Student Spotlight – Bria Granville

Every month, the Western Kentucky University NPPA Chapter produces a “Student Spotlight” segment that focuses on recent work from a student. Photo stories, videos, personal projects, or even successful shoots are eligible for the Student Spotlight. If you have a current project you’d like to share, please email wkunppa@gmail.com.

Bria is a senior at Western Kentucky University studying photojournalism and sociology. This past Labor Day holiday, she and a diverse group of 20 college students from around the nation traveled to Hollywood, Florida in order to “Work for Food.” Granville spent the three-day weekend at the Coalition of Services and Charity homeless shelter, immersing herself within an unfamiliar culture. There, she used visual journalism, at times paired with collaborative text, to explore the lives of individuals who are dealing with homelessness, drug abuse and mental health issues. The material that the group produced became a newspaper, The Homeless Voice, which is being sold by residents of the shelter, in order to assists with maintaining the building.

While working diligently on little sleep in Florida, Bria was able to plan and conceive a personal portrait series. “Talking with these individuals had the biggest impact,” said Granville.

What happened when you first arrived at the facility?

Since we were only there for two days, it was jammed packed with activities. Saturday, we arrived and we scoped out the place. We ate dinner at the shelter. The dinner was, I think for a lot of people, the initial eye opening experience. This was real. We are in this unfamiliar place; it smells bad, and it’s dirty. It just wasn’t something many of us were used to, coming from such privileged backgrounds. For me, walking in, it was about what I expected so I wasn’t really taken back by it all.

With my personality, I am kind of shy. They just kind of threw us to the wolves and said, “Go find stories, go talk to people,” and I just sat back and looked at everything. The next day we had to get up super early to start working on ideas and finishing the paper. It had to be done by that night.

02Reynolds Vincent has lived in the COSAC homeless shelter in Hollywood, FL for seven years. His only surviving family is his son whom he had not seen since he moved to Brooklyn. “I don’t know what I would do if I saw him again.” Vincent said.

What kinds of projects did you work on?

I teamed up with another girl and made a video asking people around Hollywood, Florida there opinions and thoughts on homelessness. We compiled that video to add their words, to contrast with what we saw in the shelter. Since I was working on a lot of other projects, I didn’t have a lot of time to work on the things I really wanted to do. So, I found a couple minutes to walk around and shoot a couple portraits of people. I think just talking to each individual was probably what made the biggest impact.

EDIT_portraits06BWAt 89 Virginia “Ma” Beechem holds the title of the oldest resident of the COSAC homeless shelter. For 10 years Beechem has stayed at COSAC and is cared for by two former caregivers who are also residents.

Tell us about the people in your portrait series.

Everyone in the shelter had stories to tell; a lot of them sad stories. You see people who could have come from anywhere. There were former CEO’s that once made tons of money that were at the shelter. It brings you down to reality.

For example, when I talked to Mr. Vincent, (pictured at top), he was very friendly. He talked about his love for drawing. He was doing doodles and sketches. He told me about his son and how he hadn’t seen him for a really long time. He doesn’t know where he is. He doesn’t have any other family.

The man sitting in the wheelchair (pictured below) went to Florida to treat his alcohol addiction. He thought he had done all the right things. He had gone to college to be an engineer, everything was great until he got a divorce. Everything kind of spiraled down and he started to drink heavily. He said that depression kind of ruined his life.

EDIT_portrait05BWRichard M. Drewery moved to Florida from Detroit, MI in the hopes of joining the “Faith Farms” recovery program to treat his alcohol addiction. After being turned away for his age Drewery has lived in the COSAC homeless shelter. “There are no AA meetings here, no therapy. It’s a self help program, personally speaking that don’t work.” Drewery said.


How has your work evolved over the years?

I think that after allowing myself time to look at my work and appreciate it, I have definitely grown and changed from where I started. I’m not sure if it is where I want it to be, but that’s okay. I think that I’ve improved at finding stories. I like to think that stories are kind of my thing. I have found over the years that learning to understand people, culture and different things about society will help me with my work.

EDIT_portraits05BWPaul Vinci has lived in the COSAC homeless shelter since 1999. “I’m just on security, the most I can afford is this place.”

Do you have any plans for post-graduation?

I would like to work with non-profits. I like working on stories that focus on individuals. Stories that can take a big issue and narrow it. I like getting to know people and understanding them better. If I can make anything that allows others to look at my work and understand an issue or the individuals then, I feel like I have done my job.

