Sunday, October 19, 2008
Sitting down and thinking made me realize how lucky I am. For beginners, I’m grateful for the opportunity to go to New Orleans and to my Grandma Betty, who paid for my trip. I’m grateful for all of the generosity that we encountered while staying in New Orleans. I’m only nineteen, but in my nineteen years of living I have never come across so many genuinely kind and courteous people.
I especially want to recognize all of the people that I met at the four shelters that I went to. All of these people have a passion for these animals and live day in and out for them. I can’t even begin to describe the influence that these people have on the animals.
Although I’m grateful I just can’t get the animals out of my head. I’m sure some of them have found homes, hopefully good ones. Unfortunately, I’m also sure that more haven’t. They’re still there waiting out their fate. Not only in New Orleans, but everywhere in the world. It has been brought to my attention that more than 2,000,000 dogs are euthanized in shelters EVERY year. That’s not including cats and other animals. FIX YOUR PETS PEOPLE!!!!
Science proves every day that animals are smarter than we have originally given them credit for. They are part of our culture. The animals of New Orleans are a true embodiment of surviving souls. I will never forget the animals I met. Their spirits will remain with me eternally.
Friday, October 3, 2008
After having this child like experience, it was time to get serious again and do some shooting for my project. Becky and Colleen went with me to the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter. I did my thing and photographed the shelter. I was in shock pretty much the whole time because of the stories that Jen had. Jen was the lady that showed me around the shelter. As we were walking and I was photographing, she told me about the backgrounds of several of the dogs. There was a pitbull there with a burn straight down his back because his owner lit his back on fire. He wanted the dog to become more tolerant to pain for fighting. There was another dog there because the neighbor (who was a cop,) was trying to kill it by throwing poisoned meat over the fence. I could go on, but I won't. After some of these disheartening stories, I felt as if I was just going through the motions and clicking the button. This entire week has been an emotional roller coaster. For the most part, I have been able to keep my emotions to myself, but after today I came to my room and I lost it. I cannot believe the cruelty that some people have towards animals. People suck.
I made the comment that I wish my computer would just blow up and then I wouldn't have to look at those photographs ever again. Then I quickly realized how stupid this was. What if I didn't have this experience tonight? I've always known that people can be cruel to animals, but tonight I saw the worst cases of neglect and abuse than I have ever seen before . There's no more denying it for me. Hopefully once other people see these photographs, they become painfully aware and feel the need to do something, as much as I feel the need to photograph these helpless animals that have no voice for themselves.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Today we went to hang out with some Times Picayune photojournalists. I say it so nonchalant but it was a BIG deal. I don't know how to put into words how cool it was. I feel so fortunate to have been able to have the experience that I did today. We split into groups with four of the photographers that work for the paper. Amanda and I went with Jennifer Zdon. They drove us around New Orleans and let us ask all of the questions we wanted. Amanda had most of the questions because she is graduating and going into the photojournalism field. Jennifer asked us about our projects and gave us some insight on what she knew about our topics. Not only did we learn a lot but they gave all of us a copy of "The Times-Picayune, Katrina" book. It's a beautiful book and has a lot of their own work from Katrina.
This Afternoon we went to the Chalmette Battlefield, where the War of 1812 was fought. We had the oppurtunity to photograph the Chalmette Monument, the Malus-Beauregard House, and the Chalmette National Cemetary.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
When I decided to do my Essay on animal shelters, I was a little skeptical. There’s something about animals without homes that is very hard for me to cope with. I’ve been around animals all of my life. I grew up with Clydesdale horses, my pony, cows, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, you name it. When I was a child I even wanted to be an elephant foot doctor. This was until I realized that there was no such thing. I also grew up with parents that rescued every animal in sight. Both of my parents are animal lovers, but my dad is especially. He’s even gone as far as to take the neighbor barn cats and have them all fixed. As you can see, I grew up having nothing but love and understanding for all animals. I even have trouble with deer hunting (although I realize it needs to be done, I don’t want to be the one to do it), To see any animal sad, in pain, or dead is extremely hard for me. I guess where I’m going with this is to one simple story. Today we were photographing and there were two dogs sharing a kennel. I knew immediately when I saw them that they weren’t at all happy. John Thornton went on to explain that they belonged to an old women who couldn’t take care of herself. She ended up in a nursing home where she couldn’t have her dogs, and gave them to John. As a dog owner, I realize the attachment of a dog owner and their dog. You love and treat them as a part of your family and they love and treat you the same. So for these dogs to have all the love in the world, and then go to a shelter with 288 other dogs, is depressing for them.
That’s just one story. I’m not saying that they were the only dogs I felt sorry for. All of these dogs have their own story, whether their owners were killed in Katrina, or they weren‘t potty trained so their owner took them to a shelter. They have a story and they deserve a home regardless of their background.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Later this afternoon I shot at Animal Rescue New Orleans. It was my first shoot with an animal shelter in New Orleans and was a positive experience. ARNO is a small, no kill shelter. My favorite part was when I got to photograph Jill Fox and her soon to be dog, Salvador. Salvador was found under a home in New Orleans. Jill mentioned that he had to of had an owner because he's so good with people and he knows how to sit. Jill's a volunteer at ARNO. When Salvador recovers from his heartworm he gets to live with Jill's father, until she's finished getting her master's degree, and then Salvador will live with Jill permanently.
