ORLANDO FLORIDA — I had the wonderful opportunity to document (photojournalism) the Student Conservation Association (SCA) in beautiful Christmas, Florida. The SCA is made up of college students who volunteer their spring breaks to protect and restore national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks and community green spaces in all 50 states. In our case, I photographed them knee deep in mud, building a trail in the Charles H. Bronson State Forest. These college students worked from sunrise to sunset through rugged conditions, mosquitoes, ticks and humidity that could steam up a lens fairly quick.
I made the mistake of stepping into a bog, going knee deep in mud and dropping (more like drowning) one of my cameras. Fortunately my Nikon was built well and I was able to continue shooting with it.
DISTRICT OF COLOMBIA — I want to start off by saying that if it was not for amazing photographers such as Bobby Mcrill, Chip Maury, Ken Hackman, Johnny Bivera, Clay McBride, Brien Aho, Todd Frantom, Shane McCoy, Mark Suban, Mickey Strand, Eddie Adams, and the countless others who make the DC Shootoff and Photojournalism such an important part of my life, I would be nothing. It is their passion that ignited my passion. Listening to their words of wisdom always brings clarity to my profession as well as inspiration.
The theme for the DC Shootoff was “on the job”. I personally wanted to shoot something that was rich with texture, a bit dark and gritty. I decided to find the lower class neighborhood of Washington DC. There, I found these wonderful and kind men running a mechanic shop right off of Georgia Ave. They appeared to be getting super messy and I just had to shoot it.
Legendary photographer, Ken Hackman and Washington Post photographer, Preston Keres helped me edit the photo story down to the competition’s five required images. To my surprise I won the Chip-Award, which is the “Best of Show” for the fourth image below of the two mechanics under a car changing the oil. The photo story came in third place and I won a ton of awesome prizes from Nikon, Wacom, Nik Software, Think Tank, Joe McNally and more.
Thank you all so much. I love you guys! <3
For more information about the DC Shoot Off you can visit: http://thevoder.com/shootooff/