Helping Veterans at the Wheelchair Games

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It is rare to be able to meet, greet, and rub elbows with hundreds of U.S. Veteran wheelchair athletes, but that’s what happened at the 37th Annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games here in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 17-22. Six hundred athletes were expected to attend.

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For one day only, vendors and sponsors hosted information booths for veterans and their caregivers. As the program leader for the Cincinnati Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, I was honored to be one of those information providers, and grateful to VHA Director of Volunteer Services Sabrina Clark, for asking PHWFF to share a booth with Volunteer Services.

What attracted Veterans to our booth? Fly tying. I tied one quick fly pattern, a Tenkara Kebari that looks like a lot of other flies—just thread and feather on a #12 curved hook. It ties up fast. It catches trout, blue gills and an occasional bass. It’s effective using any fly rod—conventional or Tenkara. It may have seemed simple to me, but I noticed how individuals were in awe about how a fly is actually tied. Many asked questions and indicated interest in learning fly tying. All were surprised that I took the time to tie a fly just for them.

The result was a line of wheelchairs lining up for a “free fly.” They also received information about Project Healing Waters. Several dozen wheelchair veterans rolled away with a smile on their face and a fly in their pockets and backpacks … in a protective cup with lid. I couldn’t tie them fast enough. A few veterans knew about PHWFF, some had participated, but most wanted to know more about this fly fishing program for veterans and how they could participate. Contact information was provided for the nearest program to where they live.

A big thank you goes again to Sabrina Clark, and my booth partners, Traci Washington and Ryan Pleasants chiefs of Volunteer Services of Columbus and Dayton.

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The games are sponsored by the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The 2018 games will be held in Houston. You can learn more about the games at www.WheelchairGames.org.

See you on the highway.

Brent

Photography Workshop Session 3

Below is the abstract of today’s Veteran’s Photography Workshop lesson plan. The assignment is at the bottom.

Two types of light meters:

Reflective: Measure how much light bounces off a subject. Most cameras have this type of meter and it calculates the scene and the amount of light to produce a medium grey or average scene.

Incident: Measures how much light is actually falling on the subject. These are typically hand-held devices and are very accurate.

Rule of thumb metering: f16=bright sunshine, f11=partly sunny, f8=hazy overcast, f5.6=overcast

Cameras have three basic controls to control exposure for light and shadow

Sensor/film speed: The ISO setting on your camera is for adjusting the sensitivity of the light meter. Low light generally requires a higher sensitivity (high ISO) and bright days generally require lower. The subject matter of your scene will ultimately determine what settings you need to use.

Shutter (Tv): The mechanism that determines how long light is exposed to the sensor/film. Controls motion.

Aperture (Av): The variable opening of the lens that admits light, measured in f-stops. Controls depth of field.

All of these controls impact the amount of light reaching the sensor/film—proper exposure.

Assignment

To photographically tell an action story, motion is key. Produce two images, properly exposed, showing motion: 1) an image showing sharp subject and blurred background and 2) an image with sharp background and the subject in motion with some blur—make sure the subject is recognizable.

Brent

Photography Workshop Session 2

Below is the abstract of today’s lesson plan. The assignment is at the bottom.

The Photographer and the Law: A quick review.

Copyright: Generally, the photographer owns the images, unless it is a work for hire situation. All is negotiable. Know your rights and who owns what before shooting and turning over images.

Privacy: Invasion of privacy is the most litigious. It may involve trespassing, photographing on private property without permission and other examples.

Libel: Libel is portraying someone in a false light in a publication. Slander is the oral/broadcast version. The best defense against libel or slander is the truth. If it’s true, it’s not libelous. You have to be able to prove that.

Commercial use of someone’s image: Just because you have an image of someone using a product doesn’t mean you can sell it. You have to have permission from the subject to use it for commercial purposes.

Types of images for storytelling:

There are five (some say more) types of images that a photographer uses to tell a story. Even though many or some of the images are not used, it’s best to have a variety of types. In the photo selection/editing process, the best images are used for illustrating or telling the story.

Overview: This is the shot that captures the complete setting. The subject matter is within the setting, and it gives the viewer a sense of context and substance.

Medium: This shot is closer in, and the subject is very clear. These are the shots that most get published, and it is because the action and relation to the subject is very apparent.

Closeup: This shot usually shows lots of detail of the subject, and little to none of the surroundings are evident or present. It is used to show the viewer detail of the subject.

Portrait: News rooms call them mug shots—head and shoulder. But a good photo can also be an environmental portrait that portrays the individual in their environment whatever that might be—office, school, studio, farmer in a barn, racer on the racetrack, etc.

Abstract: This image is usually more on the artsy side, but the content is related to the subject matter. It is usually shot very close up, and no surroundings or environment is contained in the image.

Assignment

Find an event or scene, and photograph it using the different types of images for storytelling. Use the skills you have learned for composition and rule of thirds. Images: overview, medium, close up, portrait, and an abstract also known as a detail shot.

Brent