First Day

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The First (Real) Day On the Job

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Today was the first real day of my senior project, because last weekend my previous senior project advisor (Jamie Francis) informed me that he was leaving The Oregonian. Unfortunately it took me longer than I would have hoped to sort out the debaucle, but everything is arranged now. Because of this huge last-minute change, I am now working with a different photojournalist from The Oregonian named Ben Brink, who is also working with my fellow senior Kristin Qian. 

This morning I took the Max train from the Sunset Transit Center into Hillsboro (actually a pretty pleasant train ride), and I walked 80 yards to The Oregonian Argus office. Inside the office I met Ben Brink, who I had only exchanged an email with up until that point, and while we waited for Kristin to arrive, we discussed my past experiences with photojournalism. I shared with Ben my experiences at the NYU Tisch Photography school as well as my part in CatlinSpeak.  

Once Kristin arrived, Ben continued to show us some of the programs he works with every day for compiling, categorizing, editing, and archiving photos, including a program called “Aperture” and (only as a last resort) iPhoto. For daily content and content that needs to be uploaded to the newspaper’s website quickly, Ben said that he rarely takes the time to edit his photos in Photoshop as Aperture is much quicker and has many of the same features.

Ben has this really cool gadget that allows him to “sync” photographs his takes on his camera onto his iPhone, and then onto his computer. He also uses this iPhone app that allows him to quickly upload short video clips onto The Oregonian website. The iPhone is a really great all-purpose tool for most photojournalists working at newspapers now because they are quick, handy, and don’t require a lot of preparation to set up a shot like a regular camera does.

Sadly film is mostly a thing of the past for newspapers now since digital offers a much larger storage capacity and consumes less time. However, it is still possible to lose data with digital, just as it was highly likely you would at some point lose an entire roll of film to accidental exposure to light!

Ben talked with us for a long time about how he thinks you can become a “better” photographer through practice and learning how to “see more intensely” and become more conscious of what will make a good shot, how to adjust for different types and sources of light, etc.  

He recommended that for our “homework” we look at a lot of photos online and in books that other photographers have taken to get a sense for different types of shots we could try. Although we shouldn’t really ever try to duplicate other photographs, looking at photos can help you understand different ways of “seeing” with your camera. This was one of my favorite parts of the day, and it reminded me of being a photography student again. So much about being a photographer and a journalist is about keeping an open mind about the world around you.

The rest of the day was spent on an outing to the city of Sherwood’s new urban growth boundary, which is a topic that Ben is currently covering for The Oregonian. We drove out into some lovely country farmland and proceeded to watch Ben from the side of the highway as he slogged through some reeds in a creak to search for good shots. We even saw some adorable ducks!  



Katie, I am so happy you finally found a project right up your alley. I also love the photos! You clearly have a photographer's eye, and I'm looking forward to reading more about your learning process over there.

Good things happen to those who wait! I'm so glad everything worked out.



Thanks Nichole!