Fighting the Flood

spent Thursday and Friday in Southeast Missouri covering the flooding and following the Missouri National Guard as they fought the rising waters. This is also the edit for my final Picture Story assignment, a story on the National Guard’s fight. The first image is meant to be separate from the rest, but still contributes to the story.

Specialist Chris Mitchell pauses while waiting for the next sandbag to be passed to him while the 1140th Engineers Battalion works to create a barrier from the flood water to protect a sewage lift station in Morehouse on Thursday, April 28, 2011. Missouri National Guard soldiers from across the state were called into duty to help the people of South East Missouri. Originally expecting to stay just a few days, with flood waters continuing to rise and the likely demolition of the Birds Point levee, they no longer know how long they will stay.



A levee holds back the Mississippi River from spilling more water into Missouri on Friday April 29, 2011. Heavy spring rains and a wet winter has caused some of the worst flooding Southeast Missouri has seen causing the loss of home and property for thousands.

Sitting on sandbags attempting to decrease the amount of water entering the Morehouse bank, David Terrell, left, and John Launius, right, joke and relax after filling sandbags on Thursday, April 28, 2011. Morehouse city officials requested the aid of the Missouri National Guard after the water entering the town became clearly uncontrollable. National Guard units were sent in from the surrounding areas to patrol the town and work in the sandbagging effort.

Heading to dry land to wait for the next truck of sandbags, Specialist Chris Mitchell and other soldiers of the 1140th Engineers Battalion wade through waist deep water in Morehouse, MO Thursday, April 28, 2011. Water began entering the town late Wednesday night, by 11:00 am Thursday the water level was rising approximately 8 inches an hour.

Second Lieutenant Raj Cherian meets with other soldiers in the Military Police unit to discuss the locations of road blocks in Mississippi County meant to block access to flooded country on Thursday, April 28, 2011. The Mississippi County sheriff issued a mandatory evacuation Friday for the section of the county to be effected by the proposed Army Core of Engineers levee demolition of the Birds Point levee on the Mississippi river.

Aiding the people of Morehouse, Sargent Shawn Wehner along with the other soldiers of the 1140th Engineers Battalion helps pass sandbags to be taken to protect essential parts of the city of Morehouse on Thursday, April 28, 2011. The exact reason for why the water was rising so fast in Morehouse was difficult to determine, but the National Guard, the people of Morehouse and surrounding communities worked to fill, transport and place sandbags and help their neighbors evacuate their homes.

The members of the the 1140th Engineers Battalion fight to hold up a falling wall of sandbags while attempting to secure a sewage lift station in Morehouse on Thursday, April 28, 2011. The water continued to rise into the night in Morehouse, most of the town was underwater by Friday afternoon and other towns were beginning to flood.

Specialist Matthew Offermann, left, and PFC Stephen Brandon, right, attempt to sleep after returning from their 12 hour shift manning road blocks to the Missouri National Guard headquarters set up in the Sikeston Armory on Friday morning, April 29, 2011. The National Guard set up check points along a second levee preventing residents from entering the part of Mississippi County that will be flooded if the Army Core of Engineers proceeds with their demolition of the Birds Point levee in an effort to protect the town of Cairo, Ill. at the expense of 130,000 acres of Missouri farm land and displacing over 200 people.

Thank you to the Missouri National Guard for all their help and the work they have done helping the residents of Southeast Missouri.

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The Age of Faith – Father Dylan Schrader

Just one year out of the seminary, Associate Pastor Reverend Dylan Schrader is the second highest religious authority preaching at Our Lady of the Lourdes in Columbia, Missouri. Father Schrader assists Reverend Monsignor Michael Flanagan, the head pastor, in the performance of the duties required by a Catholic Priest including presiding over mass, conducting confession, listening to confessions and preforming marriages, baptisms and funerals. Father Schrader leads the congregation in their communication with God daily. Dylan Schrader is just 25 years old.
I personally think the images work stronger without the audio, however please listen as well, Father Schrader provided a great interview and it is always worth hearing the subject of a stories voice and words. To see the project in still image form please visit my personal blog.
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The Laundromat; Open 24-Hours

Open 24 hours, Robinson Cleaners and Laundromat is the only one of it’s kind in Columbia. Serving it’s customers all day, every day the laundromat becomes a gathering spot for all walks of life; the college students who have waited to long to clean, the family moving between houses, homeless  seeking shelter from the weather, the anti-social, night owl. All of these people are brought by routine and necessity and all must wait for their clothes to be clean.