EDIT_portraits_03BWRose Marie Yale found herself at the COSAC homeless shelter after her grandfather passed away leaving her with no place to live. “In the beginning I really liked it, but now I feel like it’s time for me to go so I can get my own place, a pool, a cat… but something keeps me here for some reason.” Yale said. Yale has lived in the shelter for five years.

When viewing you work, it’s obvious that you are great at capturing quiet moments. That is a feat that not everyone can accomplish. How would you describe your work?

If you want to say that people have a certain style, it always comes back to their personality. I am very timid, withdrawn and quiet. I think that I have always been the type of person that hones in on the small and moody things. I enjoy looking for those moments. I don’t like being in loud situations anyways.

edit_Portrait01BWLynn Williams found herself at the COSAC homeless shelter after divorcing her husband. After 14 years she hasn’t lived anywhere else, and has no interest in staying anywhere else, since then. “You have to get used to people and there little changes, but for the most part I like it a lot.”

What advice would you have to beginning students?

If I were talking to anyone beginning their photojournalism journey, I would tell them to give themselves time to find what they are interested in and hone in on that. Don’t try and be like everyone else. Be inspired by other peoples work, but don’t pressure yourself into trying to achieve the same style. Find your own thing. Have confidence and stick to it.​

Through Our Eyes – Week 27

Each Thursday, WKU’s Student Chapter of NPPA brings you some of the best images of the past week taken by our very own classmates. To submit for our weekly posts, you must currently be a WKU Photojournalism student and have taken the images or produced the video within the last week (Tuesday to Tuesday). Send your top 1-3 selections to wkunppa@gmail.com by our Tuesday 7:00pm deadline and our officers and attendees will pick the best of the bunch to showcase at our open meetings every Tuesday at 7:30pm in Lab 127.

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Keilana Cargo, 9, gets her hair fixed into a bun by her mother at the Country Cuties State Summer Spectacular in Louisville, Ky. on Sept. 20, 2014. Keilana hair drops down past her waist and has never cut in her 9 years. Her mother said it takes constant brushing to maintain. ADAM WOLFFBRANDT

Edwards_Feature01Hardin Pascal (right) of Bowling Green keeps Mark Hudson of Bowling Green company while he fixes the lights on his motorcycle at Jimmy’s Auto Repair in Bowling Green, Ky. on Monday, September 22, 2014. DOROTHY EDWARDS

SoilderJared Trent is a 31 Bravo Military Police Solider in the National Guard who attends college here at Western Kentucky University as a 19-year-old freshman. He dropped out of high school and has a family that never attended college nor worried about Jared going to college. Therefore Jared woke up one morning and felt inclined to join the National Guard to do something beneficial and active with his life. Because he joined the National Guard has funds that are paying for his college tuition. Since last year he had started as a recruiter in the program and has been through basic training and other military type training that has built his strong and compassionate character even more.  “I want to keep my friends safe in a way that I can. If that means going across the world to fight some crazy war and it somehow, someway helps them to get by in life and makes me happy with it. ANN MARIE DISALVO

Sanders_T_comlife1784The Muhlenberg County High School Color guard warms up at Apollo High School in Owensboro, KY on Sept 20, 2014 before marching there field show “Out of the Blue.” TYLER SANDERS

holm_feature1Alivia Higgins, 7, and her friend Joanna plays with hair accessories as Brayden Gibbs watches, at the Country Cuties beauty pageant in Fern Valley Hotel, Louisville KY, Saturday Sept. 20. Alivia has been in beauty pageants since she was four months old, but she recently got Alopecia, an illness that causes you to lose hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. She still competes. DITTE LYSGAARD HOLM

MPowersLocal Bowling Green resident Donald James waits for the smoke to clear from the drag races on Saturday September 20th, 2014 at Beech Bend Speedway. MADDIE POWERS

14-09-14_Soccer010_tonedJai Mason, Quia Coleman, and Christopher Wilson spend some time outside the Tower Food Court. ANDREW LIVESAY

Internship Perspective – Adam Wolffbrandt

Each month, WKU NPPA features a student who has recently completed an internship. We believe internships are essential to student’s success and encourage everyone to start applying as soon as they can. Whether it’s a success story or a struggle, we love to hear from our students about their experiences. If you have an internship perspective you’d like to share, please email wkunppa@gmail.com.

