing.)

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The outcome is the same – good food with friends and family, a priceless currency any time and any where.

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But remembering the process, being able to show it rather than just describe it, makes memory that much sweeter.

The last set of pictures for today are from a clothing shop where pieces, from piece cutting to decorative stitching, are made on site.

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I learned so much from this trip, and “process pictures” were a tiny but important part. They help me remember what I experienced, and tell the stories to others.

Oh, and before I forget – a process video, my first :)

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I think of process pictures as pictures that show how something is done or made, often everyday things, like Science Channel’s “How It’s Made.” They show the how, but also sometime the why, of everything from daily activities to events. They’re useful to people who just want to know how things are done, but also to people who want to learn a new skill (in my case, painting and building a patio!) or a new technique (for me, grilling kabob style).

The examples in this post are at the exceptionally NOT exotic location of my old house, but the practice became important. Documenting what we were working on there, I realized the importance of documenting these same kinds of things while traveling, which I’ll go into with the next post.

It can be as simple as before and after pictures, like these…

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Or if you’re lucky enough to have the luxury of time, it can be a set of pictures built up over months. Here are the before pictures…

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The during pictures…

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And the after pictures…

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Coming up in the next post: process pictures from trips.

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Have been holed up at home this weekend with piles of work. At this rate I’ll hit the middle of the week with several completed projects and leads for the next batch.  In the meantime, I haven’t forgotten that I owe pictures (and posts in general) here.  In fact, I’ve even got a narrowed down pool for each category, and they should go up within the next day or two.  If I’m fantastically lucky, there’ll even be a few minutes of calm before and after.  Until then, I’ll have to remember calm from earlier times.  So, on that note…

As a good faith offering, here are a few images from where I am now. This place is still pretty new to me and, while it’s home for the moment, is the setting for an inner journey, one that has an undetermined destination – getting a new degree, I hope, will lead to new opportunities including a steady paycheck, but as anyone will tell you, that’s up in the air right now.

The American Southwest will also be the staging area for at least two trips that are coming up (let’s face it, funding will be a determinate factor in exactly how this all works out) but I’m really, really looking forward to some fresh terrain and new passport stamps… But I don’t like to jinx anything by talking too soon – I’ll post something just before I walk out the door to catch the bus or the plane, and then during and after. Plus, none of that will happen if I don’t get sleep at some point…

So… to start another jam-packed week… restful images from within walking distance…

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