Chuck Ragusa oversees his Auto Restoration shop like a classical orchestra conductor as he hops in between his mechanics stations, barking orders and flailing his hands as he directs the men to their next move. Stopping errors before they happen, Ragusa can tell the difference between 3/8-inch wrench and a 7/16-inch wrench from across the room. The only thing missing is a tuxedo and a baton, instead an oil stained hoodie and large 7-11 coffee do the trick. Continue reading
I would tell future JRN 320 students to not listen to the rumors. I was honestly so scared before entering this class and looking back I can’t remember a day that I was actually scared. (Well, except when Final Cut lost my project).
I think students need to know that you’re not an easy grader and you tell it like it is. You’re not here to hold our hand like other professors do in this University. I would also tell future students that it’s okay to get a bad grade- and just pick yourself back up after receiving a grade that maybe came off as “mean.” It feels like the end of the world, but it’s not. I pinky promise.
So far, taking portraits has been the biggest challenge of my undergraduate career, harder than any final exam or research paper. Taking photos is an art, one that involves not only knowledge of what makes up a good photo, but also an extensive knowledge of how different settings on the camera work. Throw in the use of a flash and things get pretty complicated. I now have a much bigger appreciation for all of the wedding photographers out there. Portraiture is time consuming and frustrating at times, but thankfully, I had two very cooperative subjects. Continue reading
Auto Restoration of Long Island, located in the Flowerfield industrial development in St. James, N.Y., does not appear to be much except a warehouse from outside, but things could not be further from the truth. The business has been owned and operated for the last ten years by Chuck Ragusa. Ragusa is a short, balding man, with patchy long hair and a brown beard with white highlights. His demeanor is mundane until conversation moves to his one true love, the automobile, in particularly hot-rods. He becomes excited and can explain every part and screw and their crucial role in great detail, without losing the smile off his face. Continue reading
Today’s abcnews.go.com site featured the main story “No Powerball Winner; Jackpot Grows to $425 Million.” This is newsworthy, but I don’t think it’s is as important as the fire that killed 117 people in Bangladesh. But maybe they played it up here because the last time the lotto was in the 3-digit millions everybody was going really crazy. The first story under “Latest Headlines” is about a search that was overlooked in regards to the Casey Anthony case. Apparently, the investigators only searched her one Internet app, but they didn’t search her Mozilla FireFox app, which had over 1,200 searches about “fool-proof” ways of suffocation.
I had seen footage of areas on the South Shore decimated by Hurricane Sandy, but nothing could prepare me for the destruction I saw firsthand on the Rockaways.
Dunes of sand filled the streets, military vehicles and police cars roamed the area, and everywhere you looked were people attempting to restore their homes.
Perhaps the most haunting thing for me was looking into houses that had been ripped apart by the wind and water of the Atlantic Ocean, and seeing just how selective they were in their destruction. A dining room was set for dinner, and only one chair was out of place as though, according to a passing resident, someone had only just gotten up from the table. Potted plants remained in their stations next to the front door; kitchen cabinets exposed when a wall was torn from a house all remained closed.
But throughout all of this, there wasn’t overwhelming grief and despair. American flags were raised and pinned up everywhere you looked, and there was a teamwork dogging volunteers and residents who were slowly but surely clearing the sand and debris from their homes.
At a donation distribution center at St. Francis de Sales church in Belle Harbor, people collected food, water, essential supplies and clothing that had been aggregated from different organizations throughout the tristate area. For those without power, this was a spot where they could get the help that they needed.
And that’s what will get me going back; the fact that even among all this destruction, there will be people trying to improve the living conditions of those they don’t even know, for no other reason that it is the right thing to do.
This piece of web video by the BBC features the story of Dan Msiza a porter at Pretoria University in South Africa. However there is more to his story than the eye reveals, he is an accomplished jazz piano player that has played all over the world.
The video works really well offering both interesting angles (from the floor up) and a glimpse into Dan Msiza’s job at the beginning of the video as it shows him sweeping. The video shows many tight shots such as the man filling the toilet roll holder at the University, then transitions to views of the man playing piano.
The video shows many interesting shots of normal things to make them more appealing and cooler to look at such as the view inside the grand piano as the strings and keys move in various patterns as the man plays.
The location for the interviews, a music store is also a good choice considering the mans background. The video is also perfect length at 2:46.
The Sonagi Project is synonymous with Korean folk and percussion music. This group of talented musicians led by Chang Jae Hyo, was founded in 2006 and is based out of Seoul, South Korea. Continue reading
Instead of featuring one subject with multiple pictures accompanied by audio, this project profiles ten inmates from the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
The prison has its own drama club that performed “The Life of Jesus Christ,” and this piece tells the story of ten, of the seventy inmates in the play, finding pieces of their own lives inside the characters that they were portraying.
Ten different characters are profiled, each telling their own story. My favorite was that of Terrence Williams.
Terrence Williams, an inmate convicted of murder and serving a life sentence at Angola, played the part of a Roman soldier in the play.
The piece features natural sounds of birds, voices and chatter, and what sounds like closing jail cells. Mr. Williams describes how he used to be a hit man on the street and his character of a soldier expresses the hatred that was embedded within him on the streets.
Mr. Williams hopes that the performance will inspire people stay off the streets and “make a statement back to the public that we (inmates) can change.”