Studious Seawolves

At 1:38 a.m. on Feb. 27, freshman government major, Vanessa Cordova, and sophomore economics major, Filipe Espatia, prepared for major upcoming exams. The couple highlighted notes and helped each other study. Photo by Jimin Kim (Feb. 27, 2015).

For assignment two, my partner and I will photograph Stony Brook University students studying for midterms, which are taking place this week and next week. In doing this photo story, we’ll capture each student’s approach to studying and handling stress.

We will photograph students during the day and at night. The locations will include the Melville library, the Commuter Lounge in the library and in the Student Activities Center, the Starbucks on campus and the upstairs dining area of the Student Union.

In doing this photo story, my partner and I will collect backstories of each student, including how they feel about their upcoming exams, what their methods are for managing stress and the challenges of their major.

The Commuter Lounge of the Melville Library is a go-to location for many students who study late into the night. Photo by Jimin Kim (Feb. 27, 2015).

The photos will portray two different atmospheres during study week. The pictures captured during the day may depict a more chaotic scene where students are in a rush to study, eat, as well as make it to their next class. The photos taken in the evening might illustrate students who are fighting exhaustion to study and succeed on their midterms.

The photographs will also portray a diverse group of students who are of different races, ages and fields of study.

This photo taken in the afternoon, shows how the library hallway is a popular studying location for students. Photo by Jimin Kim (Feb. 24, 2015).

In taking this approach, the story may reveal if being a graduate student is more demanding than being an undergraduate or if a foreign exchange student has a more difficult time preparing for tests due to the language barrier.

Therefore, the photo story will provide an in-depth and gritty portrayal of the challenging life of college students.

Faces of the Long Island Railroad

The Long Island Railroad transports thousands of commuters each day. No two people are the same with each person commuting to different destinations for different reasons.

This project, consisting of pictures and quotes from commuters, would capture the essence and commutes of various people. Questions to ask would be “where are you going,” “which train are you taking,” “how often do you ride the LIRR,” and other various questions. If there is a severe delay, emotions and potential tensions flying high would make for great content.

Taking pictures at a station would not be much of an issue as a few projects for JRN 215 were shot on location at Huntington and Floral Park with no resistance from anyone. As for the taking pictures on the train, permission may be needed and verification of who to contact on the Long Island Railroad for this permission will be looked into.

Above all,  this would be like “Humans of New York,” but centered around the Long Island Railroad and those who rely on it each day.

The Faces of the LIRR

The Long Island Railroad sees hundreds of patrons going every which way across the island. Over 50 percent of Stony Brook students commute to the university by this train.

Photo by Neil Feidman

With all manners of people taking the train every day, who has ever stopped to ask anybody where they’re going? Do they like taking the train? Are they satisfied with its service? Where could they be going?

This photo story would attempt to capture these patients on their commute, seeing their moods as they board the early trains and seeing just how far some people have to travel. This story will capture the many stations and locations one must travel to between one destination and Stony Brook, and the people on board could share their own experiences on their travels.

Behind the students at Open Mic Nite

By Jon Winkler and Bridget Downes

In the midst of classes, jobs and the constant struggle of affording an education, some students just need an opportunity to express themselves.

Some may sing songs, play instruments, write poetry, tell jokes or just generally perform. Certain areas on Stony Brook University’s campus allow students that chance for expression. One of those places is Langmuir College, who will host its weekly Open Mic Nite next Thursday.

Taking a look at so many different students and comparing what they bring to the Open Mic Nite to what they do for classes at Stony Brook would be a great photo story. Think of it as a “Behind the Students” segment, where readers can learn about the vast talents of those working hard to earn their degree.

As a clear focus for the coverage of this event, we will do mini-profiles of some attending performers, or all, depending on the amount of people.

The lighting situation would be ideal, since a spotlight will most likely be pointed at each performer. We could get tight detail shots of the setting, such as a resting microphone or a performer’s guitar, and use shallow depth of field.

We will take portraits of the performers, but avoid mug shots in doing so. These will be posed shots, with interesting, layered backgrounds. Our aim will be good environmental portraits. These will be accompanied by the students in the act of performing. The photos should complement each other well and tell a good story of who each performer really is.

We will have establishing shots of the stage, as a potential opener for our photo story. We’ll be shooting by the mantra: wide, medium, tight, super tight, action, reaction, and capture the moment.

Stony Brook makes winter fun with first ever Winterfest

Last week, Dr. Timothy Ecklund, Dean of Students, sent out an email to the campus community announcing the establishment of Stony Brook Winterfest.

Email from Dr. Ecklund, Dean of Students/screenshot by Maddy Marcus
Email from Dr. Ecklund, Dean of Students/screenshot by Maddy Marcus

This festival was created in order to relieve the stress that most students faced during the first few weeks of school when we were bombarded with snow.

The event is scheduled for February 28 from 12 to 4 p.m. and will include a slew of activities. Ice skating, carnival rides, movies, and food are some things that students can expect when going to Winterfest.

SB Life poster for Winterfest

Since this is the first time the university is putting on an event like this, it is definitely worthy of news coverage and since there are plans of having carnival rides and other actives, makes it the perfect place to take some photos of students enjoying themselves in such a busy time.

A photo list featuring images of the activities the students are doing and quotes from students during the event would show those who were unable to make it to the event what they have missed, and what to expect if there is another Winterfest next year. During the winter, students are normally rushing to classes and studying hard for midterms. Most don’t have time to let loose and have fun. Showing what Winterfest had to offer may inspire students to become more active in the events that the university holds for them.

