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Archive for Sunday, November 16, 2003

Tiniest details make difference in straightforward veterans photo

November 16, 2003

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Photographer: Mike Yoder

Camera: D1H digital

Members of the American Legion Dorsey-Liberty Post No. 14 gather
for coffee and doughnuts at the American Legion Hall, 3406 W. Sixth
St. Visiting Monday, from left, are past commander Don Martin; Otto
Martin, who is in charge of building and grounds; past commander
and current service officer Don Dalquest; Sons of the American
Legion member and past commander Len Faulconer; Dyla Love, former
Marine and worker at the hall; Legion member Gerald Thomason and
Willis McCorkill, post finance officer and building manager.
Veterans' organizations, once primarily a social outlet, have
become groups focused on community service and lobbying for
veterans' rights.

Members of the American Legion Dorsey-Liberty Post No. 14 gather for coffee and doughnuts at the American Legion Hall, 3406 W. Sixth St. Visiting Monday, from left, are past commander Don Martin; Otto Martin, who is in charge of building and grounds; past commander and current service officer Don Dalquest; Sons of the American Legion member and past commander Len Faulconer; Dyla Love, former Marine and worker at the hall; Legion member Gerald Thomason and Willis McCorkill, post finance officer and building manager. Veterans' organizations, once primarily a social outlet, have become groups focused on community service and lobbying for veterans' rights.

Shutter: F2.8

Lens: 17-35 zoom at 17mm

ISO: 400

Aperture: 1/20th second

My photograph at the American Legion Hall, portraying a group of veterans enjoying coffee and a morning conversation, is an example of photographing a subject that required some technical help to make it reproducible in the newspaper.

Upon entering the hall, I realized that the simplest of photographs -- a direct, honest, straight-on shot of the scene as it was presented -- would be the best way to depict this group of veterans and their environment. The problem I faced was the lack of lighting in the hall.

To photograph the scene, I had to set up two powerful halogen lights. Placing one to the left of the group and another to the right and slightly behind the group, I created the illumination necessary for the photograph. With my lighting in place, I found the best position was one that presented the group members and their surroundings within the frame. Keeping the flag on the wall and the TV in the frame helped balance the upper portion of the image.

Although I shot several frames from this position, I picked this one because of the two men at left and right with their coffee cups raised, the three people in conversation at the center of the table and the position of the man standing at right and his concentrated look at a veteran's patch held in his hands. I also liked the fact that Andy Griffith happened to appear on the TV at the moment of the exposure.

-- "Behind the Lens" is an ongoing weekly series that features an image selected by the Journal-World photo staff that previously ran in the newspaper or online. Wondering how a certain picture was created? Nominate it for "Behind the Lens" by contacting chief photographer Mike Yoder at 832-7141 or myoder@ljworld.com.

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