Archive for the ‘New Mexico’ Category

Gathering of Nations revisited

Over 3,000 indigenous / Native American / Indian dancers and Singers representing more than 500 tribes from Canada and the United States come to Gathering of Nations PowWow annually to participate socially and competitively in Albuquerque New Mexico. (Steven St. John)

Over 3,000 indigenous / Native American / Indian dancers and Singers representing more than 500 tribes from Canada and the United States come to Gathering of Nations PowWow annually to participate socially and competitively in Albuquerque New Mexico. (Steven St. John)

Over 3,000 indigenous / Native American / Indian dancers and Singers representing more than 500 tribes from Canada and the United States come to Gathering of Nations PowWow annually to participate socially and competitively in Albuquerque New Mexico. (Steven St. John)

Over 3,000 indigenous / Native American / Indian dancers and Singers representing more than 500 tribes from Canada and the United States come to Gathering of Nations PowWow annually to participate socially and competitively in Albuquerque New Mexico. (Steven St. John)

Over 3,000 indigenous / Native American / Indian dancers and Singers representing more than 500 tribes from Canada and the United States come to Gathering of Nations PowWow annually to participate socially and competitively in Albuquerque New Mexico. (Steven St. John)

Here are a few frames from one of my favorite annual events, the Gathering of Nations. The challenge when you photograph an event year after year is trying to find new and fresh ways to see it. My first thought was to shoot some formal portraits, but for reasons I wont go into I wasn’t able to make it work, but that’s ok, I’ll keep that in my pocket for next year. One idea was to try to take advantage of amazing ISO capabilities of my Canon 5d Mark II and  shoot with a long (300mm) lens at a small aperture (f11 I think)to compress all the amazing faces and details. This is total rip-off of a picture my friend Craig Fritz made a few years ago at The Trib, I admit it, but I intentionally didn’t look at that picture before I went this year knowing I would most likely approach it from a little different perspective and that the moment would also naturally be different.  I know that last vertical photo is big, and I hope don’t have to scroll to see the whole thing, but even if you do you can still start to appreciate how these would look as giant prints.  You can see more photos from the Gathering of Nations on my archive here. Photos from 2010 Gathering of Nations are also availabe for liciense, that was amazing because the event was outside at University Stadium while the Pit was being renovated. Anyway, thanks for looking.

 

Life with Boo

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If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably already know that recently Boo has come to live with me. She is my co-pilot, my seeing eye dog and activities director here at Steven St. John Photography. Just say go and she is ready.

RIP Gertrude Zachary

Gertrude Zachary spent her life collecting antiques and designing jewelry. Now she's living in her dream home in downtown Albuquerque...CREDIT: Steven St. John for The Wall Street Journal (Steven St. John)

My friend Dan Mayfield is reporting that Gertrude Zachary has died. I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph her and her downtown Albuquerque castle for the Wall Street Journal, and Yahoo picked the images up, making it one of the most widely seen shoots I’ve ever had. Gertrude and I stayed in contact after the shoot and I gave her some prints for her collection. My thoughts are with her family. To see more from my time inside the castle, visit my archive:

http://sstjohn.photoshelter.com/gallery/Gertrude-Zacharys-downtown-castle/G0000qkzqE0lAVNk/

 

Lobo Journalism Bootcamp

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I had  a great time speaking on a panel about cooperation in the newsroom with Mark Holm, Kelly Brewer and Jakob Schiller last weekend as part of the Daily Lobo Bootcamp. Working with students is really rewarding. We didn’t have much time, there’s a lot to learn but at moments you feel like you can almost see the light bulbs on top the students heads going off when you make certain points. They have a lot of bad ideas about what newspapers are and how newspaper journalism should look. It’s can be a lot of work but I’m only here because of the kindness and generosity of numerous other photographers and journalist who shared their vast knowledge with me. But the truth is I think we speakers get as much inspiration from them as they get from us.

Mark, Kelly Jakob & I all worked together at the Albuquerque Tribune. Myself and many other people who knew of The Trib often speak of it is a magic place for photography, but it wasn’t just that the photography was making magic. Every year our goal was one particular award, Best Use of Photography from Pictures of the Year International. Here’s why. From the POYi site:

“Photo editing should demonstrate sensitivity for the selection and organization of documentary photojournalism and the appropriate use of photo illustrations. Page design should reflect consideration for the reader and respect for the vision of the photographer. Judges will consider the effectiveness of the captions, headlines and other display typography as well as photo content. Aggressive local coverage and imaginative editing of wire and syndicated photos are important. Layout of inside pages and section fronts will be evaluated.”

The communication and teamwork at the Tribune or what made the photography great. The Best Use award was presented to the photo staff, but really it was an award for the entire paper. Journalists were treated as equals regardless of what media they used to tell people’s stories, and man did we tell some stories well. The design and copy desks were the real unsung heroes, bringing it all together and making all of us look a whole lot smarter. Given how poorly most newspapers treat their design and copy editors these days, it is no surprise that the students aren’t familiar with good newspaper journalism, it’s harder to find than just a few years ago. I just hope that some of the good work the Tribune did can inspire the students to go further, do and be better. I know it did for me.

Instagram portrait for AARP

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Recently I had my first assignment for AARP Bulletin, a publication I really respect because they have been working with some wonderful photographers and producing interesting and innovative journalism under the thoughtful direction of picture editor Michael Wichita. For this particular shoot, AARP was having one photographer in each state make a portrait of a subject and then ask them a few questions about the economy. The catch was it had to be done with my phone and processed using Instagram. Like I said, interesting and innovative. I was cool to be included along with a number of my photo friends and acquaintances, but I think my favorite photo from the series (so far) was composed by Ian C. Bates, a student at Ohio University. I can’t get a direct link to that picture, so you’ll just have to follow the whole project on Twitter  or on Instagram.

Finally, big thanks to my subject Daniel Espalin for taking the time to talk with me and allowing me to photograph him as a winter storm rolled into town.