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Screenshot of a post promoting Winterest from the SBU Weekend Life Council’s Facebook

A look at Indian culture with SBU Taandava

Stony Brook University often hosts events that showcase different international cultures. Next Saturday, the Wang Center will host an event showcasing a visual spectacle meant to support those less fortunate. Taandava, Stony Brook’s Indian Classical dance team, will host the Jana Seva show and dance to raise money for the homeless and elderly citizens of India. The opportunity to see a portion of a different culture is something worthy of a news coverage, specifically a photo gallery.

Since this event is a viewing experience, it shouldn’t be reported by just using words describing what happened. If a reader wants to experience what really happened at the event, using photos that show happened at the event over time make the reader feel as if they are experiencing the event in real time. Showing photos of the event set-up, backstage, audience members and the dancing covers all elements of the event. Showing the photos of the dancers, their movement and their attire would highlight a different type of culture on display. The focus of the story would be on the dancing, so most of the photos would be of the dancers and the audience reaction to it. The story is about the showcase of a different culture, so the visual appeal would be photos of the different culture.

Spy Hunt with the Melville Library

On March 11, Stony Brook University’s library will host their first Spy Hunt. According to the website, the goal of the event is to mimic spy techniques from the Revolutionary War, including codes, ciphers, invisible ink and hidden messages while testing the research skills of the participants and teaching them about the tools available to students through the library. A photo essay would focus on shots of a single group of participants in their efforts to complete the scavenger hunt from beginning to completion. I will first get into contact with the event coordinators and ask them to assign me to a group of their choosing. I won’t be participating in the event, only chronicling it.

Telling a story with photos? Now that’s the spirit!

Long Island, while rich and abundant with culture and nature, also has its share of haunted locations with ghost stories and folklore galore.

Is there really life after death? Is a place really haunted or can these anomalies be scientifically debunked? What explanation is there for what seems abnormal in pictures or videos? From tales of someone murdered to the agonies of medical patients, the energies of those cling onto the environment, as some paranormal investigators said.

A few places on Long Island known to be haunted are Lake Ronkonkoma, with its tale of a female Native American raped and killed by white settlers, Sweet Hollow Road, with more than one tale of hauntings plaguing the streetlight-deficient road and Kings Park Psychiatric Center, with the disembodied patients still roaming the halls.

There are many more places deemed haunted, such as a windmill on the Stony Brook Southampton campus.

This would be a good opportunity for pictures. Aside from taking pictures of antiquated buildings and scenery, some which are beautiful, anomalies may appear. If, in this event, that happens, it could raise the question; what is that in the picture? Granted what looks like a ghost may be dust or light anomalies, but a ghost is still possible, opening a potential platform for debate (If this assignment included audio, EVPs would have been a great inclusion).

Forget about the whole “haunted” concept of some of these places. These places have history to them as well. Kings Park Psychiatric Center, for example, opened in 1885, but was recently closed in 1996. It should be mentioned that there used to be a railroad line diverging from the Port Jefferson branch line that served the center.

This assignment would provide adrenaline rushes, potential frights, adventure, historic education, and, but hopefully not, potential prosecution. But journalism is nothing without a few risks.

Feature photo: Kings Park Psychiatric Center, Building 93. Credit: Wikipedia

Looking at the close of Black History Month at Stony Brook

For the past month, Stony Brook University has been celebrating Black History Month by showcasing various events honoring black culture. This Wednesday, SBU will close out Black History Month in the SAC Ballroom A from 8 to 11 p.m. The ceremony will include food service, awards to prominent students and performances. Also in attendance will be Dr. Allison McLarty, MD, FACS, an Associate Professor of Surgery at Stony Brook Medicine, who will be speaking amongst the crowd of students.

To me, taking photos of the crowd in attendance and learning about what Black History Month means to these students is worthy of news coverage. Using photos of the ceremony will show students who are unfamiliar with Black History Month the effect it has on the diverse student body and the different ways they honor it. Black History Month is nationally recognized time of the year, so showing how a specific community (Stony Brook students) treats it would create a visual window into this vital time period.

Photos would include that of the events as a whole, students in attendance with captions quoting the students on how they celebrated Black History Month, the various clubs and authority figures in attendance, shots of the performances and of Dr. McLarty’s speech. Since this is the close of Black History Month, I think Stony Brook’s efforts to celebrate it should be highlighted.

SBU Taandava brings Indian moves to the Wang Center

The SBU Taandava Club, conformed by members of all nationalities in the Stony Brook community, will present its second “Jana Seva” show. The event will be filled with Indian classical performances.

10978622_10206014993637988_1560130608133098026_nIn addition to spreading awareness about Indian culture, the “Jana Seva” show will also serve as a fundraiser. This year, the club will raise money to help the homeless and elderly of India.

Last semester’s “Jana Seva,” showcased members of Taandava performing a series of typical Indian  dances, while wearing handmade jewelry and colorful traditional outfits. This makes for a very visually appealing idea for the photo  project.

Taandava Club at the 2014 “Jana Seva” event.

Eastern culture is very important for the members of the club. There is also a large representation of this culture on campus, which makes this event very relevant. This, along the opportunity of bringing different cultures together and all the fantastic movements from the dancers, make up the recipe for a successful photo project.