My day of shooting ended with sunset, and just like the sunrise, it was awesome.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
I never really thought hard enough about the total effect of Katrina, afterwards. I realize that people lost their homes and belongings. More importantly people lost their friends, family, and pets. If I were to sit there and watch one of my family members die, I don’t know what I would do. There are people whose health has gone downhill: people who can’t sleep at night because they can’t get the image of their mothers, fathers, daughters, or sons, dying out of their heads: people who can’t function properly without depression pills: people who were separated from their families and never got a chance to say goodbye. These are things that continuously run through my mind, especially after watching this video and hearing about some of the losses.
There was one woman, who was a lawyer, in the third act that explained how she and her husband had been educated well and were doing good before Katrina. They went from leading this good life to having nothing at all. Nothing mattered, not even their education. Another man explained that people think they know what they’ll do in a time of tragedy, but when tragedy strikes, there‘s no way to be prepared. I found this interesting because people work so hard to live. Like the rest of use, A lot of these people have spend their whole lives trying to earn enough money to make a living and in the end it doesn’t really matter, which leads me to my next point.
I have read and heard a lot about Katrina, but one thing that I was oblivious to, was how badly insurance companies cooperated with the hurricane victims. I couldn’t believe it. Especially the one eighty-year old man who had been with his insurance company for fifty years and paid his bills, and he didn’t even get back what half of his house was worth. I realize this is reality, but it stinks. After eighty years, he essentially has to start from scratch.
Towards the end of the film they show people celebrating Mardi Gras. It was hard for me to understand at first why they would even bother, but after what I’ve stated above, I can’t imagine anything else more necessary.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
* Follow an animal finding a home.
1) Establishing outside shot of shelter.
2) Environmental shot of inside of shelter.
3) Specific area that they live in.
4) Portrait with new owner.
5) Follow them home.
* Day in the life of a volunteer.
* Photograph the three main shelters and then changes that they’ve undergone.
- Louisiana Spca Animal Shelter- 701 Thayer St. (504) 368-5191
- Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter- 1 Humane Way (504) 736-6111
- Southern Animal Foundation- 1823 Magazine St. (504) 671-8235
- ARNO Animal Rescue New Orleans (504) 571- 1900
-- Nursing homes/ Hospitals
* Day in the life of a nurse.
* Day in the life of a resident.
* Find someone who was injured in Katrina and show the struggles that they’ve undergone. Maybe an amputee since my father is one and I feel like I could somewhat relate.
- Chateau De Notre Dame Nursing Home-(504) 866-2741
- Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans: University Campus- (504) 903-3000
- St. Margaret’s Daughters’ Nursing Home-(504) 279-6414
- St Anna’s Residence- (504) 523-3466
- Good Samaritan- (504) 246-7900
- Our Lady of Wisdom Health Care- (504) 394-5991
- Ferncrest Manor Living Center- (504) 246-1426
- Woodland Village Nursing and Rehabilitation Center- (504) 903-3000
- Comm Care Corporation- (504) 525- 1434
- Covenant Nursing Home- (504) 897- 6216
- Hancock Medical Center
- Louisiana Nursing Home Administration
* Find an interesting tombstone, find out more about the person and try to photograph things that describe them or their family.
-- Street Signs
* Photograph street signs and what’s behind them. For example, a photograph of the Humane Way Street sign and then a photo of the animal shelter.
-- Mrs. Leah Chase
* Day in the life of Leah Chase.
-- Audubon Zoo (504) 861- 2537
* Day in the life of a zookeeper.
Shelby Lee Adams has spent many years photographing the Appalachian people and their lifestyle. There’s a lot of controversy over Adams’ images, as there should be. The people that are photographed seem to like the images of themselves. They also enjoy having Adams around and consider him a friend. For the most part, the people who know little about the Appalachian culture seem to dissaprove of his photographs. I found myself being one of these people until I really thought about it. I know next to nothing about the Appalachian culture, so who am I to judge? If the people in the photographs aren’t bothered by them, then nobody else should be bothered.
Although so far I‘ve been in mostly defense of Adams, I still have a few issues with the man. It bothers me tremendously that he has some photographs for his career and some photographs that are his “community service”. Nothing about what he does sounds like community service to me. These are his friends, his people. When I take photos of my family, friends, or even strangers, and I give them a copy, I don’t consider that community service. Not one bit. I also don’t understand why he needs to take separate photographs for his subject, and then another one for himself. These people deserve to have the photography that he seems to cherish so much. Is he trying to hide something from them by giving them a pretty portrait? I just don’t get it.
The pig killing bothers me too. Not only because it’s gruesome and painful to watch. It bothers me because these people hadn’t killed a pig for years. I was confused by this. Especially since Adams wants to “do right what the media has done wrong”. If he wants to show other people what the Appalachians are really like, then why did he make an effort to bring a pig for these people to kill, if pig killing isn‘t something they do on a regular basis?
As you can tell by reading this essay, I’m confused about how I feel about Shelby Lee Adams‘ work. I realize that I jump all over the place, but it’s only because I can’t seem to sort the controversy out in my mind.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
After watching the clip I had to know more about the woman who owned Dooky Chas’s, so I googled her. Turns out her name is Leah. I read an interview that she had with “Global Gourmet” The article about the interview was published in 1997. She talks about a variety of things. For example, the people who’ve eaten there, her husband who is Dooky Chase II, and the “Creole Feast” book. So if you’re at all interested you can go to this link.
http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/egg/egg0197/chase.html. It’s entertaining. I feel like I have to meet this lady!