History Laying in the Ground

I have always been fascinated by history—a student of historical figures, places and highways—and it often gives me pause for thought. Some years ago, when I was working in rural economic development circles, there was a study published addressing why people travel. Setting aside the travels to visit family, the number one reason people travel is to see art, culture and history. I am one of those.

There is a small, and old cemetery not far from my home. I have passed it many times and barely notice it anymore, but recently, it caught my attention and I wondered where is the cemetery in Morrow, Ohio? If you have followed my travels, you know I have a tendency to photograph old country churches and cemeteries. I have passed through Morrow many times on nearly all quadrants of the village except for the southeastern corner. And so, my exploration took me in that direction. I found what I was looking for … and more to ponder at the Morrow Cemetery.

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The entrance to the cemetery is plain and somewhat deceiving. You find a cemetery on a hillside, but behind that hill is a very large plot of ground where hundreds have been laid to rest. And, like most other cemeteries, the graves of Veterans are marked with flags and plaques designating service.

Next to the entrance a gravesite stands alone, like a family plot, and quite set off from the others, the only gravesite on that side of the road. It’s what caught my eye.

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Morrow_Cemetery_Dec-2018-9David Ayers, Company F, 4th Ohio Cavalry, with a Veteran Plaque designating Civil War Veteran.

I wondered if there was some reason that this gravesite—one of a prominent place—was meaningful to Morrow’s history. I conducted some research, and although not exhaustive, I found a roster of Company F with Ayer’s name. He was mustered into the Army Jan. 5, 1864, at age 25, and mustered out July 15, 1865, when the entire unit was mustered out of service. The company participated in several skirmishes and battles in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.

Morrow_Cemetery_Dec-2018-14Other than a more recent headstone, I could find little more about David B. Ayers, of Morrow, Ohio. He was a husband, brother, probably father, and most notably, a Civil War Veteran.

The Morrow Cemetery is the resting place of other Veterans with their graves marked with flags and plaques. Their service duly noted. All this history, this service to country, laying in the ground. Families and friends mourned their passing. Were their stories passed on?

Today, our living military and Veterans, who have served our country faithfully, await to tell their stories. Who will write their histories? 

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

How many angry Veterans are there?

The volunteer stood at the corner of intersecting hallways to give directions and assistance,
but one young Veteran was not satisfied with that.

Anger spewed from his mouth, as if the whole world was out to get him,
he needed to take the elevator to another floor.

Eight or nine men, most likely all Veterans themselves, waited for the elevator doors
to open, and then once inside, the doors closed, but nothing happened.

Again, anger spewed from the Veteran who was not making progress,
and all inside that box felt the tension, like something about to explode.

No one said a thing, except to say, “This one is acting up again.”
The doors opened and everyone exited to take a different elevator.

Some looked for other ways to get to the upper floors,
while the angry Veteran spewed more anger and waited for the next elevator.

How many angry war Veterans are there?
How many more wars will there be?

Brent