WKU senior Adam Wolffbrandt recently completed an internship with Kertis Creative in Louisville, Ky. To view his work, go to www.adamwolffbrandt.com

Here’s what his summer was like:

I was skeptical when I applied for Kertis Creative. I’d never worked anywhere remotely like it and I didn’t know anyone that had interned there before to tell me what I was getting myself into. I hadn’t really even heard of them before I applied. If you haven’t heard of them either, check them out: www.kertiscreative.com

I’ve been an intern at newspapers or a full time student, plugging away school almost non-stop for the past 6 years. I’ve hopped from place to place trying to build my portfolio and impress the photo editors. But recently I realized that was not actually for my own happiness. I felt pressured by the newspaper-driven school to go intern at a newspaper and fight my way through an industry that is (I refuse to say ‘dying’) cutting its opportunities drastically. I’ve witnessed rounds of layoffs more than once during my string of internships. It’s not easy to watch groups of really amazing people lose their jobs and continue to be the bright-eyed, eager intern ready to dominate the industry despite the struggling times.

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Trust me, I’m definitely not complaining about my experiences. Those newspapers made me the person I am today. Those photo editors pushed me to make better photos and they put up with my crap. They gave me the skills to work on a tight deadline. They gave me opportunities to shoot assignments that were real news and that mattered; really mattered to the community and even the nation. I had the opportunity to photograph situations that actually changed people’s lives. That’s the main goal of any photojournalist, right?

But then I really had to step back and take a look at what’s truly making me happy, and what’s not.

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I’ve found that I can confidently step into a spot news situation and get storytelling images. Sure, I know I can go feature hunting and return with an acceptable photo. Yes, I enjoy the excitement of a sporting event with a deafening crowd cheering around me. But there was always that voice in the back of my head that kept saying, “This isn’t what you want. This isn’t what you really care about.” No matter how amazing the internship experiences were, I’ve realized that being a newspaper photographer isn’t for me.

There. I said it.

I’ve always been happiest at school (that might be why it’s taking me 7 years to get into the real world). At school I’m surrounded by a community of peers that are generally aiming for the same goals I am. I’m given the time and attention to get critiqued by people whose opinions I value. I’m working on projects that I care about and have more than a couple hours to work on them. I’m connecting with the people I document. I’m not afraid to be as creative as possible with those projects.

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Now that I’ve finished up at Kertis Creative and have the opportunity to reflect on my time here. Here’s a Top 7 list, Buzzfeed style, of the reasons Kertis Creative has been so great. (Number 5 will TOTALLY SHOCK YOU!)

1. They gave us a home.

They gave me and the other intern, Justin Philalack a place to live. We were able to live upstairs from the office in amazing apartments. Fully furnished. I think we lucked out on these, so no promises for future interns.

They also gave us a home in the sense that I was never afraid to be myself. I didn’t have to put up an overly-professional facade and watch my every move. The people that work at KC are, in fact, people. We’re able to joke around and talk without fear of saying the wrong thing to our bosses.

2. We weren’t “just the interns.”

Your confidence as a shooter doesn’t grow if the people you work with act like you’re still struggling with puberty. In most cases as an intern, your co-workers are much more experienced. Ideally, that’s a good chance for a supportive environment with a lot of growth. But that’s not always the case.

At Kertis Creative, our opinions were taken seriously. When we had an idea or a thought, the whole team listened and valued our voice. It was apparent that they hired us as interns because we still had a lot to learn, but were capable with our craft. They involved us in important projects with huge clients and trusted us to do our jobs.

3. We were given creative freedom.

With nearly everything. I was able to try some really weird edits with some of the projects I worked on and explore some ideas that I’ve been wanting to try. Most of the time it worked!

4. We were given time to work on projects.

KC realizes that quality work takes time to produce. If I needed more time to work on a project, it was given to me. I never felt like I was pressured to work faster.

5. We worked as a team.

There was not a single project that I had zero help on. Every interview had at least three people on it. School teaches you how to do absolutely everything by yourself, which I think is really, really important. But then if you get 10 people that can do everything themselves and have them working together, you can accomplish really great things. I never felt nervous about going out on a shoot because I had a support team with me. We were able to solve problems together instead of scrambling for a solution by myself. We inspired each other.

6. We told real stories.

I connected with every project I worked on. A lot weren’t even traditionally journalistic, but I was still telling a story and helping the people in them. I never felt like a vulture. That made me feel really connected to the community. I saw the people I documented outside of our scheduled shoots and had real conversations with them. Like, I actually gained friends from the people I documented.

