Junction with Journalism

Back cover of the Hemlock Little World’s Fair 2012 book. All images © Eliot J. Grigo.

As some of you may know, this summer of 2012 I traveled to Rochester, New York, to attend a 5-day  photojournalism course at the Rochester Institute of Technology. I can say that it was one of my most gratifying experiences yet, and for those high school students out there interested in photo, check out RIT.

Day one; it was rough. Due to the broad range of knowledge of students in the class, we had to start at the beginning. At first I questioned whether I should be there, I knew the basics of photography quite well, and for quite some time. Yet, as the first two days went by, my mind opened up, and I realized that evaluating your knowledge of the basics is not a bad thing. It can help you slow down, stop, and start thinking like a beginner again; what is a good photograph?; am I on the right track?. Once the class shifted to focusing on Journalism, I got excited, because I did not knew what it took to be a journalist. RIT helped me broaden my skills, and bring my photography to a junction with journalism, if you will. Not to mention, I got my hands on a Canon 5D Mark II; I have to say, being a Nikon user, I was impressed. It was challenging to get used to the ergonomics of the camera (which I ended up not liking even in the end), but it is a nevertheless a powerful tool for a photographer; amazing.

The goal of the week, the “gold” medal, was to shoot the cover for a book that our class would create. Getting the back cover was “silver”, in my mind, so getting the front cover was my ultimate goal. We shot two full days at the 2012 Hemlock Little Worlds Fair, in Hemlock, NY. The first day of that trip, I mostly walked around, finding what I could to photography and learning more about the fair itself and the culture surrounding Hemlock. The second day, I found something to be there for. My instructor, William Snyder, mentioned, “The question is, are you going to be there when something happens. Come with a prepared mind.” I tried my hardest to arrive the second day with a prepared mind, and knowing what I was going to shoot. The result is was the reward of getting the back cover, and a series of photographs that document the liveliness of the fair, and some of the things behind the scenes. Below are the seven images of mine that made the book.

There were 9 other students in the class, all of varying levels. If you would like to see their work, or buy the book itself, visit this link at blurb. I will soon post some more of the work I did at RIT, but for now, this is Eliot Grigo, signing off.


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