Robinson Cleaners and Laundromat, 4:29 a.m. February 17, 2011.

Getting quarters from the change machine, Kalece Modock, age 7, spends the afternoon doing laundry with her mother, Kelli Modock. Kalece occupies her time at the laundromat by playing games, jumping rope and helping her mother.

Sam Brotherton (left) and Peter Feuerborn (right) wait as their laundry drys. While waiting for their laundry to dry Brotherton, Feuerborn and Joey Cali read, played games on their cell phones and planned their night.

Ellen Moore waits for her boyfriend to return and takes a break between folding loads of dry laundry. Ellen Moore and her boyfriend Eugene Miller just moved out of their 3 room apartment into a 6 room house and their washer and dryer are not yet connected, this was their last trip to the laundromat.

Kalece Modock, age 7, and her mother Kelli Modock put clothing into washers. Kelli comes to Robinson’s because it is so close to her home and she had been procrastinating on the laundry and finally found time to clean it.

Due to some computer issues I lost about 1/3 of my take and in the process some photos I would have liked to use. However the great thing about this project is that as long as I don’t own my own washer and dryer it is very easy to continue with. Every time I go to do laundry I will bring my camera and keep shooting and make something better out of this beginning.

The colors are better on my personal blog, for best quality please see

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Reading Post

The Jay and Hurn article discussed the importance of choosing a subject that you are interested in. Jay and Hurn ask the photographer to consider what compels them to choose a subject and then begs photographers to not let their personal goals or agendas influence the images they make.

What the text says about developing your style and choosing your subjects holds merit. It is impossible to take truly unique and personally stylistic images when you are not interested in your subject. When you have no interest in a subject you are unable to approach it with the curiosity and enthusiasm necessary to make great images.

I know that the role of photographers in the image is contentious among many photographers, but I disagree with the statement that photographer inserting themselves will always take away from the image. At first I felt at contention with the article at this point, feeling that they believed that a photographer entering their own emotion was to the detriment of the image, however by the end I realized that what they were saying was the opposite of this. Both men believe that the photographers emotions and feelings should be inserted into a photograph. It is the photographers feelings that can help us (the viewer) relate, can help us understand the subject better.

The article seems mainly to assert that for photographers to be successful in making lasting images they must truly respect and care about the subject. This concept is at the heart of what we do. We can not ask the viewer to care passionately about something if we do not ourselves.



The Lamott article discusses the forming of a story in the mind of the writer. For Lamott, attending the Special Olympics was clearly a likely source for a story, however she did not know how to tell it. It was those few, personally significant, moments that caused her to see the story. This idea of the story forming as a result of these small moments is I think a great one, however this idea represented in the Polaroid image developing slowly to reveal the whole scene, can easily easily be misinterpreted. Although we must always be aware of subject we are photographing, we can not rely on the story developing because of our emotional reaction to seemly small events (such as the woman crossing the finnish line or “the cool man”). As photographers we must prepare an idea to cover, we can not rely on sudden inspiration to strike. Lamott’s experience watching the Special Olympics seems that it could likely relate to the Jay and Hurn reading from before. Lamott more than likely cares about this subject and is already knowledgable. Because of this (presumed) interest Lamott is able to notice those events that can create the story. As discussed before, we must first care about our subject, then we will be able to become immersed in the story and immediately see something in the man who stops you with the picture.


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Beauty Pageant, My Edit

Sorry, I have been having problems with post this into the blog as images, but the link will work. picturestoryedit1

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Photo Stories

David Hogsholt – Freelance Photojournalist

A freelance photojournalist, David Hogsholt works on longer stories with social significants. His style is in many ways that of traditional photojournalism, but he also incorporates non-traditional techniques and subject matter. This piece on Thailand’s “lady boys” is a good example of his traditional documentary work as well as images very much using light and unexpected images to tell the story. He picks stories to tell that are unique and often on surprising issues.

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