7. I worked a lot of overtime.

Ok, that doesn’t sound like a great reason to work at KC, but I wanted to work. I was itching to work. There really wasn’t enough time in the day to do all the things I wanted to do. There were so many projects I wanted to be fully involved in and it meant being there more than 9-5. I think it means you’re doing something you love when you want to work overtime.

https://vimeo.com/100355470

Kertis Creative is the closest thing I’ve seen to the supportive, creative environment of school. And the beautiful thing is, there are tons of places just like Kertis Creative all around the world.

So for any students questioning their future as a photographer, I think it’s important to realize how many opportunities there are for you out there. It’s obvious we’re all visual people. Now we just have to find where we fit in the visual world. It doesn’t have to be the traditional path. As long as you’re working hard and doing what you really want to do.

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Through Our Eyes – Week 26

Each Thursday, WKU’s Student Chapter of NPPA brings you some of the best images of the past week taken by our very own classmates. To submit for our weekly posts, you must currently be a WKU Photojournalism student and have taken the images or produced the video within the last week (Tuesday to Tuesday). Send your top 1-3 selections to wkunppa@gmail.com by our Tuesday 7:00pm deadline and our officers and attendees will pick the best of the bunch to showcase at our open meetings every Tuesday at 7:30pm in Lab 127.

Biology sophomore Jake Lee says he loves everything that has ever lived on this planet. Jake has memorized the scientific names of many creatures, including dinosaurs. “My favorite of this collection is the giganotosaurus (pictured left) because look at the mouth on that thing!” JUSTIN GILLILAND

ThoughOurEyes2Dressed as a zombie, Jake McNett, 6, of Madisonville, Ky. hides in a corn field before runners pass by during the  Kentucky Zombie Mud Run at Skeletons Lair Park on September 13, 2014. DOROTHY EDWARDS3Barbara Miller (front) races her family at the Kentucky Action Park in Cave City, Ky on Monday, September 1. KREABLE YOUNG03Ashley Woods braids her daughter Josslynnes’, 5, hair, multitasking as she gets ready to leave for her own classes at Western Kentucky University. BRIA GRANVILLE
9-3-2014-273TsmallZeta Phi Beta sorority sisters perform their routine at the annual Yard Show at the Colonnade on Sept. 2, 2014. The event allowed greek organizations to show what they stand for, their services and to give the history of their organizations. JUSTIN GILLILANDNorman Baker, 90, served as an Army Quartermaster for 4 years. Baker participated in the Michigan Honors open house event for veterans hosted by The Ann Arbor News on Sunday, September 14, 2014, in Ann Arbor. KATIE MCLEAN

cpointerswims009Jake Franklin, 25, of Bowling Green, takes a drag from his cigarette while his son, Jacob Hunter, 5, and their three-month-old dog, Lucile, wait for the school bus to school, Thursday, September 11, 2014. Jacob attends Parker Bennett elementary school and said his favorite subject is math. ALYSSA POINTERFeaturesWeek30663Benjamin Easterday, 15, of Munfordville, Ky. stands on the top of Fort Craig before the Hart County Civil War Days reenactment. The Battle of Munfordville was fought at this location on Sept. 14, 1862 over a dispute for the control of a nearby bridge. ADAM WOLFFBRANDT_MG_9976WKU President Gary Ransdell participates in the ALS ice bucket challenge in front of Guthrie Bell Tower on Friday, Aug. 22. Members of Phi Delta Theta dumped water on President Ransdell, after he was nominated by several WKU students. HARRISON HILL

CAN0172Rosalino Santiago Garcia, 31, harvests a crop of burley tobacco near Fountain Run, Ky., on September 12, 2014. The migrant worker from Oaxaca, Mexico left his family in March to work in the United States to provide for his wife and two sons. Kentucky is the nation’s largest producer of burley tobacco, which is often used in the production of cigarettes. ​NICK WAGNERFeatureAnne Muler carries her bowling ball out of Southern Lanes in Bowling Green, Ky. Wednesday, August 27, 2014. Muler, who is 95 years old, recently tore her rotators cuff and was forced to clean out her locker inside the bowling alley. “Can you believe it? The doctor said I couldn’t play anymore. I mean do I really look that old?” said Muler. CONNOR CHOATEFranke_throughoureyes1Enjoying time off from work Bowling Green residents Kelcie Poteet, 17, and Jean Burden, 16, (L to R) throw their hands in the air while riding Beech Bend Park’s infamous wooden roller coaster “The Rumbler” Sunday September 14, 2014. “We got off early today so we decided we would start ridin'”, Jean said. “This is definitely the best part about working here.” LUKE FRANKE

Summer Review

WKUPJs had exciting summers. We were scattered everywhere making great photos. Check out some of our favorites!

