Tag Archives: pennsylvania
Walking down Thompson St. Andrew and I ran in to Yona. She’s currently fostering these two little rascals. They really don’t have names since they haven’t been placed in a permanent home. They’re some mix of a terrier slash shepherd slash boxer, and they seem like they weigh about 40 LBS and I’m pretty sure you should take them both. They’re up for adoption and if you’re interested please let me know by getting in touch. Send me an email to SETH SHIMKONIS AT GMAIL DOT COM (written like that to avoid receiving spam).
Diggin’ through the archives I found these little gems from the summer. My friend Andrew and I did some wonderin’ in the woods. Maybe I can say this was doing a bit of compositional testing for weddings? Inspiration? I’m not sure. I just enjoy shooting for fun. If you’re with me and I see something I like, I’ll most likely ask you to be in the shot. I miss shorts and warm weather. Come on summer!
Emma and Paul found me through my Mom’s hair dresser, Mike Poff in Hanover PA. Both Emma and my Mom go to Mike and apparently when I was in Peru my Mom shared with Mike about how I was in Peru and photography and what not, then Emma went to get her haircut at Mike’s and needed a Photographer for her wedding. And bam, now I get to shoot Emma and Paul’s wedding this June! Which is awesome because they are such a great couple. Can’t wait. Check back for their wedding in June. SHAZAM! I loved shooting these guy and hanging out down on the farm. Plus it was really fun.
One of the great things about Arequipa is its constant deep blue sky and the surrounding mountains. This speaks for itself. To see a more detailed view of this panorama (be sure to zoom in) click here. I’m sure going to miss the Summer in the south while I’m freezing here in Philly.
Alvaro’s second project was to focus his attention on one thing and produce many photos of that object in different ways. I told him it would be best to select a large object so you can shoot it from different angles. So we went out together since he was my only student for that hour. I grabbed the other point and shoot camera, and we headed outside. I was truly excited because this was my first opportunity where I was able to shoot along side someone and give them some coaching instead of sitting in my room waiting for people to return and pick out their prints. Trying to explain composition to someone after they pick a photograph of their friend is harder than showing someone composition as they are shooting.
We first walked around for about 5 minutes taking photos of various things trying to figure out what would be best to focus on as our subject. We took photos in the lavanderia where the clothes are washed and hung out to dry. Then we moved on to the fence and finally the car. Alvaro has really surprised me with how creative he already is. Most people will hold the camera horizontal and never change its orientation. But that’s not true with Alvaro. He will hold it diagonally, vertically, and horizontally, and t,his was all before my help and guidance. The reason why this is important is because it shows the person is seeing the object for its shape and contours, lines and composition and analyzing how it best fits in the frame, rather than looking through the camera and being bound by the four sides of the frame or holding the camera the way it feels best in your hand. Alvaro is first seeing and thinking creatively what he wants to shoot and then how he wants to shoot it. If you only use the view finder to tell you what something looks like, chances are you won’t break out of shooting Horizontally.
While this photo above doesn’t exactly demonstrate his abilities, it does show his creativity. Looking at things in different ways or not just standing at eye level and seeing everything from there demonstrates that they are again thinking about how to see things differently. As a photographer, you have to be willing to get down in the dirt for a photo and care about how you will get out that grass stain later.
I can remember some of my first photos were looking in the rearview mirror of a car. I remember doing portrait of my parents’ house from the mirror of my car, and then about a year later taking that photo with me in my photo portfolio to show in my admissions interview at Antonelli Institute where I attended college. The rearview mirror self portrait is another classic photographerism. Not sure if “photographerism” is a word, but any person I know who is a photographer has probably at one time or another taken this shot. I have one from Alaska which I did of myself from about 2 years ago. I remember it vividly. I’m excited to see what other things Alvaro will produce.
Photo classes have started. Everything is going well, but they can be exhausting. All the kinks and craziness are being worked out as each class comes and goes. Having never taught classes in my life, it’s definitely a learning experience. I’d like to mention two people here, Mr. Myrdal and Mr. Long, who both were my photography teachers in high school back at South Western High School in Hanover, Pennsylvania. I give them so much credit for doing what they do. By no means is it easy, and they deserve a lot of respect.
The classes are structured like this: There are two point and shoot cameras for the little kids and two digital SLRs for the older kids. I have a total of four kids an hour, and I have around 4 or 5 classes a day. I give them basic instructions and examples as to what the project is, and then they have 30 minutes to go shoot pictures. After they are finished shooting, they all come back, and we look at their pictures on the computer. I try to guide them in selecting their four best photos, and then they ultimately have the last say as to which four to print out. At first the kids came back with photos of friends, or the dog, Davy, who lives here, or sometimes they would take a picture of their brother or sister to put in their room.
Things are going well, and if the kids don’t always stick to the project, it’s not a big deal. When I first started getting interested in photography, I shot what I felt like. I would walk around for hours and just shoot things I thought were interesting, not knowing why I was really taking the photo. So, if the kids just take photos, and they don’t know why they like it, that’s ok with me. However, I am still giving them guidance on how to make well composed photographs.
The above photo was taken by Abel Taco. He is one of the newest kids to the home, and his two older brothers, Avelino and Efrain, have been living here for a while. Abel’s project was to go out and find things that had the colors red, green, yellow, or blue in them. And this is one of his favorite photos he selected. I really love this on so many levels. It’s bright and colorful, it’s off centered, and the child in the poster bleeds off the edges of the page. I’m a huge fan of great composition, and this photograph gets an A+
To the far right of the frame is Nathan Cottrell. Nathan has led both trips of Team Liberti the past two years to New Hope Children’s Home in Arequipa Peru. And for the past two years, on the day of his departure he has spoken wonderful wise words to the kids and thanked them for all the love they have shown on the trip. But I think what has become one of his trademarks is what the kids call “moto.” Basically, Nathan crouches down in a pose much like he is riding a small motorcycle and proceeds to run around and grab kids, who then hang on to his waist and extend the moto. The kids hold on for dear life while Nathan runs around and gathers more kids to ride the moto. The whole spectacle is pretty great and everyone dies laughing. I also forgot to mention, while Nathan is doing this his is making a pretty loud motorcycle sound, I would say he sounds like a Harley. It was a sad day when Nathan left, but the “Moto” is something which can bring a smile to your face when the memory stirs in your mind.
Dogs have been a big part of my life. When I was a kid, and we didn’t have a dog, I can remember having vivid dreams of owning 4 dogs and then waking up only to realize with severe disappointment that we didn’t have any. I believe I hounded my parents for years until they finally broke down and started the dog search. After we finally got our family dog, our lives changed for the better. Dogs add so much to your life: they offer you companionship, they pre-clean the dishes when the dishwasher is open, scare off unwanted door to door salesmen (too bad they can’t answer the phone), they give you exercise by making sure you walk them, and so much more.
Since I’ve been here in Peru, both Homes I have been to have dogs as pets. The kids and the dogs get along great, and as a young kid, what else could you want? I mean, when you can’t finish your meal, you have your best friend right there to help you out. When you’re bored, and you have no one to play catch with or kick the ball around, you have the best ball chaser in the world just waiting for you to send the ball flying. And if you’re feeling down, dogs are great listeners. Just the act of petting a dog is therapeutic . I mean, why wouldn’t you want a dog. They’re great, and they will love you for who you are, no questions asked. Here at the Homes I’ve visited, I believe in their own ways, the dogs are helping the kids work through their pasts. Sara (pictured above), five, is one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met and lives with the kids at Generaciòn.