As you may have seen in yesterday post, I was on a photo mission to capture the people and activities at Chicks, our university dining hall. Last night I focused mostly on the behind the scenes action and what takes place in the kitchen to provide food for thousands of kids and also what is involved in clean up. Today I want to focus more on the use and look of our dining hall. The place went under event renovations thus past summer and has maintained a really fresh and modern atmosphere for the students dining in. From the second floor of the dining hall, appropriately called “up-chucks,” you get a very interesting perspective looking down on the busy bustle of hungry college students. I focused some time up there grabbing unique angles of some of the drink stations and ice cream bar. Then I spent some time on the bottom floor following some student around documenting their process in obtaining food and sometimes cooking and mixing different ingredients to create their own unique dishes. At our dining hall there are so many base ingredients and nice big grills that can be combined to create some delicious meals. You just have to get a little creative!
These were shot with my Nikon D600 with my 24-75 mm f/2.8.
For a recent photojournalism project, our assignment was to go capture the essence of a place. One that came to mind that I thought would be interesting to document and share photos for would be Chucks, our dining hall at Cedarville University, named after Chuck McKinney who retired this year. One reason I wanted to document this place was because it is a place that every student is very familiar with, yet probably has hardly any idea what goes on beyond the scenes. This is how it was for me before I started working there. The extent of my chucks knowledge didn’t go any further than what was behind the counter. Beyond that wall behind that counter was a complete and utter mystery to me that just produced a mass of food feeding over 9000 meals daily to hungry college students. My attempt for this assignment was to kind of break down those walls and reveal the inner workings, as well as capturing the ding aspects that are familiar to the students. It is an incredible operation they put on everyday. Over the past few years I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of these great pioneer staffers and other chucks student workers and been tasked with many different operations ranging from kitchen prep to washing dishes. I love the opportunities of going behind the scenes and seeing how things work and so I hope you enjoy this little look of what goes on in the kitchen.
These were shot with my Nikon D600 with my 24-75 mm 2.8 at ISO 800 with f/2.8 and 1/160s.
The Underdog Cafe is a little Wine Emporium/ Coffee Shop in the little town of Yellow Springs. The perfect destination for a practice photojournalism trip. I wanted to practice capturing the atmosphere and feel of a certain environment as well as documenting the random strangers that work and hang out there. Photographing strangers is definitely a tough practice for me, especially when they are not paying me to do so. Photographing the environment is much more appealing to me. First, you have much more time to find the angle and composition and adjust exposure for objects aren’t moving and second, you don’t have to worry about an objects response to you taking its photo, whereas people may not be so friendly when you take their photo unasked. When I first walked into the store I found the manager to ask his permission to take photos in his shop. He was totally fine with it and he even told me about his brother who is a professional photojournalist for the New York Times. So I began shooting some of his products. I then began to follow him around as he unloaded and shelved some of the new wine and I found it very comfortable as we held a conversation about his shop as I was photographing him at work. Then I went to capture the coffee shop side of the shop. As I tried to capture some of the patrons, I didn’t know whether I should awkwardly ask for permission to photograph them or awkward sneak pictures of them. Either way it was going to push me out of my comfort zone. So I did a little bit of both. For close up shots of individuals, I would ask them specifically if I could take there picture, and I would get unsure responses as they didn’t seem quite comfortable with it, but didn’t want to say no either. For wider shots, I would just go ahead and take the shot without any formal permission. As I continue pushing myself as a photojournalist, hopefully I will become more and more comfortable with capturing strangers in their environment. These were shot with my Nikon D3100.