Summertoe2Chania Williams, 17, of Flint and Jariah Womack, 11, of Flint, the queen and princess of the Flint United Methodist Church, ride in the Juneteenth parade on Thursday, June 19, 2014 in Flint. KATIE MCLEAN

Bly_Summer_NPPA_02Ali Ahmed from Dumfries, Va. is a Army Cadet at Virginia Tech training to become a second lieutenant holding his M-16 as he takes a rest at LDAC (Leadership Development Coarse Assessment) in Fort Knox this summer.  Cadets push themselves working on four hours of sleep training in the field to become future leaders in the US Army. DREW BLY

_DSC0418AJure Idzig does a flip off of the highdive at the Schloss Heroldeck dock in Milstatt am See, Austria.  Idzig was one of sixty students to attend the 2014 Ljubljana English Camp run by Josiah Venture in Slovenia. ALYSE YOUNG

_MG_0067Lauren Emineth, from Dallas, TX, draws her self-portrait while participating in an art workshop at Interlochen Center for the Arts, a prestigious arts and music academy located in Interlochen, MI, on June 18, 2014. Classes are held year-round and are taught by leading professionals in the fields of visual arts, music, theatre, and more. LAUREN NOLAN

Other Regiments (3)AA ROTC cadet brushes his teeth before morning formation at Fort Knox, Kentuck during Army ROTC Cadet Summer Training. JOSH NEWELLcarter_juniorenvironmentexplore0625_040Students in the Junior Environment Exploration class use nets to fish in Duck Lake at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Michigan on June 25, 2014. BRANDON CARTER

AlyssaPointer_Summer 004AAman Sekhon, 20, envelopes her candle’s flame. Sikh – Members of the Oak Creek and Sihk community gather in the parking lot of the Wisconsin Sihk temple to remember the six individuals that were gunned down two years ago, August 5, 2014. ALYSSA POINTER

franke_TOE_2A man stands in the back of his truck at the Grand Forks County Fair in North Dakota on June 28, 2014. LUKE FRANKE

Photo by Justin GillilandInterlochen Center for the Arts ballet students stretch and prepare for class on June 24, 2014. JUSTIN GILLILAND

TColeRodeo1Cowboys prepare to ride in the Lone Star Rodeo in Elizabethtown, Ky. The Lone Star Rodeo travels in thirteen different states a year, hosting numerous events. TANNER COLE

19ALisa Worley shows her son Jackson Worley, 1, spinning tricks while her daughter Magnolia Worley, 4, hula hoops at Yellow Creek Park during the 11th annual River of Music Party on June 25, 2014. Worley said they traveled about six hours from Bristol, Tenn. to attend ROMP for the first time. TYLER ESSARYsummer4LTC 1st Regiment cadets practice formations at the beginning of their time during Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Ky. ERICA LASFERsowens_throughoureyes001Ashton Young, 22, is prayed over by her mother (far left) and bridesmaids in the moments prior to her wedding ceremony at the Bridge Building in downtown Nashville on July 12, 2014. SHELLEY OWENSGreeson_SummerShare2014_05AMarcus M., has spent periods of his life facing a battle with alcoholism, drug use, and a tense relationship with the judicial system. He is one of many ex-offenders benefiting from the Virginia Care’s program, a state wide re-entry program that offers ex-offenders transitional assistance, financial aid, and employment resources. With the support of his only remaining family, his brother, Marcus dreams of finding employment and eventually having his own home. “The things I’ve done throughout my life are not all good, but no one is all good. I’ve been sober and clean now for 18 months and I know I can continue, ” Marcus said. BRITTANY GREESON072214.N.FF.STORM Lightning electrifies the sky over the Main Aveune bridge in Fargo, N.D. on Monday, July 21, 2014. NICK WAGNERNPPA005ROTC cadets of the third and fourth regiments do what they can to stay clean while they are at Tactical Training Base Pickett, in Fort Knox, Ky. Because there are not any real bathrooms at any of the tent complexes, cadets have to shave, brush their teeth, etc., in the midst of hundreds of cadets. HARRISON HILL

Last Days: The End of An Era

 

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The School of Journalism and Broadcasting is excited to announce the opening of Last Days: The End of An Era, a documentary exhibition by Scott Andrews and his son Philip Scott Andrews (WKU, 10) that explores humans and their relationship with machine.

After 30 years of flight, NASA’s Space Shuttle Program was halted and the remaining four shuttles were retired to museums. The photographs and time-lapse video in this exhibition of more than 50 prints and two multi-media installations curated by WKU photojournalism professor Tim Broekema, tell a story about men and women who showed up to work everyday; and launched spaceships.  It is a marvel, a symbol of the United States’ twentieth century dominance.  But it is a tragic story, a farewell livelong to a bygone era.

It is intended that this work will serve as a partial archive; as a tribute to the men and women who spent their lives (some of whom, sadly, gave their lives) making spaceflight a daily activity. In looking back, we can look ahead to find the next adventure over the distant horizon.

Exhibition Dates

September 2 – November 8, 2014

October 17, reception and special guests (TBA)

Mass Media and Technology Hall Atrium and Gallery

Western Kentucky University campus

1660 Normal Dr.

Bowling Green, KY 42101

Free admission and open to the public*

Sunday           3:00 – 9:00 pm

M-W               9:00 am – 9:00 pm

TH-F                9:00 am – 5:00 pm

*Please note the gallery will be closed October 2-3 for fall break.

This Exhibition would not have been possible without the generosity from:

Canon, USA

Canon, ImagePROGRAF division

Lonely Planet

WKU School of Journalism and Broadcasting

Free parking is available after 4:30 M-F and all day Sunday at the Chestnut St. lot located at 1726 Chestnut St.

Scott Andrews

Gene Cernan and Tom Stafford did not give a thought to a 12-year-old photographer named Scott Andrews in the early morning hours of June 3, 1966. The two astronauts had just strapped themselves into the cockpit of their Gemini 9 spacecraft — a tiny pod into which they were crammed shoulder-to-shoulder, nose-to-instrument panel, atop 109 ft. of Titan missile. Two launch attempts had been scrubbed already, and for this third one, the back-up astronauts — Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin — had left a teasing little note in the cockpit: “We were kidding before, but not anymore, get your…uh…selves into space, or we’ll take your place.”

Cernan and Stafford did get into space that day, and when their Titan lit, at 6:38 AM ET, Andrews was there, watching his first-ever manned launch, snapping and snapping and snapping away. He came back for Gemini 10 as well, and then 11, and then 12, and nearly all of the Apollos, and Skylabs and shuttle missions that followed. By college, he was photographing the launches professionally. The only three manned liftoffs he missed in his long career were two of the 135 shuttle launches and that of the ill-fated Apollo 13.

If you’ve seen pictures of a shuttle launch, chances are you’ve seen the results of his handiwork. For more than 40 years, Scott Andrews has been photographing launches and landings, and he’s aided hundreds of photographers from around the world.

Philip Scott Andrews

By the time Philip Scott Andrews  was born, the space shuttle program was six years old, in full swing and easy to take for granted. Yet Philip has always been fascinated with space travel. You could say he was born into it. His father, Scott Andrews, a photographer and then technical consultant to Canon, has been covering NASA since Project Gemini in the mid-1960s and has photographed 133 of the 135 shuttle missions.

“When the end of the program was announced, we knew we had a limited time to do something special,” Philip said. What they did — “Go to Launch,” an extended time-lapse video showing the mind-boggling scale of flight preparation — is indeed special. But their work scarcely stopped there.

Philip also used a camera loaded with black-and-white film to create “Last Days (in Progress),” an unusually intimate glimpse behind the scenes as the shuttle program geared up for the last mission. These pictures are classic examples of diligent documentary practice, combining persistence, patience and artistry.

To say nothing of ingenuity. given the great distance that separates photographers from the launching pad, the only way to get close is to use remote cameras. “A lot of people don’t realize the amount of work that goes into making an image of the shuttle lifting off the pad,” Philip said. “It takes about three to four days to get all the cameras together, hooked up to their triggering devices and deployed into the field.”

With all the uncertainty around America’s future space travel after the shuttle, Philip can be sure of one thing. “I grew up with it,” he said. “I think I will really start to feel a hole when it lands for the last time. My dad and I spent three years of our lives securing access and photographing scenes few people have ever witnessed. It has been quite a bit of work, but I have felt humbled and privileged every minute I have been at the space center.”

For further information or to schedule a school group tour please call 270-745-4144

Through Our Eyes – Week 25

Each Thursday, WKU’s Student Chapter of NPPA brings you some of the best images of the past week taken by our very own classmates. To submit for our weekly posts, you must currently be a WKU Photojournalism student and have taken the images or produced the video within the last week (Tuesday to Tuesday). Send your top 1-5 selections to wkunppa@gmail.com by our Tuesday 6:30pm deadline and our officers and attendees will pick the best of the bunch to showcase at our open meetings every Tuesday at 7pm in Lab 127.

toe050714001Lace Bellamy, of Owensboro, Ky., sits in anticipation on her wedding day as her bridesmaids help put on her pink converse shoes.  BRITTANY GREESON

toe050714002Alayna Milby, May 7, 2014. Shot through diffraction grating material.  ADAM WOLFFBRANDT

toe050714003A contender for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, Hoppertunity, was scratched, while some of his rivals got early baths on Thursday. JABIN BOTSFORD

toe050714007Victor Espinoza finishes 1 3/4 length ahead of the field atop California Chrome to win the 140th Kentucky Derby on May 3, 2014.  JUSTIN GILLILAND

The Kentucky Oaks at Churchhill Downs on May 2, 2014.A scene of patrons in attendance for Kentucky Oaks at Churchhill Downs, May 2, 2014.  ADAM WOLFFBRANDT

toe050714008Spectators occupy a bench in the paddock of Churchill Downs between races on Oaks Day, May 2, 2014.  JUSTIN GILLILAND

toe050714004Horses are washed in the barn area during morning training and preparation on the day of the 140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday May 03, 2014.  JABIN BOTSFORD

toe050714006Maria Grantes grazes Diamond on the backside of Churchill Downs Derby Day on May 3, 2014.  JUSTIN GILLILAND

Through Our Eyes – Week 24

Each Thursday, WKU’s Student Chapter of NPPA brings you some of the best images of the past week taken by our very own classmates. To submit for our weekly posts, you must currently be a WKU Photojournalism student and have taken the images or produced the video within the last week (Tuesday to Tuesday). Send your top 1-5 selections to wkunppa@gmail.com by our Tuesday 6:30pm deadline and our officers and attendees will pick the best of the bunch to showcase at our open meetings every Tuesday at 7pm in Lab 127.

toe043014001550During a calm amidst thunderstorms, Rebekah “Birdy” Jessup explores a flooded area in her back yard on Monday, April 28, 2014.  Photo taken with iPhone 5, filtered with Cross Process app.  DANNY GUY

toe043014002Lauren Tucker, 18, rests on the wheelchair of Karlie Hempel, 16, while the girls wait to cross the street in Owensboro, Ky., on March 28, 2014. Lauren volunteers at Puzzle Pieces, a daycare and activity center for community members with special needs, where she met Karlie. “I tell her everything, and she’s not gonna tell anyone,” says Lauren, “and what she tells me I’m not gonna tell anyone. We just kind of have a connection that I’ve never had with anyone else before.”  SHELLEY OWENS

toe043014003Joey Penn blows smoke bubbles during Mayhem Music Festival at Circus Square Park on Friday, April 25, 2014. The festival is an annual event hosted by WKU’s college radio station, Revolution 91.7.  TYLER ESSARY

toe043014004Adbdel Ramirez rests after attending mass on Friday, April 25, 2014. Ramirez is a Cuban refugee who has chronic spine problems and is experiencing the first signs of Alzheimer’s.  Because he does not speak English, he has trouble communicating his problems and needs at the doctor’s office.  He believes God is the reason he made it safely to America. “God is my life, God is my everything. God is the reason I still exist today.”  JUSTIN GILLILAND

https://vimeo.com/92907947

Big Mike Mic Whoa grew up in the inner city of Chattanooga. He said growing up he went through many struggles like poverty and gang violence. After His friend was shot and almost killed, Big Mike Mic Whoa took it upon himself to stop the violence.  TYLER ESSARY

Through Our Eyes – Week 23

Each Thursday, WKU’s Student Chapter of NPPA brings you some of the best images of the past week taken by our very own classmates. To submit for our weekly posts, you must currently be a WKU Photojournalism student and have taken the images or produced the video within the last week (Tuesday to Tuesday). Send your top 1-5 selections to wkunppa@gmail.com by our Tuesday 6:30pm deadline and our officers and attendees will pick the best of the bunch to showcase at our open meetings every Tuesday at 7pm in Lab 127.

toe042314001Members of St. Joseph’s Church carry out a procession for the Host in the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose, on April 17, 2014.  JUSTIN GILLILAND

toe042314002A Catholic church member prays to the Altar of Repose on Holy Thursday of Lent at St. Joseph’s Church on April 17, 2014.  JUSTIN GILLILAND

toe042314003Freshman Ciara Sherrod of Whitehouse, Tenn., is an active dancer at WKU. She has performed in several shows on campus including the “Dance Project,” in which dancers learned a routine in a week for the show. Shot through a fish tank.  ADAM WOLFFBRANDT

toe042314004Freshman Vanessa Price practices for her upcoming performance at The Evening of Dance on Saturday April 19, 2014 in Bowling Green, Ky.  JEFF BROWN

Focus On: Metamorphosis

This week, we highlight Metamorphosis, a group multimedia project created by WKU students, as part of our ongoing series entitled Focus On, which showcases some of the extraordinary talent coming out of the photojournalism program at Western Kentucky University.

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 4.12.03 PMAs the group’s mission statement reads, “gender is a complex topic that, in some ways, many are unfamiliar with. There are no black and white answers for sexuality and gender identification. This project is a collection of work documenting people that are not afraid to share their true selves with the world.”

To visit the website and view their stories, click here. Continue reading below for an interview with a few members of the team as they recount their experience working on the project.

NPPA: How did this all start, and how did the team come together?

Adam Wolffbrandt (Producer): One of our professors approached me about the idea to organize a group project centered around gender issues. After doing a project on a transgender man, I had strong connections with stories surrounding gender identity. Within about a week, we were able to gather content from other students with similar stories and built a team of designers, developers and writers to put it all together.

I’ve worked with groups before, but with this project the team was so much more connected. We all depended on each other for the role they played. My coding knowledge and writing skills were limited, so counting on those people we recruited was crucial. Sometimes a group dynamic can be rough, but the whole process went so smooth. We had the same goal in mind and put it together more seamlessly than I could’ve imagined.

NPPA: How were you able to write the code for the website?

Rae Emary (Design & Development): The website for Metamorphosis is an all-encompassing collection of the skills Brandon and I learned in our separate Interactive Media classes, literally. We utilized many of the codes we had completed, and used them as a basis for the site. Without the codes we had previously wrote, the project would have been much more time-consuming. Personally, completing the coding class has allowed me the freedom as a creative spirit to create and be a part of things I can be proud of. Before the class, I wasn’t sure about design, and had little to no grasp on how to properly present media. Now, however, I feel confident in my ability as a visual journalist to not only create stories but present them on a clean, visually appealing platform.

NPPA: How do you think editing all of the content that was being considered helped shape the project?

Justin Gilliland (Editing): We had an awesome collage of photos but there wasn’t uniformity. I think those quotes we added brought them together to be an essay and to have a greater impact. Before, they were beautiful photographs, and putting all the content together, the words, photos, videos, everything, it became what it was supposed to be, a team project, but more importantly, a statement. Focusing all this great content and helping it come together to speak common ground within itself and to its viewers brought it to the next level and that’s what I was brought on to do. The quotes I got and connection I made with our characters work with the photos that captivate the audience. Those quotes and those photos turn viewers into readers, and vice-versa, so when you look at it you can’t help but feel an impact. That takes content and makes it into real emotion and that’s what it’s all about.

NPPA: What were some of the problems you all faced along the way?

Brandon Carter (Design & Development): Rae and I each brought different things to the table, which helped a lot in the wee hours of the morning in the lab. Two of our biggest problems – the navigation bar and how to handle the photo essay – were both fixed after hours of pounding away at their respective codes. We spent a long time tweaking those things to make them work absolutely perfectly, and also making them work on multiple devices.

The biggest antidote to our late nights in the lab was Adam and Justin being right there with us, banging out edits on the photos, videos, captions, and story. They were timely, and always seemed to have stuff finished before Rae and I could even fathom putting it into the working code. The all-nighters were awesome, both for the sake of productivity and for bonding. By the end of it, we became a well-oiled machine, and I think that’s one of the reasons the project turned out so beautifully.